Mayor Slay listed in letter to the Obama Administration while the Pope visits, to welcome Syrian refugees

WASHINGTON – On the same day Pope Francis called for the acceptance of immigrants, a group of 18 mayors from across the country, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and others have joined forces to call on President Obama to welcome additional refugees beyond the number his administration has agreed to accept.

The mayors who have signed today’s letter to President Obama are part of Cities United For Immigration Action, a coalition of nearly 100 cities and counties that is leading the effort to promote and execute immigration reforms nationwide.

“New York has always been a place where the American Dream has come to life for generations of immigrants from around the globe. For the thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the nightmare of oppression, in search of safety, stability, and salvation, we say welcome. As the Pope visits New York this week, we are reminded that the answer to the age-old question, ‘am I my brothers keeper’ must be a resounding yes if we are to live up to the values on which our nation was founded and our future depends,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We are certainly supportive of refugees from Syria coming to Baltimore; this speaks to our deepest values as Americans. Baltimore City has been and will continue to be a beacon of freedom and opportunity for refugees seeking a home to grow and prosper,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

“The global refugee crisis brings with it a responsibility and opportunity to welcome those seeking exile from tyranny and oppression. People who are so committed to finding freedom and building a brighter life for their family that they leave behind all they realized–material positions, university degrees, family photos–and are willing to risk it all. This is where our responsibility to our fellow man is tested. This is also an opportunity for a city like Pittsburgh, with a great network of service providers and a community urging us to act, to say to refugees seeking a new, safe homeland where they can set roots: Pittsburgh welcomes you. Together, we will build an even stronger Pittsburgh, and we welcome the minds and hearts of those fleeing the crisis to join us,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.

“Hartford stands by the president’s decision to shelter families and children escaping war in Syria. Showing compassion and providing hope to the afflicted is part of our national identity, as well as our humanitarian responsibility,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, co-chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Immigration Reform Task Force.


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