Political unrest in US stirs fear among Burmese refugees

AURORA, Colo. -- Drucie Bathin is a Burmese refugee who came to the United States to escape a devastating decades-long civil war in her home country of Burma, now called Myanmar.

"You sleep without worrying that somebody will come and shoot you," said Bathin.  

She said America has given her family immense opportunities, but the current political unrest and divisiveness has been difficult for her to watch happen.  

"This year, I think hit me the most," Bathin said while holding back tears.

Bathin came to the United States 18 years ago as a single mother, determined to create a better life for her two kids.

"I didn't expect to see this in the U.S.," she said.

After escaping civil war and targeted ethnic violence in Burma, Bathin said she's starting to see signs of similar things here.

"Divided is a disease that will kill your community, so when I listen to news people talk about division, I thought to myself, 'Wow is this a first step of the falling of our country,'" she further explained.

Bathin was born a part of the Karen State and was forced by the Burmese Military Regime to live in a refugee camp.

She said after her hut burned down, she fled to Bangkok, where she lived illegally for three years until she was granted refugee status in the U.S. in 1999.

"I keep my kid in apartment, I did not go out," said Bathin.

She said she understands how undocumented families must be feeling.

"I don't want to see anybody in my situation that I went through," said Bathin.

She said her family is now saving up money and talking about what they'll do if the place they came to live a better life can't offer that anymore.

"Our people divided, all you see is the fighting, the killing, the bloodshed, and people don't like each other. So that is something I never wanted to be happen here," said Bathin.

Bathin and her children are American citizens, so they don't fear being sent back to their home country. Their concern is if she lost her job or other opportunities that allow them to the live in the U.S.

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