By Kim Rossi
Refugee: One who flees, especially to another country, seeking refuge from war, political oppression, religious persecution, or a natural disaster.
We New Englanders are often considered the coldest and least friendly Americans. That makes most of us happy. Because we know the truth. New England hospitality is alive and well. We just don't say much about it, bless our hearts. Refugees in Connecticut are treated well. We took in more Syrian refugees than any of the other five states in New England including our border brother Massachusetts.
In 2016, New England accepted nearly 650 Syrian refugees. Of those refugees, over 330 have resettled in Connecticut, the Associated Press reported. Connecticut accepted the highest number of Syrian refugees that year. Massachusetts took in 145 refugees in 2016, followed by Rhode Island with 116, Maine with 39, New Hampshire with 14. Vermont did not take in any Syrian refugees in 2016, the Boston Globe reported.
From our state website:
The Office of Community Services of the Department of Social Services (DSS) is responsible for disbursing federal funds related to the resettlement of refugees in Connecticut. Refugees are assigned by the U.S. State Department to local affiliates of national voluntary resettlement agencies in Connecticut. DSS disburses federal refugee assistance program funds, administers refugee cash and medical assistance programs and monitors resettlement activity for individuals who qualify as refugees under international law. A refugee can request to become a legal permanent resident after one-year residence in the U.S. and can apply for U.S. citizenship five years after their date of entry to the U.S.
If HB 5044 passes, Connecticut families will become the refugees, seeking vaccination asylum... where? School aged children without full vaccination or proof vaccination is underway, including students with IEPs will be barred from school as of September, 2020. That's just over 6 months away. Even if you WANTED to catch your child up with the required doses of vaccines, there isn't time per the CDC catch up schedule. Well thought out plan, yes?
If you're an adult under 65, and want to go to graduate school, or perhaps get your associate or bachelor degree to further your career, or take an adult ed class at a local college, you will ALSO have to be fully vaccinated like a teen aged college student going straight from high school. If you have an adverse reaction and have to skip work, or can't take care of your family, you have no recourse.
HB-5044 will create refugees. We need to show up on Wednesday at the Capitol in Hartford. All day. Well into the night. Bella and I will be there.