Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘Reforms needed’ Category

German politician: Let German families take refugees into their homes

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 11, 2014

Here is the story at Reuters.  What do you think?

Martin Patzelt with Angela Merkel: Even the UN likes the plan

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Citizens in Germany, one of the most sought-after destinations for refugees, should be allowed to host asylum seekers in their homes to ease the pressure on the government to provide adequate housing for them, a politician said on Friday.

Martin Patzelt, a lawmaker and member of the Christian Democratic Union, said households should be permitted to provide free lodging to refugees, leaving only the cost of living and healthcare to the government.

He said the measure would save Germany a considerable amount of money housing refugees, and provide an alternative to crowded temporary shelters, hotels and unused gyms.

Germany, the European Union’s biggest economy, is one of the world’s top destinations for people fleeing oppression and war.

It had 65,700 new asylum claims in the first half of the year, the largest number among industrialized nations, mainly due to a rise in applications by Syrians, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Here is my view:

I think they should do it.  I think if the responsibility of the whole refugee program were placed back in the hands of  those willing to put their own money (and comfort) on the line, we would all find out very quickly what the capacity is for a community or country to “welcome” refugees.   In fact, if I were in charge I would require the whole US resettlement program to be run with private charity, with private sponsors (as it was prior to Ted and Joe and Jimmy creating the program we have today in 1980 which has only one incentive—bring in more!).

Of course Patzelt is talking about citizens taking in refugees in addition to the German government housing others.  I don’t follow the economic news much, but wasn’t some of the volatility in the US stock market this week a result of some shaky German economic news—could the massive welfare Germany is providing migrants be pulling the country down?

In my plan, the number of sponsors would dictate the capacity for caring for the country—Germany or ours.

Posted in Asylum seekers, Europe, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Canada private refugee sponsorship not working, not enough private money

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 23, 2014

Well, they have some other excuses, but that is the gist of it.

Unlike the US Canada still has some private charity for refugees.

Study is from Citizens for Public Justice – A member-driven, faith-based, public policy org. Research and analysis on poverty, ecological justice, and refugees in Canada.

Canada has both a government refugee resettlement program and one where churches and other civic groups can sponsor a family privately.

We previously had private sponsorship too until Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden (and other far Left Senators) pushed through the Refugee Act of 1980 which set up the present system (ostensibly a public-private partnership that is pretty much all public money) where you (the taxpayer) pay churches and some secular agencies to care for refugees for a brief period of time via resettlement contractors.

Now it looks like Canada’s private sponsorship isn’t going so well—when people have to use their own personal funds to take care of refugees their humanitarian zeal starts to wane.

I’m thinking the US should go to completely private sponsorship and then we would find out very quickly who really cares for refugees—those willing to put their money where their mouth is!

Here is the news from The Star.  Read between the lines—they don’t have enough private charitable dollars!  And, in a “blended” form of the program, they want to be able to pick the ethnic groups they care about and not have families chosen for them.

Bureaucratic delays and federal cuts to health coverage are hurting the ability of churches and other groups to bring in refugees under Canada’s renowned private refugee sponsorship program, says a new study.

Based on a survey of the 85 private groups that have formal refugee sponsorship agreements with Ottawa, recent policy changes appear to threaten the vitality of the sponsorship program launched in 1978 amid an outpouring of public concern over the Southeast Asian “boat people” crisis.

Groups were concerned with waits that stretch into years, and “processing hurdles that jeopardize their … future engagement in resettlement work,” said the survey conducted by the advocacy group Citizens for Public Justice.

“Cuts to the Interim Federal Health program (for refugees) have left church-based and other voluntary sponsoring groups on the line for previously-covered supplemental health costs,” said the 15-page report, titled Private Sponsorship and Public Policy.

“About one-third . . . report that their sponsoring groups have had to decrease or end their involvement in the PSR (private sponsorship of refugees) program as a result of this increased liability.”

Since 1978, more than 200,000 refugees have come to Canada through the efforts and financial support of faith groups, individuals, and community and ethnic organizations plugged into the program. In 2013 alone, 6,623 privately sponsored refugees were resettled in Canada.

Seventy-two per cent of the agreement holders are churches or church-connected groups, including Mennonite, Christian Reformed, United, Alliance and Presbyterian denominations.

Read it all.

 

Posted in Canada, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Canada: Writer challenges assumptions about compassion for refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 4, 2014

Don’t assume that everyone in the ‘caring class’ is on the same page when it comes to the idea of permanent refugee resettlement into the first world.

