AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - In 2017, Chantal Nyamaliza arrived to Amarillo as a refugee with her daughter, after fleeing the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Her husband, still back in the country where the war has taken millions of lives.
However, contrary to her progress in his case has been stalled, as a result of the backlog caused by the constant decrease in refugee admissions.
“We’ve seen a trend in the last four years of dropping down,” said Jeff Gulde, executive director of Catholic Charities. “The first year 45,000 next year was 30,000 the following year 15, I’m sorry 18,000.”
For the fiscal year 2021, the current administration is proposing a 15,000 refugees admissions goal, and if approved, it will continue to impede family reunification.
“We’ve seen husbands and wives and children not being reunited with their parents,” said Ashley Faye, development director of Refugee Services of Texas. “Families not being reunified or taking years, literally years to reunify, which is significant when you consider that the average wait time in a resettlement camp is 26 years.”
The current proposal will also impact funding for the refugee services of Texas, which is dependent on refugee admissions, but under this humanitarian crisis, some of the refugee organizations are finding a silver lining.
“Fewer refugees coming, equips us to build capacity in the refugee communities and build leaders so that the refugees themselves, when those numbers go higher that they’ll be capable to care of their own,” said Ryan Pennington, executive director of Refugee Language Project.
The Refugee Services of Texas is asking the public to contact State Senators and Representatives, urging Members of Congress to weigh in with the administration to meaningfully consult with Congress, to sign a refugee admissions goal of 95,000.
Chantal is hopeful that things will change and reunite her family so they can all have a better life.