MELISSA FRANCIS: America opened her arms to more than 12,000 Syrians this year as they escape the violence and the civil war in their home country. A great many ended up living in California, so what can they expect and what can we do to help them settle in? William La Jeunesse takes a look at their first 90 days, and he is live in our Los Angeles Bureau — William.WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE: Well, Melissa, that’s what we were curious about. What is it like to be dropped into a country — broke, you don’t speak the language and find out a lot of people don’t want you there. And yet it’s a lot better than what you left behind.SAMIR BILAL: The situation in Syria is very bad. Here I find peace for me and my family.LA JEUNESSE: The Bilal family arrived in the US three months ago after the war in Syria forced them to leave.ZUHER BILAL: I am not coming there, but maybe 10 million in Syria, it’s damaged life.LA JEUNESSE: Like others, the journey wasn’t easy, including three years in Jordan for a background check. Now thanks to the State Department, US taxpayers and their caseworker, life in California is looking up.This is Ibrahim Hussain. It is his job to make sure these immigrants and these refugees do not fall through the cracks, financially or culturally, so he spends a lot of time in the car going to the bank, to the school, apartment to make sure these people get off on the right foot.IBRAHAM HUSSAIN: When they come here, they are so much grateful, they want to help themselves and help their children.SAMIR BILAL: I live in Westminster Apartments (?) — it’s good.LA JEUNESSE: To start their new lives each refugee receives $1200 from Washington. They also qualify for food stamps, Medicaid and welfare. And while some 40 percent of refugees receive benefits for five years or more, Samir hopes they won’t need it.ZUHER BILAL: Now training for the gas station.SAMIR BILAL: Learn the gas station and the cashier.LA JEUNESSE: So polls show about half of America doesn’t want more Syrian refugees. Now Bilal and his son say they understand the fear over vetting and terrorism, Melissa, but say they want to be judged on their own, and of course they’re grateful to be here. Back to you.FRANCIS: Wow, what a journey, William La Jeunesse. Thank you for bringing us that story. Good stuff.