Refugee Resettlement Watch

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    Ann Corcoran
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Archive for May, 2010

Alleged Al Shabaab recruiter may soon be extradicted to the US

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 31, 2010

This is an update of the story we first reported in November 2009.   Mohamud Said Omar, who US authorities believe is the financier of the Somali American (former refugee) youths who left their good lives in Minneapolis to return to Africa for jihad training, now faces extradition to the US from the Netherlands.  Lawyers say he will fight the order in the High Court.

From Dutch News (Hat tip:  Baron at Gates of Vienna):

Judges in Rotterdam have given the green light to the extradition of a 44-year-old Somali man to the US to face terrorism charges, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.

Mohamud Said Omar, 44, is alleged to have helped extremists travel to Somalia to train with the radical Islamic movement Al Shabaab.

He was arrested at a refugee centre in Dronten, Flevoland in November 2009.

The man has also lived in Minneapolis where he is said to have recruited college students – up to 20 according to some reports.

Here is one of our posts last November where Omar is identified as a former resident of Rochester, MN.   All of our reporting on Omar may be found by searching ‘Somali recruiter Netherlands.’

Posted in Africa, Crimes, Europe, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 2 Comments »

Obama’s pandering to Muslim countries not working

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 30, 2010

Update June 5th: More on Muslims disillusioned with Obama, here.

This is getting a little bit far afield from the purpose of RRW,  but this post at Jihad Watch (one of my favorite blogs) about Pres. Obama’s popularity dropping in Muslim countries is very interesting.  Remember that in 2008 we still had the Bush Administration!    Iraqis dislike us more now than they did under Bush.  Check out the numbers!  I wonder what we gave Mauritania?

While you are at Jihad Watch, see Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) take on CAIR on the subject of the Ground Zero mosque.  The CAIR head honcho says that 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam.  Whew!

Posted in Obama, Stealth Jihad | 2 Comments »

Somali non-profits struggle to stay afloat

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 30, 2010

I have more stories to post today on Somalis in America.  I know some critics of RRW think I single out Somali refugees, but honestly they make the news more often than other groups of immigrants.   Two days ago it was Lewiston, ME, and I just a few minutes ago posted on Somali family reunification in Utah, here.  Later I’ll post on safety complaints by Somalis in a Seattle public housing complex and I have an update from the school (supposed) harassment saga involving CAIR in St. Cloud, MN.

This story is a little surprising because the federal government hasn’t run out of money and they are the deep pockets that usually keep ethnic mini-ACORNs afloat.

The dire economy has dealt a big drive to the twin cities Somali nonprofits, many of which have been forced to slice hours, diminish services and some are consider closing.

From ESL centers, refugee services, to housing and employment programs, organizations that have served the Somali and other East African community for decades are now struggling to stay afloat.

“The Somali nonprofit division is taking a triple whammy with the loss of funding from foundations, government and corporations,” said Dr. ,Abdiwahab Arale, A board member from The Center For Somali Solutions Of Minnesota in the twin cities.

“Somali nonprofits in particular [are struggling] because they are always operating on very slim limits,” he added. “There were unmet needs before — now the services are diminishing.”

Surely Obama’s stash is not yet depleted!

Posted in Ethnic Community Based Organizations, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off on Somali non-profits struggle to stay afloat

Immigration mood swing in Massachusetts too!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 30, 2010

Massachusetts home of the Open Borders Kennedy clan, and incidentally where Obama’s Aunt Zeituni lived illegally in public housing for years, seems to be having second thoughts about out of control immigration and the costs to the state budget.  Here is a story from the Boston Globe reporting that, in a surprise move, the Massachusetts Senate has voted to clamp down on illegal aliens.

With one lawmaker citing President Lincoln’s respect for the rule of law, the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown this afternoon on illegal immigrants and those who would hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years.

In a surprising turn of events, the legislation replaced a narrower bill that was passed Wednesday over the objections of Republicans.

The measure, which passed on a 28-10 vote as an amendment to the budget, would bar the state from doing business with any company found to break federal laws barring illegal immigrant hiring. It would also toughen penalties for creating or using fake identification documents, and explicitly deny in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.

The amendment would also require the state’s public health insurance program to verify residency through the Department of Homeland Security, and would require the state to give legal residents priority for subsidized housing.

The amendment will now be part of negotiations with the House as part of the entire state budget.

Read it all.

Meanwhile, the Obama Dept. of Justice is going after a previous immigration bill in Arizona signed by Janet Napolitano when she was governor.  Apparently they are seeking to gain federal control (taking any legal power from the states) of all immigration issues.

By effectively joining the challenges to the law, the Obama Administration is asserting broad federal control of immigration–a position that will make it easier to pursue a lawsuit against the more controversial immigration law passed in Arizona this year allowing local police to make arrests of non-citizens lacking legal status. The administration is also siding with immigrant-rights groups who have accused the White House of not making immigration reform a priority.

