Nearly 100 people crowded onto the sidewalk on Broadway in front of the Missoula County Courthouse to protest the effort to resettle Syrian refugees into western Montana.

Amid signs that read 'Christian Refugees 2 Christian Nations, Muslim Refugees 2 Muslin Nations, That's Only Fair', and "Refugee Resettlement Means Big $$$$$ - No Accountability', one speaker, Karen Sherman, who told KGVO News she just moved to Missoula from Amarillo, Texas, shared the problems her hometown has faced with massive immigration.

"Amarillo is overrun with refugees," Sherman said. "Our city is failing because of the refugees. We have 22 different languages spoken in our schools, We've got 42 different languages being fielded by our 9-1-1 call centers, and crime is just through the roof. We need to exercise caution, especially for the sake of our children. In the city of Rotherton in the northern UK, 1,400 children have been beaten, raped and trafficked, and I'm not willing to subject my kids to that."

KGVO News reached out to Mary Poole with Soft Landing, Missoula, the group working with city and county officials in an attempt to bring a small number of refugees to the Missoula area. Poole said many immigrants have settled in Missoula over the past 30 years.

"We've successfully resettled a Hmong community as well as well as Belorussians and Ukrainians who are now members of our community and part of the fabric of Missoula," Poole said. "We're just working on revamping the infrastructure  that has already existed here."

Other small towns in the west have experienced similar struggles in the past few months. In Sandpoint, Idaho, City Council members voted last Wednesday night to withdraw a resolution supporting refugee resettlement, bringing an end to a heated, month-long controversy.


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