Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘Nashville’ Category

Tennessee: housing market “unkind” to refugees/immigrants

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 6, 2014

Do we see a trend developing here!  It appears that the Open borders activists must have sent out talking points—tell the media that there is unfair treatment of refugees/asylum seekers and other migrants rampant in America!

We just now posted on the not-so-nice Minnesotans, here.  And, we have a story from Portland, Maine last week that we didn’t get to about problems asylum seekers are having with landlords there.

Hawa Abdullahi: We would like more low-income housing for our people. http://www.centerforrefugees.org/our-team/

Now comes the news from Nashville, a major resettlement site for Catholic Charities, that they are having problems with “fair housing” in that ‘welcoming’ city and surrounding counties.

Not mentioned, of course, are the problems that impoverished or disabled native Nashville area citizens are likely having getting housing when they have to compete with the immigrants!

From The Tennessean  (Hat tip: Joanne).  Emphasis is mine:

Immigrants and refugees in Nashville have more help than ever finding stable housing, but forces beyond their control have made life tougher in recent years.

Increasing apartment rental costs have been hard on international newcomers, said Hawa Abdullahi, social services coordinator with the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee, at a conference on fair housing in Nashville.

“We have seen a lot of rent going up, which is hard for people to cover,” she said. “We see a lot of people getting pushed … moving to Antioch, Smyrna, and places like that. It’s really getting hard right now to find apartments.”

Abdullahi spoke about immigrant housing experiences as part of the Fair Housing Matters Conference. The fight against housing discrimination has taken on new urgency locally and across the nation because of increased federal funding and new directives meant to make housing available to all people.

Abdullahi described how the refugee families she works with struggle to get by on wages that rarely top $10 per hour.

The panelists said immigrants struggle to find housing because of language barriers, discrimination, poor credit histories, and limited options near public transit.

And refugees, in particular, arrive with debt. People approved by the U.S. government to move into America to escape persecution in their home countries, they receive financial assistance for eight months but must pay back the travel costs that move them to America in the first place.  [This plane fare issue is bogus---many just walk away from the debt.  What they never tell you is that the 'church contractor' (in this case Catholic Charities) gets to keep a portion of the loan if it is repaid!  Only a small portion of your tax dollars are reimbursed to the US treasury.--ed]

About 1,300 refugees are resettled in and around Nashville each year — with more than two-thirds joining families that already live here.   [Just a reminder readers, that when yours has become a "welcoming" city, the first refugees arriving apply to bring their family members.  It is called chain migration---ed]

[....]

“The city of Nashville is getting better. Definitely (officials) are aware Nashville is a destination for immigrants,” Morales said. “For surrounding counties, that’s a different story.”

Nashville has been such a hot spot over the years that we have a whole category designated just for Nashville, here, with 65 previous posts.  Nashville was recently chosen by the federal government as a “preferred community” for refugee resettlement, here.

Posted in Asylum seekers, Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Is yours a “welcoming” city or state? If not, expect a visit from Lubell and company

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 30, 2014

Clarkston, Georgia has signed up!

Yesterday, I gave you the latest ‘diversity is strength’ alert from Nashville, TN (Muslim immigrants busted for selling drugs from convenience stores), and I mentioned “Welcoming America” again which is the spawn of David Lubell* and “Welcoming Tennessee.”

Check out this useful graphic I found at “Welcoming America’s” website:

 Clarkston, GA!

Also, their top story was one we missed from earlier in the month—Clarkston, GA, an overloaded refugee resettlement city, has become their 29th “Welcoming City,” this at the same time that the Governor has persuaded the feds to stop sending refugees there.

Learn more about the refugee and immigrant overload in Georgia by clicking here (A pocket of resistance in the land of Jimmy Carter).

It is amazing to me how ballsy propagandists are, the average person would have no idea of the problems that Atlanta and its suburbs have experienced as the refugee and immigrant population explodes.  To read this one would think everything is just, well, beautiful.

“Welcoming America” is a federal contractor of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (Health and Human Services) so this is being done with your tax dollars.

From “Welcoming America” regarding Clarkston:

Clarkston Becomes 29th City in Nation to Join Decatur, Georgia based Welcoming America’s Welcoming Cities and Counties Initiative

Mayor Terry: Looking forward to working more with ‘Welcoming America’

Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry signs Welcoming resolution for the city.

On March 4th, 2014, Mayor Ted Terry and members of the Clarkston City Council passed a Welcoming Resolution, committing the city to building a welcoming and neighborly community in which diverse residents, including immigrants, are welcome, accepted and integrated.

