Gov. Walz’s Refugee Decision Allows Federal Government to Send Middle East Refugees to Minnesota That Australia Has Refused


Gov. Tim Walz’s December 13 decision to say yes to more refugees in Minnesota grants the federal government permission to resettle refugees from any country it desires into the state, including up to 720 refugees from Middle East countries that the government of Australia has refused to accept.

Press reports indicate these refugees are mainly men who come from Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq.

Because of the Australian government’s refusal to accept these refugees, many of whom reportedly have mental health issues, they have remained housed for several years in refugee camps on the Papua New Guinea island of Manus as well as Nauru, a small island country more than 1,000 miles north of the coast of Australia.

President Barack Obama agreed to accept 1,250 of these refugees in a controversial 2016 deal that President Donald Trump has called “dumb” but agreed to honor. A total of 530 of these refugees have been resettled in the United States under the Trump administration.

Some – possibly all – of the remaining 720 refugees out of the original 1,250 refugees Australia refused to accept also could be resettled in the United States.

In a September 2019 report to Congress, the U.S. Department of State allowed for admitting up to 7,500 refugees “currently located in Australia, Nauru, or Papua New Guinea” pursuant to “an agreement between the United States and Australia.”

Australia has a policy of refusing to take in refugees trying to reach its shores by boat and instead intercepts and detains them in the Nauru or Manus detention centers.

In addition, the federal government could resettle hundreds of refugees in the United States, perhaps more, from countries that have been designated as “hotbeds of terrorism” and are currently among the travel ban countries established by the Trump administration, which now includes Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, and North Korea. The State Department allows refugees from these countries to seek asylum in the U.S. for purposes of “family reunification,” or simply if they are “referred … by a U.S. embassy in any location.”

A total of 100 refugees from travel ban countries have been resettled in Minnesota since Gov. Walz was inaugurated on January 10, 2019, including seven from Syria and 93 from Somalia. A total of 891 refugees have been admitted to Minnesota during Gov. Walz’s tenure.

The Minnesota Sun contacted Gov. Walz’s office Wednesday and requested a response to the following question:

According to the U.S. State Department’s report to Congress, up to 7,500 of the 18,000 refugees who will be admitted to the United States in FY 2020 could include dangerous refugees from the Middle East currently located in Australia, Nauru, or Papua New Guinea. Was the governor aware of this when he decided to say yes to refugees in Minnesota?

The governor’s office did not reply to the inquiry in time for publication.

An estimated 3 million refugees have been resettled in the United States under the Refugee Admission Program (RAP), which was established under the Refugee Act of 1980 and signed by President Jimmy Carter.

Under that law, the maximum number of refugees authorized to resettle in the United States each fiscal year is determined each September when the president announces a refugee “cap” in a formal presidential determination letter submitted to Congress.

President Obama set the refugee cap at 90,000 in Fiscal Year 2016, the last full year of his administration.

In September 2019, President Trump set the refugee cap at 18,000 for Fiscal Year 2020, which began on October 1, 2019 and ends on September 30, 2020, a reduction from the refugee cap of 22,000 the president set for Fiscal Year 2019.

All of the major candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have promised to increase the refugee cap to 100,000 or more, likely greater than a five-fold increase from the Fiscal Year 2020 cap established by President Trump.

In Fiscal Year 2016, 89,995 refugees were resettled in the United States under RAP, 2,635 of whom were resettled in Minnesota.

In Fiscal Year 2019, 22,000 refugees were resettled in the United States under RAP, 848 of whom were resettled in Minnesota.

Since the start of Fiscal Year 2016, Minnesota has resettled 2,246 refugees from countries designated “hotbeds of terrorism” by the Trump administration, including 17 from Iran, two from Yemen, 2,180 from Somalia, and 47 from Syria.

In late September, just days before the start of Fiscal Year 2020, President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order which said that refugees could not be resettled in a state or locality without the consent of the state government and local government, thereby giving state governments and local county governments the right to refuse refugees for the balance of Fiscal Year 2020.

Bureaucrats at the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration have subsequently interpreted that executive order (in a November 6, 2019 guidance letter and “Notice of Funding Opportunity” to the voluntary agencies paid by the federal government to resettle refugees in states) in a way that gives governors alone, rather than full state governments, the ability to send “consent letters” to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said no Friday to more refugees in his state, which has been the number one destination for refugees since 2010.

Gov. Walz is one of 42 governors to say yes to refugees, a list that includes every Democratic governor as well as a number of Republican governors, such as Mike DeWine of Ohio, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, and Bill Lee of Tennessee.

With the withdrawal of Texas, and possibly Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina, from the program, Minnesota stands a good chance of receiving a higher number of refugees during the last eight months of Fiscal Year 2020.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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11 Thoughts to “Gov. Walz’s Refugee Decision Allows Federal Government to Send Middle East Refugees to Minnesota That Australia Has Refused”

  1. RJP

    At least the President wants to take Social Security away from these refugees, as they can collect for not being able to speak english.

  2. Jim Akre

    Stop this crap! Take care of our Veterans and homeless. Minnesota today is not the Minnesota I moved to and i will leave it this kind of crap continues!

    1. Wayne Nelson

      What do you expect from a ” leg” Walz is a pretender, He should quietly slip out the capital’s rear door and join Dayton in a Asylum for the Mentally Disturbed.

  3. Kay Hall

    Why isn’t this against the law? We must not import more anti-Christian, anti America Islamic warriors into America! They pledge to murder Christians!

  4. Dean

    Another bleeding heart dumb ass politician that has to go! Absolute disgrace yo the office and the public he serves.

  5. Brian

    Pure Bullsh!t!!! Who voted this Ass Hat in? Let them live in his house and be his neighbors!! I’m sure he’d allow that!! Be a good guy and just do it Walz, open up your home to them mentally I’ll terrorist refugees!!! You Fnck!!

  6. Margaret Cedotal

    Waltz is a disgrace to MN. MN has turned into a cesspool of crime, dirt, disgust and anti-American values. Have you not noticed the increase in sex-trafficking, assaults, theft, domestic abuse, rape and bullying perpetrated on our American citizens by your refugees? Yes, all these crimes have significantly increased with refugee resettlement. It takes a smart government to see reality. Mr. Waltz has proved to be an ignorant Anti-American!

  7. nancy kontos

    WTF We don’t want anymore, we can’t afford all of these people and why Does Walz want to stick it to all of us in MN, they don’t want to be here, and they shouldn’t be allowed to vote or run for office!!!!! Thanks to Pelosi in changing the rules and changing the law! What are they up to?

  8. LDG

    Never thought I would say this, but I would take a dozen “Deer-in-the-Headlights” Daytons over one Chubby-Cheeks Commie Walz.

  9. tom

    Who are those people in state government working for anyway?
    When The People say “NO!” that’s what it means!