Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for December 12th, 2009

Burundian refugee hit by car and killed in Michigan

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 12, 2009

This is not the first time we have heard of a refugee hit by a car and killed in the US, and not the first Burundian to die in an accident.  Murumba Melansi was a father of eleven and his untimely death puts an enormous strain on the family.  Presumably the family’s refugee resettlement agency, Catholic Charities, will be able to make up for the shortfall in the family’s income.  It seems it would be the moral thing to do.

From the Lansing State Journal:

Murumba Melansi and his wife escaped genocide in the central African country Burundi and then hardship in a Tanzanian refugee camp before coming to Lansing in 2007 with nine of their children.

[.....]

On Dec. 5, the family’s new life was shattered when Melansi, 56, was struck by a car while crossing Grand River Avenue near Pennsylvania Avenue.

He was taken off life support Wednesday.

Lansing police said Melansi was intoxicated at the time of the crash, which happened at about 1 p.m. Family members said he was walking to the store.

[.....]

Thomas Valli, who worked with the family through St. Vincent Catholic Charities and became friends with Melansi, described him as “a quiet and dignified head of the family. And it’s reflected in the atmosphere of the home.”

This story reminds me, I guess we never did hear if charges were ultimately filed in the Arizona van accident that killed six Burundian refugees last summer.

Posted in Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities | 1 Comment »

Toronto Five: Somali Muslim youths missing in Canada

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 12, 2009

Here is a lengthy article from The Star about five Somali youths (just like our former refugees turned jihadists) who Canadian security services believe have gone to Jihad training with Al Shabaab in Somalia.  We mentioned the story earlier here as well.

They hung out at a Somali restaurant in “Little Mogadishu” [cute, they have a Little Mogadishu just like we do!]  in the northwest corner of the city, played basketball together, and worshipped at a North York mosque.

The five friends, in their early to mid-20s, grew up and attended schools in Toronto. They spoke English and Somali. At least two of them were university students.

That is, until all five disappeared.

[....]

The overwhelming fear is that – like at least 20 young Somali-American men in Minneapolis who have disappeared in the past two years, and others from Australia, Sweden and Britain – the young men are en route to Somalia to fight alongside al Shabaab, an Islamist youth militia aligned with Al Qaeda.

Basically the story follows the same pattern as our Somali missing youths (five or six of ours are dead and accomplices have been indicted).   There is one bit of news in here I didn’t know.  We caught four trying to slip out of Chicago just two weeks ago.

But it hasn’t stopped other young Somali-Americans from trying to join the Shabaab. About two weeks ago, four young men, two under the age of 16, were stopped while trying to fly to Kenya through Chicago.

Just like in Minneapolis, the Toronto mosque is under suspicion.

In Toronto, the North York mosque where the five Toronto men worshipped has come under scrutiny since they disappeared.

Then there is the usual ‘crisis of belonging’ excuse that we hear all the time.  Or, that the young men live in poverty and have no future.    But, let me ask readers, what do all these young men have in common whether they are going to Pakistan (as in the DC Five) or to Somalia?  The call of Islam, the Jihad and Islamic supremacism!   And, to a man they are not poor, but well-educated with bright futures!

There are stories of how mothers have hidden their grown-up sons’ passports while other family members keep an eye on them. Some mothers are even trying to monitor their sons’ Internet activities.

It sounds over-the-top but Jibril said, “It’s an extraordinary situation.” There’s a fear there may be an exodus of more young men from Toronto as happened in Minneapolis, he said. Toronto is now home to almost 50,000 Somali-Canadians, he points out.

In Little Mogadishu, an area bounded by highrises along Dixon Rd. and between Kipling and Islington Aves., families run thriving restaurants and grocery stores. Yet Somalis remain one of the GTA’s most disadvantaged, scoring near the bottom in household income, employment and education.

Mohamed Gilao, executive director of Dejinta Beesha, a settlement agency, said young people find it difficult to integrate; some drop out of school and fall prey to crime, drugs and gangs. And now, it seems, radicals, too.