Here is a piece from the Vancouver Sun (thanks to ‘pungentpeppers’) that will give you something to think about (when I say you, I mean all of those US refugee resettlement employees and volunteers working day and night to fill the US with needy migrants, who will stay here permanently, all in the name of humanitarian compassion for the downtrodden).

(I am assuming you are legitimately concerned for the world’s poor and not just flooding America with future Leftwing voters, or in the case of Republican RINOs with cheap foreign laborers, or want to keep your job.)

This is the caption from under a photo of Syrian refugees (emphasis is mine):

The purpose of asylum in conflict situations is not to confer a permanently transformed life onto the fortunate minority who are able to get out,” Paul Collier says, “but to preserve the country’s critically important skilled and politically engaged people until it is safe for them to return to rebuild their society.

Here is Douglas Todd writing at the Vancouver Sun about ten days ago:

Many Canadians make the case for compassion when they maintain the country should retain one of the world’s most generous rates for welcoming immigrants and refugees.

Canadians’ hearts go out when they hear about people struggling in countries like Guatemala, the Philippines, India and Lebanon. We tend to believe Canada has a duty to offer a better life.

Many Canadians want to be especially kind when they read about conflict-ravaged countries like Syria, Iraq, Burma, Sudan and Libya. Surely richer countries can embrace more of these suffering people?

It’s an understandable feeling. Compassion is key to virtually every spiritual world view and most secular philosophies. And there is no doubt many people are facing unimaginable hardship — particularly the roughly one billion at the bottom of the global economy.

But informed voices are warning that rich countries’ policies regarding immigration and asylum seekers are not nearly as compassionate as many want to think they are. Indeed, our migration policies may be doing more harm than good, especially for the most desperate.

This is by no means an issue just for Canadians. Europeans are engaged in a frank debate about the conflict between compassion and social realism in regards to asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa. Thousands are arriving each week, in dangerously fragile boats, onto Europe’s shores, trying particularly to get to the north where there are more job opportunities and better welfare.

In the U.S., according to a July Gallup poll, immigration has also recently surged to become the leading issue as a flood of children from Latin America illegally cross the U.S. border, trying to escape economic dysfunction, a dearth of social services and crime.

Like in Canada, it is often open-hearted American church*** and other religious leaders who join liberals to press for the U.S. to open its borders and welcome virtually all these young asylum seekers, and eventually their parents.

***Todd apparently doesn’t know that the “open-hearted American church” is paid to resettle refugees permanently, but we should forgive him that because the mainstream media never mentions how much money is involved.

There is much more, read it all.  The gist of it is this—-the third-world will continue to decline as long as western countries give asylum (refugee status) PERMANENTLY, so there is no incentive ever for people to go back and fix their homeland.

I’m sorry to say, this view (temporary refuge only) will never catch on because there is way too much money at stake now in the ‘humanitarian industrial complex’ for voices like Todd’s and Collier’s to be heard.

Posted in Asylum seekers, Canada, Changing the way we live, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Who is going where | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Lutherans again with their Christian charity claptrap!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 19, 2014

I can’t take it!  We are paying for their public relations campaign! 97% of their funding comes from taxpayers while they pretend that what they do is out of the goodness of their Christian hearts!

The nerve of these people sending out press releases with all this garbage about how much they love the migrants without mentioning that they are BEING PAID FOR THEIR POLITICAL ACTIVISM ON BEHALF OF ILLEGAL ALIENS AND REFUGEES, and how they are working with the government.  THEY ARE WORKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT MEANS YOU AS TAXPAYERS!

I would love just once for them to admit that they are federal contractors*** in one of these deceptive PR pieces that are gobbled up by gullible (or worse, complicit) media outlets.  And, by the way, where the hell is the ACLU?

From Digital Journal:

LIRS CEO Hartke: “God is calling” (and God pays well!).

BALTIMORE, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied migrant children and families fleeing Central America and crossing the border into the U.S. continues, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is working closely with government leaders, faith-based organizations and community partners to scale up its support and response efforts. “These children and families are leaving perilous circumstances in their home countries. They deserve safety, due process, and compassion,” says Linda Hartke, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

While the groundswell of love and support has largely been omitted from the continuing immigration debate, it has been deeply felt and noticed by faith-based and immigrant rights organizations across America in the form of people offering housing, wanting to deliver material goods, praying and advocating on behalf of children and families.

“The outpouring of support from Americans for the children and families at the center of the refugee crisis on our southern border continues to increase,” says Hartke. “In the past several months as the crisis has worsened, we have seen a surge in the number of calls from people who are volunteering to become foster parents to children in need. Many have told us that they ‘feel like God is calling’ them to take care of these children.”

 Network of “heroic service partners” are all PAID subcontractors!

