Report: Obamas invite Syrian refugee to SOTU
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President Obama and the first lady have invited a prominent Syrian refugee to be their guest at the commander in chief’s final State of the Union address this week in a strong sign of support for the beleaguered population.

Refaai Hamo, a scientist who fled Syria’s civil war in 2013, will sit in Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama criticizes lack of diversity in politics: one side is 'all white, all men' Obama interrupts Michelle's appearance with 25th anniversary tribute Michelle Obama: Young people feel what's happening now 'not what they were taught' MORE’s box on Tuesday night, according to a Sunday report from USA Today.

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Hamo’s wife and daughter were among 16 killed when a bomb struck his family compound in Syria. Last month, he and his four surviving children were officially settled in Detroit after an ordeal that included untreated stomach cancer during a legal limbo in Turkey.

"I was thrilled when I heard that President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGeorge W. Bush honors father at benefit for hurricane victims Dem senator: ‘I miss every one of’ our last 5 presidents All five living former presidents appear at hurricane relief benefit concert MORE is welcoming us into the United States," Hamo said in a statement. "I felt that hope was revived as well as the strength to continue my dreams and ambition in my new country. I am so proud and honored to be in this country and look forward to one day becoming an American citizen so that we can be part of making America a strong and great country.”

The Obamas’ invitation for Hamo, who was featured in the prominent blog Humans of New York, comes as a sharp rebuke to Republicans who have called for halting the influx of Middle East refugees amid security concerns.

On Thursday, the government announced the arrest of two Iraqi-born refugees on terrorism charges, including providing material support to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

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