Governor Gretchen Whitmer has notified the State Department that Michigan wants to continue to welcome refugees from overseas. It’s a response to an executive order from President Donald Trump.
The presidential order says states and local governments have to notify the federal government if they want to accept refugees. Whitmer says the letter to the State Department is her response on behalf of Michigan.
“They were going to assume states were not open to it unless they’d heard otherwise, and we thought it was important for us to tell them how we felt,” she says.
Whitmer says her letter does not change any state policies when it comes to refugees.
“It just says that says Michigan is going to continue to be a place where we welcome people to come here and to make this their home,” Whitmer says.
The state’s been a major U.S. destination for many refugees. But resettlement agencies say the number of refugees coming to Michigan has dropped by thousands of people since President Trump took office. Many of the refugees were fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria.