Last night, Beltrami County voted to refuse resettlement of refugees in the rural Minnesota county. The contentious vote came after an executive order from President Trump that places the decision in the hands of local governments.
The 3-2 vote came on a day when the issue surfaced in counties across the state, including St. Louis County, where Duluth is located, and Stearns County, home to St. Cloud. In both counties, officials postponed decisions on the matter.
Here's what people are saying about the decision:
In reaction to that tweet, John Hinderaker, president at Center of the American Experiment, released this statement: “This threat to Greater Minnesota is a rare moment of honesty from one of the DFL’s most powerful state leaders. The urban/rural divide is not only real, it’s driven by liberal politicians who look down on Minnesotans who don’t agree with them, and will punish them for their independence by any means necessary.”
Former Rep. Matt Bliss, a Pennington Republican who represented much of Beltrami in the House from 2016 to 2018 and is seeking re-election in District 5A, released this statement: “John Persell needs to stand up to his metro Democrat leader who is threatening to cut off state aid to Beltrami County because our county commissioners didn’t vote the way he wanted them to,” Bliss said. “This is an abuse of power and Rep. Persell should speak up against this immediately.”
Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook also reacted to Winkler's tweet: “President Trump empowered counties to have a voice in the decision making process for the federal refugee resettlement program. Tonight, Beltrami County exercised that option and Majority Leader Winkler responded by threatening to cut off state funding because Beltrami County didn’t vote the way he wanted. This is a disturbing and arrogant reaction from Metro Democrats who have no business telling our county commissioners how to vote.”