Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘Reforms needed’ Category

Professor: War on poverty should include refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 25, 2014

But, but, but….we are told that refugees are self-sufficient very quickly—that they are not costing federal, state and local taxpayers much! In fact, we are told repeatedly that they are actually adding to the local economy!

Although it’s an overt pitch for more taxpayer dollars for refugee resettlement, there are a couple of points worth making about this opinion piece by Dr. Jill Koyama at The Huffington Post.

Dr. Jill Koyama: “…refugees funneled into pipelines of poverty.”

First, for long time readers, you know that the Resettlement contractors are always bragging about how quickly refugees become self-sufficient and get off welfare.  You know it can’t be true or why would this author and others suggest refugee programs need more money from the US taxpayer.  The contractors can’t have it both ways!  Either refugees are in poverty or they are quickly self-sufficient.  Which is it?

If they need more money from the taxpayer to survive, then we are led to two obvious questions:  WHY ARE WE IMPORTING POVERTY?  And, if we can’t afford them, why not lower the numbers being admitted to the US each year?

Dr. Koyama, in her op-ed, is pushing for more English language training and says of the system now:  “…refugees are funneled into pipelines of poverty, with little hope of upward mobility.”

Here she makes a point we often make on these pages—a driving force behind refugee resettlement, for all its talk of helping the world’s downtrodden, is driven to a large degree by employers wanting cheap reliable laborers.  Once the first refugees move upward, employers need to import more at the lower rungs.

My two-year anthropological study, ending last March, of the educational and employment networks of 100 refugees in upstate New York confirms that a lack of English proficiency pigeon-holes refugees into low-wage service and shift work with limited possibilities of promotion. In fact, one fourth of the 12 employers interviewed preferred to hire refugees with “just enough” English skills who were, as one employer stated, “less likely to leave when they landed better paying jobs with more English.” According to the director of a refugee resettlement agency in the area, the focus on getting a job quickly leads many refugees to accept positions below their abilities, especially because refusing any job can jeopardize the receipt of benefits used to support their families, especially their children. This has multi-generational effects on educational outcomes and livelihoods for refugee children and children born in the U.S. to refugees.

A reminder to readers, the Refugee Act of 1980 also foresaw a public-private partnership where the contractors were supposed to use some of their own resources and not use the federal taxpayer as a piggy bank.  I am fully convinced that contractors could, if they worked at it, find enough people willing to do charitable work to teach refugees English without further dipping into the US Treasury.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Legal immigration and jobs, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

TPS extended for Somalis (for the umpteenth time)

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 11, 2013

Why on earth we even have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalis is beyond me since we already have a massive refugee and asylum resettlement program for them and at a time when Somalia’s President is urging those in the diaspora to come home!

Come home to Somalia!

Readers TPS was started for the primary purpose of helping mostly Central Americans get to stay in the US after they illegally arrived here by the tens of thousands, but didn’t fit into the definition of “refugee.”   They really need to take the “temporary” out of the name of the program.

Supposedly those applying would have been in the US prior to whatever incident (like a hurricane, earthquake, civil war etc.) happened and out of the goodness of our hearts we let them stay on until their country can recover—-some for more than a decade.

So what happens when TPS is not extended?  They stay on anyway.

The 470 Somalis who have been registered in the TPS program can now legally stay for another 18 months!  Who knows how those 470 came to be in the US in the first place (or when!), some may have arrived illegally or over-stayed a visa.

Here is a brief news story from the TC Daily Planet  (hat tip: Tonya):

Temporary Protected Status for nationals of Somalia will be extended by 18 months effective March 18, 2014, according to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers, in a statement to Mshale on Wednesday (Nov. 6).

About 470 Somalis applied for the last extension and redesignation in September 2012, according to a USCIS spokesperson.

Temporary Protected Status, or TPS as it is commonly known, is a designation by the United States Secretary of Homeland Security that “due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately”.

Here is the USCIS website that explains this phoney-baloney program.  And, here are the countries whose nationals may apply at the moment.

Here is a Dept. of Justice site I just found.  It tells us which countries were given TPS and when (except it doesn’t give the date of the designation for Somalis???).

Note that countries like Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador were designated in 1999 and 2001 respectively and have been extended many times—Honduras 18 times! Nicaragua 18 times! El Salvador 10 times!  Why are they (tens of thousands) still here?

When we first began writing RRW, Liberians were allowed to stay under TPS (which allows them to work, get drivers licenses, etc), but I see the program for Liberia has ended.  However, we didn’t deport the Liberians who had taken root in certain American cities, instead they have hunkered down and are waiting for ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ to receive amnesty surely like all the others whose TPS has expired!

