Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs
Because of changing federal policy that lowers the number of refugees to be resettled in the United States country annually by more than half, Episcopal Migration Ministries will reduce the size of its affiliate network by six sites in the next fiscal year.
Episcopal Migration Ministries is a ministry of the Episcopal Church, and is one of nine national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the United States in partnership with the government. Its current work comprises 31 affiliate locations.
“We are disappointed that we need to take these steps, but the current situation leaves us no choice,” said the Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, director of Episcopal Migration Ministries. “We have reduced our national core staff by 22 percent due to funding cuts and we are now looking at a similar cut in our network of affiliate partners through which refugees are resettled. While difficult, the decision-making process regarding these reductions has been carried out carefully and strategically, with the welfare of refugees at the forefront of our minds.”
As Episcopal Migration Ministries prepares for fiscal year 2018, six offices will not be included in the resettlement plan submitted to the government. The affiliates are:
- RefugeeOne, Chicago
- Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida, Jacksonville
- Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, Fargo
- Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, Grand Forks
- Ascentria Care Alliance, Concord, New Hampshire
- Ascentria Care Alliance, Westfield, Massachusetts
Episcopal Migration Ministries recently announced a plan to close satellite office in Miami effective at the end of July, because of changing immigration policy regarding Cuba. Eight staff members now work in the Miami office.
“We are thankful for the ministry and mission of the committed staff of all our affiliate partners,” Stevenson said. “These professionals provide effective and safe welcome to new neighbors in this country. We also give thanks to the wider church for its support in helping us maintain a strong ministry despite the pressures of the current political landscape. Episcopal Migration Ministries will continue to provide opportunities for refugees to thrive as new Americans.”