North Dakota county to decide on refugee resettlement under terms of Trump executive order

Dec 10, 2019

National
North Dakota county to decide on refugee resettlement under terms of Trump executive order

Washington DC (USA) Dec 10: A North Dakota county is expected to debate Monday whether new refugees will be allowed to settle there under provisions set out by an executive order President Donald Trump signed in September.
Under the executive order, states and localities need to provide consent in writing in order to have refugees resettled in their communities. A Lutheran group asked Burleigh County, the home of the state capital of Bismarck and has a population of more than 95,000, earlier this month to agree to allow about 25 refugees to settle in the area.
Several county commissioners to whom CNN spoke Monday afternoon said they wanted more information about the impact of settling additional refugees in the county, including the effect on the local economy and public health services.
"I have made several calls to various government departments, and I have received some information but not all. I think we are overreacting without even having all the appropriate information to react at all," said Commissioner Kathleen Jones, who said she didn't know how she would vote as of early Monday afternoon.
The issue was posed to the county board last week by the Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, which provides a broad range of support services to families, homeless individuals and youth as well as helping resettle refugees. Shirley Dykshoorn, the organization's vice president of senior and humanitarian services, said North Dakota received more than 100 refugees last year.
The board of commissioners is considering rejecting the request for the second time after a previous meeting last Monday was cut short due to an unusually high amount of remote users crashing the live stream of their meeting. Commissioner Jim Peluso, however, said he plans to call for a moratorium on the vote because of a lack of information.
"For one, we are trying to find out how many refugees are already here, we are trying to find out the economic facts, and how the schools feel about it," said Peluso, who added that he would reject allowing the resettlement if it came to a vote.
Commissioner Jerry Woodcox, who cited the county's history as a refugee home, said he was leaning toward allowing the resettlements to continue.
"North Dakota is a refugee state," he told CNN. "It has been a main refugee state, and I don't think this will change anything."
In announcing the refugee resettlement consent policy in September, the Trump administration announced that only 18,000 refugees would be allowed to settle in the United States in fiscal year 2020, an historic low and down from the 30,000 allowed in 2019.
Resettling refugees in states has long been a sensitive issue. In 2015, at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis, more than half of the nation's governors said they opposed letting Syrian refugees settle into their states.
Source: CNN News