Local News

Durham establishes May 6 as 'Durham Refugee Day'

Posted May 6

— Durham city leaders teamed up with local organizations to establish May 6 as "Durham Refugee Day."

The day was marked with a celebration Saturday at Durham Central Park.

Many in attendance said the event also had a serious undertone.

President Donald Trump has twice attempted to implement a controversial travel ban and suspend the refugee program.

Organizer and refugee Lenny Ndayisba said before he was forced to leave The Congo, his family had a very comfortable life.

"What I think people misunderstand is the way people think about refugees," Ndayisba said. "When they think about them, they think about violent people."

The celebration included music, food, games and community education.

"It's a day where refugees feel more welcome," Ndayisba said. "We feel a part of the Durham population."

Ndayisba said he remembers the hardships.

"We spent nearly 18 years in refugee camps. Life was very hard," he said.

He wants people to know that refugees do not choose their situation.

"Everybody loves his country, his place," he said. "Nobody wants to leave his country or his place."

Donations from the event went to Durham's Church World Services and World Relief.


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  • Henry Davis May 7, 9:17 a.m.
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    Illegal is illegal. Any legal legal citizen aiding the illegal should be charged accordingly. Case closed.

  • Rick Fetter May 7, 4:10 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    You sir are part of the problem. You and people who think like you have a clear disregard for the law and excuse it by trying equate it to a higher power. The law and the Constitution are not merely a suggestion. We, as citizens, are expected to follow the rule of law and I dang sure don't think it is unreasonable to expect people who come this country to do the same.

  • Stephen Morgan May 7, 12:39 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    How is it hateful to want people to follow the laws? I just said I welcome legal immigrants keyword being legal.

  • Robert Lewis May 7, 12:21 a.m.
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    I'm all for legal immigration and are glad the legal ones are here that greatly contribute but when is Durham going to have "Get help for Veterans day" for all the people at the Durham VA hospital who need help and can't get it?

  • Norman Lewis May 6, 11:58 p.m.
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    Again, as usual, the liberals have completely misinterpreted the intent of a push for immigration reform. The public generally welcomes immigrants fleeing dangerous, repressive regimes BUT we do NOT welcome hordes of illegal immigrants crowding in to the country, clogging the healthcare system meant for citizens, clogging the government assistance programs meant for citizens and clogging the court systems. If you are in this country legally, welcome. if you are breaking the law, don't rest easy and don't march and protest enforcement of current laws against you. If I were in charge, I would have an ICE bus waiting at the end of each march to protest enforcement of immigration laws and load it up for a quick trip to the border with the protesters that cannot show citizenship. I'm waiting for the next liberal step to protest the enforcement of laws against pedophilia or DUI or armed robbery as prejudicial against those committing the crimes.

  • Stephen Morgan May 6, 11:57 p.m.
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    Btw the below comment was to just make sure everyone knew who to call if maybe you run into an illegal immigrant walking around. But back to the story at hand I personally think naming a day Refugee Day is pretty short of ridiculous.

  • Eric Bohlen May 6, 11:53 p.m.
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    When is gang eradication day in Durham?

  • Stephen Morgan May 6, 11:11 p.m.
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    "If you would like to report illegal aliens, please call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (347-2423). They will need to know names, locations (either work place or residence) and any other specific information you can provide. Visit www.ice.gov for more information."