Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘Where to find information’ Category

Taxpayers fund savings accounts for refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 9, 2014

How do refugees get money for cars, houses, education, businesses?

The program is known as Individual Development Accounts through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS).

Albert Mbanfu, Director of the International Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky. http://www.bgdailynews.com/new-international-center-director/image_02fb9de4-89e7-5d6d-97e8-6cf648b73901.html?mode=jqm

This is one of the many ways your local refugee resettlement contractor is able to hand out government (your) cash to refugees and surely get a little cash for themselves for administering the program.  (There are also micro-enterprise loan programs especially for refugees as well).

The local contractor gets a grant from ORR and then refugees may sign up for the savings plan.

For every dollar they save toward certain savings goals, they are matched with a dollar from the US Treasury.  Frankly the complete unfairness of the program to American low income people is often responsible for the hard feelings toward some refugees in certain areas.

We have heard disgruntled citizens ask, for example:  how are they getting cars?

We have reported on this program often but the story we mentioned from Kentucky (yesterday) contained a reference to the program that you may not have noticed, so I thought some clarification was needed.

Here is the section of the ‘Refugees get new homes’ Bowling Green article (hat tip: Robin) that I want you to see:

When Me Meh and her family escaped Burma for a refugee camp in Thailand, they lived in a bamboo house without electricity or other amenities.

The family of 10 resettled in Bowling Green in 2009, bringing with them only some clothes and important papers, Meh said. She was 17. Meh’s two older brothers and her father started work while she went to school and her mother took care of their home.

After a couple of years, the three had saved $4,000. She said the International Center gave them a grant that matched their savings, and they were able to put a downpayment on a house.

The reader is left with the impression that this very nice resettlement contractor—the International Center—was being generous, but this is taxpayer money that was only passed-through the contractor’s coffers!

Go here for a recent list of grantees for the multi-million dollar program.  And, for more information you might want to look at page 38-40 of the FY2012 Annual Report to Congress.   While you are visiting the Annual Report, check out all of the other grant programs that refugee contractors can apply for.  You will be amazed!

Addendum:  I was once told by an official involved with the refugee program in Washington that there is no financial audit done of these resettlement contractors.

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

Fiscal year 2014 wrap-up: Top nationalities admitted to US; top resettlement states

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 7, 2014

If you are following the refugee resettlement program closely you should occasionally visit the Refugee Processing Center for the data the US State Department is willing to allow the public to see.

They have taken away from public view one data table that we previously found interesting and that was the information on which nationalities were resettled in which city.  That was very useful and they surely still track those numbers but are only available to special people who have a pass code to get in.  Likewise they track the religions of refugees but again only friends of the refugee program are allowed to see those.

Before I get to those useful tables that you can still access, I noticed one more way to keep you in the dark.  One table that you might think would be useful and which I initially directed readers to in my previous post (removed now) is one in which it lists which refugees went to which state, BUT, on closer examination, it is useless!  Why?  Because it only shows the processing country and the US state to which the refugee was resettled.  Processing countries are virtually meaningless!

We don’t process refugees directly from Somalia yet we took in 9,000 Somalis in FY 2014 from all over the world apparently.  If you do look at that data table, check out Minnesota to see what I mean—they list no Somalis going to MN last year (2014), but we know they did (see data table from Minnesota listing 977 Somalis arriving there as of August 31), we just don’t know how many were processed in Kenya, in Malta, in Thailand etc.

Political caucus in Minneapolis (men sit on one side, the women on the other). http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/wnd-more-on-minnesota-somalis-welfare-and-jihad/ Photo: Star Tribune

Go here for all the data tables available to the public, some updated for September 30th, and some, as of this writing, only updated to August 31.  Don’t delay because these soon disappear down a black hole.

Somalis move up to the number three slot for the most number of refugees we resettled in FY2014. 

(See all of the numbers for Somali resettlement we have compiled over the last 30 years, here).

Top five nationalities of refugees resettled in US in FY 2014 (from this map):

1)  Iraq (19,769) the largest percentage will be Muslim

2)  Burma (14,598)  most will be Christians, other minority religions and some Muslims

3)  Somalia (9,000) Muslims  (almost up to George Bush levels!)

4)  Bhutan/Nepal (8,434) most will be Hindu, Buddhist, a few Christians

5)  D.R. Congo (4,540) mostly Christians

Remember we learned the other day that the Bhutan resettlement would soon end and be replaced by Syrian refugees who will be majority Muslim.

