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Anti Refugee Rallies Throughout Montana

Montana and Wyoming are the only two states without a resettlement office.

anti refugee
One group held a rally in front of the Missoula County Courthouse to protest the possibility of allowing refugees into Montana, while another group is trying to make it easier for refugees to resettle here.  Photo: MTN News

Anti Refugee Rallies Throughout Montana

The Missoulian tells us – A group opposed to granting safe haven to refugees rallied Monday at Montana’s Capitol, claiming those fleeing violence-torn regions of the Middle East are a national security threat.

About a dozen counter-demonstrators also attended.

In all, nearly 100 people turned out for the rally, the second demonstration organized by a group operating under the banner of “American Security Rally of Montana.” Another event last month in Missoula drew scores of people.

“I’m so sad about what’s happening,” said Kay Beggins, who arrived from Townsend to join the rally.

She held a handwritten sign that said “Stop ISIS,” referring to the Islamic State group that has taken control of parts of Iraq and Syria. The ongoing strife in Syria and Iraq has displaced millions of people, with hundreds of thousands seeking refuge in other countries.

“If they’re peace-loving, I’m fine with it,” Beggins said, “but they have to be vetted and have to arrive legally.”

President Barack Obama has said that the U.S. will take in some 10,000 refugees from Syria this year, and more next year.

The Montana group invited Gov. Steve Bullock, Attorney General Tim Fox and other elected officials to speak, but none showed up.

anti refugee
Dale Cochrell of Clinton joins dozens of demonstrators opposed to granting safe haven to Muslim refugees on the steps of the state Capitol in Helena on Monday.   Photo: BOBBY CAINA CALVAN, Associated Press

Montana and Wyoming are the only two states without a resettlement office.

This rally follows on the heels of other demonstrations, including one held in Missoula recently.

Additional coverage by KTVH – one group held a rally in front of the Missoula County Courthouse to protest the possibility of allowing refugees into Montana, while another group is trying to make it easier for refugees to resettle here.

Jim Buterbaugh of Whitehall has been organizing rallies all over the state concerning the Syrian refugee crisis. Protesters in Missoula voiced their objections to the possibility of Missoula becoming a new home for refugees fleeing the Syrian Civil War, some going as far as calling them terrorists.

While at least one protester carried a sign saying “No Muslim refugees in Montana,” Buterbaugh says his concern isn’t about race or religion, but the potential security threat he believes the refugees pose.

“The whole idea behind this rally is to get people involved and make our government stand up for what the people are for, and protect the people as they have sworn to, to keep the people safe,” Buterbaugh said.

Buterbaugh says he will continue to hold rallies across the state.

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