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    Ann Corcoran
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Archive for November, 2011

Burmese refugees in Oakland have a 63% unemployment rate

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 30, 2011

Is anyone surprised?

That statistic comes to us from a report put together by a professor and his students at San Francisco State University.

Of course their solution to the problem is NOT to urge a slowdown of the flow of refugees to Oakland (or to Manchester, NH for example) or anywhere in the US,  but is to spend more taxpayer money teaching English and send more “refugee cash” from Washington, DC to California when there are NO jobs!

From Medical Xpress:

Refugees who have fled Burma to live in Oakland, Calif., are at risk of becoming a permanent, poverty-stricken underclass warns a new report released today by researchers at San Francisco State University and the Burma Refugee Family Network (BRFN). The report found that almost 60 percent of Oakland’s refugees from Burma are living in extreme poverty.

Since 2007, thousands of refugees from war-torn Burma have been resettled by the U.S. federal government and an estimated 400 individuals have been resettled in Oakland.

They have trouble getting jobs, applying for health care and government bennies because they can’t speak English.

“These recent refugees from Burma are facing dire circumstances,” said Russell Jeung, associate professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. “The recession and government cuts in adult English classes mean that even though they want to work, these refugees have no opportunity to learn English or workplace skills in order to adapt to life in the U.S.”

Jeung and his students, together with BRFN and other community-based organizations, surveyed 194 refugees from Burma to assess the community’s needs. The researchers found that in addition to high poverty rates, these refugees face barriers to accessing employment, health care and government benefits caused by their lack of English. These barriers have been exacerbated by recent cuts in the provision of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and a lack of appropriate interpretation services.

Impoverished refugees help drive statistics about US poverty rates rising.

The report found that among Oakland’s refugee population from Burma:

*63 percent are unemployed. Those that are employed have sporadic, low-wage jobs.

*57 percent live below the federal threshold for extreme poverty, earning less than $1,000 per month for an average household size of five. Most of the remainder live below the federal poverty line.

*38 percent speak no English at all. Another 28 percent speak English poorly.

*74 percent report that lack of English is their biggest barrier to accessing health care.

*47 percent report that English classes are the most-needed service in their community.

How about if Professor Jeung and his students get busy teaching the illiterate refugees to read and write English without, of course, being paid for their charitable work.

The overall numbers of refugees resettled is down for FY2011 which ended September 30th, but apparently still not down enough.  Here are the numbers.  We resettled just over 56,000 refugees (the goal for the year was a completely unrealistic 80,000).  Burmese refugees topped the list with a whopping 16,972 people with little English and no real marketable skills, Bhutanese (Nepalese) came in second with 14,999 and Iraq was way down with 9,328 (we resettled double that number in FY2010)*.    Guess those federal contractors who are paid by the head to resettle refugees are hurting in their bottomlines.

*LOL!  So where is Matthew Lee the AP reporter who squawked every month during the final year of the Bush Administration about how we weren’t helping the Iraqis by bringing enough of them to the US.  Where is the Obama bashing now that he isn’t helping enough?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off on Burmese refugees in Oakland have a 63% unemployment rate

To new readers

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 30, 2011

If you are new to Refugee Resettlement Watch (we had a big jump in readers yesterday from google searches), you might want to use our search function (top of the upper left hand column) to learn more about the problems with the Refugee Resettlement program of the US State Department, other issues relating to legal immigration, and more about refugee/asylee issues generally around the world.

We have written 3,922 posts since July 2007 and even I need to periodically search for things I’ve written (and forgotten!) that tie in with new issues that come up.

You might also be able to find information using our categories.  I find the one called ‘where to find information’ the most useful.  It’s full of reports, data, and website sources.

And, you might want to check from time to time to see what are the most read posts in the last week or so—see ‘top posts’ in the lower right hand column.

Welcome if you are a new reader, and welcome back to previous visitors!

Posted in blogging, Refugee Resettlement Program, Tips for using RRW, Where to find information | Comments Off on To new readers

Immigration to be major issue in Russian elections….

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 29, 2011

…ethnic Russians want to keep their culture (what a surprise!).

From Monsters & Critics (emphasis mine):

Moscow – A warning by Russia’s top health official against employing migrant workers from Tajikistan because they have tuberculosis or AIDS has exposed rising political tensions over the country’s large migrant population.

The remarks by Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennadiy Onishchenko drew instant protest from human rights groups, who responded with data showing that the diseases were more widespread in Russia than in Tajikistan.