“We feel a special responsibility towards children,” adds Hartke. “They should be kept safe and be with a loving family. Our network of heroic service partners all across the country support children and new foster families with excellence and compassion, but more foster families are urgently needed.”

They are bragging about how many (hundreds!) of calls they receive from loving people, called by God, wishing to sponsor the ‘unaccompanied alien teens,’ so then why send out this new appeal?

See their “heroic service partners” (aka federal subcontractors) here.  And, take a look at their posh headquarters building at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor while you are there!

LIRS and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops had been the largest contractors taking care of the illegal alien children, but have since been eclipsed by this Baptist gang out of Texas.   It is dog-eat-dog out there in the world of  “Christian” federal contractor competition!  And the new Baptist big dogs seem to be getting more than their fair share of the chow.

If you want to let LIRS (really LIARS) know how you feel, especially if you are of the Lutheran faith, about the “refugee” crisis at the border, this is their lobbyist/PR persons contact info:

Press contact: Miji Bell
410-230-2841 mbell@lirs.org

Stop pretending to be a “humanitarian” “religious” charity! How about some honesty for a change!

See their 2012 Form 990 here (the most recent one available).

They had a total revenue of $41,757,518 and $40,417,752 came from government grants (you!).

97% of their funds comes from government.   

Let’ talk about salaries for these quasi-government agencies (aka religious charities)!

They have 5 employees in the 6-figure salary range including CEO Hartke who made $214,237 in salary and benefits that year for her Godly good works.  And, for the record, Hartke is not the highest paid of the head-honchos of the federal contractors.***

Hartke makes more per year than a Member of Congress and about the same as a Supreme Court Justice, but no one can scrutinize their budget because they are supposed to be a private non-profit!

I guess these Lutherans missed the message about Caesar’s money!

I apologize to long-time readers who know all this, but we are getting so many new readers every day who have never heard this before that it bears repeating.

See all of our coverage of ‘unaccompanied minors’ invading America here.  And be sure to see one major publication that has the guts to report on the massive amount of taxpayer dollars flowing to phony non-profits.

***The contractors (we may have to start adding Baptist Children and Family Services to our list):

 

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Immigration fraud, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Major media mentions refugee resettlement moratorium calls in New England

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 24, 2014

Thanks to everyone who has sent me one version or another of this story about calls for refugee resettlement moratoriums in Springfield, Mass, Lewiston, Maine, and Manchester, NH.***    Regular readers here know the problems in those three New England cities well, so it is not news to us.

However….

What is news is that the news (mainstream media) is actually paying attention and making connections!  I don’t know which came first, the Fox News story (Fox does credit AP), or the AP story.

But, I’m thrilled to see the word “moratorium” used other than on the pages of RRW!

I haven’t enough time to analyze the articles for you, so please read them!  There is one thing that caught my eye, however, that needs to be mentioned.  The US State Department and its contractors choose resettlement cities with virtually no input from the locals (elected or otherwise), any reference to “stakeholders” usually means only FRIENDLY stakeholders (for the record, I hate that word)!

Daniel Langenkamp (right) Public affairs adviser at US State Dept. PRM http://www.linkedin.com/pub/daniel-langenkamp/1a/197/563

Once they have established a seed community of certain ethnic groups they then throw up their hands and say—what can we do? Families must be reunited and we can’t stop refugees from moving where there are ethnic enclaves of their kind of people.  You see their cop-out in these stories when State Department spokesman Daniel Langenkamp says this:

Such requests [for a moratorium---ed] are rare, said Daniel Langenkamp, a department spokesman.

“We make every effort to work with local officials and other stakeholders to ensure the resettlement of refugees is acceptable,” he said.  [If everything went so well there would never have been a RRW!---ed]

The Department, he said, does not place refugees unless an area is equipped to handle them. [LOL!--ed] The government’s work with refugees in Springfield is mostly about family reunification, and it cannot keep families from moving there if they are placed elsewhere, he said.

He doesn’t mention that other locales have asked for moratoriums as well.  I’m thinking of other “pockets of resistance” like Clarkston, Georgia and Amarillo, TX among others.

Note to any city contemplating “welcoming” refugees, remember this!  Once a seed community is established, the extended family comes, and there is no stopping it!  Any elected official calling for a slow-down or outright moratorium will be demonized!

See my ten reasons why a MORATORIUM is needed! —all the more important now that the border is being overwhelmed with mostly teenaged boys seeking “asylum.”

