Michigan governor sends letter to Trump Administration welcoming refugee resettlement

Governor says state has rich history of welcoming immigrants

Gretchen Whitmer at her ceremony to be sworn in as Michigan governor on Jan. 1, 2019. (WDIV)
Gretchen Whitmer at her ceremony to be sworn in as Michigan governor on Jan. 1, 2019. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – In a letter this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer informed the U.S. Department of State that local communities and jurisdictions in Michigan will continue to support the resettlement and welcoming of refugees after the Trump Administration began requiring written consent from states.

“Michigan has a rich history of welcoming refugees and other immigrants to our state,” Whitmer said. “We recognize the value of being a welcoming state, and the contribution of refugees to the fabric of our communities. I am committed to ensuring that we remain a leader in responding to the needs of globally displaced families and individuals.”

On Sept. 26, the Trump Administration released the executive order, Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement with the intent of expanding the authority of state and local jurisdictions to decide to resettle refugees in their states and communities.

Specifically, the executive order states that if a state or locality has not provided consent to receive refugees under the Program, then refugees should not be resettled within that state or locality.

In a similar executive order, the White House released the presidential determination for refugee resettlement for Fiscal Year 2020, lowering the refugee resettlement goal from 30,000 to 18,000. In previous years, refugee goals were set between 75,000 - 95,000. With over 70 million forcibly displaced individuals worldwide, this number is significantly below what the United States could welcome into our communities.

The full letter can be viewed here: