Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for January 31st, 2010

Grand Island, NE police chief: “It is chaotic anarchy” here among all the ethnic groups

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 31, 2010

The Los Angeles Times has finally caught on to problems created when many diverse immigrant groups arrive in small midwestern towns lured there by the big national and international meatpackers.  Here is a story thanks to Baron at Gates of Vienna that summarizes much of what we have already said about Grand Island, NE and its multicultural woes.  (See our category Greeley/Swift/Somali controversy where we have filed all of our Grand Island posts for a couple of years)

There isn’t much new in this article that we haven’t previously reported, but coming on the heels of the Maine Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence announcement that it would use Somali-saturated Lewiston, ME as an example of how town folks can get along with their immigrants, I’m thinking what the heck are they going to Frederick, MD  for?   Let them go to someplace like Grand Island, NE that will be a real challenge when they have to tell the Hispanics, Somalis, Sudanese and now Cubans that they need to just get along with each other!  Maybe its just a matter of reminding them about our magical melting pot!

This really makes me steam!  They (the hate violence gang) don’t want to sort out the ethnic conflicts between people of color, they just want to claim white people are racists and need government-funded behavior modification! 

Back to the LA Times (rant concluded) here is how the lengthy article begins:

Grand Island, Neb., has long been a revolving door of immigrants, from Vietnamese and Bosnians to Latinos and Sudanese. But with Somali Muslims came a whole new set of conflicts.

The reporter gives the reader a little history about the Hispanics who have been in the town for a long time and then tells us about the raids by ICE.  After those raids other ‘legal’ immigrants came to town.   One townsperson summed it up well!

“There has been more bigotry,” Fulton said, “because there has just been more and more and more of them.”

Then the Somalis came looking for the meatpacking jobs:

The emotions unleashed by the raid would soon find a new target — Sudanese and Somalis attracted by the promise of work at the meatpacking plant.

The new immigrants, who had been granted refugee status because of strife in their homelands, posed new challenges to the status quo in Grand Island.

They were black, and some were Muslim.

At first the Muslims didn’t make too many demands but then in 2008 they stirred up anger among other ethnic workers (we have all this in our posts from that time period).

That changed in 2008, during Ramadan, when virtually all the Muslim workers began leaving the assembly line en masse to pray. Even Muslims who are not particularly religious often make an effort to pray during the holy month.

Co-workers complained that they had to pick up the slack. Management told the Somalis they couldn’t pray because the plant, one of the largest in the country, couldn’t afford to stop the machines. Five hundred Muslim workers, infuriated, walked off the job.

Most came back after Swift & Co. agreed to accommodate them by changing break times.

But other workers protested that the Muslims had gotten preferential treatment, an idea fueled by a story published in a local Spanish-language newspaper that falsely claimed the Somalis had gotten a pay raise. Fights broke out in the lunch room. Hundreds of Latinos — joined by the Sudanese, who are mostly Christian — walked off the job.

The plant settled down because the meatpacker made accommodations to the Muslims and as we learn later in the article many of the nomadic Somalis moved on to another Nebraska town.   However, the LA Times tells us that crime in Grand Island is now out of control!

Major conflict at the plant let up when Ramadan ended. But tensions in town mounted like never before.

At the Autumn Woods apartments on the southeast side of town, police were called several times a day to respond to stabbings, shootings and disputes.

A war was building between the Somalis, who lived on one side of the complex, and the Sudanese, who lived on the other side.

“It’s chaotic anarchy,” Police Chief Steve Lamken said recently.

In late August 2009, a Sudanese man was shot in the head at the apartment complex. Police arrested three Somalis in connection with the killing.Officer Robert Winton blamed the fighting on the Africans’ violent homelands. “They’re at war in their countries and they bring it here,” he said.

Violent crimes in Grand Island have risen in the last two years and the community, surrounded by cornfields, now faces a gang problem.

To top it off the LA Times wraps up by mentioning that 700 Cubans have come to town this year.

I won’t go into it here because this is getting way too long, but the LA Times article also discusses Grand Island’s mayor and the problems she had with the Somalis.  I recommend you go back to my 2008 post on how the Somalis demanded that the mayor resign.  Also, note in previous posts that the Somalis brought CAIR to town and here.

So, hey Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence, how about tackling the ethnic strife and multicultural hate violence going on in places like Grand Island, NE and leave the good people of Frederick, MD alone.

For new readers:

The US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US (this linked post continues to be one of the most widely read posts we have ever written) in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.  That specific program has not yet been reopened (that we know of), but will be soon

Nevertheless, thousands of Somali Muslims continue to be resettled as I write this. We recently learned that we will be taking 6000 Somalis this year from one camp in Uganda and as many as 11,000-13,000 total from around the world.

Posted in Africa, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Greeley/Swift/Somali controversy, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 6 Comments »

Americans arrested for taking kids out of Haiti

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 31, 2010

This was all over the news yesterday, so it may have been resolved, but if you haven’t seen it elsewhere here is the story from Reuters:

Haitian police have arrested 10 U.S. citizens caught trying to take 33 children out of the earthquake-stricken country in a suspected illicit adoption scheme, authorities said on Saturday.

The five men and five women were in custody in the capital, Port-au-Prince after their arrests on Friday night. There are fears that traffickers could try to exploit the chaos and turmoil following Haiti’s January 12 earthquake quake to engage in illegal adoptions.

One of the suspects, who says she is leader of an Idaho-based charity called New Life Children’s Refuge, denied they had done anything wrong.

The suspects were detained at Malpasse, Haiti’s main border crossing with the Dominican Republic, after Haitian police conducted a routine search of their vehicle.

