St. Cloud soundly rejects a proposal to temporarily stop refugees from resettling there

The proposal was swiftly met with criticism.
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St. Cloud will not be temporarily blocking refugees from resettling there.

The city council on Monday evening voted 6-1 to reject a refugee resettlement moratorium, the St. Cloud Times reports, a plan that had been proposed by council member Jeff Johnson last month

Johnson's proposal to temporarily stop refugees from resettling to St. Cloud was swiftly met with criticism. The mayor, Dave Kleis, said it probably violates the Constitution, while CAIR-MN decried it as a “despicable, racist, xenophobic, Islamaphobic and ill-informed motion targeting refugees.”

In fact, the city council even voted a week later to officially declare itself a welcoming community, essentially a public statement against Johnson's efforts.

Johnson had wanted Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota to prove it was following federal guidelines before being allowed to bring in more refugees, the St. Cloud Times explains. The group is one of six nonprofits helping refugees resettle in Minnesota.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota plans to resettle about 225 refugees in St. Cloud next year, the inclusive community resolution says.

Members of the Somali community spoke with CityPages in 2016 for the piece “St. Cloud is the worst place in Minnesota to be Somali,” with several noting they have been on the receiving end of racist comments and attacks.

The Star Tribune also noted local Muslims were worried about retaliation after the stabbing attack at Crossroads Center mall.

In 2015, more than 100 Somali high students walked out of class in a demonstration against the anti-Somali bullying they had experienced in the city’s high schools.

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