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Refugee group talks resettlement process

Posted at 10:58 PM, Dec 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-02 23:58:52-05

Following the terror attacks in Paris, debate quickly turned to Syrian refugees and if any should be reloceated to Nebraska.

Wednesday night, the Refugee Empowerment Center spoke out about awareness since they say there's been a lot of misconceptions about how exactly refugees come into the United States.

About a dozen Omahans came out to listen to the group discuss the lenghty process. The Refugee Empowerment Center says there's an estimated 30,000 refugess living in Nebraska right now, almost 6-percent of Omaha's population.

The group says for a refugee to come to Nebraska, the person goes through a few medical screenings and multiple security clearances.

The Refugee Empowerment Center says the refugees that go through the entire process are more vetted than people just getting a visa and traveling here to go to school.

"Refugees are people fleeing terrorists and so we want to make sure we get the word out that the people who are fleeing in masses those are refugees because they don't have a place to call home," said Ann Marie Kudlacz, executive director of Refugee Empowerment Center.

Those who attended the meeting say the community is inviting for refugees.

"Omaha is a very attractive city for refugees, I live in Midtown and I just walk down the street everyday and there's refugees from all over, it's amazing," said Patrick Murray.

Each refugee is given $1,025 when they arrive to the United States, so Kudlacz said location is key when refugee choose a place to live.

The Refguee Empowerment Center stresses no Syrian refugees have come to them to resettle in Nebraska, if they did it would be about a 9-12 month process.

The group sayd refugees have the same rights as regular citizens, except the right to vote. The refugee status is a path to citizenship.

For more information visit http://sscaomaha.info/about/

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants: http://www.refugees.org/