A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of President Donald Trump’s executive order that gave state and local jurisdictions the final decision on whether to accept newly admitted refugees.
Therefore, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners will not hold a planned discussion session of this issue at its meeting on January 21.
The commissioners had requested input from their constituents about the issue prior to that meeting. However, on Jan. 15 a federal judge in Maryland blocked the executive order, determining it was unlawful.
The order was scheduled to take effect June 1, 2020 and after that date, refugees would not have been placed in jurisdictions that didn't offer consent.
Refugees have legal, permanent status in the United States, authorization to work immediately upon arrival and a pathway to citizenship after five years. Refugees are people who have been forced to flee their home countries due to violence or persecution based on religion, race, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
In fiscal year 2019, 848 refugees were resettled across the entire state of Minnesota. From 2009 to 2018, records show, Douglas County has been asked to accept one refugee through this program.