Refugee contractor (IRC) criticized in Huffington Post story as Syrian refugee pleads for more $$$
Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 26, 2016
This lengthy story in the Huffington Post is a must-read for everyone seriously looking into how the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program works in your community. But, just please ignore the fact that it is a blatant pitch for refugees to receive MORE OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS!
The article begins (Ho hum! according to Journalism 101) with a sob story about a recently arrived Syrian refugee family resettled in California. The star-of-the-story’s time in jail in Syria sounds improbable to me, but only he will ever know if it’s a truthful account.
However, this is the part of the story that interested me. With the headline, ‘Refugees Discuss Most Difficult Part Of Living In America,’ I fully expected the news to be that they found you (racist Islamophobes) their most difficult part of living here, but no, it is the refugee program’s bureaucratic mess they find challenging.
The Kanjous were one of the lucky families that made it through the screening process and were accepted as American refugees in September 2015. They, like many others, endured a long and arduous journey to get to U.S. soil. But they now face a new challenge: navigating a complex network of government and nonprofit organizations responsible for overseeing the refugee resettlement process.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, the process of refugee resettlement varies by state. Some depend on state-administered resettlement resources, while others utilize public-private partnerships or the Wilson-Fish program, an alternative to traditional state-administered refugee resettlement programs for providing cash and medical assistance and social services to refugees. For these refugees, the process of navigating these programs can often be the greatest challenge they face in their resettlement process.
Since arriving in the United States, with the help of local nonprofit organizations, Kanjou and his family have moved out of temporary housing into an apartment. Kanjou has secured a job as a construction worker, along with healthcare and benefits. His daughters are enrolled in the local school. But according to the family, the refugee resettlement process in the U.S. has not provided the help and support they hoped for.
Kanjou implies he is being gouged by the contractor (the IRC in this case).
“Unfortunately these agencies are treating us are pretty badly because they penalize us for any minor thing,” Kanjou says. “Any paperwork they don’t have or any tiny mistake and they will deduct from our financial benefits. That really interrupts the development of our rebuilding process.”
Once the refugees land in America, the government turns over responsibility to resettlement organizations like the International Refugee Committee (IRC). These agencies are U.S. government contractors who are tasked with helping the refugees navigate the first three months of their new lives. [The reporter has the IRC’s name wrong, it is the International Rescue Committee.—ed]
The article gives us several examples of how the IRC screwed up. And, then discusses how the family relied on the local Islamic Center for help with a bit of whining from the center leader about how the refugees should be getting more money and more welfare from the government (from you!) for a longer period of time rather than the community helping them with private charity.
Each family member receives a one-time cash gift of $1,100 upon arrival in the U.S. After three months of working with the IRC, the refugees are expected to have used their stipends to arrange for temporary housing.
I found this very informative. In fact each refugee family member is allotted $1,975 (and it may be higher now). I wonder do they know that the IRC is skimming at least $875 per family member from their government money to take care of the family which is now saying that the IRC is doing a lousy job. Did the IRC not tell the reporter about the portion they get to pocket?
In spite of his unhappiness with how much help he is getting from the US government, Kanjou is happy to be here because his young daughter has a serious medical issue that you (American taxpayers) will be paying for in the near future!
Although, remember this story, oopsy! Syrian refugee who was supposed to have cancer, and came here for treatment, is found miraculously free of cancer!
For more on David Miliband, click here. We have an extensive archive on the former British Foreign Secretary who is out pushing for 100,000 Syrians to be admitted to the US in the next year (each will be a paying client of one of the supposed refugee charities).
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