Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘health issues’ Category

Santa Barbara, CA: TB outbreak among Mexican ethnic group called “tip of the iceberg”

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 17, 2014

Although the ethnic group members harboring an outbreak of active TB in scenic Santa Barbara are not refugees, but largely illegal aliens, this is still an important story especially coming at the same time as the case in Illinois we reported last week.

We have, over the years, been following TB outbreaks largely coming from the foreign-born because we think it is one of the most under-reported problems (due to political correctness!) with our willy-nilly immigration system.  See our ‘Health issues’ category, here.

Another RRW geography lesson: The state of Oaxaca in Mexico.

From the Santa Barbara Independent last week (Hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’):

Santa Barbara health officials have been quietly working for months to contain a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak, and are now ramping up suppression efforts after publicly announcing that a Santa Maria High School student has been diagnosed with the infectious disease.

While the single diagnosis is a cause for concern, prompting both a community meeting on Friday and mass screenings at the school next Monday, the County of Santa Barbara Public Health Department’s grander ground plan has been actively kept under the radar for the past six months due to fears of alienating an already marginalized population and concerns about political backlash.

In 2013, 26 Santa Barbara residents were diagnosed with TB; 16 are North County residents, and nine are of Oaxacan descent. Figures for 2014 are not yet available, said Public Health Department spokesperson Susan Klein-Rothschild. At least one person died in 2013 from the disease (which typically attacks the lungs and has a 50 percent mortality rate if left untreated) and many had let it progress to advance stages before receiving treatment (which makes it much more contagious). Three children younger than 10 years old were diagnosed last year, and one was left severely and permanently disabled.

The disease has taken a real hold in the Oaxacan community!

Five of the Oaxacan cases “have epidemiologic links and the same genetic pattern on their TB isolate,” meaning they are all part of the same transmission chain. The Center for Disease Control declares an “outbreak” when three of more cases display that genetic link, and this week’s high school student case has been connected to the chain……the disease appears to have taken a real hold in the Oaxacan community.

Challenging job partly because they speak neither English or Spanish (diversity is strength, right!)

Thoman explained during an interview this Wednesday that Public Health nurses have been combing North County communities “day and night” in recent weeks, searching for signs of the disease. It’s a challenging assignment, she went on, as some of the Oaxacan individuals may be undocumented and harbor a distrust of government workers. Plus, many of them only speak Mixteco.

Only ten percent of California TB cases will become active!  Do the math!  Yikes! Isn’t ten percent of 3 million, 300,000?

While an estimated three million California residents carry the bacteria that causes the disease, only about 10 percent of them will come down with active TB, which can be cured with medication.  [if they get it in time, and if the foreign-born person completes the prescribed drug treatment regime---ed]

Why isn’t this story all over the national news?  For the same reason Santa Barbara health officials kept it quiet for so long—political correctness!

If fears of terrorism or crime don’t wake up Americans regarding our present out-of-control immigration, then surely the fear of ones kids getting TB in school will do it.  Or, how about Mom bringing the disease home because she is a public health nurse, a social service worker, or simply a volunteer for refugee and immigrant groups?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, diversity's dark side, health issues, Other Immigration | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Wyoming still moving forward with refugee “recruitment” discussions; story goes national

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 15, 2014

I’ve not seen that phrase before—refugee recruitment—it must be newly coined by critics of Wyoming Republican Governor Matt Mead’s proposal to study the possibility of a refugee resettlement office in the state, but I like it!

Mead’s primary challenger, Dr. Taylor Haynes, opposes Mead’s invitation to the federal government to study the possibility of resettling refugees in Wyoming.

Here is yet another article on the controversy.  Our complete archive, is here.

From the Wyoming Tribune Eagle:

CHEYENNE — State officials are continuing to study a proposal that could bring a refugee resettlement program to Wyoming.

But the governor’s office and others are also trying to quell worries that this will lead to an influx of immigrants coming here.

“Some people are concerned about this effort, worrying that Wyoming is ‘recruiting’ refugees,” Gov. Matt Mead recently wrote in a letter to the editor sent to newspapers in the state. “There is no recruitment; there is, however, an effort to understand the issue.

“Right now, our state is learning more on the issue.”

Mead sent a letter last year to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement*** to explore setting up a public-private resettlement office here.

The federally funded program would provide refugees with a range of assistance, including help finding housing, employment and health care, for the first several months after they arrive in the country.

The feds and their resettlement contractors would like Wyoming decision-makers to think that the whole program is funded from Washington.  It is not!  For a few months US taxpayers foot the bill for the refugees and then the responsibility falls on the state for all of those refugees who never find work.  Wouldn’t you think that a Republican governor would be sensitive to taxpayers and jobs for Americans everywhere before getting into a contract with Washington?

