FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will receive the 2016 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his support for accepting Syrian refugees into the United States.
The award is given out each year by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences. Jack Schlossberg, Kennedy's grandson, will present Malloy with the award at a ceremony in Boston on May 1.
After the November terror attacks in Paris, politicians across the U.S. expressed concern about accepting refugees from Syria into the country, with a number of governors declaring that their states would not welcome them. Malloy announced that Connecticut would continue to welcome Syrian refugees, and a couple days later he welcomed a Syrian family to New Haven after they had been turned away from Indiana.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation praised Malloy for his actions, when he could have chosen the politically expedient course and remained silent.
“As half of U.S. governors, leading presidential candidates and countless others across the country voice support for a ban on Syrian refugees from entering the United States, Governor Dannel Malloy took a stand against the hateful, xenophobic rhetoric,” said Schlossberg. “In doing so, he put principles above politics and upheld my grandfather’s vision of America that, he said, ‘has always served as a lantern in the dark for those who love freedom but are persecuted, in misery, or in need.’”
Malloy said he was honored to have been named a recipient of the award.
“The refugee issue is one that has unnecessarily divided our country at a time when we need to stand together more than ever. We must as a state and as a nation be inclusive, and we must recognize that it’s our diversity that makes us strong," Malloy said. "For me, the refugee issue is not in isolation — it’s part of a broader series of steps we have taken to stand up for what’s right. The fight for marriage equality, standing up for the LGBTQ community, reforming the criminal justice system with our Second Chance Society initiatives, delivering for higher wages, bringing about paid sick days — all are policies that are fundamentally rooted in human decency and fairness. Accepting immigrants is who we are as a nation, and it’s the right thing to do. It’s consistent with an agenda that has aimed to further progress at almost every step."
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