When President Trump’s Executive Order was announced issuing a ban on refugees, Albany residents responded with sorrow and anger. Many residents had joined the Woman’s March with signs showing their support of refugees and volunteered with USCRI Albany or other resettlement agencies.
“This was a very threatening gesture on Trump’s part and it worries me,” said Susan Flanagan, a nurse in Troy who assisted the Albakour family. She participated in the Women’s March in Washington on Saturday to protest anti-immigration measures Trump promised and appeared to be fulfilling in these executive orders, which have not yet been formally signed.
“It’s a great sorrow that we’re not doing everything we can to help these desperate Syrians and other refugees. It goes against America’s humanitarian ideals,” said Flanagan, who is active in social justice causes at the St. Vincent de Paul Church in Albany, where she attends.
“These executive orders are contrary to our core values as Americans,” said Jill Peckenpaugh, director of the Albany office of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a not-for-profit organization that contracts with the federal government to assist refugee resettlement. The Albany staff has resettled more than 4,000 refugees from two dozen troubled countries since 2005.
Photo Credit: Paul Grondahl