In a letter to President Biden Wednesday, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon II offered Syracuse and Onondaga County, already home to a large Ukrainian population, as a community “ready, willing and able” to host refugees from war torn Ukraine. The Walsh and McMahon communication to the White House comes as hundreds of thousands of Ukraine citizens have been forced to flee the country after a week of Russian attacks.
Walsh and McMahon emphasized the area’s experience in resettling people escaping war and violence and its large and supportive Ukrainian community:
“Syracuse and Onondaga County have historically served as a safe haven for refugees from various parts of the world. Our community has long been home to a strong and proud Ukrainian community, joining New York State as home to the largest Ukrainian population in the United States. This experience makes Central New York an ideal location where Ukrainian citizens can find shelter on a short-term basis until they can return to their homes or settle permanently to be free of unjustified violence and war.”
The Mayor and County Executive pledged to work with the community and its resettlement partners, Catholic Charities and Interfaith Works of Central New York, as well as New York State, to ensure the City and County are prepared for any arriving Ukrainian people. Read the full letter here.