Just in time for National Welcoming Week, and leading up to the UN Summits on refugees next week, the White House today hosted the event Welcoming Refugees: Honoring Refugee Integration and Refugee Voices, which convened faith-based groups, refugee resettlement organizations, local governments, refugee leaders, and others to champion new refugee integration initiatives and celebrate refugees’ contributions in the United States.
Two former clients of IRAP, Iraqi refugees, were invited to attend the event, which featured Special Remarks from Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State, as well as a panel amplifying refugee voices. Madeleine Albright, herself a refugee from former Czechoslovakia, discussed the United States’ track record of taking in refugees and stated that “refugees have made and will continue to make huge contributions to our society.”
IRAP’s former client Farah Marcolla, who attended the event, had spoken in front of the Capitol earlier in the day during a press conference announcing the delivery of over 300,000 individual postcards in support of U.S. refugee resettlement. The postcards urge the U.S. government to admit more refugees and increase funding for resettlement.
“I am so grateful to be part of the American society and experience,” Farah Marcolla exclaimed in her speech. “After a long history of supporting the U.S mission in Iraq and the dramatic tragedies happening to my loved ones, I had the chance to move to United States. Living in peace and starting a new life with my two boys is a great feeling. I believe everyone should have the right to feel safe and live in peace.”