Why did you come to America?

“Melissa Fleming of the UN’s refugee agency calls on all of us to make sure that refugee camps are healing places where people can develop the skills they’ll need to rebuild their hometowns.” –TED

This weekend I went to two different refugee families. One of the family was Kurdish and they lived in Turkey for a couple of years before coming to America. In the family, there is an one older brother, a pair of twins, and a mother. Their father died in Syria, and their two sisters were married overseas. When asked, why did you leave Turkey and came to America, the older brother said that there were no more jobs in Turkey and his younger brothers needed to go to a school that was better than then ones in Turkey.

The other refugee family I went was Syrian and the family had both parents alive, four brothers, and a sister. In Turkey, the father was making a lot of money and both of his older sons were working in the textile industry. When we asked the father, why did they come to America, he quickly answered that he did not want to leave, but he left because of his children. He wanted his children to go to school, and to get a good job with the education they learned. He was willing to work a multiple jobs at hotels and restaurants, just to see his children studying.

I know, quoting two families is not statistically significant to make an argument that “All Syrian refugees want to go to school.” But if America is know for the land of opportunities and upward social mobility, will these children be successful in the future?




  1. Daisy · February 28, 2017

    I appreciate you sharing this very touching Ted Talk. Really makes you think about those seeking refuge in the United States and why the United States as a whole should help them thrive in addition to helping them feel safe here.


    • Speaker · February 28, 2017

      Yea, but there are many big questions that raises, How much focus should we have on the refugees when there is some neighborhoods that are in proverty, is there enough funds to take care of the refugees, are the schools successful with teaching the refugees.


  2. BradandBougiee · February 28, 2017

    Very insightful TED Talk about refugees. I’m definitely all for supporting citizens from other countries that want to better their families lives, but are they truly considered refugees? I believe it is important to distinguish a refugee from an economic migrant. Refugees are fleeing for the safety of their lives, particularly from war, persecution, etc., while economic migrants are primarily searching for better economic opportunities. This, of course, raises some concern. Who takes priority? How will the refuge country tell the difference between them? Just something to think about, great post!


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