Allison Sherry, Star Tribune, Sept. 2, 2016
Minnesota has resettled two dozen Syrian refugees in the past year and continues to be among the nation’s top states for exile resettlement, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. State Department.
President Obama last year unveiled a Syrian resettlement program to help with a global migration crisis sparked by the country’s civil war. The United States resettled its 10,000th Syrian refugee last week.
In Minnesota, 25 Syrian refugees made homes in the past year, landing mostly in Rochester and Minneapolis. The state also took in almost 1,100 Somalis, 166 Ethiopians and 66 Congolese — a large increase from last year through August.
The anticipated wave of new refugees sparked a backlash as about half the nation’s governors expressed opposition to letting Syrian refugees into their states, concerned that government screenings have too few safeguards to stop terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from entering the country as refugees. Some members of Congress called for the United States to take in tens of thousands more Syrians to help ease the flow of desperate people into European countries.