Authorities said the Americans had no documents to prove they had cleared the adoption of the 33 children — aged 2 months to 12 years — through any embassy and no papers showing they were made orphans by the quake in the impoverished Caribbean country.

“This is totally illegal,” said Yves Cristalin, Haiti’s social affairs minister. “No children can leave Haiti without proper authorization and these people did not have that authorization.”

Further down in the story is more news I hadn’t heard.

In addition to outright trafficking in children, authorities have voiced fears since the quake that legitimate aid groups may have flown earthquake orphans out of the country for adoption before efforts to find their parents had been exhausted.

As a result, the Haitian government halted many types of adoptions earlier this month.

Posted in Crimes, Haiti | 2 Comments »

Obama’s Open Government Directive means public can participate in refugee resettlement reform task force!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 31, 2010

Yes!  Three cheers for the Obama White House (from me no less)!

I’m just now seeing this good news reported in early December at OMB Watch.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the long-anticipated Open Government Directive on Dec. 8. The directive, a memo from OMB Director Peter Orszag to all agency and department heads, requires that all agencies develop and implement an Open Government Plan specific to each agency.

The directive has been in development since the first day of the Obama administration, when the president issued a memo tasking OMB and other key officials to develop the directive. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) oversaw a three-phase online dialogue to publicly generate, discuss, and develop policy ideas for the directive. The three phases attracted a great deal of public participation.

The directive continues to emphasize the three principles outlined by President Obama in his original memo – transparency, participation, and collaboration. The directive is comprised of four main components centered on very simple but important themes – publishing information; creating a culture of openness; improving data quality; and updating policies to allow for greater openness. Each section tasks agencies and other key offices with specific goals, complete with deadlines and clear requirements that the public be informed and permitted to participate in almost every project.

Surely that means that critics of the refugee resettlement program’s management should be participating in the Task Force on-going at the White House to reform the floundering program that was discussed yesterday at Friends of Refugees here.   And, we should be able to see the notes from the Task Force meetings too!

Posted in Obama, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program | 2 Comments »

Lewiston, ME to be used as assimilation model for other cities

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 31, 2010

Update February 17th:  US Justice Department funding behind this project, here.

Update February 9th:  Newspaper editor tells the truth about Lewiston, here.

You have got to be laughing if you have been a regular reader of Refugee Resettlement WatchThe Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence* in Portland, ME is taking its wonderful example of how Somalis have come to live and be accepted in Lewiston to four other cities in the US.

Yes, Lewiston! where thousands of Somalis looking for the best welfare state in the Nation arrived in the city a few years ago.  Lewiston! where we only last month heard about roving gangs of Somali youths tormenting people on the streets.  Lewiston! where a Somali woman just a few weeks ago became impatient in a line of vehicles dropping kids off at Lewiston High School and ran over a young student with her Mercedes.  Lewiston! where Somalis were arrested by the feds for allegedly running a home health care fraud!  And, here is another case of a conviction for welfare fraud there.  Lewiston! where last spring Newsweek did a puff piece article and the town fathers had to come back and say it was not accurate.  That same Lewiston is going to be the model for four troubled cities!

Here is the story from the Sun Journal yesterday:

LEWISTON — How the Lewiston-Auburn community reacted to snuff out prejudice against local Somalis in 2006 makes it a leader in the nation, said Steve Wessler, executive director of the Center for Preventing Hate.

There’s still more work to do, but Lewiston handled it so well that lessons learned here will be shared with cities throughout the country, Wessler said.

He spoke Friday at a daylong conference titled Advice for America: What Lewiston-Auburn has Learned Since 2000 about Fostering Relationships Between Residents and Newcomers. The event was held at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College

We’re here to share and celebrate, share the experiences of what has worked, what has helped change the community,” Wessler said. “Where there was a lot of diversity is now a model for cities elsewhere.”

[….]

Shortly after a man rolled a pig’s head into a Somali mosque in downtown Lewiston in 2006 — an event that attracted national and international press — “we did interviews with dozens of people, Somali- and American-born, to get a sense of the community,” Wessler said. “What we found was sobering.”

Almost every Somali girl and woman offered examples of hate and violence directed at them as they walked on streets or shopped in grocery stores.

“That’s not a Lewiston-Auburn phenomenon; that’s a national phenomenon,” Wessler said.

Communities with immigrant populations must reflect and decide they can do better, he said, adding that Lewiston-Auburn did that.

So, where are they taking their Lewiston model?   Other cities in strife!

His group will spend the next three years on The New Migration Project [must be some federal grant], working in cities in strife after immigrants have moved in. Those communities include Boise, Idaho; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Frederick, Md.; and Manchester, N.H. That will be followed up with a national conference in Lewiston later this year.

Boise, ID, Fort Wayne, IN, and Manchester, NH are all overloaded refugee resettlement cities that we have discussed many many times on these pages.  But, Frederick, MD!  Frederick, MD!   That is the county just east of where we live and we have been told over and over again that everything is hunky-dory with refugees in Frederick.  So what is going on there that is not being reported in the media?  I’ll be checking with my political contacts and try to get to the bottom of that! 

Lightbulbs flashing! I bet this is one more attack on Frederick County for its use of the 287g program that allows the local sheriff to deport illegal aliens.  Frederick is the only county in Maryland with the guts to implement the program and I think that including Frederick in this four-city example of implied racism is a political move to embarrass the city.

*Check out the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence’s most recent Form 990  and note that most of their funding is from government contracts and most of the money goes out to salaries.  Then be sure to see their “resources” page with links to groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (some call it the poverty palace).

Posted in Changing the way we live, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities | 19 Comments »

 
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