Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘Reforms needed’ Category

Sioux Falls, SD story raises the question: Who pays when yours has become a “welcoming” refugee community?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 6, 2013

Your tax dollars:

Sioux Falls is a ‘seed community’ (Tuula?*) and by that I mean it somehow was targeted as a “welcoming” community for the resettlement of third-worlders by the US State Department and its resettlement contractors.

Somalis arrive in Sioux Falls. Is there a meatpacking plant nearby?

Before I get to the news about the cost of educating the kids, have a look at the list of states and how many refugees each has received in the last 5 years.   I don’t know why certain places have been chosen.  Was there a plan decades ago to push diversity in certain regions of the country (we are going to shove it down the throats of the rednecks)?  Are there political factors (for instance, Biden helped pass the Refugee Act of 1980, but Delaware takes very few refugees). Or, did it all come about through happenstance?

Are refugee seed communities built around certain employers (meatpackers)?  Or, are they developed in a hit or miss fashion dependent on the level of resistance the community puts up—I once called it the “squawk” factor.  If resettlement begins and no real complaints are leveled at the politicians in the community and the local media doesn’t report any negative news about the program, the community is deemed “welcoming.”

How is it that Wyoming got zero refugees in the last five years while neighboring South Dakota got nearly 3,000?   And, do states have a Constitutional right to say—NO! or no more!  Or, at least demand that the federal government pay for the full cost to the seed communities?

Do American citizens have any right to say, we don’t want change?  We like our community just as it is (sans diversity!).

Questions remain, but back to the news this week about the costs and problems associated with educating the children from dozens and dozens of nationalities in heartland America.

From the Argus Leader  (hat tip: Joanne):

Except for Huron, there is no more diverse public school district in all of South Dakota than Sioux Falls.

At last count in October, officials here reported that 29.5 percent of the district’s roughly 22,000 students were minorities.

In Huron, where 41 percent of all its students are children of color, the majority are Karen refugees from Myanmar, or Hispanics. But refugee, immigrant and racial groups in Sioux Falls represent 51 different languages from across the globe that are spoken in homes here.


In the past year, Hispanics, blacks, Asians and multiracial students all saw their numbers grow in Sioux Falls, while there were fewer whites and Native Americans. As a percentage of total enrollment, there are twice as many students of color in the district now than there were a decade ago.

Teaching those students English so they learn in the classroom is a big enough challenge, Smith said. But turning understanding of the language into the ability to successfully advance from grade level to grade level can be equally daunting.

The article mentions that refugees who enter the US as teenaged students have a very high drop-out rate.  What is going to happen to those young adults?

The taxpayers of South Dakota must now ‘pony-up’ for more of the cost of educating the immigrant kids of Sioux Falls, but shouldn’t this be the federal government’s cost to bare?  After all, the taxpayers of South Dakota were not consulted when the seed community of Sioux Falls was established?

Like all school districts across the state who work with ELL students, Sioux Falls caught a break during the past legislative session when lawmakers decided to contribute more money to the education of those children.

Districts will assess their ELL students on language proficiency each February on a scale of 0 to 6. For every student who scores below 4.0 on the assessment, the district will receive an additional 25 percent in state support on top of the regular funding formula.

For Sioux Falls, that means an additional $1.8 million to $1.9 million, Smith said. So this coming school year, Sioux Falls will have $2.2 million in state and district money to use for ELL instruction, and another $1.7 million in federal assistance.

“We won’t be adding additional ELL services with that money,” Smith said. “This roughly pays back what we’ve been putting into the program out of our general fund dollars.

By the way, it looks like Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota pretty much calls the shots and acts as the pass-through non-profit agency for some federal money.

Wow! We have written a lot on South Dakota.  See our archive here.  Just now as I looked through the list, here is one story that jumped out at me—woman’s home vandalized after she complained that Sioux Falls had FOUR mosques (thanks to the work of Lutheran Social Services)!  Be sure to scroll down that post to the discussion of Tuulas.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

UNHCR whistleblower wins her case—nine years later!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 2, 2013

Readers, the UN agency that basically tells the US State Department what to do and which refugees to bring to your towns is the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.  The present head honcho at UNHCR is socialist Antonio Guterres.  We just mentioned him in our previous post this morning, here.

