Vermont’s NPR news source spoke with Mayor Christopher Louras to discuss the city’s change in resettlement plans. Mayor Louras had been a strong advocate for resettlement to Rutland. Despite the controversy that erupted in the city, Mayor Louras continued to believe that refugee resettlement in Rutland would be mutually beneficial. He worked with USCRI’s field office, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, to organize to bring 25 Syrian families to the city. Only two Syrian families arrived before President Trump’s Executive Order was issued.
“We certainly recognize that the first two families who we welcomed will probably be the last two families,” the mayor says. “I do not see how Rutland can continue as a refugee resettlement site given the fact that overall numbers are going to decline.”