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AP says Montana is an example of anti-refugee sentiment spilling forth in wake of Trump victory

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 27, 2016

Update December 29, 2016: Michael Leahy at Breitbart has a good piece on Montana here also.

This is an Associated Press story that ran on Christmas day so not sure how many of you saw it.

For background, Montana had a small refugee program many years ago, but up until this year it was alone with Wyoming in not having one at all.  That changed in 2016 as Missoula ‘welcomed’ its first African and Middle Eastern refugees. I traveled to the state this summer and can attest to the sentiment outlined in this story.


S.K. Rossi, advocacy and policy director for the ACLU of Montana: “It’s pretty widely known that this is going to be a hard year…” Photo:

For new readers you might like to see our Montana archive, here.

From AP at The Seattle Times:

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The push to restrict refugee resettlements and immigration in the U.S. that figured so prominently in Donald Trump’s election is now headed to states that are preparing to convene their legislative sessions early next year, immigration advocates said.

In Montana, which took in just nine refugee families from January to early December, about a dozen bill requests related to refugees, immigration and terrorism have been filed ahead of next month’s session. The measures include requiring resettlement agencies to carry insurance that would defray the cost of prosecuting refugees who commit violent crimes and allowing towns and cities to request a moratorium on resettlements in their communities.

Refugee rights advocates say those measures are a sign of what is to come as the anti-refugee rhetoric that featured prominently in the presidential election spills over to statehouses and local governments.

“It’s pretty widely known that this is going to be a hard year for those of us who are seeking to protect the rights of refugees and immigrants,” said S.K. Rossi, advocacy and policy director for the ACLU of Montana.

The president-elect campaigned on building a border wall with Mexico to stop illegal immigration, deporting immigrants who are in the nation illegally and halting the resettlement of refugees to strengthen the federal program that vets them.


“It absolutely does not end with the presidential election,” McKenzie [Michele McKenzie, deputy director of the Minneapolis organization The Advocates for Human Rights] said. “It’s a national strategy by a small but organized group of anti-immigration advocates and anti-refugee advocates.”


“We need to get serious,” said Nancy Ballance, a Republican state representative from Ravalli County.

Ballance said refugees are a “gigantic issue” in her southwestern Montana county, just south of the liberal college city of Missoula. “People expect to see some legislation brought,” she said.

It is pretty clear that legally state legislators can’t do much to change the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), but here we have the ACLU lobbyist making the crucial point about efforts in the Montana (yours too!) legislature.

“Filing this and making it a public conversation automatically undermines the refugee process,” Rossi said.

“They can’t legally undermine the process, but they can socially undermine the process.”

Continue reading here.

Trickle up!

You have a right to ask questions and demand that your elected officials at all levels of government be transparent, and consider your economic worries and your safety concerns when the federal government targets your communities.

Efforts like these in the Montana legislature are important to help create controversy because the ultimate goal is for the controversy to ‘trickle up’ to Congress and to the new Trump Administration. There is no doubt that the USRAP must be trashed or reformed, but that pressure must come from the states (and local governments) to Washington.  Politicians hate noise and so it is your job as grassroots activists to make political noise!

To that end, since Montana’s lone House member is likely going to the Trump Interior Department, it is critical that you, in Montana, make the selection of his replacement a referendum on the refugee program. See The Hill (scroll down to Rep. Zinke).

Endnote: I am off to jury duty, be back later!

13 Responses to “AP says Montana is an example of anti-refugee sentiment spilling forth in wake of Trump victory”

  1. Ann – I agree with your recommendation to speak to Congress members. Another thing to do is encourage members to join the Heritage Action organization which now has 17,000 plus national conservative members focused on grassroots communications with Congress. YOu learn a lot about the process, and I personally have posted refugee issues on their internal member forum. It is free, and a great way to learn how Congress works. Every Monday they have a nationwide teleconference for a half hour at 5:30pm to discuss current issues. The only negative is that the issues selected are by Heritage Action (a spinoff of Heritage Foundation) thus Refugee Resettlement has never been on the priority list (yet). But learning how Congress works is valuable and you can apply that to your own discussions with your local Congress members. I recommend readers go and sign up for the Heritage Action Sentinel program at:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ann Corcoran said

      A very good idea. Learn more about Congress and push Refugee Resettlement as an important issue. I know they are weak on immigration generally, so I haven’t bothered much with them. But, you make a good suggestion and I’m going there right now.


