A few years back some of us heard that the federal refugee contractors were urged to use Thanksgiving as a time to get fluffy media stories out about how the refugees are just like the original Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock. No they aren’t.
And, before critics say I’m being too cynical, this isn’t about the individual human beings enjoying a feast, I’m cynical because the contractors who want to stay in business use them for media stunts. Catholic Charities, a contractor, could quietly hold a dinner like this one in Jacksonville, Florida without the press, right?
And, one important thing the Pilgrims (or generations of immigrants that would follow) didn’t have is the social safety net paid for by you—-food stamps, subsidized housing, job training, language lessons, education, medical care etc. They had to make it or die. Later many immigrants returned to their home countries if they couldn’t make it in America.
So, when people say we are a Nation of immigrants—the immigrants were different from today’s, they were largely European and Christian and they had to make it on their own. We can’t have mass immigration and a socialist welfare nation, eventually we run out of other peoples’ money!
Here is the story from Jacksonville, but know it’s like many that have crossed my desk in the last few days from around the country.
Food is the universal tie that binds.
Refugees from Burma, Bhutan, Colombia, Cuba, Iraq and Sudan are not necessarily familiar with the concept of sweet potato pie with marshmallows on top. But they enjoyed it just the same at the Thanksgiving feast held for them Tuesday by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Augustine, which runs a resettlement program to help such new arrivals acclimate, learn the language and find jobs.
The guests of honor at the feast, held at Jacksonville’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, were 60 or so refugees. Most have been in the United States six months or less. In addition to sampling a variety of food from a long table filled with holiday delicacies, they played get-to-know-you games and learned about the origins of the holiday, with the help of translators.
“In many ways refugees from around the world who come to America today reflect the story of the original pilgrims that landed at Plymouth Rock,” Karolak said. “They are fleeing persecution themselves and seek a life of freedom and safety in our country.”
The United States offers protection to thousands of refugees each year through the program, which resettles them in collaboration with rights groups and faith-based organizations such as Catholic Charities. Before coming to America, refugees must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in their homelands, according to Catholic Charities.
Florida Catholic Charities rolling in federal tax dollars! This isn’t private charity!
I just checked USA Spending.gov and see that Catholic Charities in Florida directly benefits from US taxpayer ‘generosity’ to the tune of $17,405,034 in recent years. This figure does not include what is surely coming through the refugee funds that are laundered through the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Florida readers might want to check out the Refugee Services Department for the State of Florida here. They say $80 million came in from the feds to support 62 projects in Florida.
And, cool, they have a handy statistics page for you too—here. You can even see what “services (welfare)” are being provided and to how many in each county!
Earlier this year we posted on the Archbishop of Miami insisting on more refugees for Florida, here.
By the way, I see a lot of readers recently are searching for information on how many refugees are coming to their state (or city). Use the WRAPS stats here. There are several data bases, but I find the one titled, ‘Destination city, by nationality by FY’ or the similarly titled one …by CY’ very useful. If you visit you’ll see that St. Augustine is not listed as a destination city, but Jacksonville is.
From 2007 to 2012 Jacksonville received 4,363 people in need of services and jobs.
Others may have come to Jacksonville as secondary migrants.
‘Secondary migrants’ in refugee industry lingo are refugees who were resettled in one city and have since migrated elsewhere. They are pretty much free to leave their resettlement city as early as 3 months after arrival (in many cases) and no one tracks where they go.