Under Trump Executive Order, Minnesota County Rejects New Refugees

Posted: Jan 08, 2020 6:10 PM
Under Trump Executive Order, Minnesota County Rejects New Refugees

Source: AP Photo/Hussein Malla

The Beltrami County board of supervisors recently voted 3-2 to reject the resettlement of refugees, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported. Under an executive order signed by President Trump in Sep. 2019, states and local governments must consent to the resettlement of refugees within their jurisdictions. 

While the vote was mostly symbolic, as the Tribune notes that refugee resettlement has not taken place in Beltrami County for at least five years, the vote represents a growing awareness by the American people of their newfound power to stop refugee resettlement from remaking their local communities. 

(Via the Star Tribune) 

The 3-2 vote came on a day when the contentious issue surfaced in counties across the state, including St. Louis County, where Duluth is located, and Stearns County, home to St. Cloud. In both counties, officials postponed decisions on the matter despite a looming deadline.

“I think we will be making history today,” said Beltrami County Commissioner Reed Olson, who voted in favor of refugee resettlement.

The audience applauded as the resolution passed during an unruly meeting filled with jeers, shouts and accusations among the more than 150 people — most of them opposed to allowing refugees — packing the county chambers.

If counties fail to take action by the Jan. 21 deadline, refugee resettlement will not be permitted in those jurisdictions. Governors must also consent to allow refugee resettlement within their states, as Minnesota's Democratic governor, Tim Walz, did in December. 

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A large number of Republican governors are also facing criticism after consenting to further refugee resettlement. Idaho Governor Brad Little recently joined a growing number of red-state governors who have invited more refugees to resettle within their states.