Minnesota GOP Gubernatorial Nominee: Time to End Refugee Resettlement in State

Somali Refugees

Minnesota Republican gubernatorial nominee Jeff Johnson says it is time to end the federal government’s refugee resettlement program in the state.

Johnson told Breitbart News’s deputy Washington political editor Amanda House on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Sunday that if elected he will go to Washington, D.C. and deliver that message to the Trump administration officials in charge of the Refugee Admissions Program.

“Here, we have the issue of becoming a sanctuary state or not. My Democrat opponent actually has signed on to becoming a sanctuary state, which I think is absolutely insane,” Johnson said.

“We also have a refugee issue in Minnesota. We have been more generous and accepted more refugees than any other state in the country. Not by a little, but by a lot,” he added.

“What I have called for is that we end our participation in that [federal refugee resettlement] program, at least until we get answers to the questions of cost, and start addressing the issue of whether the refugees that are here are succeeding or not, because many of them aren’t. The unemployment rate is extremely high among the Somali population in Minnesota,” Johnson said.

“If you include state and federal spending, [the cost of supporting refugees is] in the hundreds of millions of dollars. We don’t know what the number is though, because the Legislative Auditor, which is a very well respected non-partisan office, was charged with trying to figure that out, and the answer they came back with was, well no one keeps track of that and no one asks the right questions,” he added.

“There is an existing lawsuit that Tennessee has gotten involved with. Would you be willing to jump on board that lawsuit?” House asked.

“Absolutely I would consider that,” Johnson responded.

“Their theory is the federal government is paying money to essentially resettle, or settle the refugees, I think it’s about $1,000 per refugee, but then thereafter all of the costs are then borne by the state and local taxpayers, and there’s no constitutional authority to do that,” he added.

Breitbart News has highlighted some of the serious health problems associated with the influx of refugees in Minnesota.

“Two hundred and ninety-six refugees were diagnosed with active tuberculosis (TB) between 2010 and 2014 in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Health,” as Breitbart News reported in 2016:

The number of active TB cases reported among refugees arriving in Minnesota is ten times higher than reported in any of the fourteen other states that have released refugee TB data to the public, or made it available to Breitbart News. . .

During the five years between 2010 and 2014, 732 cases of active TB were diagnosed in Minnesota. Of these, 81 percent, or 593, were foreign-born. Of foreign-born cases, 50 percent, or 296, were refugees, according to “The Epidemiology of Tuberculosis in Minnesota, 2010-2014,” a report published by the Minnesota Department of Health. . .

Twenty-nine percent of the 593 foreign-born cases of active TB diagnosed in Minnesota, or 161, were attributed to Somali born migrants. Almost all Somali migrants to the United States have arrived under the federal refugee resettlement program.

“We’ve got a really proud history and a lot of great success stories from refugees from decades past, especially among refugees and how they’ve assimilated into Minnesota, but lately it’s not working well. We have a lot of Somali refugees that have come in. There is a cost to that,” Johnson noted.

“They’ve moved into certain pockets of the state. Certainly some in the Twin Cities here. But there are areas like St. Cloud and Minonan, which are smaller population centers, and the refugee resettlement in those areas has been very significant,” he continued.

In September 2016, a Somali refugee living in St. Cloud attacked nine people with a knife at the St. Cloud Mall, as Breitbart News reported:

The Saint Cloud Times is reporting Dahir Adan, a member of the local Somali Community, was the man who attacked nine people at a local mall Saturday while shouting about “Allah.”. . . Dahir Adan’s father, Ahmed Adan, says that police identified his son as the slain attacker.

In addition to public health and public safety concerns surrounding refugees that have been resettled in Minnesota by the federal government, Johnson pointed out “There’s a great concern among some citizens about the cost to the welfare system, the cost to the school system, the cost to the public safety system,” adding:

And when people raise those issues, the answer they get is not ‘Here’s the cost,’ the answer is ‘you’re racist’ or ‘you’re white supremacist’ or ‘you don’t care like we do,’ and our current governor, our current Democrat governor, actually said to people who raised those issues, ‘if you don’t like it, you should move to another state,’ which is not how citizens should be treated by their state government.

The latest poll shows Johnson trails his Democrat rival in the governor’s race, Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN-01) by five points, 46 percent to 41 percent.

You can listen to the full interview here:


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.