David Goldman / AP Photo

Last September, President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring state and local governments to consent, in writing, to allow refugee resettlement inside their borders.

The deadline for officials to opt in was originally Jan. 21. That order was struck down in a U.S. district court earlier this week. 


When Kitti Murray and her husband Bill moved to Clarkston, Georgia, she never expected she’d be running a coffee shop that doubles as job training for newly settled refugees. Yet, that’s exactly what she’s doing today – through the Refuge Coffee Company.

“My husband and I both just fell in love with our community,” she shared on why she founded the company in 2015. “I just had this desire to introduce people to each other, for our friends outside of Clarkston to know our friends in Clarkston.”

Kenny Murray / GPB

On this edition of GPB's Music Minute, we feature an artist who uses his gift of music to not only entertain his fans, but to benefit noble causes.

With four studio albums and an authentic vocal style, Grammy Award-winning artist Anderson .Paak has a music library that is recognized across the country.

However, it was here in Atlanta on Nov. 15 that he took the stage to showcase some of his greatest hits for a few of his biggest fans.

Fugees Family, Inc.

When Luma Mufleh moved from Jordan to the United States in 1994 to attend Smith College, she didn’t imagine she’d ever be running a full-fledged school for refugees. But today, she’s founder of Fugees Academy in Clarkston, a school specifically tailored for the refugee population that uses soccer and a unique curriculum to help students adjust to life in the United States.

It has a 100% graduation and college acceptance rate, and it was recently named the “Nicest Place in Georgia” for 2019 by Reader’s Digest. Mufleh joined On Second Thought to discuss her journey building educational opportunities for refugee children.

On Second Thought For Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May 23, 2018

After writing his New York Times op-ed, “Dear White America," George Yancy received hundreds of hateful messages. Yancy, an Emory University professor of philosophy, knew that his letter was controversial, but he says he never thought he would receive literal death threats. This past April, he released his newest book, "Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America." It addresses how people confronted him after the publication of his op-ed, and how to proceed from there. In his book, he asks white Americans to rise above their initial racial response and have empathy for the African-American community. George Yancy joined us in studio to talk about "Backlash."

© European Union 2016 / European Parliament

Syria is suffering its worst humanitarian crisis in years.


The United Nations estimates some 5.6 million Syrians have fled their country in search of a safer place to live. President Trump capped the number of refugees allowed in the United States last year. The U.S. admitted close to 28,000 refugees in 2017, a dramatic reduction from 93,000 people allowed in the year before.


Khawla al-Abdullah arrived in Atlanta two years ago. She's originally from Aleppo, Syria.

A few days after Donald Trump was elected President, more than a hundred people packed into a church sanctuary in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to hear a presentation about refugee resettlement in their town.

It didn't go well.

The Trump administration plans to cap the number of refugees the U.S. will accept next year at 45,000. That is a dramatic drop from the level set by the Obama administration and would be the lowest number in years.

The White House formally announced its plans in a report to congressional leaders Wednesday, as required by law.

The number of refugees the U.S. admits has fluctuated over time. But this cap is the lowest that any White House has sought since the president began setting the ceiling on refugee admissions in 1980.

Way back at the start of his presidency, Donald Trump created a stir with his first calls to leaders of U.S. allies.

The U.S. refugee program surpassed the Trump Administration's 50,000-person cap on Wednesday, meaning that many refugees will now be denied entry into the country.

David Goldman / The Associated Press

Parts of President Trump’s travel ban went into effect last week, but the change might be temporary. The U.S. Supreme Court lifted an injunction on the ban and will review the case this fall. The revised ban temporarily affects some travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries.

Today is World Refugee Day, a day recognized by the United Nations in 2001.


Resettling in a new land can be difficult for refugee families, so one business in Georgia is trying to make things a little easier.


Amplio Recruiting is following through on a pledge to source 100 percent of their talent from the refugee population.


We spoke with refugee turned employee Sana Hajizadeh.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Learning English is not easy.