Barnett:  Federal refugee contractors are no different then your Lockheed Martins in that they have the same incentives.

The Tribune Eagle continues:

Don Barnett is a fellow for the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for a reduction in the number of immigrants coming into the country.

He agreed that refugees can impact the state’s and federal government’s budget.

And he cautioned that the federal government and the groups picked to be its contractors rather than the state  would largely control how many refugees come here, where they will live and where they come from.

He said the contractors also proactively try to set up the refugees with the welfare programs.

“I don’t think people realize that the state will not have much control of this program if it is institutionalized or implemented,” he said. “It’s largely these contractors that will have the say, and these federal contractors are no different than your Lockheed Martins in that they have the same type of incentives.”

*** Gov. Mead wrote his letter of inquiry to the Office of Refugee Resettlement which is in the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (they dole out the $$$ to the contractors after the refugees are resettled.  It is the US State Department (and the UN) which makes decisions about who comes to the US and it is the State Department which doles out the $$$ to the contractors for the initial resettlement and decides where they will be located (in consultation with ORR).  Contractors are PAID BY THE HEAD.

Wyoming controversy goes national, including discussion about Mead challenger Taylor Haynes

The Associated Press has picked up the Wyoming refugee story.  Here it is at the Washington Times:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – Gov. Matt Mead is addressing criticism about the possibility of opening a refugee resettlement program in Wyoming.

Mead recently sent a letter to the editor addressing the issue to newspapers across the state. Mead wrote that the state is still learning more about the issue and said that Wyoming is not recruiting refugees.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle ( reports that Mead’s challenger for the Republican nomination, Taylor Haynes, is among those who have criticized the move.

Haynes said refugees could strain Wyoming’s budget by relying on state and federally funded safety net programs like Medicaid. He is also worried that they may not be screened for ties to violence or for diseases such as HIV and the Ebola virus.  [Haynes is a medical doctor, so it is interesting that the story doesn't mention those credentials.---ed]

Two Wyoming cities are the subject of discussion for locating the federal offices—Gillette and Casper.  Once established, it is only rarely (extremely rare!) that a city can stop the program when they find out that there are problems and there will be many problems!

Addendum:  I see our fact sheet on refugee resettlement is attracting large numbers of readers (again!).  If you haven’t seen it, click here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, health issues, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Illinois: Court hearing today to compel man with TB to stay out of the public

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 11, 2014

Update April 12th:  We still don’t know if Mbemba Ibanda (in his 20s) is a recent immigrant/refugee, but get this!  He didn’t show up for court yesterday when the whole courtroom had been fitted with masks.  The judge ordered an ankle bracelet and presumably officers of the court went out and found him and fitted him with his monitoring device.  Reuters story here.

We don’t know yet if Christian Mbemba Ibanda is a refugee (Congolese?) or some other legal immigrant, but may learn more today after a court hearing in Champaign County, IL.

Julie Pryde, chief administrator to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, trying to compel a TB patient to comply with home isolation and treatment.

From the News Gazette (Hat tip: Robin):

CHAMPAIGN — For the second time in recent years, local health officials are turning to a state judge for help to keep a patient with tuberculosis from potentially spreading it around the community.

In a hearing set for Friday in which everyone in the room will be required to wear protective, tight-fitting masks, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District will ask Champaign County Associate Judge Chase Leonhard to order home isolation for the patient, Christian Mbemba Ibanda, of 100 Kenwood Road, C.

Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde said she hopes the judge will order Ibanda to wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.

“He couldn’t go out, or it would beep and I’d have the police there,” she said. “Without that, I have nothing I can do about it other than camping outside his door.”

TB, a contagious bacterial disease that typically attacks the lungs, has been on the decline in the U.S.

But there’s still enough of it around to require one full-time public health nurse to tend to patients who have either active or latent TB in Champaign-Urbana, Pryde said.


The hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District at 201 W. Kenyon Road, C. Anyone attending will need to be there earlier for a protective mask fitting, Pryde said.

Proceedings like this are rare in Champaign County, but it’s the second time in her career with the health district that the county has had to bring a petition before the court to try and compel a TB patient to comply with home isolation and treatment, Pryde said.

Read the whole story and see how Ibanda has ignored previous pleas to stay out of the public.

We just had a post last month about the foreign-born representing the majority of TB cases in the US.

And, while researching this story, I found this very thorough article about the number of refugees (ethnic groups) that have been resettled in welcoming Illinois.