See Politico here.  Hat tip:  Susan

I’m not a lawyer, but I am guessing that if they are successful, Massachusetts would not be able to do what the Senate hopes to do.

Posted in Other Immigration | Comments Off on Immigration mood swing in Massachusetts too!

Utah case indicates Somali family reunification is moving forward

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 30, 2010

Despite claims that the federal government has not re-opened the controversial and fraud ridden family reunification (P-3) program, obviously this family was reunited this week in Salt Lake City.   According to the Salt Lake Tribune (reprinted in a Somali publication) the family of Yusuf Shaali has been coming to the US “like links in a chain” since 2000.  This week, 6 of Shaali’s children arrived.  So it seems to me that the program is open.

We are told that one of Shaali’s daughters and her family came first in 2000, followed by Shaali five years later.

Five years after painfully leaving his children behind in Kenya, believing they would soon follow him to America, refugee Yusuf Shaali sat at the Salt Lake City International Airport and learned their plane was late. Six of his children were traveling more than 9,000 miles for a much-belated reunion that had required lawyers and DNA samples, patience and faith.

Not every family is so fortunate. In 2008, the United States froze its family reunification program for refugees amid allegations of fraud, particularly from Africa, the source of nearly all requests to join relatives in America.

Confusion over three wives initially stalled Shaali’s application. By the way, I’m guessing the confusion is that these were not 3 wives one after the other, but 3 at the same time.  Polygamy is common in some Muslim countries.

Hoping to start over in America, the family began to arrive like links in a chain [chain migration!].  In Utah they were joining hundreds of other Somali refugees, the state’s largest refugee resettlement group over the past decade. More than 1,400 Somalis have resettled here since 2000.

First in 2000 came Fatima’s husband, Said Mohamed. Three years later, Fatima arrived with her three boys and petitioned for her parents and siblings to follow. In 2005, Shaali interviewed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Confusion over his three marriages and an error in his children’s names led officials to offer only him and his current wife the chance to come to Utah.

They balked, but were persuaded the separation from the 10 living children from two marriages would be short.

Volags (10 major federal contractors) and their refugee agency subcontractors (like Catholic Charities) process the paperwork for additional family members once they have planted the original family seed.  The agency is paid by the head and in the case of reuniting families the cost is not as great for the agency as the so-called “free cases” where there is no family member already in the city to help with the cost burden of resettlement.

More than once, this day had seemed impossible. Staff at Catholic Community Services of Utah, which helps resettle refugees, helped the parents apply for the children a few months after they arrived in Salt Lake City. Federal officials asked for more evidence and the case inched forward. Nearly a year later, nine of the children were interviewed at the U.S. embassy in Nairobi. One daughter had died of malaria while waiting.

More questions arose about inconsistencies in the children’s stories regarding mosques and madrasas, or schools. More than two years passed.

After DNA kits were sent to Kenya and tests confirmed that the 6 children ranging in age from 10 to 22 were the children of Shaali they were granted permission to join their father.  By the way, the article is not clear about how the number of children approved was whittled to six from an original ten.  It appears two died, but what happened to two others?

The fraud that closed the program mostly in Africa in 2008 was the shocking (LOL!) discovery that only about 20 % of the applicants for family reunification were really family!   Indeed the State Department admitted last year that as many as 36,000 Somali refugees may have arrived here illegally.

Thousands of families are lined up to bring relatives to the US once the program is re-opened.

Years ago, family reunifications made up 20 to 30 percent of the refugees who came to Utah each year through CCS, estimated Aden Batar, refugee resettlement director. That number has dropped to about 5 percent or less.

“We have thousands and thousands of families [in the U.S.] who are here and are waiting to hear when the family reunification program will reopen,” he said.

The program, which had been able to confirm a biological link to claimed relatives in fewer than 20 percent of cases, remains under review by federal officials.

Doesn’t the arrival of Shaali’s family indicate the program is open?  Is the US State Dept. just going to slip in “relatives” without a formal re-opening?

Posted in Africa, Crimes, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities | 5 Comments »

Don’t tell me they are STILL thinking of an Iraqi airlift!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 29, 2010

Oh geez, this is an idea that the Far Left at John Podesta’s Center for American Progress was floating awhile back—airlifting tens of thousands of Iraqis to the US (with a Guam stopover for processing and a security check), see here.  Now it appears that the idea is still being discussed.   Here is my question, if there is going to be a bloodbath as we begin to pull our troops out of Iraq later this summer, should we be leaving?  Is Obama going to make sure we do have another Vietnam?

