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Letter: Embracing refugees is needed for St. Louis to move forward

Letter: Embracing refugees is needed for St. Louis to move forward

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2019 Festival of Nations

Festival goers crowd the walkway during the International Institute's 2019 Festival of Nations at Tower Grove Park in St. Louis Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. Organizers said this was the 19th annual festival of multicultural sights and sounds of the St. Louis region. Photo by Sid Hastings

During the holidays, the International Institute of St. Louis seeks to raise awareness about the state of refugees in St. Louis and around the world. The plight of refugees worldwide has dramatically worsened in the past few years. Today, there are a record 26 million refugees living outside their home countries and tens of millions more who are internally displaced.

For many decades, the United States filled a unique role in helping to protect these vulnerable people, through overseas financial support, providing food and medical assistance and resettlement in the U.S. There are strong humanitarian, economic and foreign policy rationales for refugee resettlement. Congress and the new Biden administration need to be aware of the plight of refugees overseas and our community’s willingness to welcome them. They contribute much to the St. Louis region.

America is a nation of indigenous peoples, slaves, immigrants and refugees. America's success stems from our nation’s ability to successfully welcome and embrace its many and diverse peoples. In 2021, let's reach out to refugees to welcome them as neighbors, co-workers and friends in today’s St. Louis.

Anna Crosslin • St. Louis 

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