This is an incredible story about whistleblower, Caroline Hunt-Matthes, from the Government Accountability Project (emphasis mine):

After nine years of legal battles, a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) whistleblower has won her case. On May 28, 2013, the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) – the court of first instance of the two-tier internal justice system through which UN employees contest violations of their rights – issued two judgments that found in favor of Caroline Hunt-Matthes, a former senior investigation officer with UNHCR’s Inspector General’s Office (IGO).

According to judgment 2013/85, Hunt-Matthes made numerous disclosures regarding UNHCR practices. These included, but were not limited to, disclosures about interference/obstruction into an investigation of an alleged rape of a UN staff member in Sri Lanka by another staff member; the decision of the IGO to hire a staff member who was himself under investigation by the IGO; the “failure to register a sexual harassment complaint” against the High Commissioner; the “unlawful detention of refugees by senior UNHCR staff, leading to the death of a refugee while in detention;” and a “report of sexual exploitation of a refugee by a UNHCR staff member.” (para. 34) In April 2006, Hunt-Matthes filed a request for protection with the UN Ethics Office, which is charged with reviewing retaliation complaints from whistleblowers. In December 2006, the Ethics Office issued a decision in which it found that she engaged in protected activity but concluded that there was no prima facie case of retaliation because there was allegedly no connection between the retaliation and her whistleblowing.

Read it all to see the far-reaching vindication of Hunt-Matthes and confirmation that she was retaliated against for blowing the whistle on the agency.

I’m reminded of UNHCR audit

High Commissioner for Refugees Guterres schmoozing with Angelina Jolie (AP photo)

For new readers, in 2012, the UNHCR came under fire for misusing millions of your tax dollars, here.

This is what FoxNews reported at the time:

EXCLUSIVE: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, two years ago was sitting on a stockpile of $437 million in unspent cash, even as a U.N. auditing agency warned that its sloppy handling of funds imperiled future contributions from U.N. member nations.

The report, issued last year but only introduced for member-state review in the U.N. General Assembly, cites UNHCR for sloppy bookkeeping, poor financial oversight, managerial disarray, and a lack of tools to judge how well it was doing its job of helping tens of millions of the world’s displaced people.

The U.N.’s independent Board of Auditors used remarkably straight-forward language to lambaste the refugee agency, whose largest donor, the United States, contributed $712 million to UNHCR in 2010, according to the State Department. The auditors noted that the relief agency, which is financed largely by voluntary contributions, spent about $1.9 billion in 2010; its budget two years earlier was about $1.1 billion.

The auditors pointed out that there were “strong indicators of significant shortcomings in financial management” at the agency, headed since 2005 by Antonio Guterres, a former Socialist prime minister of Portugal. “This is a major risk for UNHCR,” the auditors warned, “given the increasing pressures on donors to justify why they provide public funds to international aid organizations.”

I don’t know if anything ever came of this revelation.   But, to think that this agency has anything to do with the demographic make-up and economic situation of your American city is maddening.

Posted in Crimes, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Senator Rand Paul: ‘Immigration reform’ must include improved security measures

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 31, 2013

Paul: Refugee program deserves more scrutiny!

After reading the opening paragraphs of Paul’s op-ed in the Washington Times today, one might think Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been reading RRW!  All of the cases he cites have been reported on these pages!

A recent Quinnipiac poll in Iowa puts Paul only 4 points behind Hillary while Rubio gets trounced by her 48% to 37%. Politico

Fazliddin Kurbanov is from Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country that borders Afghanistan. This month, Mr. Kurbanov was arrested in Boise, Idaho, charged with teaching people how to build bombs that could be used to target public transportation. He is accused of conspiring with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the United States recognizes as a terrorist organization. Mr. Kurbanov was here legally, admitted as a refugee in 2009.

Last year, in Aurora, Colo., Jamshid Muhtorov was arrested and charged with providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, which the United States recognizes as a terrorist organization. Like Mr. Kurbanov, Mr. Muhtorov is from Uzbekistan and was also here legally as a refugee.

In 2011, in my hometown of Bowling Green, Ky., Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi were arrested and accused of supporting efforts to kill American troops in Iraq. Both men are from Iraq. Both were also here legally as refugees.

The Bowling Green Daily News reported that these Iraqi refugees “slipped through the vetting process that allowed both of them political asylum in the United States.” Apparently, Mr. Kurbanov and Mr. Muhtorov “slipped through” as well.

