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Lincoln is home to 3,000 Yazidi refugees who have settled here, having fled an ISIS created genocide in their homeland in Iraq.

On Thursday, we celebrated World Refugee Day, a time to reflect on the situation of refugees, internally displaced people and asylum seekers around the world who flee persecution and violence, who seek safety and new lives.

Refugees come to the U.S. via the United Nations through refugee camps. Asylum seekers claim asylum at airports, at the border or with asylum officers within a year after arriving. The United States should honor the Refugee Convention and allow people safe passage and due process to claim asylum in our land of opportunity rather than separating families and deporting people back to dangerous situations.

Lincoln is a refugee capital -- we warmly welcome people from around the world because we are generous and compassionate. We care about our neighbors across borders. We celebrate everyone's contributions and appreciate the increased diversity and vibrancy refugees and immigrants bring to our communities. We want children to be safe and families fleeing tyranny and oppression to live the good life and have a shot at the American Dream and a better tomorrow.

Accordingly, we must bring attention to our humanitarian obligation to help people. Personally, I'm particularly fond of the delicious international food we have in Lincoln and the entrepreneurial spirit of refugee and immigrant Lincolnites.

Thank you for sharing a taste of home with your new home.

Schuyler Geery-Zink, Lincoln

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