Deputy Director Sufyan Sohel met with senior staff of Governor Bruce Rauner, to express disappointment in the governor’s decision to suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Illinois and urged him to reverse his decision, welcoming Syrian refugees into Illinois. Sufyan was joined with Lawrence Benito, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), Suzanne Sahloul, CAIR-Chicago Board member and Executive Director of the Syrian Community Network and leaders of Heartland Alliance and the Catholic Conference of Illinois.
“Today we let the Governor’s staff know that refugees are just like you and I,” said Suzanne Akhras Sahloul of the Syrian Community Network. “We requested on the behalf of refugees that the Governor sit down with one of our families to gain understanding and get to know us.”
Following last week’s Paris attacks, Governor Rauner announced that Illinois would temporarily suspend acceptance of new Syrian refugees from resettling in Illinois. Yesterday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill restricting acceptance of refugees from resettling in the United States.
“America is a land of opportunity, a land of refuge, a land of hope” says Sohel. “Before even the concept of ‘America’ came to fruition, people flocked to its shores escaping persecution and to find freedom. These refugees are fleeing the same criminals that terrorized Paris and we, as Americans, have a moral obligation to offer them sanctuary. It’s one of the basic values on which our nation was built on.”