Why one of three Pittsburgh-area groups offering refugee resettlement is ending the service

Changes to federal immigration policy under the Trump administration have prompted one of three Pittsburgh-area nonprofits that provide refugee resettlement to end those services.

The federal government announced in September that the United States in fiscal year 2019 will accept only 30,000 people fleeing persecution — the lowest level since the creation of the U.S. Refugee Act in 1980. The reduced cap this year and for next year translates into fewer refugees entering te region and a decline in funding, which contributed to the Sharpsburg-based Northern Area Multi-Services Agency [NAMS] deciding to shutter its refugee resettlement services.

Omar Muya, 33, of Penn Hills, is a refugee from Somalia who arrived in the United States in June 2004. He became a U.S. citizen in December 2009. (Photo by Guy Wathen/PublicSource)

Obamacare didn’t remove healthcare barriers for refugees, but it did alleviate problems

With the advent of Donald Trump’s presidential administration, which is intent on dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on which many of them rely, Pittsburgh’s refugees have yet another hurdle with which to contend.

Under the ACA, those who come to the United States as refugees have the same rights to health care as any American citizen.