Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Minnesota counties discuss refugee resettlement, with different results

Beltrami County voted against accepting refugees in the county, a first in Minnesota.
Author:
Bemidji City Hall

Minnesota counties have been meeting this week to decide whether they will continue to welcome refugees to their respective areas.

While only 848 refugees were resettled in Minnesota in 2019, the subject has suddenly come under the microscope after an executive order made by President Donald Trump gave cities and counties the ability to block refugees from settling in their boundaries.

While Gov. Tim Walz has said that "the inn is not full" in Minnesota, saying that the state would continue to welcome those fleeing oppression, local officials in more GOP-leaning areas have a different view.

On Tuesday, Beltrami County became the first local authority to officially vote to block refugee resettlement by a vote of 3-2 by its Board of Commissioners.

The vote was taken at a packed meeting in Bemidji, and is largely symbolic given that under the Trump order, counties have to "opt in" to receive refugees, and because the county has had no refugees resettled there at any time in the past five years.

Per the Star Tribune's Maya Rao, one of those voting in favor of refugee resettlement was Commissioner Tim Sumner, a member of the Red Lake tribe, who pointed out the irony in the county telling resettlers they're not welcome in an area that was previously home to Native Americans.

The decision by Beltrami County was not replicated in other Minnesota counties however. MPR News notes that Murray County and Nobles County in southwest Minnesota both voted in favor of accepting refugees.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

They follow the likes of Blue Earth, Kandiyohi, Nicollet and Twin Cities counties including Hennepin who will continue to accept refugees.

In St. Louis County, a similarly contentious debate over refugee resettlement ended with the board voting by 4-3 to table their vote until May on whether to allow refugee resettlement.

The delay will allow the board more time to gather information with regards to resettlement, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

Related

Port of Duluth-Superior

St. Louis County delays refugee resettlement vote

Only one refugee has been placed in the county since 2011.

NYT article shines a light on anti-refugee movement in St. Cloud

St. Cloud has been a common landing spot for refugees fleeing war-torn countries.

eckles township - lake bemidji - wildfire

Sheriff: Stop calling 911 about low-flying planes, they're putting out wildfires

Beltrami County has had issues with people in the Bemidji area complaining about firefighting planes this summer.

1 dead, 2 injured in head-on crash caused by wrong-way driver

The crash happened late Monday night in Beltrami County.

ambulance

Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.

Gov. Walz and Pres. Trump

'The inn is not full in Minnesota,' Walz tells Trump Administration

It's in response to an executive order about refugee resettlement.

Pixabay - afghanistan children stock

Walz, Flanagan: MN ready to welcome Afghan refugee families

They wrote a letter stating as much to President Joe Biden this week.