Refugee Resettlement Watch

Myth: Refugees get free cars explained; not free, but taxpayer subsidized

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 4, 2015

Update November 5:  A reader tells us there is a way for refugees to get cars free (besides the IDA method below).  If others of you have more information on how these ‘deals’ work, please let us know:

The most common route to a “free car” is through the Match Grant program – and yes this does provide a free used car to the refugee and cash to the contractor. The way it works is john Q public (or a dealer) donates his car to the Match Grant program. The contractor (Volag) gives the car to the refugee and, at the same time, presents a bill to the ORR Match Grant program . ORR Match Grant pays cash to the contractor (Volag) for 90% of the claimed value of the donated car. I am not exactly sure of the 90% – it is always changing and always getting better and better for the contractor (Volag).By now it could 100% of the claimed value. At any rate, the U.S. treasury takes 2 hits: one for the guy who writes off the donation on this tax returns and one for the pay out to the contractor (Volag).

One more mention of North Dakota and then I have to do a  whole bunch of other things (I expect posting may be sporadic in the coming days).

Close up shot of Uncle Sam holding pink piggy bank

Yes, the federal government runs a piggy bank for refugees and cars are one of the permitted goals for the special savings account. The resettlement contractors manage the money.

When we told you about the myth-buster meeting in Fargo earlier this morning, here, one line in the news account jumped out at me (one of several), but I want to tell you a bit about this one:

She added that refugees are not given free cars. “They get, at most, a four-month bus pass,” she said.

For years I’ve been seeing the “free cars” line.  There really is an explanation to it, but because whoever asked about it at the meeting probably didn’t ask the right question that allowed Ms. Thomasson to dismiss it as she did.

In fact, the Office of Refugee Resettlement has a special grant program called ‘Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).

We told you about it here recently (sorry for daily readers that we have to go over these things, but on some days we have a couple thousand new readers who have never been here before, so we have to repeat information).

For every dollar the refugee saves for one of 4 possible savings goals, you, the federal taxpayer match them a dollar.  This whole program is managed through resettlement contractors like Lutheran Social Services.

Here is the gist of the program:

Individual Development Accounts (IDA) are matched savings accounts designed to help refugees save for a specific purchase. Under the IDA program, the matching funds, together with the refugee’s own savings from their employment, are available for purchasing one (or more) of four savings goals:

Home purchase
Small business development
Post secondary education or training
Automobile (for employment purposes)
Public or private non-profit organizations administer IDA programming.

[….]

IDA grantees provide matched savings accounts to refugees whose annual income is less than 200 percent of the poverty level and whose assets, exclusive of a personal residence and one vehicle, are less than $10,000. Grantees provide matches of up to $1 for every $1 deposited by a refugee in a savings account. The total match amount provided may not exceed $2,000 for individuals or $4,000 for households. Upon enrolling in an IDA program, a refugee signs a savings plan agreement which specifies the savings goal, the match rate, and the amount the refugee will save each month.

I must mention that there was a time when Catholic Charities was taking donations of used cars and there were some stories about cars going to refugees that way, but I haven’t heard of it in recent years.

I am guessing that the “free cars” claim is based on the IDAs.

If the question had been asked in this way: “Do refugees get car purchases subsidized through federal grants?” I would hope Ms. Thomasson would explain the program.

Incidentally, you can imagine that when word gets out in communities that refugees are getting ‘goodies’ like this and the average low-income American isn’t getting these special deals, some tension likely builds in the community.

19 Responses to “Myth: Refugees get free cars explained; not free, but taxpayer subsidized”

  1. […] Federalist Papers has reported that a bombshell discovery by the folks at Refugee Resettlement Watch revealed that every incoming refugee is eligible for an Individual Development Account (IDA), a […]

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  2. […] Federalist Papers has reported that a bombshell discovery by the folks at Refugee Resettlement Watch revealed that every incoming refugee is eligible for an Individual Development Account (IDA), a […]

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  3. […] Myth: Refugees get free cars explained; not free, but taxpayer subsidized […]

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  4. […] Federalist Papers has reported that a bombshell discovery by the folks at Refugee Resettlement Watch revealed that every incoming refugee is eligible for an Individual Development Account (IDA), a […]

