Preparing for New Friends

UPPC Member Zoe Pearson with members of the Qader family who were befriended by UPPC’s first Good Neighbor Team

In February 2019, UPPC formed its third Good Neighbor Team (GNT). Led by Mary Pubols and Em Jones, this team will be helping 4 individuals who have recently been granted asylum resettle in the area. Just like past GNTs, this GNT will share a variety of responsibilities from helping the asylees set up their apartment, taking them to doctor appointments, helping them learn the basics of how to shop for food, clothing, etc., and providing tips on how they can find and interview for jobs. The GNT will be spending the next several weeks preparing to receive our asylee friends sometime in April.

Asylee vs. Refugee

Refugees and asylees (people who have been granted asylum) share many similar characteristics. Both refugees and asylees leave their home country because of a well-founded fear of persecution and both go through a thorough screening process before they are given asylum or refugee status. The underlying difference comes down to location. Asylees are screened and granted asylum after they’ve entered the U.S. while refugees are screened and granted their refugee status before arriving in the United States.

Why asylees instead of refugees?

Recent changes in U.S. immigration policy has significantly reduced the number of refugees coming into the United States. At the same time, World Relief is receiving an increasing number of asylees who have been released from the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma after receiving asylum in the United States. Many of these asylees leave the Detention Center with little to no resources and no place to go. World Relief has been partnering with local churches to provide the support these asylees need immediately after their release. Check out World Relief’s October 2018 Immigration update for more details.

You can also learn more about World Relief’s work with the Northwest Detention Center by going to their website.