Read on.  Then this:

I condemn government inefficiency and incompetence often. The targets for criticism are endless. In the repeating patterns from these refugee and visa cases, however, we see potentially dangerous scenarios in which we cannot afford any excuses.


These questions are crucial as Congress continues to debate immigration reform, in which vital national security concerns must be addressed. Our visa and refugee programs deserve far more monitoring and scrutiny, and there is something desperately wrong with a “vetting process” that makes so many repeated mistakes.

Instead of fixing the problems, the so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform bill’ (S.744) weakens security measures already in place but doing poorly!   Most efforts to strengthen security failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee mark-up largely due to heavy lobbying by refugee resettlement contractors who object to anything that slows the flow of refugees into the US (and slows the flow of taxpayer dollars into their coffers!).

Paul concludes by laying down a marker for Harry Reid.  The question then becomes is this a recommendation by Paul or a demand; and will he follow through by holding up the Gang of Eight plus Grover bill *when it reaches the Senate floor?

“I respectfully request that the Senate consider the following two conditions as part of the comprehensive immigration-reform debate: One, the Senate needs a thorough examination of the facts in Massachusetts to see if legislation is necessary to prevent a similar situation in the future. Two, national security protections must be rolled into comprehensive immigration reform to make sure the federal government does everything it can to prevent immigrants with malicious intent from using our immigration system to gain entry into the United States in order to commit future acts of terror.”

The Politico Iowa poll story is here.

*Senator Paul, if you are reading this, please stay away from Grover Norquist!

I’m AnnC@refugeewatcher on twitter. Please tweet this and also follow me!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Immigration fraud, Iraqi refugees, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Stealth Jihad | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

A message to NGOs: Do your good works elsewhere!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 21, 2013

Editors note:  This is one more in a series of statements presented to the US State Department for their hearing last week (May 15th) on the “size and scope” of refugee admissions for FY2014.  I will continue to post testimony from the hearing in between the pressing news of the day.  Between refugee terrorist stories and the US Senate bill S.744 (Senate terrorist stories!) I’ve been pretty distracted.   This forcefully delivered statement by Anne Turner of Maryland wrapped up the public meeting last week.   All other testimony that we’ve posted is archived here in our special category for the meeting.

Anne Turner (emphasis added is mine):

I come here today not as a member of an organization or a political activist but as a concerned citizen and fearful mother.  I am very much afraid for my country, for my family and for myself.  We have maintained an immigration policy in this country that has put all that I consider a treasure at risk.  There was a time when immigrants coming to this country respected our laws, understood our culture (wanted to be a part of it) and were equally proud to become Americans.  This is no longer the case.  All the chaos and violence that exists in the world today is being imported into our borders with no consideration for the destruction it is causing.  We are building our very own “Tower of Babel”.

I remember a time when I was able to visit a shopping mall with no sense of fear.  A time when I could get on an airplane and not feel my life was potentially at risk. A time when I could travel to a major city and not have to worry that there might be a terrorist attack.  A time when I would tell my children “let’s go to the 4th of July celebration” and now I tell them “stay home”.  The days are gone when I felt my life was my own, my home my sanctuary, and my country free.

Immigration policies, through this Resettlement Program, have been totally corrupted.  There has been collusion between this administration and the NGO’s with dangerous consequences.  The money being funneled through these organizations and their never-ending appetite for money and power have removed all reason and common sense.  Under the guise of “good works and humanitarianism”, the fabric of this nation has been dramatically altered, if not destroyed.  This “Resettlement Program” has stolen our very identity.  Our freedoms are disappearing.  To be safe we now live in a world where the government has to keep a constant surveillance on its own countrymen.  We have soldiers in the streets threatening law-abiding citizens (have you seen those pictures of Boston?), data from our phone conversations is being monitored, and our ability to protect ourselves is being challenged.  Even with the imposition of government into every facet of our lives, the task of keeping us safe is becoming increasingly impossible,

You don’t even know who you are bringing into this country!  They cannot be properly vetted because they have no reliable form of identification, not even birth certificates.  How can you even know who they are or what their intentions are?  And what is this nonsense that women from Pakistan and Afghanistan should automatically be able to come to this country to escape persecution? Do you really think that by the very nature of a woman’s existence she is an innocent?  Do you think having an open border policy for women excludes us from terrorist threats?  Have you already forgotten that the one responsible for radicalizing the Boston Marathon Bombers was their mother?  Women are as easily radicalized as any man.  These are just two of many examples of the twisted logic of your immigration policies.

