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Bowling Green Sees Uptick in Refugee Resettlement

Lisa Autry

Refugee resettlement in southern Kentucky has been increasing in the past three months. 

The Warren-County based International Center of Kentucky has received 208 new refugee arrivals in the past three months alone. That’s a much faster rate of resettlement than was seen during the first eight months of the federal fiscal year that began last October. 

During that time, the International Center resettled just 128 refugees.

Bowling Green is the sixth largest area for refugee resettlement in the nation, with communities of refugees from from parts of Africa, the Balkans, and Southeast Asia. 

Executive Director at the International Center Albert Mbanfu said the government seems to have located more resources to speed up the process of resettling refugees.

“I attribute that to the government’s goodwill because whatever the government wants to do, once it puts its mind to it, it will do it,” he said.

In the last quarterly meeting Mbanfu said there were less refugees being resettled because the federal government had diverted resources from processing refugees to the border.

Many of the refugees who have resettled in Bowling Green are from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burma.

Kentucky is the 5th highest state for refugee resettlement. From October of last year to May of this year, the state resettled 866 refugees.

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