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County Executive's Office

Dane County Consents to Receiving Refugees Following Federal Executive Order

December 20, 2019
Ariana Vruwink, (608) 267-8823
County Executive

County Executive Joe Parisi has signed a letter notifying the U.S. Department of State of Dane County’s desire to continue welcoming persons seeking refugee status. This announcement comes after President Donald Trump issued an executive order requiring both state and local governments to consent to refugee placement. The Dane County Board of Supervisors authorized the County Executive to send the letter at last night’s meeting.

“Dane County is committed to remaining a welcoming community,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Refugees have helped make Dane County a better place—one filled with hope and opportunity. We welcome those forced to flee their country with open arms.”

In September of this year, the White House issued Executive Order 13888: Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement. This executive order significantly changes the United States Refugee Admissions Program in terms of the placement of refugees. The order requires that both state and local governments must actively consent to receive refugees in order for refugees to resettle in localities. It mandates that consent to refugee placement must be in writing. Letters from local governments must be in place for every locality that resettles refugees, and lack of consent or response will equate to negative consent.

According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. has trailed the rest of the world in refugee resettlement for the past two years, after previously leading the effort for decades. In fact, the United States used to admit more refugees each year than all other countries in the world combined. The Center says this decline in U.S. refugee admissions comes at a time when the number of refugees worldwide has reached the highest levels since World War II. While refugee numbers have gone down in the United States, this authorization by County Executive Parisi and the County Board allows organizations involved in the resettlement process to continue their work and have refugees resettle in Dane County.

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