Forged letter used to attack refugee resettlement

Missoula currentHere’s an ugly twist in the immigration debate in Missoula, where there have been big rallies for and against welcoming refugees.

Missoula Current is reporting that someone forged a letter, purporting to be from the three members of the Missoula County Commission, to the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

The three commissioners continue to strongly support the International Rescue Committee and to support plans to reopen a refugee resettlement office in Missoula, but in the forged letter they tell the bureau: “After further review, we don’t feel (M)iddle (E)astern cultures are compatible with our community values.”

The letter had a Great Falls postmark, which was a pretty good indication something was amiss, but as one commissioner said, news of the letter spread “some serious concern … throughout the community.”

What a low move in an already unsettling situation, and what a revealing turn of phrase it was to frame the commission’s supposed opposition in terms of cultural bigotry. All the more reason to support resettlement.

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