Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for May, 2009

Obama’s Justice Department files brief against letting Uighurs settle here

Posted by Judy K. Warner on May 30, 2009

Will wonders never cease! Who would think that the Obama administration wouldn’t be eager to settle a group of Chinese terrorists in your neighborhood? Andy McCarthy reports at National Review:

The Obama Justice Department told the Supreme Court this evening that the Uighurs have no right to be released into the United States.

The Uighurs, Chinese Muslim detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, received terrorist training at al Qaeda affiliated camps (from an organization formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law) and were captured after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. They are the Left’s combatant cause célèbre.  The military took the incoherent position that they were trained al Qaeda terrorists but that their real beef was with China, not us. Thus, the federal courts have held that they are not enemy combatants. The government has been trying to relocate them for years but no country will take the remaining 17 — other than China, where our treaty obligations arguably forbid us from sending them because there is reason to believe they’d be persecuted. 

We’ve posted a lot about the Uighurs. I’d put a link to our posts, but WordPress has taken away our search function, I hope temporarily.

One insane judge actually ordered the Uighurs released into the United States, but the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed his decision.

The Uighurs appealed, and today the Justice Department filed its responsive brief.  Solicitor General Elena Kagan argued — consistent with the Bush administration position — that the Uighurs have no right to be released into the U.S.

It makes me laugh every time Obama adopts a policy that was held by the Bush administration on terrorism. Sometimes reality is so strong that it overcomes even leftist ideology. In this case, McCarthy concludes:

Watch tomorrow as our usual conservative commentator suspects insist that we must give President Obama great credit for doing the right thing for national security — and conveniently ignore that the President tends to do the right thing only after knuckle-dragging right-wingers push back against his (and his Justice Department’s) reliable inclination to do the wrong thing.

I’d say that it’s not just we knuckle-dragging right-wingers in this case. It was a lot of ordinary Americans horrified at the idea of terrorist prisoners being released into their neighborhoods and letting their representatives in Congress know about it.

Posted in Muslim refugees, Obama | Comments Off

U.S. taxpayers are enriching Palestinian terrorists

Posted by Judy K. Warner on May 29, 2009

Joel Mowbray has a terrific op-ed piece in the Washington Times today on how the State Department is allowing U.S. funds to go to UNRWA, the UN agency in charge of the Palestinian “refugees,” without proper oversight to make sure the money doesn’t end up in terrorists’ pockets (or Swiss bank accounts).

In U.S. foots the bill for terrorists, Mowbray says:

Through either deliberate neglect or simple ineptitude, the State Department has made U.S. taxpayers complicit in perpetuating the single greatest impediment to Middle East peace: an increasingly radical Palestinian society that despises Israel and embraces terrorism.

Despite multiple government audits and several changes enacted in the law over the past few years, the department still cannot ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not enriching terrorists or underwriting terrorist propaganda in schools across the West Bank and Gaza….

This means in practical terms that many of the Palestinians who are consuming a steady diet of Islamist indoctrination and glorification of violence receive this brainwashing courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. It doesn’t require high-level deductions to predict how badly this wounds – if not kills – any hope for Palestinian society to embrace peaceful coexistence with a Jewish state of Israel.

The State Department has been pushed to change through audits and changes in the law, but is still failing in its duty. Last week the Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, issued a report confirming this and recommending changes. Some are so basic that it’s unbelievable they are not already in place, such as “screening the names of UNRWA contractors against lists of individuals and entities of concern to the United States.”

Mowbray reports on some congressional efforts to improve matters. One I didn’t know about is a resolution by Rep. Steven R. Rothman, (D-NJ),

calling for UNRWA to put its textbooks on the Internet for public inspection and for the United States to screen the agency’s payroll for terrorists.

His ultimate goal, he explains, is simple: “Not one penny of U.S. taxpayer dollars should go either directly or indirectly to anyone associated with Hamas or any other terrorist organization. Nor should any go to terrorist propaganda in classrooms.”

Further, a recent “spending bill requires the State Department to propose a plan to increase the transparency and accountability of UNRWA” and sets aside money for an audit of USAID, the foreign aid agency.  But, Mowbray says, the State Department “seems intent on not enforcing the laws passed by Congress.”