Through the resolution, the City also joins Welcoming Cities and Counties, an initiative of Welcoming America that supports locally-driven efforts to create more welcoming, immigrant-friendly environments that maximize opportunities for economic growth and cultural vitality and position communities as globally competitive, 21st century leaders. Welcoming America is a nonprofit organization based in Decatur, Georgia that works across the U.S. to create inclusive, immigrant-friendly communities that expand prosperity for all residents.

The resolution (full version available here) recognizes that a welcoming community is critical to economic success for all residents, and identifies that Clarkston is committed to “enhancing its cultural fabric, economic growth, global competitiveness and overall prosperity for all individuals in the current and future generations who choose to make their home in the city.”

Said Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry, “I’m gratified that this was a grassroots effort. The residents of our city got together and worked out the details – and our government has responded in full support of Clarkston becoming a truly Welcoming community. In light of recent events, over the criminalization of gays and lesbians, in Uganda – our city felt it was important to add language that codified ALL people are welcome in Clarkston, including gay, lesbian and transgendered folks. It is incumbent upon our government to provide opportunity for all residents of our city. And I am looking forward to working with Welcoming America on a framework for the future welcoming policies of Clarkston.”

“This is a wonderful affirmation that the diverse character of Clarkston is indeed one of its great strengths,” commented Emily Pelton of Refugee Family Services, a refugee resettlement agency that works in the Clarkston community.

* See Lubell’s bio here.  La Raza gave his Tennessee group an award.

We recommend that if your state has a ‘welcoming affiliate’ that you find out more about it and sign up for any news they send out to their supporters.  Here is information on how to “join” them.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Nashville: More immigrant entrepreneurs busted!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 29, 2014

David Lubell

Diversity is strength!  Right Mr. Lubell?

Nashville, Tennessee is the premier Bible belt destination city for refugee and immigrant migration thanks to people like David Lubell and his old friends (Avi Poster and Tom Negri) at ‘Welcoming Tennessee.’

Regular readers know that Lubell used his ‘Welcoming Tennessee’ franchise to turn it into ‘Welcoming America’ and now gets a grant (in addition to funding from George Soros) from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to travel America and tell about Nashville’s successful immigrants.  And, if you are a new reader, it is Catholic Charities that runs the entire refugee placement program in Tennessee.

You can read more about ‘Welcoming America’ on the technical assistance page of  ORR’s Key Indicators for Refugee Placement FY2014 (page 2).

We have a whole category on Nashville’s plight.  Here is one important post about turning red states blue.  Nashville has the fastest growing population of the foreign born of any city in America.

Mohammed Amer

This is not the first time the Nashville police have had to crack down on Muslim store owners.  I would be surprised to learn if this pair are refugees (asylees maybe), but the point is once your city is “welcoming” they will come.

From News Channel 5  (hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’):

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Police shut down and padlocked a business in Nashville on Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into synthetic drug sales.

Metro Police said Rum Wholesale at 1305 Dickerson Pike was deemed a public nuisance for repeated distribution of synthetic opiates.

The owner, 40-year-old Mohammed Amer,*** was arrested Wednesday and charged with possession of counterfeit controlled substances with intent to sell. He will also be charged with felony tampering.

On March 17, three convenience stores in Nashville were shut down for allegedly selling liquid relaxation shots that contained mitragynine, a chemical specifically banned by Tennessee law because of its opiate characteristics.

Rabea Aldheleai

At that time, the stores, which included Discount Tobacco & Beer on Robinson Road, Madison Discount Tobacco & Beer on N. Gallatin Pike, and Litton’s Corner Market on Gallatin Pike, were declared public nuisances and padlocked by order of the court.

During the investigation, detectives learned that Rum Wholesale was a supplier of the liquid shots. When they went to the business on March 17, they found an employee, 27-year-old Rabea Aldheleai, loading boxes of the illegal liquid shots into a BMW.

If you are wondering how it is that a liquor store is run by Muslims—it is a twofer.  First they make a lot of money with schemes like this one and then there is the secondary benefit of potentially destroying the lives of infidels (encouraged in Islam).

Do you have a ‘Welcoming America’ affiliate in your state?

***That’s funny!  Amer is one of the perps in our February story, but The Tennessean link is now dead—what is up with that?  We know The Tennessean has pimped for more multiculturalism for Nashville, but are they removing stories that make Nashville’s Muslims look bad?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Immigration fraud, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Stealth Jihad | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Nashville: David Lubell’s immigrant entrepreneurs busted for selling illegal drugs …

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 21, 2014

…..from, what else, their convenience stores!

