The largest county in Tennessee will continue to receive refugees

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The mayor of Tennessee's largest county reaffirmed Friday his commitment to receive refugees, amid a decrease in the number of people who come to the Memphis area while fleeing persecution and war in other countries. Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris made a ceremonial signature of a letter he sent to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month indicating the county's desire to continue receiving refugees from around the world who, as he says Harris's letter embarks on hard work and dangerous travel to find security. We have a moral duty to help those in need, those in extreme circumstances, Harris said during a press conference at his office in downtown Memphis. The commitment of Harris, a Democrat, follows the decision of the Republican governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, to continue resettling refugees. Last month, Lee rejected the option offered to the states by the administration of President Donald Trump to stop reinstatement. In Tennessee, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga have also said they want to continue accepting refugees. In September, Trump drastically reduced the number of refugees allowed in the US. UU. And he authorized state and local governments to refuse to accept them. An executive order says that if a state or locality has not given its consent to receive refugees under the State Department's Reception and Placement Program, then refugees should not be resettled within the state or locality unless the secretary of state decides otherwise. Trump's order allows local governments to decide on the resettlement of refugees if the state chooses to participate. More than 2,000 resettled refugees in Tennessee during the 2016 budget year, including 278 in Shelby County, refugee advocates said. The state number dropped to 478 in 2018 under Trump and reached 692 in 2019. Last year, only 44 refugees settled in Shelby County, the largest in the state by population, said the director of World Relief Memphis, P.J. Moore That number dropped from 56 in 2018, Moore said. The county can handle up to 400 refugees per year, he said. World Relief Memphis joins local religious and community groups to resettle refugees. Moore called the decline in refugees a dramatic decline that can be attributed to the policies that leave Washington. Trump has signed a plan that continues with a dramatic drop in the number of refugees admitted by the US. UU. No more than 18,000 in fiscal year 2020. In the last full year of the Barack Obama administration, the refugee ceiling was 85,000. In 2019, the Trump administration set the limit at 30,000. That number was the lowest since the creation of the modern resettlement program in 1980. Harris was joined by refugees from Africa and Asia who settled in Shelby County. John Liom, 31, said he came to Memphis from Egypt in 2003, four years after he fled Sudan, devastated by war, as a child. Liom learned English and became a police officer in 2016. He thanked the Memphis community for welcoming him. My dream came true, said Liom. This story has not been edited by The Times of India and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe. (This story has not been edited by and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe.)