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BernCo Commission Passes Resolution Consenting to Continued Resettlement of Refugees in Bernalillo County

01/15/2020

Bernalillo County continues to welcome refugees facing religious, ethnic, and political persecution.

Tonight, the Bernalillo County Commission passed a resolution consenting to the initial resettlement of refugees, continuing the practice established previously, and will expressly confirm so in writing to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration upon passing of the resolution.

Refugees, by definition, are individuals who have been forced to flee their home county due to persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or economic situation or social group.

Executive Order 13888 on Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement, enacted on Sept. 26, 2019 by the Executive Office of the President, provides that refugees may be resettled only in U.S. jurisdictions where both the state and local governments have provided their consent. This cooperation with state and local governments ensures that refugees are resettled in communities that are eager and equipped to support their successful integration into American society.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has already submitted her letter of consent to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

“Bernalillo County is currently the home of many resettled refugees, some of whom have been joined by additional family members also looking for a safe place to land,” says BernCo Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada. “Resettlement is a last resort for refugees who cannot return to their home countries and we need to help them in whatever way we can.”

“Community members, families, local organizations, and faith-based institutions have supported the arrival and integration of refugee families for several years and the county is acknowledging that it will continue to support these efforts with the passage of this resolution,” says BernCo Commissioner Charlene Pyskoty.

The United States government operates the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and mandates extensive vetting for every refugee resettled to the United States.

The resolution passed on a 4 to 0 vote. Commissioner Quezada was excused from the meeting.

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