When thinking of Wyoming, aka the “Cowboy State,” it’s not often that Somalia comes to mind, but more and more refugees from the Muslim majority war-torn country are settling in the western state.
Enough to prompt attorney Debbie Schlussel, a political commentator and blogger, to call the capital city “Cheyenne-istan.”
Somali-Americans have been in the news recently with reports of Minneapolis, Minn., serving as a recruiting ground for Islamic State militants — the area has the largest Somali community in America.
According to Fox News, as many as 15 Somali-Americans having traveled to the Middle East from the area to fight alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Which leads Schlussel to ask if the U.S. government is “vetting” the Somali refugees coming to America.
“Somalia is headquarters for Al-Shabaab, the Al-Qaeda affiliate that is just as brutal as ISIS and rivals it in beheadings, rapes, and torture,” Schlussel wrote Thursday.
Wyoming is the only state without a refugee-resettlement program, and Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, is “exploring” the possibility, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But local residents are concerned that an influx of Somali refugees will tax resources and potentially spread disease.
As of 2012, the Journal reported that Somalis account for the fourth highest total of refugees from any country to enter the U.S.
And with neighboring Colorado having a two year wait for housing vouchers in its Somali refugee community, Wyoming becomes a better option as the federal government scrambles to place the refugees.
The Journal reported that the Somali refugees stand out in Wyoming, which is about 85 percent white, and some have already complained that they’ve been discriminated against.
But the ultimate irony here is that not having a refugee-resettlement program limits benefits offered to the refugees, many of whom may ultimately exercise the time honored American tradition of voting with their feet by moving on to states that offer better amenities.
God bless America.
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