June 20, 2018. In this op-ed, by Tina Hinh, a refugee to the United States who now works for the UN, discusses her pride of Houston where her family was resettled. She writes about her family’s experience in a Malaysian refugee camp where the UN provided them with food and medicine and their invitation to the United States to resettle in Houston, Texas. She expresses her pride in Houston for being the most diverse city in the U.S. and of their welcoming community and her gratefulness for giving her family the chance to live the American Dream.
Our story isn’t unique. Across America, you can find refugees rebuilding their lives and contributing to the communities that welcomed them. These communities, in turn, benefit from this dedicated workforce. A recent Fiscal Policy Institute report found that refugees had a 7-15 percent lower turnover rate than the overall workforce. Additionally, multiple studies have found that refugees are net contributors to the U.S. economy, paying taxes and helping grow the economy. The benefits of resettlement go both ways — for the individual who was granted sanctuary and for the community that welcomed them.
Beyond economic and policy considerations, America — including Houston — has a long and unwavering tradition of welcoming refugees to its shores. We are a constant beacon of light for those who have fled oppressive regimes while providing a model for other countries to follow. We are, in the words of President Reagan, “a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all of the pilgrims from all of the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”
Here is the link to the Houston Chronicle.