Teacher Voice: When the nation closes its doors to refugees, schools can open them

By Julie Kasper, Refugee Educator Academy Program Manager—Hechinger Report—October 22, 2018—

It’s easy during the current heated U.S. election season to miss reports on devastating national events, like the news that the Trump administration has cut the number of refugees the nation will admit to 30,000 or fewer in the current fiscal year, its lowest level in 38 years.

More than 68 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide, with fewer than half of that total designated as refugees awaiting “durable solutions” like third-country resettlement.

That means only a fraction of one percent of these refugees have a chance of arriving in the United States over the next year. With desperately few alternatives, they’ll wait in refugee camps and overcrowded urban centers throughout Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan. Many of the children in limbo will miss out on schooling as they wait. Futures and lives are on hold, dreams deferred.

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