refugee resettlement

AHA Foundation

Idaho may soon follow Colorado's lead and pass legislation banning female genital mutilation. Late last year, a federal ban on female genital mutilation was ruled unconstitutional. The judge for the Eastern District of Michigan said that the practice falls under "local criminal activity" and thus a state responsibility.

The Modern West 21: Wyoming's Immigrants And Refugees

Mar 23, 2017
Caroline Ballard

Wyoming is home to many immigrants, migrants, and former refugees. It is the only state, however, without a refugee resettlement program. But the current political climate has immigrants questioning their place in Wyoming and the U.S.

Germany UN

  

Over the last three years, the German embassy has donated about $20,000 dollars toward educating University of Wyoming students about the fall of the Berlin wall and German history. Recently, the German Ambassador Peter Wittig visited the campus himself and, while he was here, Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with him to talk about what Wyoming can learn from Germany’s own coal downturn and the refugee crisis.

Germany UN

Last week, Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Peter Wittig gave a lecture at the University of Wyoming on the importance of maintaining a strong trans-Atlantic alliance.

He said the German-U.S. relationship is more important than ever as terrorism and mass migrations continue. He said Germany has taken in 1.1 million Syrian refugees in the last year, which would be equivalent to the United States taking in 4.4 million. He said each country must take its own needs and preferences into account when deciding how to respond to the refugee crisis.

Michael Polito Source: Wikimedia Commons

  

The community of Gillette has seen tension recently with plans for a Quran burning and protests over Gillette’s first mosque. Writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Kathryn Schulz heard this and wondered how a Muslim community came to be in coal mining Wyoming.

Habib M’henni / Wikimedia Commons

At a rally this weekend in Gillette, a Wyoming anti-Islam group is planning to burn a Quran.  

According to the group’s website, members of Americans For A Secure Wyoming are calling to “ban Islam from Wyoming,” though the group does not explain how that could be enforced.

Last year, members of a different online group Stop Islam In Gillette protested the opening of Gillette’s first mosque.

Gillette mayor Louise Carter-King said the protests do not reflect positively on what she describes as a welcoming community.

Wyoming Humanities Council

The Wyoming Humanities Council and Wyoming PBS are hosting a panel discussion on refugee resettlement next week. It's part of a Humanities Council series exploring the issue in Wyoming, the only state without a refugee resettlement program.

The panel will feature former refugee and teacher Bertine Bahige , UW law professor Suzan Pritchett, and state Representative Tom Reeder.

Miles Bryan

  

  

Bret Colvin says founded the “Stop Islam in Gillette” Facebook group for one reason.

 

“I don’t want Jihadis in my neighborhood.”

 

Colvin is a Catholic, and an ex-Marine. His wife passed away last year, and last month he lost his job as an oil field mechanic. Now he runs a home electronics repair business out of the small Gillette house he shares with a roommate, and a few pet turtles.

 

Following the terror attacks in Paris last month, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead joined several other governors in saying that he does not think the state should accept any Syrian refugees until more security checks can be promised by the federal government.

Currently, Wyoming has no refugee resettlement program, and Mead admits that puts the state at a disadvantage.

Wyoming Humanities Council

Last week, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead joined other governors in calling on the U.S. to halt the flow of Syrian refugees to the country. Currently, Wyoming accepts no refugees at all, as it’s the only state without a refugee resettlement program. But that won’t stop the Wyoming Humanities Council from going forward with a campaign to hold discussions about refugee resettlement and what it could mean for Wyoming.

Caroline Ballard

President Obama has announced the U.S. will accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees. Right now it’s unclear where those refugees will go when they arrive in the in the states, but we do know one place they won’t be heading: Wyoming. It’s the only state without a resettlement program. 

Wyoming does have residents who are former refugees. People like

Bertine Bahige, who came from the Congo. Today he lives in Gillette, a coal mining town in the Northeast part of the state, and he’s a high school Math teacher.

Campbell County High School

  

Wyoming is the only state in the country without a refugee resettlement program – the office that chooses refugees to bring to the U.S., helps them find jobs, and teaches them English. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t former refugees living in Wyoming.

Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard brings us the story of one former refugee who is trying to change things in Wyoming. Bertine Bahige is a Math teacher who lives in Gillette, but was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Governor Matt Mead is turning to the Wyoming Humanities Council to facilitate more productive discussion on a refugee resettlement program in the state.

Wyoming is the only state without a resettlement program, and the Governor says misinformation is slowing down progress on the issue.

Wyoming Humanities Council Executive Director Shannon Smith says her group will send experts around the state to lead public discussions about refugee resettlement.