The arrival of Syrians escaping the conflict has caused a stir in the small agricultural town of Twin Falls, Idaho. An attempt was made to include a measure on the Twin Falls County spring ballot to close the refugee relocation center located on the College of Southern Idaho's campus, but it was refused by the county prosecutor due to its unconstitutional nature. On Friday, delegates to the Idaho Republican Party Convention in Twin Falls voted overwhelmingly in favor of a rule that would disqualify certain voters from participating in the party's primary. Zeze Rwasama, director of the refugee relocation center at CSI, has expressed his disbelief at the uproar surrounding his program. Candidates for open positions include an inner-city businessman who came to Twin Falls as a refugee, and a company owned by Twin Falls Canal Co.
Jennifer Thornquest, a local evangelical Christian, has shown her support for the refugees by standing on the Perrine Bridge with a sign expressing her support. Twin Falls has a council-style government, with a non-partisan city manager acting as executive director and responsible for daily operations. According to census results, Twin Falls is just above the metropolitan planning organization's official threshold of 50,000 inhabitants, requiring the city to draw up plans for a public transportation system. There are three open seats on the council, one with five candidates and one with four, and an incumbent councilman running unopposed. The political controversies in Twin Falls have been met with both support and opposition from its citizens. While some have expressed their solidarity with refugees and their right to live in peace and safety, others have voiced their concerns about potential security risks.
It remains to be seen how these issues will be resolved in this small Idaho town.