In fact, the feds are having trouble getting the Haitians signed up because most don’t bother with the paperwork expecting Obama will soon legalize them all anyway.

Just a reminder, back in January the new President of Somalia traveled around the US asking Somalis to come home and help re-build Somalia, here.  Excellent idea for those who have gained skills at US taxpayer expense—help Somalia recover and let’s stop the refugee flow to America.

Posted in Other Immigration, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

VDARE writer mentions RRW

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 1, 2013

Editors note:  This (below) is reprinted with permission from VDARE.  If you are not familiar with this website that is a forerunner—long before RRW—with long-time writer/researcher Thomas Allen covering the refugee beat, be sure to check it out every day.  I follow VDARE on twitter, here.

Almost daily at RRW we get new readers, our subscribers as of today number 630.  I know that isn’t much by big blog standards but for a narrowly focused blog on a subject very few Americans know about, it makes us happy.  We also generally reach on average 1000 additional visitors a day.  Today is September 1, help us find one subscriber a day so that by October 1, we should have 660 subscribers.

By the way, that Arizona food stamp fraud story went through the roof yesterday with over 1,200 readers just on that post alone.

Here Allen gives RRW a shout-out!

The Refugee Resettlement Mess In The Words Of Three Experts.

Some 80, 000 refugees enter the US every year under the Refugee Act. It’s basically an expedited, subsidized (refugees are immediately eligible for benefits) immigration program for favored groups—notably, in the past, Soviet Jews. I’ve covered this scandal for since 2000. Recently, three comments by experts caught my eye.

Anne Richard, formerly of the private refugee resettlement contractor International Rescue Committee and now directing the State Department’s refugee bureau, talked with contractors about the successes of the refugee resettlement program. (Remarks: 2013 Refugee Resettlement Conferences. May 20, 2013)

Refugee “self-sufficiency” has always been an important measure of success in refugee resettlement and a basis for assigning refugees to contractors. In other words: do well in showing your refugees are “self-sufficient” and you will be rewarded with more contracts and more money.

But amazingly, after decades where the primary program emphasis has been on employment and “self-sufficiency,” all the upbeat Richards could cite as employers of refugees are

That’s it. No wonder the Refugee Industry has had to redefine “self-sufficiency” downward.

Today, a refugee can be considered officially “self-sufficient” while using all of these federal programs:

  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps
  • Public Housing
  • Cash from Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) (direct services only)
  • Child Care and Development Fund
  • Independent Living Program
  • Job Opportunities for Low Income Individuals (JOLI)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Postsecondary Education Loans and Grants
  • Refugee Assistance Programs
  • Title IV Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Payments (if parents are qualified immigrants-refugees, asylees, etc)
  • Title XX Social Services Block Grant Funds

In contrast, Ann Corcoran’s Refugee Resettlement Watch recently featured (Former refugee resettlement worker blows the whistle on refugee program failures; calls for moratorium) a devastating open letter from a former Deputy Director of the International Rescue Committee [IRC] Boston office to his former colleague at the State Department.

Michael Sirois, a 25-year veteran in the field, wrote:

Early on, I grew familiar with the fraud that was rampant throughout the program, from the refugees themselves (sometimes forgivable), the overseas OPE’s [Overseas Processing Entity] (not forgivable) and on up to the UN (most unforgivable). Most of my colleagues were also aware of it, and while they often joked about it, almost no one did anything to change or challenge it.

In our work, it was all about ‘getting the numbers,’ often at the expense of legitimate screening for ‘real’ refugees.

To be honest, I never turned a blind eye to obvious fraud, but had been instructed to give all refugee applicants “the benefit of the doubt.” Yet there were many applications about which I had serious reservations. Some of them were classically laughable ( “I don’t remember my mother’s name…let me make a phone call…”). There were more than a few applicants that I rejected (or referred to another Volag ["voluntary agency", frequently church-based] that might not have had the same concerns).”….

My major concern was helping people re-unite with close and legitimate family members whose relationship I believed to exist in fact. I can’t tell you how many times, after resettlement that those relationships were revealed to be fraudulent. Sometimes the reasons were understandable from a human kindness point of view (claiming an orphaned niece as a sister), but often those “relationships” were simple financial transactions.

In my long years at the IRC, I assisted many ethnic groups. I can say without reservation that the Somalis were among the most duplicitous. There was a time when I suggested that they swear on the Quran before signing the affidavit of relationship. Most of the time they would flee and not return. That practice was discontinued, being deemed politically incorrect.

All of us in the field know just how weak the “security screening” was. It’s mostly a very poor and ineffective system of simple name checks from countries that for the most part keep no records [Emphases added]

Sirois ended his letter with a plea for a moratorium on the program, as the current program “is a huge mess and a danger to our security and a detriment to our economy and society.”

