The International Institute of St. Louis’ Anna Crosslin Processes The National Political Drama Surrounding Immigration

From the coasts to our home in the heartland, a layer of tension has settled over immigration and refugee resettlement with the recent ‘anti-Muslim’ travel ban from the current presidential administration. Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute in St. Louis and an immigrant herself, is one of the city’s foremost visionaries on the issue. She has been at the organization for almost 40 years, and has seen it all; rendering her aghast would take some real work. But in today’s political climate, where there are contradicting schools of thought about what ‘facts’ actually are, it has happened.

“With regard to the new presidential administration and Congress, for nearly all of the other 38 years that I have served in this position, refugee resettlement was always a bipartisan issue in Congress. Democrats and Republicans supported refugee resettlement—for different reasons, but they supported it. It has only been in the last few months that we have seen this turn that has resulted in the January 27 ‘anti-Muslim’ ban and the sharp cut in refugee resettlement visas from 110,000 to 50,000,” she says.

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