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Appleton Alderman wants to halt refugee resettlement for proper vetting

APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Appleton officials are not happy with an alderman's proposal to suspend efforts to help relocate 75 refugees from Iraq, the Congo, and Myanmar.  

Alderman Jeff Jirschele says the refugees have not been, "vetted." He's drafted a resolution calling on Appleton officials to back away from the relocations by the World Relief-Fox Valley group, until the impact of their arrivals are known.  

Jirschele tells the Appleton Post-Crescent he's worried about the social safety net's ability to deal with the foreign newcomers. In his words, "We have no room to flounder on housing or medical care, despite the best intentions of the groups involved."  

This is the third year that World Relief has led a resettlement effort. About 175 refugees previously moved to the Fox Valley, mostly from Burma.  

Group director Myriam Mwizerwa says the group works hard to find jobs for the adult refugees.

Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna said the resolution sends the wrong message. Hanna said there are, "undertones that make assumptions about these people being poor, or a drain on us, but quite the opposite."  

The mayor said they represent the types of diverse people he wants for Appleton. He said he spoke for all city departments in criticizing both the content and the tone of Jirschele's resolution -- which is on its way to a city committee.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)