Which brings me to my third expert:

Ken Tota, [Email him] Deputy Director at HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement, made the mind-boggling comment, at an Office of Refugee Resettlement conference, that Congress has never in his 25-year tenure questioned the refugee quota proposed by any Administration. [Fact Sheets, Refugee Resettlement Watch, June 20th, 2013]

I tried to decide the tone of his delivery—was it derisive, mocking, triumphalist? A reader of the transcript of the talk might be excused for assuming it was reported in just such tones. It should have been reported in such tones.

Posted in blogging, Changing the way we live, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information | 2 Comments »

State Department responds to Springfield Mayor

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 31, 2013

Barbara Day, the US State Department Office of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) Domestic Resettlement Section Chief, in a letter Wednesday, said PRM would be reviewing the three major contractors resettling refugees to Massachusetts when they make their plans for FY2014 (which happens very soon as FY’14 begins October 1).

When you read this consider that Barbara Day came to the State Department from Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota (a subcontractor of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, one of the three agencies she will be reviewing).

This is another example of the close ties between the grantors and the grantees.  As we have reported many times on these pages, the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in Health and Human Services (Eskinder Negash) is also a former contractor.  I am sure they are honorable people, but there really should be a law against contractors becoming the federal grantor to their former organization.

***Update*** How could I forget that the Asst. Secretary of State for PRM, Anne Richard, is also a former contractor!

Here is Day’s letter, and by the way, she is the person you should contact at the State Department if you have problems in your city!

This news (and the copy of the letter) was reported in The Republican which has been doing a great job following this story.  Read the whole informative article.  This little segment (below) caught my eye because it shows what a large percentage of the money allotted to refugees goes to the “church” middlemen to run the operation.

I have said on these pages that these middlemen contractors  (faux non-profits) should be shut out of the process and if a state agrees to resettle refugees it should be done through a state office COMPLETELY ACCOUNTABLE TO ELECTED OFFICIALS AND TAXPAYERS.

Here is what caught my eye:

Lutheran Social Services received $1,238,200 in refugee resettlement and refugee services funding in Hampden County in fiscal 2013. Of that amount, $362,500 goes directly to clients [refugees---ed] and $875,700 goes for operating the services, a spokeswoman said.

A significant portion of the funds, however, is not only for newly arriving refugees but for all refugees served, some for up to five years, the spokeswoman said. The grants include funding for services such as case management, education and employment efforts, according to a summary.

Read it all.

If you are arriving here for the first time, you can review all of our coverage of the controversy in Springfield, Massachusetts by clicking here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Who is going where | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

More from Springfield, MA and that city’s refugee overload

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 18, 2013

Here is another story on the Springfield dust-up with the US State Department from earlier this past week.  (Hat tip: Joanne)

We have heard all of this before, but it’s important to continue to build our archive of problems from coast to coast because after a short time some of these local stories disappear and we don’t want that to happen.

Here is one good thing that all readers should keep in mind about this story—getting publicity outside of the blogospere is an important goal.   Normally the mainstream media treats the whole refugee issue with kid-gloves, and silly stories about refugees seeing their first snow abound!  So, please help keep this controversy going!   For example, if your local paper publishes a story about refugees in your town, send in a comment with a link to the Springfield story.  It will help give backbone to your politicians.

The bad thing about this Springfield case is that the media (with the volags input of course) is directing this story to a conclusion that the contractors need more taxpayer cash, when instead the conclusion should be—if we can’t afford the refugees, stop bringing them!

From The Republican which begins in the time-worn way of showing us a struggling refugee (who loves America anyway).  Do reporters learn that in J-school (in Shaping the News 101)?

So, where is hubby? There has to be a man in her life! Or, is she completely dependent on you for her financial well-being?
Photo by Stephanie Barry

So where is her husband???  (Two little ones and it sure looks like she is pregnant, although she does say she is eating well.)   And why are we taking Muslim refugees from Muslim Turkey???  If she got to Turkey she was safe!***

(What the heck!  Go here and see that we have brought over 3,000 “refugees” from a modern ‘European’ country—Turkey—this year alone! )

The latest from Springfield:

SPRINGFIELD — From a refugee camp in a war-torn area of Africa, to a stopover in Turkey to an apartment building near downtown Springfield, 21-year-old Hiboxasan Iyai found the challenges of her birthright were not yet over.

Among hundreds of Somali Bantu refugees resettled here since 2003, Iyai – a mother of a 3- and 1-year-old, has been struggling to feed and clothe her children since she arrived two months ago – she said during an interview hobbled by communication barriers.

