When the world thinks of Austin, they think of coming here to have a great time. But they have learned that they will find help here, too, when they need it.
These are the words of Austin Mayor Steve Adler. When Hurricane Katrina forced thousands to evacuate New Orleans in 2005, our city welcomed them with open arms. When children fleeing gang violence in Central America massed on our southern border in 2014, many Austin groups rushed to help.
“This is what great cities do,” says Mayor Adler. “Though we by no means are not and have never been perfect in this regard, Austin draws strength from its tolerance and inclusiveness, and this adds to our security. When the rest of the world is swirling around us, we know who we are in this regard and will remain steadfast in our values.”
But for refugees fleeing from Syria, our city may not be so welcoming. While many residents don’t think twice about offering the same sort of refuge and assistance to Syrian refugees, others are firmly against it. The crisis and its ensuing controversy, of course, is one that is raging across the country.