(In response to another speaker)

I hear you speak of the plight of women in other countries being the victim of the Sex Slave Trade.   Well, we have a brought this problem into our own country with present immigration policies and I strongly recommend we clean up our own back yard before we start trying to cure the ails of the rest of the world.

You sit in this bubble called “Washington” totally out of touch with the results of the decisions you make and the impact they have on our lives.  Then you have the audacity to say that “it is for our own good, the good of the country”.  Well, I would like to see one of you living in the middle of the consequences of your actions.  I would love to have you live across from a development that reeks of sewage because these immigrants don’t’ even have the most primitive of sanitary habits.  I would love for you to have to live amongst a crumbling infrastructure because all the communities are spending taxpayer’s hard-earned money on supporting these people instead of repairing our roads, our drainage system, and our schools.  They have no desire to educate themselves, no desire to learn our language, and don’t even understand the basics of a civilized society.  Yet, you dump them on us and then call us “racist” if we dare to complain.  I think it is time for you to experience the realities of your lofty decisions.

If it is so very important for you to help these people, and I do understand the necessity to help people, then go live amongst them and change them.  Go live amidst their squalor and teach them to be clean, go live amidst their poverty and teach them to be entrepreneurs, go experience the violence of their daily lives and teach them reason.  Go do your good works…………. JUST DO NOT BRING THEM HERE!!

Ms. Turner went on to conclude by asking where are the legally mandated annual reports to Congress, something we too have been harping on here for years.  The Office of Refugee Resettlement is required by law to produce a detailed report of the refugee program within three months of the close of the fiscal year.  They are three years behind.  Turner continued:

And I, also,  would like to know where the annual reports are.  You are mandated, by law, to make them available to every citizen in this country and you have not done this since 2009.  As a citizen, I want to see those reports now!

Readers, do any of you have testimony you wish to share publicly?   We received a very large packet of statements at the hearing and many of you sent testimony—there were many more statements against bringing more refugees in 2014 then there were promoting more refugee resettlement.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Refugee Council USA busy lobbying on S.744

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 21, 2013

Update:  More on yesterday’s amendments—come and get it!  Welfare for one and all (for the children)!

If you have been following RRW for the last few weeks, you know that S. 744 (The Gang of Eight plus Grover bill) isn’t just about amnesty for 11 million plus illegal aliens in the US,  it’s also about expanding our refugee and asylum system as well.  (Gang of Eight archive is here)

Yesterday we told you about Senator Grassley’s efforts to strip the refugee/asylum provisions from the bill until there had been a full accounting of how our asylum system is failing us as tragically demonstrated in Boston and the aftermath of the horrific April 15th terror attack by Muslims we “welcomed” with a grant of asylum.

Somalis waiting in refugee camps in Africa for their turn to come to America thanks to Refugee Council USA members.

You need to know more about the Refugee Council USA, the Washington lobbying consortium for the Refugee industry.

We have no one representing our views in Washington.

The big immigration restriction groups concerned with amnesty for illegals—FAIR, CIS, and NumbersUSA—have little time left over for countering the push to expand the refugee program which is really the root of  multi-culti conflicts, problems with Muslim extremists, and is a drain on social services as the US State Department and its contractors bring diversity from the third world to your towns and cities.

Refugee resettlement and asylum accounts for the largest percentage of our annual importation of 100,000 Muslims, here.

Here is what the RCUSA says they are about:

Refugee Council USA (RCUSA), established in 2000, is a coalition of U.S. non-governmental organizations focused on refugee protection.  RCUSA provides advocacy on issues affecting the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, displaced persons, victims of trafficking, and victims of torture in the United States and across the world.  The coalition also serves as the principal consultative forum for the national refugee resettlement and processing agencies as they formulate common positions, conduct their relations with the U.S. government and other partners, and support and enhance refugee service standards.

Yesterday the Refugee Council USA was lobbying against Grassley’s amendments.  This is from their action alert:

OPPOSE GRASSLEY AMENDMENTS #25, #26, #27, and #52

These amendments would strike most of the positive refugee and asylum provisions from the base bill, including provisions that would improve access to life-saving protection to religious minorities in Iran and other vulnerable populations,stateless persons, and asylum seekers. Grassley #52 in particular would delay positive changes to the asylum and student visa provisions in the bill by falsely conflating them with the Boston Marathon bombings.

