Refugees

The Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program office in Colchester.
Meg Malone / VPR

The number of refugees entering the U.S. has fallen dramatically in the last three years: from roughly 85,000 refugees entering the country in 2016 to fewer than 30,000 people this year. The number of refugees resettling in Vermont has shrunk to roughly a third of what it was three years ago. We're talking about changes to the country's refugee policies and how it affects the refugees coming to the country, the families they leave behind and the nonprofits and agencies helping them resettle.

A man stands in a park against brick buildings.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Three years after placing himself in the center of Rutland's refugee resettlement debate and losing his mayoral seat, Christopher Louras only regrets the refugee families who never came.

Chol Dhoor, President of the Sudanese Community and Executive Director of the Sudanese Foundation of Vermont
Courtesy of Chol Dhoor

The ouster of Sudan's longtime dictator, Omar al-Bashir, was welcome news to many of Vermont's roughly 160 Sudanese residents.

Bhuwan Sharma sits at a desk at Burlington Employment Agency.
Bayla Metzger / VPR

The Burlington area is a hub for refugees and immigrants in Vermont, but area officials and businesses are concerned about this population shrinking. Recent federal restrictions have limited the number of refugees coming to the state and there's another problem too: some New Americans are choosing to leave Vermont.

The Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program office in Colchester.
Meg Malone / VPR

President Donald Trump has capped U.S. refugee admissions for fiscal year 2018 at 45,000 people.

Amila Merdzanovic, director of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, says the effects of that reduction will be felt in Vermont and across the country.

Canadian police have set up a tent to process all the asylum-seekers crossing illegally on this rural road connecting Champlain, New York to Hemmingford, Quebec.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Canada is trying to get the word out that walking into the country isn't necessarily a ticket to citizenship.

Canadian police are using moving trucks to transport the myriad suitcases of so many asylum-seekers crossing into Canada along a rural road in New York state.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

The number of asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. into Canada is rising precipitously this summer; July saw nearly four times as many people crossing the border as the previous month. 

A Canadian police officer warns a young man from Yemen that if he illegally crosses into Canada in between checkpoints he will be arrested. If he proves to not be a threat to the public, the officers will help him fill out the asylum request paperwork.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

The number of asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. into Canada is surging this summer, with nearly 800 people illegally walking into Quebec in June alone.

Shown here in 1976, the year Montreal hosted the summer Olympics, this stadium will house the overflow of asylum-seekers.
AP

Quebec continues to be inundated with asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. to reach Canada. In order to house the influx of people, the government has opened the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

A car with Rutland Welcomes on it.
Nina Keck / VPR file

The number of Syrian refugee families expected in Rutland continues to grow.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Fadia Thabet, a student at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, was recently awarded an International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. State Department.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

As high volumes of migrants flee the United States to apply for asylum in Canada, one popular route into Quebec is just west of Lake Champlain. To get to the snowy illegal crossing, many are calling a cab.

But there's a catch: Some of those cabbies are coordinating with U.S. Border Patrol, and that practice has some civil liberties advocates concerned.  

Many small towns in New England are eager to welcome refugees from the war in Syria, but that doesn’t seem likely under President Donald Trump’s shifting immigration policy.

St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont has found a way around that -- they’re offering scholarships to refugees already living in the U.S.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR file

The Canada Border Services Agency has created a makeshift refugee processing center to respond to the influx of refugees crossing the border west of Lake Champlain.