DETROIT (AP) – The U.S. State Department is changing a 2-year-old policy that limited refugee resettlement to the Detroit area to those with close relatives because of Michigan’s struggling economy.
State Department deputy director of refugee admissions Lawrence Bartlett tells The Associated Press the rules are being loosened because most refugees with immediate family had been resettled and there was room for more. Most refugees coming to the Detroit area are Iraqi because of the community’s large Middle Eastern population.
The government’s new policy allows for a refugee with any friend or family ties to resettle in the area.
Bartlett spoke to the AP while visiting Michigan this month. He met with U.S. Arab, Iraqi and Chaldean community leaders.