*** Search RRW for each of those three cities and find dozens of posts (spanning several years) on problems in each.

 

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, creating a movement, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Tennessee reader shares testimony to US State Department

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 18, 2014

Editors note:  Here is one more testimony sent to the US State Department in response to their federal register notice for public comment on the “size and scope” of their Refugee Admissions program for Fiscal Year 2015.  As readers know, the State Department is not allowing public review of any testimony submitted including the federal contractors’ *** testimony in which they invariably ask for more refugees.  By the way, Tennessee is a Wilson-Fish state and as such Catholic Charities of Tennessee calls the shots on who is resettled there.

May 27, 2014

Ms. Anne Richard
Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration
US State Department
Washington, DC

Re: Federal Register Public Notice 8690

Dear Ms. Richard,

Please accept my written comments regarding FY 2015 U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. I recently learned that unlike prior years, there will be no public hearing this year. If ever there was a federal program that should be required to appear in public to answer questions and justify any funding, it is the one you oversee. The federal refugee resettlement program has increasingly operated without sufficient public scrutiny or meaningful input from all stakeholders.

As defined by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement in the 2011 report to Congress (the last report submitted), resettlement stakeholders include: resettlement agencies, state refugee coordinators, refugee health coordinators, ethnic community-based organizations and ORR technical assistance providers.

The federal contractors’ proposed resettlement numbers are never made public prior to acceptance and award of federal funds. The very communities that are directly impacted are not considered stakeholders nor offered any opportunity prior to award for meaningful input into these decisions. This past year I spent a considerable amount of time and effort using FOIA and was still unable to have last year’s resettlement proposals disclosed.

This information should not be subject to FOIA. In fact, the information should be posted on the State Department’s website prior to acceptance and award of federal funds. There is nothing proprietary about how many people a federal contractor plans to bring to a community. Treating this information as “behind closed doors secrets” strongly suggests that the information is withheld from the public because of concern about community resistance to the federal government’s plans.

Years ago I served as a volunteer with a resettlement agency. Over time I have watched this program be transformed into an industry for government contractors with little to no oversight, transparency or accountability to taxpayers. The Cooperative Agreement which VOLAGs execute requiring that federal funds only “augment” privately raised funds is simply ignored. For example, Catholic World News reported in August 2012 that “Federal funds account for nearly 93% of USCCB’s migration/refugee budget…that over 92.5% of [their] $72.1 million budget came from federal grants and contracts while under $25,000 came from private donations.”

Nor is the USCCB the exception among the nationally contracted VOLAGs.

Federal grants include the likes of “Healthy Relationship and Marriage Research,” “Refugee Home Based Childcare Microenterprise Development Project” and “Preferred Communities” just to name a few. A rational approach to helping refugees and their children integrate more quickly into their new communities and Western culture, suggests that rather than using even more government funding to employ women in home-based childcare enclaves, the money would be better spent if at all, putting these children and mothers into existing community-based childcare settings.

While federally funded Ethnic Community Self-Help organizations and Mutual Assistance Associations are made to sound like good ideas, in reality they are yet one more avenue to funnel public dollars to refugee based organizations that use public dollars to claim refugee employment. Rather than assist refugees to integrate or even marginally, assimilate into their new communities, these organizations are designed to “ensur[e] that their charges retain strong ethnic and homeland ties.”

The per capita funding structure incentivizes resettlement contractors to increase their numbers regardless of whether it results in a lower standard of services provided to refugees. The 2012 GAO report “Greater Consultation with Community Stakeholders Could Strengthen Program” validates this position:

“Because refugees are generally placed in communities where national voluntary agency affiliates have been successful in resettling refugees, the same communities are often asked to absorb refugees year after year. One state refugee coordinator noted that local affiliate funding is based on the number of refugees they serve, so affiliates have an incentive to maintain or increase the number of refugees they resettle each year rather than allowing the number to decrease.”

Any attempt at objective discourse about how contractor resettlement business impacts the community in which they operate, is met with disdain. Local affiliate offices do not hesitate to publicly denigrate any taxpayer who raises legitimate questions about the functionality and cost of the program. Propaganda films like “Welcome to Shelbyville” are used to mislead the public and suggest that anyone who looks askance at the resettlement industry, is at best, just “unwelcoming” but more likely, a racist and a bigot.

The State Department’s blog entry dated May 27, 2011 notes that “Welcome to Shelbyville” was shown by your office, PRM, at the State Department on May 25 2011 to an audience of 120 that included representatives from NGOs, refugee resettlement agencies, the State Department, and other U.S. government agencies. Did you bother to share with them the other side of the Shelbyville story as reported in the local paper?

This “documentary” is pure propaganda for the federal program, obscures important facts about the program’s impact and worse, is used to silence legitimate concern about the resettlement industry. No federal agency should be permitted to use it.

States should have final control over resettlement activities within their state borders

Since states incur the on-going, long-term cost associated with refugees, states should have complete control over resettlement activities within their borders.

