Release date: 2019-10-23
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[Archived] Alexandria City Council Reaffirms Support for Refugees

­­For Immediate Release: October 22, 2019

On October 22, the Alexandria City Council unanimously approved a resolution to notify the federal government of its continued support for resettling refugees in Alexandria. The action was taken in response to Executive Order 13888, issued on September 26, which provides that the federal government “should resettle refugees only in those jurisdictions in which both the State and local governments have consented to receive refugees.” 

“We appreciate this opportunity to reiterate to the federal government that Alexandria unequivocally welcomes refugees,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “We are an inclusive community that celebrates our diversity, and we are committed to treating all people with dignity and respect. Refugees have contributed to our economy and culture for the entire history of our city; there is no reason to waver in our support for those fleeing some of the worst imaginable dangers to make better lives for their families.”

The resolution recognizes the current unprecedented level of human mobility and displacement, with more refugees in the world today than at any time since World War II, and notes that most refugees are children. City Council reaffirmed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, committed to protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all refugees; and encouraged other communities in the region to join Alexandria in supporting a stronger national effort to resettle the most vulnerable refugees.

Refugees are fully documented, lawful residents who are authorized to work and who pay taxes. The resolution notes that refugees are the most vetted individuals to enter the United States, and are not permitted to travel to the United States until all security screenings and legal reviews have been successfully completed. 

A 2016 study on the economic contributions of immigrants found that more than 7,000 residents of Alexandria had likely come to the United States as refugees and nearly half had already completed the rigorous process to become naturalized U.S. citizens. The City has a long history of partnering with nonprofit agencies, public-sector partners, and individual residents to resettle refugees in Alexandria.

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at or 703.746.3959.

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