This is Travis Wheeler writing at Change.org (where else!):

The withdrawal of some 50,000 U.S. troops from Iraq is underway, and expected to wrap up by summer’s end. While a lighter U.S. military footprint in Iraq is a welcome development, it’s likely to leave thousands of American-affiliated Iraqis — the interpreters, engineers, economic experts, and others who’ve lent a hand to security and reconstruction efforts — even more vulnerable to Islamic extremists who’ve promised “nine bullets for the traitors.”

At this late stage, drastic measures are probably needed to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Yet, by their nature, eleventh-hour efforts can only bear modest fruit. Without a doubt, many U.S.-affiliated Iraqis will be overlooked in the rush to save even a few, while others — those understandably unenthusiastic about the prospect of leaving their homeland, friends, and family behind — will gamble that their already star-crossed fortunes won’t take yet another turn for the worse with the departure of American soldiers, contractors, and aid workers.

The upshot of these realities is that many American-affiliated Iraqis won’t benefit from, for instance, a last-ditch airlift operation to the Pacific island of Guam. These people will be forced to navigate the non-emergency resettlement channels that have managed to resettle precious few of their fellow Iraqis. Why is the United States doing such a poor job of getting its Iraqi allies out of harm’s way and resettling them?

List Project report cited

Wheeler directs readers to this report from The List Project, “Tragedy on the Horizon.”  I haven’t read it but I sure hope they too aren’t looking to airlift tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees to the US because they know full well how screwed up the Refugee Resettlement program is right now.  They know that we don’t have the resources in our floundering economy to do the job.  They know that some Iraqis who have been resettled want to go back to the Middle East and their own culture.

Incidentally while you are visiting The List Project, note the map of the Middle East showing where Iraqi refugees have resettled and make note of a fact we have reported many times at RRW—rich Muslim Saudi Arabia takes no refugees!  So much for Muslim charity.

Leave no Iraqi ally behind

That is the name of the political campaign Change.org is kicking off with this news.   They want people to sign their petition (in sidebar) and thus build momentum for more Iraqis to be resettled here, and likely build momentum for a crisis airlift at some point.

As of April 30th (FY2010) we have resettled 10,201 Iraqis, the highest number of any ethnic group of refugees this year so far.  Our overall ceiling for refugees from the whole world is 80,000 for FY 2010.  If that number is reached it will be the highest number we have taken since before 9/11.  Meanwhile jobs are few and some refugees have been evicted from their apartments, others have returned to the Middle East…..and the beat goes on.

Posted in Iraqi refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 1 Comment »

We are a blog, not an agency of the government

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 29, 2010

I wish I didn’t have to say this again, but we have been getting more and more requests for us to help people get into the US.  Prospective immigrants/refugees even send us their case numbers and other personal facts.  We have stated clearly on this page that we are a news disseminating publication only.

Just before one signs in to comment we have this statement prominently displayed:

We are not a refugee resettlement agency, do not appeal to us for assistance in getting in to the US!

In addition, we have placed a notice to the same affect across the top of RRW which when opened says this.

Sorry, we do not publish any comments that are appeals for help.   Frankly, that is the UN’s job and the US State Department’s job.

Posted in blogging, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off on We are a blog, not an agency of the government

Head Start and some funny money business makes the news….

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 28, 2010

….but not too much news.   That theme is the gist of this piece at Big Government by Robert Bluey a couple of days ago.   An undercover investigation has unearthed proof of major scams on-going with the program and Bluey argues that this should be as big news as the ACORN scandal has been.

Arguably, the Head Start scandal deserved front-page headlines on newspapers across America last week. Outrage over ACORN centered on the group’s taxpayer funding. The total amount of federal funds that flowed to ACORN was about $53 million dating to 1994.

Head Start, a Great Society program created in 1965 for low-income children, received $9 billion — yes, billion — in appropriations and stimulus funding last year alone. Over the lifetime of the program, it has cost taxpayers more than $150 billion.

There are more than 3,300 Head Start programs operating in America, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. A government-funded impact study criticized the effectiveness of the program earlier this year. Given the cost of the program and the group of people it primarily serves, Head Start deserves some much-needed scrutiny.

Read the whole Big Government article.

Until a few years ago, I never gave Head Start a second thought and in the back of my mind I assumed it was run from government offices at the state level, but apparently not so.   Again, at least in the case I’m familiar with, it is one of those programs that is run with taxpayer money passed along to unaccountable non-profit groups (I loathe this concept of public-private partnerships!).

What got me thinking about this a few years ago is that the Virginia Council of Churches quietly began resettling refugees in the county where I live (that, by the way, also was the genesis of this blog) and in the course of researching who they were, imagine my surprise, when I learned they were almost completely funded with tax dollars.    The biggest portion of their income comes from Head Start.   See this pie chart from their 2007 annual report.  (Incidentally, this is 2010, what is taking them so long to put up more recent annual reports?).

