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Below you will find statements from governors, mayors, and faith leaders in support of Syrian refugees. If you have a story or statement to share, please share it with us here.

Governor Statements

More than a dozen governors have come out in support of Syrian refugees and are welcoming them into their states. Below are select statements from these governors:

  • Colorado Governor Hickenlooper: "We can protect our security and provide a place where the world's most vulnerable can rebuild their lives."
  • Delaware Governor Markell: "Ronald Reagan once stood for ‘America’s tradition as a land that welcomes peoples from other countries,’ and one that shares with other countries ‘the responsibility of welcoming and resettling those who flee oppression."
  • Hawaii Governor Ige: "Hawaii is the Aloha State, known for its tradition of welcoming all people with tolerance and mutual respect."
  • Kentucky Governor Beshear: "There are thousands of these families that are victims of terrorism and are fleeing terrorism and are just looking for a safe haven. And obviously the United States is gonna be a part of that effort.” 
  • New York Governor Cuomo: "We have to protect Americans and not lose our soul as America in the process. The day America says, ‘Close the gates, build the wall,’ then I say take down the Statue of Liberty because you’ve gone to a different place."
  • Oregon Governor Brown: "Clearly, Oregon will continue to accept refugees. They seek safe haven and we will continue to open the doors of opportunity to them."
  • Pennsylvania Governor Wolf: "Governor Wolf wants Pennsylvania to continue to build on its rich history of accepting immigrants and refugees from around the world."
  • Utah Governor Herbert: "Utahns are well known for our compassion for those who are fleeing the violence in their homeland, and we will work to do all we can to ease their suffering without compromising public safety."
  • Vermont Governor Shumlin: "I would encourage us to do what Vermont has always done ... It’s the spirit of all Vermonters to ensure that when you have folks who are drowning, who are dying in pursuit of freedom, that Vermont does its part."
  • Washington Governor Inslee: "Washington will continue to be a state that welcomes those seeking refuge from persecution, regardless of where they come from or the religion they practice."

Mayor Statements

  • AZ: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton: "Phoenix is recognized as one of the most welcoming communities for refugees from around the world, and as mayor, I’m committed to strengthening that reputation."
  • CA: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf: "Now is a time for us, as Americans, as Oaklanders, to turn toward each other -- not on each other. We should not let fear and anger lull us into accepting the false choice between safety and compassion."
  • FL: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum: "As Mayor, I pledge my continued support for providing the care and refuge needed by those escaping violence and persecution. My prayers are with the people of France, and the nations around the world who are facing this series of cowardly attacks. When we turn against each other as neighbors and global citizens, the terrorists win."
  • GA: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed: "My message is really simple: Atlanta has been and will be a welcoming city. It is an essential part of our DNA. And I do not tie events to a faith. I tie events to horrible people who are soulless and engaging in awful acts."
  • GA: Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry: "Going with peace and compassion over politics on the ‪#‎SyrianRefugee‬ issue."
  • IA: Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba: "You can't turn your back on mankind."
  • IL: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: "Security and our values go hand-in-hand. We are an open and welcoming society."
  • MA: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: "As a city and as a country it is not our custom to turn our backs on people who are in need and who are innocent."
  • MD: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlins-Blake: "Baltimore, Maryland and the United States have proud traditions of welcoming refugees seeking assistance from crises around the world. There are few among us who can claim that their ancestors were indigenous to the United States. Welcoming immigrants and New Americans is a critical part of my strategy to grow Baltimore, and I hope that refugees from Syria will look to our city as a potential place to call home."
  • MI: East Lansing City Council: "We can make sure that our community stands on the better side of history. When we look back 10 or 20 years from now, we will remember that we weren’t hindered by our fears. Instead, we invited diverse new neighbors to join us in building a stronger community, and we all became better for it..."
  • MI: Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell: "This is America. This is what we stand for. We open our doors."
  • MO: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay: "The terror in Paris redoubles my resolve to offer STL as a better home for Syrian refugees."
  • NC: Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt: "To my Muslim friends and the whole community, I commit to you that we will not allow acts of terrorism to be wrongly connected to an entire group of people. I want to reassure you that you are respected, protected and supported. Our community is a place for everyone. Being true to the values of our welcoming, open and peace-loving town requires us to speak out."
  • NM: Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales: "In a letter earlier this year, I joined other mayors in commending President Obama for his commitment to welcome Syrian refugees, and I stand by that. The people fleeing Syria now are in some of the darkest days of their lives, running from the very terrorism we seek to fight. Basic American values call on us not to bar the way or abandon them to their fate. Instead, with an eye to the symbol standing proudly in New York Harbor, we are called upon to open our arms to the 'huddled masses' who now more than ever need us to live up to the original promise of this nation."
  • NY: Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick: "I’ll do everything in my power to welcome Syrian Refugees to Ithaca. We must guard against terrorism, and if they have no place to go these refugees are the most likely victims of terrorist acts."
  • NY: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: "New York City is a proud immigrant city, and we will not turn our back on that history or the people being persecuted and fleeing war."
  • NY: Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren: "The Rochester community has never stopped welcoming immigrants and refugees and never should."
  • OH: Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson: "The City of Cleveland has always opened her arms to refugees, regardless of where they are from."
  • OH: Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley: "Should the decision be made to place refugees from any country in the City of Dayton, we will continue to be a leader in the welcoming movement and will champion inclusive communities that enable all residents to thrive."
  • PA: Philadelphia Mayor-elect Jim Kenney: "Philadelphia has a long history of being a city of refuge for those in need–welcoming Quakers, Irish immigrants, Sudanese refugees and many others. I applaud Governor Wolf’s decision to work with the federal government to properly screen and resettle Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania. In keeping with our city’s history, I look forward to working with him and welcoming refugees seeking a safe home to Philadelphia.”
  • PA: Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto: "One of the things we have to fight for are the principles of democracy, which made this country, which other people look towards as a place where they can escape the hell that they live in to take care of themselves and their families. At a time like this, we can no longer close our hearts or our doors to the opportunity that they need."
  • TN: Nashville Mayor Megan Barry: "I believe that when Nashville can welcome new Americans that we should try the best we can to do that and give them the support that we need. We have welcomed many new people to Nashville and they have become incredible community leaders and members of our economic growth."
  • WA: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray: "I stand with Governor Jay Inslee in welcoming Syrian refugees into Washington State and the City of Seattle. It is the right thing to do and a practical response to a global refugee crisis. The foundation of America includes the values of freedom and opportunity. And it is our responsibility to provide safety to families fleeing attacks on their homes and children." 
  • WI: Madison Mayor Paul Soglin: "If the president makes a request, we will certainly honor it and work with the administration to do the truly humane thing, which is to place the refugees from wherever they come, Syria or anywhere else."

More Mayors who Support Syrian Refugees

Faith Leaders

  • Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration: "We must work with the world community to provide safe haven to vulnerable and deserving refugees who are simply attempting to survive. As a great nation, the United States must show leadership during this crisis and bring nations together to protect those in danger and bring an end to the conflicts in the Middle East."
  • Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals: “We are horrified and heartbroken by the terrorist atrocities in Paris, but must not forget that there are thousands more victims of these same terrorists who are fleeing Syria with their families and desperately need someplace to go."
  • Reverand Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church: "Refugees from places like Syria seek to escape the precise same ideological and religious extremism that gave birth to the attacks in Paris. They seek entry into our communities because their lives are imprisoned by daily fear for their existence. Just as Jesus bids us not to be afraid, we must, in turn, pass those words of comfort to those who turn to us for help."