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Parson to Trump administration: Missouri will continue to resettle refugees


Missouri will continue to resettle “lawfully admitted” refugees in the state, Gov. Mike Parson said in a letter to the Trump administration Monday.

The letter is a response to an executive order President Donald Trump signed in September giving states the ability to decide whether to continue accepting refugees for resettlement.

“Our administration is thankful for President Trump’s leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with the President and his administration to ensure the responsible resettlement of lawfully admitted and vetted individuals,” Parson, who is running for a full term as Missouri’s governor in 2020, said in a statement.

In his letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Parson noted there are agencies in Missouri that aid refugees in Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield, and St. Louis. Nearly 18,000 refugees from 45 countries have resettled in Missouri since 2002, Parson said.

“These groups do an excellent job of transitioning newly settled populations, ensuring they are educated, trained, and prepared to assimilate into their new community,” Parson said. “Community volunteers, especially faith-based partners, continue to be an integral part of such local resettlement efforts.”

States faced a mid-January deadline with the executive order. So far, more than 30 states have indicated they will continue to take in refugees.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure refugees become a thriving part of our communities, and I am confident this demonstration of compassion will mark the first step in these immigrants becoming patriotic and productive fellow Americans,” Parson said.