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U.S. Sets Deadline for Burmese Resettlement Applications
The U.S. Department of State set an application deadline on January 24th for Burmese refugees to resettle in America. The deadline applies to nine refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Now, local Burmese advocates are concerned that this decision will hurt local efforts to reunite refugees with their families.
Aye Khin is a Burmese refugee who moved to the U.S. with her daughter in 1999. Prior to that, she lived in a Thailand refugee camp for three years. The mother of seven went for nearly a decade without seeing her sons left behind in a Thailand refugee camp.
Over the past four years, about 340 refugees have resettled in Fort Wayne from Burma. And according to the most recent Census data, about 4,000 Burmese residents live in the Fort Wayne area..
Burmese refugees have fled to Thailand for decades to escape military rule. The U.S. has offered to improve relations with Burma if democratic reforms continue in the country.
A spokesperson with the State Department says future applications will still be considered for resettlement. Applications received before the deadline could take anywhere from months to years to process.