ST. CLOUD -- Dozens of people crowded into the Mississippi room at the St. Cloud Public Library Thursday night as a former St. Cloud State University Professor presented on the issues surrounding refugee resettlement.

Dr. John Palmer held the presentation, which was followed by a Q&A session. His main focus centered around the idea that there needs to be a "pause" in taking in new refugees, as Somalis, along with other minority groups represent a disproportionate amount of those in poverty.

He also gave an idea on what could be done during a pause, specifically the suggestion of an economic development program for the poor, with what he claims is $81-million dollars in savings from it.

"The state of Minnesota spends $81-million if you put a pause in you're not going to spend $81-million. You can take the excess and fund a program [of economic development]."

Palmer also says the discourse needs to change. The current climate of shuting each other down before even discussing things will not help the situation. Saying we need to get back to America being a melting pot.

The topic of refugee resettlement has been a very hot one recently in St. Cloud since Council member Jeff Johnson proposed his moratorium on resettlement. That moratorium was eventually rejected by the rest of the council.

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