Ten things your town needs to know when (if!) “welcoming” refugees for the first time
Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 11, 2015
As we have been writing ad nauseam lately, the Obama Administration is now out of the shadows with its plan to “seed” towns and cities across America with diversity.
‘Seed’ is their word! Your community is the soil into which the migrants of all sorts (legal and illegal) are being planted according to Obama’s Task Force on New Americans. It begs the questions: Are we being colonized? Do they plan to replace us some day? Sound far-fetched? Knowing Obama, are you willing to gamble on that?
We have long maintained a ‘fact sheet’ about how the UN/US State Department’s Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Program works, click here to learn more.
But, I realized yesterday, while thinking about the newest proposed seed community*** in Rep. Trey Gowdy’s backyard in Spartanburg, SC, that we needed a quick primer on what elected officials and citizens should know if they are being pressured to ‘welcome the stranger‘ (this guilt-tripping language is one way they pressure your town!).
So here are my Ten Things you need to know!
1) In most cases, the United Nations is choosing our refugees. Topping the list right now are Iraqis, Burmese, Congolese, Somalis and Bhutanese. The UN is pressuring the US to take a large number, 10,000 or so, Syrians. We are bringing in refugees from countries which hate us. Your town does not get to choose who you get! You will receive racially, culturally and religiously diverse people, usually very different from your local population and very different from each other. That old ‘melting pot’ concept is dead because the numbers are too high.
2) Often the US State Department’s chosen resettlement contractor for your town, sounds like a church group, or other benign-sounding non-profit. They may have a religious-sounding name, but know that they are being paid by the head from the federal treasury to bring refugees to your town. It is not the case that they are passing a plate on Sunday morning to pay for this very expensive program. Here are the nine major contractors which have 350 subcontractors working for them (headquartered in over 180 cities so far).
3) The contractor’s job is to get the refugee family their “services.” That means they hold the refugees’ hands until they are settled usually in tax-payer subsidized housing, get them signed up for most forms of welfare including food stamps and other cash assistance, sign them up for health care and enroll the kids in school. This special class of legal immigrant is entitled to welfare! The contractor is also paid with your tax dollars to give refugees job counseling and training. The contractor may also be working closely with some big business (and the Chamber of Commerce) nearby which is looking for cheap labor.
4) The contractor’s job ends in 3-6 months at which point they move on to bringing in the next fresh group of “clients,” often the relatives of the first group. Earlier, and still struggling, refugees are left in the care of your social services department. At this point the contractors are entrenched in your town and will call you racists, rednecks and xenophobes if your citizens want to slow the flow.
5) Your town will never get out of the program once the contractor has an office set up and staff to pay. Many cities are trying to get out now and can’t: Manchester, NH, Springfield and Lynn, Mass, Amarillo, TX come to mind. Because there have developed “pockets of resistance” (their words), the State Department is desperately out scouting for fresh territory.
6) The greatest impact on your local social and economic welfare will be felt first in the school system, followed usually by the shortage of government subsidized housing. Your school system may end up with 50 or more languages represented in the student population. The number-one language of refugees entering the US right now is Arabic, Somali is number four.
7) Refugees are permitted entry into the US with HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis among other medical problems. Physical and mental health challenges will most likely overburden your local health department.
8) Your local government is responsible (Clinton-era Executive Order) for providing costly interpreters for the myriad languages being spoken in the school system, the health system and the criminal justice system should problems arise.
9) Refugees who do find work, work at entry level jobs and minimum wage so they will still be able to benefit from many welfare programs open to low-income Americans. Elder refugees are eligible for SSI. The refugees are Legal Permanent Residents and can begin the citizenship process quickly.
10) If they say they are coming to your town with the first group of refugees, there is only one thing you can do! ASK QUESTIONS IN PUBLIC. Demand that your elected officials get involved. Demand that a community meeting be held, for the US State Department, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (in HHS), your state refugee office (if there is one) and their contractors, to answer questions from the citizens of the town or city. Get your Member of Congress and US Senators involved too! Don’t forget your state legislators! The State Department and its contractors HATE to answer questions! Tell your local elected officials you want a public hearing! Tell your elected officials that you want the federal government and its contractors to provide a plan!
You want them to answer questions such as these below.
Remember you have every right to know what is being planned for your town. They will bully you, call you names and say you can’t stop them anyway, but refuse to be bullied!
Demand answers (in public)!
Who is coming? From where and how many?
Will they stop the resettlement if the town is becoming economically or socially stressed?
What security and health screening have the refugees undergone?
How many will come each year?
Who is paying for their health care?
Who is paying to educate the children who don’t speak English and may never have attended school?
Does your town have an adequate supply of government-supported housing? Will demands for housing crowd out American elderly, poor or disabled citizens?
Where will they work? Do we have high unemployment already?
I’m sure you can think of others. After getting answers (good luck!) and having a vigorous public discussion, then your town can decide based on all the facts whether you will eagerly “welcome” New Americans to your community, or not.
Endnote: There are other refugee experts in the country, so let me know if I’m missing anything here and I’ll add it!
Update!!! Call this #11: an experienced researcher just reminded me that concerned citizens must form a citizens’ group to research the structure of the program in your state to obtain the FISCAL and legal facts about the program as the structure can vary from state to state.
*** This post (on Spartanburg) brought in the highest number of readers we have ever had for one post over a brief two days! P.S. I will be in South Carolina this coming weekend, here.
An afterthought: If you should get a public meeting/hearing be sure to educate yourselves on the Delphi Technique, a strategy often used by government agencies wishing to control the outcome of a meeting. Go here to see what Judy said about it in advance of the public meeting held in Hagerstown, MD in September 2007.
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