ST. PAUL -- With a St. Cloud city council member calling for a ballot referendum in the November election on a temporary moratorium on refugee resettlement we looked into the numbers.

According to the official statistics by the Minnesota State Demographers Office, Stearns County had 107 newly arriving refugees in the first six months of last year. That number included eight in March, three in April, 11 in May and four in June.

The entire state of Minnesota had 696 new refugees in the first half of last year, with Hennepin and Ramsey counties receiving the most followed by Stearns County at number three.

In 2016, Stearns County had a total of 230 new refugees, in 2015 it was 258, and in 2014 - which was the biggest year - it was 292.

While the number did go down last year, it is still significantly higher than they were in the early 2000s, Stearns county received 50 new refugees in 2007, 11 in 2008, and 13 in 2009.

As for where the refugees are coming from, in 2017 the majority were from Somalia and Burma, which has consistently been the case every year going back to 2007.