BELTRAMI COUNTY FIRST IN THE NATION

Beltrami County is emerging as the latest flash point in the nation’s debate over refugee resettlement, revealing an intense divide among residents straining from years of poverty and economic distress. The County Board last week voted to ban refugee resettlement in the county of 47,000 residents, becoming the first county in Minnesota and one of the few in the nation to do so. Beltrami County’s historic vote was largely symbolic: It has not resettled refugees for years, and is not being targeted by refugee agencies for resettlement anytime soon.