Malloy welcomes Syrian family to New Haven - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Malloy welcomes Syrian family to New Haven

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Malloy welcomes Syrian family to New Haven (WFSB) Malloy welcomes Syrian family to New Haven (WFSB)

The list of governors refusing to welcome Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks continues to grow.

However, one family seeking a fresh start is finding it in New Haven, after Indiana told them ‘no.’

The family arrived in Connecticut on Tuesday, which consists of a mother, father and a young child.

"Regardless of their religion, race or nationality, welcome them to Connecticut and help them rebuild their lives,” said Chris George, executive director of the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS).

He said that has been the mission in New Haven for the past 33 years, but he said seeing dozens of states said they no longer want to accept Syrian refugees following the Paris attacks is troubling.

"Of paramount importance, in refugee resettlement, it is to help this family that has suffered so much, help them feel welcomed and supported,” George said.

IRIS received a call on Tuesday stating that a Syrian family already screened and approved to come to the United States was on its way to Indiana—a state whose governor said it would suspend taking in Syrian refugees.

The fear was the father, who was a shop keeper, the mother and their 4-year-old son wouldn’t feel welcomed there, so they turned to Connecticut.

"I think they're happy to be in a place where the governor wants them to be here,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy.

On Wednesday afternoon, Malloy met with the family.

Afterward, he said “I told them that people in the U.S. are generous and good people, but sometimes things happen elsewhere that cause people to forget about their generosity and native warmth and spirit."

This week, thousands of Eyewitness News viewers weighed in on a poll asking "Do you agree with Governor Malloy's decision to allow Syrian refugees in Connecticut?" To vote in the poll, click here.

George said IRIS will set them up in an apartment, stock it with food, and then help them learn English and find jobs.

"They come motivated to work, tough, determined, courageous people that we here at IRIS and Connecticut feels honored to help welcome them,” George said.

Since July, IRIS said they have resettled seven Syrian families in New Haven, which is about 30 people total.

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