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Ohio Will Continue to Accept Refugees

You may have seen news coverage recently on Governor DeWine’s commitment to continue accepting refugees through the refugee resettlement program – a program which helps those fleeing war, violence and persecution. This followed an executive order from President Trump allowing states to opt out of resettlement efforts. The President’s executive order says Department of State officials will only place refugees in states and localities that have consented to placement. More than 30 governors have said they plan to accept refugees.

Governor DeWine stated in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, "The State of Ohio has a long and successful history of welcoming and assimilating refugees from all corners of the globe," and "Ohio also has a well-developed support network to welcome and assimilate refugees, primarily led by our faith-based communities."

Refugees coming in under the refugee resettlement program is different than asylum. They must demonstrate that they were "persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group." The program allows them to be eligible for federal assistance to help them become self-sufficient, including health care, language classes and job training.

This article from the Pew Research Center has some key facts about the refugee resettlement program and includes some historical data which may be helpful if you receive questions about this issue.

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