Portland Mayor Michael Brennan has joined more than 60 other U.S. mayors in asking Congress not to make it any more difficult for refugees to enter the country.

In the aftermath of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people, elected officials across the country have called for the United States to close its borders to refugees.

Much of the rhetoric has focused on refugees fleeing Syria, where a brutal and chaotic civil war has given rise to the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. Some elected officials fear that terrorists associated with ISIS, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, could pose as refugees to gain entry to the United States and conduct attacks here. Others argue that the United States already has one of the most robust refugee screening processes in the world.

The U.S. House voted Nov. 19 in favor of a bill that would halt President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States over the next year, while beefing up the screening process. The bill received more than the two-thirds support in the House needed to overcome a presidential veto, including from 47 Democrats. It’s pending before the Senate, where its future is unclear.

The mayors made their feelings known in a letter to Congress sent by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a nonpartisan organization of mayors from cities with at least 30,000 residents. It was signed by 62 mayors from 28 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and presented to members of the House and Senate on Nov. 20. Brennan was the only mayor from Maine to sign on.

The letter asks the members to make no changes to the refugee resettlement process, which since 2013 has welcomed 70,000 refugees a year from war-torn nations.

“Our nation has always been a beacon of hope for those seeking peace and protection from persecution,” the letter concludes. “We urge you to take no action that will jeopardize this rich and proud heritage.”

Brennan’s stand is contrary to the position staked out by Gov. Paul LePage, who has said that he “adamantly” opposes Syrian refugees coming to Maine, even though he is powerless to stop it.

“To bring Syrian refugees into our country without knowing who they are is to invite an attack on American soil just like the one we saw in Paris last week and in New York City on 9/11,” LePage said in a written statement Nov. 16. “That is why I adamantly oppose any attempt by the federal government to place Syrian refugees in Maine, and will take every lawful measure in my power to prevent it from happening.”

LePage’s comments were condemned by the Maine Council of Churches and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine.

Shortly after LePage’s comments, a group of residents on Munjoy Hill in Portland placed a homemade banner on an apartment building in support of Syrian refugees. Passers-by were invited to sign their names in support.

On Nov. 25, more than 100 people gathered in front of the Blaine House to show their support for refugees.

The White House on Monday responded to LePage and other governors who previously expressed concern about the refugee resettlement process.

According to a memo obtained by the Portland Press Herald, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough defended the administration’s “multi-layer and intensive” screening process for refugees, noting that further screening is conducted when processing Syrian refugees. McDonough also said the administration plans to provide governors with additional information about refugees in their states upon request.

Brennan said he felt compelled to sign on to the letter in part to show Congress that LePage doesn’t speak for most Mainers, especially those in Portland, which has continually reaffirmed its commitment to welcome immigrants.

“I thought it was important to speak out as an elected official to the comments of Gov. LePage,” Brennan said. “What Gov. LePage said was disappointing and not reflective of the values of the city of Portland.”

A representative of the governor did not respond to a request for comment.

According to Catholic Charities Maine, the major organization that works with refugees, there have been no refugees from Syria brought to Maine in 2015, and there was one in 2014. Nationwide, about 1,200 Syrian refugees have been placed since 2011. Its website indicates that if any refugees from Syria were placed in Maine, it wouldn’t happen for one to two years because of the lengthy screening process.