The Citizens to End Refugee Resettlement started a petition drive in October, to ask Ada County Commissioners to give citizens a chance to vote on whether they want to stop refugee resettlement in the Treasure Valley or not. The question reads: “Do you support tax-funded refugee resettlement in Ada County?
YES or NO” (We also had petitions for Canyon and other counties.) In less than four months, we gathered over 3300 signatures, which we took the Ada County Commissioners’ office on Wednesday, Feb.16, 2016.
Although told we were meeting with two commissioners, we only met with Mr. Jim Tibbs for about 55 minutes. We presented a research-based power point presentation, along with the results of the petition drive and feedback from county citizens, as well as facts about the negative impact of refugee resettlement in Ada County. Mr. Tibbs expressed concern about what we expected him to do, since the county does not run the refugee program. He wondered, if they did put the question on the ballot, would we handle all the media questions? We left the meeting with no commitment from Mr. Tibbs. Time ran out with other of his questions unanswered, so we wrote a follow-up letter to answer any further concerns and to continue our dialogue. As of March 11, we have not heard back from Mr. Tibbs.
The other Commissioner we were to meet with, Mr. Dave Case, will be seeing our presentation later this month. After this we will have a better idea of the best course to follow to get your voices heard. Below is our detailed response explaining why putting this advisory question on the Ada County ballot is a viable and effective course for citizens that want to End Refugee Resettlement:
* Why did we come to the County for help, since Refugee Resettlement is a Federal program?
Answer: Since the federal government and the state governor have been unwilling to hear the legitimate concerns of Ada County citizens about refugee resettlement, we felt it was necessary to talk to the elected officials of Ada County, where most of the current refugees are being “settled”. We hoped that being closer to the hard-working tax-paying citizens of this county and having neighbors in these communities, the commissioners would care more about Idahoans’ intense concerns about the United Nations and State Department bringing in refugees with no oversight by elected officials, and the very real terrorist threat they bring with them. Unfortunately, it is easy for citizens to think that officials need to have a refugee terrorist act actually kill Idahoans before heeding all the warning signs.
* What did we expect the County to do, since it doesn’t run the refugee program?
Answer: We are requesting on the behalf of thousands of citizens for our County Commissioners to use their authority to place the advisory question on the ballot in May, so that citizens can express their will regarding refugee resettlement in this County. Realizing that you do not have the authority to stop refugee resettlement, we also know that by giving Idahoans a chance to actually vote in the guaranteed privacy of a voting booth, their true opinions about this critical issue for our communities will be expressed. A clear majority opinion either way in the ballot results will help influence local city councils, state legislators, and other elected officials in their decisions about ordinances, zoning, and resolutions, etc., as well as the governor’s office, our Congressional delegation in D.C. and eventually the US State Department. Once public opinion is on record as a county-wide vote, then many doors will be open that are not currently available to halt refugee resettlement and increase security in the Treasure Valley.
* What can you do?
Please call the Ada County Commissioners’ Office this week expressing your support for putting this advisory question on the May, 2016 ballot.
Commissioners’ Chief of Staff:
Larry Maneely Phone (208) 287-7006