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Serving The Community
Becoming A Member
Middletown Rotary Club
April 16 , 2019
President Eric called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. with the pledge, song, and a reflection from Sue Murphy.
Guests: Ky Smith (soon to be inducted). No visiting Rotarians.
Cards: High: Steve Lovelace with two pair, 9s and 5s – donated to AmberAlert. Low: Ky Smith, jack high – also to Amber Alert
King of Clubs: Lois and Sue - no winner
- Howard Reid - in support of the new bump outs on Main Street
- Gary- for Fred being debunked by Howard about the bumpouts
- Lois - welcome to Chris George, having seen Notre Dame; happy Easter/Passover; Friday is 44th anniversary
- Helene - happy holidays, happy spring; fundraiser for staff member raised over $10K
- Carmela - great time on cruise; sad dollar for employee who passed away
- Celeste - for IRIS’s great work; for Toronto Maple Leafs
- Keith - memorial service for David Hoyle
- Kevin - 25th anniversary tomorrow
- Ky - missed meeting; for joining Rotary officially
- Jonathan - for April weddings; to spring
- Steve – for his set of drums built by Joe Morello (Dave Brubeck’s drummer)
- Chris George - happy to be here
- Eric — sad dollar for Notre Dame; happy Easter
- Lakesha - for spring and spending spring break with her 11- and 16-year-olds; missed meeting; planning annual single moms conference/retreat
Guest speaker was Chris George, executive director of Integrated Refugee and and Immigrant Services (IRIS).
IRIS is one of 200 nonprofit groups nationwide that help refugees resettle in the U.S. The U.S. government selects the refugees and provides some funding for refugees. IRIS would like to resettle at least 500 refugees in CT annually. The US used to bring 85,000 refugees a year; it’s down to a trickle now.
At end of 2016, President Obama promised the UN that the US would bring 110,000 refugees to the US in 2017. President Trump has reduced the number of refugees; the number went down to 52,000 in 2017, and 22,000 in 2018, probably about 20,000 this year.
IRIS helps people find apartment, jobs, settle children in school, learn English. Another job is educating Americans about refugee resettlement. Three-part job; welcome refugees, educate Americans, and engage Americans with refugees.
Administration sees refugees as a security threat. The vetting process is run by DHS and has been in place since 2001. 800,000 people have come to US through this process—not one has become a terrorist or killed an American on our soil.
US government interviews refugees in camps overseas. Initial interview by state dept last about 6 hours. Info goes to FBI, CIA, and foreign intelligence agencies, then another round of interviews by state dept. At the end of all this, which typically takes two years, it’s still possible for a detail to tank the household’s prospects of coming to the U.S.
President Eric ended the meeting with the Four Way Test at 1:30 p.m.