The State Department has a long history of favoring Arabs over Jews, and Arab countries over Israel. A couple of days ago I attended a discussion at the Hudson Institute on a newly released book by Ron and Allis Radosh, A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel. The authors related how the State Department again and again sabotaged Truman’s pro-Israel policies during the founding of Israel, even directly embarrassing the president by announcing their own policies as if they were his. They were blatantly on the side of the Arabs, and this bias has continued from that day until this.

Joel Mowbray’s investigative reporting on the issue of the State Department’s failure regarding UNRWA is one reason Congress is now acting on the matter. It will make a big difference to the future of the Middle East if the “cultural swamp,” as Mowbray puts it, can be drained.  Our defunding of radical Islamist, anti-Semitic propaganda would be a good start.

Posted in Israel and refugees, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed | 2 Comments »

Conference on radical Islam is forced to move to undisclosed location

Posted by Judy K. Warner on May 29, 2009

The New English Review is holding a symposium, “Understanding the Jihad in Israel, Europe and America.”  It is in Nashville, and had been scheduled since December to be held May 29 and 30 at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.  That’s today and tomorrow. On Tuesday the hotel cancelled the event for reasons the personnel refused to discuss.

Ken Timmerman looked into the matter and reports at Newsmax:

The manager of a prominent Nashville hotel cancelled a contract with a conservative foundation to hold a conference this weekend on radical Islam, apparently after learning that the group would feature a keynote address by controversial Dutch parliamentarian and filmmaker, Geert Wilders.

….Thomas A. Negri, managing director of Loew’s Vanderbilt Hotel and Office complex in Nashville, told Newsmax on Wednesday that he had taken the extraordinary step of cancelling the conference at the last minute “for the health, safety and well-being of our guests and employees.”

Negri refused to say why he felt the conference would adversely affect the “health, safety and well-being” of the hotel’s guests and employees, except to refer to the website of the New English Review, the group organizing the conference.

It turns out that the reason is certainly ideological. The New English Review publishes articles on radical Islam, and one of the presenters, Jerry Gordon, had written an article about the Somali refugees at the Tyson’s plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee — something we’ve covered extensively.

Negri appeared at a 2003 pro-immigration event on the same dias with a well-known Somali warlord, Gordon told Newsmax.

Negri seems to be deeply involved in pro-immigration and anti-assimilation activities.

Negri also serves on the board of advisors of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, TIRRC, an activist group that states its mission “is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice” and “defend their rights.”

The coalition helped defeat an English-only amendment in Nashville. It won an award from the Migration Policy Institute, which is funded by a foundation involved in left-wing causes.

The New English Review folks found another location for their meeting, which they are not disclosing. We’re big fans of the New English Review, and wish them the best of luck in holding their symposium unmolested. And kudos to the unknown location that allowed them to come at the last minute.

Posted in Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side, free speech | 7 Comments »

More of Malta’s illegal aliens headed to the US

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 28, 2009

Illegal immigrant Africans break into Malta and then are magically transformed into “refugees” after surely fabricating a persecution story, and we resettle them in America.   It is maddening!  When are we going to send some of our illegals to Malta?  Afterall, these are economic migrants just as those who enter the US from Mexico are and do not deserve the label “refugee.”

Here is the whole article from the Times of Malta yesterday.  It is short and every bit of it is interesting so I couldn’t figure out what to cut out.    We have been writing about Malta for nearly two years.   It was a former Bush Administration US Ambassador, I call her ‘Tea Party Molly‘ (this was before Tea Party acquired a more significant meaning), who came up with this brilliant idea of relieving the illegal alien problem for Malta by bringing them here!

A group of 13 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan leave Malta tomorrow to begin a new life in the United States.

Since the US Embassy began its permanent refugee resettlement programme in May 2008, over 250 refugees have been resettled inthe US.

The programme is a collaborative partnership among the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Office of Migration (IOM), the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and a number of local non-governmental organisations.

