As county boards across Minnesota decide, per President Trump’s executive order, whether they should allow refugee resettlement, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison indicates he’s looking for ways the state could override Trump’s directive. Ellison says allowing counties to opt in-or-out of refugee resettlement “undermines state sovereignty.” “A person’s rights should not vary from county to county and from city to city, from block to block. They should be the same.” But at a rally last fall in Minneapolis, the president said people should be able to decide what is best for their own cities and their own neighborhoods. Trump said under his executive order people have that right and “no other president would be doing that.”
Minnesota Attorney General Ellison filed a “friend of the court” brief in a lawsuit by a refugee resettlement group challenging Trump’s executive order, and Ellison said Wednesday “we’re going to see this thing all the way through.” Ellison added “a number of legislators and other local officials” have contacted him for advice on possible drafting of bills at the Minnesota Legislature, but he wouldn’t give details. “I don’t talk out-of-school,” Ellison said. Supporters of the president’s executive order say county boards know, better than anyone else, whether their budget situations can support incoming refugees.