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Idaho Office For Refugees Takes Stock As Biden Raises National Cap On Refugees

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Idaho Office for Refugees

President Joe Biden is raising the number for refugees allowed into the United States to 62,500. That’s up from the Trump White House’s historic low of just 15,000. Idaho refugee resettlement programs are weary, but ready.

Tara Wolfson, Director of the Idaho Office for Refugees, welcomes the roughly 300% increase, but the jump in numbers means having enough staff to cover new refugee cases and provide housing.

“You know when your plumbing is broken,” she said, “you have a lot to do before you can turn it on full speed again.”

Even during the lean years, her organization has maintained community relationships, ready to resettle more people.

“We've really worked hard as a network … to get together to keep our systems in place,” she said.

She says employers looking for workers could also benefit.

“I do get two or three employer calls a week,” she said, “and I think employers will be very excited to have people who are ready, and able to work hard.”

The Idaho Office for Refugees projects Idaho and all of its agencies will receive 353 refugees this year.

The Biden Administration says the atrophied refugee system from the last four years means the U.S. probably won’t fulfill the new threshold.

Follow Gustavo Sagrero on Instagram @gus.chavo

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