Migrant children could impact money for refugee groups - Tucson News Now

Migrant children could impact money for refugee groups

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Source: Craig Reck / Tucson News Now Source: Craig Reck / Tucson News Now
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Crowds gathered Friday afternoon for singing and dancing to celebrate World Refugee Day in downtown Tucson.

The same day, the International Rescue Committee released a statement of concern that the federal government plans to divert $94 million from the refugee resettlement fund to relieve the thousands of migrant children held in temporary facilities after crossing the border illegally.

IRC's president David Miliband acknowledged that the migrant children need help, but said taking the money from refugees accepted into the United States is not the way to do it. 

"Their lives and their safety - and their future contribution to American society - must not be compromised in order to deal with the current crisis. There is no long term solution in raiding the budget for refugees coming to the US," read the statement in part.

Miliband said that an emergency relief fund for the children would be a better plan.

Refugee Focus Tucson celebrated the opening of its new downtown office during World Refugee Day. The agency, like IRC, helps men, women and children to assimilate to their new homes.

Director Nicolle Trudeau said adults have six months to learn the language, understand daily tasks and find a job. About 88% of them are working within that time, according to Trudeau.

"People are coming and want to be a productive part of the community," she said. "In fact, I think most people who live here have no idea of the amount of refugees who are here."

The Tucson community welcomes anywhere from 100 to 1,000 refugees each year, according to Trudeau. She said they come from all over, including Sudan, Uganda and Nepal.

"We want to make sure that all people's humanitarian needs are being met," said Trudeau. " I think raising awareness for what the needs are is going to be essential."

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