This NPR story is just mostly a rehash of a couple of on-going stories involving Somali refugees numbering surely over 200,000* in the US by now. It tells us once again that Muslim money transfer businesses have been raided by the FBI and that is linked to the missing Somali youths stories we have followed since November. However, one line in this report demonstrates the woefully inadequate information the public has about refugee resettlement.
Federal agents served warrants on a handful of money transfer businesses around Minneapolis and eastern Missouri last week. People close to the investigation said the searches were related to the disappearance of about two dozen young Somali-American men and teenagers from the Twin Cities in the past two years.
The Somali community in Minneapolis is the largest in America. Some 70,000 Somalis have settled in Minnesota after they were sponsored by the Lutheran Church in the 1990s. To send cash to their impoverished relatives back home, Somalis typically use money transfer businesses. The FBI fanned out last week to a number of those operations, trying to follow a money trail that might give them an idea of who is behind the disappearance of the young men.
The implication here is that the Lutheran Church is entirely responsible for sponsoring Somali refugees and resettling them in Minneapolis. In fact the United Nations and the US State Department (and now Homeland Security plays a role) make the decisions about which refugees come to the US. Then ten FEDERAL CONTRACTORS (volags in refugee lingo) including Lutheran Immigration and Social Services divvy up the refugees and spread them out in the US—to your towns and cities.
These ten CONTRACTORS (funded by the State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Dept. of Health and Human Services) compete for refugees by the head and seem to only have any accountablility to the US State Department if they screw up in some way. If one should screw up, another competing agency is ready to step in and take over the territory.
It has been our view all along that each refugee family should be sponsored by a church or civic group, for example, which is what this article implies, but it is not done that way.
* No one seems to know exactly how many Somalis live in the US now, but it has to be over 200,000 because the US State Department admitted 80,000 that we know of, others have come illegally and of course they have families with 5-6 kids or more.