With added Syrian numbers, are cities and states prepared to help pay for more refugees?
Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 1, 2015
That is not exactly the title of this excellent article at, of all places, the Huffington Post, but it’s my version of it! I’m actually blown away that Pew Charitable Trust’s Stateline news service has really dug into how the Refugee Admissions Program works. It confirms some things we knew, but that I had not seen so clearly revealed in print before.
Although it does skew toward advocating more resettlement to America (what else from a very far left foundation), someone did a lot of work. All of you in ‘Pockets of Resistance’ must read this whole article!
By the way, decades ago I knew something about the environmental hard left and property rights, and at that time Pew infamously began a propaganda campaign called the ‘Greening of the Churches.’ It was a strategy they knew that they needed in order to advance the cause of environmental fascism—they had to infiltrate the churches with the green (global warming etc.) message so good churchgoing people would carry their message. I digress, but that is my first encounter with Pew. So, I’m a bit surprised at how useful this article will be to you!
The article, besides some very useful information on how the program works, basically gives us the road map for slowing the flow—if the federal government does not have enough money appropriated for refugee resettlement (aka colonization), they can’t bring in large numbers of refugees for your town and state to care for.
Only problem (and it is a big one!) is that our do-nothing House of Representatives is too chicken to use their power of the purse.
From the Huffington Post (emphasis is mine):
The U.S. plans to increase the number of refugees it takes from 70,000 to 100,000 over the next two years. New York, Los Angeles and 16 other cities have urged President Barack Obama to accept even more refugees from Syria.
But is the country—along with the aid groups that help in resettlement and local communities that receive refugees—ready for an increase in arrivals? And where will the new arrivals go?
The increase could strain America’s sprawling refugee admissions program, a partnership between the federal government, international organizations like the United Nations, nine national nonprofits and their hundreds of local affiliates.
Cities and states may need to spend more money on social services for refugees, particularly if Congress doesn’t approve additional federal funding for resettlement.
The nine non-governmental (unelected) federal contractors meet every week in northern Virginia to decide the fate of your town.
Parceling out tens of thousands of refugees to U.S. communities takes advance planning. Each week, representatives of the nine nonprofit groups meet in the Rosslyn, Virginia, offices of the Refugee Processing Center, a State Department contractor. Some groups attend via conference call.
Staffers sit around a table and review a thick packet of refugee case files. The files contain the addresses of any family members the refugee wants to join in the U.S., medical information and other personal data. The nine staffers then talk through the cases and match each refugee (or refugee family) with a city and a local nonprofit that can help them adjust to new lives in America.
To decide how many refugees to send to, say, Allentown, Pennsylvania, each year, the State Department considers how many people local nonprofits say they can resettle there. Philadelphia-based Lutheran Children and Family Service (LCFS) settled between 100 and 200 refugees in Allentown, Lancaster and Philadelphia this year; Allentown’s allotment included 39 Syrians.
Pay attention Wyoming! Governor Mead has been misinformed. He says that the refugees won’t cost the taxpayers of Wyoming anything! See his preposterous statement here back in July.*** This Pew article (below) tells us why he is wrong and is thus misleading Wyomingites.
Every state except Wyoming has a partnership with the federal government and local nonprofits to provide aid to refugees (and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, has supported starting such a resettlement program).
Although cities and states have the opportunity to weigh in on the resettlement process, they don’t have much control over how many refugees are settled where. “We really don’t have any say, to be honest with you,” said Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, a Democrat.
The big national nonprofits that select and resettle refugees have called for the U.S. to help even more people: 200,000 refugees in fiscal 2016, including 100,000 from Syria.
The federal government spends a lot of money processing refugees overseas and then helping them to resettle. The State Department spent over $3 billion to assist and process refugees overseas in fiscal 2015 (including through grants to the U.N.) and to settle refugees in the U.S. (through grants to the nine nonprofits). [$3 billion for the resettlement alone, not including welfare is much higher than we knew—-ed]
The $1,975 per refugee local nonprofits receive from the State Department covers 30 to 90 days of furnished housing, help buying food and clothing, and a case manager who can shepherd refugees through what can be bewildering first days in their new country, including tasks like applying for a Social Security card.
The Pew author fails to tell readers that upwards of half of that $1,975 goes to the resettlement contractor.
For all of you being told that the resettlement being decided for your town or state by NINE PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS (not elected by you) will cost local and state taxpayers nothing, read this!
Remember readers, this is Pew saying this, not RRW!
Federal aid doesn’t cover everything. “Refugees would never be able to resettle based on what’s available in the refugee resettlement pot of funding,” said Charles Shipman, state refugee coordinator for Arizona.
Private donations bolster the services local nonprofits provide [private donations are minimal and usually involve junk furniture and clothes contributions.—ed]. And states and local communities help pick up the tab, too, because refugees—who arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs—are immediately eligible for mainstream benefit programs like food stamps, Medicaid and cash assistance for low-income families. States play a role in funding some of those programs.
When the refugee resettlement program began, in 1980, the federal government reimbursed states for providing cash assistance, Medicaid and supplemental Social Security benefits to refugees for their first three years in the country, said Ann Morse of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Now, the federal government only repays states for one service: providing eight months of cash and medical assistance to childless refugee couples or single adults, who don’t qualify for family-based benefits.
***Here are Wyoming REPUBLICAN Governor Matt Mead’s exact words back in July (click here).
The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees “pay 100 percent of the costs of refugee resettlement for many years. It’s not like we’re going to get stuck with an unfunded mandate,” he said…
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