Wyoming is currently unique among the 50 states—and blessed—because it doesn`t have a refugee resettlement program. But the state`s clueless Governor Matt Mead, a Republican elected in 2010, aims to change that.
Spur for the governor`s undoubtedly uninformed decision is one Bertine Bahige, a 32-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who now teaches high school math in Gillette, a town of about 30,000 in northeast Wyoming, the state`s energy patch.
According to the Gillette News Record [A place for refuge by Kathy Brown, February 2, 2014], Bahige was a victim, as a 13-year-old, of the war that engulfed Rwanda and eastern Congo. Later, there were five years in a refugee camp in Mozambique and then arrival in Baltimore as an official refugee. The article doesn`t make clear how Bahige wound up in Wyoming. Now he`s married to a Gillette native and father of a child with her.
Wyoming has been terrific for Bahige, so naturally:
He now hopes to share the gifts he’s been given by offering the same opportunity and hope to others.
Within a year, the Campbell County High School math teacher and coach hopes to see Wyoming open a refugee resettlement center.
There are similar centers in every state in the nation, except Wyoming. For three years, Bahige has worked to change that.
“Small communities just get it,” he said. “You rely on one thing for success, and that is heart. In small communities, they have enough heart to care. They are small enough to care and big enough to make a big difference.”
And there, in the back of his mind as he’s worked to make resettlement in Wyoming happen, another dream was born.
Perhaps he could one day bring his own family [four surviving siblings, and a nephew] to Wyoming. To his home. To heal as he has.
Such generosity, for one refugee to offer a small city`s hospitality to a prospective stream of others!
And it`ll be a delight for the natives, too. Just ask the American citizens in Lewiston, Maine.
Of course, Refugee Resettlement Watch`s Ann Corcoran has been on this story [Wyoming to get refugee resettlement office (they know not what they do!)] since news broke on February 2 about a February 6 meeting/teleconference for the usual busybodies: state officials, University of Wyoming officials, students at the University of Wyoming College of Law, and— surprise, surprise!— Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains.
("Follow the money" is a good guide here. Lutheran Family Services is associated with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, one of the major refugee-resettlement contractors that James Edwards of the Center for Immigration Studies covered in his March, 2012 report Religious Agencies and Refugee Resettlement. He wrote, "This Memorandum briefly reports on the financial stake certain religious agencies have in U.S. refugee resettlement. It shows that refugee resettlement has become dependent on U.S. taxpayers and is a disruption to American communities, with nongovernmental agencies profiting from it." [emphasis added — P.N.])
Wyomingites must contact the Governor’s Office and get involved in this NOW! See our fact sheet here for information on what the state is getting itself into!
How do these Republicans not understand that this is part of the Leftist plan to turn RED states BLUE because statistics show that immigrants vote for Democrats who will in turn provide them with more social services!
[emphases in original — P.N.]
Wyoming citizens — and any others with strong ties to the state — should read Ann`s entire piece and then step up to firmly notify Governor Mead that his ambition to start his state down this known-to-be-dismal path won`t meet with universal acclaim.
Please remember that there aren`t a lot of you Wyomingites, so it`s incumbent on each of you reading this to make some useful noise. Politely.