Beltrami County Votes No To Refugee Resettlement
The Beltrami County Board meeting was cut short today after voting down on an executive order for local involvement in refugee resettlement. The resettlement will provide a pathway for refugees to become self-sufficient in American communities. The proposal failed on a three to two vote with Commissioner Reed Olson and Tim Sumner voting for the executive order.
The county board room was packed with people who were frustrated they weren’t able to voice their opinion on the agenda item since there was no public hearing beforehand. Before the meeting, Commissioner Craig Gaasvig asked the public to raise their hands if they were opposed the item. During county meetings, there is no public comment period for items on the agenda.
“I received a total of about 140 phone calls and emails – of those 140, two were in favor of it and 138 were opposed to it. So, as a representative of my part of the county and with the current state of affairs in our county, I don’t feel it’s prudent to bring refugees to our county,” said Beltrami County Commissioner Jim Lucachick.
The executive order issued by President Donald Trump on September 26, 2019 gave state and local governments involvement in refugee resettlement.