Rutland, VT refugee plan kept secret from the public, only a few business people in on it
Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 12, 2016
This is a long article at Seven Days all about the mayor on the hotseat in Rutland, VT. If you are following the story closely you might want to wade through the whole thing, but below are some snips that jumped out at me.
I’m particularly interested this morning in two important points you should consider as your town is targeted and this article tells us about both.
First, the US State Department and its contractors operate in SECRECY! They don’t want the public to know what they are planning until they have literally brought in the first families. Why? Because they know that they can’t sell it to communities when the people know the facts!
Secondly, don’t get bogged down in the ‘humanitarian mushy stuff!’ Resettlement is largely driven by those who have a financial interest in cheap labor, landlords looking to fill their apartments, and members of Chambers of Commerce looking to sell used cars (etc.) to the new consumers.
Federal welfare follows the refugees and thus more welfare dollars enter the local economy. Remember when Nancy Pelosi famously said that food stamps grow the economy! (Nevermind that you are paying for it!).
From Seven Days: Wade through many column inches telling us about Mayor Chris Louras (will he fall on his sword for 100 Syrians?).
(Emphasis below is mine.)
Then here is how Louras sees himself:
Concluding that he’s a “technocrat, not a politician,” he returned to Rutland and rebranded himself as a nonpartisan fixer.
For new readers here is some of the background:
This year, there will be an estimated 60 million refugees and displaced people worldwide. The United States has agreed to take in 85,000, including 10,000 Syrians, though the country has fallen behind on its schedule to fulfill that pledge. VRRP, the organization tasked [stop the BS, not tasked, they are paid by the head!—ed] by the U.S. Department of State with settling refugees in the state, usually accepts 300 refugees a year. With the crisis in war-torn Syria, which has prompted millions of displaced people to flee to Europe, the VRRP is upping that number to 400.
It has quietly funneled most refugees who arrived in Vermont — Bosnians, Somalians, Bhutanese, Congolese, Burmese and Iraqis — to Burlington and Winooski. Burlington’s Old North End is full of restaurants and shops opened by refugees. More than 30 languages are spoken in Winooski, and more than 40 percent of Winooski High School students were born outside the U.S.
But the resettlement agency has long wanted to open up a second refugee hub in Vermont to be able to serve more people.
Last November, after the Paris terrorist attacks, several Republican governors across the country declared they would not welcome refugees fleeing Syria into their states, citing concerns about possible terrorist infiltration. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin was among the first to declare that his state would welcome the Syrians.
Soon afterward, officials from Middlebury, Woodstock, Warren, Waitsfield, Brattleboro, Bennington and other communities reached out to VRRP, offering to help. Louras got in line.
The organization knew little about Rutland, and had never considered the city as a possible destination, director Amila Merdzanovic said.
In Rutland, refugees can do the dirty, grungy jobs:
“There’s a potential workforce here, not unlike lots of places, that isn’t interested in the sort of grungy, dirty, hardworking, entry-level jobs that are the sort of thing you will do because you’re glad for a fresh start,” said Notte. [ Board of Alderman President William Notte]
Huebner [Tom Huebner, president of Rutland Regional Medical Center] said he has 120 vacancies at Rutland Regional Medical Center, from entry-level housekeepers and cleaners to nurses and technicians. [I guarantee there will be no nurses and technicians ready to go to work in the ‘refugee’ flow coming from the Middle East and Africa—ed]
“Ask any employer in town. They’d say their greatest problem is finding enough workers,” Huebner said. “When these folks start coming into our community … we’d love to work with them. We’ll see what skills they bring, but even if they don’t have English yet and don’t have health care skills, we would still work with them.”
With so many employers promising jobs, Rutland became Merdzanovic’s top choice. “And there’s ample housing,” she added, in contrast to the real estate markets in Burlington and Winooski. [We’ve been telling you that housing is a primary limiting factor in finding ‘welcoming’ towns—ed]
The ‘non-partisan fixer’ mayor didn’t tell the public (only a few business leaders!) what he was doing as he held private meetings and conversations with the federal resettlement contractor. So much for the humanitarian mush. If this were all about welcoming the poor war refugees to town, wouldn’t he have included the do-gooder community from the beginning?
His actions also indicate he has zero concerns for the security of his constituents. It is all about the money!
Seven Days continues:
It’s a moving message, but Louras didn’t think it would play well with the public. He told Notte and a few local business leaders about the refugees but left the rest of the board, along with the city’s legislative delegation and his constituents, in the dark.
Emails from a public records request show Louras and Merdzanovic considered announcing it but nixed the idea.
They engaged in secrecy for one simple reason — they feared that involving the public sooner would derail the effort. VRRP never announces refugee arrivals in Burlington or Winooski.
Continue reading here where (near the end) Louras takes a whack at Jim Simpson.
Then don’t miss Simpson’s Breitbart article on Rutland and Louras’s secrecy, here.
See our previous posts on Rutland here.
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