North Dakota’s Burleigh County Set to Vote on Whether or Not to Stop Accepting Refugees

A North Dakota county will soon hold a vote today deciding whether or not it will halt the acceptance of new refugees, Fox News reports.

If the vote passes, Burleigh County will become the first in the nation to do so after President Trump signed an executive order making such votes possible at the county level. Burleigh County has a population of over 100,000, and is the location of North Dakota’s capital city of Bismarck.

The vote found support among local Republican figures, including State Representative Rick Becker and Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken, both of whom cited the heavy burden that additional refugees would have on the local economy and public services, including “school enrollment, veterans’ needs, homeless needs, and Native American needs.”

Both the vote and the president’s executive order face opposition from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, a left-wing religious organization that assists newly-settled refugees and is suing the Trump Administration over the order. Shirley Dykshoorn, vice president of a similar group called the Lutheran Social Services, criticized the vote by rhetorically asking “What does it say to the rest of the country when a county where your capital city is located would choose not to participate?”