With her limited English, Iyai attempted to sum up her plight through what amounted to an elaborate game of charades and about a dozen words of English.   [Of course this means she isn't going to be working for a living anytime soon!----ed]

She has only been here two months, the building had code violations previously, so why did the Lutherans put her here?

America good,” she said with a broad smile, standing in the hallway of her apartment at 400 Franklin St, a triple-decker home that houses three families of Somali refugees run by a landlord based out of Meriden, Conn.

The property was one of several cited by the city for deplorable, “uninhabitable” living conditions earlier this year – primarily because mice and rats had infested the building so pervasively they were nibbling on a disabled child’s feeding tube on the third floor, according to city records linked to the house.

However, the owner, a member of MEG Realty LLC out of Connecticut (who would only give his first name, Eric) said he bought the vacant apartment building two years ago, gutted it, and rebuilt it with new windows, doors and appliances.

“It’s not my fault. It’s the tenants’ fault,” he said during a telephone interview on Thursday. “If they don’t keep the place clean and leave food out, it’s going to bring mice and rats.

Cash support for 90 days which gives them time to get signed up for a whole array of social services.  Remember Senator Rand Paul got sneered at when he said they ‘bring ‘em in and sign ‘em up’ for welfare.

According to the state Office of Refugees and Immigrants, refugees receive cash assistance, “basic needs support reception” and placement services, funded through the U.S. State Department. For the first 30 days after arrival, host agencies provide assistance with housing, furnishings, food, clothing and transportation to job interviews. During the first 90 days, host agencies also provide help with applying for Social Security cards, registering children for school and tutelage on using public transportation and other public services. They also receive temporary medical coverage.

Sarno and Cotter suggested certain refugees, including many Somalis, appear to need far more support than the resettlement agencies provide and for far longer than 90 days. [That is where the Lutherans should bring in their private Christian charity, right!---ed]

Lutherans:  We want them to be free!  That’s why we bring them to America (give me a break!).

Jozefina Lantz, director for services for New Americans for Lutheran Social Services, said the local agencies prepare “very responsibly” in resettling refugees and providing support services.

There is a federal timeline for providing support, “but that is too short and we certainly serve refugees past that timeline.”

“If the refugee family runs into issues [a] year down the road they certainly know where to come and we will always help and always have,” Lantz said. “But let’s say three years down the road — that is not something we would follow.

Refugees are resettled to be free. To move freely to live freely. They are not our charge per se. We don’t do that level of control and monitoring.”

Food is good, Lutheran Social Services “not good.”

Iyai seemed to suggest that she was happy in her apartment, but struggled to show a reporter her budgeting challenges. She pulled a slips of paper from her wallet showing a $630 monthly cash allowance against a $540 rent payment and a $150 utility bill.

“Food, good,” she said, referring to her monthly food allowance.

She added that she had been resettled by Lutheran Social Services.

“Not good,” she said, unable to provide more detail in English.

Now the poor Somali girl is in trouble!

***This Turkey reference may be the most interesting thing in the whole story.  For 6 years—from sea to shining sea—we have heard all of the sorry facts reported here (Springfield is just one more in a long list of problem cities).

But, I want to know what is this about bringing thousands of “refugees” from, or through, Turkey?  If they have reached Turkey they should be safe, at least the Muslims like Iyai should be!

Turkey had resumed regular flights in and out of Mogadishu sometime in the last year, I remember reading that.  They aren’t flying in there and picking up refugees to send to the US are they?  3,000 plus Somalis?  Or, are they sending their Kurds to us in such large numbers?  We know it isn’t the Syrians passing through Turkey (yet!).

Whatever the answer is, it looks like the US State Department is once again doing favors for other countries (we know Obama loves Erdogan).  Are the refugees ‘chips’ to be used in a larger political game?

The economic and social price is paid by Springfield (and all the other preferred resettlement cities) which get to pay for the care of the refugees probably for decades.  The Obama Administration (Bush too) gets brownie points with the humanitarian crowd.  And, the Lutherans get job security, a warm fuzzy feeling, and move on to the next batch of paying clients.

Posted in Africa, Europe, Immigration fraud, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Resettlement cities, Who is going where | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Western NGOs in warring Muslim countries: money is welcome, but not their ideas

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 18, 2013

I expected this article at Strategy Page (‘The growing war in Syrian refugee camps‘) to be more of the same about the crime rampant in UN refugee camps like Zaatari in Jordan.  It started out that way, but evolved into a not-so-attractive picture of “do-gooder” non-governmental agencies (NGOs) who are ripe for the picking in the Muslim world.

