Among the budget cuts Congress is considering are reductions in funds for newly arrived refugees. A group of Philadelphia area refugees gathered Friday to write to members of Congress and ask them not to reduce the funds that help with resettlement.
Warqaa Haqi arrived in the U.S. as a refugee from Iraq six months ago. She said members of a refugee assistance organization picked her up at the airport and helped her adjust to life here in Philadelphia. They also helped pay her rent for five months.
“In the beginning we didn’t know anything when we first came,” she said. “It would be so hard to adjust and find our way.”
Haqi said without that kind of assistance, refugees in her situation would have a difficult time.
Julianne Ramic, with the Nationality Services Center, helps refugees resettle in Philadelphia.
“So it would be a reduction of the number of refugees coming in,” she said. “A reduction in the number of services and the quality of services coming and then federal funding that comes into the state to kind of offset costs of providing start-up care for refugees.”
Republicans have proposed cutting funds for refugee programs by more than 40 percent.