SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – During President Donald Trump’s term nearly two years ago, he ordered that the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S. be cut down by almost half from 30,000 to 18,000. The limit was the lowest number since the modern refugee program was established in 1980. 

Advocates argued that the decreased cap limit would deny thousands of asylum seekers and refugees an option to flee from violence, persecution, and/or inhumane conditions in their native countries. They also stated that refugees contribute greatly to the country and state’s economy/workforce and they go on to become contributing members of society.

Under President Joe Biden’s new administration, he recently announced his intentions to raise the refugee admissions number from 15,000 to 125,000 for the 2022 fiscal year. With that jump in numbers, Catholic Community Services (CCS) of Utah is expecting an influx for their Refugee Resettlement department in the near future. They are one of two resettlement agencies in Salt Lake City, a city that is a large hub for refugees.

Aden Batar, Migration and Refugee Services Director at CCS of Utah joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. for an IN FOCUS discussion about how Utah became a hub for refugee resettlement, the data on refugees in the state, and the process for choosing who gets to come to the U.S.

Alyssa Williams, Immigration Program Manager for CCS Utah talked about the resources and assistance that are provided to refugees to help them settle into their new life, whether families can come with a refugee who is chosen for resettlement, and what kind of reform she’d like to see when it comes to refugees.

Erica Astle, Refugee Foster Care Program Manager talked about why some refugees are unaccompanied minors, what the emotional and mental impact is on these children and teens who are starting their lives over in a new country, and how foster care families play a role in helping these individuals resettle.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Batar, Williams, and Astle, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.