To see more than 500 people at a government meeting usually means one of two things – a major tax hike is on the agenda or something akin to a nuclear waste dump is being proposed. So what was it that had the townspeople of rural Ravalli County, Montana, so stirred up?
The answer is simple: Syrian refugees.
They don’t want any.
The Ravalli County Commission hosted the meeting at the Hamilton Junior High School gym to tackle a proposed letter sent by Montana Governor Steve Bullock and the state’s congressional delegation to U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration disapproving the bringing in of refugees from the war-torn Middle East nation to the county and its surrounding areas.
According to The Missoulian, the state leadership in Montana said the community’s safety may be compromised if the Syrian migrants will be allowed to stay in the county, since the government has no sufficient capability to screen them if they have ties to terrorist organisations like the Islamic State (ISIS).
During the meeting, most of the residents supported the state leaders’ opposition to Syrian refugees. At the start of the gathering, Commission Chair Ray Hawk even said that there is margin of about 50 to 1 in opposition to allowing refugees to settle in Ravalli County.
To further express their opposition to a Syrian refugee settlement in their state, Montana residents are also planning to hold a protest rally at the steps of the State Capitol in Helena on Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Caroline Solomon, a Montana resident who is a member of the group ACT for America, lauded Ravalli County residents for their courage in opposing the Syrian refugee settlement.
“They did it on their own,” Solomon told WND.com. “They did a draft letter, and it’s unbelievable what happened yesterday, they accepted the letter, signed the letter, and they’re sending it in.”
“I think people are waking up and realising that Wyoming and Montana, we’re the only ones still standing (against the refugee influx),” she added.