Nation & World

Swisher issues proclamation inviting Syrian refugees

Mayor says action is in direct response to Branstad announcement

Swisher mayor Christopher Taylor. (image via LinkedIn)
Swisher mayor Christopher Taylor. (image via LinkedIn)

SWISHER — With Gov. Terry Branstad’s announcement that Syrian refugees will not be allowed entry into Iowa, the mayor of one Iowa community says his community will remain open to everyone.

On Tuesday, Swisher Mayor Christopher Taylor signed a proclamation that reads, in part, that “Swisher continues to welcome all visitors and prospective residents, regardless of national origin or refugee status,” according to a Wednesday news release.

In the news release, Taylor said the proclamation is in direct response to Branstad’s announcement, which matches similar statements made by 32 other U.S. state governors.

“People find all kinds of creative ways to justify their prejudices, but we need to rise above that,” Taylor said in the release. “These folks have come through a storm, often with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs. They want a better life and they want it here. What would it say about us — as a nation, as Iowans, as compassionate human beings — if we were to turn them away?”

Following the deadly attacks in Paris last week, Branstad on Monday said, “We have welcomed refugees from around the world into Iowa. We must continue to have compassion for others but we must also maintain the safety of Iowans and the security of our state.”

Branstad ordered all state agencies to halt work on Syrian refugee resettlements “immediately.”

“Until a thorough and thoughtful review is conducted by the intelligence community and the safety of Iowans can be assured, the federal government should not resettle any Syrian refugees in Iowa,” he said.

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