While the parts of President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven countries and refugees from all countries were lifted by a federal judge (pending further appeal), another section reducing the total number of refugees the U.S. will accept has not been challenged and will likely mean no further refugees will be settled in the Mid-Hudson Valley this year.
While I am sincerely troubled by the Trump administration’s executive order, I am heartened by our New Paltz village and town council’s joint resolution in support of local refugee settlement.
While the constitutionality of the president’s order is argued in the courts, the local non-profit and volunteer group moves ahead with plans to settle 75 more refugees in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Beginning this month, 80 refugees were scheduled to be resettled in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Only one family got in under the wire.
Those critical of refugee resettlement often view it as being undertaken by government and elite/outside groups, using resources that ought to be directed toward local people who need help (especially veterans), with no weight given to community opinion.
Against the backdrop of a presidential contest whose victor has proposed banning immigration from Muslim countries, a plan to resettle approximately 80 refugees throughout the Hudson Valley has drawn intense interest.
More than a dozen refugee families from war-torn areas of the globe will be coming to live in the Hudson Valley early in 2017, thanks to the efforts of a coalition of local universities and faith-based organizations. A meeting will be held Sunday, Nov. 6 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie to discuss the details.