Black Hawk Down: In 1993, NGOs called in the military to help with “humanitarian aid” to disastrous effect in Somalia.

From Strategy Page  (Emphasis is mine, and in some cases I’ve divided paragraphs for easier reading):

Aid groups are also beginning to confront the harmful side effects of their good works. The worst side effect is how rebels and gangsters sustain themselves by stealing food and other aid supplies, as well as robbing the NGO workers themselves. At first the main UN complaint is the increasing attacks on aid workers. In the worst cases aid workers are assaulted or robbed and that eventually escalates to some getting killed. This is a trend that has been on the march upward for several decades. Islamic radicals have been particularly active in terrorizing and killing the foreigners who are there to help them. UN aid workers are usually caught between different factions within the refugee camps. All factions see the UN and other aid workers as a source of income and supplies.

In the case of Syria there are also problems with Sunni Islamic radicals keen on chasing out all non-Moslem foreigners. The refugee camps for Syrians are particularly vexed by criminal gangs that prey on everyone, especially the women.

The “humanitarian industrial complex” has grown exponentially!

NGOs are, for the most part, charitable organizations that take money from individuals, organizations, and governments and use it for charitable work in foreign countries. The Red Cross is one of the oldest and best known NGOs (dating back to the 19th century), although the Catholic Church (and many other religious organizations) had been doing similar work for centuries. In the mid-20th century the UN (and its many aid agencies) became the largest NGO. In the late 20th century the number of NGOs grew explosively. Now there are thousands of them, providing work for hundreds of thousands of people. [And, largely funded by taxpayer dollars as we have learned on these pages---ed]

“Efficiency” is the reason given for governments contracting NGOs, but I think it goes deeper than that.

NGOs are not accountable to taxpayers in the way government employees would be and I think that is one of the top reasons this monstrosity has grown.  But, I also think that the power-hungry leadership, that wants to tell everyone else how to live, has managed to increasingly raid the treasury of Western governments.

The NGO elite are well educated people from Western countries that solicit donations, or go off to disaster areas and apply money, equipment, and supplies to alleviate some natural or man-made disaster. Governments have been so impressed by the efficiency of NGOs (compared to government employees) that they have contracted them to perform foreign aid and disaster relief work that was once done by government employees.  [Nah! Again it's my opinion that its about not having to be accountable to the taxpayers---ed]

NGOs bring in a bunch of do-gooder outsiders with unwelcome ideas on how the locals should live.

Problems, however, have developed. The employees of NGOs, while not highly paid, are infused with a certain degree of idealism. These foreign NGOs bring to disaster areas a bunch of outsiders who have a higher standard of living and different ideas. Several decades ago the main thing these outsiders brought with them was food and medical care. The people on the receiving end were pretty desperate and grateful for the help.

But NGOs have branched out into development and social programs. This has caused unexpected problems with the local leadership. Development programs disrupt the existing economic, and political, relations. The local leaders are often not happy with this, as the NGOs are not always willing to work closely with the existing power structure. While the local worthies may be exploitative, and even corrupt, they are local and they do know more about popular attitudes and ideals than the foreigners.

NGOs with social programs (education, especially educating women, new lifestyle choices, and more power for people who don’t usually have much) often run into conflict with local leaders. Naturally, the local politicians and traditional leaders have resisted or even fought back. Thus the Afghan government officials calling for all NGOs in the country to be shut down. That included Afghan NGOs, who were doing some of the same work as the foreign ones. The government officials were responding to complaints from numerous old school Afghan tribal and religious leaders who were unhappy with all these foreigners, or urban Afghans with funny ideas, upsetting the ancient ways in the countryside. Moreover, the Afghan government wanted to get the aid money direct, so they could steal more of it.

NGOs help create more warfare by calling in the military.  New UN Ambassador and “humanitarian hawk” Samantha Power has a fancy name for this called “the responsibility to protect” which basically means one can go to war if one’s intentions are pure and it is to protect the downtrodden (whoever they are, I suppose determined in each case by the PC do-gooders).

NGOs are not military organizations but they can fight back. They do this mainly through the media, because they also use favorable media coverage to propel their fund raising efforts. NGOs will also ask, or demand, that the UN or other foreign governments send in peacekeeping troops in to protect the NGOs from hostile locals.

This had disastrous effects in Somalia during the early 1990s. Some NGOs remained, or came back, to Somalia after the peacekeepers left. These NGOs learned how to cope on their own. They hired local muscle for protection, as well as cutting deals with the local warlords. But eventually the local Islamic radicals became upset at the alien ideas these Western do-gooders brought with them and began to chase all NGOs out.

NGOs in the middle of civil wars!