Top ten states receiving refugees in FY 2014 (I took these off the map so check it for me!):

1)  Texas (7,211)

2)  California (6,110)

3)  New York (4,079)

4)  Michigan (4,000)

5)  Florida (3,519)

6)  Arizona (2,963)

7)  Ohio (2,812)

8)  Pennsylvania (2,743)

9)  Georgia (2,693)

10)  Illinois (2,578)

North Carolina and Washington state are not far behind.

We have archived this information in two categories here at RRW:  Refugee Statistics and Where to find information.

Just a reminder to states (like Wyoming!) and cities which will “welcome” refugees in FY2015, you will not get refugees just from certain countries, but will get a smattering from a wide variety of countries which will make it even more difficult to deal with the language problems in the schools, the health department and the criminal justice system.   See the language stats by going here and clicking on ‘top ten languages.’

Posted in Changing the way we live, Iraqi refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

African immigrants to America double every decade

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 4, 2014

Earlier this week, Brenda Walker at Limits to Growth posted this very interesting news about recent Census numbers involving African immigration to America.

Walker begins:

Africa-born people are currently in the news, in a bad way, given the spread of ebola to America in recent days.

As it happens, this week the Census released a 10-page report about Africans in the US: The Foreign-Born Population From Africa: 2008-2012.

It has numerous charts and tables like the map below, showing the location of national groups in the US. We now know about the 10,000 Liberians in north Texas because of the ebola flap, but there are many more of that nationality in Philadelphia.

Go to Limits to Growth to see Walker’s commentary with maps and more charts!

Which African countries are represented in your city?

This post is filed in our extensive ‘where to find information’ category.

Come to think of it, I’m kind of surprised that the Census Bureau is even reporting this information, isn’t it just downright politically incorrect to notice!

 

Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, Refugee Resettlement Program, Where to find information | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

CIS: US Immigrant population explodes

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 25, 2014

The Center for Immigration Studies has a new report out.

A press release accompanying its release begins with this:

WASHINGTON, DC (September 25, 2014) — A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies finds that nearly one in six adults in the U.S. is foreign-born. The report, based on newly released Census Bureau data, also found that the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) grew by 1.4 million from July 2010 to July 2013. The immigrant population, referred to as the foreign-born by the Census Bureau, includes all those who were not U.S. citizens at birth, including illegal immigrants.

“The new data makes clear that while Latin America and the Caribbean are still a significant source of immigration, the growth is being driven in large part by immigration from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa,” observed the Center’s Director of Research and lead author of the report, Steven Camarota.

Here are just a few of the bullet points that interested me, please visit the report (here) for many more interesting statistics.  When you visit the report don’t miss the last line of Table 1—-the increase in numbers from predominantly Muslim countries.

~The 41.3 million immigrant population (legal and illegal) in 2013 was double the number in 1990, nearly triple the number in 1980, and quadruple that in 1970, when it stood at 9.6 million.

~The sending regions with the largest increases from 2010 to 2013 were South Asia (up 373,000, 16 percent growth); East Asia (up 365,000, 5 percent growth); the Caribbean (up 223,000, 6 percent growth), the Middle East (up 208,000, 13 percent growth); and sub-Saharan Africa (up 177,000, 13 percent growth).

~States where the number of immigrants grew the most since 2010 were Texas (up 227,240); California (up 160,771); Florida (up 140,019); New York (up 85,699); New Jersey (up 81,192); Massachusetts (up 62,591); Washington (up 57,402); Pennsylvania (up 57,091); Illinois (up 47,609); Arizona (up 39,647); Maryland (up 38,555); Virginia (up 37,844); North Carolina (up 30,289); Michigan (up 29,039); and Georgia (up 28,020).

I was curious to see how closely that list of states (above) compares with the Top Refugee Resettlement states in FY 2014.  Here they are:

Texas:  6,398

California:  5,666

New York:  3,733

Michigan:  3,677

Florida:  3,227

Ohio:  2,700

Arizona:  2,675

Georgia:  2,502

Pennsylvania:  2,497

Washington:  2,323

Not far behind are:  Illinois, North Carolina, and Minnesota

Posted in Changing the way we live, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Where to find information | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Georgia joins other states where immigrants are getting all the jobs

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 16, 2014

The Center for Immigration Studies has had an on-going project of reporting which states have a high percentage of jobs going to immigrants while the native-born Americans working has declined.

