North Dakota Residents Debate Taking in Refugees


Residents of Burleigh County, North Dakota are debating whether to take in refugees.

According to the Bismarck, North Dakota-based KFYR,  there are three sites in the state of North Dakota that currently have resettled refugees: Grand Forks County, Burleigh County, and Cass County.

“The commission meeting was standing room only Monday evening in Burleigh County and had to be rescheduled. Many who attended the meeting say there are a lot of unanswered questions about the refugee resettlement. Lutheran Social Services is making it their mission to answer those questions and concerns,” the station reported.

“Dozens of people in attendance in search of clarification were sent home because there wasn’t enough room at the meeting for everyone.”

The station went on to say that commissioners said during the meeting that “it’s been an unfair process and feel misinformed.”

“Commissioner Jim Peluso said on Monday evening he had only received one letter about the topic and the rest of the information he’s been forced to take off of social media,” the station reported.

“The commission voiced at the meeting that they received a large amount of comment from constituents in the county being against having refugees resettled in the area.”

Lutheran Social Services officials say they’ve done this kind of thing in the state since the 40s and the program is funded by federal grants, KFYR reported.

“This year, LSS has resettled around 124 refugees across the state, that’s about the same from 2018. The median number in Bismarck annually is about 25,” the station reported.

“In Cass County, approximately 100 and in Grand Forks County about 5.”

Under President Donald Trump the cap is 18,000 refugees nationally, KFYR reported.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Burleigh County Courthouse” by Jim Roberts. CC BY-SA 4.0.





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2 Thoughts to “North Dakota Residents Debate Taking in Refugees”

  1. Ryan

    The public backlash on this is sickening. Not proud to be a North Dakotan right now. Evidentially North Dakota “nice” only applies if you’re a natural born American. These people are seeking refuge and being denied by North Dakota nice people. Real Christian type stance huh.

    1. 83ragtop50

      You and North Dakota can have the ones that have been dumped on Tennessee if you really want more of them.