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  5. […] bombshell discovery by the folks at Refugee Resettlement Watch revealed that every incoming refugee is eligible for an Individual Development Account (IDA), a […]

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  6. Ann-to be factual the IDA program is not only for refugees. It is a HUD program for low income indiviiduals and families. i know you have a agenda but this is misleading. You can check the HUD page that explains the IDA program. As an example there were 12 families in Southern Oregon that got assistance and none were refugees.
    I am guessing you would be against this type of government program but it has helped many secure cars and homes. Please let your readers know the facts. Refugees are few in his program

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    • 7delta said

      Individual Development Accounts (IDA) are matched savings accounts designed to help refugees save for a specific purchase. Under the IDA program, the matching funds, together with the refugee’s own savings from their employment, are available for purchasing one (or more) of four savings goals:

      1. Home purchase
      2. Small business development
      3. Post secondary education or training
      4. Automobile (for employment purposes)

      I copied the above from the IDA link. As you can see, it’s the same paragraph Ann copied. It plainly says “refugees.”

      Is the accuracy of the statement Ann copied from the gov’t refugee website invalidated or inaccurate because other low-income individuals and families also have access to “matched grant” automobiles?

      If not, how is it relevant to the above refugee facts that a wider demographic participates in the program through HUD?

      How does this wider demographic participation change the fact that refugees obtain taxpayer funded cars?

      i know you have a agenda

      Your posts generally include this disclaimer/accusation. Since Ann’s posts usually, if not always, contain links back to original sources, most of which are official government sites or regional newspapers/other media outlets/organizations involved, could you please explain what you perceive to be Ann’s agenda?

      Since Ann is reporting the information accurately, are you saying these sources have an “agenda?”

      If so, what do you perceive as their agenda?

      I’d like to understand how you define “agenda.”

      Thanks.

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      • My point is clearly that this is not a special program for refugees. The initial posting makes it sound like it is only for them so it creates a wrong impression in my mind. The agenda is to clearly identify Muslims as unacceptable as a group which is a stereotype. I can understand concerns about teroriism but we cannot prevent all of it even under extra scrutiny so you victimize the families truly in need from Syria. I do agree that we need to bring in oppressed minorities especially Yezidis and Christians first however many Muslim families are fleeing for their lives. If I was running the program I would hold back bringle in single men and I am not necessarily in agreement on refugees from Afghanistan and in some situation Iraq. I do believe there is a legitimate concern about Eritreans, If you look at Muslim refugee,, we can state after many years both Bosnian and Meshketian Turks fro Russia who are more westernized and secular have not as a group presented issues and in Atlanta they are very successful. Ann does not want to hear about good stories about refuge success as she states there is plenty of that out there. I just want to see more balance and not spotlight every refugee transgression as she does . If we have taken and average of 70,000 refugee a year how many serious terrorists and violent criminals as a percentage are there-1%?. I would bet that there will be no more than one terror incident in the US from the 25,000 we are traking from Syria only if they are families in the first year. Want to bet? My feelings ar based on my experience as a long time volunteer. When Ann started her blog it was to educate and then reform the system which is something I agreed with to a point. Now it has gone beyond that, I believe the pockets of resistance will fail and what you have done is to bring the issues to the forefront but in a non objective fashion, I am not opposed to “big government” if for humanatarian reasons. I am opposed to wasted on other program like space and some environmental issues. i want my tax dollars used to assure a better life the oppressed.

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        • Ann Corcoran said

          The program cannot be reformed. There is too much money and power involved. So my initial thoughts on that have changed with years of experience. The present system of refugee resettlement must be completely destroyed.

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        • 7delta said

          Ralph, I think you’re genuinely a good guy who means well. I understand your concern for people in need and I understand your desire to highlight success stories. I agree that many truly good people have come here as refugees and have assimilated to become loyal Americans. I have no issue with them, as long as the numbers are manageable, considered as part of a limited total number allowed in yearly, and create no burden on citizens. I believe the entire RRP program should be privately funded…no tax dollars spent once the State Dept. approves them.

