The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges approved a resolution today supporting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Minneapolis and calling on other Minnesota communities to support a national effort to resettle the country’s most vulnerable refugees.
The resolution notes that “hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are making life and death decisions to flee Syria and neighboring countries because they are unable to access shelter, health care, education or protection, and neighboring countries have closed their borders to new arrivals.”
Turkey is now hosting almost 3 million Syrian refugees and neighboring countries another 2 million. Since January 2015, 7,000 refugees have died trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, and two children die every day in the crossing, the resolution states.
More than 14,000 Syrian refugees have resettled in the United States since the beginning of the conflict in 2011. The Twin Cities is a leader in welcoming refugees and has resettled more than 12,500 refugees from 40 countries, including Syria, since 2011.
“Minneapolis has long stood as a place of welcome for refugees from throughout the world, including those seeking resettlement from Syria,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Today we restate our City’s commitment to welcome Syrian families to make homes and new lives here.”
City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, chair of the Council’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee, said: “Now more than ever it is important to stand up and express our support for welcoming immigrants and refugees, including Syrian refugees in Minneapolis. This resolution is one of many ways the City Council is shining a light on the values that make this City a leader in championing human rights.”
City Council Member Cam Gordon, the author of the resolution, said the City Council’s action builds on other recent resolutions expressing solidarity with all people in Minneapolis.
“The war and devastation in Syria have left millions of vulnerable Syrian refugees without homes or a homeland. Thousands are seeking to settle in the United States,” Gordon said. “I hope that this resolution sends a clear message to them, and others, that Minneapolis is a welcoming city for them and all people. We support the resettlement of Syrian refugees here.”