The world’s refugee population is the highest it’s been since World War II. After fleeing violence, poverty and climate change in their home countries, many displaced people seek asylum in the United States. But coming to the US as a refugee is not easy. Our resettlement system is hopelessly bureaucratic, and four years of President Trump’s nativist immigration policies just made things harder. On the campaign trail, Joe Biden promised to raise a cap on the number of refugees admitted to the US per year, but he’s wavered in recent months. In this episode, journalist Hana Baba talks with former refugee Maryan Hassan and author Ty McCormick, whose new book Beyond the Sand and Sea tells the story of Hassan and her family’s heroic journey from Somalia, to the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, and eventually, on to the United States. Then we hear from Nazanin Ash, Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee, who walks us through the state of displaced people worldwide.
McCormick first learned about Maryan Hassan's Family's journey from this story about Maryan returning to Dadaab to visit her family after leaving Dadaab as a 19 year old in 2005. Maryan's brother, Asad Hussein, also wrote this article: "My Family Waited 13 Years to Resettle in the United States. Then Trump Slammed the Door in Our Faces" about the impact of the the Muslim ban in 2017 for Foreign Policy. It covers his family’s journey to reunite in the United States. Luckily, for his family, this story has a happy ending.