The mark-up continues today, but Grassley has already lost a couple of his amendments (no surprise, he and Senator Sessions are basically shut out on every amendment they propose).  Go here and see the results so far.  Two of the Grassley amendments have already been defeated.

Grassley is right!  The refugee program should not be expanded in this monster bill, but a separate review of the program should be undertaken immediately!

Here are the member organizations of the Refugee Council USA (all nine of the major federal refugee contractors are here).  To add insult to injury many of these groups are funded with your tax dollars. They could not exist without federal and state grants:

Posted in Africa, Asylum seekers, Changing the way we live, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

Senator Chuck Grassley wants to strip refugee/asylum sections from Gang’s bill!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 20, 2013

Update May 21:  His amendment lost of course, the Dems teamed up with Graham and Flake have defeated just about everything Grassley and Sessions tried to do.  I’ll have more tomorrow, but for now check out this letter of all those opposing the bill when it comes to the floor.  We are among some great patriots!

This is such good news! Really, really, really good news!  [Amendment lost but thank Grassley anyway and tell him to take the fight to the floor!]

You must call Senator Grassley this morning to tell him you support this effort! (see below)

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is offering an amendment to S.744  to remove all references to refugees/asylum from S. 744 until after a report is completed about how the Tsarnaev terrorists were granted asylum!  I could kiss the Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Republican!

Erol Kekic of Church World Service does not want more security provisions added to S.744.

I stopped in his office last Wednesday when I went to DC for the State Department hearing and left a letter for him asking him to do just what the Washington Times is reporting (LOL!  But, I am sure he figured this out without any help from me!).

From the Washington Times (hat tip: Joanne).  Emphasis below is mine:

The Boston Marathon bombing hasn’t derailed the immigration debate, but it has sent lawmakers back to the drawing board on some key provisions, including changes to the asylum system that the two suspects in the bombing used to come to the U.S.

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were brought to the U.S. a decade ago by their parents, who fled the deteriorating economy and burgeoning conflicts in the Central Asian region the family had called home.

Now, as the Senate Judiciary Committee works its way through the 867-page immigration bill, some lawmakers say it’s a chance to make changes that could help prevent a future incident.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the committee, has introduced an amendment that would prevent any changes to the asylum or refugee systems until at least a year after an audit of what went wrong in Boston.

“The Boston bombing probably made us take a closer look at the asylum provisions in the underlying bill,” Mr. Grassley said. “My asylum amendments don’t address Boston specifically, but they will require a look back by the inspector general before any changes to weaken the current asylum law goes forward.”

The asylum program is for those who apply from within the U.S., while the refugee program is for those applying from outside the border. The U.S. is the most generous country in the world in granting protections, but the programs also have seen periods of fraud and abuse.

Mr. Grassley said the bill written by the “Gang of Eight” senators actually waters down some of the security measures in current asylum and refugee law, and he said he would prefer to see the process stiffened instead.

Let the whining begin! 

Refugee contractors are out in full force trying to protect their turf.  You see, they are paid by the head (with your tax dollars) to resettle refugees and get asylees hooked up with welfare goodies.  They don’t like Senator Graham’s amendments one bit either!

Human rights groups [Federal contractors---ed]…. are gearing up for a fight over another proposal by Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who wants to prevent anyone granted asylum or refugee status from returning to their home countries, unless they got a waiver from the Homeland Security Department.

And, who is one leading whiner—Erol Kekic of contractor Church World Service.  Kekic testified at the State Department hearing on Wednesday for CWS and for the lobbying arm for contractors—Refugee Council USA.   Mr. Kekic is from Bosnia, here is his bio.

Erol Kekic, director of the Church World Service’s immigration and refugee program, said there are situations where someone wants to return home to see a dying relative or to try to play a role in constructive politics. And then there are the situations where someone was granted asylum years before, but their home country has since stabilized.

“If we’re going to deny protection for people like that I think that’s really taking away from any common sense,” Mr. Kekic said.  [Most people would see it's common sense that if a person returns to the place of his persecution he is either crazy or never persecuted in the first place!---ed]

He said it wasn’t even clear whether Homeland Security officials could track every person they suspected of returning to their home countries.

We better damn well be able to track these people after what we learned in Boston!

