Rutland Vermont is a small town hoping to make a big impact on refugee replacement decision that will affect them all. Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras says they need the younger laborers but residents are asking, at what cost?
Residents across the United States have had to adapt to the influx of refugees being allowed to settle into their cities. The measure has impacted the areas in different ways, but some small-town residents of Rutland, Vt., are upset at their mayor’s decision to resettle 100 Syrian refugees throughout 2017 in the area.
As reported by The Daily Caller Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras defended his decision, saying the town’s demographics are declining, and they are having trouble recruiting younger workers. He also thinks refugees will bring cultural diversity.
“We need people,” Louras declared to The New York Times.
Louras’s decision sparked outrage among some residents who feel they should have been more involved in the decision making process. These residents formed an advocacy group called "Rutland First" to pressure Louras to reverse his decision.
An open letter on the group’s Facebook page says “Rutland First DOES NOT condone violence of any kind towards ANYONE,” continuing “we may disagree with the mayors actions of bringing refugees to our community for a variety of different reasons, BUT never have we wanted harm to come to any human being.”
The group’s advocacy has had some effect. Seven out of 11 local officials sent a letter to the U.S. Department of State saying the town has received limited resources after accepting the refugees and that “a significant part of our community has also grown anxious about the program.”
“We’re kind of stuck out here, with our level of economic depression, with our level of crime and drug issues,” Rutland resident Dr. Timothy Cook told TheNYT. He continued, “We’re the ones who are gonna have to foot the bill for this.”
The Rutland residents are not alone in their sentiment and certainly not the only ones that have taken some sort of action. Back in October according to a report by Fox Insider, The Board of Trustees for Waterford Township in Michigan voted unanimously (7-0) in favor of a resolution stating that their township,
"will not actively participate in the Refugee Resettlement Program until the Program has been significantly reformed, and until it has been demonstrated that the Townships of Oakland County have the capacity to absorb refugees without diverting funds from needy residents or exposing their residents to unwarranted security risks."
Original report by The Daily Caller / TRUNEWS summary.