Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for May 23rd, 2009

DC area Somalis watched by federal authorities

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 23, 2009

By the time I read through this article at World Net Daily, I thought I was reading a summary of Refugee Resettlement Watch posts from the last year!    Except I didn’t know about this Northern Virginia cluster of Somalis.

Fearing the next terror attack could emerge from America’s growing Somali refugee population, federal authorities have stepped up surveillance in Somali communities – including a large enclave just outside Washington.

In fact, WND has learned that the Baileys Crossroads area of Northern Virginia – about 10 miles from the capital – was a critical focus of security investigations in advance of the presidential inauguration in January.

Investigators say a troubling number of the area’s Somali men hold “militant” anti-American views and sympathize with al-Qaida. They typically work as taxi drivers, gathering at local coffeehouses during their breaks, as well as at a nearby mosque tied to 9/11.

We told you about the inauguration scare at the time.

“Somalis were the hot topic during the inauguration, and they still are,” said a senior investigator assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington. “They’re very militant, and they’re all over that area.”

What do you know!   Food stamp fraud too.

The local [Minneapolis] Somali community has also been the subject of federal investigations into terrorist money-laundering. Agents suspect Somali refugees have funneled millions of dollars from food-stamp fraud and drug sales through Somali grocery stores into overseas bank accounts used by al-Qaida.

Then here is the Nashville connection as well.

A large number of Somali refugees have also settled in Nashville, Tennessee, stirring up fears of radicalization there as well. A predominantly Somali mosque in Nashville – the Al-Farooq Islamic Center – sells Islamic texts and tapes that support violent jihad, according to former federal investigator Dave Gaubatz, who recently conducted an undercover investigation at the mosque.

“The leadership is very sharia-compliant,” he said, “and has several manuals by Islamic terrorists, as well as lectures by Ali al-Timimi,” a radical American Muslim cleric who in 2005 was convicted of soliciting violent jihad.

And, another locale we mention frequently, Shelbyville, TN.  It is all here!

The suburbs of Shelbyville and Dover have also become Somali strongholds. Local newspapers have reported that police are hesitant to even patrol after dark at the apartment complexes where the Somalis live.

It is a good summary, read it all.

Posted in Africa, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees | 2 Comments »

A different kind of Iraqi refugee story

Posted by Judy K. Warner on May 23, 2009

With all the stories we’ve put up about unemployed Iraqi refugees,  I thought I’d post one outside of that template. Adam Ashton of the Modesto Bee reports on a group of Iraqi refugee women who are learning hair styling at Modesto’s Dior School of Cosmetology.

Sam Rasho, the school’s owner, lent these students a hand up, waiving $12,000 in tuition for them and 13 other refugees. They must spend eight more months in class before they’ll be ready to seek a license from the state Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

“People helped me, so I felt it was my duty to help them,” said Rasho, who left Iraq and arrived in Chicago in 1974.

This is typical of how immigrants have traditionally made their way in America – earlier arrivals helping new ones to make a living and to assimilate. So how come this story is so different from those previous ones of Iraqi refugees disillusioned with America? I suspect the answer is here:

Rasho heard about their trouble finding work through a network of Assyrian Christians in Stanislaus County.

That’s all it says about Christians, but it’s clear these are Iraqi Christians, not Muslims. Not something a reporter who values his job would want to emphasize, but probably the crux of the story.

“They are so dedicated,” Bradley said. “They’re going to get jobs because they’re eager to work and they work hard.”

There are plenty of Iraqi Muslims who have been here a long time and have prospered. Perhaps they could help out some of those unemployed Iraqi Muslims refugees by teaching them a useful trade. Perhaps they already are doing that and we just haven’t heard of it, but I doubt it. It makes such a good story that some reporter would have picked it up.

Posted in Christian refugees, Iraqi refugees, Muslim refugees | 1 Comment »

Wall Street Journal investigates immigrant jobs conflict in Shelbyville, TN

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 23, 2009

Entitled, ‘Job Fight: Immigrants vs. Locals’ reporter Miriam Jordan filed a lengthy and thorough story this morning about the little town of Shelbyville, TN and the on-going turmoil there involving refugee and immigrant labor competing with local residents for scarce jobs.

Read the whole WSJ piece here.

By the way, we have been following the immigrant problems in Shelbyville for at least a year and a half, and recently wrote this post about refugees being bused there for jobs.  However, it was a shock to learn that refugees are applying for jobs in Shelbyville from as far away as Boise, ID.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Refugee Resettlement Program | 4 Comments »

If you want federal grants it helps to inflate the numbers

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 23, 2009

Your tax dollars:

That’s the message I took away from this article in the Columbus Dispatch yesterday.  Apparently there is much back and forth debate in Ohio about how many Somalis actually reside there. 

Past estimates of Franklin County’s Somali population have ranged from 30,000 to 80,000. But a new report says that it’s more like 15,000.

An accurate number helps government agencies funnel funds for social services — English classes, jobs programs, etc. — to specific groups.

“Is it possible we have a grant proposal that says 40,000 Somalis? Yes,” said Angie Plummer, executive director of Community Refugee and Immigration Services.

But she said that grant proposals must include the specific number of people an agency expects to serve with the funds. That means while a grant proposal might refer to a population estimate, it will ask for funds to serve a specific number.

No one could say how much money has flowed in to help Somalis based on population estimates.

It’s a very interesting article, please read it all. 

Then here is a line from near the end:

Communities stand to gain money [taxpayer money!] and power by overestimating numbers, she ( Barbara Ronningen, with the Minnesota State Demographic Center) said.

Community Immigration and Refugee Services is a subcontractor of one of the Top Ten federal contractors, Church World Service.

Posted in Refugee Resettlement Program | 1 Comment »

‘Lynch mob’ runs refugees out of small Swedish town

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 23, 2009

Ah, that “welcoming” multicultural utopia we call Sweden where refugees flock by the tens of thousands for Sweden’s vaunted cradle to grave welfare system seems to be cracking a bit.   Hey State of Maine, you may have a “cadillac” welfare sytem but Sweden’s got a Rolls-Royce.

This morning there is news that in the little town of Vannas a ‘lynch mob’ gathered recently and succeeded in scaring a number of refugees out of town.

Nearly half of the predominantly Iraqi-refugees residing in Vännäs in northern Sweden have decided to permanently move out of the area after being terrorized by what police called “a lynch mob” in early May.

“I thought that Vännäs was the perfect place for us. And there are many, many friendly people here. But we still don’t dare to stay; I’m seriously concerned about my children’s safety,” said father of five Ismail Ramadan to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

Ramadan’s family and several others have decided to abandon plans of starting a life in the small community outside of Umeå less than two weeks after a group of 30 to 50 young people assembled outside the apartment building in which the refugees lived and began shouting threats and throwing stones.

The May 9th incident resulted in several broken windows and many frightened refugees.

The local refugee coordinator took action.

The weekend of harassment prompted municipality refugee coordinator Ingrid Lindroth to evacuate the refugees to safety.

The police said the incident was not that serious.   Read the whole story, but apparently it stemmed from an incident where a refugee boy was accused of assaulting a local girl.  We told you recently about the high rate of sexual assault cases Sweden was experiencing here.

But the move was criticized by police, who characterized the decision to evacuate around 40 refugees as “significantly more drastic” than necessary, adding that it complicated the police’s investigation into the incident.

Other townspeople and the local politicians begged the refugees to come back.

Posted in diversity's dark side, Europe, Muslim refugees | 3 Comments »

 
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