Comings & Goings: Herbert’s compassion for refugees

 

Three days before the November 13 Paris attacks, Utah Gov. Herbert and First Lady Jeanette Herbert visited Utah’s Refugee Education and Training Center on Salt Lake Community College’s Meadow­brook Campus. Utah is home to an estimated 60,000 refugees. The Center is a place where people can find help assimilating into the Utah job market and a new culture.

Touring the Center, the Herberts heard stories of gratitude from the many refugees who use the Center to find employers, learn English and gain skills and education for a life in their new home.

Perhaps the fresh memory of this recent visit is what kept the Governor from signing on to the knee-jerk reaction by other governors refusing to take in Syrian refugees. Gov. Herbert instead requested a review of the screening process. As of Nov. 23, he remains the only Republican governor supportive of resettlement.

About 12 Syrian refugees moved to Utah in 2015; prior to the Paris attack, up to 150 were slated to resettle here in 2016.