Rutland Board of Aldermen to vote Tuesday on allowing refugee referendum on ballot

The citizens of Rutland, VT who have expressed anger at their mayor for secretly working with a federal refugee resettlement contractor to bring 100 Syrians to the small city, have been busy.  They garnered enough signatures on a petition to put the issue on the ballot, but the Mayor and Board of Alderman will have the final say (this Tuesday) on whether it can be put before the voters.

(Of course the feds can shove the refugees down their throats anyway, but that is besides the point!)

Matt Bloomer
Rutland City Alderman Matt Bloomer frets in an op-ed about the really tough decision he has to make on Tuesday. Oh well, isn’t that what leaders have to do—make tough decisions!

Not unlike the issue surrounding resettlement of refugees in Twin Falls, Idaho where the controversy has been swirling for years (by the way, it is the same federal contractor making $$$ on a per head basis in Vermont and Idaho—US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants), the citizens in both places are demanding full public debate on the “plans” for the new (Rutland) or continued (Twin Falls) resettlement of third worlders to their communities.

But, therein lies the rub, the feds and their contractors have no plans as such. In Athens, GA in 2014 the Democratic Mayor said give me a plan—-where will the refugees work, and live?  Does Athens have adequate subsidized housing, can our schools handle large numbers of illiterate children?  How about our health department, is it ready for communicable diseases and parasites not often seen in American cities?

In other words, she was asking for the feds and the contractor to essentially prepare an economic and social impact statement before giving a green light to the arrival of refugees.

I don’t know if things have changed since I learned this past April that Athens still has no resettlement office. Why? My guess is that the US State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement(in HHS) don’t want to set a precedent and prepare a plan (with public hearings etc.) because secrecy has worked so well for the last 30 plus years to slip refugees into unsuspecting towns, why change anything now!

Sorry to go on so long. To catch up on Rutland, go here  and here. Don’t forget our previous post on Tuberculosis in Vermont.  Our previous posts on Rutland are here.

A vote on refugees would screw-up the “positive narrative about our county.”

Then see where one Alderman (Matt Bloomer a Rutland Young Professional) says he plans to vote against placing a referendum on the ballot, here.  His biggest fear isn’t who might come into Rutland, what poverty or diseases they might bring in, whether the town could afford the costs necessary to educate the refugee children, whether there are security worries or increased crime, etc.

He is worried that, by simply voting, Rutland might get a bad reputation!


People from around the state and country will be left with the perception that we are a closed and unfeeling community, rather than the welcoming and compassionate community that we actually are.

These misconceptions would be spread at a time when many dedicated people have worked hard to build positive momentum for our community. They would be spread at a time when we’ve recognized the need to proactively recruit people and businesses in order to sustain the size of our community and the quality of life we enjoy. Rutland County legislators from both sides of the aisle have told us that these misconceptions would set back their successful efforts in creating a positive narrative in Montpelier about our county.

Readers ask me all the time what can they do to stop this.  You can be sure Washington isn’t going to help you. Besides what you are already doing—demanding transparency and thoughtful deliberation—I’ve come to the conclusion that as much as you don’t want to do it, you will have to change your local elected officials, maybe run for public office yourself.  Even if you can’t win the first time, you will help raise the issue before voters.

Endnote: Has USCRI ever given the Mayor and Aldermen the R & P Abstract which they surely prepared for the US State Department?  Just wondering! (See the one they prepared for Reno, here. There is one for Rutland!).

Vermont Health Dept. hiding data on active TB cases in refugee population there had to use public information request laws to try to get the information, but the effort by the Health Dept. to not answer the request is revealing and perhaps worse than just biting the bullet and supplying the information!

The public everywhere is sick of the secrecy surrounding the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program and this is one more reason why!

patrick Leahy
The buck stops with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy who has been one of the chief architects and ardent supporters of the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program for decades in Washington.

By the way, we have known for years that refugees were permitted entry into the US with latent TB.  In fact in our early months writing this blog in 2007, we were stunned to learn about how the large number of TB cases among refugees in Fort Wayne, Indiana were swamping the Allen County Health Dept.  However, we, like you, are shocked now to learn that refugees with ACTIVE TB are being permitted entry and quietly treated with your tax dollars.

Here is the latest on the Tuberculosis controversy in Vermont (hat tip: Joanne):

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Epidemiologists at the Vermont Department of Health are concealing the number of refugees with contagious active tuberculosis nearly a month after Watchdog reported that more than one-third of Vermont’s resettled refugees test positive for TB.

Earlier this month, Watchdog revealed that 35 percent of Vermont’s incoming refugees in the past four years tested positive for tuberculosis. How many of those cases are contagious and symptomatic, however, remains a secret, as state epidemiologists and top officials at the Health Department have spent weeks blocking efforts to obtain the data.

