Refugees To Arizona Lawmakers: Welcome The Persecuted

By Matthew Casey
Published: Monday, February 10, 2020 - 3:46pm

Jolie Nabigondo
Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Jolie Nabigondo speaks about her experience as a Congolese refugee during a press conference near the Arizona State Capitol on Feb. 10, 2020.

Refugees and their supporters went back to the Arizona Capitol on Monday to urge the state Legislature to pass a resolution welcoming those who escape violence and persecution.

Among them was Jolie Nabigondo from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She explained at a news conference that she was imprisoned in the late 1990s and tortured. Nabigondo later fled to Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya before coming to the United States.

“I successfully learned the language and continued my studies. I obtained my nursing degree. I’m now (a) happily married mother of two,” she said.

The number of refugees allowed to start over in the U.S. has plunged in recent years.

State records show that roughly half of all the refugees who came to Arizona during the last fiscal year were from the Congo. 

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