The 1981 Select Commission on Immigration & Refugee Policy (“Select Commission”), repeatedly addressed the financial impact on receiving communities. “Many state and local officials are concerned that the costs of resettlement assistance will continue beyond the period of federal reimbursement and that the burden of providing services will then fall upon their governments.”

The Select Commission seemed to well understand the fiscal issue for a federal program where the long-term costs would be passed to state and local governments. “Areas with high concentrations of refugees are adversely affected by increased pressures on schools, hospitals and other community services. Although the federal government provides 100 percent reimbursement for cash and medical assistance for three years, it does not provide sufficient aid to minimize the impact of refugees on community services.”

In 1982, just two years after the 1980 Refugee Act was passed, reduction in federal support started with federal cash and medical assistance reduced to 18 months. In 1988 it was reduced again to 12 months and again in 1991 to 8 months, which remains the current level. In 1986, the federal government began to reduce reimbursement to states for the state-funded portion of welfare, Medicaid and SSI, eliminating it altogether by 1991 and shifting these additional costs to the states.

The cost shift has been openly and repeatedly acknowledged by the federal government. And yet, these enduring costs are never acknowledged when calculating the true dollar cost of the program. The 2010 Senate hearing started to identify the significant costs states are forced to incur because of the federal program.

The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement places such a high premium on shifting refugee healthcare costs to states, that the 2013 ORR Voluntary Agencies Matching Grant Program Guidelines on page 9 states that: “ORR recognizes that weekly cash payments may make certain MG cases ineligible for the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid. Thus, local Matching Grant Program service providers may give some of the weekly allowance in the form of vouchers if such a form of payment is in the overall best interest of the client and he/she concurs.”

In other words, circumvent the program’s rules to shift more cost to the state taxpayer. State governments that decided to expand their Medicaid programs probably did not anticipate that this year’s Department of Health and Human Services briefing on “Key Indicators for Refugee Placement” would so quickly advise considering Medicaid expansion when deciding refugee placements.

With regard to states that have withdrawn from the resettlement program, the federal government does not have the legislative authority to assign an NGO to continue the program in that state. This unconstitutional encroachment on the 10th amendment right of states is barred both by law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions and must cease.

Additionally, states should not be subject to the poor judgment exercised by the Obama administration’s decision to relax security screenings for certain groups of refugees.

“Self-sufficiency” terminology should be replaced with specific reporting on public assistance utilization, temporary v non-temporary employment and the number of refugees resettled each year who are considered to be “unemployable”

Despite documentation of high percentages of Medicaid and food stamp utilization, high “self-sufficiency” rates are reported by the refugee resettlement contractors. It is misleading to describe anyone, including refugees, as self-sufficient when they also receive publicly funded assistance in the form of food stamps, Medicaid and public housing. And still federal contractors are able to report high self-sufficiency rates for refugees as long as they do not receive cash welfare.

A January post on the “Friends of Refugees” blog posted the following about Bridge’s Knoxville resettlement operations: “A former case manager also sent us information about the agency and pointed out that the refugee employment figures are dishonest as most of the refugees have only temporary employment that does not help them to pay rent and be self-sufficient. The nature of the temp jobs also means that the refugees will be unemployed just a short time after the agency reports them employed to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at 90 days and 180 days. (This, however, is a problem throughout the refugee program, and it doesn’t seem that the the ORR has much of an interest in requiring that resettlement agencies report if refugees are working at temporary or non-temporary jobs.)”

Public health issues should be resolved before funding more initial resettlement

TB among resettled populations has been a particular public health concern. It was reported in 2009 that the sharp increase in Minnesota’s active TB cases was tied to refugee resettlement. Because latent TB is not a bar to refugee admission, health officials have expressed concern about cases of drug-resistant TB being documented in communities with high refugee resettlement.

In 2012 the CDC reported that TB in “foreign-born persons increased to 63% of the national case total,” a percentage that has risen steadily since 1993.

More recently it was reported that “immigrants and those who travel to other countries frequently have the highest TB occurrence,” and that “many of these cases–approximately 450,000–are the drug-resistant form of TB that has developed from improper medication usage and medical protocols.”

In April, 2012, the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement circulated a grant announcement titled “Strengthening Surveillance for Diseases Among Newly-Arrived Immigrants and Refugees” since it appears that there is no comprehensive tracking of this particular segment of public health concerns. More government money to throw at a government created problem.

Reports of depression and PTSD are now being reported as reasons that some refugees are unable to work. Among Bhutanese refugees that are being resettled, the CDC has documented a troubling statistic; a suicide rate higher than the national and global average. One explanation offered has been the lack of jobs and the resulting stress of unemployment not matching expectations of life in the U.S.

