This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
Boulder County has a long history of receiving refugees who are in this country as part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which leads to resettlement of refugees in the homes of participating families and provides them with various levels of support.
Until now, this program has not required the consent of local governments to continue. On September 26, 2019, President Trump issued Executive Order on Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement (EO 13888), which requires that states and local governments provide written consent authorizing the continued resettlement of refugees into their respective communities.
Pursuant to this federal law, a resettlement agency that operates in Colorado contacted the county, provided information about the executive order, and requested written consent for resettlement of refugees here. Boulder County, like many other counties, towns, and cities around the U.S.has notified Secretary of State Michael Pompeo of the county's intent to continue with refugee resettlement in our community.
January 7, 2020
Secretary Michael R. Pompeo
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Pompeo:
This letter is in reference to Executive Order 13888, "On Enhancing State and Local
Involvement in Resettlement." We write to affirm that Boulder County consents to continued
refugee resettlement in our community; we will continue to take part in the U.S. Refugee
Admissions Program (USRAP).
Refugees are people that have been forced to flee their home countries to escape violence,
persecution, or war. For them, resettlement in another country is the last resort when they
find they cannot return to their home country to rebuild their lives there. The United States
has a long history of welcoming refugees, with extremely careful selection for lawful
admission of the most vulnerable refugees. In addition to United Nations vetting, the United
States completes extensive refugee screening through multiple in-person interviews, security
database clearances, and background checks. After acceptance, state and local governments, local non-profit organizations, and volunteers provide refugees with housing, language, job training, and other resources to help them integrate into their new communities and become economically self-sufficient.
Refugees are resilient, skilled, hard workers that contribute greatly to our communities, as
documented in multiple studies that show refugees are economic contributors and job
creators. In addition to bringing skills and economic contributions, refugees contribute to the
rich fabric of diversity in our communities.
It is a bedrock principal of the United States to serve as a refuge for those fleeing tyranny,
violence, and political persecution. We should continue to stand as a beacon of hope and
freedom for persons around the world. In that spirit, as representatives of Boulder County
and as Coloradans, we are proud to do our part by continuing to accept the resettlement of
For these reasons and more, as the Board of County Commissioners, we continue to
welcome refugees and consent to refugee resettlement in Boulder County, Colorado, as per
the terms of the Executive Order.
Elise Jones, Chair
Deb Gardner, Vice-Chair