COUNTY COUNCIL 2015

Montgomery County Executive and County Council Voice Support for Syrian Refugees (PHOTO)

Ike Leggett PortraitMontgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and the County Council recently sent a letter to Robert Carey, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to affirm the County’s policy to support and welcome refugees into the community from Syria and around the world.

Leggett and the County Council stated the following in the letter:

“We are writing to voice our welcome and support for those who are fleeing violence, cannot safely return home, and seek nothing but safety and freedom in America. We also understand how a spirit of welcome at the local level is critical, as the long-term stability and success for refugees and their children comes from the programs and services provided at the local level, through the assistance of local non-profits, and the support of neighbors and volunteers. We are confident that refugees will continue to be appropriately screened and, if they choose to make their new home in Montgomery County, will be valued members of our community.”

The County Council and County Executive also signed the “Declaration from Metropolitan Region on Syrian Refugees,” which was originally written by County Executive Dow Constantine of King County, Washington.  The declaration states:

“At a time when leaders in Congress and in many states are abandoning this fundamental American principle, we as elected leaders of the nation’s metropolitan regions stand ready to welcome men, women and children fleeing war-torn countries.”

The reaction from County officials comes a week after Governor Larry Hogan released a statement asking federal authorities to cease additional settlements for Syrian refugees in Maryland due to public safety concerns.

You can view the letter sent by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and the County Council in its entirety here. You can view the “Declaration from Metropolitan Region on Syrian Refugees,” here.

Maureen Chowdhury

About Maureen Chowdhury

Maureen Chowdhury is a multimedia journalist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at mchowdhury@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @MediaMaureen. Maureen authors the blog Sound Check on MyMCMedia.

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