The Pros And Cons Of Bhutanese Refugees

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A common argument against receiving immigrants like the Bhutanese refugees is that such peoples cannot assimilate into American society and therefor degrade and divide the nation. Since the Lhotsampa arrived, their determination to achieve the American Dream has revealed this argument to be disgracefully xenophobic. Akron Ohio is one of the major hubs for Bhutanese settlement, and since their arrival a local Akron news station, WKSU, has reported that “About 5,000 Bhutanese refugees have now settled in surrounding North Hill, repopulating the tired neighborhood and revitalizing businesses and schools”, certainly this is not the degradation of American society (Harper). In Akron these refugees have settled in an economically declining area with…show more content…
shantytowns across southern Nepal (Collins). According to Aljazeera, upon entering the United States many refugees have “never seen a washing machine or a refrigerator before” and had to be shown “how to flush a toilet, turn on the shower and in case of an emergency, borrow a phone to dial 911”, few had every used a phone (Kulman and Tsukii). Many Bhutanese have achieved prosperity since arriving in the States; sadly the scares of a tragic past have led to staggeringly high rates of suicide among the refugee communities. Northeast Ohio Media Group reported the suicide rates of Bhutanese refugees living in the United States to be “double that of other people, as 24 out of 100,000 take their own lives”, as of two thousand fourteen the refugee population in America is around seventy six thousand (Harper). There are numerous explanations for the high rate of suicide, many of which can be attributed to the forced exile and subsequent life in the refugee camps; many older refugees cannot part with the reality of never returning to their Bhutanese homeland, and the societal differences in America, including the difficult language barrier, certainly have an impact (Kulman and Tsukii). The Federal government has given support to the new communities, though it is shamefully insufficient, from the moment of arrival most refugees are burdened with complicated loans and fees. There are a substantial number of congressional representatives that believe the American Dream is one accomplished through self-sufficiency alone, in that light it is remarkable that even a single refugee is able to achieve their American Dream. A teacher of a refugee English class was quoted saying that “They (the refugees) didn’t have electricity, they didn’t have computers. They needed help in just living in this modern world”,

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