City leaders bringing refugees to Detroit

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 17:34:16-05

Detroit city leaders are working to pave the way for more Syrian refugees.

The plan is to take in 50 refugees per year over the next 3 years.

Religious leaders are getting involved in the process now.

Since the Syrian refugee crisis, there's been debate about accepting them, but now the city of Detroit is looking into resettling about 150 refugees over the next 3 years.

"When news of what was going on with Syrian refugees and resettlement across the country became really public here in Detroit, we had a number of religious leaders who came forward and said how can we help," says Mayor Duggan’s Chief of Staff Alexis Wiley.

That’s what prompted today's meeting with city and federal leaders along with dozens of religious leaders from across the city. 

"As a member of the faith based community we decided at the Council of Baptist Pastors that is urgent for us to be involved,” says Pastor Thomas Rutherford of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit.

Pastor Rutherford is just one of dozens of religious leaders-- looking for ways to assist refugees.

"Spiritually, financially, economically, jobs, lawyers, whatever we can do to help them,” he says.

But city leaders say the discussions about refugees will not only benefit people coming from other countries, but Detroiters in need as well, with the possibility of federal funding to improve housing used for both.

City leaders say they aren't just looking at one particular neighborhood for the Syrian refugees to relocate, they could move to multiple, but in the end it will all come down to the federal resettlement agencies.