Roanoke okays more refugee resettlement as deadline looms

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) In Roanoke city this week, officials confirmed they will continue to accepting refugees into the community. The move comes after an Executive Order from President Trump that changed how and where refugees can be resettled in the US.

WDBJ7 photo of Roanoke

Roanoke isn't alone: nationwide, cities and states are having to decide whether to leave out the welcome mat, or shut the door on refugees.

The Executive Order was signed by Pres. Trump in September, and represents a fundamental shift in how resettlement happens. For the first time, states and cities would have to tell the federal government that they want to welcome refugees to their communities.

According to Vice Mayor Joe Cobb, Roanoke city is ready and willing.

"Roanoke has consistently been a welcoming place for refugees and immigrants," he said.

Cobb points out the Star City has a long history of resettling refugees, and is home to more than 120 nationalities.

"I think they bring the uniqueness of who they are and where they come from," said Cobb.

The cities of Richmond and Alexandria, and the state government under Gov. Ralph Northam, have already committed to accepting refugees going forward. Other communities are facing a looming deadline. They have until Christmas Day to decide whether to leave the door open.

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