Bowling Green International Center Not Requesting Syrian Refugees Due to Federal Guidelines

Apr 19, 2017

International Center of Kentucky in Bowling Green
Credit Rhonda Miller, WKYU

The Bowling Green-based International Center of Kentucky is not requesting any refugees from Syria for the next fiscal year. The center’s Executive Director Albert Mbanfu said Syrian refugees are not expected to be approved because the Trump administration considers them a "special concern."

Mbanfu said 40 Syrians were previously expected in Bowling Green, but  that was halted by new federal guidelines.                 

“If I were to make a choice I would say Syrian refugees should be priority number one, taking into consideration what’s going on right now in Syria and the horrors that is going on there and the situation of the refugees in the refugee camps in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon,” said Mbanfu.

The International Center is requesting 350 refugees from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The request also includes some refugees from Iran and Afghanistan who helped the U.S. government in their home countries.

Mbanfu said the number of refugees being requested this year is relatively small.              

“This number is less than what we requested last year. Last year we requested 440 and the 440 were approved. So there’s a drastic reduction in the number this year.”

But Mbanfu said all refugees approved for the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30 are not expected to arrive because the national total has been reduced from 110,000 to 50,000.

The center has until April 25 to submit the request for the number of refugees it would like to take in next fiscal year. 

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