Georgia Governor Deal asked for a reduction in the number of refugees going to the overloaded state. But, GA is still in the top ten receiving states. http://newsmanager.atlantaregional.com/anmviewer.asp?a=56685&z=21

We previously reported on their statistics from Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina.  Now it’s Georgia’s turn.  Here at CIS:

The Gang of Eight immigration bill (S.744) passed by the Senate last June would have roughly doubled the number of new foreign workers allowed into the country, as well as legalized illegal immigrants, partly on the grounds that there is a labor shortage. Many business groups and politicians in Georgia supported the legislation. However, an analysis of government data shows that, since 2000, all of the net increase in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job in Georgia has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). This is the case even though the native-born accounted for 54 percent of growth in the state’s total working-age population. Perhaps worst of all, the labor force participation rate of Georgia’s natives shows no improvement through the first part of this year despite the economic recovery.

Among the findings:

~The total number of working-age (16 to 65) immigrants (legal and illegal) holding a job in Georgia increased by 400,000 from the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2014, while the number of working-age natives with a job declined by 71,000 over the same time frame.

~The fact that all the long-term net gain in employment among the working-age went to immigrants is striking because natives accounted for 54 percent of the increase in the total size of the state’s working-age population.

More here…..

Georgia is in the top ten refugee resettlement states for the 11 months of fiscal year 2014 (which ends on Sept. 30th).

And, keep in mind, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal asked the US State Department to slow the flow to his state.

Compared to illegal immigration the numbers are small, but remember refugees have employment services (federal resettlement contractors) assisting them in finding work.  Check out your state by clicking here.

Texas:  6,398

California:  5,666

New York:  3,733

Michigan:  3,677

Florida:  3,227

Ohio:  2,700

Arizona:  2,675

Georgia:  2,502

Pennsylvania:  2,497

Washington:  2,323

Not far behind are:  Illinois, North Carolina, and Minnesota

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Legal immigration and jobs, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Where to find information | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

How many Iraqi refugees came to America since 9/11? How are they doing?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 13, 2014

In our earlier post this morning, we reported that the US State Department is going to begin bringing in Syrians (at the UN’s direction) on par with what we have done for Iraqis.  That reminded me that I wanted to pull together the Iraqi resettlement data.

We are on our way, as this fiscal year ends in a few weeks, to 115,000 Iraqis admitted to the US since 9/11.  Approximately 62% are Muslims (71,300).  How do we know?

Recently a reader sent me some numbers for Iraqi refugees from a data base kept by the US State Department that only select people have access to.  It was the data base of religions refugees bring to America.  Our reader said that of 111,854 Iraqis admitted since 2003, 42,137 are Christians. (38%).   I don’t have access to the religion data, but I did want to check the total numbers for myself.

I don’t come up with 111,854 (I get 111,731, but it’s close and we could easily reach 115,000 by the end of the fiscal year).  This information below comes from data tables at the end of Annual Reports to Congress, here.

Iraqi refugees who were ultimately convicted on terrorism charges were arrested in KY and caused a dip in the numbers for 2011.

From 1983-2002:  we resettled 41,549 Iraqis

From fiscal year 2003 to August 31, 2014:

2003:  294

2004:  65

2005:  186

2006:  189

2007:  1,605

2008:  13,775 (this was a George Bush year)

2009:  18,709

2010:  18,016

2011:  9,388  (Assume this dip is because of the Iraqi terrorists arrested in KY which resulted in a federal freak-out and a re-do on the security screening of Iraqis).

2012:  12,233

2013:  19,500

2014 (11 months of the fiscal year): 17,771

Bottom line is that we are approaching 115,000 Iraqis admitted to the US in the last 12 years (the State Dept. and contractors will make a big push this month to hit their targets and so I am guessing they will reach 115,000).

How are they doing? 

See the special section on Iraqi refugees in the 2012 ORR Annual Report to Congress (the most recent data available) beginning on page 110.

Not so hot!

~The overall US unemployment rate that year was 7.6%, the Iraqi unemployment rate was 22.6% (but up from 40% or so in some previous years).

~Of those not looking for work, 33.6% had poor health or disabilities.

~The average hourly wage for Iraqis who were working was $9.79 per hour.

~ORR says that the goal is self-sufficiency in 3 months, but only 21% got their first job in 6 months and welfare continued.

~60% were on Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance.