Charge d’Affairs Jason Davis said the refugee resettlement program showed America’s continuing commitment to help ease the burden that migration placed on Malta, as well as its recognition of the enormous challenges and dangers that many of the migrants faced.

“The programme’s success is a tribute to continued hard work on the part of UNHCR, IOM, and the US government, as well as many others here in Malta who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of refugees in need of humanitarian assistance,” Mr Davis said.

He added that all refugees were assigned a sponsor agency in the US that provided initial services such as housing, food, and clothing, as well as referral to medical care, employment services, and other support services during the transition period to self-sufficiency. These services were provided to facilitate refugees with the process of integration and cultural assimilation.  [What a joke, they will live in slums, unemployed and on welfare.   There will be virtually no cultural assimilation encouraged!]

As I said, I have written about Malta many times and its always the commenters to the Times of Malta articles that are so instructive!

Here is Anthea Preston:

I would love to be able to move to America and start a new life in the land of plenty – much better standard of living than here in the UK, but alas, I do not meet their strict criteria despite having quite a lot to offer compared to these “refugees” aka illegal immigrants!!!! Something very wrong here.

And, Louise Vella has a couple of questions:

I thank the US for taking these refugees but I have two comments:

1. Can the government inform the public how many refugees and illegal immigrants are still in Malta?

2. Do these resettlements not help to attract more illegal immigrants who see Malta as a gateway to America? Is this not a pull factor?

Louise, I can’t answer your first question, the US government can’t tell us either how many illegal aliens are in the US.  But, as for your second question, I am convinced the answer is absolutely, YES!   The word is probably all over Africa—get to Malta and you might win the lottery and get a taxpayer funded new life in America (plane ticket and all!).

Here are all the posts in which I have discussed Malta.

Posted in Europe, Refugee Resettlement Program | 1 Comment »

Immigration Daily argues that June 8th White House meeting is telling

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 28, 2009

The on-line publication for pro-open borders immigration professionals argued in an editorial today that the June 8th White House chit-chat that I mentioned yesterday will be an extremely important event for what they call Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR = Amnesty). 

I know this is drifting away from refugees and asylees a bit, but flooding the US with immigrant populations is what they are both about.  However, I always wonder if legalizing millions of presently illegal aliens won’t in fact cause huge problems for the refugee industry because jobs are already very scarce for the low-skilled workers both import for their friends in big business.

What is the significance of the Sotomayor pick for the Supreme Court and the June 8th meeting?   From Immigration Daily:

President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court is yet another in a series of politically astute moves by the White House, in this case seeking to cement Latinos into the Democratic coalition. The nomination raises the question as to whether this is a down payment for CIR or a substitute for it. Some in the anti camp suggest that “Sotomayor was guaranteed to get the nod — as a consolation prize for Hispanic pressure groups, since there isn’t going to be an amnesty.” However, the pro-immigration America’s Voice argues that the SCOTUS nomination has nothing to do with CIR, and that “Obama has renewed his campaign pledge to move reform forward in year 1. Again, and again, and again.”

Read on for their linkage of Sotomayor pick to June 8th at the White House.

Posted in Obama, Other Immigration | 3 Comments »

African refugees strain the school system in Cleveland

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 28, 2009

This article in the Plain Dealer is pretty much a boiler-plate article about the “challenge” faced by a school district, and in this case a particular school, to educate a flood of third world children who come from cultures where school is not part of their lives.   I always wonder what is happening to the other city kids in these schools when teachers must integrate illiterate children at all grade levels.

Helping the newcomers get acclimated is a stiff challenge. Teachers say it takes up to seven years to proficiently read and think in an unfamiliar language, particularly one with so many words that sound alike or carry double meanings.

Aides translate in African or Asian languages that Gallagher teachers don’t speak, but sometimes concepts have to be conveyed by pointing at objects or drawing pictures.

So, for example, what are the other students doing when a teacher is pointing at a pencil and saying, “pencil” to a 5th grader?

Catholic Charities resettled this particular group of refugees (as a federal government contractor!) and says essentially, we are finished with them at 3-6 months. 

