Pittsburgh Shooting, President's Comments on Caravan, Backdrop to Conference on Refugee Resettlement

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By Nick Evans, WOSU

The recent mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh loomed large over a conference in Columbus on Tuesday about refugee resettlement.  Organizers say overheated dialogue about migrants has made their work more difficult.

President Trump has described a caravan of migrants from Central America that is heading toward the U.S. border with Mexico as "an invasion of our country."  The suspect who is accused of gunning down congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood embraced a conspiracy alleging the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society or HIAS brings in "invaders" through the country’s immigration process.

That conspiracy theory hit close to home for Nadia Kasvin, director of the refugee resettlement organization Us Together, and a former recipient of HIAS aid.

“I’m not an invader. People that we help every single day are not invaders, we are hardworking, we contribute to community. We don’t just help us, we have truly positive effect on communities that we come to," she said.

Despite more than 60 million people displaced around the world, Kasvin noted federal authorities have capped refugee resettlements at historic lows.



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