But the five missing men were raised in middle-class families and none had a run-in with police, say community leaders.

Warsame, the youth leader, talks of the crisis of “belonging” that plagues all young people from war-torn countries, especially if they still have relatives there.

That reminds me.  I wanted to mention a few lines in a Ken Timmerman Newsmax article, here, to demonstrate how hopeless our war on terror is when this notion that poverty and not belonging begets radicalization—-that it has nothing to do with Islam.

Also addressing the conference was Clinton-era official Daniel Benjamin, the Obama administration’s counterterrorism czar.

Newsmax asked Benjamin how the Obama administration could wage war against global Islamic jihad if it didn’t mention the word “Islam.”

Benjamin said the administration felt it was “counterproductive” to look at global terrorism as primarily a Muslim phenomenon.

“Al-Qaida has appropriated texts of Islam, but there is nothing to be gained by describing this as an Islamic problem. That is not going to get us where we want to go,” he said.

He said the goal of administration policy was to “undermine the al-Qaida narrative” and to attack the sources of “real or perceived deprivation” by focusing on the “underlying conditions” that lead to extremism. “When children have no hope of education, and young people have no hope for a job, this pushes people to radicalization,” he said.

You gotta laugh!  I just went back to see if the word “Islam” or “Muslim” appeared at all in the Toronto article.  Only the word “Islamist” appears in describing Al Shabaab.

Posted in Africa, Canada, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 5 Comments »

Wisconsin refugee resettlement support folks hit bump in the road

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 12, 2009

I’ve told you before* about this group in Wisconsin, affiliated with a church, which has taken care of individual refugee families—the old fashioned hard way, one at a time.  Well, except this time they took two related families.  They have been chronicling their trials and tribulations at a blog called Refugee Resettlement Support.

Jeffrey Kirk’s entry on December 11th reports some bureaucratic snafus that have given them a “bump in the road.”   It involves food stamps.  Kirk begins:

As you know (if you’ve read previous posts), our two linked refugee families decided to split up nearly two months ago. Then about a month ago, we finished moving the second of the two into a new apartment.

It sounds like that should have been the end of the difficulties. From the perspective of the two families this has been a major relief. There are no quarrels, no ongoing relationship problems. Fantastic!

But there is a problem with “the System,” in this case, one small part of public assistance…

Read the rest of the post for an inside view of the refugee process.  And, for readers who will pounce here and say, ‘see this is why we need experienced government (taxpayer funded) contractors to help the refugees get through the welfare bureaucracy,’ I still say no.   These volunteers can get it done and they all can learn important lessons about charity and how real charity is hard sometimes.

* Previous posts on this group are here, here and here.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities | 1 Comment »

Rep Gutierrez to introduce Amnesty bill Tuesday

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 12, 2009

The Federation for Immigration Reform is alerting its supporters that Amnesty is back!  Rep. Gutierrez  plans to introduce his bill, so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform, on Tuesday, December 15th, according to the Dan Stein Report, here.

“On Tuesday, December 15, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) will introduce new legislation, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), to the U.S. House of Representatives,” notes a press release today. “The time for waiting is over. This bill will be presented before Congress recesses for the holidays so that there is no excuse for inaction in the New Year,” Gutierrez said in the release.

Be sure to follow the link back to the press release and see who the co-sponsors are.  If you are looking for some action you can do now, contact your Congressman and tell him or her not to co-sponsor the bill.

Tea partiers and friends will be in Washington Tuesday for another demonstration on health care reform, Gutierrez bill introduction tells us we will have many more reasons to be riding the bus to DC in coming months.  Code red rally, here (wearing red and seeing red)!

Posted in creating a movement, Other Immigration, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off

Read Dinah Lord for more on Muslims

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 12, 2009

Readers, check out Dinah Lord’s blog here.  I’m adding her to my must-read regular stops each day.  She has more on the DC-5, the Swiss Minaret ban, and if you haven’t read it elsewhere, more news on the murder of a Jewish professor by a Saudi “student” in Binghamton, NY.

Posted in blogging | Comments Off

 
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