Refugee Resettlement Watch

Wyoming legislature would have to approve refugee resettlement plan for the state

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 14, 2016

This is the latest news from one of only two states not getting third-worlders resettled within their borders (Montana is the other, so far!).

Before you read this article from the Wyoming Tribune Eagle be sure to see our extensive archive on the battle for Wyoming’s sovereignty and freedom from UN/federal government dictatorial decisions on refugee resettlement for the state.  We were shocked back in February 2014 to learn that Wyoming’s Republican Governor Matt Mead had actually (the previous year!) invited the Dept. of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement in to set up shop in Wyoming.

Here is Mead’s letter (before he ran into a grassroots citizen buzz saw).  Notice that in 2013, the Governor was saying that he had unilaterally “elected to pursue” a program for the resettlement of refugees to Wyoming.

 

Mead letter to ORR

 

 

 

Now to the Tribune Eagle (hat tip: Joanne):

CHEYENNE – Wyoming is the only state in the nation without a refugee resettlement program.

And a bill being considered by the Legislature would require lawmakers’ approval to change that.

The House Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee voted Friday to advance a bill that blocks the governor from unilaterally setting up a state program that would help refugees who arrive directly or indirectly in Wyoming.

Matt mead finger pointing

Why is Republican Governor Matt Mead so eager to invite impoverished third-worlders to the state? Have they run out of needy Americans in WY? Those are the questions!

Instead, House Bill 47 would require public hearings and a majority vote in the Legislature before the state could set up a plan that would be needed to get federal funding for a refugee program.

Rep. Tom Reeder, R-Casper, is sponsoring the bill. He said this is not about recruiting refugees or deciding whether refugees can or cannot relocate in Wyoming.

“The 1980 Resettlement Act says if the (federal government) accepts a refugee, they can move freely throughout the United States,” he said. “This is just whether we want to develop a program that would help people, and this is really a funding mechanism.”

The bill says the state plan would include how it intends to promote economic self-sufficiency for the refugees, offer language programs and decide what state, federal or private costs would be associated with the relocation efforts.

It also would provide recommendations on who would be responsible for coordinating public and private resources.

The question of whether Wyoming should set up a refugee plan has been a contentious topic since Gov. Matt Mead notified federal officials in 2013 that he was exploring setting up public-private partnership for the resettlement program.

The issue then became a topic during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign with some candidates and citizens criticizing the governor over the move.

Now he says this:

But Mead has maintained he has not made a decision on whether to set up such a program.

Continue reading here.

Make no mistake!  It is citizens fighting back in Wyoming that has kept the state free of resettled refugees for the last two years.  If no one had spoken up Mead’s resettlement office (originally planned for Casper) would be up and running!

See this FY2014 map where federal bureaucrats in Washington had prematurely placed Casper, WY as a resettlement site!

map with Casper

8 Responses to “Wyoming legislature would have to approve refugee resettlement plan for the state”

  1. […] they had all the skids greased.  They had hoped to keep the plan secret longer! Jumping the gun! Go here and see that the ORR already had Casper, WY on their map of resettlement sites.  The latest map […]

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  2. […] they had all the skids greased.  They had hoped to keep the plan secret longer! Jumping the gun! Go here and see that the ORR already had Casper, WY on their map of resettlement sites.  The latest map […]

    Like

  3. About a year ago on March 7, 2015 University of Wyoming professor of law gave a
    presentation in Jackson, WY on immigration that ended with his commentary on
    refugee resettlement.

    At about 51:44 Dr. Novogrodsky says, “The finances are not in dispute. By that the Federal
    Office and the UNHCR pay a hundred percent of the costs of refugee resettlement for many
    years. Right so it’s not like we’re going to get stuck with an unfunded mandate, and we
    have the capacity to set this program in motion.” A transcript of the pertinent part of his
    presentation that includes the previous quote follows.

