refugees

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

  

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

Wael reflected on his journey home after the first mission trip he went on as an aid worker in a refugee camp. It was back in September, long before the camps were well established. It was chaos and despair. His flight home was from Greece to Germany, an ironic twist.

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

  

Nasreen was so excited that her journey was finally over! She remembers thinking it was the end of their troubles – they would soon be in Germany and reunited with her husband.

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles traveled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

Matt Ryan / WXXI News

A group of upstate lawmakers are asking the state to step in and fund refugee resettlement programs, that they say have been caught up in President Trump’s travel ban and the resulting chaos.

The federal government funds refugee resettlement centers, located in cities in upstate New York. But, under the rules, the money for staff is based on the number of refugees coming in. When President Trump’s travel ban briefly froze the entry of refugees from the seven majority Muslim countries, the funding for the resettlement centers  dried up too.

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

Interfaithworkscny.org

One of the agencies that helps re-settle refugees in Syracuse finds itself caught in limbo as the recent executive order temporarily halting the arrival of refugees is challenged in court.  A temporary injunction has allowed some refugees to complete their travel plans to Syracuse and elsewhere in the U.S., while others are left wondering if they will be able to travel and when.  President and Chief Executive Officer of Interfaith Works Beth Broadway expects some families to be able to travel during the injunction.

Anjali Alwis/WAER news

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

flickr.com / Syracuse Peace Council

The president of the Islamic Society of Central New York says President Trump’s sudden immigration order is not the right way to keep the country safe.  Mohamed Khater says he was caught off guard by how quickly it took effect.

“I honestly did not think that it was going to happen because it probably would have to go through Congress, whether to approve it or disapprove it," said Khater.  "From my understanding from talking to everybody, Congress will not allow it to happen.”                      

facebook.com / Sharon L. Ames, Esq.

The Trump Administration’s travel ban on refugees and others is creating confusion…and heartbreak for families in Central New York and across the nation.  The executive order will impact everyone from new refugees to those who’ve lived in the U.S. on visas for decades.

Long-time Syracuse immigration attorney Sharon Ames says the administration’s “drastic measure” will be felt here in Syracuse.  The resettlement of 220 refugees already approved to move to Syracuse has been halted.  Ames says she spoke with a man who knew of an affected Syrian family.

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