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    Ann Corcoran
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You did it! Your testimony flooded State Department hearing yesterday

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 16, 2013

Ed Hunter of Maryland testified against bringing more refugees to America in FY2014. Photo from a recent Maryland Thursday Meeting.*

I don’t know where to begin telling you about the State Department meeting yesterday to determine the “size and scope” of refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2014.

Thirty or so people who attended the meeting at the D.C. office of the State Department each received a voluminous stack of testimony, and it will take me a few days to find enough time to go over it all.  Suffice it to say, on a quick glance, it looks like 90% of those testifying oppose bringing tens of thousands of third-worlders into the US next year.

Will it amount to anything more than a speed bump for the federal agencies and their non-profit contractors, only time will tell.

It is important that anyone concerned about high refugee numbers from countries that have a track record of producing terrorists, or are concerned with the fiscal cost of importing impoverished people, must let your Senators and Members of Congress know how you feel.  That is especially so right now because the Gang of Eight plus Grover bill in the Senate (S.744) will make it easier for more refugees and asylum seekers to get here, and it will grant more $$$ to non-profits!

Only about ten people actually testified verbally.  And, it was pretty much evenly split between those who want more refugees and those who said stop this program now!

Testifying for more refugees were contractors:  Mark Hetfield for Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Anastasia Brown for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Erol Kekic of Church World Service (doing double-duty** because he testified for the Refugee Council USA as well. RCUSA is the lobbying arm for the non-profits), someone they all seemed to know, but I didn’t get his name from the Ethiopian Community Development Council, and not from a major contractor Pary Karadaghi from the Kurdish Human Rights Watch (who brought along two refugees to speak).

There is testimony in our packet from Duncan Breen of Human Rights First, but honestly if he testified he made no impression on me!

Where were the other five major contractors?  Where was their testimony?  Who knows, maybe they didn’t want to make it public. Maybe they didn’t want you to know what refugees they wanted for their collection in 2014. They probably have their own back-channels at the State Department.   Heck, Anne Richard, the Asst. Secretary of State for Population Refugees and Migration, revolved into the State Department door from the International Rescue Committee.

Here is the list with links for all nine major resettlement contractors.    The International Rescue Committee was not represented, nor was World Relief, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee ServicesEpiscopal Migration Ministries, or the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

The hearing was presided over by:  Laurence Bartlett, Director of Admissions US State Dept,  Ken Tota, Deputy Director Office of Refugee Resettlement (that is in the Dept. of Health and Human Services), and Barbara Strack, Chief, Refugee Affairs Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

Those testifying to rein-in this program were Ed Hunter, testimony here, Anne Turner, Jim McDonald, Mark Tenney (here), and myself (I’ll post what I said in a separate post, just haven’t gotten to it yet).  Critics focused on security concerns, fiscal impact, community disruption and the cultural degradation of America.

This does not conclude my discussion of this meeting.  I need to now go back and review the written testimony.  Watch for more news later.

For new readers who don’t know what this is all about, go to our category set-up to report on this hearing, here. (Scroll down through 14 posts prior to this one.)

* Maryland Thursday Meeting website.

**Double-duty!  So next year some of us can request to get more time to speak for other groups—help me remember that!

10 Responses to “You did it! Your testimony flooded State Department hearing yesterday”

  1. […] about the same time that citizens from across the country were sending in testimony to the US State Department telling them they don’t want tens of thousands of refugees admitted to the US in 2014, […]


  2. […] what the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) spokeswoman told the US State Department at the hearings we attended on May 15th.  The USCCB is the largest of the nine major federal refugee contractors. This is directly from […]


  3. […] You did it! Your testimony flooded State Department hearing yesterday […]


  4. […] stopped in his office last Wednesday when I went to DC for the State Department hearing and left a letter for him asking him to do just what the Washington Times is reporting (LOL!  But, […]


  5. […] issue for the Senator.  I dropped a letter off to her last Wednesday when I was in DC for the State Department hearings asking that the Senator investigate the Refugee Resettlement Program.   Please contact her by […]


  6. […] is what the IRC says about their DC shop.  And, btw, they were not at the State Department hearing on Wednesday.  Where were they?  Or did they feel they had an inside track to the State Dept and didn’t […]


  7. […] the State Department hearing this past Wednesday in Washington, representatives from contractors US Conference of Catholic […]


  8. […] You did it! Your testimony flooded State Department hearing yesterday […]


  9. Ann, I enjoyed meeting you yesterday at the meeting. I think it went well and was effective. It is something more people can join in.


    • Ann Corcoran said

      WE will get even more next year (if they don’t cancel this altogether in light of the growing opposition)…


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