Refugee Resettlement Watch

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Archive for June 25th, 2016

Secrecy surrounds refugee program in Tennessee (your state too!)

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 25, 2016

This is an opinion piece published in The Tennessean yesterday and posted in its entirety here with permission from the author.

Barnett is an expert on the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program and its history having followed its progression for literally two decades.

From The Tennessean:

Before the Refugee Act of 1980, refugee resettlement was the work of true sacrificial charity, where sponsors and charities committed to maintaining and supporting the refugees with housing and employment, even medical care if needed. There was an explicit bar to the access of welfare benefits. The sponsor was responsible for all costs. This helped to guarantee assimilation and is how we absorbed post-WWII refugees, those fleeing communist oppression in Eastern Europe, the Hungarian Revolution and other upheavals.

Don Barnett 2

Barnett is a longtime resident of the Nashville, TN area

With the 1980 Refugee Act and related laws, the charities morphed into money-making federal contractors whose main job is to link the refugees with social services and welfare benefits. The 1980 act made all welfare available to refugees upon arrival — for life, if eligibility is maintained.

Originally, the Refugee Act included three years of federal refugee cash assistance and medical insurance. As well, state governments were reimbursed for their expenditures on welfare used by refugees, such as Medicaid (TennCare), for three years. By 1991, reimbursement from the feds for state welfare expenditures had been completely eliminated and the three-year period of refugee cash and medical assistance for refugees was limited to eight months.

According to the most recent government data, even those refugees in the country for five years are largely dependent on taxpayer largesse. Sixty percent of this group receives food stamps and 17 percent are on the cash welfare program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). A nationwide U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study shows 44 percent are still in Medicaid and 29 percent of families who have been here for five years have one or more members on the lifetime cash welfare program Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

This gives an idea of the costs to the federal taxpayer and of the unfunded federal mandate placed upon state taxpayers by this program.

Because of the byzantine structure of Tennessee’s program, there is no way to get exact costs. Both the state refugee coordinator and state refugee health coordinator, who are supposed to represent the state and its taxpayers, are actually employees of Catholic Charities, the federal contractor whose income rises in direct proportion to the numbers of refugees resettled. Further, the salary for both of these positions is paid not by the contractor, but by the feds. How’s that for a conflict of interest?

In a healthy and open environment, information would be made available from these two sources, which would help in evaluating program success and program costs, such as use of TennCare by refugees, rates of infection with communicable disease and so on. Alas, because of incentives and disincentives built into the refugee coordinators’ jobs, the best strategy for them is to withhold information.

Secrecy surrounds all aspects of the program. We have no idea what it is costing Tennessee. Statistics about medical conditions among refugees are secret. Even the numbers of refugee arrivals proposed for next year is a secret. And when arrival numbers are reported, after the fact, they are routinely reported as lower than actual numbers by conveniently neglecting to include categories of resettlement that are not official refugees, but that have the same entitlements — and benefits to the contractor — as refugees.

Orwellian use of language allows for absurd claims about refugee economic integration. For instance, refugees are considered officially “self-sufficient” even if they receive every federal welfare benefit except TANF. Refugees in temporary jobs or training programs are counted as “employed.” An unpublicized federal audit from 1999 obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request found that Memphis Catholic Charities was dropping refugees off at a day labor lot and reporting them as “employed.”

It was never intended that the sponsors, known as “Voluntary Agencies,” would be purely federal contractors with all the behavior, untoward incentives, money and influence peddling that this brings. Yet, that is what we have today.

There would be no issue with this program if refugees were resettled in the traditional way America has always absorbed refugees. As long as the current resettlement model persists, it is imperative that Tennesseans have a say in how state resources are used. The state attorney general should proceed with SJR 467 challenging the federal government’s presumed authority over state resources.

We have previously posted op-eds by Don Barnett or written about his work, click here for posts mentioning Barnett.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »

Church World Service’s NJ refugee agency head, Mahmoud Mahmoud, frets about Brexit

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 25, 2016

They were having a World Refugee Day event in the shadow of the World Trade Center this week as news of the Brexit vote sent shock waves to the US refugee contractors.

Mahmoud Mahmoud

Church World Service’s Mahmoud Mahmoud blasts opposition to refugee resettlement here: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/11/jersey_city_syrian_refugees_group_resettlement.html

It is pretty obvious that America’s immigration control movement got a huge boost from the British vote to leave the EU on Thursday. And as we said previously, if German Chancellor Merkel hadn’t opened the floodgates of Europe, this vote would likely have had a different outcome.

I believe that critical mass is being reached on the issue of immigration control and refugees. Mahmoud knows it too, in spite of his optimistic prediction at the end of this story.

From NJTV News:

Families, advocates and officials gathered to celebrate World Refugee Day in the long shadow cast by the UK’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union — a vote some call anti-immigrant.

“I was a bit shocked, you know, because you never thought that the EU was going to break. But I do think that this is going to have a ripple effect throughout Europe,” said Mahmoud Mahmoud, Church World Service director of the Jersey City office.

Donald Trump praised the vote while visiting his golf course in Scotland.

“I really do see a parallel between what’s happening in the United States and what’s happening here. People want to see borders. They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from,” Trump said.

[….]

Whether Brexit’s ripple effect reaches here: “Donald Trump has his views, but at the end of the day, the majority of Americans have shown that they want to welcome individuals and we are a nation of immigrants,” Mahmoud said. [I’m not so sure, the polls were wrong on Brexit after all—-ed]

In a political atmosphere fraught with division, nonprofits in New Jersey keep hoping to add more refugee families.

More here.

Readers may recall that NJ Governor Chris Christie has stopped cooperating with the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program, but he hasn’t done all he could do to slow the flow to NJ.

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Europe, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Stealth Jihad, The Opposition, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Top posts of the last week

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 25, 2016

rrw-logo-1I guess it should be no surprise that posts about Twin Falls, Idaho topped our list of the three most read posts this past week.

Here they are with one additional sleeper post that was virtually tied for number three:

Update on Twin Falls, Idaho sexual assault case, boys are refugees

Is there a cover-up in Twin Falls, Idaho involving refugee boys raping a little girl?

Missoula, MT refugee arrivals could begin in August, most will be Muslims

And then this post from more than a year ago has been discovered by new readers and has crept up to the three top posts from this week in terms of visitor numbers, and thus deserves a mention:

Somalis colonizing Nacogdoches County, TX; internationally-owned Pilgram’s Pride meat packer drawing them there

In last weeks round-up of top posts we reported on a few ‘housekeeping’ items that should be of interest to any new readers who have begun following RRW this past week (there are many of you!).  Please visit last week’s round-up here.

Next week watch for not only the June round-up, but also a celebratory round-up on our 9th Anniversary!  To date, we have written 7,683 posts in the last nearly nine years!  Look for a big announcement!

Also, thanks to readers who sent a donation this week, as you may have noticed, I finally broke down and added a donation button (but will continue to have no advertisements!).   On that last point, you should not be seeing ads generated by wordpress on my blog posts since I some time ago got rid of wordpress’s “free” option.

My youtube video, if you have never seen it, has now surpassed 2.5 million views, here.

Posted in blogging, Refugee Resettlement Program | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

 
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