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International Center Leader: Idea Of Ending Refugee Resettlement Makes Him “Shiver”

Becca Schimmel

A report recently published in Politico said the Trump administration wants to reduce the number of refugee arrivals allowed in the U.S. to zero. This comes at a time when the Bowling Green-based International Center of Kentucky has seen an uptick in resettlement. 

Executive Director Albert Mbanfu said he’s trying to understand why the administration would want to eliminate the program. 

“If you are bringing it down to zero, you are indirectly just destroying the lives of millions of people around the world, who look on to the United States as the only hope for them.” 

Mbanfu said for some refugees, the possibility of resettlement is the only thing inspiring them to maintain hope for a better life. He said refugees are part of what makes America unique.

“We are enriching our culture, we are enriching the nation by bringing in people from various parts of the world,” he said.

Last year, the resettlement agency worried fewer refugee arrivals could put them in jeopardy of closing, but the generosity of the Warren County community helped keep the center open. Mbanfu said he’s determined to stay open, no matter what the Trump administration decides.  

The International Center is currently on track to resettle the highest number of refugees they’ve had in the past eight years.

You can hear our full interview by clicking on the play button at the top of the page.

© 2019 WKU Public Radio

Becca Schimmel is a Becca Schimmel is a multimedia journalist with the Ohio Valley ReSource a collaborative of public radio stations in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. She's based out of the WKU Public Radio newsroom in Bowling Green.
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