Iowa Refugee Services Ending

Thursday’s Iowa Journal looked at 3 programs that have brought 30,000 people fleeing situations we can’t comprehend. Since 1975, Iowa has been a place that accepted refugees from southeast Asia, Bosnia and most recently African countries like Eritrea, Bhutan, Iraq and Somalia.

But recent news by two groups, Lutheran Services in Iowa and the Iowa Bureau of Refugee service to end settlement programs has the remaining group, Catholic Charities of Iowa, wondering what is next.

Iowa’s history of opening their state goes back to Governor Robert Ray.

Here’s some more background on the show, including press releases and show notes.

Peace Band - Image from IPTV's Iowa Journal

Click here to watch a feature on a group of Iraqis who came to Iowa and have now formed a musical group called the Peace Band. Their story was told by producer Judy Blank and Nancy Crowfoot with help from Rick Fuller’s videography. The story was done in Des Moines.

Studio Discussion during The Iowa Journal - Iowa Public Television
Or, you can watch the feature and the entire show here.

Our discussion included John Wilken of Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services, Jill Stuecker of Lutheran Services in Iowa and Sol Varisco-Santini of Catholic Charities.

Take a moment to hear the discussion and I want you to hear the last thing that Jill Stuecker has to say about why Iowans should care about this story. I think it will get your attention.

If you have comments you want to share, send an email to
We look forward to your comments.
Next week, we’ll be talking about mental health coverage in Iowa.


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