HONORING KENTUCKY REFUGEE MINISTRIES; Congressional Record Vol. 148, No. 62
(Senate - May 15, 2002)

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[Page S4384]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


 Mr. BUNNING. Mr. President, I rise today to honor the 23 
members of Kentucky Refugees Ministries, Inc. (KRM) for all they have 
done to bring and welcome refugees to Kentucky.
  Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc. is the refugee resettlement office 
in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for two national church-based programs: 
Church World Service and The Episcopal Migration Ministries. This 
group, which has offices in both Louisville and Lexington, is 
authorized by the U.S. Department of State to assist refugees legally 
admitted to the United States as victims of warfare, or other forms of 
persecution related to their religious or political beliefs. Since 
their inception in 1990, KRM has placed over 3,000 refugees 
representing 25 different nationalities and ethnic groups, in various 
communities throughout the Commonwealth. Once the refugees have been 
admitted, KRM provides them with housing, furnishings, food, and 
clothing. They also offer educational opportunities such as English and 
cultural orientation classes in order to help refugees adapt to their 
new life. In virtually every instance, these individuals have become 
productive and active citizens, willing to work their way up from the 
bottom in an effort to live the American dream.
  One fact we as Americans must never forget is that our forefathers 
were also political and religious refugees in search of a better life. 
The system they established was specifically set up so people could 
live their lives without fear of endless persecution. Late last year, 
President Bush signed the Presidential Determination authorizing the 
United States to admit 70,000 refugees in 2002. I applaud President 
Bush's efforts concerning refugees. Only 8,100 refugees, a quarter of 
the number admitted at the same time last year, have so far been 
admitted. This slowdown in admittance has obviously occurred because of 
security matters resulting from the September 11 tragedies. However, I 
hope that soon we can begin expediting refugee admittance again after 
we put the proper security and safety procedures in place. The 
principles of freedom and democracy our nation lives by must serve as 
our guide in this extremely important matter. If we let these 
individuals languish in deplorable conditions in refugee camps or 
hostile lands, we will be turning our backs on the principles we so 
cherish. We cannot let this happen.
  Once again, I ask that my colleagues join me in thanking and honoring 
KRM. I am grateful to know that Kentucky's adopted refugees and their 
families are being looked after in such a careful and caring