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Archive for November 2nd, 2014

New Somalis arrive in Minneapolis in droves after 2008 dip; end up in homeless shelters

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 2, 2014

I didn’t mean to make this Somali Sunday but here are our two other posts just this morning (here and here) on the impact of Somalis arriving in extremely large numbers in the US right now as part of the Obama Administration’s increasing focus on Somali refugees (Syrian and Iraqi Muslims feature prominently too).

This is some really good reporting at the Minneapolis Star Tribune yesterday by reporter MILA KOUMPILOVA .  Hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’

As I began reading the news, I was expecting to see no information about why the Somali pipeline to America came to a grinding halt in 2008—the discovery that a large number (thousands) of Somalis had lied on their application to come to America to join family members who were found to be not related at all to the applicants. 

I am happy to report it is all here.

US State Department: We want them to stay where we have allocated money through a contractor for them. They want to be with their own people in Minnesota. Nevertheless, we will keep bringing them in! Photo: http://www.c-span.org/video/?309771-1/terrorists-refugee-programs

The article also sheds light on how Somalis resettled in other cities are hightailing-it to Minneapolis to be with their own kind of people (something we would be vilified for should we admit we want to be with our own kind of people).

As they move too quickly to Minnesota they leave behind their financial support (welfare set-up) that comes through the original refugee resettlement contractor.

We won’t be able to highlight as much of this as we would like, because it is jam-packed with information, but here are a few nuggets that interested me.  Be sure to read the whole article yourself!

Star Tribune (emphasis mine) setting the stage:

A week af­ter the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment re­set­tled them in Con­nec­ti­cut this sum­mer, Nur Ali and his wife, Mahado Mo­ha­med, had de­cid­ed: They were mov­ing to Minnesota.  [Lucky Connecticut!—ed]

Tales of the state’s large So­ma­li com­muni­ty had in­trigued them back in the Ken­yan ref­u­gee camp where they had mar­ried and had five chil­dren. Now, a So­ma­li man they met in Hartford told them all re­cent ar­ri­vals head to Minnesota, home of “Little Moga­dis­hu.”

After a major dip in 2008, the year­ly num­bers of new So­ma­li refu­gees in Minnesota have re­bounded stead­i­ly. The num­ber of So­malis re­set­tled in the state has more than trip­led in four years. As resettlements nationally have picked up, more So­malis are also arriving here after brief stints in other states — often trading early support from resettlement agencies for the company of more fellow Somalis.

“You tend to go some­where you can con­nect,” said Mo­ha­mud Noor, the head of the Con­fed­er­a­tion of So­ma­li Community in Minnesota. “Be­fore peo­ple even ar­rive from Af­ri­ca, they know they are com­ing to Minnesota.”

But without the Twin Cities family ties of earlier arrivals, these newcomers often can’t lean as heavily on longer-term Somali residents. Mary’s Place, a Minneapolis home­less shel­ter, has be­come ground zero for fami­lies like Ali and Mo­ha­med’s. Somali participation in the state’s public food assistance program doubled in the past five years. Meanwhile, the Minneapolis School District, its So­ma­li stu­dent en­roll­ment up 70 percent since 2011, launched eight class­rooms with in­struc­tion in both Eng­lish and So­ma­li to help new­comers catch up.   [So who pays for all this?—you do!—ed]

State Department discovers massive fraud in family reunification program for Somalis!

Ali and Mohamed are part of a new wave of Somali refugees. Until 2008, the state resettled only refugees reuniting with family here.

But that year, DNA tests showed only about 20 percent of ap­pli­cants in a ref­u­gee fam­i­ly re­u­ni­fi­ca­tion program, most of them from Af­ri­ca, were ac­tu­al­ly re­lated to their stateside sponsors. The program was sus­pend­ed, even as So­malis ar­gued a broad­er defi­ni­tion of fam­i­ly was as much a factor as fraud. The num­ber of new So­ma­li ar­ri­vals plum­met­ed, from a high of more than 3,200 in 2006 to 180 in 2009.

Mean­while, more strin­gent back­ground checks for refu­gees in 2010 snarled the ap­pli­ca­tion proc­ess. Lar­ry Bart­lett, the U.S. Ref­u­gee Ad­mis­sions program di­rec­tor, says the stream­lin­ing of se­curi­ty checks since and the re­sump­tion of the fam­i­ly re­u­ni­fi­ca­tion program in 2012 led to the re­cent in­crease in So­ma­li ar­ri­vals — a trend he ex­pects to con­tin­ue in the next few years.

Somalis move even though their benefits don’t follow!

When these refugees move too soon after arriving in a different state, they get cut off from resettlement agencies there responsible for finding homes and jobs for them. Noor, whose group tries to assist newcomers with navigating the transition, says the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment needs to do more to dis­cour­age this early migration. At the U.S. State Department, Bart­lett says staff members strive to honor refu­gees’ host city pref­er­ence. Some refu­gees even sign a docu­ment af­firm­ing they are going to the city where they want to stay.

“The prob­lem with mov­ing quick­ly is that the bene­fits don’t al­ways fol­low you,” Bart­lett said. “We re­al­ly try to im­press that upon them.”  [So, does the contractor still get its cut of each refugee’s allocation?—ed]

 Read it all!

Who is responsible for the Somali mess in Minnesota besides the aforementioned US State Department?  Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Charities, and World Relief Minnesota.   See one of our top posts (from 2011) of all time here.

Minnesota readers should be sure to save this important and informative story.

Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

US Census figures way off for Somali population in the US?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 2, 2014

A comment on one of those discussion boards just caught my eye—the statement was that Somalis are the least educated of the African immigrants living in America.  I laughed out loud when I considered how clever they are at schemes to benefit themselves—like the housing voucher scheme in Cheyenne I just wrote about.  Who needs a formal education when you know how to make it without working too hard.

