Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Some residents say refugees would just make Beltrami County's struggles worse


January 13, 2020

Richard Tsong-Taatarii – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Commissioner Tim Sumner and Petra Neadeau discussed how the vote was a missed opportunity. "We could have been a beacon of hope," said Neadeau.

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The northern Minnesota outpost of Beltrami County is emerging as the latest flash point in the nation's debate over refugee resettlement, revealing an intense divide among residents straining from years of poverty and economic distress.

"I see what goes on down in California and all these other places where they have so many immigrants, illegal ones, and you hear about it through Facebook and different places, and I just do not approve that it should be brought to Bemidji, Minnesota," said Joyce Fargen, 86, of Bemidji.

Richard Tsong-Taatarii – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Ashley Cooper, 32, is not intimidated by refugees possibly moving to Beltrami County. She is staying at the Village of Hope temporarily with her partner and children until she can get back on her feet.


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