450 Refugees are Expected to Resettle in St. Louis This Year, Compared to More Than 1,100 in 2016

By on January 18, 2018

From St. Louis Public Radio:  This year, the International Institute estimates the arrival of only 450 refugees arriving to St. Louis. That’s a sharp decline compared to the amount of refugee resettlement in previous years – 659 refugees in 2017 and 1135 refugees in 2016.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh addressed the decline of refugees arriving to St. Louis over the past couple of years. Joining him for the discussion was Betsy Cohen, executive director of the St. Louis Mosaic Project and Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis.

Crosslin said initiatives at the White House last year resulted in the sharp decline of refugees resettled nationally and in St. Louis. Refugees are part of a subset of immigrants arriving to the United States, who are admitted due to well-founded fears of persecution in their native countries.

The president’s executive orders and various travel bans heavily impacted the International Institute’s refugee clients, where family reunifications are on hold.

“For instance, the Syrians; we sponsored about 300 Syrians in [2016] and those individuals were waiting for family members who are still in destitute situations and they simply can’t come at all,” Crosslin said.

The cut back of refugees resettled in St. Louis slows down the Mosaic Project’s goal for the city to be the fastest growing major metropolitan area for foreign born residents by the year 2020.

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