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 TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation 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: Esper says 'most believe' Beirut explosion was accident, contradicting Trump | Trump later says 'nobody knows yet' what happened in Lebanon | 61-year-old reservist ID'd as fourth military COVID-19 death Meadows defends Trump's description of Beirut explosion as an 'attack' Pompeo urges US companies to block downloads of Chinese apps 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.