    –Immigration Comes Home: Immigration Law and Policy in Wyoming

    (transcript starting at about 48:30)
    The third topic I want to talk about, again we are talking in the category of lawful
    immigration, is the issue of refugee resettlement. Forty-nine states in this country
    participate in a program that is organized by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
    The United States is a signatory to the Refugee Convention. By that I mean that we
    have a legal obligation to take Convention-defined refugees either identified by our
    embassies overseas and then resettled here (and that’s what we call a refugee) or people
    who come themselves using the self-help route (and we call them asylum seekers). And
    so we have a legal framework that is supposed to help people who face a well-founded
    fear of persecution based on one of five categories: their race, religion, ethnicity,
    national origin, or membership in a social group.

    And this is our post-Holocaust commitment to not repeating the shameful history of
    turning away Jewish refugees from Europe in the late 1930’s and it is now part of our
    international law and our domestic law. And we participate in this UN High Commissioner
    for Refugee program where we resettle refugees from around the world. There’s an office
    in Washington, DC which farms out the admitted and screened refugees who come into
    the country to usually faith-based groups or civil-society organizations around the country
    and they resettle refugees in forty-nine states. Guess which one doesn’t resettle refugees?
    It is Wyoming and for reasons that I think are historically good and bad. Right.

    So the good reason is that we don’t have a critical mass of population in most of our
    communities. We don’t have good bus service. We don’t have a lot of entry-level jobs
    that people from war-torn places around the world can easily step into. And so we
    haven’t had a refugee resettlement program because it’s harder to do that in Gillette than
    it is to do in Denver.

    The bad reason is out right xenophobia and racism. And how do I know this? Because
    Governor Mead has invited me and others at the University of Wyoming to become part
    of a task force to examine whether we should become the fiftieth refugee-resettlement
    state.

    ********The finances are not in dispute. By that the Federal Office and the UNHCR pay a
    hundred percent of the costs of refugee resettlement for many years. Right so it’s not like
    we’re going to get stuck with and unfunded mandate, and we have the capacity to set this
    program in motion.*********

    But when Governor Mead struck up this task force to examine the issue, he was barraged
    with emails from some conservative groups accusing him of facilitating the entry into
    Wyoming of Ebola-carrying, sharia law advocates from Central America. (laughter from
    audience) In Wyoming when you send five emails to the Governor, he writes a personal
    response which he did in the Star Tribune. So at the moment we are studying the issue.

    There is a remarkable fellow in Gillette named Bertine Bahige who was a former child
    soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was refugee resettled in Maryland.
    He then moved to Gillette. He is a phenomenal soccer player. He’s the coach of the high
    school soccer team and is a math teacher at the high school in Gillette. And I have been
    working with him and others to try to bring his family who are stuck in a refugee camp
    in Uganda to Wyoming. The whole community in Gillette has embraced Bertine. He is
    a remarkable person and he is the driving force behind trying to make a refugee resettlement
    program that would apply to Wyoming. His big prize right now is that he may get his
    family out of Uganda but they’re likely to be resettled 2,000 miles away. And so he’d
    like to bring them to Gillette and to use the sort of good will that he’s built up to create
    a model program for the state.

    I’ll wrap up with two observations. Number one is that this week is the 70th anniversary
    of the liberation of Auschwitz and when we said we could do better as a global
    community, I think we meant that we would take refugees from places of persecution.
    And one of those refugees to the United States was Albert Einstein.

    I’ve left some literature outside about our program. I welcome any questions or comments
    you have about any of the aspects I’ve talked about but specifically if you’re interested in
    participating in the refugee resettlement conversation, please see me at lunch time or
    send me an email. Thank you for having me.

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    • Ann Corcoran said

      It is a big lie that Bertine Bahige needs to set up a refugee program in WY to get his family in to the US. He can sponsor them privately. Or, if they are settled on the taxpayers dime in a nearby state (Idaho and Colorado both have big resettlement programs) they can pick up and move to join Bahige in Wyoming within weeks or a couple of months of resettlement. Strikes me that this was all about Bahige job advancement from lowly school teacher (not a lowly job!) to managing a resettlement office for Lutheran Social Services to colonize Wyoming with third world poverty!

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  4. Reblogged this on Kerberos616.

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  5. […] https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/wyoming-legislature-would-have-to-approve-… […]

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  6. Judy Jones said

    thank you for showing this…

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  7. Olivia said

    They probably aren’t getting any because they will just easily come up from Denver. Now we need border patrol around WY and MT!

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