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January 9, 2019For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:Lisa Moutinho, Washtenaw County Public Information Officer734.222.6731 or [email protected]
Washtenaw County Commission Votes to Keep Doors Open to Refugees
The Board of Commissioners voted to authorize Board Chair Jason Morgan to send a formal letter to the United States Secretary of State communicating the county’s consent to refugee resettlement.
ANN ARBOR, MI – A presidential executive order signed in September requires counties, along with the governor of each state, to file a letter to consent to continued refugee resettlement within their borders. The Board of Commissioners passed a resolution supporting refugee resettlement in November and approved the resolution on Wednesday night which formally authorizes the Board Chair to sign a letter to the U.S. Department of State consenting to refugee resettlement.
“We have a moral duty to welcome those in need and this is simply the right thing to do,” said Board Chair Jason Morgan. “Washtenaw County has a proud history of being a welcoming county and refugees contribute to our economy and the rich culture of our community.”
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN’s refugee agency, “a refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.”
You may find additional information on the executive order here, the Board’s resolution here and the full press release here.