FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The United States and Indiana have a long history of accepting refugees with open arms. In fact, thousands of Burmese refugees call Fort Wayne home. So in the midst of the hot debate about allowing Syrian refugees into the United States, we wanted to hear from a family who went through the immigration process not very long ago.
Thablay Too is Karen and her story started in Burma, where more than seven million of all Karen people live. Eventually she moved to a refugee camp in Thailand. That’s where she was for nearly a decade, waiting on her chance to come to the United States.
“We live in the Thailand refugee camp nine years and they come here to interview [us]. We maybe waited one year before we came here,” Too said.
Too said once she and her brother started working with the UN it was a smooth process to make the journey to the United States.
“The UN, they did everything for us,” Too said.
In 2006, after waiting a year for the UN to get everything in order, Too and her brother came to Fort Wayne. Since then, Too married and had a daughter and 10 more family members have come to live in her home.
“My parents and one sister and one brother,” Too said about her family members who made the journey to live with her. “They came here last year. Before they came here my other sister came here.”
Too came here for a better life, one her daughter has before her as an American citizen. And one Too is realizing as an American citizen.
“We did not get the Burmese citizenship,” Too said. “When we lived in Thailand we did not get Thai citizen. We came here, we got citizenship. We are very happy. Now, I am American.”
In response to the thousands of Syrian refugees hoping to immigrate to the United States just like her, Too said she hopes they will be able to make the journey soon.