That can be true even for immigrants to the United States who have had the benefit of the best education available in the countries where they grew up.

Now imagine you're a kid from a country torn apart by war or political unrest. You may be lucky to be literate in your first language. Taking a child like that from speaking no English to speaking the language well enough to go to high school is no mean feat. 

The so-called Islamic State's financial fortunes are bound to the amount of territory it controls.

And the group's dramatic loss of ground in its strongholds in Syria and Iraq is putting pressure on its finances, according to a new report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Hundreds of refugees from Syria now call Georgia home. We hear from two of them, who have become good friends. One of them is a man who arrived in Georgia right after 9/11, but before the Syrian civil war. The other is a young child, who came to the state last year. Besides calling Syria their birthplace, they share an even greater bond.


Hector Alejandro / flickr

A federal appeals court upheld a stay on President Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans travel to the United States for refugees and people from seven countries. But that doesn't mean the travel ban is dead. The president may take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stephen Fowler, GPB News

Amid the fallout from last Friday’s executive order on immigration policy, one metro Atlanta city is preparing for a dent in its refugee-based economy.

The order stops refugee admissions for three months and then lowers the total number of refugees admitted to the United States.

Residents and refugees alike are worried.

Georgia Lawmakers React To Refugee Ban

Jan 30, 2017
Sean Powers / GPB

Update 1/30/17 9:30 p.m.

As of this evening, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle had the following comment on the immigration and refugee order:

"We are constantly reminded of the challenges and dangers we face as a free nation. I do not envy the decisions that must be made by our President, but I support him as our leader and trust that the decisions made are in the best interest of Americans.”

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Over the weekend, federal immigration officials detained and later released 11 lawful permanent residents at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. They were returning from a trip to Iran, one of seven predominantly Muslim countries where there is now a three month ban on travel to the United States. That’s the result of an executive order signed by President Trump. We talked with Atlanta immigration attorney Sarah Owings about the impact of the order on Georgia.

Refugee advocates and resettlement groups spent a chaotic weekend struggling to adapt on the fly, with families in the air and no official guidance on President Trump's executive order that bans refugees from around the world.

"There's no way to get guidance, nothing is coming down from the top. It was chaos at the airports," says Melanie Nezer, the vice president of policy and advocacy of HIAS, a global Jewish nonprofit that protects and resettles refugees. Her group tried to intervene in individual cases over the weekend.

Thousands Protest Immigration Ban At Atlanta Airport

Jan 30, 2017
Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Eleven people detained over the weekend after flying from Iran to Atlanta are now free. But tensions still run high over President Trump’s executive order, which temporarily bans travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. As GPB’s Sean Powers reports Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was the scene of a major protest on Sunday.

Beating drums and chanting "Love trumps hate!" thousands of peaceful demonstrators gathered at the Atlanta airport to join protesters across the country in opposing President Donald Trump's travel ban.

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Barack Obama spent much of his tenure scaling back the high-profile "war on terror" he inherited from George W. Bush. In a few short days, President Trump has again set the U.S. on a more visible and confrontational course in dealing with the threat of terrorism.

Trump has temporarily frozen immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries, igniting protests outside the White House and at airports around the country.

Approved For Resettlement, Then Turned Away

Jan 29, 2017

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On Friday, an executive order was released that indicated the United States is banning the entry of Syrian refugees and temporarily suspending immigration for anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. To me, this policy looks to be based on nothing but prejudice against Muslims.

This has happened before. In 1939, the United States refused entry to another group of refugees: Jews fleeing Nazi Germany.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the federal government has resettled 400 Syrian refugees in Georgia.

Last year, Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order halting resettlement of Syrians in Georgia, but rescinded it after the attorney general issued a legal opinion against the order.

U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker says that’s a good thing.

He has served both Republican and Democratic presidents representing the United States in countries including Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

Crocker recently joined Rickey Bevington in the studio for a conversation about ISIS, the Trump administration and refugees in America.

Copyright 2020 NCPR. To see more, visit NCPR.


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit