Ginther joins other mayors in supporting refugee resettlement in Columbus

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A September executive order signed by President Donald Trump said refugees weren’t to be resettled in areas without the consent of local and state governments. Gov. Mike DeWine’s office said in September that the state would accept refugees and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther joined several mayors nationwide Monday when he said that the city also would accept refugees.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther joined several other U.S. mayors when he sent a letter this week voicing his support and acceptance of refugees to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

The letter references an executive order that President Donald Trump signed in September, which directed the federal government to only resettle refugees in areas where state and local governments agreed to accept them.

Ginther said his letter Monday was intended o inform Pompeo “that Columbus, Ohio consents to the initial resettlement of refugees in our community.”

Ginther went on to write that Columbus is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities because of its diversity, the mayor noted in the letter.

“I have seen firsthand how individuals who were initially resettled here from nations such as Somalia and Bhutan have become valued employees at local companies, developed strong businesses and are significant contributors to civic life,” Ginther wrote.

Columbus has the nation’s second-largest population of Somali refugees, with more than 40,000 living in the city. It is also home to two refugee resettlement agencies.

In September, Gov. Mike DeWine’s spokesman Dan Tierney said that Ohio will accept refugees under Trump’s executive order.

“Ohio has had a long history of helping true refugees who are fleeing political and religious persecution,” he said.