TARGET 8 examines a decade of Missouri refugee data

5 months 17 hours 31 minutes ago Tuesday, May 23 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:52:00 PM CDT May 23, 2017 in Target 8
By: Felesha Lee, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - After President Trump's executive order that put a temporary hold on people from certain countries entering the United States, there was a lot of talk of who is coming to the United States. One of the ways people are allowed to enter the United States without citizenship is by obtaining refugee status.

KOMU 8 News obtained data from the Refugee Processing Center about refugees coming to the United States, and specifically Missouri. The data reflects refugees who entered the United States between January 1, 2007 and April 27, 2017.

Method

The government makes refugee data available for download. After downloading the data in April 2017, KOMU 8 News sifted through the data line by line to ensure there were no inconsistencies. After the data was cleaned, KOMU 8 News used SQLite data manager to analyze the data.

KOMU 8 News then wrote queries into SQLite that would help sift through and organize the data in a digestible way. We wrote queries to pull out specific information in the data and took note of trends.

What we found

In the last ten years, 13,466 people have found refuge in Missouri. The refugees came from 40 different countries around the world and settled in more than 50 different cities in Missouri.

The nationality that most commonly resettled in Missouri in the last ten years is Burmese. 2,548 Burmese refugees came to Missouri in that time, 405 of which resettled to Columbia. So far this year, no refugees have come from Burma.

 

While the number of refugees from Burma has been decreasing in recent years, the number of refugees from The Democratic Republic of Congo is picking up.

1,379 refugees have come to Missouri from The Democratic Republic of Congo over the last ten years. 1,221 of those have come since 2014. They have found refuge in nine cities in Missouri, including Columbia but not Jefferson City. 200 Congolese refugees have come to Columbia.

KOMU 8 News also analyzed data about refugees coming from the seven countries on President Trump's proposed travel ban. 2,669 people came from Somalia, 2,068 people came from Iraq, 533 from Syria, 332 from Sudan, 95 from Iran, 2 from Yemen to Missouri in the last 10 years. There were no people from Libya to Missouri in the last 10 years.

 

 

A total of 700,552 refugees have come to the United States since January 1, 2007.

Rebuilding a life

In order to be given refugee status, a person must be fleeing persecution or conflict in his or her country. This is the reason people are fleeing Burma, or Myanmar. The country is involved in one of the world's longest running civil wars. The United Nations has cited several human rights violations over the years, including issues of mistreating ethnic minorities and religious clashes.

KOMU 8 News spoke with a refugee from Burma who has resettled in Columbia. Ching Ching Hlamyo has been living in Columbia for 7 years and has established her own business in town. Though she loves her home country, he said life is much better in the United States.

"Everybody likes America because it's the best country in the world," she said. "Also in Columbia, I like the community."

Hlamyo has 3 children and a husband. Her oldest child, a 9-year-old girl, was born in Malasia. The family lived there for 4 years in the time between leaving Burma and coming to the United States.

She and her husband decided open the Shwe Oriental Market in Columbia after realizing the problems they faced in the work force.

"At work, sometimes it's hard to communicate with each other, and you don't speak very much," she said. "We don't have any education in America, so it's very hard to get to a better place."

She said having her own business allows her to spend more time with her children because they can come to the store with her. She also says having the business has made her feel more connected to the Burmese community within Columbia.

"I think it's a small town, and the community is welcoming. I think Columbia is a nice place to live with a famiily."

The language barrier is just one of the many problems refugees face, so they need assistance when they are placed in a destination city. Refugees do not get to choose the city where they are placed. Destination cities are determined by the amount of resources a city has to help the refugees once they have arrived. In Columbia, City of Refuge does just that.

Barry Stoll, the Executive Director of City of Refuge, said he realizes how hard the refugee process is and it motivates him to help.

"Refugees are a beautiful addition to our community," he said. "They are adding to our workforce, to our culture, to our diversity of our town and it's wonderful. We benefit from them being here as well in all different areas of our culture."

Stoll said he believes having refugees in America only adds to the greatness of our country, and he has a message for them.

"I'm glad you're here. Welcome. I hope that we can be friends."

More News

Grid
List
GLASGOW - Chief of Police and City Administrator Kevin Atwood has been suspended with pay for 30 days. This came... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 6:36:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Due to the growing population in Columbia, the city is hoping to keep up with its expenditures with... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 5:23:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
FT. LEONARD WOOD - A program that brought more than 150 Afghan soldiers to the United States to train currently... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 4:59:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two men, who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in May, were sentenced in federal court Monday.... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 4:04:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – As temperatures begin to cool, it is time for people to prepare their homes for winter. Boone County... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Sheriff's Office is warning of a scam similar to one that has popped up... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 3:05:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ELLINGTON (AP) — An 86-year-old southeast Missouri man has died, days after a gunman killed his wife. The Missouri... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 2:23:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Two separate crashes on Highway 63 North slowed traffic Monday morning between the Stadium Blvd. and Broadway exits.... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 2:12:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Voters in St. Louis will soon be asked to weigh in on a half-cent sales tax... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 1:32:15 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are asking the public to help find a teenager who reportedly ran away and may be trying... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 12:50:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The average American adult spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their smartphone every day, according to comScore’s 2017... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 12:49:00 PM CDT October 23, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department reports it has received 655 calls of car burglaries in 2017. That is 207 more... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 11:56:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Human Rights Campaign annually releases an evaluation of municipalities across the country rating their effectiveness in... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 11:54:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia police officers' union criticized City Manager Mike Matthes' office Monday for testifying on behalf of a... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 10:48:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A report obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers insight into why the city's Civil Service... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 10:13:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Sunday afternoon after he allegedly set the porch of a home on fire. ... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 9:52:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a home invasion which happened early Monday morning. Authorities said a... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38:00 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Authorities say officers have shot and killed a woman who pulled out a gun and fired... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 23 2017 Oct 23, 2017 Monday, October 23, 2017 9:20:52 AM CDT October 23, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 58°
8pm 57°
9pm 54°
10pm 52°
11pm 51°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
The Brave
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
The Brave
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld