Refugee contractor to Athens, GA: the US State Department will decide if you get refugees or not!
Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 26, 2014
This is a follow-up to our post of last Thursday in which we reported that Athens, GA mayor Nancy Denson had concerns about whether her city could afford the importation of poverty that comes with ‘welcoming’ third-worlders to town.
The arrogance of the International Rescue Committee (headed by former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband) is beyond belief as it basically says to the citizens of Athens, Georgia that the US State Department will make the final decision about whether yours will be one more “preferred” community for refugee resettlement!
The director of a plan to resettle refugees in Athens remains optimistic despite opposition from local leaders.
“I would still very much like to work together as partners here,” said International Rescue Committee Atlanta Director J.D. McCrary of his hope to bring refugees from war-torn countries to the area.
Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson sent a letter last week to the state officials who control refugee resettlement in Georgia requesting that a plan by the Atlanta office of the International Rescue Committee to bring refugees to Athens be put on hold.
Denson worried that the presence of refugees might strain Athens’ already burdened social services and school system. Athens can offer very little outside of low-wage employment to the refugees, Denson said.
The mayor and other local leaders also expressed concern in recent interviews about adding to the area’s poverty level.
And, the IRC repeats the lie that refugees are self-sufficient in six months and it costs the local community nothing! It simply defies logic!
What about the local school system? What about the local health department? What about the local fire and rescue services? What about the local criminal justice system? What about the interpreters needed for the health department and for the criminal justice system? What about the fact that refugees use subsidized housing that would normally be available to Georgia’s own poor and handicapped people? Etc. etc.
The IRC even admits that the refugees “hover around the poverty level!”
The US State Department’s 2015 fiscal year begins October 1, so they are shooting for dropping off the refugees as early as November.
The biggest concern Denson and others had with the IRC plan was its time line. Resettlement was expected to begin in earnest in 2015, with the potential for some refugees arriving as soon as November.
The IRC contends they did communicate with local officials before submitting their plan to the US State Department and besides, says the IRC representative, the mayor should have been sending her letter to the US State Department which really calls the shots for Georgia and not the state’s own refugee coordinator.
Here is the unbelievable arrogance of the IRC representative on full display:
McCrary said he expects to hear the State Department’s decision on the Athens resettlement plan in four to six weeks. He is not deterred by the reaction of Athens officials.
“The State Department has seen this type of community reaction before,” McCrary said. “This is nothing new for them. They understand the difference between elected officials and community hospitality. They’ll see that Athens is supportive of refugees.”
Message to American citizens! We don’t care what local elected officials say—it is what the US State Department wants that matters!
Endnote: They knew a year ago that Georgia had developed “pockets of resistance” but are still planning to shove more immigrants down Georgians throats because this is more about turning red states blue than humanitarian concern. And, how do we know that? Vermont is eager for more migrants (Senator Patrick Leahy is a champion of the refugee program) so why not just send the ones planned for Georgia to that “welcoming” state? Why don’t they?—because Vermont is already blue!
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