Refugee Arrivals Have Declined Dramatically in Minnesota Under President Trump


The number of refugees resettled in Minnesota by the federal government has declined dramatically under the administration of President Trump.

In Fiscal Year 2016, the last full fiscal year of the Obama administration, a total of 2,635 refugees were resettled in Minnesota, according to the State Department’s interactive website that tracks refugee admissions.

As of Sunday, September 9, 11 months and 9 days into FY 2018, the first full fiscal year of the Trump administration, only 678 refugees have been resettled in Minnesota, fewer than 30 percent of the number resettled in FY 2016.

Surprisingly, the peak number of refugee arrivals to Minnesota did not occur during the Obama administration.

That distinction is held by the administration of former President George W. Bush, which resettled 6,357 refugees in Minnesota during FY 2005. The previous year, FY 2004, the federal government resettled 5,931 refugees in Minnesota, and the following year, FY 2006, it resettled 4,578 refugees in the state.

Over the 17 fiscal years beginning in FY 2002 and continuing up the FY 2018, year-to-date, the federal government has resettled more than 40,000 refugees in Minnesota.

More than 35 percent of these refugees–a little more than 16,000–are from Somalia.

Under the George W. Bush administration, more than 8,600 Somali refugees were resettled in Minnesota during four consecutive years –2,214 in FY 2004, 2,083 in FY 2005, 3,222 in FY 2006, and 1,569 in FY 2007.

During the last three full fiscal years of the Obama administration, from FY 2014 to FY 2016, more than 3,000 refugees from Somalia were resettled in Minnesota, an average of a little more than 1,000 per year.

Those numbers have dropped precipitously under the Trump administration.

In FY 2017–when 3 months and 20 days were under the Obama administration and 8 months and 11 days were under the Trump administration, 812 refugees from Somalia were resettled in Minnesota.

With only 21 more days left in FY 2018, the Trump administration has resettled only 80 refugees from Somalia in Minnesota this fiscal year.

Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community in the United States.

You can see a detailed list of refugee arrivals in Minnesota from FY 2011 to FY 2018 here:

MN Refugee Arrivals FY 2011 to Fy 2018 - Arrivals by Destination and Nationality




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  1. […] government has resettled more than 40,000 [primary] refugees in Minnesota,” The Sun reported […]