This move from delivering aid to delivering (often unwelcome) ideas has put all NGOs at risk. The NGOs have become players in a worldwide civil war between local traditional ideas and the more transnational concepts that trigger violent reactions in many parts of the world. Now, concerned about doing more harm (or a lot of harm) than good, NGOs are at least talking about how to deal with some of the dangerous conditions their presence creates.

Readers these are largely Muslim civil wars.  How about if we follow the Palin Doctrine—let Allah fix it!  We would save ourselves a lot of lives, money and headaches!


Posted in Africa, Obama, Reforms needed, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Springfield, MA mayor tells State Department NO! to more refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 14, 2013

Update August 27th:  Mayor Sarno holds press conference with disgruntled Somali, here.

Update August 15th:  More media coverage of the Mayor’s letter and response, here , here and here.

Update:  Lutherans respond to criticism, here.

Reader ‘pungentpeppers’ alerts us to a new “pocket of resistance” to refugee resettlement and it’s in the ‘Peoples’ Republic of Massachusetts’ of all places!

Democrat Mayor Sarno hopefully has the fortitude to stand up to the criticism that will come his way from the Open Borders/Religious Left lobby!
Photo: The Republican

Here is the stunning news.  I say stunning because very few Mayors or local elected officials have the guts to do what Mayor Sarno has done.  There have been a few others, most notably Mayor Gatsas from Manchester, NH, but most local officials believe they have no recourse against the federal government and the contractors—in this case Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and Jewish Family Services—and just have to take it!

Most also fear the political ramifications of being labelled a “racist” for saying they are overloaded.

One reform we should all be pushing for is to legally enable cities and states to say NO to the feds!

Note to the Mayor:  I see you supported Ed Markey for the US Senate, you need to ask his office for help!

The  State Department ( Office Population Refugees and Migration) is very aware that they have a problem finding “welcoming” communities for the growing number of refugees AND asylees they are trying to place.   Earlier this summer we learned they and the Office of Refugee Resettlement were having secret pow-wows (ORR did not answer several requests from me to learn of the location of  the July “placement” meeting) to jointly agree on what communities might be welcoming.  This is what I learned in June (see Lancaster meeting):

….apparently in light of failed attempts to get new seed communities established, the feds are having ORR-PRM joint quarterly placement meetings.  The next one will be in July.     Before any new site is opened (usually because some contractor thinks it would be a good place), ORR-PRM will visit the site together and decide if it will be “welcoming.”

By the way, when you read the whole Springfield story, note that one contractor says they aren’t resettling so many in Springfield directly, but are spreading them out throughout the county—this is one of their tricks when they start getting heat. 

From The Republican (emphasis is mine).  We have seen this before—refugees placed in slums!

SPRINGFIELD — Mayor Domenic J. Sarno on Tuesday urged federal officials to stop the flow of refugees into Springfield, saying the influx has become “a pressing issue of public safety.”

Sarno, in a letter to the U.S. State Department, said Springfield has “a long and successful history” of taking in refugees, but the growing numbers have led to his concern “for the safety of both our citizens and the refugees themselves.”

Many of the refugees are being placed in substandard housing, and are placing burdens on the Code Enforcement, Police and School departments, Sarno said.

The Police Department has reported an increase in fraud, robbery and property crimes committed against refugees, Sarno said. In addition, the refugees are placing a strain on the school system, coming from around the world,*** he said.

In his petition, Sarno said he has become aware of “some startling facts” from reports he has received from city departments. That has included housing with “significant life safety violations” of the state building and sanitary codes that have included “rampant insect and vermin infestations, the absence of any smoke detectors,” and illegal wiring, broken doors, and blocked exits, he said.

“The fact that refugees are being placed into properties containing the reprehensible conditions, cited above, is compelling evidence that local agencies are not employing people with the necessary qualifications to conduct adequate safety and habitability inspections for potential settlement units, and are not properly utilizing the funding being provided by the Federal Government,” Sarno said.

Sarno’s four-page letter was sent to Barbara Day, chief of domestic resettlement, refuge admissions for the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

“We have done more than our fair share,” Sarno said Tuesday in an interview. “It’s not fair to the refugees or Springfield.”

“I have to draw the line,” Sarno said. “The number of refugee children who have little to no English language skills has overwhelmed the very limited interpretation capabilities of our public schools, and funding that was intended for use in assisting existing pupils.”

The mayor and some of his department heads met in July with organizations involved in the refugee resettlement efforts — Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and the Jewish Family Services.

Read on to hear what Jewish Family Services said about shifting refugees to the county.  There was no comment from the Catholics or the Lutherans.

