Large Crowd Supports Ravalli County Commission Syrian Letter
The Ravalli County Commissioners drafted a letter this week opposing any Syrian refugee resettlement in Ravalli County or surrounding counties. They planned to hear some public comment on the wording Tuesday afternoon at the commissioners' meeting room.
The five commissioners expected standing room only at the meeting room, but were surprised when the line of people stretched out the front door of the building. They quickly moved the meeting to the gymnasium of the Hamilton Middle School, a block away.
A majority of the 500-600 people were loudly in support of the commissioners’ letter, which was drafted in response to neighboring Missoula County Commission's letter to the State Department supporting resettlement in that county.
Commissioner Jeff Burrows read the Ravalli County proposed letter to begin the meeting. That was followed by over an hour of comments. Public comments Thursday against resettlement ranged from terrorism risks to Islamic law to women’s rights. Others said that the government is not able to properly help American veterans, let alone Syrian refugees.
Some, however, were in favor of accepting some of the huge flow of refugees who have been fleeing the Syrian war.
Burrows told KLYQ Radio that he was surprised by the large turnout.
Here's video of Commissioner Ray Hawk, beginning the hearing and a view of the crowd at Hamilton Middle School.