The Debate over Granite State Refugees

Jul 28, 2011

From Burundi to Burma, from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan, refugees from around the globe have been placed in New Hampshire to start their lives anew.  Here they find new freedoms and far less dangers but new challenges as well.  Many have to learn English, the American laws, become educated and find work.  Federal programs help a lot but so do the cities and towns in which they are placed.  Now Manchester wants to put a moratorium on any new refugees resettling here.  City officials worry that they currently don't have enough resources to assist its current residents and with tight budgets getting tighter, the problem could become worse.  Today we'll look at New Hampshire's current refugee populations, what's being done to get them settled, the challenges they face and look at both sides of this Manchester moratorium debate.

NOTE: This program is the first in a year-long editorial project called “New Hampshire’s Immigration Story”.  Throughout the coming year, The Exchange and NHPR’s editorial team, will present coverage highlighting the unique and often untold stories of New Hampshire’s immigrant and refugee communities, from past to present with an eye toward the future.   


  • William J. Gillett, chairman of the board of the International Institute of New England.
  • Pat Long, Alderman from the city of Manchester.
  • Suraj Budathoki, Bhutanese refugee and resident of Manchester.  

We'll also here from

  • Larry Bartlett, Director of the Office of Admissions; Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the U.S. Department of State.
  • Amy Marchildon, Director of Services for New Americans at Lutheran Social Services of New Hampshire.