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Archive for October 10th, 2014

Senators request GAO study on how the Office of Refugee Resettlement is handling the UAC issue

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 10, 2014

The press release from Senators Grassley, Hatch and Coburn just released today reads as follows (hat tip: Rosemary).

WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and Tom Coburn are asking the Government Accountability Office to review policies of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency charged with caring for unaccompanied minors crossing the southern U.S. border.

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa and others want answers from the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Good luck!

The senators questioned the ability of the Office of Refugee and Resettlement (ORR) to accommodate the recent influx and how the office has prepared to deal with another surge which the administration suggests could include up to 145,000 more unaccompanied minors.

“The increase in the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border has strained the capacity of ORR and its grantees to provide them with appropriate accommodations and has raised questions about ORR’s management and oversight of the program,” Grassley, Hatch and Coburn wrote.

The senators also raised concerns about the sponsors to whom these unaccompanied minors are being released.

“In addition, concerns have been raised about children who are subsequently released to relatives or other sponsors throughout the country, including how sponsors are screened and monitored while they have custody of the children.  The agency is responsible for the well-being of these children, yet there’s question about whether custodians and grantees are adequately being overseen once a child leaves federal custody,” the senators wrote.

Grassley, Hatch and Coburn are Ranking Members of the Judiciary, Finance and Homeland Security and Government Affairs committees respectively.

Below is a copy of the senators’ request to the Government Accountability Office.  A signed copy of the letter can be found here.

Below is the text of the Senators’ letter, including questions they would like GAO to investigate.  

As long-time readers here know these studies can take months to complete (remember the Lugar study?), and having watched the ORR in action you know they will stall and drag this out for years!  So, don’t hold your breath!

The Honorable Gene L. Dodaro
Comptroller General of the United States
U.S. Government Accountability Office
441 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20548

Dear Comptroller General Dodaro:

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, more than 57,000 children under the age of 18 traveling without an adult were apprehended at the United States’ southwest border between October 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.  This was nearly twice the number apprehended during the same 9-month period a year earlier, and since that time, thousands more have entered through the southern border.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 gave the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsibility for the care and custody of unaccompanied minors without legal immigration status as they await immigration proceedings, and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 expanded HHS’s role in this area.  Within HHS, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is responsible for providing shelter and care to these children through cooperative agreements with non-profit organizations that ORR refers to as grantees.  Grantees house children in a safe and appropriate environment pending either placement with sponsors in the U.S. or return to their home country.

The increase in the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border has strained the capacity of ORR and its grantees to provide them with appropriate accommodations and has raised questions about ORR’s management and oversight of the program. Taxpayer funding has been reprogrammed for the increase in unaccompanied alien minors, and additional funding for fiscal year 2015 has been requested by the administration.  Yet, it’s unclear if a strategy has been formulated to deal with the impending surge in the next fiscal year, which the administration suggests could include up to 145,000 more unaccompanied alien minors.

In addition, concerns have been raised about children who are subsequently released to relatives or other sponsors throughout the country, including how sponsors are screened and monitored while they have custody of the children.  The agency is responsible for the well-being of these children, yet there’s question about whether custodians and grantees are adequately being overseen once a child leaves federal custody.

In light of these issues, we would like to request that GAO examine the following questions:

(1)    What steps has ORR taken to increase its capacity to accommodate unaccompanied alien children, including developing systems to efficiently place children in approved facilities, identifying additional appropriate facilities, and expanding the use of foster care placements?

(2)    How is ORR screening potential sponsors for unaccompanied alien children and ensuring that the agreements sponsors enter into with ORR are complied with?

(3)    How is ORR overseeing and monitoring the placement and care of unaccompanied alien children? Does ORR collaborate with state childcare licensing entities to determine the safety and well-being of children served from their perspective?

(4)    To what extent is ORR collaborating and sharing information with other government entities, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about the whereabouts and well being of children?

(5)    What practices and planning mechanisms does ORR have in place to deal with seasonal migration issues, including predicting spikes and patterns, and planning for emergency situations? Does ORR have written plans in place? What bed capacity does ORR feel is adequate to meet the needs of unaccompanied alien minors protected to migrate to the United States in 2015 and 2016?

(6)    How does ORR vet and then oversee grantees?  What role does cost play in the analysis of applications by grantees?  Would there be any advantages or cost savings if ORR used government contracts rather than grants to fund facilities for unaccompanied alien children?  How much is ORR paying per unaccompanied alien children in both temporary and permanent shelter and has this amount changed in the past five years?  Are grantees abiding by all government requirements?  We believe these questions, along with a detailed breakdown of how ORR grantees are spending this money, would be beneficial.

