The mayors of Detroit and Austin said Monday they are welcoming Syrian refugees despite pushback by their states’ Republican governors following the deadly attacks in Paris.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said his city can support 50 Syrian families annually for the next three years and is “moving down that road.” Mayor Steve Adler said Austin has accepted three Syrian refugees in the past two years and another is coming.
The Democrats spoke during a White House-arranged conference call, a week after numerous Republican governors spoke out against federal refugee policies.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has instructed refugee-resettling organizations to stop helping Syrians. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who has lobbied federal officials for refugees and immigrants, urged a pause in the resettlement.
Today Mayor Steve Adler declared a Local State of Disaster which remains in effect for seven days until it is ratified and extended by the City Council. An item will appear on the agenda of the special called meeting of Sunday, November 8, 2015 for ratification and extension.
“Due to the extreme amount of rainfall and record flooding that struck the City of Austin on October 30, 2015, the City is facing tremendous physical and economic losses. Tragically, there has been loss of life. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged, and many more residents and families are in need of temporary housing and other individual assistance,” Mayor Adler wrote in a memo to the City Council today. “Likewise, our City departments and public utilities are incurring unanticipated costs as they support our residents and address damages to infrastructure.”
The disaster declaration allows for greater coordination with Travis County’s own disaster declaration to facilitate reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
For questions and media requests, please contact Jason Stanford, Communications Director, Office of Mayor Steve Adler, (512) 978-2153 office (512) 619-5756 cell.