David Lubell of ‘Welcoming America’ founded ‘Welcoming Tennessee’ and now works for ORR and George Soros promoting immigrant entrepreneurs, among other multi-cultural joys.

Who is David Lubell?  He is the much bally-hood founder of ‘Welcoming Tennessee’ and now he runs a partially government-funded non-profit (they get funds from GEORGE SOROS too!) called ‘Welcoming America’ that has been hired by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to get YOUR minds right about immigrants.  We first showcased them here in June of 2013.

Keep in mind this is not a community organizing group geared toward encouraging refugees and other immigrants to try to fit in to your cities and towns, they are working on YOU (the “receiving community”), to make you more “welcoming” to the diversity coming your way. 

Two days ago, Lubell was showcased at the New York Times blog which tells us that without David Lubell and his ‘Welcoming Tennessee‘ there would be no ‘vibrant’ immigrant city—Nashville— filled with foreign ‘entrepreneurs’ (one of their favorite themes involves immigrants bringing new business to your pathetic city) and ‘vibrant diversity.’

Nashville has the fastest growing foreign-born population in the US, here.

I have a pressing question, as do some of our readers:  If immigrants were bringing economic boom times to beleaguered cities then why aren’t these cities—Lewiston, ME, Manchester, NH, Clarkston, GA?—clamoring for more immigrant entrepreneurs?  Instead they are begging for less! LOL! Welcoming America and ORR calls these “pockets of resistance.”

Why, also, are those who resettle refugees always out scouting new fresh unsuspecting territory in which to place refugees—-like Wyoming!

So to the New York Times…..

First some stats that blew me away.  Surely you are all familiar with the great wave of immigrants that came to America in the late 1880′s to early 1900′s (there was no welfare for them by the way, they had to survive and learn English or go back to where they came from and most were Europeans).

The wave was so great that the US cut off immigration to any large extent for decades following the 1920′s so that there might be time for the huge flood to assimilate, and to allow time for the American voters to calm down.  Get this!  We have allowed more immigration in the last 20 years than we did in 40 of the great wave.

From the NYT blog:

The need has rarely been greater. From 1990 to 2010, the United States immigrant population increased by 20 million, roughly the same number of people who entered the country during the great wave of immigration between 1880 and 1920. Today, there are about 40 million foreign-born people in the United States (about 46 percent are naturalized citizens).

Unlike the immigrants of the past, the new immigrants are more diverse and more scattered — many living in midsize cities like Boise, Idaho; Louisville, Ky.; Dayton, Ohio; and Memphis, where, until recently, the foreign-born populations were small.   [Cities cited here are sites of refugee resettlement, immigrants just don't "find their way" from Africa or the Middle East to Boise or Memphis!---ed]

Mohammad Amer busted in Nashville for drug sales out of a liquor store—Lubell immigrant entrepreneur?

Lubell’s Nashville entrepreneurs:

You can read the rest of the opinion piece, a paean to David Lubell, yourself because I want to tell you about some of Lubell’s Nashville entrepreneurial stars–Ebrahim Fahim, Maged Youssef Milkhail and Mohammad Amer!   Word on the street in Nashville is that some of those charged are Egyptians who received asylum claiming religious persecution back home (are they among the 70% found to be frauds?)

From The Tennessean earlier this month:

Two convenience stores could go out of business after their owners — one of which has now been busted twice — admitted in court Friday that they sold a liquid form of synthetic marijuana

Metro police in January padlocked First Discount Tobacco & Beer and Dolphin Market Discount Tobacco & Beer on Lebanon Pike after they say the owners sold a liquid designed to get electronic cigarette users high. The products were sold for $40 per bottle with names such as “Relax” and “Maui Maui.” A worker at Dolphin Market marketed the drug to one customer as a way to get high.

It wasn’t the first time First Discount has been accused of selling illegal, synthetic marijuana. The store was shuttered in 2012 after they were found selling products called “7H Kush” and “Purple Diesel” marketed as “incense” but designed to get people high.

On Friday, that business’ owners, Said Ebrahim Fahim and Maged Youssef Milkhail, pleaded guilty to contempt of court charges for violating an order stemming from the 2012 raid. Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier, who had made the 2012 order, ruled that the pair would avoid jail time, but First Discount would be padlocked for 90 days. He ordered that Dolphin Market, which had no priors, be closed for 30 days and forfeit $14,000.

Nashville police shut down 20 such businesses (at least temporarily)!  I hope they were investigating food stamp fraud too!

With the help of a 2012 law, Nashville’s police and prosecutors have used public nuisances statutes to shut down nearly 20 businesses found to have been selling these illegal drugs, which are typically synthetic variants of marijuana, ecstasy or amphetamines marketed as incense or bath salts.

