Steinberg tells White House Sacramento will continue to welcome refugees

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — An executive order from President Donald Trump gives local governments a choice to opt-out taking part in refugee resettlement, a move critics call a thinly-veiled attempt to reduce immigration of any kind.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg says his letter to the White House reaffirming Sacramento’s participation was important.

“From a moral perspective, the letter puts us on record that we oppose the president’s executive order and we oppose it strongly,” Steinberg told FOX40.

The letter is a reaffirmation for the International Rescue Committee, one of five refugee resettlement groups in Sacramento. It hopes that means business as usual in resettling refugees.

The refugees in question are not undocumented and illegal. Many refugees settling in Sacramento are pre-approved with visas because they or their families are in danger.

“These are often people from Afghanistan that have been serving with U.S. forces and putting their lives on the line,” IRC Executive Director Karen Ferguson said.

Most special visa refugees get federal help with jobs and housing and stay with family members.

“Just as we could imagine wanting to go to the one place we might know somebody in a foreign country, they’re coming here, and so they’re building. they’re joining their families and their community members,” Ferguson said.

Mayor Steinberg says that enriches the city and county.

“To start businesses, to become part of the fabric of our diverse community,” he said. “So this is very important.”

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