CNN

Why Utah’s Republican governor asked the President to send more refugees to his state

Nov 1, 2019, 5:13 PM
Photo courtesy of Deseret News...
Photo courtesy of Deseret News
Originally Published: 01 NOV 19 18:18 ET

Updated: 01 NOV 19 18:44 ET

(CNN) — Utah’s governor says his state is ready to take in more refugees.

In a letter sent to President Donald Trump, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert pointed to Utah’s history as a haven for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fleeing persecution.

“Our state was founded by religious refugees fleeing persecution in the Eastern United States. Those experiences and hardships of our pioneer ancestors 170 years ago are still fresh in the minds of many Utahns,” he said. “As a result, we empathize deeply with individuals and groups who have been forced from their homes and we love giving them a new home and a new life.”

The letter dated October 24 was sent after Trump issued an executive order that requires state and local governments to sign off before refugees can be sent there.

Details of how the policy would be implemented are still in the works.

“Close cooperation with state and local governments ensures that refugees are resettled in communities that are eager and equipped to support their successful integration into American society and the labor force,” the order states.

Refugee resettlement organizations have criticized the move, arguing that allowing cities and states to block refugees from resettling there is un-American and will cripple the refugee resettlement program. The executive order came as the Trump administration proposed decreasing its limit on the annual number of refugees the United States would admit to a historically low cap of 18,000.

Herbert isn’t the first governor to respond to Trump in light of the executive order.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, also sent Trump a letter last month, noting that his state would welcome any refugees rejected by other states. And Oregon Gov. Kate Brown posted a video response supporting refugees last month. But Herbert’s response is a notable pro-refugee push from within the President’s own party at a time when the United States is dramatically scaling back the number of refugees it welcomes.

The Utah governor notes that the number of refugees resettled in Utah “has dropped for the past two years and is on track to decrease more this year.”

More than 1,500 refugees resettled in Utah in 2016, according to state statistics. By 2018, just 539 refugees resettled there.

“We know the need has not decreased and we are eager to see the number of admittances rise again,” Herbert said.

So far this fiscal year, which began on October 1, no refugees have been resettled in the United States.

Herbert’s letter doesn’t specify how many refugees he hopes will resettle in his state. The governor notes that in the past, around 1,000 refugees were resettled in Utah annually and that the state has “the capacity and public will to resettle and integrate at least as many refugees as we have in the past.”

The governor’s letter describes refugees as “productive employees and responsible citizens” that contribute to schools, churches and other civic institutions.

 

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

A US Soccer spokesperson told CNN in an email that Pulisic, who collided with the Iranian goalkeepe...
Kevin Dotson and Matias Grez, CNN

Christian Pulisic is day-to-day after being taken to hospital with pelvic contusion suffered scoring winning goal for US

A US Soccer spokesperson told CNN in an email that Pulisic, who collided with the Iranian goalkeeper after scoring his goal, went for medical scans but "was not hospitalized."
18 hours ago
USGS posted two photos on Monday from a Civil Air Patrol flight which shows the Mauna Loa volcano e...
Chandler Holt

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa is erupting for the first time since 1984

The world's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa on Hawaii, is erupting for the first time in nearly 40 years. Though lava is flowing down one side of the volcano, the eruption in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is not threatening communities.
2 days ago
Flowers and stuffed animals are lined up outside a sign along Pullman Road in Moscow, Idaho, to pay...
Elizabeth Wolfe and Eric Levenson

University of Idaho students return from break, no arrests in homicides

After more than two weeks since four students were fatally stabbed, students at the University of Idaho returned to class on Monday.
2 days ago
Former Vice President Mike Pence is seen here with audience members after appearing at at CNN town ...
Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Pence says Trump was ‘wrong’ for dinner with Holocaust denier

Former Vice President Mike Pence says former President Donald Trump was wrong for having dinner with a Holocaust denier and should apologize for it.
2 days ago
In this image provided by NASA, the Earth and its moon are seen from NASA's Orion spacecraft on Mon...
Jackie Wattles, CNN

NASA’s Orion reaches record-breaking distance from Earth

NASA confirmed that Orion had reached the midpoint of its uncrewed mission around the moon — about 270,000 miles (434,523 kilometers) from Earth.
2 days ago
People wait in line to enter Macy's department store during Black Friday in New York City on Novemb...
Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

Online Black Friday sales set a new record

Online shopping is expected to remain strong through Cyber Monday.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Why Utah’s Republican governor asked the President to send more refugees to his state