St. Louis County delays refugee resettlement vote

Only one refugee has been placed in the county since 2011.
Author:
Publish date:
Port of Duluth-Superior

After months of debate and public input, the St. Louis County Board did not vote on refugee resettlement Tuesday.

An executive order by President Donald Trump requires counties to give prior approval before refugees can resettle in an area. The board once again delayed the item on refugee resettlement and sent it back to administration, having tabled the item in January.

Before the vote, more than 90 people gave input via email or phone. Only one refugee has been placed in the county since 2011.

The item was delayed by a vote of 4-3. Commissioner Beth Olson urged the body to take a vote on the item and not delay it.

“We need to county on our leaders to lead. To tell us we are welcome here even when it doesn’t feel like it,” Olson said. “That our lives are not only worthy, but our differences are an asset to this county. That is something that leaders like all of us on the county board can do.”

Board Chair Mike Jugovich, who voted to delay the item, said discussion on refugee resettlement in the county shows a need to correct misinformation. Jugovich said he’s heard incorrect statements about the religion of refugees or where they would be housed.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

“We need people to be educated on it,” Jugovich said. “I’ve been working to get the word out since January. I feel goo that I took the time, but clearly my message didn’t get through.”

Refugee resettlement has proven contentious at the county level since Trump’s executive order. In January, Beltrami County became the first local authority to block refugee resettlement. Counties that have voted to accept refugees include Murray, Nobles, Blue Earth, Kandiyohi, Nicollet and Hennepin counties.  

In 2019, 848 refugees were resettled in Minnesota. 

Next Up

John Cena

John Cena surprises fans at Twin Cities screening of 'The Suicide Squad'

The entertainment superstar was in the Twin Cities for two purposes Friday night.

Alexis Saborit

Autopsy: Decapitation was cause of Shakopee woman’s death

The victim's alleged killer has been charged and is jailed.

GFGLogo

Golf spots still available for the Rod Simons Memorial Golf for the Gift of Adoption

The annual golf tournament is THIS TUESDAY at Troy Burne in Hudson, Wisconsin.

police tape, crime scene

Police investigating Saturday homicide in Austin

Officers responded to a report of a woman shot in a house in Austin just before 2 a.m. Saturday.

fire, firefighter

2 dead in Wadena County house fire, boy survives

The fire was reported around 3:50 a.m. Sunday.

Jose Berrios

Berríos dominates in first start with Blue Jays

The former Twin made a great first impression with his new team.

Lauri Markkanen

Report: Timberwolves interested in sign-and-trade for Lauri Markkanen

The Wolves will look to upgrade at power forward in free agency.

Suni Lee

Suni Lee, Regan Smith take home Olympic medals Sunday

Lee won bronze in the uneven bars final, while Smith won silver in the 4x100-meter medley relay.

Screen Shot 2021-08-01 at 9.16.26 AM

'Zero respect for authority': Olmsted Co. Fair wracked by wave of juvenile disturbances

Fair officials imposed strict new rules to deal with the problem.

Related

Bemidji City Hall

Minnesota counties discuss refugee resettlement, with different results

Beltrami voted against accepting refugees in the county, a first in Minnesota.

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.

Enbridge Line 3

7 arrested in Line 3 pipeline protest in St. Louis County

The protests were the latest in a series of demonstrations against the pipeline.

Screen Shot 2020-04-07 at 9.28.08 AM

Two men charged with repeated burglaries of St. Louis County home

Officials believe others are likely involved with the crime.

police tape, crime scene

16-year-old boy killed in St. Louis County is ID'd

The suspect has not yet been arrested.