Saying Yes to Refugees

refugees-are-better-vettedNorth Dakota and Canada want refugees. 

North Dakota’s Republican Governor Doug Burgum wants refugees. He says local governments will have to be willing, but that doesn’t sound like an obstacle. 

“Advocates for refugees said they didn’t believe any of the state’s largest cities, where refugees typically settle, would turn them away….

“Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney agreed. He said his city needs refugees to grow its economy.

“’I have 33 businesses that say they will take as many (refugees) as they could,’ Mahoney said.”

With Trump’s cuts in refugee numbers, North Dakota won’t get nearly enough refugees to help fill 30,000 jobs currently going without takers. That’s nearly twice the number of refugees that Trump will allow for the entire country in 2020, and last year North Dakota got only 124.

Canada, on the other hand, is welcoming refugees, and asylum seekers, and plenty of other immigrants. 

Canada, like the U.S., has the lowest unemployment rate in decades, but Trudeau’s government views refugees as an economic asset. It started a first-of-its-kind economic mobility project that matches refugees overseas with jobs in Canada. The first Syrian computer programmer arrived earlier this year and the model is showing so much promise that Canadian employers are asking for more.

“The country also aims to welcome one million immigrants in the next three years to help fill labor shortages. Trudeau intends to ensure that refugees are part of that equation, a smart calculation given that they are arguably among the most untapped resources in the world, in terms of potential and will to innovate, work, contribute and rebuild their lives. A recent non-partisan study shows that refugees are highly valuable employees who contributed $63 billion dollars more to the U.S. economy than they took in services, over a decade.”

Turning away willing and able workers is bad policy: bad for the economy as well as for waiting immigrants.


About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet,, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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