LA City Council Votes to Declare LA a 'Welcoming City' for Refugees Amidst Trump Executive Order

As the latest Order permits communities to reject refugees for first time ever, LA re-commits itself to welcoming all refugees, urges President to admit more refugees.  

LOS ANGELES, CA - On December 6, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution to declare LA as a 'Welcoming City' for refugees in response to President Trump’s latest executive order authorizing states and local municipalities to deny refugees resettlement. Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield and Mitch O’Farrell introduced this resolution and mobilized immigration activists from organizations including HIASADLSALEFIRCIILA, and many more to stand in solidarity with the LA City Council.

“Trump’s latest executive order is unconscionable,” Councilmember Bob Blumenfield said. “In the middle of the largest refugee crisis in recorded history, our President has issued an order allowing states and local municipalities to close their doors on refugees. LA is a world-class city that thrives from its diversity, and prides itself on welcoming all people.”

Councilmember Blumenfield has a history of defending refugees throughout his career in public service. When Blumenfield worked for Congressman Howard Berman, he helped to secure Temporary Protective Status for Central American families seeking refuge in the US.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell "The whole world needs to know that Los Angeles will continue to be a welcoming place for refugees who escape persecution. Once integrated in American society, refugees have historically had an outsized positive impact in the United States. For years, I've been partnering with SALEF to help asylum seekers at our US Border with Mexico, including those who identify as LGBT. This resolution ensures that the policy is inclusive of all communities in the City of Angels. Service providers in Los Angeles are ready to help refugees settle here in the country of their dreams and they have our support.”

 

To broaden their reach, Blumenfield, O’Farrell, and the Mayor’s office are also calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to ‘opt in’ the entire State of California to resettling refugees before President Trump’s Executive Order becomes effective on December 25, 2019.

“We’re grateful to Councilmembers Blumenfield and O’Farrell for their leadership in standing up for refugees at a time when the Trump Administration is attempting to enact a state-by-state, city-by-city refugee ban,” said Joe Goldman, Community Engagement Director for HIAS. “The vibrant Jewish community of Los Angeles, which includes Holocaust survivors and those who fled persecution in the Middle East, North Africa, Iran, and the Former Soviet Union, exists due to the very laws which are now under attack.”

The ‘Welcoming City’ resolution also urges President Trump to increase his Presidential Determination of how many refugees the US will admit next year. The President recently limited next year’s refugee cap to only 18,000, the lowest number since the inception of the Refugee Act in 1980.

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