Friday, October 24, 2014

What the Gov. of WY has coming to a city near you...

Watching the news for the last several weeks has turned all eyes on Ebola. The outbreak of the disease was initially a quick news ticker on the bottom of TV screens and has now has average Americans wishing they lived in a bubble. A story that has not been in the headlines is one that may just cause Wyoming residents sweaty palms and vomiting.

Shortly after Governor Mead confirmed his Republican nomination for another term, reports became more frequent about his aspirations to open an international refugee resettlement office in Gillette.

In a September 2013 letter to the United Nations Office of Refugee Resettlement’s director, Eskinder Negash, Mead wrote “The State of Wyoming has elected to pursue a Public-Private Partnership model of a Refugee Resettlement program and to participate in that program through the Office of refugee Resettlement. This formalizes the work of many interested persons and organizations across many years.” He went on to write, “Wyoming will designate a Refugee Resettlement Program Coordinator in the near future.” Today, the leader of that program in Wyoming is Melissa Bartley.

At this point the Governor plans to have the program under the administration of the Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, a direct arm of the Federal Government and paid for by local taxpayers. To the naysayers worried that I’m unwilling to allow America to share her resources, please consider that statistics validate that the monies used for refugee programs in the U.S. subtract from the assistance on the ground to those countries which would actually secure the main burden of the refugee crisis.

The Wall Street Journal reported that in Fiscal Year 2014 8,278 Somalis have entered the United States. They are actually the fourth largest group of foreign refugees to enter America, behind Bhutan 9,134 refugees, Myanmar (Burma) 16,299 refugees and Iraq more than 20,000 refugees, but they are the most important for Cowboy State residents to note. To date, over one hundred Somali refugees have left Colorado (where Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains resides), and moved to Cheyenne.

The FBI has recorded at least 20-25 Somali refugees have left America’s Midwest to join ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq. Vice President Biden admits that more than 100 Americans have done the same although it has not been reported the number of those American refugees turned ISIS that were part of the UN refugee program.

I was born and raised 20 miles north of Gillette. Our long dirt road was always assumed safe and we kids rode our bikes up and down it all day every day as long as the weather, and our parents, allowed. I remember when the oil boom came through and my parents began restricting the distance we could ride up the county road. That was the first glimpse of restriction I can remember. I can’t imagine the infringement on safety parents would feel not only in the Gillette area but in all of Wyoming if these refugees, lacking sound criminal and/or health records, begin pouring into our state.

The numbers of refugees coming to Wyoming are already going up. These people are already tapping into our welfare, hospital, legal and public school systems. Keep in mind, your opinion didn’t matter on this. Not even city or county officials were consulted. Let me put it simple. 49 other states have refugee camps. 49 other states have major problems.

We live in America. That means we CAN make a change. It won’t be easy and it begins with you. Join me in speaking out by calling the governor and his cohorts today.


  1. I just can't happen to feel like this isn't anything more than xenophobia, and just plain fear mongering. First, you assume that all of these refugees have the risk of being A) a terrorist, B) Diseased, or C) being a major drain on the "local common goods." This is pretty messed up and most likely racist. This remarkable fear of difference is what leads to people committing hate crimes, treating those who are not from that locality with prejudice, and over all just rudeness.

    Let's talk about ISIS. Not everyone who is a refugee is a terrorist. In fact, the group known as ISIS hasn't even been able to launch an attack outside of its own region. It lacks funding, lacks expertise (rather young group), and generally is more concerned about doing things like taking over the districts in Iraq. All accusation of this is ISIS attacking on the US have been unfounded. No one knows who is linked to the attacks in Canada or the few headliners in the US. Even if they were a part of ISIS, no one has given any proof that they are acting under orders and not acting as lone wolves.

    Second, assuming and treating all refugees as if they are diseased is a racist assumption. You mention that there are thousands of these refugees coming across the ocean to America for safe haven, if they all were diseased/terrorists/criminals we would know about it. No they don't have official records that look like our state's records for health or criminality, but there are background checks done.

    Third, you make this false distinction that there is a zero sum trade off between the money that goes to local welfare (which assuming they will go on welfare is highly questionable as well) and the budget that provides emergency relief to the country facing strife. This is just wrong. The budget is not just this massive pool that people dip money out of when they need it. It is a set budget given by the state for different purposes.

    Take your McCarthian politics else where.

  2. Oh dear Ben. I love to hear back from those who read what I write. Let me first thank you. Be these your beliefs or you just playing Devil's advocate I am honored to get to further discuss something so heavy on my heart.

    I'm not sure what is currently on your mind as I didn't mention race once in my letter. I understand that sometimes we overspeak when convicted by something going on in our own lives, I hope that turns out okay for you.

    If you know me at all, I hope that you'll find that I've reached out to many in other countries so your claim of xenophobia is again, some kind of self reflecting that must be going on in your life. Of course I have love for those not from my country. What I'd ask you to consider are those in our own states. Of course not all that come over here will be bad but why risk it? We have cold, hard facts of warm blooded people using this as a way to attack our country, have you no patriotism? I know that neither you or I have children yet, Ben. When I do, I hope that mine will feel safe and free not fearing those who may have been allowed into our United States without anyone second guessing their tactics. This isn't some kind of bigot outlook, it's me looking out for what is best for those I love the most! Those who want to take part in American ideals and truly become part of the American way of life can do it legally anytime, it's called naturalization.

    Your allusions to ISIS are very interesting, many would identify them as pure illusions. It's peculiar that you don't consider over two million dollars per day a substantial amount of income or viral videos with ISIS militants yelling to the President of the U.S. telling him that they plan to "Burn down the White House" something to be worried about. Not to mention that we've already had two attacks on U.S. soil. Label me how you will, I'd suggest you consider subscribing to the Islamophobia Phobia group, although it appears you already have.

    I hope that you won't stop seeking the truth. Nor will I and maybe we'll continue to reveal common ground along the way :). Thank you again, so much for sharing such an interesting view.