LOUISE, Mississippi — The tiny farming community of Louise was an exception in a Deep South where resistance to resettling refugees from the Syrian conflict was ramping up after the attacks in Paris. Those opposed say extremists could be among those who are resettled.
At the same time that this small rural community was welcoming refugees, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said he would do “everything humanly possible” to keep refugees from his state.
Then, last Tuesday, the votes of the month-long referendum in Louise were counted: the tally was 37 against and three in favor of welcoming refugees, according to Mayor Thomas Ruffin Smith. Following the vote count, the board of aldermen rescinded the resolution.