For the second time in as many weeks, Boise mayoral candidate Judy Peavey-Derr has pushed back against the city’s refugee population, this time pointing to their “additional burdens” and “issues.”
During a sparsely attended League of Women Voters candidate forum Oct. 22 at the Boise Library, incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter and challengers Seth Holden and Peavey-Derr were asked by a member of the audience why Boise continued to welcome refugees at the same time that the city’s homeless men and women were in need.
Bieter said the issues were unrelated and pointed to Boise's many successes in welcoming refugees as its newest residents, adding most refugees secured housing and employment.
Peavey-Derr pushed back, saying "issues" with the two populations were indeed related.
“I think there’s a finite amount of money,” she said. “I think we need to take care of the homeless before we accept the additional burdens and issues that come with refugees,” she said.
Holden agreed with Peavey-Derr, saying, “I think they are related. They wouldn’t be taking jobs from people that are here.”
Only a week earlier, Peavey-Derr made headlines when, during an interview with readers impaneled by the Idaho Statesman
’s editorial board, she said, “I think that the south end of Boise is getting blighted by a lot of refugees and different dialects coming into the school. I think the children are having 124 dialects in school system is a little rough.”
The three candidates are slated to appear in another forum Monday afternoon when they sit before microphones at the City Club of Boise luncheon