The Vermont refugee program director had more questions than answers, and Rutland Mayor Chris Louras said Monday’s revised order doesn’t raise his hopes of welcoming more Syrians.
Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
The Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program is expecting 13 Bhutanese refugees to arrive in Vermont today.
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.
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.
The public debate over resettlement may be over, but divisions within the community remain.
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.
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he has input on the administration’s decision to take in more refugees from Syria and elsewhere next year. Rutland could be one of their destinations.
The Irish city is implementing the same 100-person Syrian resettlement that is proposed for Vermont — with a few key differences.
The document, the result of an investigation into Mayor Chris Louras’ actions, has been made public. The city attorney says the issue isn’t a legal one, but rather political.
Philip Haney’s claims about Muslim threats to the country have been widely circulated on conservative websites.
The much-anticipated review of the mayor’s actions in selecting Rutland as a potential site for up to 100 Syrians and Iraqis to resettle was emailed to board members Sunday night.
The aldermen not only ask the State Department to disregard the mayor’s letter of support but “any and all previous letters of support.”
The possible arrival of Syrian or Iraqi refugees creates few if any public safety concerns, according to the chief.
WVNY-TV reported Tuesday that the program had stalled due to lack of federal funding, but officials say that’s not the case. The station has since posted a clarification.