FAQ on Syrian Refugees
Are there Syrian refugees coming to Harrisonburg? Not yet – as of November 2015 there have not been any Syrian refugees resettled in Harrisonburg, and there are not currently any Syrian families slated to come here. It is possible that eventually we will receive refugees from Syria, after they have completed their lengthy screening process.
What security measures are in place to ensure that Syrians and other refugees who come to the US aren’t a threat? The U.S. Refugee Resettlement program has the most secure and robust security screening process in the world. Refugees are the most scrutinized travelers to the US, undergoing security checks by multiple intelligence agencies, including biometric tests, medical screenings and in-person interviews with Department of Homeland Security officials. This process can be completed in 18-24 months, but in reality it often takes much longer for families to reach the US. There is a great step by step explanation of this process available here: Security Screening of Refugees
Why should we welcome Syrian refugees? Syrian refugees are fleeing exactly the kind of terror which unfolded on the streets of Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad. They have been confronted by violence just like this for almost five years. They do not bring terror with them. Rather, they are fleeing it. Keeping Syrian refugees out of the United States based on their religion goes against the principles our nation was founded on. We are a welcoming country with a religiously diverse society and our resettlement program should continue to reflect this.
How can I help Syrian refugees? Our friends at Rocktown Rallies have some great ideas about how you can advocate for refugees. If you would like to volunteer to help the refugees from other countries who are already living in the valley, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Where can I learn more? CWS main office has a great blog currently highlighting personal experiences with Syrian refugees. Refugee Council USA is also highlighting Syrian refugees and ways you can advocate for them. Follow our Facebook page to stay up to date on what’s happening with refugee resettlement in Harrisonburg.