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Immigration | IndyBlog | Local Government

Cities of Las Vegas, Henderson and Reno consent to continue welcoming refugees

Las Vegas City Hall as seen on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Photo by Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent

The cities of Las Vegas, Henderson and Reno have confirmed in recent weeks that they will continue to accept and resettle refugees, following an announcement made by Gov. Steve Sisolak that Nevada consents to welcoming refugees. 

President Donald Trump began requiring written consent from individual states and localities for refugee resettlement in the fall of 2019 through an executive order

Trump said the purpose of the executive order is to ensure that refugees will be placed in communities with the resources necessary to help them re-establish themselves, but refugee resettlement agencies have sued the administration since the order was signed, arguing that the new procedure threatens refugees’ chances of building a new life. 

According to officials from Reno, the city’s letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo consenting to refugee transfers falls in line with the values and policies of the city and “is simply a renewal of what Reno has been doing for years.”

The City of Las Vegas approved the decision to send a letter of consent to the secretary of state on Dec. 18, and the City of Henderson is expected to ratify its letter of consent on Tuesday. 

In 2019, refugees in the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of Congo outnumbered those from other countries, including Myanmar, Ukraine and Afghanistan, nationwide. In 2018, Nevada welcomed 675 refugees, with 70 percent of those refugees coming from Cuba, according to the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.

The number of refugees to be accepted by the Trump administration in 2020 will be down by about 67,000 compared with the number of refugees accepted in 2016. 

Reno officials said in an email to The Nevada Independent that the city is prepared to welcome anyone. 

“We believe all citizens can contribute to the success of Reno, whether they are new arrivals from around the globe or are Battle Born,” city officials said. “We are all Nevadans.”  

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