In the News / February 2017

Rutland’s refugee families mentioned in Congress

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Rep. Peter Welch [D], Vermont’s only representative, addressed the House of Representatives and highlighted the two Syrian families living in Rutland, VT.

“I wish to introduce President Trump to two Syrian families who made it to safety in Rutland, just a week before he slammed the door,” Welch said.

“The Alhallak family is from Damascus. The Khatib family is from Aleppo,” he said. “These families survived a home being bombed, al- Qaida and ISIS terrorists, and the brutal violence of the Assad regime. They found temporary refuge in Turkey. They have now found permanent freedom in Vermont.”

“The talk in the paper about refugees is so abstract. When you meet them, it’s like meeting the people next door. They’re very gentle, very intelligent. You kind of melt away while meeting these beautiful, wellbehaved, well-taken-care-of children and then you realize what they had to endure to get to Rutland.”

“We have a tradition in Vermont for standing up for civil rights and opportunity when it’s threatened. It’s understandable how fearful people are about what’s going on in the Middle East, but it doesn’t mean we should compromise our constitutional rights and the freedom of religion.”

Read the full article in the Rutland Herald.

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