The discussion thread led to this story about the US Census Bureau report from early October about the African population in America which included this graph:

 

I went to have a look at the Census report and followed a link to this information: The Census Bureau says that 76,205 Somali immigrants live in America.  See Report and Supplemental tables here.

However, we have documented almost 120,000 admitted in the Refugee Resettlement Program alone, click here for that data. Our data doesn’t include all those who are here through other legal immigration programs or those who have entered illegally.

LOL! We know a bunch have left the country to join jihadists but not enough to account for that great a difference.

So, why the discrepancy?  Did the Census Bureau not find about 45,000 or more of them?

Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Other Immigration, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Where to find information | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

So why are those Somalis moving to Cheyenne, WY? Prepare to be shocked

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 2, 2014

Update November 17th:  Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) reports on Wyoming, here.  Washington, DC immigration lawyer whacks Wyomingites for not “welcoming” refugees.

It’s not for the jobs and the wide open spaces (or blanket-making lessons)!

They are going there to get subsidized Section 8 housing vouchers to take to another state!

***Update***  This post went through the roof yesterday, please help spread it further by sending to your lists, facebook friends and tweet it!

This is an incredible story and a great find by reader ‘pungentpeppers!’ After seven years of writing this blog I had no idea this was happening.

(See our earlier posts here and here about Somalis in Cheyenne.)

This is an NPR radio report at KQED that aired this past Wednesday. Here is the astounding transcript (but be sure to listen to the 3 minute story):

(Emphasis below is mine)

In the last few years demand for public housing assistance across the country has skyrocketed, while congressional funding has stayed flat

Cheyenne Housing Authority Director Mike Stanfield: That housing money was meant for local people.

Right now federal funds covers less than a fourth of families in the United States eligible for a Section 8 housing voucher. Waitlists for voucher in big cities are often years long, if not closed all together. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan reports that made small cities like Cheyenne more attractive to those seeking housing aid, because of shorter wait times.

Tuesday night is when Cheyenne’s Somali community gets together at the Free Evangelical Church to catch up and socialize. Its usually busy but tonight is packed: church volunteers have subbed out the regular english classes for a special lesson in blanket making. (Yeh, who needs English anyway—ed)

Cheyenne’s Somali population has grown rapidly in the last couple of years. That’s surprising because Wyoming doesn’t have an official refugee resettlement program, and most jobs around here require fluent English.

But Cheyenne has one really big draw: housing assistance.

Faiso Abdi moved to Cheyenne last year. She says she was happy living in Greeley Colorado, but she couldn’t even get on the waitlist for that city’s section 8 housing voucher program.

“The real problem is that people are desperate for the housing subsidy and they are willing to do almost anything to get one.”

Cheyenne’s voucher wait list runs almost a year, but many bigger cities like Greeley have simply stopped accepting new applicants entirely. But here’s the thing: getting your housing voucher in Cheyenne doesn’t mean you have to use it there. Organizer Gretchen Carlson says what’s called “portability” is a big draw.

“There are quite a few of them that have already lived here one year and then have moved elsewhere. But they lived here for one year in order to get that voucher.”

Housing voucher money is distributed city by city, but it all comes from the Feds, and they say that every housing voucher eventually has to become portable, or transferrable to any city in the US. Cities can decide whether to let you port your voucher immediately or require you to wait a year. So if you can’t get a housing voucher in say, Denver, you can get one in Cheyenne and, a year later, take it with you back to Denver.

“The frustration is that pot of money was provided to address housing needs here in Wyoming.”

That’s Mike Stanfield, Executive Director of the Cheyenne Housing Authority. When people take vouchers out of Cheyenne the receiving housing authority can chose to absorb the cost or keep billing Cheyenne. Stanfield says lately Cheyenne has been footing the bill more and more often. And while the average cost for a Cheyenne voucher is only about 400 dollars.

“The average cost for a ported voucher that moves somewhere else is 733 dollars.”

Now Cheyenne Housing Authority oversees about 1700 vouchers, with another 1400 families on the waitlist. Only about 70 voucher are currently ported out. Stanfield says that may not seem like much, but there are Cheyenne families on the waiting list who need help now.

“And when they are told that waiting list is 12 to 18 months that is almost beyond comprehension for those families. They are struggling trying to get to tomorrow. Let alone 18 months from now.”

Susan Popkin is a Fellow at the Urban Institute. She says portability is not a problem.

“The real problem is that people are desperate for the housing subsidy and they are willing to do almost anything to get one.”

Popkin says portability is a vital part of the system: it means families don’t have to pass up a better job somewhere else just to keep their housing. She says what’s happening in Cheyenne is a just one symptom of the overwhelming need for housing help across the United States.

“Things that used to be ‘oh well, we can handle it’ ten, fifteen years ago–they just they can’t anymore.”

In Cheyenne Housing Authority Director Mike Stanfield has decided he can’t handle the outflow of housing funds anymore. Recently he began a policy of giving preference for housing vouchers to Cheyenne locals.

Wait for it!  Can we expect CAIR to ride to the rescue of the Somali Muslims in Cheyenne?

See all of our coverage of the conflict involving Governor Matt Mead going on for a year now about whether Wyoming should become the last state in the nation to directly “welcome” the third world to come on in—our welfare is great!

And, those resettlement contractors dare to tell us that refugees bring economic benefits to communities when, in fact, they are taking from American low income people!

An afterthought:  I bet Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains helped them take advantage of Wyoming!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Stealth Jihad, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 17 Comments »

 
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