The Refugee Center and The Literary invite you to learn about our foreign-born neighbors at our immigrant and refugee centered book club series!
This October, The Refugee Center will become an affiliate refugee resettlement agency under the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. What does that mean? That means that we'll be receiving a steady stream of newly arrived refugees from around the world who don't have any existing ties in the CU community. These newcomers are entitled to a range of services from our organization, including safe and secure housing, application for public benefits, employment search assistance, and cultural orientation to their new country and community. We are so excited about our new status and our increased refugee arrivals!
"After the Last Border," by Jessica Goudeau aims to examine US refugee policy through the stories of two refugees, who arrived from very different countries during very different political climates in the US. Mu Naw is a refugee from Myanmar who comes with her family to Austin, Texas in 2007 after spending most of her life in a Thai refugee camp. Nine years later, Hasna al-Salam arrives in the US after unexpectedly fleeing the violence of Syria, only to be cruelly separated from her children by a sudden ban on refugees from Muslim countries. To help contextualize the experiences of these two women, Goudeau also provides chapters that recount the ups and downs and twists and turns of US immigration policy since the 1800's. Goudeau herself spent years working at a refugee resettlement agency in Austin much like The Refugee Center, and she therefore offers sympathetic insight into the process of refugee resettlement itself. Readers explore how, despite winning the "golden ticket" of refugee status and permission to enter the US, these women nevertheless struggle to adjust to life in their new country. “Refugee resettlement is a bellwether of our country’s moral center,” Goudeau writes. “How we respond to the greatest humanitarian crises of our time reveals our nation’s soul.”
We will announce the rescheduled meeting date for The Girl Who Smiled Beads soon!