The federal government and Catholic Charities support the refugees for three to six months, after which they have to find work or other support. Families get by with the aid of food stamps, donated furniture and hand-me-down clothes. Employment may be spotty. Many are without cars. They may have to shift to run-down housing.

School nurses work to get the families on Medicaid, or find them primary doctors and eye and dental care. That keeps them from depending on hospital emergency rooms. 

In fact the refugees should be getting up to 8 months of outright government aid and  they are eligible for all forms of welfare for years.   Besides there is no law that says Catholic Charities can’t help them for years, or as long as it takes, with their own privately raised funds.  How many refugees do you think Catholic Charities would resettle if they had to do it without your tax dollars, without the lucrative grants and contracts they have from the State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Dept. of Health and Human Services?

No melting here!  Somalis have said they won’t be melting either.

Bill Merriman is a deacon at St. Patrick Catholic Church on Bridge Avenue, where he assists Liberians who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. Stephanie Pritts of Lakewood works as a volunteer among Somalis through Cleveland’s Community of St. Malachi parish.

They say the Africans retain much of their nomadic, tribal ways. Order and responsibility sometimes get lost in the shuffle as families mix freely and fill their rental homes with stepfathers, aunts, uncles and half-brothers. Children may spend days at the houses of kin, or leave during a school week for a family gathering in another city.

Pritts said the Somali women are warm and welcoming but are relegated by male-dominated tradition to cooking, giving birth and watching the children. The mothers tend to be illiterate. Helping with homework, science projects or going to the library are not in the routine. Academically, the children are on their own.

“They bring notes home from school, no one can read it,” Pritts said. “There’s no understanding that they have to support that effort.”

This article reminded me of the Cloward/Piven Strategy, a strategy Obama learned well at Columbia University.   Nancy Coppock in American Thinker:

The Cloward/Piven Strategy is named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. Their goal is to overthrow capitalism by overwhelming the government bureaucracy with entitlement demands. The created crisis provides the impetus to bring about radical political change.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities | Comments Off

Obama White House has scheduled a chit-chat with legislators on immigration June 8th

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 27, 2009

Update May 28th:  Connection between Sotomayor pick for Supreme Court and the June 8th meeting, here.

Just now Rush Limbaugh said that Obama hasn’t yet scheduled a White House forum of sorts on immigration reform, but I had just read last night that he has.  It apparently will be a little different then the previous Delphi Technique meetings in that it will be with only legislators.

From last week at Politico:

President Barack Obama is inviting members of Congress to the White House for a June 8 meeting to highlight immigration reform, an administration official confirmed to POLITICO Wednesday.

“The meeting will be an opportunity to launch a policy conversation that we hope will be able to start a debate that will take place in Congress later in the year,” the official, who asked not to be named, said.

Asked if the session would be billed as a summit or a forum, like similar meetings on health care and fiscal responsibility earlier in the year, another official said, “This isn’t a forum or a summit with outside groups, this is solely a meeting with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the issue.”

Readers concerned with reform of refugee resettlement, don’t get your hopes up, this reform is strictly involved with Amnesty and may not even be pushed this year.  Can you imagine in the middle of massive unemployment the firestorm such a move would set off among the general public.  I would love to see it happen—-the firestorm, that is!

Immigration reform advocates have been pressing Obama to vow to pass immigration reform this year. He has promised make the issue a priority, but has stopped short of setting a goal of getting a bill through Congress by December.

Posted in Obama, Other Immigration, Reforms needed | 1 Comment »

Iraqi refugees demonstrate in Syria, say they want resettlement now!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 27, 2009

From the Associated Press:

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) – Some 200 Iraqi refugees in Syria staged a sit-in outside the UN refugee offices in  Damascus Tuesday to protest perceived delays in measures to resettle them in a third country.

The protesters were trying to highlight the plight of the refugees, many of whom fled the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and are still waiting for resettlement six years later.

The UN representative told AP:

……more than 200,000 refugees have registered with the agency in the past few years, adding that only 10,500 of them have already been resettled.

I wonder does AP ever do any google searches to follow what is happening to unhappy Iraqis resettled in the US, some of whom want to return to the Middle East because of lousy living conditions and unemployment here.

