Several travelers attempting to return to Vermont have been affected by the president’s temporary ban on citizens of seven countries.
“This is a time for support, love and compassion, not angry protests,” said a spokesperson for the volunteer group Rutland Welcomes.
Both families had lived in refugee camps for a long time, Welch said, never knowing what the next day would bring.
Mayor Chris Louras said that “from a human perspective, history will prove this to be a monumental mistake for both the country and for our community.”
Another family is on the way, officials said. The mayor said he had met and talked with the first arrivals.
It will be fully staffed with three full-time workers later this month, say officials, who expect the first refugee families to arrive in January.
The issue of refugee resettlement divided the small city. Meanwhile, the Rutland Herald ran into financial difficulty, and a judge weighed the constitutionality of the death penalty.
Organizations are focusing on helping the new residents gain work and schooling. At a meeting last week, one provider had questions about whether funding is available for early education services.
Grants for programs like the New England Survivors of Torture and Trauma and the Association of Africans Living in Vermont could dry up.
The panel adopted two resolutions: one welcoming Syrian refugees and the other moving the community toward formal policies often associated with so-called sanctuary cities.
Presidents have broad authority over the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. and where they come from. But some people close to the issue say it may not play out as Trump has predicted.
A network of Rutland area educators, health care providers and others will meet for the first time this month. Their work is shadowed by questions about what the election of Donald Trump means for plans to resettle Syrians and Iraqis.
Green Mountain College is offering two scholarships, and nearby Castleton University’s president has advocated bringing refugees to Rutland.
The first Syrian and Iraqi families are expected to arrive in mid-December or early January, according to an official with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.