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Madison leaders agree to receive refugees in response to Trump order

Madison leaders agree to receive refugees in response to Trump order

Evers, Parisi, Rhodes-Conway

From left, Dane  County Executive Joe Parisi, Gov. Tony Evers, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway 

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway are all in support of allowing refugees to resettle in the state, county and city.

Their explicit permission is required under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump Sept. 26, which requires states and local governments to consent in writing to the resettlement of refugees before they are placed in those locations under the Department of State’s Reception and Placement Program.

Evers, Parisi and Rhodes-Conway have all expressed concern that the executive order creates an unnecessary step in welcoming refugees to Wisconsin and local communities.

“I am disappointed that the administration has created an overly cumbersome and inappropriate process for those involved in refugee resettlement,” Evers said in a letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo Dec. 18. “Moreover, I am especially concerned that these actions and your administration’s general disposition and policies toward refugee and immigrant populations has already done immeasurable damage to key sectors of Wisconsin’s economy.”

The Dane County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution Thursday authorizing Parisi to send a letter to the Department of State authorizing Dane County’s continued desire to welcome refugees. 

Parisi said in an interview last week that he wants refugees to know they are welcome in Dane County.

“It's unfortunate that the president has put the nation and states and local governments in this position where we have to jump through hoops just to make sure we can do the right thing,” Parisi said.

In a letter signed by Rhodes-Conway and Madison City Council President Shiva Bidar Dec. 3, they clarified that issuing the letter from the city does not “mean to imply that the city of Madison believes that the Executive Order is legal or moral.”

Rhodes-Conway said in an interview last Wednesday that it is frustrating to “jump through all of these ridiculous loopholes” to continue welcoming people into the community.

“It's just another manifestation of the anti-immigrant sentiment of racism and attempts to sow fear and divide people from each other, and we'll have none of it,” Rhodes-Conway said.

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