Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has turned down an offer from President Donald Trump’s administration to halt refugee resettlement.
“Kentucky has welcomed refugees for well over three decades,” the Democratic governor wrote in a letter dated Tuesday to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “Refugees in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro and other locales have contributed to the workforce and economic development of our state.”
About half of the states have consented to keep accepting refugees. No states so far have said they plan to stop accepting refugees under Trump’s order.
Even if a state opts out under Trump’s order, refugees could still move there, but they wouldn’t get funding for medical assistance and screenings, employment, social adjustment services and English language training.
In September, Trump slashed the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. and authorized state and local governments to refuse to accept them. An executive order says that if a state or a locality has not consented to receive refugees under the State Department’s Reception and Placement Program, then refugees should not be resettled within the state or locality unless the secretary of state decides otherwise.
Some resettlement groups have sued to block Trump’s order.
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