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March Against Refugee Program Planned at CSI in Twin Falls

The College of Southern Idaho's Refugee Center program is the target of a protest march this Sunday. Credit: Magic Valley
The College of Southern Idaho's Refugee Center program is the target of a protest march this Sunday. Credit: Magic Valley
October 16, 2015

TWIN FALLS, Idaho - A so-called patriot group called the Idaho 3 Percent - or "III% Idaho" - will march at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls at noon on Sunday to protest a program there that has helped resettle refugees for the past 30 years. III% Idaho wants the program suspended.

According to the marchers, tax dollars that support the program should be going to programs that benefit American citizens. The group's spokesman, Chris McIntire, said the government simply can't verify the identities of people from Syria and other war-torn places - so he worries that terrorists could try to slip into the United States.

"We're also seeing the biggest mass migration of refugees coming from the same areas where ISIS has had influence, and that is scaring people," he said. "They want their voice heard, they want to protect their communities and they don't want to see what's happening in Europe or some of these other countries to happen here at home."

Ron Rhodes from the voters' advocacy group Transform Idaho said the protests are fear mongering and inhumane.

"We do not discriminate against people on grounds of religion or race or country of origin," he said. "We should try to help those people who are disadvantaged. Refugees have already been through a lot, and these people are being singled out for a rather scary level of discrimination."

The College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center program did not return calls for comment.

III% Idaho is online at iiipercentidaho.org. CSI Refugee Center is at refugeecenter.csi.edu.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - ID