An Embarrassment / by Maranie Staab

“In Somalia there are people shooting and killing each other. Sometimes people are raping very young girls. This happened to my sister and they took her. We keep looking for her but I never saw her again. This happened to other girls and that’s why we had to escape.”

“We feel like in Utica these things can’t happen to us. I want to study science and become a doctor. That way I can go back and help my people.”

These are the words of Imran, one of three young Somali I met while working with an @ngphotocamp . Fourteen years old, Imran arrived in the US just a few ago and now calls Utica, New York.

On September 17, 2018 the Trump administration announced the ceiling for refugee admission would be 30,000 for FY 2019, the lowest number since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980, an embarrassment and an undermining of my country’s long-standing proponent of refugee protection.