Executive Order’s Effect on Refugee Resettlement at CMC

A recent executive order by President Donald Trump regarding refugee resettlement in the United States has, of course, impacted the Catherine McAuley Center.

Our main concern, however, is the effect this order has on the thousands of people who have waited years to be resettled in the U.S.– people who have already faced persecution, war, and other trauma in their home country and are hopeful for a new opportunity for safety and freedom. Many who already call America home are waiting for their wife, husband, child or other family member to join them… and now must wait.

Over the past month, the Catherine McAuley Center has accepted responsibility to resettle about a dozen refugee cases consisting of over 30 people who have U.S. ties (a friend or family member who has agreed to support the refugee’s transition to the U.S.) in Iowa City, Columbus Junction and Cedar Rapids. Thanks to our partners at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, we were prepared to welcome these new friends  into the U.S. in the coming weeks, in some cases only waiting for final confirmation of travel plans. Now, it will be months or longer before we meet them.

The Catherine McAuley Center stands firm in our commitment to welcome and support future newcomers. While we know that the recent executive orders will delay nearly 90,000 refugees who were expected to resettle in the U.S. in 2017 in fulfilling their dreams while their lives remain in jeopardy, we remain hopeful. With YOUR support and action, we can change the outcome for the nation’s tens of thousands of incoming refugees, including the thirty people who were anticipated to settle in Eastern Iowa with the assistance of the Catherine McAuley Center.

We will attempt to keep information up to date through our Facebook page and our website. Please know that new information is coming in at a rapid pace, so your best source for current information on this issue, at this point, is through reliable news media.

Thank you so much for your support of the CMC mission, and most importantly, your support of refugees, immigrants, and women. We must each take action individually and encourage others to take action to make our voices heard for what we believe represents our U.S. values and basic principles of democracy.

Gratefully,

Paula Land
Executive Director

New Refugee Resettlement Program

Dear Friends,

We have big news!

PaulaFor more than 27 years, the Catherine McAuley Center (CMC) has used our expertise in the education and human services fields to support our students’ and residents’ connectedness with the wider community, helping them build communication and life skills that enable them to achieve their goals. Starting in 2017, we’ll expand our expertise and mission to offer hope and opportunity to some of Cedar Rapids’ newest residents—refugees.

brighter-futures-towerWe live in an age of humanitarian crisis in which more than 65 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes due to devastating conflicts. Of these millions, the U.S. is anticipated to welcome 110,000 refugees in the coming year. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), one of the nation’s leading refugee resettlement agencies, found Cedar Rapids to be an ideal site for expanded resettlement because of our community’s low cost of living, stable job market, and strong healthcare, educational and social services networks.

To expand on local resettlement efforts conducted for the last decade by Catholic Charities, USCRI identified CMC as an agency with strong capacity to undertake such an initiative. Beyond our supportive team of 600+ volunteers and 800+ donors are two new RefugeeRISE AmeriCorps members to help us launch this exciting new program. CMC has a history of adapting to meet real human needs through our Adult Basic Education and Transitional Housing programs. Refugee Resettlement is another opportunity to help meet an urgent need in today’s world.

Refugee resettlement is not just an opportunity to meet a need—it’s an opportunity to enrich the Cedar Rapids community through diversity and new perspectives. Building upon our rich immigrant heritage, our newest residents will also help our community to grow and thrive. With these new efforts, we anticipate greater collaboration among community agencies which will not only benefit refugees, but other community members as well.

The support of the CMC community has been a constant source of encouragement. As we turn the page and enter a new chapter of CMC history, we wanted you to be among the first to know and invite you to get involved and help create a safe and inviting community for our new neighbors!

Thank you for your continued thoughtfulness and generosity. The CMC staff, board of directors, and I are excited to share this new chapter with you as we pave the way for safety, freedom, new beginnings, and opportunity.

With hope,
Paula copy
Paula Land
Executive Director