Conclusion

Public funds are spent, hearings are held, reports are published and yet, nothing is done proactively to respond to the problems and issues that are highlighted.

The federal agencies involved in refugee resettlement have enabled the growth of an industry
layered with ever multiplying federal grants but extraordinarily lax on transparency and accountability. Currently, the U.S. refugee resettlement program is administered in derogation of a state’s right to withdraw from the federal program and a state’s right to set state level funding prerogatives.

Proposed resettlement plans should be made publicly available before any award of funding and be subject to public comments and public hearings. Moreover, the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement is at least two years delinquent in submitting the required annual report to Congress. No funding should be appropriated until all reporting requirements are met. Importantly, the last annual report dated 2011, noted the increased difficulty in finding employment for non-English speaking refugees, especially in light of higher unemployment rates among Americans, a situation that has not improved much since then.

Rather than compounding the problems already identified, it may be time to temporarily suspend the resettlement program and focus on the health and employment needs of refugees already here. At the same time, an objective examination of security screening measures should be undertaken.

Please ensure that a copy of the entire written record is timely made available to the public.

Respectfully submitted,

Joanne
Tennessee

Endnote:  All of our posts on this year’s public comment period may be found in our category entitled “Testimony for 5/29/2014 State Dept. meeting” here.

If you have testimony you wish us to publish, see my e-mail address in the right hand sidebar.

***The contractors:

 

 

 

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/29/2014 State Dept. meeting, Where to find information | Tagged: , | Comments Off

As our 7th anniversary approaches….

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 17, 2014

RRW needs help!

From the editor:

 I believe we are now at a crisis stage in America like no other in 150 years!

It hardly seems possible, but in a few weeks Refugee Resettlement Watch (see our ‘About’ page) will be seven years old!  Almost every day for seven years we have posted some news on the US Refugee Admissions program directed by the United Nations (carried out by the US State Department, the Office of Refugee Resettlement in HHS and their contractors***) and related issues involving LEGAL and sometimes illegal immigration.

We began with 14 viewers in the month of June ’07 and that was probably a few tech helpers just testing the site!  Recently we have had 45,000 viewers in a month and they come from all over the world!   We have written 5,660 posts to date and, as I said, rarely miss a day!

Our facebook readers sometimes surpass 30,000 in a week!

I’m writing this, not to toot our horn, but to say that it is really concerning me that I can’t keep up with all of your e-mails and inquiries and write posts too.

But, please keep sending me articles because the growing number of concerned citizens are the greatest information resource I have for what is going on in your states with refugees and with the ever-expanding number of migrants being labeled as “refugees,” and with the large number coming from Muslim countries.   If I don’t always respond, please know that I am here without helpers!  LOL!  No secretaries, no interns, no nothing!

Perhaps as the invasion on the border continues, with the mostly teenaged boys being treated like refugees, the large immigration control groups (I won’t name names, you know who you are) will get in gear and pay attention to the Refugee program (assign some staff to it!) which they have largely ignored these last seven years.

Bottom line:  this week as World Refugee Day approaches on Friday—we need help!  The issue is too big for a volunteer blogger in the basement!  If you are a member of the big immigration control groups, tell them to pay attention to the refugee program and since the contractors are lobbying especially this week (in the media and on The Hill), take time to let your elected officials know (at all levels of government) how you feel about the ever-expanding resettlement of third-worlders into your towns and cities.  Bombard especially Rep. Trey Gowdy!

Thank you!!!   Ann

***The contractors (who, by the way, also are lobbying for amnesty because they will be paid to “service” the new “clients!”):

 

Posted in blogging, Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program | 2 Comments »

Reader from Maine shares his comments to US State Department

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 10, 2014

This is one more in a (hopefully!) continuing series of statements (saved from the State Department’s black hole!) that readers of RRW have sent in response to their notice of a comment period on the “size and scope” of refugee admissions for fiscal year 2015.

Longtime readers know that Maine has been a hotbed of controversy ever since Catholic Charities began encouraging the resettlement of Somalis to Portland and Lewiston Maine about 15 years ago.

Here (below) a reader from Maine expresses his concern about the program and asks that it be strictly limited.

Be sure to read yesterday’s post in which we directed readers and those who submitted statements to the US State Department to write to Rep. Trey Gowdy who chairs the all important subcommittee responsible for refugee resettlement and ask that he obtain the statements from contractors that the State Department is withholding from the public.  What are they afraid of?

Ask Rep. Trey Gowdy to demand the release of all testimony from May 29th public comment period and ask him to hold Congressional oversight hearings on the refugee program.

