MTPR

refugees

Ghalia Almasri, right, and Mary Poole of Soft Landing Missoula led an event last year to introduce locals to the cuisines of local refugees.
Olga Kreimer

The number of refugees being resettled in the U.S. dropped by a third last year. Montana saw a smaller percentage decline, and the number being resettled here remains low.

Veterans at this morning's sunrise service in Missoula honoring those lost to suicide
Eric Whitney

Among the dozens of Memorial Day observances in Montana Tuesday was one of a type that just got started last year. Sam Redfern with the United Veterans Council and United States of Hope was the master of ceremonies for the event that got started at 6:30 a.m. at the Western Montana Veterans Cemetery in Missoula.

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."

From left, Cate, Robbie, Claire and Maggie Gibbons sign a banner protesting “the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers,” addressed to Sen. Steve Daines at a protest outside of the Missoula County Courthouse in Missoula, Mont. on Saturday, June 30, 2018
Evan Frost

Thousands of people across Montana rallied Saturday as part of the nationwide “Families Belong Together” day of action protesting President Trump’s immigration policies.

In Missoula, clumps of protesters wielding signs and wearing silver foil blankets marched up and down Higgins Street, chanting, "Oh no, they’re not nice. What do we do? Abolish ICE."

Missoulians play soccer on a field in the Upper Rattlesnake on Wednesday, June 12, 2018.
Maxine Speier

The FIFA World Cup kicked off Thursday, and in Missoula, people are preparing for another multinational soccer tournament this weekend.

Soft Landing Missoula is hosting its second annual soccer tournament Saturday at Fort Missoula in honor of World Refugee Day.

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.

Wuri, who only has one name, is a student and language teacher from Indonesia who attended the protest in Missoula Tuesday, October 11, 2016.
Nora Saks

Less than two weeks ago, President Donald Trump signed an executive order blocking all refugee resettlement from Syria. He also placed a temporary ban on refugees, visitors and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq. While that order has since been temporarily suspended by a federal judge, it has created an air of uncertainty for some of Montana’s recently-resettled Syrian and Iraqi refugees. 

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.

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