270 local and state elected officials from 42 states expressed their support for resettling refugees in their communities in a bipartisan letter sent to President Trump on Tuesday. The letter, supported by refugee advocacy organizations and resettlement agencies, urges the President to resettle at least 75,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2019.
The letter was signed by Governor Jay Inslee (WA), Governor Mark Dayton (MN), and 58 Mayors including Muriel Bowser (Washington, D.C.), Buddy Dryer (Orlando, FL), Keisha Lance Bottoms (Atlanta, GA), Rahm Emanuel (Chicago, IL), Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles, CA), Lyda Krewson (St. Louis, MO), Steve Adler (Austin, TX), and Mike Rawlings (Dallas, TX). Among the signatories were also city council members, state legislators, and other state and local elected leaders from all levels of elected government.
Every year, the President determines the number of refugees who should be resettled in the upcoming fiscal year, signaling the United States’ commitment to protect those fleeing violence and persecution. Last year, President Trump lowered the refugee admissions quota to 45,000, marking the lowest refugee cap since the Refugee Act was enacted in 1980. Some in the Administration have advocated for setting an even lower goal in the coming fiscal year.
By signing this letter, these elected officials have joined together to voice their commitment to welcoming refugees in their communities and continuing the United States’ longstanding leadership in refugee resettlement.
Mayor Adler of Austin said: “I think it is important for me to lift Austin’s lamp to the rest of the world. If America is to be a world leader – and Austin the shining city that it is – we are required to defend our values when it is hard – not just when it is easy.”
The letter remains open for signatures. If you are an elected official at the state or local level and wish to demonstrate your communities’ support for refugees and the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, please email [email protected] or sign on here.
To view the letter and signatories, click here.