(7)    What policies – both written and unwritten – does ORR or its grantees have in place that govern access to facilities that house or care for unaccompanied minors?  Are there policies or practices in place that restrict access by the public or by members of Congress, and to what extent are they followed?

(8)    To what extent is ORR or its grantees collaborating with communities where children are being placed to ensure that communities can prepare for placements and children have access to appropriate supports?

Thank you for your attention to this request.  If you have any additional questions, please contact our staff: Kathy Nuebel (Senator Grassley), Becky Shipp (Senator Hatch) or Dan Lips (Senator Coburn).

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley
Ranking Member
Senate Judiciary Committee

Orrin Hatch
Ranking Member
Senate Finance Committee

Tom Coburn
Ranking Member
Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee

For new readers, former Senator Richard Lugar asked for (and got) a GAO study on the refugee program a few years ago.

From start to finish the report took two years to complete!  It was requested in July 2010 and was published July 2012 and sits on a shelf somewhere.

His big concern then was the impact on communities that were being loaded up with refugees with little or no warning or consultation with Washington.  You can review the study here, but I never saw it have any impact (other than some negative press for the program).   It never resulted in any Congressional action or reform—no hearings, no review of the law, no nothing.

Meanwhile the “children” are escaping, stealing cars and scaring senior citizens, here.

All of our coverage of ‘unaccompanied minors’ is here.

Posted in Immigration fraud, Refugee Resettlement Program | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

“Children” escape Catholic facility and carjack two cars one belonging to 91-year-old veteran

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 10, 2014

Update October 11Check this story in which the reporter actually refers to the illegal alien children as “refugees.”  They are NOT refugees yet, that is what the No borders agitators want them to be.

It was just a matter of time before the violent crimes got underway and the Office of Refugee Resettlement now has to review security in 139 facilities scattered across America.  Ho hum….

I guess Sister Cathy has her hands full. Check out Maryville Academy, here: http://www.maryvilleacademy.org/

From the Daily Mail (thanks to all of our readers who sent it).  The “vulnerable” children were just seeking asylum from crime in Guatemala.  Remember also that ol’ Rahm Emanuel asked for a thousand of the little darlings!

Two teenage asylum seekers from Guatemala have escaped a detention center in Illinois and carjacked a 91-year-old Navy veteran.

The incident has prompted the federal government to order a security review at all 139 shelters across the country that house illegal immigrant minors, MailOnline can exclusively reveal.

The boys, age 16 and 17, were able to walk away unchallenged from Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, Illinois, outside Chicago, on Wednesday morning and carjack two victims before they were arrested more than 225 miles away outside Iowa City, Iowa, according to authorities.

Police say they targeted an elderly man in Moline, Illinois, who was picking up his prescription at Walmart.

They threatened him with violence, forced him out of his car and then sped off with his Buick LeSabre.

[….]

More than 60,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America have poured across the US-Mexico border in recent months and claimed asylum, saying they were fleeing the drug cartel violence in their impoverished home countries.

The federal government is spending $868 million this year to house and resettle them.

Read it all.  There is lots more detail than you will get from the America press!

Here (in July) the Archdiocese of Chicago asked to be given federal bucks to house a bunch of the ‘Unaccompanied alien children’ at Maryville.

Lawrenceville could have been Maryville.

Lawrenceville, Virginia dodged a bullet when citizens protested a similar facility in a local college.  The feds are now being sued for racism because they backed out of the deal.

I should have posted the story earlier, but here it is at Frontpage Magazine:

Last June, community outrage forced the federal government to cancel plans to house hundreds of illegal alien children at a closed college in Lawrenceville, VA. A complaint filed by St. Paul’s College and nonprofit Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) of Virginia with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) alleges the move was racially motivated. Both entities also filed a separate complaint against the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) for canceling the lease, citing another alleged violation of anti-discrimination laws. “No one should block someone’s housing opportunity based on race or national origin,” said Helen O’Beirne Hardiman, fair housing director for HOME. “It’s unfair, and it’s completely illegal for government officials to step in to a private deal and say we don’t want Central American children coming to this community.”

I don’t get how this is a “private” deal when it’s all about federal grants and contracts.

Read it all.  It is all about the money.

For all of our coverage on ‘Unaccompanied minors’ including the role of the Catholic Church in the whole mess, click here.

Posted in Asylum seekers, Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Immigration fraud, Refugee Resettlement Program, So what did they expect?, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

RRW week in review for week ending October 10th

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 10, 2014

For new readers, we occasionally highlight at the end of the week the top posts for the week and the top countries from which readers arrive at RRW.  Previous reports like this one are archived in our blogging category.