From Michael in Maine:

Dear Ms. Spruell:

I am concerned with the large numbers of refugees (~70,000 a year) that are being resettled in the U.S. I am particularly concerned regarding the large number of people claiming refugee status who are from countries containing significant populations that are not friendly with the U.S. Unfriendly populations often include people who are not aligned with the countries’ governments, so just because these people are refugees does not mean that they are pro-American.

I do not wish for anyone to be forced to live under oppression, but in many, and perhaps most, cases it seems to me that it would be better to try to resettle refugees in less oppressive countries more similar to or nearer to their home country rather than to the U.S. Moreover, there is great concern that the number of refugees we are letting in currently is so great that it is overwhelming our ability to properly screen applicants for fraudulent claims.

I think that we could probably get by with a refugee program that relocated about 1/5 of the people to the U.S. that we do now; moreover, our program ought to prioritize refugees based on how easily they can be assimilated to the U.S. For those who cannot easily be assimilated to our culture we should find alternate countries and help them to immigrate to them instead.

I am also very concerned about the influence of various Refugee advocacy groups, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, who gain financially from government contracts when the number of refugees increases.

Given that (for reasons that remain unclear to me) there will be no public hearing this year, I would like for a complete record of all comments to be published.

I am sending written copies of this mail to Anne C. Richard, Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, and to the proper House and Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittees. I am also sending electronic copies to my Senators and my Congresswoman, using their on-line contact forms.

Michael

cc: Senator Susan Collins, Senator Angus King, Representative Chellie Pingree,
House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, US Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.

See all of our posts relating to this year’s State Department hearing by clicking here.  And, see our extensive archive on Maine, here.

And, by the way, if anyone gets any interesting response from an elected representative, send it our way.

One last thing—next week the Lutherans send 50 refugees to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress (for more money and more refugees), so it’s especially important that you get your statements in at this time as well.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Testimony for 5/29/2014 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Comment on FY2015 refugee program to US State Department from Illinois reader

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 9, 2014

We assume regular readers have been following our news from the US State Department about how first they cancelled this year’s public opportunity to give testimony (in person) on the “size and scope” of refugee admissions for FY2015, and then they have foolishly kept all written testimony secret by refusing to release it to the public.

Rep Trey Gowdy is a busy guy, but we feel sure he can do more than one thing at a time!

If you sent testimony to the State Department * for the May 29th deadline, please be sure, in addition to sending a copy to your elected representatives, to send it on paper to:

Rep Trey Gowdy, Chairman

House Judiciary Committee

Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security

2138 Rayburn House Office Bldg.

Washington, DC 20515

Tell the Chairman what happened and that you have not been allowed to see the testimony, especially the testimony of the refugee contractors which are almost completely funded with federal tax dollars, and ask him to investigate.

We offered to publish your comments, since the State Department won’t.

Here is John’s excellent testimony from Illinois:

Dear Ms. Spruell,

I am sending this email so that Anne C. Richard, Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, US State Department, Washington, DC can read my comment regarding the admission of more refugees. I will be sending the same to some members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee and also to House of Representative Judiciary Committee who are part of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

First and foremost I am against that more refugees should be admitted. I am speaking from personal experience and will recount what I have personally experienced. I have met many of these so called refugees and they all come here based on some silly reason that they are being persecuted, and they get admitted to the US. We must put an end to this because most of them use the refugees program as a ticket to gaining permanent residency here in the US. Most of them come from cultures that are totally alien to the United States and do not assimilate at all. Their children too do not assimilate and even if they do, they end up assimilating into the gang culture by getting into black or Hispanic gangs. Most of them still keep the ways of their so called oppressive homelands and have no intention of becoming American.

I am not saying that all refugees are bad or that they are all falsely trying to get into the United States. I have met people from European countries that came here as refugees and they are happy to be here and bless this country and its people for welcoming them with open arms. That is because they have values common with America. I have met refugees from African, Asian and Hispanic countries and they do not have any gratitude to America. They are mostly on welfare and curse America especially white Americans. Why does America have to put up with this sort of ingratitude? I think it would be better if countries that are similar in culture to the homeland of these refugees, should take them. For example, if a group of refugees come from Asia, then find an Asian country that has a similar culture as this group. There they will be happy and content in a culture they miss so much and familiar to them. India and Pakistan can take in refugees from Nepal, Burma and Bangladesh. Muslim refugees can go to Saudi Arabia or Kuwait or some other rich Muslim country. Same for a group of Africans and Hispanics, find a country that has similar African or Hispanic culture as these groups. It is simple as that. No matter where people go, they still have their hearts in their homelands and culture. American culture is alien to these people.

