While the Helena mayor's speech to what critics call an anti-Muslim hate group has raised questions about his stance on refugee resettlement, both mayoral candidates say the global refugee crisis is not a city issue.
"There's a minimal role for state government. Really, local governments are not part of the process," Mayor Jim Smith told the Independent Record last week.
Wilmot Collins, a Liberian refugee running against Smith for mayor, said, "Helena doesn't have a role in addressing the refugee crisis."
"Refugees are handled by the federal government and the nine agencies that have been given the authority to handle refugees," Collins said. "No local government can do that."