“Everything is Not Fine and Dandy”: Commissioner Piepkorn Takes on Refugee Resettlement

Fargo City Commissioners are getting a more in depth look into refugee resettlement procedures and costs.

City staff and Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota say the majority of new people in the state are immigrants and not refugees who have fled foreign lands.

Of the 155 new students in the English language learning program at Fargo Public Schools, 65 are refugees.

Their resettlement costs are covered by the federal government until they are self-sufficient.

But the commissioner behind getting more input on the issue says he’s concerned about safety.

“People are telling us everything is fine and dandy,” said Commissioner Dave Piepkorn.  “I’m sorry everything is not fine and dandy.  What happened in St. Cloud is not fine and dandy.  I don’t want to have that happen again.  I hope you’re willing to make a commitment to that you’re doing everything you can that that will not happen again.”

The mayor says refugee costs to the city are low.

Commissioners voted to have the Fargo Human Relations commission take up the issue and provide some analysis by February.