Welcome to Hotel America: Revealing pictures of refugees on the first night of their new lives in the US

By Daily Mail Reporter

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The first night of a new life in the U.S. for refugees fleeing wars and political or religious persecution in their home countries has been captured in a series of emotive images.

Families who have traveled thousands of miles to find a safe place to call home, leaving behind great hardships as well as family and friends, are pictured settling down for their first night, often in airport hotels in large American cities.

For six years photographer Gabriele Stabile has worked with the International Organization for Migration, and other resettlement groups, to capture the overwhelming experiences of refugees arriving from Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

'The first night in America is for all of them the start of a new life with new possibilities, but also another fatal, definitive step away from home,' he said.

'It is a moment on the cusp between two uncertainties, a past of displacement and an unknown future ... a seemingly unassuming night they will remember for the rest of their lives alongside the fireproof carpet, the standardized furniture, and the floral bed cover.'

In an experience replicated in airport hotels from LAX in Los Angeles and Newark, New Jersey, to Fargo in North Dakota, immigrants are seen adjusting to their surroundings, and coming to terms with what they have been through.

More than 60 of Stabile's images were recently exhibited at the Bronx Documentary Center. The New York borough houses 90 per cent of the hundreds of refugees who are placed in the city each year.

The photographs are also included in Stabile's book, Refugee Hotel.

Immigrants from Burma and Bhutan arrive at the refugee hotel near LAX airport in Los Angeles

Immigrants from Burma and Bhutan arrive at the refugee hotel near LAX airport in Los Angeles

A Somali boy waits in the lobby of a hotel in Newark, New Jersey, as staff look for a room for him and his sister

A Somali boy waits in the lobby of a hotel in Newark, New Jersey, as staff look for a room for him and his sister

Fatuma Obisu Ka-Kawa listens to an English language course as she sits on the floor of her father's room in a Minneapolis hotel

Fatuma Obisu Ka-Kawa listens to an English language course as she sits on the floor of her father's room in a Minneapolis hotel

A girl from Bhutan plays with a glass ball in Fargo, North Dakota, as she starts the next chapter of her life in a new culture

A girl from Bhutan plays with a glass ball in Fargo, North Dakota, as she starts the next chapter of her life in a new culture

After a long journey from a refugee camp in India to New Jersey, Bhanu Poydel from Bhutan relaxes with yoga

After a long journey from a refugee camp in India to New Jersey, Bhanu Poydel from Bhutan relaxes with yoga

Afraid of being separated again, a family from Somalia spends the night in the hallway of a Newark hotel

Afraid of being separated again, a family from Somalia spends the night in the hallway of a Newark hotel

Sunzu Noel adjusts to his new home after traveling from Burundi to Miami in Florida

Sunzu Noel adjusts to his new home after traveling from Burundi to Miami in Florida

New arrival Bhanu Pydel settles in his room in a Newark hotel after arriving from Bhutan

New arrival Bhanu Pydel settles in his room in a Newark hotel after arriving from Bhutan

The comments below have not been moderated.

close the border

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If we the people do not start voting for the ones that will end these insane policies, the entire Western world will become Haiti. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

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None of the USA news web sites are showing these pictures because it would inflame the public. These pictures are disturbing to look at.

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@ Seattle chick: if you care so much then you take them in your home and provide for them! With out govt funding that is. Ugh you probably cried when that loser Cobain died too, right? Silly bleeding hearts!

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When the Dollar implodes,they can all be multi billionaires,I bet their families would be so proud.

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And they bring their own culture, refuse to integrate, demand their own laws etc

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The guy in the 5th photo isn't doing yoga, he's trying to put his dang shirt on.

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Before making this some political debate, you should bow your head and give thanks you were lucky enough (because that is all it is) to be born a country where you are not constantly subjected to atrocities. If you live in a Western country, don't even say you face them!

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Well said Kay, Happy New Year!

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There is no luck in it. Only my parents's DNA could produce me. No luck, only logic and DNA. And my ancestors. They are me.

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In 2014, Obama and the Democrats intend to make citizens out of 25-30 million illegal aliens. It's only the beginning.

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To Those Making Nasty Comments: How about if you go live in the countries, and live the lives that many of the refugees have endured, before you open your mouths! If you would, you just might start appreciating the comfy life that you have here. I seriously doubt that your complaints about the state of the USA, or the complaints about how bad you think things are here, can even come close to matching the horrors and the hell that these refugees have endured in their countries!

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2 of 3 repliesSee all replies

Have you ever considered that these people are leaving these horrible countries because these countries have been made horrible by these people?

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THere are probably a few billion people who live in horrible places. Are we to take them all in?

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