PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was cheered from both sides of the political aisle after telling President Donald Trump’s administration the state will keep welcoming refugees vetted by U.S. agencies for resettlement in the United States.
Over the weekend, Arizona Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego called Ducey’s Friday letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo a “bold and compassionate move.”
“Compassion crosses party lines,” Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, another Arizona Democrat, said in a weekend Tweet thanking Ducey for his decision.
Arizona’s Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers also applauded the move.
“Our state is one that offers opportunity for all,” he said. “We welcome people from all backgrounds, religions, and cultures to come here and share in that special spirit.”
Refugee resettlement agencies and faith groups were also pleased.
“This allows us to continue the work done by our Catholic Charities offices to resettle people fleeing violence and persecution,” Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted wrote on Twitter.
Arizona ranks among the top states for refugee resettlement. The number plunged from 4,110 people in fiscal year 2016 to 998 in 2018, then rose slightly to 1,216 for the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30. About half are children. Those numbers don’t include trafficking victims or people granted asylum.
Trump in September issued an executive order allowing states and cities to reject refugees.
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