Idaho Refugee Groups Receive Donations, Concerns Post-Election

Nov 15, 2016

A couple of days after last week’s polarizing election, Julianne Donnelly Tzul led a training for refugees in Boise. As the head of the local office of the International Rescue Committee, she heard concerns about what may happen under President-elect Trump’s administration. His campaign included sharp anti-refugee rhetoric.

“It’s important that we be honest and that we are entering a time of uncertainty," she says. "But that we not inflate fears or exaggerate. So I try to be just as simple and direct as possible.”

Donnelly Tzul says the organization has not received any threats since the election.

Meanwhile in Twin Falls, the College of Southern Idaho’s Refugee Program has seen an  increase in donations from the community in the last week. Executive Director Zeze Rwasama says while donations are volunteers are welcome, there’s something even more important needed from those concerned about refugees.

“The biggest thing that refugees need right now is to have that welcoming atmosphere in the community," says Rwasama, who himself was a refugee. "And that is the biggest price that refugees in Twin Falls can ask.”

Earlier this year, a ballot measure to end the Twin Falls refugee program failed to get enough signatures to go in front of voters.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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