What’s a good Muslim entrepreneur (see photo of Mohammad Amer) doing running a liquor store?  I guess that is a question for another day.  But, here is the other bust reported in Nashville recently.

Once your city is deemed “welcoming,” get ready for more immigrant schemers (oops! entrepreneurs!) like these!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Immigration fraud, Legal immigration and jobs, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Tennesseans going around the mainstream media with “justice” website

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 30, 2014

Everyone of you concerned with the cost to your state of federal initiatives like the US State Department’s Refugee Resettlement program should be taking a cue from activists in Tennessee where they have been tirelessly attempting to dig out the cost of the program to the taxpayers of their state.  And, more importantly, they aren’t waiting for the big news outlets in Tennessee to carry their message.

‘Community organizers’ have taken a page from the Leftist playbook and have published their own website entitled, ‘tn Council 4 political justice’—justice for the taxpaying citizens of Tennessee.

Rep. Sanderson said ’60 Minutes’ story influenced him to choose more refugees over needs of Tennesseans.


Here is a recent post in which TN Rep. Bill Sanderson, a Republican, gets called out for supporting more refugees in Tennessee when Medicaid dollars are short for needy Americans.

From TCPJ:

It’s no news to anyone listening in Tennessee, that Governor Haslam is warning that projected revenue shortfalls will mean budget cuts.

Speaker Harwell acknowledged that with “revenues down a little this year, [balancing the state’s budget] will be tough.  But we will stick to the principles of fiscal responsibility and balance it responsibly.”

On January 2, 2014, The Tennessean reported: “The governor has argued that the annual growth in Medicaid spending has put the squeeze on other programs the state would like to spend money on. ‘Medicaid takes up all of our new dollars, and that’s just the hard fact,’ the governor told reporters after a Rotary Club speech last month.”

The week of January 20, 2014, the newspaper ran a series titled “Broken Trust” about the 7,100 most vulnerable Tennesseans with developmental disabilities who are forced to go without needed services because of the state’s failure to allocate the funds.

The funds needed to provide these services are Medicaid funds.  These are dollars that the State spends and the federal government matches.

Rep. Bill Sanderson believes that these state Medicaid dollars should NOT go to Tennesseans with developmental disabilities, but instead, to refugees who don’t even live in Tennessee yet.  He’s referring to the refugees that are eventually brought to Tennessee by Catholic Charities, a federal contractor that gets paid a lot of taxpayer money to bring refugees to Tennessee.

When refugees are brought to Tennessee by the federal contractors, they are immediately enrolled into any and all public assistance programs, including, state-funded TennCare, SSI, and cash welfare. The federal government used to reimburse the state for 3 years worth of what it cost the state to provide these benefits.  But typical of the federal government, they broke their promise to the states and stopped reimbursing the states for what the federal program cost.

Sanderson helped block a bill last year in the Tennessee legislature that simply sought to require refugee contractors and the agencies they work with to divulge various costs to Tennessee taxpayers from the resettlement program.  If you’ve spent any time following this federal plan for your “welcoming” state you know those numbers are not readily available—on purpose!

Last year, a bill was brought to Rep. Sanderson’s committee that was designed to help Tennessee figure out how much it was costing the state to pay for the federal program, a program that the state withdrew from in 2008 and is now run by a federal contractor.

But Rep. Sanderson who scathingly accused the bill sponsors and advocates of going on a “witch hunt against Catholic Charities,” related how he had watched a “60 Minutes” segment about refugees and it convinced him that they needed our help. He enthusiastically joined up with the federal contractors and led the effort to not pass the bill out of the committee.

Take a lesson in community organizing from Tennessee activists and follow TCPJ (see ‘follow’ link on bottom of right hand side bar).  Have you asked your state legislators what refugee resettlement is costing your state?

For more on Tennessee, see our Nashville category, here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, creating a movement, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Writer challenges assumptions in Tennessee study of cost to state of refugee resettlement….

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 13, 2014

…..calls the study “a completely innumerate and illogical financial analysis.”

Here is the opinion piece in its entirety written by Don Barnett of Nashville that appeared in The Tennessean on Saturday.   Please visit The Tennessean for the comments which are enlightening, readers want answers to fundamental questions like, why are we doing this? Who decides? Doesn’t the state have the power to say NO!

Holly Johnson, left, of Catholic Charities in Tennessee calls the shots along with the US State Department about which refugees come to the state. http://www.isedsolutions.org/blog/wilson-fish/wf-workshop-highlights

Barnett:

Struggles over state versus federal power relations are still not settled about 225 years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The left and right have launched movements to alter the Constitution, with progressives tending to support change that would assign more power to the federal government, while conservatives and libertarians would give more influence to states.

