(WASHINGTON, DC, 11/19/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today thanked Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for welcoming Syrian refugees to the city.
In a statement, Mayor Rawlings-Blake said:
“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.”
“Mayor Rawlings-Blake's commitment to refugee resettlement efforts regardless of race and ethnicity is a refreshing sign that not all lawmakers are vulnerable to the fear-mongering and bigotry fueling this debate,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry. “We must place trust in our government's vetting process and remember our moral obligation and shared humanity. There has been no clear indication that these refugees pose a viable threat to Americans' safety and security. This rhetoric is based purely on fear and speculation.”
This development comes as Maryland Governor Larry Hogan joined many other governors in announcing that he would block efforts to settle Syrian refugees in Maryland unless “the federal government can assure public safety.”
Earlier this week, CAIR called on Governor Hogan to reconsider his position because Â Syrian refugees have posed no prior threat to our national security and they in fact enrich our state.Â
Some 2,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the United States since 2011, of which more than 150 have been placed in Maryland. None have ever been reported to have been charged or associated with terrorism.Â
According to the Migration Policy Institute, the US has resettled nearly 800,000 refugees since 9/11. Of those, only three have been arrested for planning terrorist activities, and their identity has not been confirmed as Syrian. This number equals 0.000004 percent.Â
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-971-6062