The one catch is that citizens have to pay for a year’s worth of living expenses for a refugee so that he or she can get used to the country without living in poverty. All around the country, neighbors have banded together to help refugees, providing housing, groceries, rides around town, and so much more.
Estill estimated that for a family of four, this would cost about $30,000. But he knew that his search would be unfair — it was essentially a lottery. There was no way he could help all of the Syrians in need, and so he braced for hard choices.
“Basically you’re playing God,” Estill told the Guardian. “You’re choosing who lives and who dies and who comes and who doesn’t.”
He decided to select people who seemed most capable of integrating into the country by finding work and getting back on their feet, either because they had family in the country or were coming over with families.
An application was crafted, and requests started to pour in from Syrians eager for a new life.