Those following the news in Rutland, VT are aware of the consistent uncertainty that Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP) faces. Will resettlement expand to Rutland? Will Rutland continue to resettle despite Executive Orders? Will any more Syrian families be able to join the two already arrived in Rutland?
The new order puts a 120-day moratorium on Syrian refugees, giving Rutland a chance to bring in more families after the moratorium expires this summer, said Lavinia Limon, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
Despite the new order, refugees still will have many challenges coming to the U.S., Limon said.
“It’s not a spigot you can turn on,” Limon said. Refugees still will be subject to stringent checks under the new order, and many refugees will have a narrow window to enter the U.S between the time the moratorium expires and before critical security clearances expire.
While Rutland hoped to receive 100 Syrian refugees, it is now more likely that half of that number will arrive.
In addition, Mayor Chris Louras was instrumental in advocating for refugee resettlement to the city. He is up for re-election, and the outcome is uncertain. However, many residents in Rutland continue to show incredible support for refugees.
“I would certainly hope that whoever the next mayor is would want to work hand in hand with all of this community,” said Stacie Blake, Director of Advocacy at USCRI.
Photo Credit: USA Today