RELEASE: Mayor Young Issues Refugee Consent Letter

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Bernard C. “Jack” Young


City of Baltimore

250 City Hall • Baltimore, Maryland 21202 • 410-396-3835



December 20, 2019


James E. Bentley II
443-257-9794 (Mobile)


Mayor Young Issues Refugee Consent Letter

BALTIMORE, MD.  — This week, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young issued a letter on behalf of the City of Baltimore, consenting to the resettlement of refugees per terms of presidential Executive Order 13888. On September 26, the White House issued Executive Order 13888 “On Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Resettlement”, requiring governors and county level executives to issue consent letters in order to receive refugees under the Department of State’s Reception and Placement Program.

Since 1999, the International Rescue Committee Baltimore has resettled thousands of refugees in the City of Baltimore and surrounding jurisdictions. The organization provides refugees with the tools of self-sufficiency, community orientation, English classes and job placement. 

“For years, Baltimore City has welcomed refugees fleeing violence and persecution,” said Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Our new residents are resilient, hard workers whose skills have contributed greatly to our City. They serve as dedicated employees, business owners, homeowners, students, community leaders and are productive members of our City. Our neighborhoods cannot afford to lose the contributions refugees provide.”

Mayor Young joins dozens of state and local elected officials indicating consent to allow refugees, and is the first elected official to issue a consent letter in Maryland.

“We applaud Baltimore’s continuing dedication to refugee resettlement, a critical US humanitarian program,” said Ruben Chandrasekar, Executive Director for the International Rescue Committee Baltimore. “For decades, Baltimore has stepped up and served as a new home to refugees - in turn, our new community members have enriched our city economically, socially, and culturally. We look forward to continuing this tradition of welcome in the new year.”

In addition, the City of Baltimore, together with Los Angeles, filed an amicus brief in the case HIAS, Inc. v Donald Trump, 8:19-cv-3346-PJM (D. Md.), on behalf of 26 cities, 8 additional mayors, and the United States Conference of Mayors.   The amicus brief supports the plaintiffs who are a group of refugee resettlement organizations that have challenged the legality of Executive Order 13888.  The brief explains how the executive order improperly eliminates cities’ role in refugee placement and is likely to harm cities and their communities who benefit from refugees’ important contributions.  Specifically, the brief sets forth the numerous ways refugees and their families improve the local economies of Baltimore and other cities through their hard work and small businesses, public service, and volunteer activities. The amicus brief explains that Executive Order 13888 purports to promote the interests of local jurisdictions, but in fact will hurt both refugees and the communities where they settle, thrive and become vital members.