JFCS East Bay’s resettlement program has long focused on refugees who have experienced persecution based on their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Our resettlement team includes Dari, Farsi, Pashtu, Urdu, Arabic, French, and Spanish speakers, many of whom were themselves refugees or immigrants.
With the Trump administration’s efforts to significantly decrease the number of refugees coming into the country, overall resettlement in the U.S. has changed dramatically. Despite this challenging environment, JFCS East Bay has actually been welcoming record numbers of refugees in recent months.
The majority of the refugees we work with are Afghans who served as translators or provided support services for U.S. personnel in Afghanistan. This category of refugees is exempt from the Trump administration’s refugee number cap and are therefore still coming to our country seeking safety and freedom. Due to their cooperation with the United States, former translators and their families are now being targeted by the Taliban and other fundamentalists. Because they arrive having recently been in grave danger, these families are highly traumatized and need intensive, individualized support from our Dari/Farsi-speaking case managers and psychologist to start their new lives in our community.