International Rescue Committee

Recent Posts

At refugee, migrant forum, facts and human faces


It’s hard to say how most Montanans feel about refugees, but at least one refugee is crazy about Montana. And why not? When Wilmot Collins first came here, landing at the Helena airport in February 1994, there was a “Welcome home, Wilmot” banner hanging in the terminal. That was an amazing moment — but so was seeing lightly dressed people at the airport despite an outside temperature of 32 degrees. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Community forum looks at immigration, refugees


Wilmot Collins, a refugee from Liberia who was elected mayor of Helena last year, will be one of the speakers at a community forum in Billings next week. Sponsored by Billings Sanctuary Rising, the event, “Strangers to Neighbors: Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees to Our Community,” will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Room of the Billings Public Library on Friday, June 8. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Billings donations destined for refugees in Missoula


If weather conditions are favorable this weekend, Jane Moses hopes to make another attempt to deliver donations for international refugees in Missoula. Moses and her daughter Libby made their first attempt on Tuesday and got as far as Livingston, where a stretch of Interstate 90 was closed because of high winds. They detoured through Livingston and looked into what lay ahead. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Again, Missoula is ready to welcome refugees


Editor’s Note: Missoula Mayor John Engen wrote this guest editorial for the Missoulian and we are reprinting it here, with his permission. We wanted people to know what leadership looks like, particularly at a time when too many politicians are shamelessly pandering to voters’ worst instincts, stoking fears and making scapegoats of some of the most desperate, defenseless people on earth. I was 13 when the first Hmong refugees began arriving in Missoula from a place about which I knew nothing; a country across the planet I didn’t know existed. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Forged letter used to attack refugee resettlement

Here’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. Continue Reading →

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