Refugee and Immigration Services

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Welcome to RIS Como!

Hello!

Welcome to Refugee and Immigration Services – CCCNMO’s brand new webpage. Through this new resource you can learn all about our office and the services we provide to refugees and immigrants in Mid Missouri.

Stay in the loop and follow us. Get updates as we provide you news about exciting current events in the office and around the community.

You can meet our staff and recent volunteers. We love what we do, but we couldn’t do it without the support of the community and amazing team of volunteers. Check out our Get Involved page to see how you can serve in our office.

Visit the events page to make sure you’re not missing out on any events at RIS or in the community. Refugees new and old will find education and community building opportunities here. If you have an event you’d like to share make sure to let us know.

Take a stroll down memory lane and explore our photo galleries complete with snapshots from recent events and activities! And be sure to access our Contact page to easily connect with our team.

After you’ve discovered all our new site has to offer be sure to share it with your friends and give us your feedback.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at RIS!

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Immigration Across the Nation

Immigrants are an integral part of the cultural mix making up America. Map the Impact, an interactive map website, explains how immigrants impact each state.

Map the Impact of Immigration Across the Nation with this interactive map that provides state-specific data when hovered over.

Map the Impact of Immigration Across the Nation with this interactive map that provides state-specific data when hovered over.

Across the country, from large cities to small, rural communities, immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy by filling labor shortages and starting businesses. Foreign born students make up a significant portion of university science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. Their participation in higher education helps drive innovation which fuels job growth. According to Map the Impact, immigrants also started and owned businesses at much higher rates than native born people.

Despite their significant potential for contribution, many immigrants’ successes are stunted by obstacles including visa approvals and immigration policies.

Each state page breaks down the immigrant population by country and presents statistics about the immigrant community. The pages also explain the economic impact, foreign innovations and workforce makeup of immigrants in that state. The Spotlight section is a personal anecdote or example from that state. Explore your state’s data and see how immigration contributes to your community.

State-specific pages break down statistics and provide an in-depth explanation of immigration in your state.

State-specific pages break down statistics and provide an in-depth explanation of immigration in your state.

Syrian Refugee Crisis in the News

The July 25, 2013 front page of The Guardian

The July 25, 2013 front page of The Guardian

The Guardian is devoting the day to covering the Syrian refugee crisis. Head over to their website to check out what they have in store. We recommend the “Day in the Life” section, featuring a running tab of posts.

Oh, Baby!

Seventeen-year-old new mother Rawan holds her newborn son Baker (Photo by Raad Adayleh)

Seventeen-year-old new mother Rawan holds her newborn son Baker (Photo by Raad Adayleh)

The world is abuzz with babies!

On July 22, His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge was born. However, his birth is not the only monumental birth happening in the world. Every day, about 13 babies are born in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, adding up to an estimated 30,000 total births by the end of the year. The Zaatari camp is home to 160,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war ravaging their country. (more…)

Voices from Iraq

Our blog post from Tuesday shared the Stories from Syrian Refugees site. Through platforms like these, refugees have a chance to tell their stories, putting a face to an international crisis that is often hard to comprehend for those who are not living it. By sharing their stories, refugees can bring awareness to their situation, educate others about the plight of refugees and encourage aid and participation. (more…)

July 18: Mandela Day

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July 18 marks the birthday of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and former South African President. In 2009, in honor of his birthday, the United Nations declared July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day. This day is meant to inspire people to take action to change the world for the better. (more…)

Syrian Refugee Outflow Escalates

The UNHCR site has photos, videos and personal stories from Syrian refugees.

The UNHCR site has photos, videos and personal stories from Syrian refugees.

According to the UN Security Council, the outflow of refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war has reached an alarming rate, one that has not been matched since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The UN estimates that as many as 100,000 people have died in Syria’s 26-month civil war, and that now an estimated 5,000 Syrians are dying each month. (more…)

Special U.S. Citizen Naturalization Ceremony at Glacier Point

RIS hopes you had a happy Fourth of July! This weekend we celebrated our nation’s birthday with the many refugees and immigrants who now call the United States home.

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than by opening our arms to new Americans? RIS also welcomes the 65 new U.S. citizens who were naturalized during a ceremony in Yosemite Valley’s Glacier Point on June 27. We are grateful for the diverse individuals that make up our nation.

Yosemite Park Blog

Sixty-five people became naturalized citizens of the United States at Yosemite Valley’s most famous overlook on June 27, 2013. In a special ceremony commemorating Independence Day, candidates received their own American flag before taking the Oath of Allegiance. They then recited the Pledge of Allegiance as newly certified U.S. citizens. Conducted at the Glacier Point amphitheater, the ceremony takes on particular significance as the view overlooking Nevada Fall with Half Dome looming in the background reminds citizens of what is known as “America’s Best Idea” – the national park system.

The ceremony’s speakers included Yosemite Superintendent Don Neubacher and representatives from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in Fresno and Sacramento. The citizen candidates came from all around the world including Mexico, Fiji, Cambodia, Russia, and Guatemala.

The new citizens were joined by their family and friends as they celebrated the end of their journey to become American citizens…

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IKEA Foundation Builds Refugee Tents

The canvas tents dotting refugee camps that thousands of refugees call home are being reconsidered by the IKEA Foundation.  The tents provide little privacy and even less protection from the elements. Many families spend years living under tents that were only designed to last months.

(more…)

This American Life: Taking Names

This American Life, a weekly public radio show, aired a segment on Kirk Johnson on June 28. Johnson was a U.S.A.I.D. worker in Iraq during the war and started to take action when he realized that many Iraqis who had worked for the U.S. military could not get out of the country due to immigration issues. For most of these allies, staying in Iraq was an immense threat on their lives and safety. Johnson compiled an ever-growing list of names and worked tirelessly for faster action from the U.S. government in processing their immigration forms.

Johnson launched The List Project on World Refugee Day (June 20th) 2007, to help Iraqi Allies safely resettle to the United States.

Listen to the entire episode at This American Life‘s site.