Refugee resettlement unanimously approved by Minnehaha County Commission

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The Minnehaha County Commission voted unanimously to continue to allow refugees to resettle in the area. Last year, President Donald Trump issued an executive order allowing state and local governments to consent to receive refugees.

While Governor Noem has already approved it at the state level, consent at the local level is also needed on an annual basis.

Minnehaha County can continue allowing refugees to resettle in the area after a unanimous 5-0 vote.

Ahead of the vote, people packed the meeting room to give their opinion on the matter.

Dozens of people showed up to voice their support, some even sharing their own stories as a refugee.

“I am constantly inspired by refugee friends and community members who contribute to our community through new businesses, activism, hard work, education, and colorful cultural festivities, making our community on a path for growth,” Augustana student, Chofian Abobakr said.

Others spoke out against the measure.

“We have homeless people in our community and across the country that are dying in the streets because they have no place to go, they can’t get a job, they are competing with immigrants and refugees who are here for those same jobs,” spoke in front of commission, Terry LaFleur said.

In the end, all five commissioners voted to approve the measure.

“I’ve talked to employers who think the people we have as refugees become some of the better employees that they have,” commissioner, Gerald Beninga said.

“A few minutes ago we said the pledge of allegiance, with liberty and justice for all, for all, liberty and justice for all, I’m going to support this because it’s the American thing to do,” commissioner, Jeff Barth said.

The topic of refugee resettlement will also come up in Monday night’s Sioux Falls City Council meeting.

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