Rohingya: The Rohingya Community of Chicago, USA
Chicago has one of the largest number of Rohingya refugees that have been resettled in the United States, at more than 1,600. Most refugees in Chicago fled persecution and violence in Myanmar in the 1990s and 2000s and lived in Malaysia for years before they had the opportunity to be resettled in the U.S..
The community is assisted by the Rohingya Cultural Center of Chicago, which was founded in 2016 by Nasir Zakaria, a Rohingya refugee who in 2013 was resettled in the U.S. from Malaysia.
The majority of the Rohingya who are resettled in Chicago are illiterate and unskilled, as they were denied the opportunity for education in Myanmar. The center is an invaluable resource for the refugees, and offers a wide range of services such as English lessons, Koran classes, helps children with their homework, provides computer training, a soccer team, translation services, and walks people through resettlement paperwork, assists with medical issues, bills, and other paperwork. They also have monthly dinners and hold events, like Iftar during Ramadan and weddings.
In December 2018, the U.S. House passed a resolution labeling the Rohingya crisis as "genocide", and President Trump has capped the number of refugees that can be resettled in the United States in 2019 at 30,000, the lowest ceiling a president has placed on the refugee program since its creation in 1980.