I was very interested to see the list of top cities in the US that ‘welcome’ refugees when I published The Tent Foundation/Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Refugee Hiring Guide the other day.
Where is Twin Falls?
Today I had a chance to look at the list more carefully and I’ll be darned, I don’t see Twin Falls, Idaho. (If you all check for me and see if somehow I overlooked it, see page 17, 18, and 19 at the guide, here.)
You would think that since The Tent Foundation is Chobani Yogurt CEO Hamdi Ulukaya’s foundation that Twin Falls would be on the list.
Is it possible, I wondered, that Twin Falls welcomed less than 100 refugees in the ten years being analyzed by the Lutheran contractor for the hiring guide?
Important note to readers: I hear from some of you referring to refugees as illegals. They are not. The immigrants we discuss mostly on these pages come to the US through the Refugee Admissions Program signed in to law in 1980. The numbers I’ll be giving you below are primary refugees placed directly in Twin Falls. The data comes from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center. The numbers below do not include: asylum seekers, asylees, Special Immigrant Visa holders, Diversity Lottery winners, etc. They also do not include secondary refugee migrants. Those are legal refugees placed in another location who have moved, (possibly in this case to Twin Falls) for work or to be with others of their ethnic group. Again, secondary migrants are not included below.
These are all the primary refugees placed in Twin Falls by the US State Department and its local resettlement contractor during the ten year period, 2007-2016 presented in Tent’s Hiring Guide. Data is from Wrapsnet (Refugee Processing Center).
A total of 2,723 were placed in Twin Falls, population 48,260, from 2007 to 2016. (Boise by comparison received 6,918 in the same time period placing it at #29 on the Tent list of top resettlement locations.)
The Twin Falls number of 2,723 should have placed it on Tent’s list (where to find refugees) between Richmond, VA and Lincoln, NE
When I analyzed the data at Wrapsnet, I learned that Twin Falls ‘welcomed’ refugees from 17 different nationalities during that time period with the largest numbers coming from the following countries:
DR Congo (217)
Smaller numbers came from 9 other countries surely making it challenging for the school system, the health system and the criminal justice system there to deal with the language barriers and requirements for translation services (just one more cost being passed on to local and state taxpayers!).
I’ll be red-faced, but please let me know if you find Twin Falls on the Tent list of top cities in which employers can find refugee workers.