Refugee Resettlement Watch

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    Ann Corcoran
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Archive for May 4th, 2008

Here is an article to break your heart

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 4, 2008

Shame on Catholic Charities and the US State Department!   A 51-year-old Eritrean refugee, father of 10, was killed trying to walk home from his job as a dishwasher in Dallas, TX.   He missed the last bus and attempted to walk 9 miles to get home where his wife waited with a 3 month old baby.   Read about his death on the highway in the first half of the article here.  Hat tip: Chris.

Then this is what makes my blood boil: 

Family members said Catholic Charities helped get Mr. Bilay the dishwasher job and conducted a cultural-orientation session.

But they said the orientation session was conducted in the Tigrinya language, unintelligible to someone who speaks only Kunama.

“I asked the family if they had a meeting with Catholic Charities, and they said they did, but they didn’t understand what they said,” said Stefano Dago, Mr. Bilay’s cousin, who lives in Minneapolis.

Residents of the Shimelba camp were given orientations before their departure, but a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, the intergovernmental group that conducted the sessions, could not be reached for comment.

Todd Pierce, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration – which oversees the resettlement program that brought the Bilay family to Dallas – said that while resettlement in a strange country is difficult in the best of circumstances, he was unaware of a situation in which a family had been as isolated as the Bilay family.

Mr. Pierce said he was unaware what the immigrants were taught.

“But obviously no orientation course could possibly prepare a family from rural Eritrea for a life in a big American city,” he said.

To Mr. Bilay, a man who was virtually illiterate in his native language, Dallas was a bewildering place, family members said.

“He didn’t know how to live in a city. At first he didn’t know how to ride in a car,” said Mr. Kallafo. “People at home ask me if they should come here. I tell them that America is a very hard country to live in.” 

We have written about this lack of cultural orientation here.  Life in America is tough and without proper training refugees have a difficult time.   This time it cost a man his life.

I don’t get it.  With all the Catholic churches in rural America, some church couldn’t have taken care of the family and found farm work for this man?  Don’t we hear every day that we need Mexican illegals to do our farm work, what about this family?   And, it’s not as if they even resettled him in a community with his own people.   

Rural town/supportive church, is that combination so hard to find for all you do-gooders?   It seems to me that too many volags just collect their government payment and throw the refugees out to fend for themselves?

We hear it all the time.

 Note:  I’m posting this in our “crimes” and “reforms needed” categories for obvious reasons.

Posted in Crimes, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program | 1 Comment »

Wordpress takes it upon itself to add links to RRW

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 4, 2008

For your information you might have noticed that we have a new feature at the end of some articles called “possibly related articles”.   WordPress began this feature out of the blue recently.   You might find it useful to learn more about a particular issue, but we want to assure you that some linked articles that appear are not necessarily views that we hold.

Posted in blogging | Comments Off on Wordpress takes it upon itself to add links to RRW

Utah Board to make sure refugees are served

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 4, 2008

The State of Utah set up an 11 member board last Monday to begin monitoring services to refugees in the state.   This article says that Utah has 20,000 refugees. 

All existing state, county and private-service providers are being asked to make a “good faith effort” to hold themselves accountable for the successful delivery of services to refugees throughout the state, DePaulis [Dir. Utah Department of Community and Culture] said. “Each government entity dealing with refugees is to report back to the new state office the steps they intend to take to fill in or reduce the gaps cited by the working group.”

Not a word was mentioned in the article about the rape and murder last month of the little Karen refugee girl by another refugee in the building.  That case seems to have disappeared into a black hole.

You can find out more information on Utah at “Your State”.   And, here is a link to all of our posts mentioning Utah where things must be hopping regarding an influx of refugees.  Apparently Utah is a welcoming state.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Refugee Resettlement Program, Your State | Comments Off on Utah Board to make sure refugees are served

 
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