Republican Missouri Governor Announces the State Will Continue Accepting Refugees After Trump Admin Provided Option to Opt Out

Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson has announced that his state will continue accepting refugees following President Donald Trump signing an executive order that will allow states to opt out.

Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also confirmed the state will continue accepting refugees on Monday.

Governor Parson sent a letter to the state department announcing his decision on Monday.

According to Trump’s order, governors are required to state publicly if they plan to continue to accept refugees by January 21, which put extra pressure on those in red states — whose constituents may not want them. Over 30 governors have agreed to continue accepting them, while many Republicans had remained silent.

“Missouri has a long and rich history of immigration, dating back to America’s earliest explorers, fur traders, and missionaries,” Parson said in his letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, STL Today reports. “Today, Missouri’s population includes thousands of refugees who have become vital members of our communities.”

According to Parson, 18,000 refugees have been resettled in Missouri since 2002.

Parson’s letter continued on to say that his state 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.”

It has been estimated that as many as 500 refugees could arrive in Missouri in 2020, primarily in St. Louis and Kansas City.

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