And, West Virginia is fresh indeed! It is one of the states the UN/US State Department program forgot (until now). Other states with tiny refugee populations are Joe Biden’s Delaware, Bill Clinton’s Arkansas, a few states in the deep south and of course Montana and Wyoming. I always assumed that Democratic Senator Bobby (“Sheets”) Byrd had kept the program out of West Virginia, but he is gone.
I just now checked the State Department data and since 2008, West Virginia ‘welcomed’ 156 refugees with the largest number being Iraqis (59), Burmese (46) and Eritreans (40). Tiny numbers of course compared to states which receive in the thousands each year. Guess the low-wage refugee workers will now be competing with out of work coal miners.
Here is the news from the Charleston Gazette-Mail (emphasis is mine):
They all think that economic boom times will follow the refugees (it doesn’t, all of you citizens of West Virginia, please learn from what happened in Utica, here).
As Charleston’s population continues to decline, a refugee resettlement service is considering opening an agency in the city that would assist hundreds of refugees in moving to the area.
Episcopal Migration Ministries [one of nine top federal contractors—ed] a refugee-resettlement agency, sent Jeffrey Hawks and Allison Duvall to Charleston to learn more about the city this week. Hawks is a consultant for the organization, while Duvall is an employee.
The West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry [remember my warning about these ‘interfaith’ groups!—ed] a group that started to create greater understanding of the plight of Syrian refugees, is working to turn Charleston into one of the Episcopal Migration Ministry’s “resettlement communities.” The ministry has 30 of those communities in cities throughout the United States.
The agencies work with local organizations in each city to assist refugees with translation, food, clothing, housing, education, mental health support, medical services, job training and community orientation.
Anti-Muslim sentiment is rampant throughout the country. Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president, has called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Many have called for preventing Syrian refugees, fleeing the carnage of civil war in their country, from entering the country. A West Virginia lawmaker even started a petition to ban them from West Virginia.
However, a group of Charlestonians sat in a meeting room at St. John’s Episcopal Church Thursday afternoon and took turns trying to convince Hawks and Duvall that Charleston would be an ideal place for refugees from Syria and other places to live…
More evidence that the federal contractors are out looking for fresh territory in which to seed Syrians (and other refugees).
But they didn’t have to do much convincing. Episcopal Migration Ministries has already researched Charleston and decided it would be a good fit for refugees. Ultimately, whether the city can be selected as one of the ministry’s resettlement communities will be up to the U.S. Department of State, Hawks said.
Now check this out! The local Islamic Center is one step ahead of you all with their propaganda campaign (gotta fill that new building!):
Hawks and Duvall met a friendly crowd Thursday evening as well. They attended “The Refugee Experience” at 7 p.m. at the Islamic Association of West Virginia, in South Charleston. At the community event, refugees spoke about their experiences resettling in Charleston.
And, then this is new! I have never heard of a federal contractor expecting up front money from a wannabe subcontractor. They must really be stretched to get Obama’s 85,000 refugees in here by the end of the year and be ready for his proposed 100,000 for next year.
…those in Charleston organizing the effort will need to raise about $90,000 for upfront costs. They will need to pay for the salary of at least one employee of the agency for every 75 placements.
I can’t guarantee that Trump can save us, but I know for sure that Hillary Clinton will put the refugee program on steroids if elected in November!
P.S. It is Sunday morning, maybe it’s time for any of you Episcopalians reading this to have a word with your priests and church leaders about what they are doing in the name of your faith!
An afterthought: It occurred to me right after I hit ‘post’ that this story might bring in new readers who don’t know that we have been writing about several new sites to be colonized including Missoula, MT, Ithaca, NY, Reno, NV, Rutland, VT and Fayetteville, AR. Many more will be popping up soon as they prepare for the new fiscal year which begins Oct. 1.