  2. R.S. HELMS said

    Reblogged this on Bob's Opinion and commented:
    Montana knows what … they get it.


  3. tvfmontana said

    Here’s one comment to the Missoulian article
    “Three problems with this article. One it states ” a dozen bill requests ” but doesn’t give specifics, like who introduced some of them or what they contained or link to where to find them. Two, blames the “anti-refugee resettlement” attitude on Trump, never mentioning what affect the terror attacks in Europe or the several right here in US may have played. Three, he states, “Mary Poole, Soft Landing Missoula’s director, said much of the legislation being proposed in Montana is based on misinformation. Some measures — such as requiring surveys of communities’ capacity to take refugees — already are part of the federal process, she said.” , but he doesn’t challenge it by mentioning that the so called “survey ” was conducted by the IRC under the radar with no public notice, participation or discussion and the results reported to the Feds were “misinformation”. Claims that there were adequate affordable housing and jobs in Missoula, were in essence lies. As far as Soft Landing wanting to further discussion, then why do they censor certain comments or questions or ban posters from it’s FB? And their web page doesn’t have any link for discussion. “

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Montana and Wyoming (especially Jackson Hole) are very nice places where some very, very wealthy people live or at least own property. The natives of those states who aren’t part of the wealthy establishment work VERY hard just to afford rent or mortgage and are very vocal people. I am surprised ANY refugee agencies have made headway into either of those states as it is. I do believe part of the reason for them not taking too many is the fact there is little to no public transportation there, and really no jobs. If Wyoming or MT had an extensive transportation program you can guarantee they would be getting a lot more. I find it very interesting that the UN’s Sustainability Goals include a GIANT network of public transportation programs across the USA. Coincidence? Because it is also the UN that wants all these refugees into the US as well, as they greatly dislike the fact that these 3rd worlders are in poverty, and we are not. God forbid they admit the main obvious reason why they are poor, and always WILL be.

    Liked by 4 people

    • tvfmontana said

      Missoula has public buses. They are going big time with bicycle and pedestrian paths. So much so that they are pissing off people driving. BTW the buses are fare free.


  5. thetinfoilhatsociety said

    I was just up there over the Christmas holiday. It’s a wonderful place, and it doesn’t need diversity. It’s a very strong and generous community just the way it is.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Dr. Rich Swier said

    Great. Published:


    On Tue, Dec 27, 2016 at 7:09 AM, Refugee Resettlement Watch wrote:

    > Ann Corcoran posted: “This is an Associated Press story that ran on > Christmas day so not sure how many of you saw it. For background, Montana > had a small refugee program many years ago, but up until this year it was > alone with Wyoming in not having one at all. That changed” >

    Liked by 2 people

  7. tvfmontana said

    Here’s the article appearing in the local rag the Missoulian. As usual the comments are worth noting.


  8. Reblogged this on islamnewworldorder and commented:
    “The rights of ‘refugees’ and immigrants,” so says SK Rossi, ACLU, Montana.
    If only that’s all you were doing, SK, but it’s not.
    The 9 national SCAM outfits and their hundreds of local SCAMMERS are bringing in so-called “refugees” by the hundreds, and thousands (too many to give good care) dumping them on unsuspecting communities, getting paid big bucks by our state department (actually being run by the islamic-run UN) and then washing their hands never having to see the “refugees” again.
    America is not required to support the entire Third World.
    I think the leftist ACLU should be deported and a new organization run by sensible people take its place.

    Liked by 3 people


    There are people in the USA opposed to open borders and MASSIVE & UNCHECKED refugee resettlement ??????

    WOW I wouldn’t know it !


  10. […] via AP says Montana is an example of anti-refugee sentiment spilling forth in wake of Trump victory — … […]


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