I assume we will have an update later because it appears that this story may have caught the mainstream media’s attention.  If we find out he is a refugee, we will let you know.


Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side, health issues, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Buffalo, NY to hold special refugee health care summit

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 11, 2014

They must be having health problems with refugees in New York.  If you live in the area, it might be worth your while to try to get into this meeting.  LOL!  After all, you are a “stakeholder” too!

Jessica Scates: Health care providers must provide culturally engaged care.

From University of Buffalo Reporter:

Every year, 1,500 to 2,000 refugees and asylum-seekers come to Buffalo — one of the top refugee resettlement areas in the United States — driven by social and political upheaval, war, economic and agricultural distress, and poverty.

Before they leave their homelands, they are provided health assessments, vaccine updates and any necessary medical treatment. But when they get here, it’s a different story. They often face substantial and complex problems when they try to gain access to the physical and mental health services required by them and their families.

To explore these challenges and develop models for exemplary refugee health care systems, the University at Buffalo will sponsor Buffalo’s first collaborative Refugee Health Summit on April 24 at the UB Educational Opportunity Center, 555 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

Participation in the Refugee Health Summit, which will take place from 12:30-7:30 p.m., is by invitation only. If interested in attending, contact Jessica Scates at


It will feature major participation by Western New York’s four resettlement agencies: the International Institute of Buffalo, Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Jewish Family Service and Journey’s End Refugee Services, and by representatives of the refugee community itself.


Jessica Scates, coordinator of the OGHI, notes that as part of their orientation to Buffalo, refugees are educated about health care and health systems. “The challenge is to ready local health professionals to provide culturally engaged care to individuals from a variety of backgrounds,” she says. “Cultural education for local medical providers is especially important in addressing barriers to care, which can be complicated and difficult to resolve.”

Since there is an expanding Muslim population there, do you think they get into care for women and girls who undergo female genital mutilation?

See our archive on Buffalo, here.  See also our refugee health issues category with 209 previous posts.

Posted in Changing the way we live, health issues, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, women's issues | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Dr.Taylor Haynes, a gubernatorial candidate in Wyoming, speaks out on refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 7, 2014

We have been reporting since early February on the controversy in Wyoming about opening the state for the first time to refugee resettlement—a proposal from Republican Governor Matt Mead.   All of our previous coverage is here.

Dr. Taylor Haynes

The Casper Star Tribune has been the source of many stories on the growing political firestorm and here is one more article (mostly about Dr. Haynes’ primary challenge) in which the refugee proposal is discussed.

By the way, Casper, along with Gillette, are the two cities being considered by the US State Department and its contractor (Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains) as resettlement sites.

Just a reminder, opposition to formal (contractual) resettlement does not bar refugees from living in Wyoming.  Legal immigrants are permitted to move around and live wherever they wish in America.

Haynes speaking about refugees from the third world:

“To make them our problem doesn’t solve their problem.”

Haynes, a medical doctor, also raises an issue that is increasingly on peoples’ minds—fear of diseases entering the US with refugees. (See our ‘Health issues’ category).

From the Star Tribune (emphasis is mine):

Gov. Matt Mead and others are learning more about refugees and evaluating options to possibly create a plan in Wyoming for refugee resettlement. Wyoming is the only state without a formal resettlement program.

Haynes opposes the idea.

“First there is a cultural language problem, which is a barrier to them being self-sufficient,” he said. “Second, there are communicable diseases from central Africa,” which is where a lot of refugees who need to resettle are from.

Communicable diseases include HIV, Ebola, Rift Valley fever, he said.

Haynes acknowledged some Americans have HIV and AIDS, “so why would you risk importing any more?”  [Refugees with TB and with HIV/AIDS are being permitted entry into the US and taxpayers are responsible for the cost of their treatment.---ed]

While plenty of people from Central America move to the U.S., learn English and become successful, Haynes said, it’s easier for them because many American citizens are fluent in Spanish and can speak to them while they’re learning English. Culturally, they’re similar to Americans, Haynes said. That’s not the case with Africans, he said.

Haynes acknowledged that in engineering school he and his classmates had popular professors from India, China, Taiwan and Pakistan.

“We’re talking about individuals who have made an effort to get the degree, they’ve made the effort to get into our culture,” he said. “These people were Hindus, Sikhs and obviously Muslims, all on the same campus. It was not an issue.”

But many refugees are not educated or prepared culturally for the United States. A Wyoming community of 35,000 cannot support 2,000 refugees.

“We can’t solve their problem by bringing them here,” he said. “We have to help them with humanitarian aid, and my heart goes out to them. To make them our problem doesn’t solve their problem.”

