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Ravalli Co. Commissioners opposed to taking in Syrian refugees

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Commissioner Greg Chilcott says this move was motivated by Missoula County's handling of the same issue. Commissioner Greg Chilcott says this move was motivated by Missoula County's handling of the same issue.
One group held a rally in front of the Missoula County Courthouse on Monday to protest the possibility of allowing refugees into Montana. (MTN News photo) One group held a rally in front of the Missoula County Courthouse on Monday to protest the possibility of allowing refugees into Montana. (MTN News photo)
HAMILTON -

The Syrian Refugee debate has been picking up steam nationwide, and the same is true in Ravalli County.

The Ravalli County Commissioners will review and possibly approve a letter to the U.S. State Department and Homeland Security stating their opposition of allowing Syrian Refugees into Ravalli County. 

In response, one Ravalli County resident has started a petition in favor of allowing refugees into the county. The petition has about 50 signatures from residents so far.

This topic is making its way through the region, first cropping up in Idaho and followed by an anti-refugee rally in Missoula last month.  

The County Commissioners will meet and discuss the issue later this week, and will be open to public comment. 

Commissioner Greg Chilcott says this move was motivated by Missoula County's handling of the same issue, as Missoula moved to support refugees. 

"The action item is to submit to the public for their review and comment, a letter that we have drafted, opposing the relocation of Syrian refugees who have not been properly vetted by homeland security and the FBI," Chilcott said. 

Chillcott says "vetted" means to investigate refugees thoroughly for concerns of public safety. 

The commissioners will discuss this issue at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Hamilton. 

RELATED: Anti-Muslim refugee rally hits Missoula

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