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 ObamaIs Hillary the perfect female politician? Melania Trump's convention speechwriter paid 6 last month Melania Trump's convention speechwriter listed on July payroll MORE’s box on Tuesday night, according to a Sunday report from USA Today.
"I was thrilled when I heard that President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaSeven ways the Clinton Foundation failed to meet its transparency promises Administration proposes visa program for entrepreneurs Trump was wrong: Kaine is a liberal in a moderate's clothing 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.
GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpA brief history of Paul LePage making people angry Army training slide branded Clinton as ’insider threat’: report 'Never Trump' group launching swing-state ads MORE has endorsed a temporary ban on all non-U.S. citizen Muslims entering the homeland, and, after last week’s arrests, rival Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzThe Trail 2016: On the fringe FULL SPEECH: Hillary Clinton links Trump to 'alt-right' in Reno Presidential hopefuls still bank on retail politics MORE (Texas) called for "a retroactive assessment of refugees” already here.