After more than three decades serving as a model for successful resettlement and integration, the Episcopal Migration Ministries’ satellite office in Miami, Florida will close at the end of July 2017.
The Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries, explained that the closing is due in large part to changing Cuban migrant policy within the United States. “Episcopal Migration Ministries - Miami began in 1980 in response to the Department of State’s request for assistance in processing Cubans arriving to the United States during the Mariel boatlift,” he said.
Under the direction of Charlande Michel, Episcopal Migration Ministries - Miami was approved by the United States Government in 1987 to participate in the refugee resettlement program and has since resettled over 3,300 refugees from Cuba, Haiti, Colombia, Venezuela, Kosovo, Bosnia, Vietnam, Iraq, and Burma.
In addition to resettlement services, Episcopal Migration Ministries - Miami has provided immigration legal services within the South Florida community.
“Michel’s vision and leadership, along with her incredible staff, has helped thousands of refugees, asylees and over 27,000 immigrants establish new lives in the United States,” Stevenson added. “Episcopal Migration Ministries is thankful for the work of these dedicated professionals over the decades.”
At the moment there are eight staff members in the Miami office.
Episcopal Migration Ministries is a ministry of the Episcopal Church, and is one of nine national agencies responsible for resettling refugees in the United States in partnership with the government. Episcopal Migration Ministries currently has 31 affiliate offices in 23 states.