Mayor Betsy Hodges, Mpls City Council Support Syrian Refugee Resettlement

COUNCIL MEMBERS [back row, left to right]: Blong Yang, Ward 5; Lisa Goodman, Ward 7; John Quincy, Ward 11; Abdi Warsame, Ward 6; Mayor Betsy Hodges; Andrew Johnson, Ward 12; Linea Palmisano, Ward 13; Alondra Cano, Ward 9; and Lisa Bender, Ward 10, [front row, left to right]: Jacob Frey, Ward 3; Kevin Reich, Ward 1; Barbara A. Johnson, Ward 4, Council President; Elizabeth Glidden, Ward 8, Council Vice-President; and Cam Gordon, Ward 2. City of Minneapolis photo

Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis City Council pass Resolution supporting Syrian refugee resettlement; call upon other cities to do the same.

Minneapolis, MN –  Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and the City Council voted to pass a resolution supporting the settlement of Syrian refugees in Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota on Dec. 13, 2016.  The Resolution also calls on other cities to join Minneapolis in welcoming Syrian refugees to Minnesota.

The resolution, authored by Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon (Ward 2), states “the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has determined that 10 percent of Syrian refugees are in need of resettlement to nations outside of the region due to a heightened vulnerability to further harm, but less than 200,000 resettlement places have been pledged by nations – with the U.S. pledging only 10,000 places this year.”  Describing the Syrian refugees as having been identified “based on their vulnerabilities and risk of further exposure to violence and exploitation” specifically, members of the LGBTI community, children traveling alone, victims of torture, the physically disabled and female-headed households.

The resolution also commends the United States for resettling over 14,000 Syrian refugees since 2011, and states that all the refugees “undergo an extensive and rigorous security screening process including biometric analysis, and all Syrians go through an additional screening procedure.”

Furthermore, the resolution lists the organizations in support of resettling Syrian refugees in the Twin Cities, including: The International Institute of Minnesota, Arrive Ministries, United Nations Association of MN, The American Refugee Committee, The Minnesota Council of Churches, and The Center for Victims of Torture.


It would seem that the Minneapolis Council’s statistics on the actual numbers of Syrian refugees admitted into the US since 2011 are not completely correct.  According to an analysis of US Syrian refugee resettlement by, in 2016, the Obama administration admitted 15,479 Syrian refugees, a 606.1 percent increase from 2015.  As for the demographics of those refugees, states:

–15,302 (98.8 percent) are Muslims – 15,134 Sunnis, 29 Shi’a, and 139 other Muslims
–125 (0.8 percent) are Christians – 32 Catholics, 32 Orthodox, five Protestants, four Jehovah’s Witnesses, and 52 refugees described only as “Christian” in State Department Refugee Processing Center data
–43(0.27 percent) are Yazidis
–eight are “other” religion and one is described as having “no religion”
–3,904 (25.2 percent) are males between the ages of 14 and 50
–3,521 (22.7 percent) are females aged 14-50
–7,428 (47.9 percent) are children under 14, of whom 3,824 are boys and 3,604 are girls.

In 2015 the administration admitted a total of 2,192 Syrian refugees total.  In just the month of December 2016 1,307 Syrian refugees were brought into the US.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the US has admitted 18,026 refugees, of whom 187 were Christian, even though Christians made up 10 percent of the Syrian population before the war began.

Betsy Hodges said in a statement, “Minneapolis has long stood as a place of welcome for refugees from throughout the world, including those seeking resettlement from Syria. Today we restate our City’s commitment to welcome Syrian families to make homes and new lives here.”

Resolution on the resettlement of Syrian refugees passed by the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges on Jan. 13, 2016
Resolution on the resettlement of Syrian refugees passed by the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges on Jan. 13, 2016
Andrea Mayer-Bruestle

Andrea Mayer-Bruestle is a former writer for Alpha News.