An announced refugee resettlement office in the City of Poughkeepsie has raised lots of questions and concerns. Here are five things you need to know about the program.

We spoke with representatives from Church World Service, the organization setting up shop in Poughkeepsie, to find out what their program exactly entails. Senior Director for Programs, Sarah Krause, and the Eastern Region Director, Roisin Ford, shared some details about the refugee resettlement program.

There are five takeaways from our interview that Hudson Valley residents may not already be aware of:

Unlike Europe, we have strict control over the refugees admitted to our country
Less than 1% of the world's refugee population has the opportunity to even come to the United States. All referrals come directly from the United Nations and refugees are assigned countries. None of the refugees coming to our area have specifically requested to be in the United States, they are assigned.

Screenings for refugees are the toughest for any travelers allowed into the US
The vetting process for refugees is long and extensive. It is the strictest screening we have for any person allowed in the country. The process includes biometrics, multiple interviews and security clearances by several governement agencies including the National Counter-Terrorism Center, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.

We know exactly who each refugee is before they land on our soil
The extensive vetting process allows us to know exactly who each refugee is. Information about their family members, what they've done for a living and many other pieces of their life are all sent to CWS ahead of time so the agency can place them in an area that is best suited for their success.

The refugees coming to our area do not want to be on welfare
A common concern is having refugees in our area on public assistance when there are so many people already struggling to get by. Sarah Kraus explains that CWS offers a program for refugees that connects them with jobs and employers in the area. 85% of refugees enrolled in the program are employed and self-sufficient with 180 days.

Many refugees had good jobs and skills before being driven out of their country
The refugees coming to the Hudson Valley want to be productive members of society. In their country some were doctors, businessmen and women, farmers and skilled workers. The screening process has identified ways they can benefit our community and CSW will work to assist them so they can reach their potential here in their new homeland.

The public is invited to learn more about the program and have any other questions or concerns answered.
the informational meeting that was scheduled for Thursday, November 10 has been moved to a larger venue so that everyone interested in learning more can attend. It will take place from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM at the Christ Episcopal Church at 20 Carroll Street in the City of Poughkeepsie.