“Haters” and “bigots” that is what mainstream media publications call anyone searching for the FACTS involving anything to do with immigration in America these days.
So it is no surprise to see this editorial (not a letter to the editor mind you!) from the educated and erudite and oh-so-sophisticated making up the editorial staff of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
The message is you are a “bigot,” “bigot,” “hater,” “hater,” “racist,” “xenophobe,” (LOL! the more powerful if they say the words many times!) if you have any questions about a federal or state government program involving immigration and your tax dollars, so shut up. It is pathetic really.
Here is how they begin, but you can read it all yourself! And, it is this sort of journalism that is at the very root of why Refugee Resettlement Watch exists to this day!
Tribune Eagle (Hat tip: Joanne):
The debate over Wyoming setting up a program to accommodate refugees from foreign lands is similar to the debate over decriminalizing pot in The Cowboy State. Some think that as long as it is illegal to possess marijuana in Wyoming, there will be no pot here.
That same ignorance is behind the opposition to creating a refugee program here: If there’s no system in place, refugees won’t come to Wyoming.
That’s just wrong, Gov. Matt Mead has pointed out, because refugees are already living here. Having no plan in place to ease them into the system n no, there will be no “refugee camp,” despite claims from the conspiracy theory crowd n simply gives the state no control and few options to provide help to the refugees who do come calling on Wyoming to make it their home.
Unfortunately, this issue has drawn the haters out from under their rocks since Mr. Mead announced a few months ago that his office was exploring the issue. (Wyoming is the only state without some kind of refugee settlement plan.)
The McCraken family owns this newspaper and Mike McCraken is the publisher. They own the Casper Star Tribune too (this paper and the Star-Tribune have the widest circulation in the state), so it looks like they control the news in Wyoming.
History lesson from the archives of Refugee Resettlement Watch.
We, a couple of women, began RRW in 2007 when our local newspaper, the Hagerstown Herald Mail, refused to do any investigation into how the first group of newly arrived refugees ‘found their way’ to our rural Maryland county (dropped off by the Virginia Council of Churches). Many problems ensued that mostly revolved around the refugees not being adequately cared for by the VCoC. Citizens wanted answers.
Curious too about how the government program works, I asked the Herald-Mail to please do some small amount of investigating about how the program works—how did a church group from Virginia get to drop off hundreds of mostly Meskhetians (Turkish Russians) and no one knew about it, or few knew about it.
Naively, at the time, I asked the paper to find some answers to the following questions. I thought if the public understood the program there would be less anxiety in the community.
This is from the text of an e-mail I sent to a reporter in 2007:
Here are some (maybe more than you were looking for!) questions:
1) Under what authority can a private religious group choose to bring refugees into a community? Why Hagerstown?
2) Are assessments done of the community and its ability to absorb more people who will, at least initially, live below the poverty line? Do we know how many people in Wash. Co. live below the poverty line? How many in Hagerstown?
3) Is there any accounting done of the cost to the community? For instance, is there high demand now for low income apartments in the Hagerstown area? Will more immigrants push up the cost of housing for all low income people in the county?
4) Are elected officials consulted before and during the process? Is there any legal authority that requires such consultation? Was there any outreach to Commissioners and City Council prior to the establishment of Virginia Council of Churches program here?
5) Who pays for the immigrants housing, food, medical until they are fully established?
6) Is there a saturation point determined, or can this program just go on indefinitely? Who determines saturation point?
7) Since these refugees will have low skilled work, is health insurance available to them, or must they depend on public health care? Is there any accounting of how many in the first group are now covered by medical insurance? What has been the response of public health services?
8) Are schools in Washington County overcrowded? Maybe the initial 200 refugees have not put a burden on the schools, does anyone know? Will the next 200 put a burden or the 200 after that?
9) Have there been any crimes committed or use of police services during the first wave of immigrants?
10) How well has the original group of refugees learned English? Did all adults attend ESL classes regularly enough to learn?
11) What programs are in place to encourage other assimilation to living in America?
12) Who were the volunteer groups and churches in Washington County that helped support the first wave? Are they still helping with the newcomers? What sort of support did they give to the immigrants? Are there such people lined up to help with the next wave?
13) Are there regular meetings in Washington County to assess the problems/progress of the first group?
Do elected officials attend? Does the public attend?
14) Is it a normal practice for a group such as Virginia Council of Churches to go to elected officials and ask for funds ($15,000 in this case)?
15) Why did VCoC leave Carroll County? Why are they not locating these people in Virginia? Have those cities in Virginia been saturated?
16) Does VCoC get government funds for its overhead? If so, how much?
The paper refused to even try to answer these straightforward questions and began the editorial name-calling. If I recall correctly they weren’t even so crass, or so mean, as to call those of us with questions “bigots,” “racists” or “xenophobes,” but we were called “unwelcoming” and “kitten kickers.”
That did it! If the news media could not be counted on to find facts on how refugee resettlement works, the average citizen (paying for the program) had to have another source for information—RRW was born!
Bottomline! You have a right to know every detail about how your tax dollars are being spent and how your community will be changed! Don’t let their name-calling silence you!
I just went back and re-read the Wyoming Tribune Eagle editorial and note, at the end, that they have the audacity to advise the Governor to cut any citizens with questions out of the process when getting input on the plan—unbelievable! Is Wyoming now Moscow?
Shame on you Tribune Eagle, if this program cannot survive full and open scrutiny and public discussion, should it be secretly put in place?
New Readers! To catch up on the Wyoming controversy, click here for all of our previous posts.