Friday, January 21, 2022

Play

Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.

Play

President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.

Play

Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

Compassion, Education Urged as ND Prepares for Afghan Refugees

Play

Thursday, September 23, 2021   

FARGO, N.D. -- In the near future, North Dakota is poised to help resettle 49 Afghan evacuees who fled their home country after the U.S. military exit, and those assisting in the effort, along with human rights advocates, call on local leaders and residents to fully welcome the new immigrants.

A recent announcement came after North Dakota's resettlement office request for that number was approved by the U.S. State Department.

Dan Hannaher, field director of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, said the response has been positive so far, especially from the business community willing to hire new arrivals.

"I heard from an employer saying, 'If you're receiving 49 Afghans, if 40 of them are employable, I'll take them all,'" Hannaher reported.

Most refugees are likely to be resettled in Fargo, and Hannaher said the area has enough affordable housing. Advocates asked the public to do its part to quell any hateful rhetoric that may arise, while offering a welcoming tone.

State officials say the individuals in the program go through a rigorous vetting process, and will be vaccinated against COVID.

Darci Asche, a board member of the New American Consortium for Wellness and Empowerment, which also will assist with resettlement, said the combination of compassion and services can help refugees establish roots and be contributors to the area.

She added in this situation, the trauma they experienced will be fresh in their minds as they were sent to the U.S. more quickly than usual to be vetted.

"Just being conscientious of that," Asche advised. "The services that we provided are culturally appropriate, that there's language ability, so that communication is done well."

Barry Nelson, community organizer for the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, urged local leaders and community members to educate each other about the refugees and their needs.

He feels there is already misinformation floating around, and he noted Fargo's new hate-crime ordinance should be utilized if needed.

"Make sure that everything that needs to be done to eradicate it," Nelson stated. "To perhaps prosecute if needed, if it rises to that level would happen."

State officials pointed out the resettlement program is federally funded, and the effort does not impact social services currently available to North Dakotans in need.

Disclosure: North Dakota Human Rights Coalition contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Human Rights/Racial Justice, LGBTQIA Issues, and Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …


Pennsylvania has over 300 million square feet of big-box building rooftops, which new research suggests could provide almost half the electricity that these buildings consume if they were outfitted with solar panels. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, but groups working …

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021