This could be a very happy Thanksgiving for hundreds of refugee families in Connecticut.
Gov. Dannel Malloy allowed the Syrian families to relocate to Connecticut, and the families are grateful for that.
"I am very lucky to be here,” said Wafaa, who is still learning English and has found a job. She moved to Connecticut with her children less than a year ago, but most of her family remains in Syria.
"We understand what it means to be a refugee. We understand that most Americans have an immigration story,” said Judy Diamondstein, director of the New Haven Jewish Community Center.
At a ceremony at the center on Tuesday, Malloy said embracing the families is important.
"We need to stand up and understand the sorrows, the deaths and deprivation, not just on our own land but around the world,” Malloy said.
Six synagogues have helped the refugees, not just with fundraisers but with American families willing to share their homes.
"They have been cleared by many agencies, many have been living for years in refugee camps,” said Rabbi Michael Farbman, of Temple Emanuel of greater New Haven.
"We are inviting the president-elect to come to our office, sit down have a cup of coffee and meet these refugees,” said Chris George, of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services.
In some way, the political tone was overshadowed with some heartfelt words from a Syrian father.
"You can't imagine how many people are giving their time and money to help people like us,” said Abir.
New Haven and Hartford have become sanctuary cities. Malloy said that doesn’t really do more than condemn what’s going on. He said no city or state can interfere with what the federal government is allowed to do.
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