~82% were receiving food stamps.

~58% were receiving some sort of cash assistance.

~36% were getting SSI (Supplemental Security Income).

The report tries to put a happy face on it, but the numbers are abysmal!

Sure looks like we are importing poverty and you can expect the Syrians to be in the same situation when they begin arriving at rates comparable to the Iraqis—from 10,000-20,000 a year!

For ambitious readers, our Iraqi refugee category has 628 previous posts in it.

Update:  About the photo.  The photo we placed in this post this morning disappeared. This is not the first time, that has happened with the official photo of this pair.  Let’s see what happens with this one.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Christian refugees, Iraqi refugees, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Almost 1,000 additional Somalis admitted to US in last month

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 7, 2014

Just this morning I was working on all those darn numbers and now a few hours later I see that the August 31 data is available at the Refugee Processing Center.

From July 31 to August 31 we admitted 952 Somalis to your towns and cities for a total of 8,278 this year.  That moves Somalis up from the 4th highest group of refugees to the third.  Ahead of Somalia are Iraq (17,771) and Burma (13,166).

Check out all nationalities for the last 11 months (Fiscal year 2014) by clicking here.

While you are visiting the Refugee Processing Center, be sure to see how many refugees your state received so far this year.

Posted in Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Where to find information | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

How to find those darn numbers! Found it! 7,600 Somalis to America in 2013

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 7, 2014

Update: Almost 1,000 additional Somalis admitted to the US in the past month, here. The number for FY2014 is now 8,278.

Almost every day someone asks us—where do I find numbers for this group of refugees admitted to the US, or that group.  Let me tell you it isn’t easy!

This morning I was on the hunt for how many Somalis we admitted to the US in fiscal year 2013.

Eskinder Negash (right) Director of ORR and Larry Bartlett (left) Director of Refugee Admissions of the US State Department addressing an audience in “welcoming” Portland, Maine. Maine is a Somali resettlement site. http://www.pressherald.com/2013/01/30/growth-of-refugee-community-attributed-to-welcoming-city_2013-01-30/

We know that for fiscal year 2014, through July 31st (in ten months), we have admitted 7,326.  You can always check this site at WRAPSnet.org for the on-going resettlement in a given year.

Update: Here in Statistical Abstracts you can learn about how many refugees/asylees etc. came to your state in FY2013.

The handiest place for all numbers is the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Annual Reports to Congress, here.  However, since they are always behind in producing those, the most recent numbers are not available to us or to Congress.  The numbers are in tables at the end of each report.

Another good source is the Annual Flow Reports from the Department of Homeland Security.  Here is one for 2012.

You can find some information at the Migration Policy Institute (a pro-immigration ‘think tank’), here.

Then there is the massive data base at Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, here.

Where did I finally find the number I was looking for?

I found it in the text of a year-end wrap-up which we previously posted by the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Eskinder Negash, who said this on December 20, 2013 (posted here for the benefit of our new readers).  Emphasis is mine:

Two thousand thirteen was another busy year for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  Despite an extended moratorium on overseas refugee arrivals in October, Fiscal Year 2013 brought fairly steady arrivals each month, across all categories.

The largest group was refugees, with the United States welcoming refugees from 65 countries across the globe this past year. The highest number of overseas arrivals represented a slight switch from those of the past few years, with nearly 19,500 Iraqi refugee admissions and 16,300 Burmese refugees accounting for more than half of all refugee arrivals.  They were followed by Bhutanese (9,100), Somali (7,600) and Cuban refugees (4,200), with Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia rounding out rest of the top ten admissions groups in FY2013.

The overall population served by ORR and its partners, however, grew to a projected 143,000 new arrivals in Fiscal Year 2013, including almost 72,000 refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders, an estimated 46,000 asylees and Cuban/Haitian Entrants and Parolees; more than 500 Victims of Trafficking, and nearly 25,000 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC). 

Negash:  The best news!  They are voting!

The numbers only tell part of the story: most of the 143,000 people ORR served last year are on a path to U.S. citizenship that began the day they arrived.  Former refugees, asylees, and UAC are making positive changes in communities across the country—and will continue to do so throughout their lives—opening businesses, buying homes and raising families, and voting (and running!) in local elections.  Three former refugees ran for public office in multi-cultural Clarkston, Georgia this past November—and for the first time in the city’s history, voters elected a refugee to a seat on the City Council.

Read it all.

