Missoula Group Promoting Syrian Relocation Receives Support From County Commissioners [YouTube]
A Missoula group working toward bringing Syrian refugees into Missoula received a letter of support Thursday from the Missoula County Commissioners.
Soft Landing Missoula executive committee member, and Missoula City Councilor Emily Bentley said the group came together after a three year-old child washed up on a beach in Turkey.
"Little Alan had drowned after attempting to escape the violence in his country," Bentley said. "We felt like, as humans, we had an obligation to help other humans fleeing from violence, especially violence that our country may have had some hand in creating."
Bentley said the group requested and received a letter of support from the Missoula County Commissioners for the International Rescue Committee to establish a refugee resettlement office in Missoula.
Bentley said the process of entering the U.S. as a refugee is extremely difficult.
"Entering the country as a refugee is one of the most difficult ways to come here, in that it's a stringent two year process," she said. "They're much more highly vetted than other immigrants. Once they are through that process they are distributed through nine different agencies, and the International Rescue Committee is one of them."
Bentley said these refugees will be coming to America and she hopes some may want to settle in Missoula.
Bentley added, "We think once they enter the country they'll find that Missoula is a welcoming place where they can try to find some peace."