Catholic charities welcome Iraqi refugee family to Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - Catholic Charities and volunteers from St. Aloysius Catholic Church were on hand Saturday afternoon to greet an Iraqi family of five as they arrived at the Baton Rouge airport.
They join other family members CCDBR resettled last year.
The family initially fled to Turkey after receiving death threats and applied to the United Nations for refugee status, triggering the 2-year long vetting process. They passed rigorous vetting from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of Defense and multiple intelligence agencies before being cleared to enter the United States.
"Our nation’s process is more selective and thorough than any other’s... you are more likely to be struck by lightning, bit by a dog and die in a car accident than hurt by a refugee," Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge David Aguillard said. "We don’t have to abandon our ideals to be safe."
Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement program has been helping refugees settle into the Baton Rouge area since 1974.
“The work doesn’t stop with the arrival at the airport,” Aguillard said. “We’ll be helping the family learn English, find a job, and assimilating into our community for months and need volunteers and donors to help with the process.”
The agency has posted volunteer opportunities and donation needs on its website www.CatholicCharitiesBR.org or call (225)336-8700.