I know of one African person in particular who came here on a student visa and then immediately after coming here applied for refugee status. He was very nice and worried that he would not get his refugee application approved. He even claimed that he was in a so called concentration camp where he was made to do forced labor. Now he had not one scar on his body or a healed broken bone to show that he had been forced to do any work and he was healthy as any person I know. He even took that story to his immigration interview and magically he got his application approved in 6 days. After that he started condemning America and Americans especially white Americans claiming that their generosity is all a sham. Really!!! If Americans were all just doing it for a sham, why would we even bother to bring so many of them? Now why do we need these ingrates?

Therefore we need to be careful about who we let into the country. Another good example is the case of the Somalis that come here and then go back to Somalia to be trained as terrorists to destroy Americans and other westerners. We have seen the same case with the Boston Bombers last year. This is clearly a case of biting the hand that feeds them. If we do not learn from these lessons, I am afraid that we are only destroying ourselves. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Blood of innocent Americans killed by refugees will be on the hands of people like you and other politicians that allow these future terrorists to enter the US. We also need to stop the importation of the Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees into the US. The war ended a long time ago and we need not keep our promise to the Hmong people that if they helped us in the Vietnam War, they could immigrate to the US. That promise expired a long time ago. Those that came when the war ended have somewhat assimilated, but those that are coming in now are not doing so and are joining gangs.

If churches want to bring in people, then they should not be funded by us taxpayer money nor should they be diverting the money taken from the collection plate for refugee programs. They need to come up with their own money and fund and also support these refugees and not allow them to become public charges. The religious organizations and churches should be ashamed that they are misusing Christ’s teachings of charity to bring in people who are not compatible with American society. Moreover, they bring in these refugees to fill in the pews which are unfortunately being abandoned by the Americans.

Therefore I humbly ask that we limit the refugees that come in. We cannot be the welfare state that takes anyone in that claims to be in trouble. There is a shortage of jobs in the United States and Americans are out of work. The refugees together with legal immigrants, work visa workers, and illegals fighting for jobs, Americans who are legally entitled to have a job are being short changed. We need to learn from Australia. Put AMERICANS FIRST! I repeat, it would be good for America and for the refugees to put the refugees in a country that has a similar culture as them, and only let into America people whose culture is similar to ours and who can assimilate. Therefore I say that we almost completely scrap off this program and let in only very limited people who really are being persecuted and who can assimilate and contribute to American society. Not destroy it.

Sincerely,
John

* Even if you didn’t send testimony, tell Rep. Gowdy what you think of the refugee program and ask him to hold hearings!  And, by the way, I learned recently that sending a letter the old fashioned way, on paper, is more attention-getting than sending it electronically.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Testimony for 5/29/2014 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Springfield, MA: State/city agencies stepping in to help impoverished Somali refugee family

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 7, 2014

How many more like this family across America?

 

The family of twelve was recently removed from their roach infested rental property where the electric bill had gone unpaid as well. MassLive File photo / John Suchocki

 

We recently learned that 63% of Minnesota’s Somalis live below the poverty line and in Oregon the estimate is higher than that (67% ).  I wonder what it is in every state where Somalis have been located?

Come and get it!

Massachusetts (home state of the ‘brains’ behind the refugee program—the now deceased Ted Kennedy) has been a “welcoming” state for refugees, as was the city of Springfield (originally!), so I guess they knew what they were getting in to, but I’m not so sure the taxpayers there were fully aware (until now!).   See Springfield mayor wants moratorium.

From MassLive (emphasis mine):

SPRINGFIELD – A lawyer for the city’s Housing office said Friday that the city remains committed to helping two refugee families that were left homeless two weeks ago when their Union Street apartment was condemned.

The two families, originally from Somalia and consisting of three adults and 12 children, have spent the last two weeks in a Greenfield hotel. Some assistance has been provided to the families by local and state agencies, officials said.

“The city remains committed to assuring that the families are afforded safe and sanitary housing,” said Lisa C. DeSousa, associate city solicitor. “We are looking forward to working with social service agencies that are charged with assisting refugee families in these types of situations.”

[.....]

The school-aged children have been transported daily from the Greenfield hotel to their Springfield schools.

The state Department of Children and Families and state Department of Transitional Assistance are believed to be helping the families.

Maybe it’s time for the cost of saving these impoverished families to fall on the US State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (in Health and Human Services).  Maybe if the cost came out of their federal budget hides, instead of state and local taxpayers’ piggy banks, Congress would begin to pay attention.

I know, I know, it still comes from the taxpayers ultimately, but it’s about sending a message to the one government body that could stop the insanity.

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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