Alabama has not weighed in on an order from the Trump administration that requires the consent of states and localities before refugees can be resettled there. Considering the broad sentiment among the state’s residents toward immigration, it’s not surprising.
Last week, Texas became the first state to refuse the resettlement of refugees; 42 states have issued consent. In addition to Alabama, the governors of Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Wyoming have not responded.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s representative told The Associated Press the governor is “still working through the executive order and consulting with the State Department and other entities involved in order to reach a decision.”
It’s a prudent course. Critics say the administration’s executive order is tantamount to giving states “veto power” over resettlement, and that it runs afoul of federal law. It’s unclear at this point whether there is litigation ahead, and by neither consenting nor refusing resettlement, Ivey could bide her time until the dust settles and presumably act according to the will of the people.
Resettlement has not been a pressing issue in the past; Alabama took in 46 refugees in fiscal year 2017 according to a report from the Pew Research Center.
Time will tell.