A screening team is currently in Thailand, interviewing refugees who wish to settle in the United States.
A screening team is currently in Thailand, interviewing refugees who wish to settle in the United States. The move has been welcomed by the Thai government which is faced with a continuing flow of refugees from the Communist countries of Indo-China. Camps that have been set up to house them are now vastly overcrowded, but the number of refugees arriving there continues to rise.
SYNOPSIS: This is Si Khieu camp, one of 10 refugee centres in Thailand where the screening team will be reviewing applications. More than 85,000 refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are still in Thai camps waiting to be resettled.
Although the camps provide a safe but squalid haven at the moment, the Thai government say they cannot give the refugees permanent shelter. Many refugees are lucky to be alive, having already endured treacherous sea journeys and arduous overland travel.
Inside this building at Si Khieu camp, refugees fill out forms which they hope will put them among the 11,000 who will be chosen for permanent resettlement in the United States. The refugees will be placed in three categories. First priority, will be given to those who have close relatives already in the United States. Next, are those who used to work for US authorities such as the embassy and armed forces before the Communists took over, and lastly those who served as former soldiers in their countries. The entire screening process is expected to take a year to complete. Already, 150,000 Vietnam refugees have been resettled in the United States since the Communist victory more than two years ago.