Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for March 24th, 2009

Unhappy Iraqis, leaving US and going back to Syria

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 24, 2009

Update:   The Free Lance-Star reporter, Amy Umble, has more information in an excellent blog posting on this story here.

How many times!  How many times have we heard over the last year and a half that Iraqi refugees were desperate to get out of Syria?   How many times did AP reporter Matthew Lee, shilling for the refugee industry, harass the Bush Administration to bring more Iraqis to the US?  Now, these families, after only 6 months in the US, want to go back to the Middle East, to Syria no less!

From the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, VA, describing the trip to Dulles airport last week:

Shamas Jawad woke up groggily in the back seat of a minivan bound for the airport.

“Are we there yet?” the sleepy 3-year-old asked in Arabic.

Awkward laughter followed. The curly-haired preschooler and her family wouldn’t reach their destination for another 36 hours. And then they could face an additional daylong journey.

When the Jawads arrive in Syria, they may find a cheap place to rent. But the government could instead deny them refuge and offer a police escort back to the Jawads’ native Iraq.

Shamas’ father, Muoafaq Jawad, thinks either option would be better than life in America.

He, his wife and five children arrived in Stafford County on Aug. 27.

[....]

They found poverty, unemployment and homelessness here.

After having had their airfare to the US paid by the American taxpayer, they had to borrow money to get back to Syria.

The Jawads were evicted from their Stafford townhouse March 12 and immediately began begging and borrowing money for airfare for all seven family members. They packed their clothes and left for Syria on Thursday.

Making reference to a story we have heard many times, these refugees were told that life in the US was going to be fabulous and that they would have things taken care of.   WHO IS TELLING THEM THIS, AND WHY?

Unable to find jobs during the recession, the Jawads and another Iraqi refugee family both left Stafford on Thursday.

About 85 Iraqis resettled in the Fredericksburg area last year. Most came through Jordan and Syria where, refugees say, someone promised them jobs and aid once they got to America.

“They told us they would bring us to the United States for a better life,” Jawad said.

But he and other Iraqi refugees in America say they were better off as refugees in Syria and Jordan.

The article wraps up by mentioning that more Iraqis will come this year anyway. Duh! You would think that with all my past posts (community destabilization category) on the Alinsky method, I should have noticed.     I just realized that when I wrote about Eric Schwartz’s outfit this morning, Connect US Fund, which promotes the seemingly illogical idea that inspite of our economic downturn it is still a good time to bring refugees, it never occurred to me that refugees in crisis, like these families, could serve as the catalyst to expand the public welfare part of refugee resettlement—you know, the Emanuel/Obama theme about not wasting a good crisis!   We are seeing that welfare expansion already in Utah!

Please go and read the whole article from Fredericksburg, it is fascinating and the comments alone are well worth the visit.  I guess you could say the common theme was Bye! Bye!  And, that is one of the kinder sentiments.

Posted in Iraqi refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 12 Comments »

Refugee resettlement responsible for higher rates of TB in Minnesota

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 24, 2009

Just yesterday I told you about increased numbers of cases of drug resistant TB in states with high immigrant populations, now here is news specific to Minnesota.   On World TB Day (today) we are learning that Minnesota’s cases of TB are rising due to refugee resettlement.

The deadly disease has declined overall in the US since 1953.

“Many people might think that TB is a disease of the past because of its marked decline in the U.S., but it continues to be a problem today,” said Deborah Sodt, manager of the TB unit for the Minnesota Department of Health. Nationwide, the rate of TB disease has decreased more than tenfold since national reporting began in 1953. However, TB continues to be one of the deadliest diseases in the world, killing approximately 2 million people every year.

However, Minnesota’s cases have risen sharply in the last 15 years.

In Minnesota, active TB cases have increased 50 percent in 15 years, from 141 in 1993 to 211 in 2008. In 2007, the rate of TB disease in Minnesota of 4.6 cases per 100,000 people exceeded that of the nation (4.4 per 100,000) for the first time since 1953. Data on states’ TB rates for 2008 was released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, at Trends in Tuberculosis — United States, 2008.  [Here is the CDC report with a handy map showing which states have the worst TB]

Minnesota’s high numbers are attributed to refugee resettlement.

Minnesota’s TB rate is higher than surrounding states largely because of economic and cultural factors related to refugee resettlement. Similar to the trend seen in Minnesota in the early 1900s, when most of the TB cases occurred in newly-arriving European immigrants, more than 80 percent of the TB cases in Minnesota now occur in people who were born in countries where TB remains common and who later moved to Minnesota.

