Mississippi town reverses decision to allow refugees

Cain Burdeau, Associated Press

A resolution to welcome refugees into a small Mississippi farming town has been overturned after residents resisted the idea of having Middle Eastern refugees as neighbors and swayed the board of aldermen to hold a referendum on the matter.

On Tuesday, the votes of the month-long referendum in Louise, Mississippi, were counted: the tally was 37 against and three in favor of welcoming refugees, according to Mayor Thomas Ruffin Smith. Following the vote count, the board of aldermen rescinded the resolution.

In November — at the height of a national debate over whether Syrian refugees should be welcomed — the Mississippi Delta town’s board passed a resolution to welcome refugees, calling it a “Christian duty.”

The town’s decree in November was a rare show of warmth toward refugees.