TIRELESS EFFORTS FOR REFUGEES (Fall 2016). Exodus Refugee Immigration has welcomed refugees to Indiana from more than 33 countries since its beginning in 1981. Ethnic minority groups from Burma make up 59% of those currently making their home in Indianapolis through Exodus’ resettlement program, with Congolese being the next largest resettled group at 15%. In the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis and following the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015, Indiana and Exodus grabbed media attention when Governor Mike Pence directed all state agencies to halt the resettlement of Syrians in Indiana. Resettlement organizations such as Exodus were suddenly faced with the possibility of losing federal funding that would help provide services to resettled Syrian refugees. This action diverted the resettlement of one particular Syrian family of three who had been scheduled to arrive in Indiana. Exodus filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Pence, and on October 3, 2016, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling that blocked Indiana’s effort to prevent resettlement of Syrian refugees. Through Exodus’ perseverance, Indiana has welcomed more than 150 Syrian refugees this year.
In the image, Exodus welcomed its first Syrian family in late 2014 after they fled to Jordan. Today, they are expecting a new baby!
Clowes Fund Field(s) of Interest: Immigrants, Refugees and Asylees