Refugee Resettlement Watch

Who decides which cities will get refugees next? What are the cities?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 31, 2007

As we end the year and begin a new one, we have to get down to work.  Shelbyville, TN and the Times-Gazette have given us lots to write about in the last 10 days or so (see our whole series here), but we need to do some basic research.  Will you help us?

First, who really decides which cities will be direct resettlement cities?  In an article in the Houston Chronicle a few weeks ago this statement intrigued me. 

In the U.S., the refugees are helped by local charitable organizations coordinated by Refugee Council USA, the Washington-based coalition that helps choose their final destinations.

I thought the US State Department was deciding which cities were to receive refugees, but if this is true, then non-profit groups are making that determination.   Are members of the Refugee Council USA just sitting around a conference table in DC with a large map of the USA looking for fresh cities to bring refugees to?   Frankly, I think this is how Hagerstown became a resettlement site a few years back. 

It is our understanding that once a city has been ‘chosen’, the volag (voluntary agency) with the contract for resettlement can then place the refugees within a hundred miles of that site.

Is there any analysis of the sites chosen?  Is there any determination made by anyone in government about the economic and social viability of the site?    Any studies done?   Apparently not.    As I said before, if the residents don’t squack then the site is a good one (“welcoming”) and more refugees are brought in.

Here are some designated resettlement cities we have already identified:

Kansas:  Bowling Green, Garden City, Wichita

Missouri:  Kansas City, Jefferson, St. Louis

Tennessee:  Bristol, Chattanoga, Memphis, Nashville

Help us find more!   If you go to this site at the Office of Refugee Resettlement and choose your state, you will get the name and contact information for your state director.  E-mail or call that person and ask for the cities that have been chosen as designated resettlement sites.  Then please tell us so we can keep an updated list.

BTW, since people can move around in America and refugees are free to leave their resettlement city in only a few months, this information does not apply to secondary migrations such as recently occured in Emporia, KS or Shelbyville, TN.   It’s the first destination site when entering the country that we are looking for in this project.

We have made a new category entitled “Resettlement cities” in which to put the information you report to us. Thanks in advance for your help.

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10 Responses to “Who decides which cities will get refugees next? What are the cities?”

  1. acorcoran said

    Hello Janet, You may not have completely escaped the problem in South Dakota. African refugees are also being resettled in the Dakotas. I agree with your assessment. Frankly the whole refugee program baffles us as well. It would make more sense to take care of refugees in the continent in which they live. We first learned about refugee resettlement in Hagerstown, MD just about 2 years ago and when we couldn’t understand why or how this was happening we began writing this blog.

  2. Janet Rogers said

    Don’t worry about the Hmong. They look like saints compared to the ones from Africa. In Burlington Vermont (used to have the lowest crime rate in the nation) the Africans are robbing, stealing, raping like no tomorrow. Add them to the innercity gang member that have been lured by liberal do gooders and Burlington Vermont now looks like a war zone on the old north end! I have moved to S Dakota to get away from this. Why doens’t the US just pay other countries in Africa to accept their own people? It would cost a lot less here in lost jobs, crime and disease! I had a friend who worked at FA Hospital lab. These people are bringing in diseases that they have never even seen. Why are we subjecting Americans to this? Send food and aid over there. Bringing these people here only hurts us and they are unhappy being here!

  3. [...] know what is even worse, the US State Department isn’t picking cities for resettlement its a gang of non-profit groups (volags) sitting around a conferance table and deciding which cities are [...]

  4. [...] Who decides which cities will get refugees next? What are the cities? [...]

  5. blulitespecial said

    Sorry to get off topic-I AM looking for the outfit that calls the shots as to where people are resettled!I did note in a comment above that 750 million was the price tag to get these programs off the ground.In the Fed’s document,I saw the figure of 773 million for FY’08 and that was going to be 93 mil short of what the volags wanted.I look for them to lobby for an additional 77-93,and possibly 100 million.They want more money,more bodies,and more small towns.You all here already explained the local costs and the matching grant scam!

  6. acorcoran said

    I have been meaning to post on this for a long time, blulite, thanks for reminding me! Just as we want to see reforms, so also does the refugee industry. One of the reforms they are seeking is to change the annual Presidential (PD) determination ceiling (FY 2008 its 80,000) from a “ceiling” to a “target”. You can read all about the reforms they are looking for in this report. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/MPI_Mar_ExecSum3.pdf
    So, in fact, many advocates of bringing more refugees to America are starting to act like the PD is a target!

