St. Louis Works to Welcome Refugees

In the 1990s, St. Louis, Missouri became a hub for Bosnians, as refugees escaped from war and genocide in their home country. There are now 50,000 Bosnians living in the region, the largest Bosnian community outside of the country itself.

Akif Cogo and his family migrated to St. Louis from Bosnia in August 2001. Now the president of St. Louis Bosnians, Inc., Cogo reflects on the community he now calls home.

Secretary of State John Kerry has promised that United States will welcome a 100,000 Syrian refugees by 2017. St. Louis, Missouri has taken in 28 so far this year, and 20 more are expected by the end of 2015.

Immigrants make up just 4.5 percent of St. Louis's population, a low percentage for such a large metro area—in nearby Chicago, for example, immigrants comprise nearly 17 percent of the city's population. But St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has become an advocate for refugees in the greater Missouri region. 

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