Refugees depart for United States

Twenty-one refugees from Eritrea and Somalia left Malta to begin a new life in the United States.

Since the U.S. Embassy began its permanent refugee resettlement program in May 2008, 519 refugees have been resettled to the U.S.

The latest group of refugees will be resettled throughout the United States in California, Ohio, Washington, North Carolina, Texas, Nebraska, Nevada, and Kentucky.  Ambassador Douglas Kmiec's absence from Malta did not prevent him from opening his home to the departing refugees.

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Richard M. Mills hosted a reception at the Ambassador's residence to welcome the refugees to their new lives in America.  The Chargé remarked, "You all share a desire for freedom and protection from persecution for yourselves and for your families.  The determination you have already demonstrated -- what brought you here -- demonstrates the strength of spirit you will bring to your new home in America."

Once they arrive in the U.S., each refugee will be assigned a sponsor agency that provides initial services such as housing, food, and clothing, as well as referral to medical care, employment services, and other support during a transition period lasting up to two years in order to ensure integration and assimilation.

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