#5: Refugee conflict in Rutland

  • What is the conflict?

The refugee conflict is not only happening in Vermont, but all over the United States, and is a huge factor in this years presidential election. Here is a brief recap. The mayor of Rutland, Chris Louras, recently proposed a plan to accept 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees to come and live there. After much dispute and debate, the state department approved it, and the bulk of the refugees will be coming in 2017. After Rutland, other towns are soon to follow suit after seeing how the refugees adjust, and many want to make sure that more refugees come, and many are very opposed.

  • Who are the different characters / organizations / groups involved, and what are their perspectives?

There were 2 large parties at play in the debate. Rutland First, a group formed after the plan was uncovered, believes that the refugees will be a strain on Rutland’s already draining money and resources, will take American jobs, and possible bring terrorism. The other major group, Rutland Welcomes, wants to create a warm and welcoming community for these Refugees, and is very supportive of the plan. They believe that the refugees will bring benefits of both economic and cultural value, and believes it is the humane thing to do. Who knows what future refugee debates will bring up, but it is certain that groups like these will form when another town has a similar dispute.

  • What unites people? What divides people?

I believe that people unite under pressure of need, and under similar passions and views. The Rutland First group formed under worry about their town, and about passion for keeping refugees out. They all had similar views about the refugee topic, and and they were all worried about what would happen to the town of Rutland if these refugees were to come. They all had a love and passion for their town, and they didn’t think that Rutland would bode well with these refugees. The Rutland Welcomes group formed under love for helping others, and under the view that providing a safe home for these refugees is the most humane thing to do. They all had a believe that the refugees would only bring good for Rutland, and as citizens with a conscience they needed to support these people.

I think people divide under contrasting opinions and under passion for different things. These people might have once had different opinions, but they were part of the same town, and they were friends and neighbors. Now that the refugee debate has come into play, many people have been forced to take side, splitting people up due to different beliefs and passions for different things, refugees of the good of the town.

  • What are your most pressing questions?

I would like to know why exactly did the mayor decide to bring in the refugees. Was it under compassion, or wanting to put Retland under a good light, or other reasons? There are many factors put into play. I also would like to know how the vetting process works. How thorough is it? Can it really keep out terrorism?  How confident can we be in it? I would like to also know more about what has happened to other towns with refugees, such as Burlington and Winooski. There are many things that I would like to be enlightened on.

VT Digger- Guest speaker and different refugee arguments

VT Digger- Lessons from Limerick

VT Digger- Rutland approves new refugees

Addison Independent- Rutland and the refugee concerns

Nigel Wormser

2 Responses to “#5: Refugee conflict in Rutland

  • Hi Nigel,
    The debate in Rutland is certainly a very interesting one. I am also keen to know what the mayor’s motives were. It is unfortunate that this issue has divided the town however. Overall, I think the right decision was made. We have a duty to help and protect people in need, and these immigrants have suffered much poverty and danger. I also agree with you that people unite because of need and belief. However, I am curious as to what your own thoughts are on this matter. Do you think the city made the right decision?
    Thanks for a post in which many fascinating ideas were brought up.
    See you later,

  • Hi Nigel,

    Before this post, it was hard for me to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to welcome refugees into Vermont. I hadn’t really thought about the other side to this issue.

    I think these two opposing sides can really translate into how divided our political system is right now in the country. There is a great number of people that are thinking just like the Rutland First group, saying that immigration puts a strain on an already struggling economy. The same is true for many other Americans who believe that it is our duty to welcome the refugees.

    I wonder what your opinions are on the matter. Do you agree with the mayor’s actions?

    Your curiosity in this post is really evident, I thoroughly enjoyed reading.


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