Rate of Refugee Resettlement Plummets Nationally And, Last Month, in North Dakota Too


According to this report from CNS News, “The number of refugees admitted to the United States dropped in March to its lowest monthly tally of the current fiscal year, even as the implementation of President Trump’s latest immigration executive order continues to be held up by federal courts.”

“In a continuing declining trend, 2,070 refugees arrived during March, an approximately 54.79 percent drop from the 4,579 recorded in February, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data,” the report continues.

Click through to the link for some pretty remarkable graphs, including this one:

It’s pretty clear that the Trump administration has put a damper on refugee resettlement, but how has that trend impacted North Dakota?

Per data from the State Department (which you can explore for yourself here) the number of refugees resettled in our state in March was 17. That’s compared to 51 resettled in March 2016, 37 in March 2015, and 60 in March 2014.

But if we look at the last three years of resettlement numbers for the state on this graph I created it’s hard to discern any sort of a new trend in the Trump era (click for a larger view):

So will North Dakota see fewer refugees as a result of the national decline in the number of refugees coming in?

We certainly had a low number in March. Whether that continues, I don’t have an answer to that. I’m not sure there is an answer given how chaotic the politics are around refugee resettlement right now.

We’ll have to wait and see.

I reached out to Jessica Thomasson at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota for a comment. Her group handles refugee resettlement in our state, but she didn’t immediately return my phone call. I’ll update when I hear from her.