A Syrian family that was denied entry in Indiana has now found a welcoming home in New Haven, Conn.
The couple, who asked to be identified only by their first initials, fled Syria in 2011, the New York Times reports. After a few years in Jordan, they registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and eventually learned they’d be relocated to Indiana with their 4-year-old son. But Indiana’s governor Mike Pence said the state would not accept any more Syrian refugees, citing fears that some might be terrorists in the wake of recent attacks in Paris.
“We felt rejected,” said the 33-year-old husband, who asked to be identified as A. “We were depressed. How could that be the freedoms that we hear about?”
But with the help of nonprofit Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services, the couple made their way to Connecticut, joining seven other Syrian refugee families who’ve arrived since July. The family was greeted by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday.
“You have relieved our burden,” said A. “What happened was better, because we feel very welcomed.”
And despite their rejection by the Indiana governor, the family was hopeful Gov. Pence would rethink he decision. “He’s going to recognize that people come from Syria all the way here to live securely and not to commit violence,” A.’s wife told the paper. “They are escaping violence. We went through a lot, it was difficult, we went through trials and tribulations to find a future.”
Read next: Most Americans Oppose Admitting Syrian Refugees, Poll Finds
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