CSI Refugee Center

The CSI Refugee Center on Highland Avenue East on Thursday, August 27, 2015, in Twin Falls.


TWIN FALLS • The Times-News has announced the makeup of the panelists at a planned community forum to answer questions about the College of Southern Idaho’s refugee program.

The panelists are:

  • Larry Bartlett, director of the U.S. State Department’s Office on Refugee Admissions, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
  • Ken Tota, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement
  • ZeZe Rwasama, director of the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Programs
  • Brian Pike, Twin Falls deputy city manager of public safety
  • Mike Mason, CSI’s vice president of finance
  • Dr. Steven Kohtz, with St. Luke’s Magic Valley Regional Medical Center
  • Wiley Dobbs, superintendent of the Twin Falls School District.

The program, which has been run by CSI since the early 1980s, has become controversial since news came out this spring that some Syrians will likely be among the refugees who will be resettled here starting in October.

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The panelists will introduce themselves, followed by the question-and-answer session, which will be moderated by Times-News editor Matt Christensen. The intent of the forum is to get representatives of agencies that provide services to refugees to answer the community’s questions, not to get opinions politicians, policymakers or representatives from pro- or anti-refugee groups on the panel, Christensen said.

The forum will start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22 at the College of Southern Idaho’s Fine Arts Auditorium. Admission is free. People can submit questions at the forum or in advance to Christensen at mchristensen@magicvalley.com.


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