Less than 3 percent of all resettled refugees in Florida in 2016 were from the seven “countries of concern” involved in President Donald Trump’s executive order travel ban on Friday, according to Florida Department of Children and Families data.
Those seven countries are Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
In fiscal year 2016, more than 62,000 refugees resettled in Florida. Manatee County and Sarasota County received 211 and 358 of the refugees, respectively. Most of the refugees in Manatee and Sarasota came from Cuba, following a statewide trend.
Nearly 89 percent of the total of 62,223 resettled refugee population in Florida came from Cuba. The second-largest group came from Haiti.
The data include newly arrived refugees as well as refugees, entrants and asylees who first became eligible for Florida Department of Children and Families’ refugee services in fiscal year 2016, which began on Oct. 1, 2015, and ended Sept. 30, 2016.
For refugee status definitions (parolee, asylee, entrant) visit myflfamilies.com/service-programs/refugee-services/at-a-glance
Lutheran Services Florida provides assistance to refugees by way of employment-related services, English as a second language classes, help with attaining legal services and child care, and assistance with adapting to life in the U.S., Lutheran Services Florida spokeswoman Terri Durdaller said in an email.
After Trump’s executive order on Friday, Lutheran Services Florida is preparing for possible future funding implications.
“In Manatee and Sarasota counties LSF has provided services to about 450 resettled refugee clients last year,” Durdaller said.
Lutheran Services Florida is funded through state contracts and contracts with its national partner organization, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Lutheran Services Florida was founded in 1982 in response to refugee crises in Vietnam and Cuba, according to lsfnet.org.
The Florida Department of Children and Families refugee services include “100 percent federally funded,” re-settlement assistance similar in nature to Lutheran Services Florida’s.
For details about DCF’s refugee programs, visit myflfamilies.com/service-programs/refugee-services/services.
Because of the travel ban, we have some refugee clients whose travel plans have been impacted.
Terri Durdaller, Lutheran Services Florida spokeswoman
Protests broke out in response to Trump’s executive order at airports across the nation over the weekend, including Miami International Airport, where it’s unclear if passengers were detained. U.S. Customs and Border Protections officials declined to answer the Miami Herald’s request for information on travelers being detained at the airport. A spokeswoman deferred questions to the Department of Homeland Security in Washington.
None of Southwest Florida’s airports, including Tampa International, St. Pete-Clearwater International, Sarasota-Bradenton International and Southwest Florida International had any detained passengers, according to airport representatives.