Refugees brought to the United States take TB tests as part of comprehensive health screening. For refugees resettled in Vermont, the Department of Health’s Refugee Health Program monitors test results and treats patients who have active TB disease. Unlike latent tuberculosis infection, active TB disease is contagious, symptomatic and even deadly.

According to documents obtained through a public records request, the evasions began May 27, when Watchdog contacted the Health Department to learn how many refugees tested positive for TB in recent years. The inquiry sparked private meetings among state epidemiologists, public health nurses and office staff, who proceeded to conceal the number of contagious active TB disease cases brought to Vermont through the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program.

Continue reading here to see the degree to which these health officials charged (presumably) with keeping all Vermonters safe and healthy are attempting to hide data on active TB in the state.

What has done here is a model for what you should be doing where you live, not just on the subject of refugee health, but also investigate who is pushing resettlement and why among your elected officials (Twin Falls!) and expose them!  Find out who is benefiting FINANCIALLY in your town or city!

See our ‘health issues’ category by clicking here.  We have hundreds of posts there on issues of immigrant and refugee health (including the refugee mental health treatment you pay for).

Dear Welcoming Community, is your school system rolling in dough?

Are your local taxpayers ready to pay for a “NEW REALITY”—that they must pay for the translation services that the federal government is now demanding in immigrant ‘rich’ towns and cities.

Diversity isn’t strength, but it is expensive!

Bill and Hill
In Bill’s last months in office he left a ‘legacy’ of executive orders and one (order #13166 ) said that any institution receiving federal funds was required to provide interpreters. So, today you see medical facilities, school systems and the criminal justice system paying for expensive interpreters as refugees are spread out to more and more small cities and towns.

This is a lengthy story that everyone in towns anticipating refugee arrivals must read. From the Hechinger Report which features Syracuse, NY as its star of story (the city where a Catholic Church has become a mosque when refugee numbers expanded):

The Bhutanese population has grown into a flourishing, tightly knit group of about 3,000 people. They are part of a substantial refugee population from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East that has transformed the city and its schools. Students in the Syracuse City School District speak more than 70 different languages and four of the most common among them are Nepali, Karen, Somali, and Arabic. [Arabic is the number one language spoken by refugees entering the US, see here.—ed]

In 2010, to better serve this population, the Syracuse City school District created a new position — nationality workers — to serve as a bridge between new immigrant communities and the schools.

I’ll bet the federal refugee contractor trying to sell your town a bill of goods (they say the feds pay for everything!), never mentioned this:

A failure to communicate effectively with immigrant parents is a violation of their civil rights, considered discrimination based on national origin, which is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Without language services, non-English-speaking parents are considered to be blocked from equal access to school information and resources.

As refugees spread out across the U.S., settling in the Southeast, Midwest, and many rural areas that, before, were fairly insulated from large immigrant populations, schools are being forced to adapt to a new reality.

Syracuse is one of the more proactive districts when it comes to providing language access. While it struggles, at times, to meet its obligations, districts in other cities and states have fared worse. Dozens have been investigated by the Office of Civil Rights or the Department of Justice in recent years following complaints that they did not provide interpreters or translated materials to parents who needed them. These schools are in Yuma, Arizona; New Orleans, Louisiana; Richmond, Virginia; Detroit, Michigan; Modesto, California; and Seattle, Washington, among others.


The legal rationale for language access requirements has existed for decades, but the Obama administration has been more aggressive than others in holding schools accountable. [Not surprising!—ed]

While the Civil Rights Act doesn’t specifically require schools to offer interpretation and translation services to parents — or any special supports for their non-English-speaking children – it bars discrimination based on national origin in any program or activity receiving federal dollars. The courts have consistently relied on this rationale to require schools to provide these services, and a “Dear Colleague” letter from the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Justice in 2015 went into explicit detail about what schools have to do to communicate with immigrant parents.

Read it all and get ready Reno, NV, Rutland, VT, Ithaca, NY, Missoula, MT, Asheville, NC, Fayetteville, AR, Charleston, WV, etc. Have you got your Arabic interpreters lined up?

And, you know what is really funny, often the well-paid interpreters are refugees themselves (just as in this story) and the contractors can crow about how refugees find jobs!

You might want to look for other stories here at RRW involving interpreters because there have been refugee criminals who got off the hook because of poor language translation by court-appointed interpreters.

P.S. If you want to know more about Bhutanese refugees (not Muslims), click here, because we have followed their arrival in America since George W. Bush welcomed 60,000 of them in 2007 (we are now probably looking at (at least) 80,000).