“I Remember When Donald Trump Was Elected. It Broke a lot of Refugees’ Hearts”

Refugee Perspectives on the Post-2016 U.S. Political Climate





Refugee, Forced Migration, Resettlement, Political Climate, United States


Recent U.S. refugee policy and political rhetoric have sanctioned anti-refugee sentiment, fostering beliefs of refugees as other, threatening, or less than. Following the transition into the Trump administration, interviews with 88 refugees resettled long-term in the U.S. were conducted to examine the impact of the post-2016 political climate. Major themes included feelings of uncertainty regarding refugee status and stability, changes in perception of U.S. citizenship, and a sense of unwelcome. The harmful effects of political environments must be recognized in order to appropriately support refugee communities through social service programming and advocacy. Social workers can elevate refugee voices while working to improve resettlement services and enhance supportive social policy. Increased attention to refugee perspectives may facilitate understanding and decrease stigma moving forward in a new political era.


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