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Dubuque Mayor joins national movement asking for more federal action on refugee settlement

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Dubuque City Council approved a letter signed by Mayor Brad Cavanagh from the Welcoming Refugees 2023 movement on Monday night. The letter calls for more federal action to be done concerning refugee resettlement efforts.

The letter cites record-low refugee resettling in 2021 as a call to action.

"In FY 2021, the United States resettled 11,411 refugees, the lowest in any year on record. We applauded your action to increase the refugee admissions goal to 125,000 for FY 2022, but we are disappointingly on pace to reach less than 20 percent of that number," the letter said.

The letter states that Dubuque is ready to welcome refugees with open arms.

"Refugees bring immense value to our communities. They invigorate our economies, bring innovation to our towns, and make our public and cultural institutions richer. Refugees are students, business owners, dedicated employees, customers, elected officials, and community leaders. In every way, they embody what it means to be an American."

Cananagh is one of hundreds of elected officials joining the Welcoming Refugees 2023 movement by signing and sending this letter. He's one of five in Iowa. Joining him is: Chris Hoffman, mayor of North Liberty, Tracy Elhert, Cedar Rapid's state representative, Mary Mascher, Iowa City's state representative, and Stacey Walker, Linn County's commissioner. 

An earlier version of this story contained errors and has been updated.