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 ObamaAmericans should get used to pop culture blending with politics Michelle responds to Barack with her own Valentine's tweet Obamas' former Harvard law professor: Michelle should have been president 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 ObamaHow Democrats can rebuild a winning, multiracial coalition Howard Dean endorses Buttigieg in DNC race Americans should get used to pop culture blending with politics 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 TrumpHow Democrats can rebuild a winning, multiracial coalition The Green Movement Is our planet’s last best hope Poll: Majority of Americans fear US will become involved in another major war 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 CruzA guide to the committees: Senate Trump wants to cut red tape? He should start with the CFPB. Why President Trump should choose Maureen Ohlhausen to lead the FTC MORE (Texas) called for "a retroactive assessment of refugees” already here.