Burlington leaders support Syrian refugees - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington leaders support Syrian refugees

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The city of Burlington decided it will welcome Syrian refugees. This more than a week after its mayor declared he wanted to make the Queen City a sanctuary city to help worried immigrant populations.

"So tell me, how are these people dangerous when they fear danger themselves," said Lena Ginawi, South Burlington resident. 

Those were strong words from a South Burlington woman asking for sympathy for Syrians. 

"I think people out there should follow Vermont and be open minded," said Ginawi. 

Refugees from other countries have already established themselves in Chittenden County. Ginawi and her friends from South Burlington joined Burlington City leaders to voice support in welcoming refugees. 

"A lot of times people say they want to humanize the refugee crisis and, I don't know, it's strange for me to hear this because they are human. Why do we need to humanize humans," said Kiren Waqar, South Burlington resident.

The girls were joined by at least a hundred others on the steps of city hall Monday night to show support for the resolution that would open the doors for potential Syrian resettlement in the Queen City.

"So we have an opportunity here as a community to affirm the compassionate, welcoming, voices that we've heard tonight," said Selene Colburn, P-East District. 

That same resolution that was debated inside City Hall moments later. Only one councilor, Kurt Wright, R-Ward 4, expressed doubts about the resolution. 

"So, the question for me and then I'll say what the amendment is, is about the security issue," said Wright.

He was the only one present who had reservations. When the votes were counted there was applause from the audience as the city's lawmakers agreed to roll out the welcoming mat to Syrians.

Currently, Rutland is only Vermont city actively working to prepare for Syrians to enter their community.

Monday's vote gives the go-ahead for similar efforts to begin in Burlington.

City councilors also voted in favor of turning Burlington into a Sanctuary City. Two councilors voted against it. 

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