LOCAL NEWS

Salt Lake County Mayor Urges Trump To Continue Sending Refugees To Utah

Nov 13, 2019, 10:19 AM
FILE: Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson (Phot: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)...
FILE: Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson (Phot: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Phot: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson penned a letter to President Donald Trump asking for more refugees to be sent to the county.

The request comes after Trump signed an executive order that limits the number of refugees who can come into the United States. That order requires written consent from state and local governments for the federal government to resettle refugees in a particular area, according to a statement from Wilson’s office.

“Salt Lake County has a long history of welcoming refugees,” according to Wilson’s letter. “Over 50,000 of Salt Lake County’s residents are individuals with a refugee background. These new Utahns are actively contributing to the political, social, and economic vibrancy of our county. As Mayor of Salt Lake County, I want to express our strong desire to continue as a partner in the resettlement of refugees to our great nation and our welcoming community. We are eager, we are equipped, and we are committed.”

Wilson’s letter comes shortly after a similar statement from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who in October pointed out Utah’s history as a haven for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fleeing prosecution.

“I encourage you to allow us to accept more international refugees in Utah,” according to Herbert’s letter. “We have historically accepted and resettled more than 1,000 refugees each year from a variety of troubled regions of the world. Unfortunately, that number has dropped for the past two years and is on track to decrease more this year. We know the need has not decreased and are eager to see the number of admittances rise again.”

Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, issued his own letter in support of refugees. His came the day Trump signed the executive order.

“My home state of Utah has shown that refugees add to economic expansion when they have the opportunity to contribute to our communities and workplaces,” his statement read in part. “My state has a proud legacy of bipartisan support for a robust resettlement program and of engagement from our faith communities to welcome those fleeing violence and persecution.”

The president’s proposal was signed in September and went into effect Oct. 1. It limits the number of refugees to just 18,000. Five thousand of them can be religious refugees and 1,500 spots are reserved for people fleeing violence in Central America, according to the Associated Press.

Historically, the United States has allowed an average of 95,000 refugees in every year. According to a report from Deseret News, the U.S. resettled 53,700 refugees in 2017. That number dropped to about 22,500 the following fiscal year.

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Salt Lake County Mayor Urges Trump To Continue Sending Refugees To Utah