OK? Has there been an Ebola scare in Idaho I missed?
Is the purpose of this news story (based on a press release from a resettlement contractor) the result of a real problem of “hostility” toward refugees in the Twin Falls, Idaho area, or was it meant to head any “hostility” off-at-the-pass before anyone gets an idea to be hostile?
Could there be a ‘pocket of resistance’ forming in Idaho?
The story at KMVT (Fox 14, Sun Valley) caught my attention this morning and led me down a winding trail of trying to figure out exactly why there is a refugee contractor with the name—College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center (CSIRC or P for Program). Why is a college involved in this?
I haven’t written much about Idaho over the years, but here is our archive of what we have.
I see they did have the arrest of that Uzbek refugee alleged terrorist there in 2013, but whatever happened to the case?
So let’s have a look at CSIRP. But first here is the news:
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) – The South Central Public Health District and the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center Director are speaking out after concerns have been raised over refugees arriving from West Africa.
In a news release, Logan Hudson with the Health District and Ron Black with CSI said, “Refugees come to the Magic Valley area in search of a new life, but right now some are being met with hostility and concern due to stigma from the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa.”
“None of our refugees are from West Africa; they are no more likely to have Ebola than anyone else living in this area. Every refugee goes through several rigorous medical screenings before they can enter into the United States,” said Ron Black, College of Southern Idaho (CSI) Refugee Center Director. “The medical screening and waiting period they go through is longer and more intense than any protocol used for ordinary travelers. Plus, most CSI refugees arrived years before the Ebola outbreak.”
Stigma is happening in the Magic Valley due to several factors including myths and fears of the disease, gossip that helps spread the fear, and a lack of knowledge about how Ebola is actually spread.
This is a daunting time for everyone, especially our refugees. We ask that the community show empathy and most importantly remember that no one in this area, let alone the state of Idaho, has been diagnosed with Ebola.” said Ron Black, CSI Refugee Center Director.
Idaho is a Wilson-Fish state.
That means that the refugee program there is being run jointly between the feds and their quasi-government contractors with little state government control or oversight. Learn more about Wilson-Fish here.
The College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center is a subcontractor of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (one of the big nine) and apparently doesn’t have a separate tax Form 990 (that I can find), so it’s hard to figure out exactly how big they are and how much of your tax dollars are flowing through it. See their history here.
The CSIRP has brought 2,500 refugees to Magic Valley providing workers to local businesses and bringing your federal tax dollars for their social services (aka welfare):
Since it’s inception, the CSIRP has resettled more than 2500 refugees from a variety of different continents; providing local businesses with a steady source of entry level workers. The Program has also brought more than $3 million of federal money and benefits back to the Magic Valley that have been used to purchase goods and services from local merchants.
Check out all the nationalities of refugees resettled in Southern Idaho in the last 20 years:
1993 to 2011
2012 to Current
I recommend if you are a reader from Idaho that you explore their website and also the Idaho Office for Refugees (NOT a state agency) which along with the federal government calls the shots in Idaho.
P.S. If anyone sees news stories about real hostility to refugees over Ebola, please send links to this blog post!