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Missouri governor says state will accept refugees

Missouri governor says state will accept refugees
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Missouri Gov. Michael Parson (R) said Monday that the state will accept refugees after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE signed an executive order allowing governors to opt out of doing so, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The executive order stipulates that any governors declining refugees must publicly say so. More than 30 governors had said they would accept them as of Dec. 22, but several Republican governors, including Parson, had not yet made their intentions known with a Jan. 21 deadline looming, according to the publication.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) also confirmed his state will continue accepting refugees on Monday, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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"Missouri has a long and rich history of immigration, dating back to America's earliest explorers, fur traders, and missionaries," Parson said in his letter Monday to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: US, India to share satellite data | Allegations of racism at Virginia Military Institute | Navy IDs 2 killed in Alabama plane crash US, India to share sensitive satellite data Office of Special Counsel widens Pompeo probe into Hatch Act violations  MORE.

"Today, Missouri's population includes thousands of refugees who have become vital members of our communities," he added, noting that the state has resettled 18,000 from 45 countries since 2002.

The state, Parson added, will "continue to work hard to ensure refugees become a thriving part of our communities, and I am confident this demonstration of compassion will mark the first step in these immigrants becoming patriotic and productive fellow Americans."

Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis, which assists in resettling refugees, said the majority of refugees in 2020 will arrive in St. Louis and Kansas City, estimating up to 500 would settle over the next year, according to the newspaper.