Summit County Refugee Resettlement Plan Faces New Emphasis Under Trump

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The group charged with carrying out Summit County’s plan to better welcome and integrate immigrants and refugees is meeting this week to talk about economic development. The discussion comes amid drastic cuts in the number of refugees the Trump administration is allowing in the U.S.

Through the Gateways for Growth Challenge, Akron and Summit County created a community-wide plan last year focused on six sectors. The overall idea is to come up with a practical plan to to help newcomers adapt to the area – and vice versa. Madhu Sharma, acting director of the International Institute of Akron, says a key to the entire effort is families who have already settled here.

 “We often describe our country as a mosaic. And the reason immigration succeeds and people actually do become American when they come to this country is because of family reunification,” siad Sharma.

Immigration advocates told the Akron Beacon Journal they're seeing a shift away from family reunification toward an emphasis on the economic impact and security risk that refugees pose for America.

The economic committee meeting is Wednesday afternoon at the Akron’s North Hill library branch. A plan addressing all six sectors – including education, health and legal services -- is expected to be complete by October.

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