An organization calling itself Three Percent of Idaho marched outside the state capitol in Boise on Nov. 1 to call for closing the College of Southern Idaho's refugee center and for the U.S. to suspend a federal program admitting refugees, including those coming from Syria (video below).
The protesters, some of them armed, were met by counter-protesters who held a sign, “We Welcome All Refugees to Boise," reported KIVI.
Three Percent of Idaho insists that it is not a racist, paramilitary organization, and claims that refugees are not being properly vetted by the U.S. government.
Three Percent of Idaho's spokesman Chris McIntire said at the rally, “Now, refugees coming from Islamic hotbeds of terrorism, don’t you think that poses a threat to Idaho communities?” noted the Southern Poverty Law Center (video below).
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Three Percent of Idaho also protested outside the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) in Twin Falls on Oct. 18.
“We’re not against refugees or helping people,” Brandon Curtiss, the president of Three Percent of Idaho, told the Idaho State Journal. “However there have been issues, like the Boise bomber who was placed through the program, that shows that there are problems with the program.”
McIntire told the newspaper:
The current refugee program has a lot of momentum, but it is momentum based off false information. There has been an increase of violence in refugees in Europe and we don’t want that happening here.
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Another issue is the tax dollars they use. There are veterans and students here that need assistance and this is tax dollars being shifted away from them.
McIntire provided no proof that taxpayer money was being shifted away from veterans or students to Syrian refugees.