It’s never easy to address the unique challenges of a population with immigrants and refugees.
Another challenge ahead will be in dealing with a local setback caused by politically motivated, inhumane change.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has been an asset locally in helping refugees uprooted by war and persecution cope and assimilate upon their arrival in the United States. Along with refugees, the IRC also assists victims of human trafficking, others seeking asylum and immigrants.
The Garden City-based IRC is set to close, however, because of the cruel blocking of the entry of refugees into the country.
The number of refugees coming into the United States hit a historical low due to measures taken by the Trump administration. The downsizing of the refugee program fulfilled President Trump’s campaign pledge to start “extreme vetting” of immigrants and refugees he deemed a threat.
Trump and others on the extreme right deny key facts on the issue. For example, the United States already conducts the world’s most rigorous screening process of refugees.
But that reality doesn’t matter to Trump and others who instead pander to their base with fear mongering and falsehoods.
Sadly, a once proud and undeniable tradition of offering refugees safe haven was undermined nationwide as a way to score political points.
Garden City has become a home for refugees from countries around the world, with many playing an important role in filling labor needs in areas such as meatpacking and agriculture.
The IRC, with a high level of expertise, helps refugees navigate a complicated processing system regulating their move to a new, safer place to live. They receive assistance with employment, housing, health care and nutrition.
The emphasis must be on ensuring that current IRC clients receive continued support as they assimilate to their new home.
With the Garden City-based IRC set to close in September, other local organizations will try to fill the void. It won’t be easy.
The Garden City community, to its credit, did manage to help refugees for many years before the IRC came on the scene, and will continue to provide the proper, humanitarian aid to people in need — and without politics marring the process.