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At last, the United States no longer has military operatives in Afghanistan — but now has a large number of Afghan refugees to place, people who have aided military forces while American troops were present there. This is in addition to the displaced people who have been waiting at the Mexican border to seek asylum.

These are only a small part of the refugee populations around the world: in Asia, Africa and the Americas — 25.9 million people. Some Americans protest that the United States should admit no more refugees, despite the fact that most Americans are here because they or their forebears were also refugees.

Missoula is the only city in Montana that welcomes refugees from other countries. Yet, Helena, Billings, Whitefish, Great Falls and Bozeman have strong economies, educational services and other resources that could provide accommodations for people who have been expelled from their original homes. It’s easy to ignore those whose trouble and despair is out of sight. But, were any of us in such a predicament, we would hope there were others who would understand and could offer assistance.

The opportunity to help others who need help is presenting itself now before Montanans. Let’s see how magnanimous the people of Montana can be. 

John Shellenberger, 

Bozeman

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