Minnesota: Beltrami County Votes “No” to More “Refugees”
This is the second US county to do so.
PREVIOUSLY, I reported that Appomattox County, Virginia had gone on record in response to the President’s refugee resettlement reform plan and said no thanks to refugee resettlement.
Every county in America is up for grabs as the US State Department hires its contractors for later in Fiscal Year 2020 to place the Africans, Asians and Middle Easterners (largely chosen by the UN) destined for Anytown, USA.
Now check this out, Beltrami County, Minnesota voted Tuesday to tell the State Department to count them out.
Even if Beltrami has not been a target site in the past, they want to make it clear that at least for FY2020 they don’t want to be like some other of the refugee hotbeds in the state.
Speaking of hotbeds, Stearns County (St. Cloud) voted to table the issue until the end of the month as did several other refugee resettlement locations in the state.
From the Bemidji Pioneer where reporter Matthew Liedke did an excellent job of explaining the complex issue:
Tuesday’s no vote in Bemidji was the first for any county in Minnesota.
With applause from a loud, passionate crowd Beltrami County on Tuesday, Jan. 7, became the first local government unit in Minnesota to refuse refugee resettlements.
In a 3-2 vote, the county’s Board of Commissioners chose to opt out of accepting refugee resettlements. The decision comes months after President Donald Trump signed an executive order enhancing state and local involvement in refugee resettlements. The order says the federal government “should resettle refugees only in those jurisdictions in which both the State and local governments have consented to receive refugees.”
While the order doesn’t take effect until June, though, resettlement affiliates and nonprofits are required to submit their placement strategies to the State Department by Jan. 31. Because of the short timeline, District 1 Commissioner Craig Gaasvig said organizing a public hearing wouldn’t be feasible, and as a result, the crowd of at least 200 people weren’t able to comment Tuesday at the meeting in Bemidji.
While no official comment period was held, the standing room only crowd extending out into the lobby of the County Administration Building did make itself heard at various times in the meeting. Additionally, when asked by Gaasvig for a show of hands on how many were opposed to accepting refugee resettlements, a clear majority of the crowd raised their hands. More than 200 people attended the meeting.
The refugee subject has been the talk of the area for the past few days. While it wasn’t on the agenda Monday for Bemidji’s City Council meeting, City Hall was still packed with individuals expressing concern over the matter.
Earlier Tuesday, the St. Louis County Board voted 4-3 to delay its response to refugee resettlement until May after two-and-a-half hours of testimony in Duluth.
Counties to have approved accepting refugees after the executive order takes effect include Blue Earth, Kandiyohi and Nicollet. According to the Associated Press, the nation’s first county to ban refugee resettlement was Appomattox County, Va., where commissioners voted 4-1 on Dec. 17 to deny consent to resettlement.
Since 1980, more than 100,000 individuals have come to Minnesota through the United States Refugee Admissions Program.
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Source: Refugee Resettlement Watch