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Federal Government Requests Local Consent for Refugee Resettlement Consideration

Posted on November 21, 2019 by Dene Westbrook

The state’s Office of Global Michigan under the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has been working with non-profits organizations and local communities to provide guidance and sample documentation for any communities wishing to support the placement and resettlement of refugees.  This work is being done in light of the recent federal Executive Order seeking state and local government consent prior to any federal refugee placement.  This consent is requested to be completed by the end of December 2019.

Per information provided by the White House:

The Department of States’ Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) has operationalized the requirement to obtain state and local government consent through their Notice of Funding Opportunity. You will find more information below and at this link.

State and Local Government Consents

  • Consistent with Section 412(a) of the INA and Executive Order 13888, Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement, PRM and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) seek to promote the involvement of states and localities in the selection of locations for initial resettlement.  In addition, PRM and ORR seek strong environments to support resettlement and speedy integration, and regard state and local consent for resettlement activity as important evidence of such strength.  For each state and locality where the applicant proposes to resettle refugees during the award period, the applicant should seek written consent for resettlement of refugees from the state governor’s office and the chief executive officer of the local government (county or county equivalent).  PRM will take into account such consents to the maximum extent permitted by law, including Section 412(a) of the INA and antidiscrimination laws, in deciding where to place refugees.

Communities interested in establishing their official support for refugee placement can forward their consent letters to Michigan’s State Refugee Coordinator, Ben Cabanaw, with the Office of Global Michigan at CabanawB@michigan.gov.  The Office of Global Michigan is assisting with collecting letters from municipalities and sharing them with the State Department or communities can forward those letters directly to the State Department.

A sample consent letter has been prepared by the Office of Global Michigan and can be downloaded here – Federal.Sample Letter from State Local Officials Supporting Refugees

Interested communities can also contact the Office of Global Michigan directly at:

Office of Global Michigan
3026 W. Grand Blvd,Suite 2-750
Detroit, MI 48202
517-335-1181

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and chackbarth@mml.org.

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