This is a news story from over a week ago that I’ve been meaning to post because it makes one important point among many points about when a town has become a preferred resettlement site.
The point I want to highlight is that, once a “seed” community is established the resettlement contractors, in this case Church World Service and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, will be busy bringing in the family members of the first group and ethnic enclaves will be established!
That is why as I intimated in my previous post that it is very important to learn if your town is being targeted in advance because once your city or town is an established site it is virtually impossible to stop the growth or even control it.
Here is the gushing news account about Lancaster at Pennlive which early in the story tells us this:
Refugee resettlement in Pennsylvania is among the most robust in the nation with Lancaster second to only Philadelphia in resettlement numbers, said Jessica Knapp, interim coalition facilitator at the Lancaster County Refugee Coalition. More than 500 refugees resettle in Lancaster annually, she said.
Then this is what I want you to focus on (wherever you live):
Lancaster is appealing as a resettlement area for its low cost of living, employment possibilities and the city’s walkability, she added. Over time, as refugees sponsor family members over and the population grows, others may also be drawn to the area for its sizable community.
This is why we now have Minneapolis, MN and Columbus, OH as Somali enclaves, or likewise Ft. Wayne, IN for Burmese and so on. This is what the refugee industry calls ‘secondary migration.’
By the way, it was in Lancaster, PA where I first heard about ‘Pockets of Resistance’ and the Office of Refugee Resettlement hiring “Welcoming America” to head off more.
Here we have many other posts on Lancaster.