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Official Statement from Governor Phil Scott on President Trump’s Executive Order Restricting Immigration and Refugee Resettlement

January 29, 2017

Montpelier, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement:

"As I said when the President’s Executive Order was first issued, I am concerned and disappointed with the message it sends, and the actions it takes. I applaud the federal court’s decision to stay the removal of individuals in the United States – and here in Vermont – legally with Green Cards and Visas, to their countries of origin.  It’s one thing to express concern about foreign terrorist entry, it is something entirely different to remove people who enter this country legally, only because they are from certain countries.

The United States – and Vermont in particular – has a history of welcoming people of all cultures and backgrounds. For decades, Vermont has proudly and peacefully welcomed Somali, Vietnamese, Bosnian and Bhutanese families – and many others – through successful refugee and immigration programs.

Historically, immigrants and refugees have contributed to our culture and economy across the state. From French-Canadians in the north, to European settlers in Brattleboro. The Irish came to areas like Bellows Falls, Northfield, Rutland, Burlington and St. Albans to escape famine. Russian immigrants escaping persecution came to Burlington, and other areas. While they each faced many challenges upon their arrival, Swedish and Italian families led the growth of our granite industry in my home town of Barre. English, German and Russian immigrants helped work the mills and farms in areas like Poultney and Ludlow. Many from southern and eastern Europe contributed by starting businesses and filling jobs in Brattleboro, Burlington, Springfield and Windsor. Greek immigrants added to the culture of areas like Burlington, Barre and St. Albans. These are just a few examples of how immigration has shaped our state.

I can't imagine what Vermont, or our country, would look like today, had we refused to allow immigrants from all reaches of the world to experience this wonderful country the way most of us have, simply because they were not born here or didn’t share our exact religious view. As I have said, I’m going to do everything I can to protect the rights of all Vermonters and the human rights of all people – that includes standing up to executive orders from Washington that cross legal, ethical and moral lines that have distinguished America from the rest of the world for generations.”