We have two categories, now very full, to help you find reports, documents, statistics etc.  One is ‘Where to find information’ and the other isRefugee statistics.’

See also one of our most read posts from the last seven years,  ‘How did we get so many Somali refugees…’ I put those numbers together by poring over each annual report that had become available.  By the way, keep in mind that most Somalis in the US today came as refugees or are the children of refugees.

Posted in Africa, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Is yours a “welcoming” state for refugees? The answer may depend on your Hepatitis and HIV treatment availability

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 6, 2014

That is one of the interesting facts we are learning while reading through ORR’s Key Indicators for Fiscal Year 2015.  We have been telling you about it (see here and here).

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has recently been compiling statistics on such things as employment opportunities and whether your state has generous social service benefits and healthcare to help refugees get the very best care they can get.

I found the ‘Access to Health Care’ on page 18 of the Statistical Abstract enlightening.

By the way, if yours is one of 26 states expanding Medicaid, yours will be a more “welcoming” location than the 19 (stingy) states which have not.

Access to Health Care

Access to health care and health insurance is an important consideration in refugee placement and resettlement decisions. Depending on their circumstances, refugees may be eligible for different types of health insurance, including Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA), employer-based plans, and private insurance available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. However, many refugees are uninsured. In fact, one third of refugees from ORR’s Annual Survey in 2011 lacked medical of any kind throughout the preceding year. In addition, the availability of “safety net” health services varies by state.

Initial placement decisions can have a long-term impact on refugees’ health outcomes;

For example:

* Treatment for chronic Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can last up to one year. People with these conditions who are resettled in a state where RMA is the only health insurance option will be less likely to start or complete treatment.

* Refugees with HIV will require specialized care; the availability of long-term health
insurance and the robustness of local Ryan White programs (especially, waiting periods to
access anti-HIV medications) should be considered when making placement decisions
regarding people with HIV.

You really should check out the report, you will learn a lot about how generous (or not) your state is and how well refugees are doing finding jobs and keeping them.

And, how is your TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)?  There is a very detailed state-by-state list of how much refugees get and what the rules are in your state.

Oh, and we learned one more thing!  ORR is using your tax dollars for “gaining socio-political support for the refugee program.”

For new readers, we have an extensive ‘health issues’ category, click here.  You may be surprised to learn that in addition to HIV and Hepatitis, we take refugees with TB, venereal diseases and parasites as well.

Posted in Changing the way we live, health issues, Legal immigration and jobs, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information | Tagged: , | Comments Off

Office of Refugee Resettlement Key indicators for FY 2015 available

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 3, 2014

Or, in layman’s terms, does your town or city have the amenities required (social service goodies, jobs, healthcare, etc.) to become a refugee resettlement site?

A couple of years ago the US State Department (Population Refugees and Migration) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement in HHS decided they better have a more organized way of determining if your town or city has what it takes to “welcome” refugees (as opposed to a previous method that sure looked like throwing darts at a US map!).

For awhile they just kept overloading the established resettlement cities (and they still do), but now they are scouting for fresh territory as well!

Below is what they say at ORR (you might want to contact the lead person listed below and ask to be a ‘stakeholder‘) about their “Coordinated Placement” plan.

Here is what we said about Key Indicators for 2014.  We have not yet even opened this 2015 report but remember in a few weeks Obama will announce his plans for how many refugees we will bring to America in 2015 (which begins October 1 of this year). Hat tip: Joanne.

By the way, they talk big about “capacity” but when a community screams that they are over capacity, they close their ears!

To facilitate the FY 2015 Refugee consolidated placement planning, ORR provides the attached “Statistical Abstract for Refugee Resettlement Stakeholders” document. This document contains critical information on the domestic refugee landscape for resettlement stakeholders to consider when making placement decisions, including a compilation of resources historically available to states for determination of the capacity of communities to serve the diverse needs of refugees.

This document is an additional key mechanism for ORR to share data and other critical information with PRM and resettlement stakeholders nationwide. The overall goal is to more effectively meet the needs of refugees while promoting their self-sufficiency and successful integration in the United States after their arrival.

Contact Information

Pierrot Rugaba
Program Analyst/Placement Liaison
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Administration for Children and Families
901 D Street SW – 8th Floor West
Washington DC 20447
Phone: 202-401-6891
Fax: 202-401-5772
pierrot.rugaba@acf.hhs.gov

 

 

Posted in Legal immigration and jobs, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

 
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