Help Refugee Families Resettle
The Love Movement is helping refugees in Bangkok Thailand. There is a process that refugees go through, beginning with their decision to flee their home country, followed by applying for asylum with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in a foreign country, followed by a 5 to 8 year process (you read that correctly, it takes 5 to 8 years) that *may* result in their resettlement to a third country.
The 5 to 8 years process with the UNHCR starts with them filing an asylum case, followed by an interview (usually after 1 to 2 years) followed by a waiting period while the UNHCR decides their case (another 1 to 2 years). If the decision is positive, they are given the designation ‘refugee’ and are placed on a waiting list for resettlement. The UN is only able to resettle 1% of its refugees each year, so resettlement is not guaranteed. If the UN rejects their case, most will appeal, which takes another year or so. If they are rejected the second time, their case is officially closed and their UNHCR identification returned.
In short, it is a long and arduous process and it requires fortitude and patience to complete.
We currently have 5 families that we have been helping for the last 3 years that have been seeking asylum for over 5 years and they are finally being resettled. One family will go to New Zealand through the UNHCR. The others will go to Canada under their generous private sponsorship plan. All of these families have displayed the courage, fortitude and patience necessary to make it and we are proud of them.
There is one last hurdle before they can go to their new home country and that is they must pay fines to Thai immigration for overstaying their visas. It is near to impossible for all refugees to meet the monetary and legal requirements to maintain visas while they wait for the UNHCR to settle their cases. This is the number one problem that these refugees face. If they were able to be legally recognized they could survive easily. But they are in a legal limbo as refugees and they cannot legally work nor legally do many of the things that the rest of us take for granted. Immigration police can arrest and detain them indefinitely. One of the young men of these families has been in immigration detention for over 3 of the prime years of his life. Of the 5 families resettling 8 members must pay fines for visa overstay that amount to around $5,000 USD.
It may feel frustrating to give knowing that the money is going not to help the refugees in some tangible way but to pay government fines. But this is the reality of the situation these refugee families find themselves in. The wonderful thing is that, with a little help from us, these families will finally be free soon in their new home country. They have all committed to giving back once they get on their feet, so their story doesn’t end here. We look forward to them rescuing other families in similar positions to where they were in the future.
Please consider a sacrificial gift to liberate these dear families at this time. Bless you.