***I don’t have time to do a thorough analysis, but you can go here and check out Springfield, Massachusetts’ numbers (or your town’s numbers) and the nationality of its/your resettled refugees.    Open the file entitled:  Arrivals by Destination City by Nationality by FY as of July 31, 2013.

The numbers do not represent those who might have come to a town or city as ‘secondary migrants’ (refugees resettled elsewhere but who have gone to certain cities to be with their own kind of people).

Springfield has “welcomed” 1,712 refugees since 2001 from the following countries:

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dem. Rep. Congo
Sierra Leone

An afterthought:  I wonder does the Mayor know that the Refugee Resettlement Program run by the State Department was the brainchild of former Mass. Senator Ted Kennedy?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, health issues, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

Catholic Church in Chicago to sponsor two refugee families

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 3, 2013

O.K. So what is so interesting about that?

They are talking about raising $1600 privately to sponsor a family for the first three months, and that is about what Catholic Charities or the Bishops get per family from the US taxpayer.  So does this mean that since the local church will sponsor for three months, the local Catholic Charities contractor gets to pocket what they got from the feds for the same family?

I’ve been an advocate for private sponsorship from the earliest days of writing this blog, HOWEVER, my plan would leave the contractor-middleman (in this case some bureaucracy of the Church out of it), and my reform suggestion is that the family be supported privately for a year or two (three months is hardly time enough to find a job and be self-sufficient) with NO dependence on taxpayer-funded social services.  In that way, the parishioners wishing to help a family would be doing so out of a purely private charitable motivation and there would be a heightened opportunity for the family to truly assimilate.

Here is the story from Chicago.  Again, does this mean the funds received by the contractor for this family can be pocketed?

RIVERSIDE – Earlier this year, St. Mary Parish of Riverside started an initiative to help refugee families resettling in Chicago become self-sufficient in three months by providing housing, job opportunities, financial support and a medium to develop relationships with the church’s parishioners.

St. Mary Parish began its Refugee Sponsorship Committee in March in collaboration with the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program and plans to help resettle two families by the end of this year.

It needs to raise $1,600 per family to be able to supply services, including a welcome pack, subsidized rent for 90 days, an apartment in Rodgers Park, financial help and assistance in finding a job.

The church has raised $1,556 so far and has furniture in storage for the potential apartment.

“The goal is to ease [them] in,” Dalia Rocotello, a member of the Refugee Sponsorship Committee said.

To be clear, my plan would naturally limit the number of refugees entering the US by the amount of private charity available for their care until they are truly on their feet.

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

We have a new Fact Sheet!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 20, 2013

Just in time for World Refugee Day today, we have posted a newly updated Fact Sheet on the Refugee Resettlement Program in the US.   The Fact Sheet is posted just below our header, or you can click here and check it out!  Written in collaboration with experts, our Fact Sheet has been visited by over 31,000 readers in recent years.

Readers may also wish to visit our category, where to find information.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

Pennsylvania Refugee Conference was informative on so many levels

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 13, 2013

Update June 15th:  Pockets of resistance have developed, here is Part II of my report on Lancaster.

As I mentioned a couple of times yesterday, on Tuesday I traveled to Lancaster, PA (a “welcoming” resettlement city) for the 2013 Pennsylvania Consultation, a joint meeting between the “Commonwealth’s” refugee program and its workers, the national refugee contractors and the federal government.

The Atrium dining area at the lavish Doubletree/Hilton Hotel in Lancaster, PA where “stakeholders” met (at taxpayers’ expense) to learn more about how to help refugees sign up for social services. What is wrong with this picture?

Representatives from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (Health and Human Services) and the State Department’s Office of Population, Refugees and Migration were there to fill in the Pennsylvania “stakeholders” about the latest trends in nationalities they would be resettling, refugee and asylee rights including rights to welfare goodies, the shortage of money for the contractors and the program generally (they had money to give attendees promotional ink pens!) and how to push-back against what they called “pockets of resistance against new arrivals.”   (That last is so good it will require a second post!).

Readers, I know this type of meeting can be boring and so might my reports on it, or at least this one might be boring, but it’s very important to see the kinds of people involved in refugee resettlement, listen to them and to basically become informed about the minutia of this or any government program you might have concerns about.

Your state (except Wyoming) has a Refugee Office (or an assigned state employee/private contractor) somewhere and I recommend that you visit them or their website often or get on a mailing list to receive information about upcoming meetings like this one.  We were told from the podium that Pennsylvania had no pockets of resistance, perhaps no organized pockets, but I learned of a couple of people who have problems with refugee resettlement in Lancaster who didn’t know this meeting was occurring at their grand Doubletree/Hilton Hotel.

