The Ann Arbor City Council unanimously approved of a resolution consenting to continued refugee resettlement during a December 16 meeting.
With the passage of the resolution, the council will send a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offering “consent to refugee resettlement.”
The resolution was passed in response to a September 26 executive order from President Donald Trump, which sought to give counties and states more control over their involvement in refugee resettlement. According to the executive order, if a state or locality does not provide explicit consent, then refugees “should not be resettled” in those communities.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has already sent a letter to Secretary Pompeo offering the state’s consent to refugee resettlement, The Michigan Star reported.
“Michigan has a rich history of welcoming refugees and other immigrants to our state. I am committed to ensuring that we remain a leader in responding to the needs of globally displaced families and individuals,” Whitmer said in her letter. “We recognize the value of being a welcoming state, and the contribution of refugees to the fabric of our communities.”
The Ann Arbor City Council resolution received no more than fifteen minutes of discussion during a four hour council meeting and was unanimously approved.
“Although the language of our actual resolution is fairly tame, I’d at least on the floor like to say that the executive order that prompts and requires this resolution is shocking and disgraceful and contrary to everything that we as a nation ought to be and in many instances have been,” Mayor Christopher Taylor, who supports the presidential campaign of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), said during the discussion.
“It is a national disgrace and our enduring shame that it has come to this,” Taylor added.
Council Member Zachary Ackerman, whose grandparents came to America as Jewish refugees, said “of course we should throw our doors open.”
“Every community around the country should throw their doors open to those in need,” he continued.
The letter itself, signed by Mayor Taylor, simply states that the council consents to “initial refugee resettlement in the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor” by Christopher Taylor.