    By the way, none of the reforms they are looking toward are the same as the ones we look for! There is zero mention of how to mitigate any of the impact on cities in their proposed “reforms.”

  7. blulitespecial said

    I’ve noticed the State Department refugee and immigration website reads like it wishes to”self-perpetuate”,if you catch my drift.When the White House authorizes X number of refugees- The DC refugee machine says all employees will treat this X-number as a “target”,not a ceiling.Looks like they are under orders to spend every penny,so they can go back to the trough next FY,and claim how successful they are!But we pay for it at the local level,too.The DC refugee machine has GOT to be stopped.We flat can’t afford their arrogance.

  8. Don Barnett said

    The religious “charities” involved in refugee resettlement have morphed into money- making government contractors with huge incentives for growth in the programs they profit from.

    So, the taxpayer pays the 750 million annual bill to resettle the refugees and the taxpayer pays the bill for refugee welfare (food stamps, Medicaid, public housing, SSI,TANF,etc) once they are here. BTW, this ongoing welfare bill dwarfs the 750 million annual cost to run the program.

    Meanwhile the “charities” like Catholic Charities actually make money on the program by obtaining government contracts and tapping into dozens of grant programs – grants in everything from “faith-based” programs to “ownership society” programs, some of which contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis. Even USDA grants are given to refugee contractors.

    My favorite is the multi-layered fraud known as the Matching Grant program. (note the implication that the “charity” is contributing and the government is “matching” its efforts.)

    When you donate an old couch to Catholic Charities or any refugee Volag they give it to a refugee family. But then the Volag submits a bill to the U.S. government for the “value” of that couch. In this program they can make up to $2,200 for each refugee (including children) they carry on their books. Of course they have to show they spend some of the money on the refugees, but, basically, it is a money maker for the contractor.

    I was told by a local Catholic Charities director that they pay refugees to come into the office and petition for their distant relatives to come over as refugees. But then Catholic Charities presents the bill to the U.S. government for filling out the petitions. The U.S. government then reimburses the volag MORE than it actually paid.

    Traditionally when the U.S. resettled refugees here, such as after WWII, the Hungarian revolution, Cuban revolution, etc. the sponsor paid all costs, found housing and employment and the refugees were not eligible for any welfare.

    The sponsors balanced generosity with resources and sacrificed for their vision. In other words they practiced true charity and the program was limited by their capacity to absorb the refugees.

    Today the refugees are eligible for all federal, state and local welfare programs 30 days after arrival. The sponsors not only do not sacrifice their resources, but they actually make money on the program. Further, they lobby for more refugee numbers in Washington DC offices where staff salaries of those working on refugee resettlement are paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.

    The funding angle is important because it has a direct effect on why and how the program grows.

    There are no factors limiting this program except for the political and, so far, the politicians either don’t understand it or are paid enough by the side that is profiting to make sure it stays under the radar.

  9. acorcoran said

    Joeyindc wrote: “It is a big mess brought on by a church group, if these people want to sponsor someone, they should be like co-signing for them and paying the added costs they bring instead of putting it on people who didn’t have their say whether they want their lives changed this way.”

    This is one of the reforms we are advocating–go back to an earlier time when refugees were resettled and assimilated by individual churches. The Refugee Act of 1980 set in motion this now gigantic refugee industry where volags (non-profit groups)receive grants and contracts from the federal government to bring refugees to cities and towns and then basically have no responsibility for what happens to the people a few months later.

    We believe this should be an entirely private enterprise. The refugees would be better taken care of and assimilate easier if taken under the wing of a church or other such group. There is enough private charity in America that this should not be a taxpayer responsibility.

  10. joeyindc said

    In Wisconsin in the 80’s the Lutheran church in a small town decided to resettle a few Hmong families and in just a few years, the city was going broke because the Hmongs brought more of them because the welfare system was good. They overwhelmed the town and refused to assimilate. Once the church did the initial settling in, getting them furniture, clothes, homes, and enrolling them for welfare, they didn’t do anything else so the town had to subsidize these people. Gangs of Hmongs started acting up. Teen pregnancy rose, and the families produced on average 10 children. The town is now left to take care of these people and accommidate their needs. The citizens are mad, the immigrants just keep taking and taking, and refusing to do what they can to help themselves.

    It is a big mess brought on by a church group, if these people want to sponsor someone, they should be like co-signing for them and paying the added costs they bring instead of putting it on people who didn’t have their say whether they want their lives changed this way.

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