Laraway: Our Goal Is To Treat All Residents With Respect and Dignity
ST. CLOUD -- A day after a St. Cloud City Council member proposed a moratorium on refugee resettlement, other city leaders are speaking up.
On Monday night council member Jeff Johnson announced a proposal where the council limits refugee resettlement until the city gets more information on the economic impact to taxpayers and number of people moving to St. Cloud.
Speaking on WJON Thursday council member Steve Laraway says he feels the council doesn't have the authority to make this decision and several council members find it unconstitutional.
"That's really a federal issue. There isn't really any statues that gives a municipality the ability to do anything in this particular area."
According to Johnson's proposal, the Refugee Resettlement Supervisor for St. Cloud says "since August the refugee resettlement capacity was at 225 refugees. If this continues, the overall quality of life for residents will continue to be impaired."
Laraway says he has had more emails and phone calls about this issue than any other city issue in the past. He says their goal has always been to treat new residents with respect and dignity no matter what race.
"I think if we keep an open mind and meet your neighbors and talk to them, I think you will find everyone is good and everyone wants to make this a better community."
The proposed moratorium is expected to be presented to the council during their November 6th, meeting at 6:00 p.m.
Calls to council member Johnson for additional comment have gone unanswered.