But Russian nationalists, who are becoming more vocal in their criticism of what they say is the government’s lax policy toward migrants, welcomed Onishchenko’s remarks.

The immigration debate is likely to be a major issue in the December election for Russia’s lower house, which is known as the Duma.

Some parties are running on a platform of restoring Russian national pride and vows to secure the future of the Slavic race. Critics say the far-right is venting its frustration with Russia’s social and economic problems on immigrants.

Russian President Dimitry Medvedev has called more than once for an election campaign free of xenophobia.

With some 12.5 million migrants, Russia is home to the world’s second largest migrant population after the United States, according to United Nations figures.

Russia purely for Russians!

In November, thousands of right-wing extremists demonstrated under the slogan ‘Russia purely for Russians’. They called on the ruling party to stop subsidizing the largely Muslim Northern Caucasus region with billions of dollars annually.

Too little too late?  In my opinion it’s bye-bye Russia.   Russians are dying young and are not producing enough children (they have an extremely high abortion rate) and most of the immigrants are Muslims who produce babies at a higher rate.  So what is your guess about the future of the Russian people?

Posted in diversity's dark side, Europe, Muslim refugees | Comments Off on Immigration to be major issue in Russian elections….

Thomas Sowell on Gingrich and immigration

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 29, 2011

This is cross-posted from Potomac Tea Party Report, my other blog, here.

The brilliant Thomas Sowell has a good column today at Real Clear Politics in which he riffs off of Gingrich’s use of the word “humane” in suggesting a form of amnesty for those illegal immigrants who have been here for twenty five years at last week’s national security debate.   (Hat tip: Paul)

Read the whole column for more on Gingrich, but I was interested in his discussion of our potential loss of culture (and the security threat) as we continue to import immigrants (legal and illegal) some of whom have no interest in becoming Americans in the fullest sense of the word.

Sowell (emphasis mine):

Let’s go back to square one. The purpose of American immigration laws and policies is not to be either humane or inhumane to illegal immigrants. The purpose of immigration laws and policies is to serve the national interest of this country.

There is no inherent right to come live in the United States, in disregard of whether the American people want you here. Nor does the passage of time confer any such right retroactively.

The American people have a right to decide it they want unlimited imports of cultures.

The more doctrinaire libertarians see the benefits of free international trade in goods, and extend the same reasoning to free international movement of people. But goods do not bring a culture with them. Nor do they give birth to other goods to perpetuate that culture.

Why do people want to come to America in the first place? Because America offers them something that their native countries do not. This country has a culture which has produced a higher standard of living and a freer life than in many other countries.

When you import people, you import cultures, including cultures that have been far less successful in providing decent lives and decent livelihoods. The American people have a right to decide for themselves whether they want unlimited imports of cultures from other countries.

At one time, immigrants came to America to become Americans. Today, the apostles of multiculturalism and grievance-mongering have done their best to keep foreigners foreign and, if possible, feeling aggrieved. Our own schools and colleges teach grievances.

European countries have learned the hard way how massive imports of a foreign culture can undermine your own culture, polarize your population and create internal dangers that are irreversible.

What about those dangers?  See my post yesterday about Michelle Bachmann the Presidential candidate with the guts to bring up the Somalis in her home state of Minnesota and their connections to Al-shabaab.

Posted in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, diversity's dark side | Comments Off on Thomas Sowell on Gingrich and immigration

NY Times acts like it’s the first time any refugee agency was asked to stop bringing refugees and dropping them off

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 28, 2011

Have you seen that commercial for an insurance company where two agents are making pronouncements as their pants are in flames—you know—liar, liar pants on fire!  That is exactly what I thought as I read through this piece in the New York Times  last Friday on Manchester, New Hampshire’s refugee problems.

This article is also an example of one of the primary reason that I had to take a break from writing this blog for awhile—I could spend hours and hours taking each paragraph and expounding on it with facts the NYT doesn’t know (and likely doesn’t want to know) and I simply don’t want to do that.

Just read the article yourself and know that Manchester leaders have been asking for years to give them a break on resettling refugees—any city or town can only take so many destitute people when there is no work and no decent affordable housing.

Also, know that Manchester is not the first in the Nation to scream—stop!  The NYT does mention Ft. Wayne (IN) and that is because that city and Detroit (MI) have gone beyond any capacity to absorb more poverty.  In the case of Ft. Wayne, the health department in Allen County became swamped with cases of HIV and TB.   Then there was Waterbury, CT where another International Institute was shut down because of the poor care refugees were getting.  Then there is Greensboro, NC—same story.  Fredericksburg, VA ditto.  The whole state of Tennessee was so frustrated with the refugee overload that they passed a law that seeks to give some control back to the state in determining how many refugees WILL BE DROPPED OFF BY FEDERAL CONTRACTORS for local taxpayers to care for!