NOW!  Please call or fax Senator Grassley’s office and tell him to strip out all refugee and asylum references in S.744.  No matter what happens with his amendment, thank him for his concern for our security!

Here is his fax and phone number.  If you call it will ring for awhile…they are being swamped with calls.

(202) 224-3744
Fax: (202) 224-6020

This is the most important thing you can do today if you want to get this refugee program under control.  And, don’t forget to call Senator Rand Paul too.  Although he isn’t on the committee he will eventually play a huge role in determining whether this monstrous bill—S.744—passes.


Update:  The refugee contractors are tweeting like crazy esp. IRC, CWS and Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS).

Posted in Asylum seekers, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

The IRC has a lobbying office in Washington and it should be busy today

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 20, 2013

For some unknown reason information on the International Rescue Committee’s D.C. lobbying office came up in one of my alerts this morning.  Maybe it’s because last week they put out an alert to tell supporters of the refugee resettlement industry to call US Senators working on the Gang of Eight plus Grover bill being marked up in the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

We told you about that here last Thursday.  (Go there to see what you must do!)

You need to call today too!  S.744 will increase the number of refugees and asylees in the US and it provides a slush fund for “non-profits” like the 9 BIG federal refugee contractors and their 300 plus subcontractors.

I recommend that you tell Senators that due to recent refugee-perpetrated terrorism cases that they should strip all references to the refugee program from S.744 and hold separate hearings!

To add insult to injury, the word is that the US State Department helps to fund the lobbying offices for the contractors.  I have written about that before especially as it relates to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (or any of the nine)—it infuriates me to think the Bishops are taking your hard-earned tax dollars to fund their lobbying campaigns!

Here is what the IRC says about their DC shop.  And, btw, they were not at the State Department hearing on Wednesday.  Where were they?  Or did they feel they had an inside track to the State Dept and didn’t need to provide their wishlist for 2014 before their critics in public?

Asst. Secretary of State for PRM, Anne Richard, in Philadelphia recently with an Iranian transgender refugee.

Oh, yeh, they do have an inside track—Anne Richard, the Asst. Secretary of State for the refugee program, just recently left the IRC as one of its 6-figure salaried veeps.   Classic Washington DC case of the revolving door (federal contractors in and out of government jobs)!

The International Rescue Committee office in Washington, DC maintains relations with U.S. government offices, especially those that support some of the IRC’s programs.  This includes the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Migration, and Refugees and the U.S. Agency for International Development.  The IRC meets regularly with decision-makers on both sides of the political aisle, and in both the Executive branch and Congress, to raise issues of concern and advocate for change in U.S. government policies.  The IRC is also active working in coalitions  and with other non-governmental organizations.  Members of IRC’s public policy and advocacy department in Washington, DC also plan and guide IRC’s global advocacy efforts [Like snuggling up to Hamid Karzai?---ed].  The Washington, DC office houses staff from IRC’s International Programs Department and the Women’s Refugee Commission.

Contact Us:

International Rescue Committee
1730 M Street, NW – Suite 505
Washington DC 20036
Tel: 202-822-0166
Fax: (202) 822-0089

Gang member, Senator Graham, has amendments to S.744 for the purpose of increasing security in the refugee program.

Senator Lindsey Graham still has two amendments pending that are apparently inspired by the Boston refugee bombers ‘success’ in killing and maiming innocent Americans on April 15th.  We told you about them here and here.  It will be interesting to see if those commonsense security enhancements make it through mark-up.  You can bet the IRC is lobbying hard against them today!

Here is our entire archive on the IRC for the ambitious readers among you!  They just hired former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to step into his $450,000 a year job as its new CEO.

Photo is from Philadelphia Gay News, here.  Muslims persecute gays, so there is a big push to bring in refugees who are LGBTs from Sharia-loving countries.

Posted in Asylum seekers, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

You did it! Your testimony flooded State Department hearing yesterday

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 16, 2013

Ed Hunter of Maryland testified against bringing more refugees to America in FY2014. Photo from a recent Maryland Thursday Meeting.*

I don’t know where to begin telling you about the State Department meeting yesterday to determine the “size and scope” of refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2014.

Thirty or so people who attended the meeting at the D.C. office of the State Department each received a voluminous stack of testimony, and it will take me a few days to find enough time to go over it all.  Suffice it to say, on a quick glance, it looks like 90% of those testifying oppose bringing tens of thousands of third-worlders into the US next year.