Tennessee legislators established the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee for the purpose of exploring this question.

Examples of possible federal overreach of constitutional authority abound, and the committee will, presumably, get to each of them in turn, but it has seemingly run aground on its first choice for study: the federal Refugee Resettlement Program.

The federal government assumed there would be a cost to states when it established the resettlement program in 1980. That’s why it promised three years of support for refugees, reimbursing states for their social-service costs. That period quickly shrank from three years to eight months, and there is no longer any reimbursement for state costs. The federal government has repeatedly documented the fact that refugee program costs are being shifted to states.

The bulk of support for refugee resettlement now comes from welfare programs, all of which are available to refugees upon arrival.

The main program cost falls to the federal taxpayer, but states have costs, as well. When the main private refugee resettlement contractor in Tennessee places 59 percent of its refugee arrivals into TennCare, as it did in 2011, it imposes a cost on state taxpayers, who cover 30 percent of TennCare.

The oversight committee asked for a report from the legislature’s Fiscal Review staff on just what the costs are and who pays them.

The review identified costs totaling $753 million from 1990 to today that were paid by the state of Tennessee. According to their analysis, however, tax receipts from refugees, mostly from the state sales tax, totaled $1.3 billion since 1990. For most of the media, the main finding was that refugees contribute “nearly twice as much” in state taxes as they take out in state-funded public services.

Now, for the fine print. The study considered only the cost of English Language Learning (ELL) and TennCare, but new arrivals were credited with paying 100 percent of the taxes the average Tennessean pays. Further, it assumed refugees were exactly like the average Tennessean with regard to income, TennCare use and tax remittances. Are these assumptions logical?

According to the latest data available — a federal study of refugees who have been in the country five years or less as of 2010 — the unemployment rate for refugees was 21 percent, compared with 9 percent for overall U.S. population. Twenty-six percent were dependent on cash assistance, 63 percent were in the food stamp program and 48 percent were in Medicaid (TennCare) or short-term federal refugee medical assistance. Those refugees who were placed in employment in Tennessee after arrival earned an average wage of $8.79 per hour in 2010, according to the study.

Of course, wages will go up and welfare dependency will go down with length of time in the country, but there is considerable evidence pointing to long-term dependence, and there are social services other than ELL and TennCare that Tennessee provides.

The federal welfare program SSI is a good indicator of long-term welfare dependency rates. It is generally a lifetime entitlement and usually includes Medicaid and other social services. The federal study of arrivals over the previous five years found an 11.6 percent rate of usage — about 2.5 times the national average.

None of this should be unexpected or surprising. What is surprising is that the conclusions from a completely innumerate and illogical financial analysis would become the story.

The oversight committee should insist on a realistic financial impact analysis and get back to the questions it originally set out to explore.

Some of you will be surprised to know that Nashville is considered by some to be the fastest growing immigrant city in the US, here.

Catholic Charities runs the refugee program in Tennessee—not the state government!  It’s my view that the progressives, the Leftists, have to win the south demographically and that is what this is all about.

Catholic Charities rolling in your dough!

Just for fun, visit the most recent Form 990 that Catholic Charities of Tennessee submitted to the IRS, here.

Out of a total revenue stream (p. 9) of $11.4 million dollars, government grants (YOUR money!) amounted to $7.4 million, so like all of these ‘religious’ non-profits they could not exist without federal tax dollars.  While you are perusing the form, see page 10 and see how your money is spent:  salaries, pensions, employee benefits, compensation to officers, office and rent expenses, travel, conferences, etc. etc.    And, with your money they are also busy advocating in Washington, DC.

Any wonder then why “progressives” want a larger federal role in governing you through their little fiefdoms!

For your reading pleasure, we have written 60 previous posts on Nashville/Tennessee archived in a special category.

Endnote:  It defies logic that if refugees are doing so well, as the Tennessee study indicates, then why are refugee contractors begging for more payola from Washington.  See post yesterday.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Study: Refugees in Tennessee contribute more than they consume (maybe)

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 14, 2013

Except for the “maybe,” that is the title of the story in The Tennessean yesterday, but one only needs to read down a few paragraphs to learn that is not the conclusion that should have been drawn from the news—it is The Tennessean editor’s wishful thinking.

Researchers were not able to “tease out” the information sought by lawmakers—do refugees use welfare to a greater extent then the American-born population?  And, no one keeps track of the taxes they pay either.

Mohamed-Shukri Hassan: We’re not looking for welfare, we want the jobs!