Read the whole Casper Star Tribune article for more on the campaign.

Dr. Haynes website is here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, health issues, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Minnesota government official: Somalis signing up for Medicaid in big numbers!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 28, 2014

Jesson: We are successfully passing their care on to the federal taxpayer!

It’s just a short piece in Voice of Alexandria.

As the Obamacare deadline approaches (whenever that is!), Somalis are signing up in large numbers for Medicaid in Minnesota thus taking the burden of their healthcare off “welcoming” Minnesota and placing it on US taxpayers.

Mosque visits were successful.

(St. Paul, MN) — Officials say efforts to enroll Somali immigrants for health coverage via Medicaid in Minnesota have been largely successful. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson says with the help of the Somali Health Solutions group, enrollment expectations are being exceeded.

She says they had a goal of enrolling 500 before the end of march and have already enrolled over a thousand and many of them in public programs. Jesson says the outreach efforts have included events at mosques and community centers throughout the state.

She says the high numbers are especially encouraging, because a recent Minnesota Health Access Survey shows that people of color are more likely than whites to be uninsured.

How many Somalis in Minnesota?

For new readers, besides the hundreds/thousands?* of new refugees being resettled in Minnesota each year, in 2012 over 2000 secondary migrants (largely Somalis) went to live in Minnesota.

By the way, this 2011 post is still one of our top posts on most days—how did we get so many Somalis in Minneapolis?

*Until recently we could see the statistics at a US State Department contracted website about how many of which ethnic group were being resettled in every resettlement city and town in America, but the feds have removed from public view those website pages at WRAPSnet.  Heck, I can’t even get on the website anymore!   Your US Senator or Congressman can request those statistics, including the religions of the refugees resettled. 


Posted in Changing the way we live, health issues, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Foreign-born represent most of US TB cases

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 27, 2014

The other day we reported that refugees were being screened more seriously abroad and treated before setting foot on US soil (or that is what we are told anyway).

States with the highest rates of TB in the US. A few years old but still useful.

Here is yet another article on tuberculosis—Hispanics and Asians have the highest rates of TB in America.

The article goes on to say how much this is going to cost us (the taxpayers!) going forward.


Though the rate of tuberculosis (TB) in the United States is dropping, among certain racial and ethnic groups that is not the case. According to recent data, immigrants and those who travel to other countries frequently have the highest TB occurrence.

This means Hispanics, Asians, African Americans, and non-Hispanic whites born outside of the United States carry the largest TB burden in the country.

The issues stems from high rates of tuberculosis around the globe, with the highest incidence reports coming from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. According to the World Health Organization, many of these cases–approximately 450,000–are the drug-resistant form of TB that has developed from improper medication usage and medical protocols.

Not only do we have ‘asylum seekers’ from Mexico, but the largest group of OTMs are Chinese and Indians. Are they being tested the minute they come across the border?  I sure hope we are protecting our border guards!

In the United States, foreign-born individuals had a 13 times greater TB incidence than US-born persons and accounted for 64.6 percent of TB cases in 2013. Of these, more than half originated from one of five countries: Mexico (20 percent), The Philippines (12.6 percent), India (8 percent), Vietnam (7.4 percent), and China (6.1 percent).

Almost all of the drug-resistant TB in the US is among the foreign born!

The rate of tuberculosis among immigrant populations varies slightly from the country of origin, however. Among Asians in the U.S. who are foreign-born, there is a 95 percent rate of TB infection, compared to 75 percent of Hispanics, 40 percent of African Americans, and 23 percent of non-Hispanic whites born outside the United States. Foreign-born persons also accounted for 88.4 percent of the resistant TB cases reported in 2012.

Then this struck me as very funny—minority populations will have to be concerned with the cost of treatment going forward!  What the heck!  It is the US taxpayer that will have to bear the cost of treatment!

The latest data, presented through several Centers for Disease Control (CDC) studies, suggests there is a major dilemma minority populations in the U.S. will soon have to face; cost of treatment.


Marks suggests TB treatment on average can cost around $17,000; however, drug-resistant TB is another matter, costing approximately $134,000 (rising to $430,000 for extensively resistant TB ). Adding productivity losses to treatment costs brought the estimated per case cost for treating drug-resistant TB to $554,000 per case.

See our ‘health issues’ category with 206 previous posts on health issues involving refugees and immigrants.

Posted in Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side, health issues, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Your State | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

San Jose refugee workshop: depression keeps refugees from getting/keeping jobs

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 26, 2014

And, that makes their kids ashamed of them.  A psychiatrist will facilitate workshop to help parents cope.

