What happened at the St. Cloud, Minnesota, City Council on Monday night is being described as a well-organized “ambush” designed to shut down a citizen uprising or “pocket of resistance” against runaway refugee resettlement in the small city.
College-age students filled the council chambers. Only five people were allowed to approach the podium and speak, all of them in favor of unlimited refugee resettlement with no accountability to the taxpayer.
A resolution was hastily introduced, read and voted on.
The ambush was successful.
And the local Somali community is now celebrating.
It all started when several of the council members who support unlimited refugee resettlement with no financial accountability to the taxpayer were informed that one of their colleagues, Councilman Jeff Johnson, planned to introduce a resolution at their Nov. 6 meeting calling for a moratorium on all resettlements in St. Cloud until an economic impact study could be completed.
Johnson’s resolution would also require the city to verify that it is in full compliance with all facets of the federal Refugee Act of 1980 as signed by then-president Jimmy Carter.
But Johnson’s opponents, clearly having collaborated among themselves beforehand, sprung a new resolution on the public at the Monday, Oct. 23, meeting and passed it 5-1 after begrudgingly allowing only a few minutes of debate.
The efforts by Johnson to support financial accountability were undercut before they were even heard in a public forum.
Councilman Jeff Goerger made sure of it. His “Resolution in Support of a Just and Welcoming Community” states that the city will not make any effort to investigate or audit the federal refugee program that has transformed the city’s demographics over the past decade and loaded up its welfare system with Third Worlders, most of them from the failed state of Somalia that has been bogged down in perpetual civil war for nearly three decades and continues to ship its citizens to Western democracies in Europe, Canada and the United States by the tens of thousands every year.
Of all the refugee communities brought to the United States since 1980, the Somalis have, as a community, been among the least interested in assimilating. Dozens have been arrested, tried and convicted of providing material support to overseas terrorists, while at least 40 have been confirmed by the FBI to have left the country since 2007 to fight for groups like al-Shabab, ISIS and al-Qaida.
After six more Somali youths were caught trying to leave the state to join ISIS, Minnesota’s Obama-appointed U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger admitted at a press conference on April 20, 2015, that “We have a terror recruiting problem in Minnesota.”
Then, just over a year later, the terrorism came home to St. Cloud itself, when 21-year-old Nadir Adan, a Somali refugee, carried out a knife attack at the Crossroads Center mall, injuring 10 people, two critically, after asking many of his victims if they were Muslims. Those who said no got stabbed.
That may have been St. Cloud’s crossroads moment. Instead of taking the threat seriously, they backed off and swallowed the propaganda of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Lutheran Social Services, which rakes in millions of dollars by resettling Somali Muslims in the state.
It was clear on whose side the council members, other than Jeff Johnson, were standing at Monday’s meeting.
“I think it’s important to show people this one guy bringing forth a resolution is not the voice of the city council or the voice of the people in our community,” said Councilman Jeff Goerger, who introduced the “Welcoming and Just City” resolution before his colleague’s resolution could be introduced and voted on.
Goerger stated, to a resounding applause, that the city has absorbed the thousands of Somalis “without an impact on the city budget or our quality of life.”
The families of the 10 people stabbed at the mall by Dahir Adan last year might disagree with that “quality of life” remark. And what about the family of 20-year-old Davee Duvose, who was stabbed to death at a house party by Somali refugee Muhiyahdim Mohamed Hassan in July 2015? Their quality of life will no doubt never be the same.
Watch video clip of Councilman Jeff Goerger’s presentation in favor of unlimited refugee resettlement in the city of St. Cloud:
But Goerger continued on with his grandstanding speech designed to undercut his colleague’s simple request for a true cost/benefit analysis of importing thousands of refugees from a nation known for its hatred of America and Americans.
He received another big applause after quoting Mother Teresa – “There are a lot of good people in the world. If you can’t find one, be one” – the clear implication being that Jeff Johnson and those who support his call for an impact study are not good people.
Johnson himself was almost not allowed to speak. He requested he be allowed to read his resolution into the record as part of the discussion, only to be met with shrieks and cat calls from the audience to shut him down.
Watch video of Councilman Jeff Johnson’s call for a temporary moratorium on refugee resettlement in St. Cloud:
After first calling him out of order, the council president, Carol Lewis, finally conceded: “OK, Mr. Johnson, against my better wishes, I’m going to let you read it.”
Johnson started reading citations from the Refugee Act of 1980, the actual federal code governing the resettlement of refugees in the United States, which states that city officials have an obligation to be involved and consulted regarding the numbers of arrivals before any refugees are delivered by a resettlement agency.
“You are in direct violation of this law. You are breaking federal code,” Johnson said, as the room erupted in applause.
St. Cloud’s Somali community was elated with the results of Monday’s meeting, as displayed by Abdi Mahad, who posted this comment to the local newspaper:
“The controversial provision to put a moratorium on refugee resettlement in St. Cloud area was OBLITERATED. WAHOO. A few numbered hate groups don’t represent the majority here. Take your bigotry to other places! I know the dude seems like he did this thing as a publicity stunt!!!”
This shows the other side plays dirty, said Ann Corcoran, an expert on Refugee Resettlement who runs the watchdog site Refugee Resettlement Watch.
“We don’t normally think in terms of people playing so dirty,” Corcoran said.
In contrast to the Monday-night surprise that consisted of a resolution supporting resettlement being introduced, voted on and passed all within a few minutes at a single meeting, Johnson had let the public know weeks in advance what he planned to do so his resolution would be open to public scrutiny well before any votes were taken.
At the Oct. 9 City Council meeting, Johnson said he would bring forward a resolution on Oct. 23 to create a moratorium on refugee resettlement. Johnson submitted a draft resolution to city administration on Oct. 16, and the resolution was emailed to City Council members the next day.
Nearly 350 people showed up for Monday night’s meeting in an environment that some described as “chaotic,” with many holding signs and shouting down those with whom they disagreed. Some of the signs stated “Welcome Refugees!” and “We are one community! Don’t divide us!” Other signs stated “Save our city” and “Stop refugees now.”
“They tried to shut down discussion because they didn’t want Jeff [Johnson] to speak at all,” said Ron Branstner, who was at the meeting. “People were yelling, ‘Don’t let him speak!’ and ‘He’s out of order!’ The president of city council [Carol Lewis] did not want him to speak.”
The large crowd that turned out for the meeting seemed to be divided about 50-50 for and against continued unlimited, unquestioned refugee resettlement.
“Everybody was mixed in with each other and hard to tell. It was chaotic, but it was so theatrical, like a movie with pure theatrics,” Branstner said. “Those five counselors had to have set this up prior to the meeting.”