Syrian families have been settled in Texas and in Indiana, the groups helping them said Tuesday, defying efforts by the conservative states’ governors to stop their arrival.
A family of six went to live Monday near relatives already living in the Dallas area, said Lucy Carrigan, a spokeswoman for the International Rescue Committee.
“They seem very happy,” Carrigan said, noting that they were put up in an apartment with basic furniture and a stocked refrigerator. “And it was almost like breathing a sigh of relief that they have arrived. This has been a long journey for them, and it’s been a long journey for a lot of Syrian refugees.”
Carrigan declined to make family members available for an interview, but she said they were not fazed by the state’s fight or concerns that they might not be welcome in Texas.
Another couple and their four daughters were settled in Houston on Monday night by a different resettlement agency, Refugee Services of Texas. An additional nine refugees are expected to arrive later in the week.
“We can reassure all Texans that the refugees are receiving a warm and compassionate welcome from staff and volunteers,” said Aaron Rippenkroeger, president and CEO of Refugee Services of Texas.
Meanwhile, a Syrian couple and their two small children arrived safely Monday night in Indianapolis, where they have relatives, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis said in a statement. It said the family fled Syria three years ago and underwent two years of security checks before being allowed to enter the U.S.
Archbishop Joseph Tobin said he considered Gov. Mike Pence’s recent request to not bring the family to Indiana until Congress had approved new legislation regarding immigrants and refugees. But he said he welcomed them anyway because helping refugees “is an essential part of our identity as Catholic Christians.”
Read more: US News