It’s been a busy first week on the job for Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, the freshly inaugurated president took first steps on his “extreme vetting” promises to gridlock immigration into the United States, and signed an executive order to construct a border wall with Mexico. He’s also poised to punish sanctuary cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul – potentially halting millions of dollars in funding – that have promised to buck federal laws in order to protect immigrant communities.
On Friday, Trump signed another order barring all refugees for four months, and those from war-torn Syria indefinitely.
It’s yet to be seen how these tough-on-immigration policies will play out nationally, but they’re almost certain to have dramatic implications for Minnesota’s increasingly diverse population.
Over the past 15 years, Minnesota has seen more than 40,000 people move here as refugees, meaning the state is offering humanitarian protection to people fleeing unsafe areas of the world, according to United States Refugee Admissions Program data.
A majority – more than 16,000 – came from Somalia, contributing to Minnesota becoming home to the largest population of immigrants from the Eastern African country in North America. Last year, about 3,000 refugees moved to Minnesota, nearly half of whom came from Somalia.
Beyond refugees, it's much harder to count how many people come directly from other countries to Minnesota through other immigration channels. Many people end up here after first arriving in other parts of the U.S.
But we can measure what share of Minnesota's population is made up of people who were born in foreign countries and now reside here. As of 2015, about 8 percent of the state's 5.4 million residents were born in foreign countries, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey data.
Among the foreign born residents counted in 2015, more than 67,000 came from Mexico. Nearly 54,000 were born in Eastern African nations, such as Somalia, according to the survey data.
In the meantime, cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul are bracing for how Trump could cut their budgets. The president’s order will strip federal grant funding from going to the estimated 300-plus sanctuary cities in the United States.
Federal dollars only account for a small share of the Minneapolis and St. Paul budgets, according to a story by Adam Belz and Jessie Van Berkel.
“It’ll be a problem to solve in the budget, and I don’t look forward to having to do that, but a bigger problem is when we jeopardize and undermine the foundations of our democracy,” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said.