To see how many refugees Minnesota has resettled and from what countries, go to these databases.   Check out your state while you are there.   Minnesota does not have the highest number of refugees resettled, so it would be interesting to cross check the states with the highest number of refugees with the CDC report on TB.  Somone should do an analysis.

Posted in health issues, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off

Assistant Secretary for refugees job might soon be filled

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 24, 2009

The ‘In the Loop’ column in the Washington Post predicted yesterday that Eric Schwartz is a likely choice to be Assistant Secretary for Refugees, Population and Migration (PRM for short).  PRM is the US State Department branch that is responsible for admitting third world refugees into the US.   No surprise that he is a Clintonista.

Also at Foggy Bottom, chatter is that Eric Schwartz, former Clinton administration National Security Council senior director for humanitarian aid and a top U.N. human rights official, is the leading candidate to be assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration.

PRM has been without a politically appointed leader since the term of our former Maryland politician, Ellen Sauerbrey’s expired.  Sauerbrey had been chosen by that ‘bad’ Bush but soon got high praise for working right along with the volags to bring more refugees to the US.  Sauerbrey was responsible for negotiating a deal that will bring 60,000 Bhutanese from camps in Nepal to the US over the next few years.

I asked this when I wrote, more than a year ago, about  Sauerbrey’s “warm send-off” where she was praised by the refugee industry for increasing refugee numbers and helping them bypass security hurdles.

Kind of makes you shake your head, how did we get to the point of praising a conservative for bringing more refugees to America while lessening the security procedures?

So, back to Schwartz.  I don’t know who he is except for some evidence readily available on the internet.  You can read about his plans for a new administration way back in August here.

Schwartz heads up an organization called Connect US Fund, that appears to be a front for a bunch of leftwing funders, here.   It’s the usual crowd—many of the same foundations that I learned long ago also called the shots in the environmental movement.   I know for a fact that these are the very same moneybags that locked up Alaska lands and prohibited oil drilling back in the 1970’s (but that’s another story).

The Connect U.S. Fund was created in 2004 and is supported by a donors’ collaborative which presently includes the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The Connect U.S. Fund is managed by the Tides Foundation. The Connect U.S. Council provides policy and program guidance for the Connect U.S. initiative, and is comprised of representatives from each of the five supporting foundations.

And, if you need more evidence about where this group and Schwartz are headed, see this substantively and logically weak article they have posted on their website entitled, “The Economic Crisis Should Not Weaken Commitment to Resettling Refugees in the U.S.”   Bring more refugees it’s good for the economy, they say.

But the question remains. Can a new Administration and Congress make the case for increases in refugee resettlement assistance during an economic crisis? I would say that not only can the case be made, but that it can be made convincingly.

After making NO convincing case, the treatise ends with this.

An economic downturn, far from discouraging support for refugees, should encourage it.

Huh?

The theory here appears to be, that if you say something often enough and forcefully enough, it becomes true, at least in the minds of those who want to believe it.

Update a few hours later:   See the end of this post for a possible explanation of the seemingly illogical thesis that an economic downturn is good for refugee resettlement.

Posted in Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program | 2 Comments »

Wall St. Journal: Aid to Africa an unmitigated disaster

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 24, 2009

The weekend edition of the Wall St. Journal carried a lengthy article entitled, “Why Foreign Aid is Hurting Africa.”    I don’t know what the fallout has been for reporter Dambisa Mayo but if it was anything like Irish Times writer Kevin Myers last summer who said much the same thing, the poor reporter must be under heavy fire as I write.

Here are just a couple of paragraphs that will be sure to inspire you to read the rest:

Giving alms to Africa remains one of the biggest ideas of our time — millions march for it, governments are judged by it, celebrities proselytize the need for it. Calls for more aid to Africa are growing louder, with advocates pushing for doubling the roughly $50 billion of international assistance that already goes to Africa each year.

Yet evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that aid to Africa has made the poor poorer, and the growth slower. The insidious aid culture has left African countries more debt-laden, more inflation-prone, more vulnerable to the vagaries of the currency markets and more unattractive to higher-quality investment. It’s increased the risk of civil conflict and unrest (the fact that over 60% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is under the age of 24 with few economic prospects is a cause for worry). Aid is an unmitigated political, economic and humanitarian disaster.

I wonder how Kevin Myers finally made out after the attacks on him, our coverage of Myers was here and here.

Come to think of it, Myers was a wee bit more graphic then the Wall St. Journal.  Here is Myers:

Sorry. My conscience has toured this territory on foot and financially. Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there. The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a priapic, Kalashnikov-bearing hearty, siring children whenever the whim takes him.

Do-gooders beware, too much aid can be a bad thing for the human spirit.

Posted in Africa, free speech | 3 Comments »

 
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