Dover, NH update: Refugee contractor cancels public meeting, no surprise

On Sunday, we reported that the town of Dover, New Hampshire and a couple of other towns in the area were being targeted for a new resettlement site for impoverished third-worlders presumably because nearby Manchester is overloaded and has become a pocket of resistance.”

New readers, see our post Sunday, for background.

Now here comes news (that frankly doesn’t surprise me) because the US State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (in HHS) and their contractors usually operate with greater secrecy and public meetings to answer questions and assess the mood of citizens in a target town are rare.

We have maintained since we first began writing this blog in 2007 that citizens of a community tapped for a new resettlement site are entitled to be informed through public meetings and discussions with elected officials of all the details involved with “welcoming” a large number of impoverished people to their community.   The federal government doesn’t operate in the sunshine (as has become painfully obvious to most Americans following the border surge).

From Foster’s Daily Democrat:

DOVER — A state group that helps facilitate the resettlement of international refugees has canceled a meeting with the City Council.

Representatives of the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success, based in Manchester, were scheduled to meet with the City Council on Aug. 13.

In a letter addressed to City officials, including City Manager J. Michael Joyal, Jr. and Mayor Karen Weston, the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success said it is premature to discuss resettlement in Dover and the Tri-City region.

Emma Tobin, Associate Director ORIS http://www.linkedin.com/pub/emma-tobin/31/20a/35b

“I would like to assure you that ORIS has no intention of moving forward with refugee resettlement in the tri-city area unless we have significant support from the communities,” wrote Emma Tobin, associate director for the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success. “Further, our initial meeting with you was meant to be the beginning of a very slow process; refugee resettlement in the tri-city area was never meant to happen overnight, or in a vacuum.”

ORIS is one of several agencies that help identify communities suited for refugee resettlement under the U.S. State Department’s Reception and Placement program. The program provides assistance for refugees to settle in the United States, including assistance with living expenses during a refugee’s first few months in the community. The Reception and Placement program is limited to the first three months after arrival; however, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement works with states and other nongovernmental organizations to provide longer-term cash and medical assistance, as well as language, employment, and social services.

ORIS indicated it would consider meeting with Dover officials and the community in the future.

Don’t hold your breath!

This does not mean that the towns have dodged a bullet.  What the contractor and its federal handlers will likely do is bring more refugees into Manchester and then quietly, without public discussion, move them in 3-6 months to surrounding towns.  They will tell critics—this is America and people can move to wherever they want and there isn’t anything you can do about it!

One fundamental fact about how the US Refugee Resettlement Program is structured that people need to understand is this—-contractors are paid by the head to resettle refugees, then they get all sorts of other federal grants to “support” them—like teach them English, grow gardens, and how to have healthy marriages (not kidding!)—so THERE IS NO INCENTIVE TO STOP THE FLOW ONCE IT STARTS (the “non-profit” organization has salaries and overhead bills to pay)!

One last thing!  On their grants to teach English:   If this is an important federal government goal, then there is no reason I can see why the feds couldn’t give grants directly to local community colleges for special ESL classes for immigrants. Why does a quasi-government ‘non-profit’ group need to set up entire new programs for teaching English?  I would really like someone in the refugee placement industry to tell me why local colleges couldn’t do those English classes.

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