Michigan: Overloaded with Iraqi refugees, keeps state in top five resettlement states in the nation
Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 21, 2015
Two nights ago I spoke with a group in Michigan—Southeast Michigan 912 Tea Party— and in advance did some digging into the data bases to see how the state was doing. I was shocked to discover that over 18,000 Iraqis (among other refugees) have been resettled there since 2005.
Indeed in the last ten years, 29,141 refugees were resettled in Michigan and 18,505 were Iraqis.
I wondered what had happened to the US State Department’s 2008 ‘decision’ to slow the flow to Michigan?
Here is a headline and story from the Detroit News in October of 2008:
Iraqi refugees overwhelm Michigan relief program
Michigan’s economy is so bad that the State Department is sending fewer Iraqi refugees to the area because of concerns that their future would not be bright. [Never mind your future!—ed]
After a request by relief workers, the policy of bringing Iraqis to metro Detroit if relatives or friends live in the area was changed to allow only those with immediate family to settle here, according to the State Department.
“The State Department has taken the measure of things and decided it would be better to send them somewhere else, where they might be self-sufficient, instead of coming to Michigan, because the economy is very bad here, and we have the highest unemployment in the country,” Belmin Pinjic of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan said.
State Department officials said the policy change was implemented in late June partly because relief workers were having difficulty finding the refugees jobs.
But, see here, just a couple of months ago—despite high unemployment, refugees are still being poured into the state. And, then most recently of course we reported that a dumb idea was floated by the New York Times to resettle 50,000 Syrians (mostly Muslim) refugees in Detroit. How did we go from (2008) too many refugees would strain the economy, to 2015—refugees will cause the economy to recover?
Kentucky Iraqi terrorist bust slowed the flow slightly in 2011
As I searched the data bases I noted that there was never actually any slow down in the number of refugees resettled in Michigan despite the 2008 promise by the US State Department to do so.
There was a noticeable drop in Iraqis in 2011, but LOL! that was because the US State Department and Homeland Security discovered they had admitted at least two Iraqi refugee terrorists (caught in Kentucky—oopsy!) and thus security re-screening slowed the flow that year.
Here is what I learned about the number of refugees arriving in Michigan.
Of the total refugee load since 2005 (29,141), Iraqis topped the list by far at 18,505. Previous research concludes that about 3/4th of all Iraqis entering the US are Muslims. Religious minorities make up the other 1/4th.
After the Iraqis, the next too ethnic groups are Burmese (4,261) and Somalis (1,431). Of the 800 or so Syrians resettled so far in the US, 49 went to Michigan. The Somalis were mostly resettled in Lansing and Grand Rapids.
Then this really surprised me—Iraqis were resettled (“seeded”) in 98 towns in Michigan!
Here are the top ten Iraqi resettlement cities in the state (since 2005):
Sterling Heights (3,860)
Madison Heights (947)
West Bloomfield (554)
Ann Arbor (297)
Six of the top nine federal resettlement contractors are operating in Michigan (falling all over themselves!). They are: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (we bring only a tiny handful of Jews to the US as refugees, so they are resettling large numbers of Muslims, go figure!), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Church World Service, Episcopal Migration Ministries, and the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Find their office contact information here.
Readers, remember two things. First there is “secondary migration” (here page nine) which means that in refugee resettlement lingo, refugees move within states and from state to state after initial resettlement. And, secondly, there are other LEGAL immigration programs that are bringing refugees from the third-world, and from terror hotspots, to America. I’m going to write about one of those this morning—the Diversity Visa lottery. So, it becomes very difficult to get a really good idea of who is living next door!
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