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Mayor Kate Gallego, Maricopa County board keep welcoming refugees

Phoenix Mayors Race
Posted at 12:17 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 14:17:17-05

MAYOR KATE GALLEGO AND LEADERS OF ARIZONA'S LARGEST COUNTY ARE FOLLOWING THE GOVERNOR'S LEAD IN AFFIRMING THEY WILL CONTINUE TO WELCOME REFUGEES FLEEING VIOLENCE AND PERSECUTION WHO HAVE BEEN VETTED BY U.S. AGENCIES FOR RESETTLEMENT — Mayor Kate Gallego and leaders of Arizona's largest county Wednesday followed the governor's lead in affirming they will continue to welcome refugees fleeing violence and persecution who have been vetted by U.S. agencies for resettlement.

Gallego said she would inform the U.S. government of her decision in a letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

"As one of the top states for refugee resettlement, Arizona would not be the state it is today without the contributions of refugees," said the Democratic mayor. "Phoenix remains committed to being a welcoming city for all."

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed Wednesday to send its own letter. Phoenix is in Maricopa County.

The Board of Supervisors for Pima County, home to Arizona's second-most populated city of Tucson, voted last week to keep accepting refugees.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey Friday informed the Trump administration of his decision in favor of refugees.

The number of refugees settled in Arizona plunged from 4,110 people in fiscal year 2016 to 998 in 2018, then rose slightly to 1,216 for the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30.

They come from countries including Congo, Myanmar and Cuba. President Donald Trump in September issued an executive order allowing states and cities to reject refugees. AP-WF-12-11-19 1900GMT