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How every Minnesota county has voted on refugee resettlement so far

Hennepin County Board
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Hennepin County Commissioners voted on Jan. 7 to accept new refugees.

Following an executive order from President Donald Trump that gave local governments the authority to decide whether or not they would accept refugees for resettlement, Minnesota counties have been voting on the issue. Counties have until June 1 to decide on the issue. After that date, counties that haven’t voted will have effectively said "no" to refugee resettlement. (On Wednesday, a federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of Trump’s order, so its future is uncertain.)

As counties vote, MinnPost is keeping track of which say yes and which say no to refugee resettlement. The data below are collected from news reports, county minutes and the Minnesota Department of Health (which oversees some refugee programs). We’re updating the information as new votes happen — if you are aware of a vote that is not reflected in the table below please send us an email: or

This list was last updated on January 24, 2020.

  • said "Yes" to accepting new refugees
  • said "No" to accepting new refugees
Minnesota counties’ refugee resettlement votes

Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Keith Dawson on 01/16/2020 - 10:50 am.

    “A federal judge in Maryland issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday 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.”

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/21/2020 - 02:11 pm.

      The judge lacks jurisdiction. He can only enforce it in his federal court district. This too shall go down in flames as Presidents have wide latitude in such matters and SCOTUS has ruled so many times.

  2. Submitted by Howard Miller on 01/16/2020 - 01:40 pm.

    I don’t think that national immigration policy should be left up to states or counties within states

    any more than slavery prohibition could be left up to states, given the Missouri Compromise failure and our subsequent Civil War.

    E Pluribus Unum!

  3. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/16/2020 - 04:25 pm.

    I get very confused. When I was a kid, conservatives were all about local control. More recently, conservative state legislatures have taken away local control. Some, for example, have passed local interference laws that limit the freedom of citizens to act through their cities & counties to increase minimum wages. Next door in WI, they won’t even let school boards negotiate with unions that were chosen in democratic secret ballot elections.

    But now it seems conservatives are back to local control.

    It almost seems like they don’t really have any principles, & just make it up as they go.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/17/2020 - 10:32 am.

      As the saying goes, it all depends on whose ox is being gored.

      For conservatives, local control is great when it lets them run roughshod over the rights of someone else.

  4. Submitted by Dave Paulson on 01/16/2020 - 07:04 pm.

    Its not a bad question to ask communities to consider, and one of the few savvy actions trump has taken, from both political sides:

    The xenophobia it highlights is a good thing to highlight, and

    Frankly it is a legitimate question to ask – how welcoming to the downtrodden are you and your local community of privileged but uncomfortable Americans?

    Looking at it is probably educational for 90% of the people who actually think about it.Hopefully some will learn about why there are refugees.

  5. Submitted by Ronald Holch on 01/16/2020 - 09:45 pm.

    Frank, you are on to something. So called conservatives for trump have backed away from many of their previous ideas.
    Pro family to separating parents from their children. Anti communism to pro Putin Russia. Pro morality to lying stealing, killing committing adultery. Pro constitution to defying nearly every article. trump is only able to do these things because he has support. No other president has ever violated this many principles its party stood for. The only principle they seem to hold on to is to do what ever gets them what they want right now.

  6. Submitted by Joe Smith on 01/17/2020 - 09:37 am.

    Let the counties decide! Some elitist in DC has no idea what is going on in the “real USA”, you know, us gun and bible clingers. Why do Democrats believe a Government bureaucrat has the infinite knowledge to decide local issues? Thinking and voting for yourself is always much better than the sheep mentality I see in the Democratic party’s reliance on DC to solve all problems.

  7. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/17/2020 - 10:30 am.

    This policy was never about local control, or some principled stand on federalism. It was first about punting the issue from the current administration, so they didn’t have to keep dealing with it. Second, and perhaps most importantly, it was about stirring things up and giving the base a cause for excitement.
    If refugee resettlement had been decided the way immigration matters are, under the Constitution, supposed to be decided (i.e. by the federal government), there would be a comment period, a few lines in the Federal Register, and the whole thing would go away. Putting local governments in control means there can be hundred, if not thousands, of hearings all across the country. These hearings will pull the Red Hat Brigade and be full of “passionate (to use the genteel cant of the local media)” remarks mostly by those opposed to the resettlement. If the local government decides to allow resettlement, there is more liberal evil for the Trump supporters to yell about. If resettlement is denied, it’s a MAGA victory to celebrate. Either way, a victory.
    Unfortunately for Our Beloved Leader and his acolytes, the interest in riling up the base can’t run afoul of “clear statutory text and structure, purpose, Congressional intent, executive practice, judicial holdings, and Constitutional doctrine.”

  8. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 01/20/2020 - 06:47 pm.

    Moot point. There will always be a judge somewhere that will give you what you want in these cases. Eventually it will all move to a higher court (maybe even the Supremes) and the real decision will be made.

  9. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 01/21/2020 - 02:31 pm.

    Beltrami County has put up an invisible wall to keep out refugees, although it is not a prime destination. Since they want to keep out strangers, as a stranger, those who have tourist f Dad ollars should spend them elsewhere.

  10. Submitted by Leland Hendrickson on 02/13/2020 - 05:29 pm.

    If there is employment available most counties would welcome more refugees. It’s good for business, but some counties cannot afford to have more people on welfare where there is no employment available.

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