For this week the top posts are:

1) Our fact sheet (always in the top three)

2)  Fiscal Year 2014 Wrap-up

3) Norway deports Somalis, but Somali government refuses to take them

For daily top posts see our right hand side bar.

Here are the top countries from which readers arrived at RRW this week (in descending order).  Of course, we exclude the US which is naturally always #1:

Canada

Australia

United Kingdom

Germany

Lebanon (new this week)

Ireland (new this week)

France

Norway

Netherlands

India

We have written 5,996 posts to date so the best way to find information here is to use the categories, tags or to use a couple of key words in our search window!

If you are a new reader, consider subscribing or follow us on twitter (@refugeewatcher) or facebook (RefugeeInfoResource).  ‘Like us’ on facebook!

And apologies to all who e-mail and comment, sorry if I don’t respond much, there are just not enough hours in my day!

It occurs to me that I do see everyone’s comments to posts because we do screen them (no foul language, no threats), so if you have something you want me to see, I don’t at all mind if you send the link as a comment to a post, even if it’s off-topic.

To regular readers, thank you for your continued concern for this very important issue.  And, sorry for the repetition sometimes, but there are new people joining us every day who know nothing about this complex program aimed at moving third-worlders to Western countries.

Posted in blogging, Refugee Resettlement Program | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

What is trending in Syrian refugee news today?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 10, 2014

Our Syrian refugee alerts are overflowing as usual, so I thought perhaps I should occasionally report the hottest issues. Here are a few stories today:

President Jose Mujica greeted the refugees in person after their two-day journey. The Uruguayan resettlement plan is unprecedented in Latin America. http://omnifeed.com/article/www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-29561681

First, the possible fall of Kobani to ISIS is sending the biggest tidal wave of refugees toward Turkey (which will surely further destabilize that country).

From Syria Deeply entitled:  ‘180,000 Refugees from Kobani Mark the Biggest Displacement in the Biggest Refugee Crisis, Ever’

Since the ISIS advance on Kobani, the Turkish government and aid agencies have been struggling to respond to the influx of more than 180,000 Syrian refugees into southern Turkey

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the Syrian Kurdish border town of Kobani was “about to fall to ISIS.” Since the advance on Kobani, the Turkish government and aid agencies have been struggling to respond to the influx of more than 180,000 Syrian refugees into southern Turkey. The sudden, massive flow of refugees fleeing ISIS is the largest displacement in the Syrian conflict.

Humanitarian groups project that there will be 3.59 million Syrian refugees by December 2014, with annual budget requirements of US$3.74 billion (56% of which remains unfunded). For UNHCR, the Syria operation is now the largest in its 64-year history.

 Just a reminder for new readers, the US State Department says we are going to take thousands of refugees from Turkey, here.

The UNHCR wants foreign aid for Greece so it can cope with Syrian and Somali migrants arriving by the thousands

From All Africa:

UNHCR officials in Greece called for the European Union countries to support Greece as many refugees are in that country.

Joorjoos Tasabobulos is UNHCR official in Greece. He said the number of fleeing refugees coming to the Greek islands of Agenee K/bari, Agen and Dodeshense is on the increase. He said in the first eight months of this year, 22,089 refugees of which 65% are Syrians have arrived there whereas other refugees included Somalis, Eritreans and Afghans.

Elsewhere refugees numbering 140,000 from Somalia, Eritrea, Syria and Sudan arrived in Italy but Italy lacks resources to manage them.

See our series on the ‘invasion of Europe’ by clicking here.

Uruguay takes Syrian refugees.

You would think this was the most important item in the Syrian refugee news today based on the number of stories the news has generated.

From the BBC:

A small number of Syrian refugees have arrived in Uruguay from Lebanon.

Forty-two refugees, belonging to five families, were greeted on arrival by the Uruguayan President, Jose Mujica.

They will spend two months in accommodation near the capital Montevideo where they will learn Spanish and attend classes on local customs.***

Other Latin American countries have taken Syrians in but Uruguay is the first to assume all resettlement costs.

Officials say the two-year resettlement programme will cost Uruguay around $3m (£1.9m).

They say the adults have already been guaranteed jobs and the children have places in local school. A second group is due to arrive next year.

*** Note this huge difference in how these refugees will be assimilated—in a center for a few months to learn the language and customs!  In the US they are just deposited in cities and urged to be on their own, to be “self-sufficient” in three months.

Click here for all Syrian refugee posts archived at RRW.

Posted in Africa, Asylum seekers, Europe, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on What is trending in Syrian refugee news today?

 
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