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Take Action: Tell Governor Hogan not to turn his back on Syrian refugees

For Immediate Release: November, 24, 2015

Contact: Meredith Curtis,, 443-310-9946

Zainab Chaudry,, 410-971-6062

BALTIMORE - Thirty nine civil rights, faith, labor, humanitarian, social justice, and immigrant and refugee service provider organizations have joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland and the Council on American-Islamic Relations - Maryland (CAIR) in sending a letter to Governor Larry Hogan in support of welcoming Syrian refugees and in opposition to the governor's current policy of requesting that the federal government not send Syrian refugees to Maryland.

"It is vital that Governor Larry Hogan understand that there is strong and growing support for welcoming Syrian refugees to Maryland," said Sirine Shebaya, staff attorney directing ACLU of Maryland's immigrant's rights advocacy. "Singling out refugees makes no sense, since they are the most extensively vetted group of immigrants ever to enter the United States. We call on Governor Hogan to reject discriminatory, fear-mongering calls to ban Syrian refugees from our country and instead welcome them to our state."

"We have a moral obligation to recall our shared humanity as the refugee settlement debate rages on," said Zainab Chaudry. "Our country is a country of immigrants who enrich and strengthen it. As the world witnesses a humanitarian crisis of unparalleled proportions in recent years, we cannot allow the politics of xenophobia and bigotry to persuade us to turn our backs on these refugees who need our help the most."

Quote from the letter: "The world is witnessing the largest refugee crisis since World War II. More than 4 million Syrians have fled from their home country to escape conflict and violence, and 6.5 million are internally displaced. Maryland has a long and proud tradition of welcoming with open arms those who flee persecution and death. We urge you to reconsider your statement asking that Syrian refugees not to be directed to our state, and to stand with your constituents in upholding that proud tradition."

List of organizations:

American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland

Asylee Women Enterprise


Baltimore Palestine Solidarity

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

CASA de Maryland

Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.

Council on American-Islamic Relations - Maryland

Defending Dissent

Episcopal Refugee and Immigrant Center Alliance


Immigration Clinic, University of Maryland Carey School of Law

Immigration Outreach Service Center

Intercultural Counseling Connection

Interfaith Action for Human Rights

International Rescue Committee in Maryland

Jewish Voice for Peace

Jews United for Peace

Kids in Need of Defense - Baltimore

League of Women Voters of Maryland

Libertarian Party of Maryland

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Maryland Immigrant Rights Coalition

Maryland Legislative Task Force for Islamic Affairs

Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition

Montgomery County Young Democrats

Muslim Democratic Club of Montgomery County

NAACP - Maryland State Conference

Open Society Institute - Baltimore

Peace Action Montgomery

Progressive Cheverly

Public Justice Center

Service Employees International Union 32BJ

Soccer Without Borders - Baltimore

Syrian American Council - Maryland chapter

Tahirih Justice Center - Baltimore

United Church of Christ Central Atlantic Conference