It was only two months ago that we learned that two Iraqi families who had been resettled in Fredericksburg, VA, borrowed money and RETURNED  to Syria!  Does anyone mention that to those protesters?  NO! 

I know it’s a cliche, but the deeper I get into this issue the more it becomes apparent that the major media outlets are downright disgusting with their politically correct bias.

Posted in Iraqi refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off

Comment worth noting: reader says we are being “misleading” in diversity visa story

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 27, 2009

Earlier this month I reported that NumbersUSA has begun a grassroots campaign in support of a bill in Congress to do away with the Diversity Visa Lottery.  Here is the post I wrote.

A commenter, Nick, says we are being “misleading”, but I am not sure what we are “misleading” about.

Ummmm- sorry but your article is grossly misleading. I am a recipient of a 2009 Diversity Visa (LPR since March 27th of this year) and simple fact is that no Green Cards are issued to those who do not have 12 years of formal education (I have a law degree, my husband has a Ph.D)or have at least 2 years work experience in a skilled profession. Furthermore we had to either have savings of $26,000 (how many Americans can say that in these difficult times?, a promise of a job (got one- that by the way only 2 Americans applied for- I was chosen for my unique legal skills, without the Diversity Vis I would have waited up to 10 years to get a Green Card) or have an American Citizen agree to sponsor us for the next 3 years. We are per definition excluded from claiming public aid for three years, cannot receive publicly funded health insurance etc so therefore cannot become a burden on American Tax payers (by the way we pay tax too)We were told under no uncertain terms during our Visa interview that the US does not let just anyone enter and is very strict when it comes to enforcing the Public Charge rule.If you can’t take care of yourself you can’t get in……

Note that Nick did keep an American from getting a job.   And, I am curious about what foreign legal skills would be of much value for our American legal system.

Coincidentally only a few days ago the Wall Street Journal reported that Egyptian diversity visa lottery winners were in line with Americans and refugees competing for meatpacking jobs at Tysons Food in Shelbyville, TN.  So what happened to their original “promise of a job?”

Posted in Comments worth noting, Other Immigration | Comments Off

VDARE Review of Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny” set off lightbulbs for me

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 26, 2009

Levin ‘gets it’ on immigration according to reviewer Paul Nachman at VDARE yesterday.   The review begins:

I’ve just read Mark Levin’s current book Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, whose publication fortuitously coincided with the advent of Wonderboy’s reign. Levin, a lawyer who worked in the rarefied heights of the Reagan administration, hosts a syndicated, weeknight radio talk show based in New York and, until recently, wrote for National Review Online. 

It’s a solid book, a call for a return to the principles, now called “conservative,” of the American Founding. And it’s a sustained argument against the internal enemies of the nation’s future, those who call themselves “Progressives” — an appellation that’s always stuck in my craw — and whom Levin refers to as “Statists” throughout.

Although Nachman praises Levin throughout (except for the chapter on the environment), it’s on chapter 9, the immigration chapter, that Nachman offers his greatest  praise for Levin and calls it a “superb job.”   Please read the whole review.  

Then here is the part that really jumped out at me.  Discussing enactment of the Hart-Celler Act, Nachman quotes Levin:

The historical basis for making immigration decisions was radically altered. The emphasis would no longer be on the preservation of American society and the consent of the governed; now aliens themselves would decide who comes to the United States through family reunification.

Are we missing an opportunity?

Oh my gosh!   Faithful readers know that “family reunification” in the refugee program is presently under suspension by the US State Department following the discovery of widespread fraud in the program (revealed by random DNA testing in Africa.)   See this early story on the suspension at the Wall Street Journal, and my post here.

The State Department is getting ready to re-open the program and with its re-opening will be lost an incredible opportunity for immigration reformers to get in there and fight for changes to the largest portion of legal immigration—the P-3 family reunification program!

This past Friday I made a presentation to a luncheon hosted by the Center for Security Policy and recommended a GAO investigation of the program before it reopens.   That is the only thing I could think of, but surely there could be legislation introduced or other types of pressure put on the State Department to make sure this is done right, or if not, halted indefinitely!

Posted in Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off

 
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