• Press Release

Vermont Passes “Refugees Welcome” Resolution

May 17, 2019

The Vermont House of Representatives voted to approve a resolution declaring that refugees are welcome in their state. The unanimous vote occurred on May 15, 2019.

The resolution states: “This legislative body applauds the historic tradition of the United States welcoming refugees in keeping with our national values and respect for human rights…[it] declares its support for the resettlement of refugees in the United States, including Vermont, regardless of religion, race, nationality, or country of origin and calls upon other states to support a national effort to resettle the most vulnerable refugees.”

“It was amazing to see a welcome refugees resolution passed at the state level after other institutions in Vermont such as Rutland, St. Michael’s College, Burlington City Council and the University of Vermont had already done so. To see this campaign reach the state level made me proud to be in a state where we do not let fear, hate and bigotry get in the way of our compassion for the people who are most vulnerable,” said Lilian Oates, Amnesty International USA student area coordinator in Vermont.

“I’m thrilled that the Vermont House has joined this national effort. This resolution has special meaning for Vermont – our small state has helped to resettle over 7,000 refugees since 1980 from many nations. Burlington, the city I represent, is home to families originally from countries including Bosnia, Vietnam, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Burundi, Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, and others. Almost ninety legislative colleagues from all corners of Vermont joined me as co-sponsors of this resolution, representing three different political parties. I am so proud of the Vermont House for affirming our unanimous support for welcoming refugees, and grateful to House Speaker Mitzi Johnson for making it possible to do so,” said Representative Selene Colburn.

The state of Vermont joins a growing chorus of states, cities, towns and school passing resolutions and declaring that refugees are welcome in their communities.

To see a map of similar resolutions that have been passed across the country, please visit https://www.amnestyusa.org/i-welcome-resolutions-map/