‘Resettled Refugees are Not a Burden on the U.S.,’ Writes Former Bhutanese Refugee Som Nath Subedi

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The Oregonian LogoI welcome the opportunity to share with you some of the many positive aspects that surround refugee resettlement in the United States. The highlights below come from a powerful op-ed by Som Nath Subedi, a Case Manager at Lutheran Community Services Northwest, recently published by The Oregonian.

In his December 14th article, “Resettled Refugees are Not a Burden on the U.S.,” Subedi underlines the economic benefits that resettled refugees bring to the United States through their entrepreneurial spirit and “burning desire to work.” The longer refugees stay in the United States, he writes, the more connected they become to their communities, and the more they give back:

“I owed $1,300 for my one-way plane ticket. Within a year, I paid every penny back…Even though refugees have to wait until they are U.S. citizens to receive certain benefits, they start paying taxes upon arrival…Refugees start renting apartments, buying cell phones, food, Internet services and household goods immediately upon arrival. Within a few years, most buy computers, televisions, cars and houses. Many ultimately start and own businesses. Some join churches that help them integrate and become dues-paying members of various organizations.”

To conclude, Subedi promotes the Senate immigration reform bill, S. 744, that was passed earlier this year:

“It contains important provisions that would help refugees in this country to focus on what they can do best: working and contributing to American society…Instead of worrying about their status and their families, refugees could focus on integrating into this country, finding good jobs, and paying taxes.”

We are thankful for this positive piece of writing which lifts up the many benefits of resettling refugees in the United States. We are also appreciative toward The Oregonian for publishing this article. 

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