By the way, I had several occasions to help put on conferences (not taxpayer funded) at a Doubletree Hotel in Maryland, not as grand a hotel as this one, and I know that use of their facility/meeting rooms and food couldn’t be done for less than $50 a head for a boxed lunch.  Based on the amenities at the Lancaster “consultation” where attendance was ‘free,’ this spread must have cost (state and/or federal taxpayers) about $100 a person.  Fortunately there was no line dancing that I saw.

Here are some nuggets I learned (in no particular order):

* PA resettled 3,022 in 2011-2012.  1,194 have arrived in 2013 so far.

* The largest percentage of PA’s refugees are the Bhutanese (Nepalese), Iraqis and a smattering of Somalis.  There will be Congolese coming to PA to add to their diversity.

* The refugee hot spots in PA are Pittsburgh, Lancaster/Harrisburg, Allentown, Philadelphia (the largest right now) and Erie.

* Major PA contractors are Catholic Charities, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and Church World Service.

* ORR was represented at the meeting by former Ethiopian refugee, Mitiku Ashebir.  That is interesting because the present Director of ORR is Eskinder Negash, also from Ethiopia, who revolved into his government job from his perch as VP at one of the top  nine major federal contractors—USCRI.  Ashebir entered the government door through his former positions with contractors US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.  There really should be a law against the cozy contractor/government employee revolving door.

* There were lots of little nuggets about welfare that I noted.  One statistic of interest was that 2,550 refugees in PA are receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income).  After all, the US State Department is admitting elderly and disabled refugees who have to live on something—right!

* There was discussion on possible reductions in TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) on the horizon.  And, eeek! drug testing too.

* There was this bit of good employment news (NOT!)—refugee employment increased by 3% over 2011!  It went from 50% to 53%.

* Also considered good news is that 67% of refugees in PA are self-sufficient at 120 days, and 75% at 180 days.  That does not mean they don’t get any welfare benefits—they still get food stamps for sure and likely Section 8 housing.  And, so 25% are in need of all services after 180 days—doesn’t sound so good to me!

* The anticipated national caseload for FY2013 breaks down like this:  70,000 refugees, 28,800 asylees, 21,000 Cubans and Haitians, 600 human trafficking cases, and 4,000 Special Immigrant Visa holders (those are the Iraqis and Afghanis who we are admitting for “helping” America).  The total is 124,400 and as we were told ALL of them are entitled to all the benefits—welfare, housing, food stamps, education, health care etc.

* On top of the 124,400 is an expected jump in unaccompanied minors that ORR is responsible for.  In 2012, 14,700 kids arrived in the US without parents and in 2013 the number is expected to be 20,000. Prior to 2012 the numbers were dramatically lower.  Sounds like an incredible scam on America as probably parents from south of the border are abandoning their children to the government in advance of the amnesty legislation.

* Then here is something I found very interesting and helps answer a question I get often from readers.  How do they decide to resettle refugees to a given town? The contractors and federal government have to continually look for fresh territory in which to resettle refugees and apparently in light of failed attempts to get new seed communities established, the feds are having ORR-PRM joint quarterly placement meetings.  The next one will be in July.     Before any new site is opened (usually because some contractor thinks it would be a good place), ORR-PRM will visit the site together and decide if it will be “welcoming.”

A note of caution:  they will bring in a small number of refugees and see if there is going to be some resistance.  If there is none, then they will proceed with the assumption that yours is a “welcoming” community.  I call this the squawk factor.  I think this is one of several reasons why the contractors resettle refugees in city slums—there will be no organized community resistance from people who don’t know their neighbors anyway and are just trying to survive day to day.

One final thing.  I bet if attendees at the conference were asked to raise their hands if they were there simply as volunteers and not receiving a salary or travel expenses, the number of hands raised would be less than ten, maybe less than five of the approximately 130-150 attendees.  (I’m guessing on the number in attendance).

Lancaster gave birth to RRW!

To learn the role Lancaster played in the birth of this blog, visit this post from 2012So what is going on in Lancaster, PA?

More later…..”Welcoming America” combating pockets of resistance!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

tn Council 4 political justice

The mission of the TCPJ is to educate by disseminating accurate and documented information that concerns the rights of and justice for all Tennesseans so that policy makers will be better equipped to make informed decisions on behalf of their constituents.

The Counter Jihad Report

News ~ Resources ~ Activism

"Like all unbelievers and polytheists, Christians are filthy. They are najusa (feces, urine) — a filthy impure dirty substance.” [Yasir Qadhi, faculty member, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN.]

Potomac Tea Party Report

News and views about Tea Party issues in Maryland and surrounding states


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,205 other followers

%d bloggers like this: