Refugee Resettlement Watch

Is the Governor of Wyoming calling RRW racist?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 22, 2014

I don’t think so.  He is a Republican (right?) and that is something out of the Democrats’ play-book!  Any time someone disagrees with them on the issue of immigration, and they want to shut up the critics, out comes the “r” word.  It happens so often, it has become a joke!

Matt Mead and wife

Governor Matt Mead with wife sworn into office in 2011.

If he, or anyone on his staff, had followed our work over the last almost seven years, he would know that, first and foremost, we inform the public about a federal program that in our opinion has gotten way out of control and acts, to a great degree, in secrecy, while spending your tax dollars!

Our driving motivation is to inform you of the details of the US State Department’s refugee program so that you and your community may have a thorough discussion about what it is that the federal agencies (including ORR in Health and Human Services) in conjunction with a private contractor (Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, in this case) have in mind for your town or city.

The most important thing the governor said in the Casper Star-Tribune interview over the weekend is this:

At this point, Mead is working with volunteers to gain more information about establishing a refugee program in the state. Wyomingites will get to comment on a program as it’s developed, he said.

Please!  Anyone with concerns should ask to be involved as one of the “volunteers” he is working with and then Wyomingites should insist, at the very least, that hearings or public meetings be held in the Wyoming cities which are being targeted for refugee placement.

Here is more of what the Casper Star-Tribune reports from an interview with the governor:

CHEYENNE — Some of the opinions on the Internet about refugee resettlement in Wyoming are inaccurate and racist, Gov. Matt Mead said.

[….]

For instance, a blog called Refugee Resettlement Watch has a picture of a Gillette man and his family with the headline “The man who started the Wyoming refugee controversy.”

Refugee Resettlement Watch, run by a Maryland resident, also lists crimes committed by refugees throughout the United States, and in one place the site asks, “Are you ready for this in Wyoming?”

“In terms of the comments, I’ve seen some of those, too, in particular, the racist comments,” Mead said. “I don’t think that represents Wyoming. But it is hard to see and hard to read. And some of them, frankly, I will not read.”

Refugee resettlement in Wyoming is a worthy debate, Mead said.

“Let’s not have the debate in terms none of us would be proud of,” he said.

[….]

Ann Corcoran, who runs Refugee Resettlement Watch, did not respond to an email from the Casper Star-Tribune.

I’m so sorry to have missed that e-mail.  As regular readers know, I’m pretty awful about getting to all of my e-mail (what I wouldn’t give for a secretary or an intern!).  I apologize and going forward I should have more time to be more responsive to readers. I will e-mail the reporter today.

Then near the end of the article we learn this:

Mead’s spokesman, Renny MacKay, said Friday that the discussion of a program is in its preliminary stages. The governor’s office is looking at federal laws to understand the program. Mead doesn’t want to spend state money on it. Wyoming would work with the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Just a reminder in case you (new readers) are confused:  The US State Department (in conjunction with the United Nations) chooses and admits the refugees.  Working with their major contractors***, the US State Department (Barbara Day) plays the significant role in deciding where the refugees will initially be placed.  They are running out of “welcoming” communities and they need Wyoming!

The Office of Refugee Resettlement in the US Department of Health and Human Services doles out grants to contractors (rarely to state or local governments) to care for refugees for a short time.  Because the program responsibility is divided by two major agencies of the federal government, it makes it more difficult for the average citizen or even state and local government officials to understand.

The program will cost the state of Wyoming money, but how much is always the ‘$64 thousand dollar question.’  Some states are attempting to figure out exactly what refugees do cost their state and local taxpayers (schools, healthcare, housing, crime etc.),  but the feds make getting that information very difficult.

Our coverage of the Wyoming controversy is here.  See for yourself if it’s “racist.”  And, don’t miss the opinion piece by Don Barnett that the Casper Star Tribune published last month.

The Casper Star Tribune has very early on editorialized in favor of refugee resettlement for Wyoming, here.

If the governor really wants to know how the program works, he might visit our fact sheet, here.  And, if he and his staff are ambitious, then they should check out our over 200 posts in a category we call ‘where to find information.’

***Nine major federal contractors, all others subcontract to the nine. In most cases these contractors (below) operate on 90 plus% federal funding.  No longer may they be considered private charitable enterprises.  They are also not financially audited, so between the major contractors and the 300 or so subcontractors it makes it hard to follow the (your!) money:

6 Responses to “Is the Governor of Wyoming calling RRW racist?”

  1. There should be a state and local investigaton and send people to CA, CO TYson plants and other states where there has been a lot of problems with cost, fraud, Honor killings and school issues on laungage and Muslim laws. We have a problems in CA where the refugees bring in pregnant illegal women so they can have a child that is a citizen and can come back at school age for Welfare, live in foster care set up by the Churches. VERY COSTLY AND OUR GOVERNMENT ISN’T PASSING A BIRTH-RIGHT LAW. THIS GOVERNOR NEEDS TO SAY “NO” ON REFUGEES AND ILLEGALS. THE COST OF WELFARE AND HEALTHCARE WILL BURY THE STATE.

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  2. […] Read more at Refugee Resettlement Watch […]

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  3. pungentpeppers said

    Look at just one locally contentious issue to see how the presence of refugees can strain community resources and increase expenses for taxpayers. COMMON CORE is a hot button issue in Wyoming. In California – where $22 million is being spent in the San Diego area alone to implement common core – refugee children and their families are ill prepared for those standards.

    A teacher in San Diego describes typical problems with refugee students:
    “You have one kid who doesn’t know what the number 2 looks like, the other kid doesn’t know how to add, the other kid can’t borrow, and in class you’re working on decimals,” she says. “These kids just need one-on-one help.”

    In San Diego refugees have a 30% dropout rate. Most refugee students are already struggling because they never attended school, suffer from trauma, poverty, language barriers and cultural displacement.
    http://newamericamedia.org/2014/04/new-school-standards-present-challenge-for-refugee-students.php

    A minority of refugee students – those who come from educated families – have fewer difficulties. But Wyomingites will not have a choice as to which refugees will be planted in their midst. The state might wind up being like an optimistic bride who marries a charming but devious groom on a whim, only to find out that she is expected to support his large and needy family who are overwhelmed by intractable problems. If Wyoming has a big budget, plenty of interpreters, many qualified tutors, a good healthcare system, mental health counselors, housing aid, etc., then by all means, go for it. But remember, there is no divorce from refugees.

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    • Ann Corcoran said

      ‘pp’ you should consider posting this comment at the Star Tribune where there is lots of discussion going on.

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  4. Catharine Trauernicht said

    You got under the Governor’s skin, Ann! Why not call him, and record your conversation? Can you do that? You can alert him to the fact that you’re recording the conversation for accuracy. 🙂

    Keep me posted!

    Bring it on!

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