Burleigh County To Vote On Whether To Stop Accepting Refugees
Well, it should be interesting tonight. Burleigh county is set to decide tonight whether it will stop accepting refugees, potentially becoming the first since President Trump issued an executive order making it possible.
Burleigh, postponed a vote last week after more than 100 people showed up and overflowed the commission's normal meeting space.
Trump's executive order earlier this fall came after he’d proposed cutting the number of refugees next year to the lowest level since the early 1980s. He declared that refugees should be resettled only in places where state and local governments gave consent.
Since then, many governors and counties around the country have declared they would continue taking refugees. But, the idea was quickly opposed in more conservative Burleigh County. Among the opponents was Republican state Rep. Rick Becker, who took to social media to criticize the program as a possible drain on social-service programs, schools and law enforcement.
Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken, a Republican, said the city government had no say in the matter, but he sided with those who wanted to stop taking in more refugees.
"We have burgeoning school enrollment, veterans' needs, homeless needs and Native American needs,” he said, adding: "This isn't about heartstrings, this is about purse strings.”
The vote will take place tonight at Horizon Middle School 6pm and open to the public.