After an executive order by President Trump made it possible, a northern Minnesota county on Tuesday night opted to ban the resettlement of refugees within its boundaries, becoming the first in the state and the second in the nation to do so.
"President Trump empowered counties to have a voice in the decision-making process for the federal refugee resettlement program," state Rep. Matt Grossell, a Republican, told the Duluth News Tribune. "Tonight, Beltrami County exercised that option."
Over 20 years ago, the state of Minnesota welcomed my family with open arms.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 9, 2020
I never would’ve had the opportunities that led me to Congress had I been rejected.
What Beltrami County is doing is denying refugees a chance at a better life.https://t.co/cpp3PgBB7h
President Trump has given power back to local government and this could be the congresswoman's first lesson in the system of federalism.
The Trump administration announced in November that resettlement agencies must get written consent from state and local officials in any jurisdiction where they want to help resettle refugees beyond June 2020. The order says the agencies were not working closely enough with local officials on resettling refugees and his administration acted to respect communities that believe they do not have the jobs or other resources to be able to take in refugees. Refugees have the right to move anywhere in the United States after their initial resettlement, but at their own expense.
The vote drew applause from many of the crowd of more than 150 people present at the board chambers in Bemidji, Minn., which is about 140 miles northwest of Duluth. Native Minnesotans blame the influx of Somalis for spikes in crime.