In 2007, almost 58% of their funding came from Head Start.  And, do you see that 17.5% from Church World Service, that is really your tax dollars passed through from the federal government to Church World Service to Virginia Council of Churches for refugees.    The Episcopal Migration Ministries money is also likely passed through from the Feds.  Add up the other pieces of the pie and it looks to me that only 2% of their income comes from other sources and the church. Readers should know that there is virtually no federal financial auditing of this federal money and since Virginia Council of Churches claims to be a church, they don’t file a Form 990 with the IRS that I have ever  been able to find.

And, this is interesting, they do their lobbying through something called the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

On matters related to public policy in Virginia, the Council of Churches works in special cooperation with The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. Each year, the Council considers the legislative agenda that is developed by the center and upon action of the Coordination Cabinet of the Virginia Council of Churches, endorses and supports the agenda.

I sure hope none of your money (for refugees or Head Start) is passed through to promote “social justice” political causes!

For your serious consideration—-Head Start is grabbing young minds early.  They’ve gotta separate kids from parents, that is the clear agenda of the Far Left!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee Resettlement Program in Maryland | Comments Off on Head Start and some funny money business makes the news….

Teachers in Lewiston school to be moved out because test scores are below average

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 28, 2010

O.K. sounds like your standard public education problem—test scores are low, teachers blamed, feds want changes and have offered money to bring “change” faster.  But, what is the whole story?

We have written many many times about Lewiston, Maine a city coping with the joys of diversity and multiculturalism.  Here is a story yesterday (to add to our growing Lewiston archives) from the Sun Journal entitled, ‘Longley school staff sad about changes.’  Hat tip:  Susan

…. “it’s very sad here now,” said veteran school secretary Pauline Valliere. “Everybody’s bonded together. There are close relationships. … It’s being broken up.”

Longley is one of 10 Maine schools offered federal money to improve persistently low test scores. Longley could get as much as $2 million to try to improve its test-score standings.

But the money comes with a catch: Grant providers want dramatic improvement and change. Half of the school’s teachers, and the principal, have to go.

Half of Longley’s 20 teachers will be transferred to other Lewiston schools this fall; 10 other teachers will be assigned to Longley.

[…..]

The changes have some Longley staffers feeling bruised. They’re worried that new faculty may not understand their students.

Who are their students?

An estimated 96 percent of Longley students qualify for free and reduced lunches; the state average is 42 percent. Situated in the city’s poorest neighborhood, for years many Longley students began kindergarten already academically behind youngsters the same age in other neighborhoods. In recent years, Somali families have moved in, which means 62 percent of the students are learning to speak English.

Another telling sign is that at Longley there is no parent-teacher group. “We can’t get parents to come in,” said secretary Valliere.

Students don’t speak English and parents are not involved with the school, so what are a new principal and a bunch of new teachers going to do about it?  One solution is a longer school day.   Oh, brother!

Help is needed, Hayes (Linda Hayes who works in the cafeteria) said, but she questioned what any teacher could do when her sixth-grade class has 26 students, half of whom cannot speak English well enough to learn their lessons.

The Longley plan in the grant application proposes to boost student learning in part through longer school days and a longer year for students who need more learning time.

There is something missing here.  This doesn’t make sense.  What will a new bunch of different teachers be able to do?  Unless the entire school becomes a school for foreign students, the American students will still be held back in classrooms dominated by immigrant/refugee students.  Test scores cannot improve under those circumstances.

Last month I told you about DeKalb County, Georgia which has a whole separate school for immigrant children, here.  But I wonder about that too.  Didn’t we long ago make separate but equal schooling illegal?   Are we returning to that?  I have to admit I don’t follow the trends in public education since my family left the public school system going on two decades ago for homeschooling and private schools.

My advice: get out of the system— homeschool your kids (it is not that hard) or find a good and affordable private school.

For new readers, more Somalis are on the way:

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 in 2008 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 by the State Department 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.

Through the Refugee Resettlement program alone 2141 legal Somalis have already arrived in this fiscal year (2010) as of April 30th with an unknown number arriving through other legal programs and  illegally across both our borders.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Refugee Resettlement Program | 6 Comments »

Former Congressman issues another call for moratorium on immigration across the board

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 28, 2010

We reported in April that former Virginia Representative, Virgil Goode, had called for a moratorium on all immigration.  Today at Frontpage magazine Goode repeats that call.

If we really want to put Americans back to work, we need a moratorium across nearly all categories of legal immigration. A moratorium will free up jobs for American citizens, reduce the stress on social services, and allow the immigrants already here to assimilate.

The only people who will lose out from a moratorium are the ethnic interests who want new constituents and the business lobbies who want cheap labor. Unfortunately, both political parties are more concerned with the well-being of these special interests than the well-being American citizens.

Read it all!

Posted in Other Immigration, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off on Former Congressman issues another call for moratorium on immigration across the board

 
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