Where is psychiatrist Song? Search the photo—she is crouching among the kids.

From the San Francisco Examiner (Hat tip: Joanne):

The Immigrant/Refugee Parent Project, a collaborative effort by several immigrant groups, will host a workshop in San Jose later this month to allow parents from various immigrant communities to share their challenges raising children in the United States.

The parents, many of whom have fled wars and persecution in their home countries, will have the opportunity to discuss their experiences, ask questions, meet new people and sample each other’s cooking.

Launched last year, the program is facilitated by adult/child psychiatrist Suzan Song…

No job=no respect:

Although the parents come from diverse cultures, Song noted their concerns are often remarkably similar. One common challenge is how children tend to more easily adjust to local cultures and learn English faster than their parents. This can lead to kids shaming their parents for not being more American, Song noted, adding that some parents say being unemployed makes it hard to command their children’s respect.

Song said while the parents are generally eager to find work, many refugees suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, which can make it difficult to get and keep a job. Conflicting social behaviors can be another source of friction.  [Like girls not wanting to wear the hijab!---ed]

At least these kids are ashamed (so far) with non-working parents living off the US taxpayer, unlike generations of inner-city kids who go on to lifelong dependence on welfare themselves—and pass it down to their offspring!

Keeping these refugee kids ashamed might in fact be their ticket to upward mobility!


Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, health issues, Legal immigration and jobs, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Breathe a sigh of relief: CDC says screening is catching refugee TB cases before they get here

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 22, 2014

And, as a result of the beefed-up screening local health departments have been spared $15 million in costs to treat refugees so far, says the CDC!

Wyoming are you listening!  Medical treatment for refugees is partly your local health department’s responsibility.  The Wyoming governor thinks a refugee program for Wyoming would be a freebie!

World Health Organization: TB drugs cause side affects that makes compliance difficult.

From the Centers for Disease Control via NPR (most cases of TB in US can be traced back to refugees and immigrants):

Hundreds of people with tuberculosis wishing to come to the U.S. have been stopped before they reached U.S. borders, says a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Are the 20,000 plus asylum seekers tested on the border too?---ed]

Physicians overseas picked up more than 1,100 cases in prospective immigrants and refugees prior to their arrival in the U.S. The cases include 14 people with multidrug-resistant TB, the CDC says.

The agency credits beefed up recommendations for pre-travel screening that require newer, more sensitive sputum-culture tests. Of the 1,100 cases detected, about 660 would not have been identified under old guidelines.

Keeping people with TB out while they get treatment has saved the U.S. about $15 million in costs that would’ve been incurred for treatment here — costs the CDC says would’ve been mostly borne by U.S. public health departments.


“In addition to creating major savings in health care costs, the program ensures that immigrants and refugees get prompt care and correct treatment,” said Martin Cetron, director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, in a statement.

The U.S. has a very low rate of tuberculosis, even as the disease continues to rage in many countries around the world. Most cases that are identified here can be traced back to an immigrant or refugee.

The CDC says 65 percent of people with TB in the U.S were born in other countries. [Did the other 35% catch TB from an immigrant or refugee---ed]

Take a few minutes and watch this shocking film about how refugees with drug-resistant TB are being readied to come to America!

See our ‘health issues’ category with many more posts on health problems that come with refugee resettlement.

Posted in Changing the way we live, health issues, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

The expansion of Medicaid is a “key indicator for refugee placement”

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 19, 2014

Got Obamacare?

If your state is one of those which has expanded Medicaid as a result of Obamacare then yours is a prime target for refugee resettlement.

I don’t know when they did it, but the feds and their contractors seem to have chosen the word “placement” over “resettlement” in their government lingo.

Whatever they are calling it, they are on the hunt for new “welcoming” locations to start seed communities of refugees because many of the old places are saturated and complaining—think Lewiston, ME, Manchester, NH, Nashville, TN, Atlanta, GA and most recently Amarillo, TX.  All “pockets of resistance!”

So, back to ‘Key Indicators for Refugee Placement FY2014′.

One of their key indicators for the desirability (the “capacity”) of your community as a placement site  is whether your state has expanded Medicaid!

From the Introduction:

Affordable Care Act

ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] considers placement to be a key element in facilitating a refugee’s successful adjustment. One major factor that may affect placement is the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Accordingly this year’s data has incorporated information on heath access determinants including updates on states that plan to expand Medicaid during the final implementation phase of ACA, and states that have ruled Medicaid expansion out.

Then check out the handy data on which states have and which states haven’t expanded Medicaid (pages 11, 12, 13).

Posted in Changing the way we live, health issues, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

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