          Yes, it would decrease the numbers because churches, donors, and other organizations would have to fund everything until the refugees were employed and stable enough to be independent. They would get very personal help for as long as they need it to assimilate, unlike now, where they are run through an assembly line to keep federal dollars flowing to the volags, so they can continue to operate. A reduced number would require prioritizing and adherence to the true definition of refugee and asylum seeker.

          When federal dollars are being used as they are now, it’s “play money.” People don’t see it as real, not in the same way they see their own money or budget. It’s very easy for contractors and grantees to fail to realistically recognize it as money taken from someone else, including themselves, through taxes in ever increasing amounts that takes from citizens in need, as well as their own family’s needs. Taxpayer dollars are not unlimited and the government is responsible for being good stewards of our money…a totally foreign concept, obviously, to a government that’s gotten us into $18 trillion of debt.

          The way these programs work now, the whole process has become an exercise in obtaining more and more funding, because each contractor/grantee has become totally dependent on it. They’ve stop seeing their work as a genuine humanitarian endeavor, except for the engrained narrative they tell everyone else and themselves. That does NOT mean that everyone working in one of these volags or volunteering doesn’t believe in their work and work hard to help people. It means the program is terminally flawed and sets up a system that fails Americans, the volags and the refugees, financially and morally, by subverting the principles of good governance. The sacred trust between government and citizens is violated.

          I know it’s difficult for many Americans to understand Islam today, especially with a government and media repeating the Islam-is-a-religion-of-peace meme and making excuses that deny the facts when someone acts on their absolute Islamic beliefs. I’m not talking about Muslims, as individuals. I’m talking about the absolute ideology. Islam is a very real problem. Not every Muslim wants to kill us, but every single Muslim is responsible to an ideology that absolutely obligates them to establish a worldwide caliphate and to slay the unbelievers where they find them. No terrorists attacks are acceptable to me, but, I agree, it’s unavoidable that terrorists will also waltz in over an willfully unprotected border. They are doing it. We are employing poor judgment in numerous ways.

          The Muslim Brotherhood is a driving force behind Islamic “settlement” in North America and Europe. The MB, despite James Clapper claims that they are “secular organization”, are an Islamic supremacist group, which is wholly Shariah compliant, that supports what we consider terrorism and they consider an obligation and a chance for martyrdom. There are forms of jihad that aren’t violent, but they do precede violent jihad. That’s what we’re seeing with this refugee crisis.

          We haven’t had an attack since 9-11 by design. The MB says the U.S. is off limits, because the al-hizra and establishing “settlements” in the U.S. is the priority, at this point, to infiltrate the U.S., including into government positions, in order to establish Shariah law. That’s not my interpretation. That’s theirs. They are very specific about destroying the U.S.’s (and Canada’s) “miserable house by their (ours) own hands and ours (theirs).”

          If you have never read the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Memorandum”, I encourage you to do a search and read it. It is real and met the strict scrutiny required to be entered as court evidence in the Holy Land Foundation trial. The MB has a goal and they’re accomplishing it, because Americans have forgotten or simply do not understand Islam. It’s not just another religion. It’s a totalitarian way of life from personal to government. The consequences of not following those all those laws are severe.

          The Muslim Brotherhood are also unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation case. They would have been indicted, but when the administration changed, Eric Holder dismissed it. CAIR, ISNA, Muslim Student Association (MSA) and nearly every other Islamic organization in this country are all MB front organizations. The MB says so, not me. A list of some of their front organizations is found in “The Memorandum.” Every Islamic Center and Mosque, every Muslim, is obligated to follow their trilogy of sacred texts, the Koran, the Hadith and the Sira. Shariah law is a body of work that is very clear, despite some difference between Sunni and Shia interpretations. Islam cannot be reformed. The laws are consider divine inspiration. 64% of Islam’s sacred works are political. 36% deals with religion. Obviously, the political obligations outweigh the religious aspects.

