Harrisonburg City Council passes 'Welcome America' resolution by Faith in Action

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Last night, a group called Faith in Action presented a resolution to the Harrisonburg City Council to designate Harrisonburg as a "Welcoming America" city.

This morning, WHSV received confirmation that the resolution was passed.

"Welcoming America" is a national network of communities that are working together to make it easier for newly arrived immigrants and refugees to adjust to their new life.

Now that it's been approved by the council, local officials and non-profits will start to develop strategies to support people who are new to the community.

According to the United States Census, 15.5% of Harrisonburg's population is foreign-born.

Faith in Action is trying to make that transition as easy as possible for those who want their chance at the American Dream.

"Welcoming America" was founded on the principle that when communities welcome and support newcomers, the community becomes a better place to live for everyone.

"We are receiving immigrants and refugees from all different parts of the world and in addition to needing to acquire a new language, um, there are some obstacles to flourishing here," said Jennifer Davis-Sensenig, President of Faith in Action.
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Those are obstacles that Rehab Mansour struggled with when she left her home in Egypt for the Valley two years ago.

She's hoping this resolution will make it easier for those to come.

"The United States is a very big place and it is a very great country," said Mansour, "and I think if we all work together to build up more in the community I think it will be better and better."