Will it amount to anything more than a speed bump for the federal agencies and their non-profit contractors, only time will tell.

It is important that anyone concerned about high refugee numbers from countries that have a track record of producing terrorists, or are concerned with the fiscal cost of importing impoverished people, must let your Senators and Members of Congress know how you feel.  That is especially so right now because the Gang of Eight plus Grover bill in the Senate (S.744) will make it easier for more refugees and asylum seekers to get here, and it will grant more $$$ to non-profits!

Only about ten people actually testified verbally.  And, it was pretty much evenly split between those who want more refugees and those who said stop this program now!

Testifying for more refugees were contractors:  Mark Hetfield for Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Anastasia Brown for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Erol Kekic of Church World Service (doing double-duty** because he testified for the Refugee Council USA as well. RCUSA is the lobbying arm for the non-profits), someone they all seemed to know, but I didn’t get his name from the Ethiopian Community Development Council, and not from a major contractor Pary Karadaghi from the Kurdish Human Rights Watch (who brought along two refugees to speak).

There is testimony in our packet from Duncan Breen of Human Rights First, but honestly if he testified he made no impression on me!

Where were the other five major contractors?  Where was their testimony?  Who knows, maybe they didn’t want to make it public. Maybe they didn’t want you to know what refugees they wanted for their collection in 2014. They probably have their own back-channels at the State Department.   Heck, Anne Richard, the Asst. Secretary of State for Population Refugees and Migration, revolved into the State Department door from the International Rescue Committee.

Here is the list with links for all nine major resettlement contractors.    The International Rescue Committee was not represented, nor was World Relief, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee ServicesEpiscopal Migration Ministries, or the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

The hearing was presided over by:  Laurence Bartlett, Director of Admissions US State Dept,  Ken Tota, Deputy Director Office of Refugee Resettlement (that is in the Dept. of Health and Human Services), and Barbara Strack, Chief, Refugee Affairs Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

Those testifying to rein-in this program were Ed Hunter, testimony here, Anne Turner, Jim McDonald, Mark Tenney (here), and myself (I’ll post what I said in a separate post, just haven’t gotten to it yet).  Critics focused on security concerns, fiscal impact, community disruption and the cultural degradation of America.

This does not conclude my discussion of this meeting.  I need to now go back and review the written testimony.  Watch for more news later.

For new readers who don’t know what this is all about, go to our category set-up to report on this hearing, here. (Scroll down through 14 posts prior to this one.)

* Maryland Thursday Meeting website.

**Double-duty!  So next year some of us can request to get more time to speak for other groups—help me remember that!

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Former refugee resettlement worker blows the whistle on refugee program failures; calls for moratorium

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 13, 2013

In a must-read letter to the US State Department a 25-year veteran of the International Rescue Committee (one of the largest of the top nine federal contractors) calls for a moratorium on refugee resettlement until the ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) and the volags (contractors) get their act together.

Boston on our minds. The IRC closed its Boston office in 2009. But, several other refugee contractors are still doing business there.

Consider this long-time Boston resident’s comments about fraud and lax security screening in the light of two posts we have written in the last two days, here and here.  It all rings true.

Editor:  This is one more, but, by far the most damning, of the testimony we have been publishing in advance of this Wednesday’s hearing at the US State Department.  All other testimonies we have received are archived here.

(Emphasis below is mine)

Ms. Anne Richard
Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration
US State Department
Washington, DC. 20520

April 27, 2013

Re: Federal Register Public Notice 8241 Comment Request

Dear Ms Richard:

I worked for the IRC in several capacities from 1980 until 2004 (caseworker, deputy director of the Boston office). In 2004, amid increasing budget constraints, I volunteered for a lay off. At the time, my heart was still into the work I loved and I continued to volunteer for two additional years, spending 3 days a week working on the family reunification program, in which I was considered an “expert.”

Early on, I grew familiar with the fraud that was rampant throughout the program, from the refugees themselves (sometimes forgivable), the overseas OPE’s (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 that might not have had the same concerns).

Being directly “in the field,” it’s often difficult to objectively see outside the perimeters of our day to day work.

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.

I personally had some concerns about some Iraqi refugees admitted in the mid 90’s.

