COLUMBIA - Cing Cing Hlamyo fled Burma in 2009, and seven years later, she opened up Shwe International Market in Columbia with her husband.

City of Refuge, a community non-profit that eases the transition to American life for refugees fleeing persecution in other countries, helped her gather the paperwork and complete her application for her business. 

She hopes her business will continue to grow.

"My husband and I work full time - more than full time," Hlamyo joked.

As their business grows, she hopes to employ other Burmese refugees who don't speak English. 

"Two or three hours a day, we can help a little, it's not big, but I'm happy," she said.

During the Trump administration, the number of refugees able to enter the country hit an all time low. President Joe Biden is now promising to increase the cap to a record 125,000 refugees per year. 

That's not the only action Biden took to change America's refugee policy.

The president ended the ban on travel from Muslim majority countries and introduced a bill, the Citizen Act of 2021, which will create a path to citizenship for people currently in the country illegally. 

Garrett Pearson, Executive Director at City of Refuge, said this change will meaningfully impact refugee's lives. 

"We're very excited and uplifted by some of the proposals that have been made and some of the steps that have already been taken especially as it pertains to our families that we're working with," Pearson said. 

The new executive orders will have more than practical impacts on refugees, like being able to see family members for the first time in many years.

Pearson said this change is also a symbolic victory. 

"We can welcome in the stranger, or welcome in the family that's just looking for safe harbor," Pearson said.

The Citizen Act of 2021 has been sent to Congress, where many attempts at immigration reform have failed in the past.

To report an error or typo, email