Global Sisters Report is bringing a sharper focus to the plight of refugees through this special series, Seeking Refuge, which will follow the journeys refugees make. For more GSR coverage on migration around the world, click here.
Editorial: In our reporting for our special Seeking Refuge series, we found a new urgency and a new inspiration. The testimonies of refugees illustrate that we cannot look away from the challenge of migration; the work of religious sisters shows us that much is possible.
Honduras ranks as the sixth most unequal country in the world. Drug cartels are common, and workers are subjected to extortion. Women are fleeing Honduras to protect their children from gangs: boys are forced to become foot soldiers while girls are preyed upon against their wills. Now under tougher U.S. policies, gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum claims. And deportees are arriving back in Honduras in massive numbers.
The International Rescue Committee in Garden City, Kansas, is closing down in September, one of the casualties of Trump administration policies to reduce the number of refugees settling in the U.S., echoing a political ethos that first began brewing in Kansas in 2015. More than 22 percent of Garden City's residents are foreign-born, even though Kansas isn't a major primary resettlement destination — but there is ready employment in the meat-packing industry.
America has long been known as a melting pot, but those who work with refugees say that idea misses the point. In a melting pot, the ingredients lose their individuality and become one with the whole. Rather than assimilation, they say, the goal should be integration — to be part of the whole without losing cultural, ethnic and religious identity. The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in Fort Wayne, Indiana, have helped thousands of Burmese refugees make their way in this midwestern city of 266,000.