One of them went on to become implicated in the Oklahoma City bombings. Being a volag worker, I was very protective of him but, having spent hours with him in the emergency room of a mental hospital.  I still have not been able to say to myself that he was not involved.

It is time for a moratorium on refugee resettlement until ORR and the volags get their act together.

Refugee resettlement affects every community it touches, from Lewiston ME, Minneapolis MN,  to Kansas City KS.

The Volags hide behind their time frame responsibility fences. While I agree that they do not have funding to do much beyond initial basic placement, this is hardly adequate for a successful program, when most refugees end up being on long term public assistance.

The present program is really a “resettle and dump on the community” thing. This is not fair to the communities, the refugees or the volags.

ORR has yet to release long overdue federally mandated reports that show welfare dependency rates or employment figures. Some people say that ORR may have something to hide. I tend to agree.

Refugees are not assimilating for the most part. (some argue that refugees should not “assimilate” but “integrate” but , to me, it‘s all the same, since the majority do neither.). The State Dept continues to fund MAA’s (ethnic based organizations) which only keep immigrant and refugee communities separate and ghettoized.

As someone who spent most of my adult lifetime working in this field, I ask for a serious second look at the current program.

After 9/11, I was, as always, very vocal in defense of refugees and the US refugee program , convinced that no one admitted under the program could possibly be or become a terrorist. Regrettably, my mind has changed.

I now believe that we need a moratorium on continued resettlement until such time as ORR can get its house in order and present a restructured program that can provide safe haven for those truly in need and at the same time guarantee that this currently flawed program does not admit persons unworthy of our kind-heartedness or who are unwilling to become a positive part of our national fabric.

I do think the US should continue to receive some refugees, but it needs to be a much smaller and very carefully monitored program. The current one is a huge mess and a danger to our security and a detriment to our economy and society.


Michael Sirois

No need for me to say anything further, except maybe to remind readers that S.744 (the Gang of Eight bill in the Senate) provides more funding for resettlement contractors and makes it easier for a greater number and variety of refugees/asylum seekers to gain admission to the US.

About the photo caption:  We wrote about the closure of the IRC Boston office here in 2009.  Visit it!

Posted in Crimes, Immigration fraud, Iraqi refugees, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Washington State reader: 20,000 should be enough

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 12, 2013

Editors note:   This is one more in a series of posts on the upcoming, May 15th, US State Department hearing on the “size and scope” of the Refugee Resettlement Program for fiscal year 2014.

For all of our posts and background information on the meeting go to our special category here.

A reader from Washington State shared his views with us after having sent this below to the State Department:

Dear Ms. Spruell,

I am writing to comment on the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for FY 2014.

It is my understanding, backed up by several well-documented sources, that the vast majority (upwards of 90 percent) of the “refugees” resettled under this program have been under no threat of persecution in their home countries, and are simply seeking the economic advantages of living in the U.S.  Once resettled here, they frequently make return trips to their countries of origin, undermining any claim that they their safety or freedom had been in danger.  They (and their financially-motivated sponsors) are taking advantage of the goodwill and naivety of the American people, who believe their country is engaged in helping people whose lives are under serious threat.

Our nation’s entire immigration system has become corrupted by moneyed interests, and is imposing on the American people displacement levels of immigration that they have not asked for and do not want.  We now resettle more than three times the number of refugees as the rest of the industrialized world combined.  Numerous small towns, in states like Maine and Minnesota, have been transformed beyond recognition after being targeted as resettlement locations for Somalis and Ethiopians.  We have been given virtually no say in these decisions, nor even been told by the government what is actually going on.

In reviewing the Refugee Admissions Program for FY 2014, I ask that you:

·        Drastically scale back the total number of refugee admissions granted each year.  A ceiling of 20,000 would still leave us as the leading country of resettlement in the world.

·        Consult with local and state jurisdictions before a community is chosen for resettlement, always giving them the right of refusal.

·        Make clear that resettlement in the U.S. is the option of last resort, with humanitarian efforts focused on helping displaced persons remain in their countries of origin.

Thank you for your attention.

Readers should, from time to time, visit this site where the State Dept. tracks arrivals.  So far this year (6 months into the fiscal year) we had resettled 34,243 refugees which means we will likely have a banner year and surpass 70,000 (the largest number of refugees usually arrive at the end of the fiscal year).  We are also on target for the largest Somali resettlement numbers in recent years.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , | Comments Off

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