The Tennessean (emphasis mine):

A new study of foreign-born refugees who live in Tennessee has found they contributed almost twice as much in tax revenues as they consumed in state-funded services in the past two decades.

But limitations of the study — an unprecedented research effort by the state — left the state lawmakers who asked for it with questions on Tuesday.

A committee of House and Senate lawmakers requested the study last summer to try to understand the impact of refugee services on the state budget. They were especially interested in whether there has been a shift in how those costs are covered by state and federal funds.  [Here is our earlier report, from August, about the initiative by TN lawmakers---ed]

[....]

Making “conservative estimates,” researchers said that since 1990, the state has spent $753 million on services for refugees — including for schooling and health care — and received almost twice as much, $1.3 billion, in tax revenues from them.

But, but, but!

Researchers couched their analysis with caveats about the data collected, prompting lawmaker questions on Tuesday.

The researchers said both in the study and in answers to questions that they struggled to get some federal data and found most state agencies don’t track whether the people they serve are refugees.

There was no mechanism for tracking which services refugees used, said Krista Lee, senior fiscal analyst, requiring researchers to make certain assumptions. For example, they had to assume that refugees enroll in public schools, government assistance programs and TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, with the same frequency as the general population.

“From the information we could find, there wasn’t anything substantial stating they wouldn’t be in a similar standing as current citizens,” Lee said.

That assumption left some lawmakers skeptical about the study’s findings. Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, said a major impetus for the study was to tease out whether refugees are more likely to rely on government assistance.

Somali:  We aren’t looking for welfare, we want the jobs!

“We’re not here for the government programs or any welfare; we’re here for the jobs,” said Mohamed-Shukri Hassan, 27, a Somali naturalized in 2009.

What!  Are there no Tennesseans looking for work?

Read it all!

For ambitious readers, we have an entire category on Nashville here.

Update!  Reader tomasrose gives us more information on the study:

The way this study was structured, any group that moves to Tennessee – be it, for sake of illustration, the entire graduating class from the London school of economics or the entire population of Bangladesh – will make the same incredibly high per capita net positive impact on Tennessee’s finances. The study assumes that all new arrivals will pay the same taxes and use the same amount of social services as the average Tennessean. According to this study, Tennessee would become a very wealthy state if it took all the refugees that come to America. That is more than absurd of course.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

World Relief building the refugee population of Memphis, TN

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 24, 2013

Resettlement contractor:  You don’t have to “go across the ocean,” you can get diversity right here in Memphis!

This morning I saw this article in a college newspaper about World Relief’s Memphis office promoting its internship program where local college students put in hours saving the agency time and money by helping refugees get settled, get to doctors appointments, apply for jobs etc. and I realized we haven’t said much recently about World Relief or Tennessee’s other big resettlement cities.  We mention Nashville all the time and the huge role Catholic Charities plays in Tennessee generally.

We’ve had a lot of posts lately about Catholics, Lutherans and even Jews (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) resettling refugees (including Muslim refugees), so maybe if you are an Evangelical Christian you are thinking it’s those other faith groups doing all the contracting for the US State Department, but your people are involved too!   World Relief’s full name is World Relief Corp. of National Association of Evangelicals and it is one of nine major federal contractors.

The headquarters office of World Relief is in Baltimore, MD and according to its most recently available Form 990, here, they received $51,828,435 in income and $34,109,484 was from “government grants.”  As is the case for the other eight contractors, they could not exist if it weren’t for the fact that you are supporting them with your tax dollars.

Incidentally they don’t pay the big fat salaries we reported for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota the other day, here.

This is the story, nothing earth-shattering here, just your basic puff-piece.

I suspect, but don’t know for sure, that World Relief keeps track of the student intern hours, assigns them a financial value and is basically reimbursed that money through the federal match grant program (out of the taxpayers’ pocket) as so many contractors are.  In other words, you pay for the student ‘volunteers’ too!

From The Daily Helmsman:

Refugees from countries often have already overcome innumerable hurdles, and World Relief is there to provide just what the name suggests: relief.

Across the United States, World Relief has many stations such as Chicago, Nashville, and, the most recent work-in-progress, Memphis.

“It’s a global organization, and not all of them are refugee relief,” said summer intern Peyton English, a junior sociology major attending Union University.

[.....]

Once refugees get their paperwork approved, World Relief sets up their living quarters and figures out their job experience, strengths and weaknesses, along with family information.

The refugees will then receive monthly checks from the government for the next eight months — a period in which employees and interns will work with them to teach the basics of American culture as well as set them up for a life here.

[.....]

