Topic of Refugee Resettlement Not Unique to St. Cloud: How Fargo, Rochester Are Handling It
UNDATED - The topic of refugee resettlement has long been a hot-button issue in St. Cloud, but it's not a topic that is unique to our city.
The Fargo-Moorhead area has had very similar conversations. Fargo's City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn has been raising concerns about refugees for the past year. He says he is worried about the tax burden and public safety.
KFGO reporter Don Haney says the city conducted a nine-month study to get some answers.
The data that they were able to come up with through some exhaustive book work going through a number of the various program's budget, the data doesn't prove that. But, Piepkorn continues to argue that there is a cost involved here.
Haney says both Fargo and Moorhead city councils have recently passed an "Inclusive Community" resolution, similar to what St. Cloud's city council passed Monday night. He says, as of last year, North Dakota leads the nation in refugee resettlement per capita.
Meanwhile, down in Rochester, that city has about the same number of Somali residents as St. Cloud does.
KROC reporter Andy Brownell says their city council has had no discussion on the topic of refugee resettlement. He says, because of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester has always been a bit more diverse.
It's a small city but it's pretty cosmopolitan because of the Mayo Clinic. The folks in Rochester are used to seeing different cultures, the dress, the food, the different languages...
However, Brownell says the Rochester city council has long been on record that the city will be an inclusive city, and there have been a number of campaigns by civic leaders over the years to get that message across.