Montana Public Radio

International Rescue Committee

Ghalia Almasri, right, and Mary Poole of Soft Landing Missoula led an event in 2017 to introduce locals to the cuisines of local refugees.
Olga Kreimer / Montana Public Radio

An international group helping refugees resettle in Missoula plans to expand its operations. The announcement came after news that President Joe Biden is significantly increasing the number of refugees that the U.S. allows into the country.

Immigration is a lightning rod issue at the national and local level. Bozeman Public Library will host a panel discussion and Q&A Tuesday to explore the impact of immigration on the economy. 

Refugee Welcoming Week 2018 calendar of events.
Soft Landing Missoula

A week-long cultural celebration of Missoula’s refugee community kicks off Friday at Imagine Nation Brewing.

Mary Poole, the executive director of the Missoula non-profit Soft Landing, says "Welcoming Week is a national week of events to celebrate refugees and immigrants in our communities and to bring them together with other folks in the community."

Cindy Smith of Holiday Inn Missoula; Bob-Be Sparks of Holiday Inn Missoula; Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins; Missoula Mayor John Engen; Erica Bouris and Jen Barile, both of IRC, discuss immigration on July 11, 2018 in Missoula.
Maxine Speier

Immigrant populations in Missoula are contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy each year. At a panel held in Missoula today the mayors of both Missoula and Helena talked about the economic benefits of welcoming refugees and immigrants.

Olga Kreimer

In Missoula, a new roving supper club is showcasing the culinary talent of refugees and offering a chance for locals to eat the world without leaving town. It’s called “United We Eat,” and it’s organized by Soft Landing Missoula, a non-profit that helps integrate refugees into the community. 

Hundreds gather in Missoula, MT to rally in support of refugees, Tuesday March 1, 2016.
Josh Burnham

A December Trump administration announcement that it is planning to halve the number of refugees coming into the U.S. in 2018 will have little impact on Missoula’s fledgling refugee resettlement program.

The U.S. State Department says that dozens of offices authorized to resettle refugees will close in 2018. The International Rescue Committee office in Missoula will not be one of them.

People in cities across Montana held rallies last week pushing back against President Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations. More than a hundred people cheered pro-immigration slogans in a Missoula park on Friday before marching to Republican Senator Steve Daines’ local office to drop off letters asking him  to hold a town hall discussion here.

Two of the estimated 800-plus who turned out for a March 1, 2016 rally in Missoula in support of refugee resettlement.
Josh Burnham

Donald Trump’s election seems to have, at least in the short-term, bolstered a Missoula non-profit group’s refugee resettlement goals.

Hundreds gather in Missoula to rally in support of refugees, Tuesday March 1, 2016.
Josh Burnham

No one knows yet how Donald Trump’s election could affect Missoula’s budding refugee resettlement program.

"Refugee Resettlement in Missoula" is Soft Landing’s second lecture. The forum was Tuesday, November 1, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in Urey Lecture Hall on the University of Montana campus. It was free and open to the public.
Soft Landing Missoula

Groups involved with the resettlement of refugees in Montana tried to answer questions and clear up misconceptions about resettlement plans in Missoula last night at the University of Montana.

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