Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

MN Refugees' Advocates Urge Patience in Changing Resettlement Policies


Wednesday, November 18, 2020   

MINNEAPOLIS -- President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to bring back America's welcoming approach toward immigrants and refugees. One Minnesota group says that's restored hope in getting more people resettled, but cautions that patience is needed.

The cap on refugee admissions declined every year during Donald Trump's presidency, to a record low of 15,000 for 2021. Biden has said he wants to boost the number to 125,000.

Micaela Schuneman, refugee services director for the International Institute of Minnesota said that would even be above the historical average prior to Trump's term, but she said any changes wouldn't happen overnight.

"Because of a lot of the administrative changes that happened, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is going to have to hire more staff," she said. "They're gonna have to get back to processing cases at the level that they were processed before."

She said it could take up to a couple years to see higher numbers of refugees after the changes are reversed. A number of resettlement agencies that work with the federal government scaled back their operations when the Trump administration downsized the program. In the last fiscal year, the Institute brought 109 new residents from other countries to Minnesota, down from more than 500 in the final year of the Obama administration.

While the executive branch gets to set the refugee cap, Congress has to authorize funding for that level. Schuneman said that's why it's important to get the backing of lawmakers as well. She noted that, historically, there's been bipartisan support on Capitol Hill -- but the last four years have been difficult for the people they're trying to help.

"We saw quite a few family members, of course, who were very distraught, very sad, when we'd have to call them and tell them a case had been delayed," she said.

Schuneman also said clients were a little more reluctant to speak openly about their own case or a family member's, given some of the heated rhetoric in recent years. Outside of restoring the resettlement infrastructure, those involved estimate a backlog of 120,000 refugees who are waiting in the wings.

get more stories like this via email

The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…

Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021