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Global Cleveland's "Welcoming Week" highlights refugee and immigrant population in Northeast Ohio

On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the refugee and immigrant population in Northeast Ohio. [Lumiereist/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the refugee and immigrant population in Northeast Ohio. [Lumiereist/shutterstock]

Ever since the United States refugee resettlement program was created in 1980, more than 3 million refugees have been accepted into this country. During the Trump administration, the program saw sharp cuts as the admission numbers fell to a record low of 18,000 in 2020, compared to an average of around 70,000 per year during the Obama administration, according to the Department of Homeland Security

President Biden has pledged to rebuild the program, partly in response to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Ukraine. In July, the U.S. announced it had received more than 100,000 Ukrainians over the last five months, through different pathways, including temporary or immigrant visas, as well as the traditional refugee system. 

Ohio is one of the top 10 states for resettling refugees, and as of June this year, the state has already received 556 refugees, according to the UN Refugee Agency

But what happens when refugees or immigrants arrive here? What is their experience like? 

The nonprofit, Global Cleveland, hopes the region will welcome new residents into the community. It's 4th annual Welcoming Weekbegins Friday with celebrations intended to bring together neighbors of all backgrounds. 

We'll start the "Sound of Ideas" today by learning more about Welcoming Week, and why it's important to celebrate the international population that lives here. 

Later, we'll hear Ideastream's Anna Huntsman speak with the British Ambassador to the U.S., Dame Karen Pierce. She spoke about a Transatlantic Conference that Cleveland is hosting this week, as well as the big news in the UK this week - new prime minister Liz Truss. 

-Joe Cimperman, President, Global Cleveland

-Patrick Kearns, Executive Director, Refugee Response 

-Thomas Kate, Program Coordinator, Refugee Response & resettled Myanmar refugee 

-Elena Ray, Midwest Territory Sales Executive, PNC Bank & Russian immigrant

-Dame Karen Pierce, British Ambassador to the US  

rachel.rood@ideastream.org | 216-916-6246