That phrase is a favorite one of a longtime critic of the refugee resettlement process as it is now administered in the US—bidding for bodies. Catchy isn’t it!
Yesterday we were alerted to yet another editorial*** at MagicValley.com which has heretofore demonstrated a bias in favor of more refugees for Twin Falls. The editorial basically asks, what is the big deal with the R & P Abstract?
Before I get to the editorial, here is a little background. Each year the resettlement contractor working in your town or city prepares a report (a proposal of sorts) called an Abstract that is used to get its federal funding. It says how many refugees your town (in their opinion) can accommodate and from what regions of the world they might come. It also contains a text portion that explains why your town would be ideal—describing what “services” you have available.
We contend that citizens are entitled to this document in advance of it being sent to Washington for funding and that you should have some say about the “capacity” of your town to ‘welcome’ more third worlders. However, it has been extremely difficult to even get copies of those from this year (FY2015) which ends in just about 7 weeks. Indeed the citizens of Twin Falls were only able to get the 2014 document through a public information request. The paper also needed to obtain one through the same means (they confirm in the editorial). You can be sure the subcontractor, CSI Refugee Center, wasn’t handing them out without legal pressure!
Contractors: Do not give out the Abstracts!
Thanks to inside sources we learned recently that the subcontractors working in these cities had been instructed (by their primary contractor) to NOT give any Abstracts out to citizens who called looking for them.
So, if the Abstracts are so ho-hum and uninformative as this editorial implies, why the secrecy?
Unfortunately, you may not be able to use a public information request (as did the citizens of Twin Falls) to get yours because some of the subcontractors are non-profits completely on their own (other than receiving $$$ from Washington). I’m guessing this one in Twin Falls was obtainable because CSI (the subcontractor) is intimately/financially entwined with the College of Southern Idaho—a state college.
Long story to get to my main point today!
Look at this paragraph in MagicValley’s editorial:
The group filed a public records request seeking the CSI abstract being prepared for next year – and was denied. Not because CSI is trying to cover something up, but because the document is still being processed, and disclosing it now would amount to sharing trade secrets, since each refugee center around the country competes for resources through the federal resettling program.
Trade secrets! Can you have trade secrets from the taxpayer?
What the heck! This isn’t a private business that needs to understandably protect itself in a contract bidding process. This is a non-profit group competing with another non-profit group for YOUR money—the “resources” of the federal treasury!
These contractors and subcontractors are paid by the head (by you!) to resettle refugees—they are indeed bidding for bodies and here we get confirmation that you can’t know what they plan for your town while you pay for the whole thing!
We, in Twin Falls, have amenities to offer including a TB Clinic!
And, although the great minds at MagicValley.com want to downplay (sneer at) your interest in the Abstract, I found it pretty informative and I don’t even live there. For example, read the text and see what Twin Falls is offering in the bidding war with other subcontractors/contractors around the US.
Here, for instance, I learned this: CSI promotes the fact that Twin Falls has a cracker-jack medical system including a Tuberculosis Clinic! Wow! So that means Twin Falls can take a bunch of the refugees entering the US with TB (yes, they are permitted entry!) while some other town can’t.
Twin Falls is home to an adult tertiary care hospital, a tuberculosis clinic, a renal dialysis clinic, and a dental clinic. Clients can also access transplant and rehabilitation services.
Guess who pays for all of that medical care for refugees?
Every bit of this is about money (humanitarian mumbo-jumbo is the cover). Now the trick will be to figure out who in Idaho benefits the most!
*** In a previous editorial they called me a “thief!”
Endnote: I have another post in the works on Idaho for today besides this one and my previous one about the conviction of Idaho’s refugee terrorist, so come back later!