While this is an organization that has Christian values, one does not necessarily have to be of that religion to participate.  [Muslims are welcome!---ed]

Moses encourages students to join in with this experience.

“I think that Memphis is diverse, and this is one avenue of many to get involved with people of different faiths, backgrounds and socioeconomic backgrounds as well,” he said. “You will get a wide range of experience, and you don’t have to go across the ocean to do that. You can do it right here in Memphis.”

Checking the numbers!

Interested readers should visit WRAPS.net from time to time to see what refugees are coming to your towns.  Just now I went there and clicked on Arrivals by Destination City by Nationality by CY as of Aug 31, 2013.

Usually I look up the Fiscal year numbers but this time I inadvertently used the Calendar Year database.  The only difference is that the Fiscal Year numbers are recorded from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 of the following year.  In any case these data bases are up to date until August 31st of this year.

From 2001 to August 31, 2013 Tennessee resettled 12,812 refugees.   “Welcoming” Nashville resettled 7,273 and 1,395 of those were Somalis.  Memphis looks to be the second largest resettlement city in the state with 2,006 refugees and 805 of those were Somalis.  In calendar year 2013, Memphis (World Relief?) resettled 103 refugees and 59 of those were newly arrived Somalis.

As I reported here in my story on the Kenya massacre, we have a larger than normal contingent of Somalis resettled in the US this fiscal year.

As of August 31st we have resettled 6,679 additional Somalis this year alone!  Go here.

I think I should work on a little project and see where all of the FY 2013 Somalis were resettled.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Resettlement cities, Where to find information, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

White House recognizes “Welcoming America” Champions of Change

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 19, 2013

Readers I hope you won’t be too disappointed that I didn’t get around to reporting earlier that this was NATIONAL WELCOMING WEEK  in America and that today Obama recognized ten “champions” who are bringing the joys of immigrant diversity to your cities and towns.  I had this news yesterday, thanks to a friend from Tennessee, but I couldn’t get excited about posting it sooner.

Regular readers will recognize the group “Welcoming America” and its head honcho David Lubell from a couple posts we wrote earlier this summer, here and here.

Check out the ten CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE here.  We only have room to show three, so I’ve chosen three that I know some of our readers will recognize.

By the way, when is someone going to create a NATIONAL TAXPAYER APPRECIATION WEEK where all of those living on social services (including all of the refugee contractors making six-figure salaries) provided by hardworking American taxpayers would hold events, give awards and thank the taxpayers for their service to them.

Here is the Press Release (again sorry you missed hearing about the event earlier):

White House Recognizes Welcoming America Champions of Change

Immigrants Want to Contribute; White House Recognizes Leaders Who are Helping their Communities Seize that Potential During National Welcoming Week

(Washington, D.C.) September 18, 2013 – As the debate in Washington on

Kasar S. Abdulla: Nashville, TN

immigration moves forward, local community leaders across the country are
recognizing that immigrants make us stronger and are working in their
communities to create welcoming climates that harness the economic and
social potential that newcomers bring.

This Thursday, September 19th, the White House will recognize ten
individuals and their innovative efforts to lift up newcomer contributions
and involve the whole community in supporting successful immigrant
integration.  *Ten Welcoming America Champions of Change will be honored in
an event that will be streamed live starting at 1pm EST at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/live. *

[Again, sorry for any disappointment you are feeling because I didn't alert you to this live streaming event.---ed]

The Welcoming America Champions of Change include local leaders from across

Jan Reeves: Boise, Idaho

the country whose cutting edge initiatives – from Nashville to Detroit -
demonstrate the growing interest among local communities to ensure that
everyone – including immigrants – have the opportunity to contribute and
succeed.  As the country is reshaped by demographic change, these leaders
offer a fresh vision for how communities can make the most of their
diversity.

Says Welcoming America Executive Director David Lubell, “At a crucial
moment in our history, the Welcoming America Champions of Change serve as a model for what we can achieve when we recognize the tremendous
contributions that immigrants make to the social and economic fabric of
American communities.  These champions are innovators who are building
stronger communities by helping newcomers succeed, and inviting longer-term
residents to contribute to and share in that success. “

Brenda Zion: Ft. Morgan, Colorado

Welcoming America Champions of Change are being recognized for their

piooneering practices to advance immigrant inclusion in ways that involve
U.S.-born residents and the community as a whole.

The Champions are being honored by the White House during National
Welcoming Week, a nationwide event taking place September 15th-22nd with
more than 100 events across the country that underscore the contributions
of immigrants to local cultural and economic life.

