Texas Standard For November 22, 2018

Kids are taught about how they traveled across the sea to escape persecution: what of those making pilgrimages to safety in modern times? We’re reconsidering what many describe as a global refugee crisis. But is it truly a crisis? And just how overwhelming does it have to be? From the UN High Commission for Refugees, to groups here in Texas working directly to help resettled the displaced, to the reasons for the persistent role of religion and faith, refugees are our focus – today on a special Thanksgiving edition of the Texas Standard.

By Texas StandardNovember 22, 2018 11:00 am,

On today’s show:

A roundtable discussion about the history of refugees, and the current refugee situation in Texas and around the world:

On this day, some people across Texas will likely make an attempt to retell a story or two they’ve heard about the first Thanksgiving. It’s why we thought it was appropriate, today of all days, to examine the situation of refugees around the globe. Refugees have been in the news a lot lately. For a holistic look at what’s going on right now, Texas Standard brought together three experts: Madeline Hsu is a professor in the department of history at the University of Texas at Austin, Chris Boian is senior public information officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Peter Stranges is the vice president of programs for Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

– A refugee’s experience, in his own words:

Innocent Bugingo, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, spent five years in a refugee camp in South Africa after fleeing for his life from attackers in his home country. In 2013, he arrived as a refugee in the United States, and he now lives in Austin. This year, he’s celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time, and says he has many things to be thankful for.

How technology will likely change the employment landscape for migrants coming to the U.S.:

The flow of refugees and migrants around the world often does not match the need for workers in one place or another. On top of that, technological advances mean entry-level jobs often available to new migrants may be less available. Texas Standard’s Joy Diaz examines this complex issue by looking at what the economics of refugee flows could look like 50 years from now.

– The crisis in Nicaragua:

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Nicaragua. Its government has received international condemnation for killing hundreds of people in the last six months. The situation has even brought together two polar-opposite figures in the Texas Senate: Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Patrick Leahy. They’ve worked together to shape U.S. sanctions against the Central American country. For an understanding of how we got to this point, we turn to Lorne Matalon who reports from Nicaragua’s capital city of Managua.

A closer look at the dynamics related to the Central American migrant caravan:

President Donald Trump put a spotlight on the region known as the “Northern Triangle” of Central America, after thousands of people started marching northward back in October. Some of them have already made it into the U.S., and are asking for asylum as we speak. But this crisis is not a new one. Texas Standard Host David Brown talks with Guatemalan-based journalist Maria Martin. She’s the founder of NPR’s show Latino USA, and the creator of the award-winning series “Después de las Guerras: Central America After the Wars.”

A conversation about the intersection between refugees and religion:

Last month’s deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue introduced many to the work of HIAS, a refugee agency that has helped millions from around the world escape persecution and start new lives. The gunman who attacked the synagogue is reported to have been motivated, in part, by that faith community’s refugee relocation efforts. Religion and refugees have long been intertwined, and the Standard’s David Brown learns more from Stephanie Nawyn, associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University.

Books that help tell the stories of refugees:

When it comes to books that tell the stories of refugees, there’s been a huge growth in the literature for kiddos. But there are also some good reads for grownups. Texas Standard host David Brown gets a reading list from Austin-based Kirkus Reviews Editor Clay Smith.

The Lord’s Prayer in five languages:

On this day of reflection, Texas Standard highlights a Christian prayer that is recited in many languages.

NPR’s John Burnett on the Vietnamese community in Houston:

We’ve been talking this Thanksgiving about refugees – about the situations that cause people to seek refuge and about what happens when their home countries are no longer safe. Some people are relocated to Texas, but what happens after that? NPR’s John Burnett talks with the Standard’s David Brown about how Vietnamese outcasts who landed in the Gulf Coast region ended up success stories.

Note: In an interview about a caravan of Central American migrants, Texas Standard refers to Nicaragua as one of the Central American countries of “the Northern Triangle.” The Northern Triangle actually consists of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.