Turnout Causes Burleigh County Commission to Delay Refugee Vote

An overflow crowd caused the Burleigh County Commission to postpone a vote on refugee resettlement. (Photo via screenshot on KX News)

On Sunday, we published an article detailing the fact that Lutheran Social Services (LSS) is requesting authorization to continue refugee resettlement in Burleigh County. As things stood at the time of publication, that consideration was to be given at Monday’s Burleigh County Commission meeting.

But due to an overflow turnout, commissioners made the determination to delay voting on the issue until a more suitable location can be secured to accomodate the number of people desiring to attend. Commission Chairman Brian Bitner told those gathered:

“I apologize that we don’t have enough space, but we do want everybody who wants to speak to have an opportunity to do that.”

As I wrote previously, I think the people of Burleigh County deserve some answers, and it appears they might just get them. I hope they do.

There was at least one unfortunate aspect coming out of Monday’s development. The Executive Director of Bismarck Global Neighbors — Leah Hargrove — apparently couldn’t resist the urge to categorize opposition to resettlement as “racially and fear motivated”. As you’ll see on their website, Bismarck Global Neighbors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was started in 2015 “to meet the needs of central North Dakota’s growing immigrant population.”

Was it really necessary for Hargrove to play the race card? I don’t think so. Besides, I’m guessing it’s not very helpful in her own efforts to “help people understand” what refugee resettlement “really is”.

Remember, asking questions about — or even opposing — refugee resettlement doesn’t make a person a racist. It might just mean they want answers or have a different viewpoint when it comes to the issue. Making an unfounded claim to the contrary is nothing short of a lazy argument that damages the credibility of those casting the epithet.

For now, residents of Burleigh County have a bit more time to ask questions and to let their voices be heard. And I think that’s a good thing.

Note: Video coverage of Point of View’s Chris Berg discussing some of the facts regarding refugee resettlement in North Dakota can be found below. If you’re a resident of Burleigh County and would like to ask questions or voice your opinion on this issue, you can find the contact information for the Burleigh County Commissioners here.

The FACTS on Refugee Resettlement in North Dakota may surprise you. Yes, Your Voice Makes a Difference. It was demonstrated today. Please share your Point of View.

Posted by POVnow on Monday, December 2, 2019



  1. https://theminutemanblog.com/2019/12/01/burleigh-county-to-consider-okaying-refugees-at-monday-meeting/
  2. https://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/burleigh-county-commission-delays-vote-on-whether-to-continue-accepting/article_02ead866-9108-53a3-9f08-3be6b43062b7.html
  3. https://www.bismarckglobalneighbors.org/about-us
  4. https://www.burleighco.com/commission/members/
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About T. Arthur Mason 883 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.