We are grateful and encouraged by the Burleigh County Commission’s decision to continue accepting refugees in 2020.
“Last night’s vote allows us to continue the existing work we have been doing for decades,” said Shirley Dykshoorn, vice president of Senior and Humanitarian Services at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota. “As per the commission’s request, we are committed to continue providing all available and relevant statistics and facts regarding refugees who resettle in North Dakota through our agency, just as we have done every year since we began accepting refugees into our state.”
It was inspiring to hear the heartfelt stories of the hard-working refugees who live here, as well as the eagerness of so many good-hearted North Dakotans to continue opening their hearts to new neighbors – even if those come from a country that is oceans away. In the end, these citizens recognized that we are more alike than different – that we share the same desire to raise healthy families and become productive, successful and contributing members to the community.
We also wish to extend a special thanks to the Burleigh County Commission and the citizens of Burleigh County for their spirited participation in the process. The very foundation of our democracy – one of the cornerstones that makes our country so great – is the freedom of public discourse and debate. It’s a major reason why so many refugees value the United States, as many do not have the luxury of free speech in their own homelands. Last night’s many expressions of tolerance and concern for our fellow humans is just the latest example of North Dakotans putting their faith into action.