Africa: U.S. Congresswoman Talks to VOA About African Refugees

In an interview with VOA, the new chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and international Organizations, said, attention needs to be focused on what is causing Africans to become refugees and internally displaced people.

Conflict is, of course, one of the reasons, California Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass told VOA correspondent James Butty. "So resolving those conflicts, so populations would not feel that they need to flee" is one of the answers, Bass said.

"Climate-related crisis," Bass said, also contributes to people fleeing their homes.

Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said she is also concerned about the treatment of African refugees in the United States.

A number of Africans from Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Liberia have received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), allowing them to live and work in the U.S. The Congresswoman said, however, she is afraid their status may be in jeopardy under the Trump administration.

"The whole world has watched this administration administer very racist immigration policies," Bass said. "I'm very concerned about that."

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