Refugees Welcome in mid-Missouri

This article originally appeared on KOMU’s website, and can be found in its entirety on their website.


JEFFERSON CITY – Despite President Donald Trump’s plan to implement a temporary ban on certain travel and immigration, Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri continues to welcome refugees. 

Executive Director Dan Lester said the Charity will welcome a new arrival to mid-Missouri by the end of the week.

“We continue to operate under the assumption that we will continue to see folks coming in,” he said.  

The Charity resettled 227 refuges last year, which was a spike from the average of 150 annually since 2010.

Lester said he anticipated a similar number for 2017, however, that could change with future legislation. 

Grace Wildenhaus, who works as the children’s education and volunteer coordinator at the Refugee and Immigration Services office in Columbia, said a future travel ban could place a limit on the number of refugees Catholic Charities would be able to accommodate. 

“The number we are expecting to receive in Columbia is so much lower than what we are capable of,” she said. “I think it’s kind of a shame that we have these resources and this amazing support but not as many people will be able to reap that benefit.” 

Read the full article and watch accompanying video here.