On the Sunday before the election, Donald Trump continued his appeal directly to the voters even as a decision from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice threw the race into a last minute tailspin.

Speaking to a crowd in Minnesota, the Republican nominee told them he understood how the federal refugee “resettlement” program had impacted their communities and their state.

“Here in Minnesota you have seen firsthand the problems caused with faulty refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state, without your knowledge, without your support or approval.”

Minnesota is now home to nearly one in three Somalis in the United States, according to the most recent figures from an American Community Survey that was conducted over six years ago, in 2010.

It is thought that number is considerably higher given the massive push by the federal government to relocate tens of thousands of Muslim refugees in the states.

Trump pledged to suspend the Syrian refugee program and require the consent and support of states and local communities as a condition of resettlement.

In the past years, 13 states have formally withdrawn from the federal program, including Maine, which took the action just four days before the Tuesday election.

In another three – Vermont, Colorado, and Massachusetts, the federal government administers the program without the involvement of the state, while Tennessee filed a lawsuit against the feds claiming the program is a violation of the Tenth Amendment.

Refugees who are resettled come to a new home where they do not speak or understand the language, have few employable skills and significant religious and cultural differences that make assimilation both difficult and – in many cases – not even desired by the refugees.

In addition, local communities and states take on the responsibility of providing housing, health services and education that strain limited resources.

Last month, the Minnesota Department of Health released data showing that fifty percent of the foreign born residents who have been resettled in the state have been diagnosed with active cases of tuberculosis – a disease once considered to be nearly eradicated in the United States.

That number – 296, is ten times that of any other state in the nation.

 

 

 

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