On city’s continued support of refugee resettlement: ‘Manchester has always been a welcoming community’

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Rodrigue Kalambayi, Suzanne Paquin, Thi Thi Aye, Mahboba Akhtarzadah, Ageth Okeny, Molly Short Carr, and Al Abrash Abdulwakil on stage at the Palace Theater during a 2018 presentation of Suitcase Stories hosted by the International Institute of New England.

MANCHESTER, NH — The following press release was issued by the mayor’s office Tuesday night:

Mayor Craig on Tuesday informed the Board of Mayor and Aldermen regarding the recent Presidential Executive Order, requiring that the consent of state and local chief executives is necessary to secure funding for refugee resettlement in cities and towns in the United States. The Board in a non-binding vote supporting the effort during the regular meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Governor Sununu recently issued a notice, as the State’s chief executive, opting in to continue welcoming refugees in our state.

Mayor Craig’s memo to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is below, as well as supporting documents. It’s important to note, and it is stated in the documents attached, that the withholding of consent would not prevent refugees from coming to Manchester. It would likely mean that the resettlement agencies would be unable to secure federal grant funds, and therefore would not be able to provide much-needed services and support to refugee families.

Furthermore, in fiscal year 2020, the International Institute of New England (IINE) projects resettling 50 refugees and Ascentria Care Alliance projects resettling 50 refugees in Manchester – for a combined total of between 20-25 families. Nearly all of these new arrivals already have family members living in Manchester. So, if they were to resettle elsewhere, they would still likely migrate to Manchester, without the support of the IINE or Ascentria.