Where I live in Maryland the program shut down almost before it got started in 2007 because the contractor couldn’t say how the refugees would live and find jobs in a rural city in Western Maryland.  All I can say now is thank goodness it didn’t get a foothold here because those industries that supposedly were going to employ them were closed or are closing.

Bottomline, this article makes me tired — maybe I need to take a break again!

Note to New York Times!  Instead of going up to New Hampshire for a story why not stay right at home in New York State and visit the refugee resettlement office run by the same federal contractor that runs the Manchester office.  Visit Peter Huston’s blog post about USCRI-Albany and see if you can spot a similar pattern.

See also our archive on Manchester, here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities | Comments Off on NY Times acts like it’s the first time any refugee agency was asked to stop bringing refugees and dropping them off

Rep. Michele Bachmann cited Somali threat in national security debate

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 28, 2011

Thanks to Richard Falknor at Blue Ridge Forum for tipping me off to this unreported (or at least I couldn’t find mention of it!) answer to a question in last week’s Republican national security debate.

The question was from the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Teese who wanted to know what threat are we not talking about.  From CNN’s transcript of the debate:

QUESTION: My name is Mark Teese (ph) and I’m a visiting fellow with the American Enterprise Institute. And my question has to do with the unexpected. During the 200 Presidential debates, Governor George W. Bush was never asked about the threat from Al Qaida, yet the battle with Al Qaida dominated his presidency. What national security issue do you worry about that nobody is asking about, either here or in any of the debates so far?

And, then at the tail end of most of the other candidates weighing in, Bachmann says this:

BACHMANN: Well, I would agree with what my colleagues said up here on the stage. And also, we need to remember, we won the peace in Iraq. And now President Obama is intentionally choosing to give that peace away.

This is a significant issue because we’re taking the terrorist threat away from the Middle East, bringing it to the United States.

We talked about Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab is real. In my home state of Minnesota, we’ve just had two convictions of two women that are financing terror with Al-Shabaab. This threat, I believe, now is in the United States and now the threat has come home and that’s what we have to deal with.

I mentioned this conviction of the two women who are US citizens here.  They showed complete disdain for our system of justice telling the court that all infidels would go to hell.

How did we get so many Somalis in the US?  Please visit one of the most widely read posts (19,065 views) here at RRW.

BTW, on NumbersUSA Presidential candidate score card, Michele Bachmann ranks the highest with a B- score.

Posted in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Africa, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Stealth Jihad | 1 Comment »

Danish playground owner banishes Somalis, relents and then still might get sued

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 28, 2011

The article doesn’t say exactly what the Somalis did to this man’s playground, but under pressure he reversed his decision to exclude Somalis from using his property.

From Ice News:

A group of outraged Somalis say they are considering suing a Danish playground owner after he imposed a blanket ban on them using his property.

Thomas Vestergaard said people of the nationality were not welcome at the Legeland adventure play facility in Århus, northeast Denmark, for six months after a fight broke out at an Islamic festival on 13th November.

In an official statement issued when the news first broke, the AarhuSomali group said, “Somali associations are shocked at the Århus playground Legeland’s decision to exclude law-abiding Danish citizens of Somali origin from patronising their business.”

Human rights experts also condemned the move as illegal. Speaking to the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, lawyer Jonas Christoffersen said, “This clearly violates racism laws, which say you can’t discriminate based on nationality or skin colour, and that’s the case here.”

Changes his mind!  Oh, well, who cares, we still might sue him!

The ban effectively only lasted for one day, however, with Vestergaard relenting after meeting with Somali groups. He told the Århus Stiftstidende local newspaper that, “They are welcome again,” after the Somali community apparently acknowledged that “They needed to treat [his] property with respect.

“But some Somalis are still unhappy with the resolution and are considering legal action against the playground owner.

“AarhuSomali has discussed whether this case should have consequences for Legeland’s owner. In the coming days, we will consult our legal advisers about the next steps,” a spokesperson for the organisation said.

Remember readers that Europe is ‘ahead’ of us in dealing with such matters because they are further along in “welcoming” Somalis than we are.

Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side, Europe, Muslim refugees | Comments Off on Danish playground owner banishes Somalis, relents and then still might get sued

Egyptian authorities ignore UN on refugee issue

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 28, 2011

No surprise that the wonderful democracy movement of the Arab Spring has not produced what we were led to believe it would.  Ho hum, here Human Rights Watch is complaining about treatment of refugees in Egypt.

From Refworld (a UN publication):

The Egyptian authorities are preparing to deport 118 detained Eritreans to Eritrea, where they risk persecution, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 29, 2011, guards at the al-Shalal prison in Aswan beat the 118 men, including 40 who already have refugee status, to force them to sign papers for their “voluntary” return to Eritrea, according to sources with access to the detainees.

Egypt should stop forcing detained Eritreans to sign repatriation forms and allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to interview all detained Eritreans to identify refugees among them, Human Rights Watch said.

I guess any agreements from 1954 are out the window now!

Under Egypt’s 1954 memorandum of understanding with the UN refugee agency, the agency is supposed to carry out all refugee status determination in Egypt. This means Egyptian officials are obliged to give UNHCR access to all detained migrants to identify those who want to claim their right to seek asylum from persecution.

Posted in Africa, Asylum seekers | Comments Off on Egyptian authorities ignore UN on refugee issue

Break is over…

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 28, 2011

….back to work, too much is happening on refugees and other legal immigration issues for me to keep ignoring the stories.   As many of you know I had to stop posting here daily because too much was happening in Maryland where I live and there are only so many hours in a day.   Things haven’t slowed down here, but I am still very much interested in tracking the news in the refugee field.

I’m going to try to keep posts shorter, so as not to turn them into massive writing/linking projects and I’ll direct you to our archives instead.

Posted in blogging, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off on Break is over…

Somali round-up

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 6, 2011

Readers, I am still around (and don’t plan to go away).  Sorry not much time to keep up RRW (am still taking a break!), but I have a few Somali refugee stories I want to move on to you.

Late last month two Minneapolis Somali women (US citizens now!) were convicted of funding terrorist activities back in Africa.  Prosecutors said the case had nothing to do with religion but alas, the defendants set the dhimmi court straight on that matter!

From AP  ‘go to hell infidels!’

After the verdicts, one of the women, Amina Farah Ali, told the judge through an interpreter that she was happy because she was “going to heaven no matter what,” and condemned those in authority, saying: “You will go to hell.” She was ordered into custody pending her sentencing.


The women, both U.S. citizens of Somali descent, were among 20 people charged in Minnesota’s long-running federal investigations into recruiting and financing for al-Shabab, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group with ties to al-Qaida. Investigators believe at least 21 men left Minnesota — home to the country’s largest Somali community — to join al-Shabab.


Prosecutors had emphasized that the case was not about a community or a religion, but two women who deliberately broke the law.


Ali, who had been found in contempt of court when she refused to stand for religious reasons at the start of the trial, told Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis after the verdicts that she knows justice in God.

I guess these women did not get the message that it’s not about religion.

Such model new Americans!  And the beat goes on.

Blown to bits!

Here is what those two charming “new Americans” were funding!   They helped fund their fellow Somali refugees (or children of refugees) to return to Africa and blow themselves up along with others in the name of Allah.  Here is one more dead young man who we fed, treated for medical problems, and educated—blown to bits in Africa.  (And, this story went out through MSNBC no less).

It’s the same in the UK!   Thumbing their noses at a chance for a better life.

Check out “turf wars” between Bengali and Somali youths lead to death, here.

“I don’t want to say we’re taking over!”

Frankly, the census data is wrong.  The Somali population in the US is way above what Somalis are reporting to those asking questions.    We admitted over 100,000 Somalis to the US since the early 1990s and families are very large (see this most read post here at RRW).

From New America Media:

Census data released Thursday raised the number of people of Somali ancestry in the state to roughly 32,000.

American Community Surveys taken from 2008 to 2010 show the population increased by 5,000 over last year’s estimate.  [5000 a year in one city!–ed].

Minnesota’s Somali population is the largest in the United States. According to the latest estimates, other states that have a large Somali population are Ohio with 12,300, Washington with 9,300 and California with 7,500.

“I don’t want to say we’re taking over,” Abdulle joked. “But we’ve definitely gotten bigger.”

Calling all Somali youths!  You can play a pirate in a movie!

Check this out!  Tom Hanks is having a casting call in, where else, Minneapolis for talented young Somalis to play the role of pirates in Hanks’ upcoming flick—Captain Phillips!  Oh goody.

Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Europe, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Stealth Jihad | Comments Off on Somali round-up

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