Congressman Peters to Meet Directly with Displaced Iraqis at Refugee Workshop

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Gary Peters will announce a substantial increase in immigrant support at a Refugee workshop this Monday, February 8th in Troy. Congressman Peters will meet directly with displaced Iraqis to discuss the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration increase of the reception and placement per-refugee stipend for refugee resettlement agencies from $900 to $1,800 to help people and families who have fled to the United States pay for items necessary to gain a foothold and begin a new life in America. While the entire grant to resettlement agencies is doubled, the portion dedicated to direct refugee benefits has increased more than twice as much, from $450 to $1100.

“This increase in resettlement funding will ensure refugees fleeing from war torn lands are better able to become independent, productive and assimilated members of their new communities,” said Rep. Peters, who has made advocating for Iraqi refugees a top priority. “While this news is certainly positive, we must keep fighting to help ensure that refugees displaced by war have the full means to survive and work to become productive, respected members of society. I am proud that southeast Michigan is home to many Iraqis who demonstrate hard work and the drive to succeed every day.”

The reception and placement grant is used by resettlement agencies to support refugees’ immediate needs upon arrival to the United States. Funds are designed to take care of the refugee in their first weeks of arrival before traditional support services can be accessed, and are used to provide such basic needs as housing, groceries, and referrals to ESL classes and job training programs. The reception and placement grant also funds the resettlement agencies’ overhead and management costs. This much needed increase will help resettlement agencies expand the quality of services and resources they are able to provide new refugees, and lessen the burden placed on private charities who continue to provide additional support to Iraqi refugees in the face of declining donations and difficult economic times.
Congressman Gary Peters and his staff meet with refugee support agencies on a regular basis to remain deeply engaged in the relocation process and fully informed and effective when advocating for refugees in Washington. To continue furthering his understanding of the refugee process, Congressman Peters will meet directly and listen to the real life experiences of recently relocated refugees at Monday’s workshop at Faith Lutheran Church in Troy at 5:30pm. The Workshop is organized by the Archdiocese of Detroit with the assistance of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.