We have written a lot here at RRW about all three of the immigrant-overloaded “diverse” cities of Nashville, TN, Boise, ID and Ft. Morgan, CO and if you use our search function for those cities you will see what I mean.  I know we have posts mentioning Reeves and Zion for sure.

Abdulla is the former director of advocacy for the open borders lobbying group which we have mentioned here dozens of times—Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. 

For new readers, we have a fact sheet about the Refugee Resettlement Program which is largely responsible for changing Nashville, Boise and Ft. Morgan, here, just below our header.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Tennessee legislators want answers about fiscal impact of refugee resettlement

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 25, 2013

This is a report from Bobbie Patray of the Tennessee Eagle Forum about the first meeting of a select committee of the Tennessee legislature to address  the 10th Amendment of the Constitution and the encroachment by the federal government on states’ rights in regards to the resettlement of migrants in the state by Catholic Charities (through the US State Department).

Holly Johnson, Catholic Charities TN, with her Idaho counterpart at 2010 Refugee meeting. In Tennessee, Catholic Charities calls the shots on resettlement.

See our earlier coverage here.  (You will find links there for reports from The Tennessean and Nashville Public Radio.)

Patray:

It was an exciting day to be at Legislative Plaza and see history being made yesterday.  The first official meeting of the Joint Legislative Advisory Committee was convened. This creation of and mission of this committee grew out of the increasing concern of both legislators and grassroots activists about the ongoing encroachment of the federal government on the constitutional rights of the sovereign states.

Members of the committee are: Rep. Judd Matheny, Chairman, Rep. John Ragan, Rep. Joe Carr, Rep. Josh Evans, Rep. Mike Turner, Sen. Mike Bell, Sen. Janice Bowling, Sen. Ferrell Haile, Sen. Thelma Harper, Sen. Jim Summerville.  All members were present except Sen. Harper.

There was enough interest in this important issue that other legislators attended: Rep. Jeremy Faison, Rep. G.A. Hardaway, Rep. David Alexander, Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, Rep. Shelia Butt, Sen. Mark Green, M.D., Sen. Frank Niceley.

It was that concern that drove the motive for taking up the first issue of this committee:  The Federal Cost Shifting of the Refugee Resettlement program.

As one article stated: “A newly-created legislative committee met for the first time Wednesday to investigate the indirect fiscal impact of refugee resettlements. They were given an unsatisfying answer: no one is keeping track.”

That is the problem.   Each year, lawmakers are responsible for passing a budget and certainly have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer to know where these dollars are going.  Except….in this case…they don’t!!!

Chairman Judd Matheny CLEARLY laid out the parameters of the discussion:  It was ONLY about the COST SHIFTING to the states.  It was NOT about the value of the refugee resettlement program, it was NOT about what the refugees bring to this state, it was NOT about the work that the providers or participants do.

It is not just Tennessee lawmakers that  have these concerns.  Two years ago, the National Governors Association stated: “The federal government’s unwillingness to provide adequate funding for costs attributable to migration and resettlement services has resulted in a dramatic shift of program costs from the federal government to state and local taxpayers.”

The first speaker, Kasar Abdulla,  started telling her personal story, which, of course, was compelling. However, as was stated earlier, the value of the program was NOT the subject of the hearing.  Chairman Matheny asked her a couple of time to please stick to the topic, but she did not and, in fact, clearly was not prepared to do that.  So the Chairman called for the next speaker, Holly Johnson, State Refugee Coordinator, Tennessee Office for Refugees, Catholic Charities of TN, Inc.  After Miss Johnson spoke, Don Barnett and Joanne Bregman, Esq.  addressed the committee.  Bregman’s testimony was incredible as she revealed the cold, hard facts and figures.  The last speaker  Stephen Fotopulos, with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition was totally out of line with his testimony.

Just as a snapshot, Sen. Mark Green, M.D., observed that using the two numbers provided in the testimonies, the refugee program would be costing TennCare between $7.2million  and $12.1million over a four year period.  This is the kind of information that is desperately needed for budget purposes and that we have not been able to get hard figures on.  The committee passed a motion to ask the Fiscal Review Committee to do a comprehensive study of all aspects of this program with emphasis on any cost shifting, expenses incurred, what enabling legislation they are acting under, including a proportionality of refugees coming to TN versus other states to present at the November 12 meeting.

Click here to watch the proceedings.  For more on Tennessee and refugees, click here.

Photo is from this story about a Wilson-Fish (Office of Refugee Resettlement) meeting in Washington, here.  When you click that W-F link you can see if your state refugee program is now being run by a non-governmental agency.

Oops!  Depending on your screen size, in an earlier version of this post, the TEF logo blocks Johnson’s face… should have checked that first!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition, Your State | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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