Print Column: North Dakota Opened Its Arms to Oil Workers, Why Not Refugees Too?


MINOT, N.D. — The Trump administration has given the states and local governments the ability to opt-out of federal refugee resettlement.

The feds, or the private groups doing resettlement for the feds, haven’t always been cooperative. City and county governments, not to mention school districts and social service organizations, have often found themselves struggling to manage the needs of refugees who often arrive with little in the way of notice.

According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, North Dakota has taken in more refugees per-capita than just about any other state in the nation.

A local veto over resettlement should, hopefully, inspire a more inclusive process.

Recently, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced that the state would continue to accept refugees. North Dakota’s local governments are in the process of making their own decisions in that regard.

Nobody has said “no” yet, but in Burleigh County, home to the state’s capital, the debate has become a bit heated.

Statewide, many North Dakotans are resistant to the idea of continued resettlement.

What I’m struggling to understand is why that is.

Continue reading…