          The FBI, on more than one occasion, including Director Comey, have stated Syrians cannot be vetted, because they cannot vet people from a failed state. There are 9 failed states in the world. Seven of them are located in the Middle East and North Africa. Reality tells us that almost every single Muslim coming to the U.S. cannot be vetted, despite what the State Dept. says. Even more worrisome is the fact that we cannot vet people’s hearts. Relying on ordinary vetting methods, even the high-tech ones, are useless. Since we know what obligations Islam requires of its adherents, or we can ascertain them from Islam’s own words, every single Islamic adherent has the very real potential to fulfil those duties, to become “devout”, if they aren’t already. That’s simply the unvarnished truth. Can you determine who will and who won’t? I can’t and neither can the government.

          We are foolish to ignore what Islam says it is and how it openly, in its own sacred works, tells us how they operate with divinely-sanctioned deceit and violence.

          Look, I hate it. I’d like to have a way to discern the difference between the poor people who are truly enslaved by Islam’s violence and law and want out, but there isn’t. With these truths in mind and while keeping in mind that everything I’ve written here is absolutely verifiable from their own texts and words, the wise choice would be to aid them in camps and secure locations nearer to their homes. The West, unequivocally, should not take them into the RRP. Deceit to advance Islam is not only sanctioned, it is an obligation. We cannot trust what we’re told by Islamic spokespeople and to make things even more difficult, our government and the media have become Islamic spokespeople, either willingly or through ignorance. Both parties. A sad, but true fact.

          All it will take is a handful, combined with a handful already here, legally and illegally, to bring such death and horror to our families and friends that the tide that turns back on them from very angry Americans will not be terribly discriminating either. I may have no use for Islam, but I am not like Islam. I want justice, yes, but I do not want to harm innocent people…us or them. This will happen, if we ignore the truth about Islam. Maybe not today or even next year, but it will, when Islam feels sufficiently strengthened to force war with the infidels…that’s us. They are obligated to do it. When the “settlement” strategy, their “seeding” (their words) of communities in America is enough, they will fulfil that obligation. I don’t even have to make a bet on it with you, Ralph. It’s a done deal. I know this with certainty, because Islam told me so, and history demonstrates that Islam means what it says.

          Ralph, please don’t let the goodness in your heart cloud your ability to diligently seek the truth. It doesn’t harm your good heart or lessen your ability to feel great compassion for people in need, even those who hate us. if you don’t let it. The truth strengthens those qualities. A truly caring person nurtures and protects all people, especially when circumstances require saying “no” to real and significant threats to other innocent people. You don’t have to bring dangerous ideologies into your own home to help. You simply have to choose wisely how to do it.

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  7. […] On a tip from Dragon’s Lair. Hat tip: Refugee Resettlement Watch. […]

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  8. tomasrose said

    I was told that the volag in Lincoln Nebraska was flipping so many cars through this program that the state required them to get a used car dealership license.

    It is a classic example of how the best intentions are perverted. The original idea was “we will encourage the volags to give of their own resources by offering a ‘matching’ grant for every donation they give”. Well, they managed to turn it into another money-making opportunity. Granted, they DO have to show that they spend SOME of that match grant cash on the refugees, but, once again we know how easy it is to get around that requirement.

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  9. […] On a tip from Dragon’s Lair. Hat tip: Refugee Resettlement Watch. […]

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  10. […] Corcoran Refugee Settlement Watch November 4, […]

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  11. tomasrose said

    the most common route to a “free car” is through the Match Grant program – and yes this does provide a free used car to the refugee and cash to the contractor. The way it works is john Q public (or a dealer) donates his car to the Match Grant program. The contractor (Volag) gives the car to the refugee and, at the same time, presents a bill to the ORR Match Grant program . ORR Match Grant pays cash to the contractor (Volag) for 90% of the claimed value of the donated car. I am not exactly sure of the 90% – it is always changing and always getting better and better for the contractor (Volag).By now it could 100% of the claimed value. At any rate, the U.S. treasury takes 2 hits: one for the guy who writes off the donation on this tax returns and one for the pay out to the contractor (Volag).

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  12. […] https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/myth-refugees-get-free-cars-explained-not-… […]

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  13. […] Source: Myth: Refugees get free cars explained; not free, but taxpayer subsidized « Refugee Resettlement Wa… […]

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  14. […] Myth: Refugees get free cars explained; not free, but taxpayer subsidized November 4, 2015 […]

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