Lewis Stands With Beltrami County
Against Refugee Resettlement Plans
WOODBURY, MINNESOTA January 24, 2020 (LSN) On Tuesday, Beltrami County became the first county in the state of Minnesota to opt-out of refugee resettlement.
“Back in September, President Donald Trump signed an executive order giving local governments greater autonomy in refugee resettlement. On Tuesday night, the people of Beltrami County exercised their right to self-governance and much to the ire of out-of-step metropolitan liberals, voted to opt-out of any new refugee resettlement,” said U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis.
For decades now, Minnesota has done more than its fair share in accepting refugees. The state of Minnesota accounts for approximately 2 percent of the population, but it has taken in roughly 13 percent of the country’s refugees, making it the state with the highest number of refugees per capita in America.
This generosity has come at a cost. Several studies have shown that the average refugee costs taxpayers upwards of $80,000 within the first five years after resettlement, and that figure does not include local costs absorbed by taxpayers in the cities and counties the refugees live in.
To add insult to injury, the agencies that sponsor bringing new refugees to Minnesota receive approximately $1,000 per refugee from the federal government—as does each refugee—but have failed to do their part in helping refugees assimilate or, worse yet, have encouraged them to quickly apply for public assistance.
“When you also consider the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee found that Minnesota led all states in contributing foreign fighters to ISIS, the need for careful vetting becomes clear, as does the need for scrutinous deliberation by localities on whether or not to accept more refugees. And let’s not forget the 2018 investigative report that found money stolen from taxpayers through fake childcare centers may have been sent to areas of Somalia controlled by Islamic terrorists,” Lewis continued.
“It’s clear Democrats don’t like that greater Minnesota has a voice. We Minnesotans are a generous and welcoming people, but we have done more than our fair share of accepting refugees. The opportunity President Trump has afforded localities like Beltrami and St. Louis Counties to make their own decisions in these matters is more than welcome, much to the chagrin of far left radicals like Rep. Ilhan Omar who said she was “disheartened” by Beltrami’s “clenched fist,” and House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, who threatened to withhold state funding from Beltrami County as punishment for their decision. Senator Tina Smith should take a stand for a change and codify the President’s Executive Order,” Lewis concluded.