Reception and Placement Abstracts: get them and use them!
Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 22, 2016
Knowledge is power!
We’ve been talking about those pesky R & P Abstracts for more than a year now and some of you are starting to get-it and get them!
By ‘get-it’ I mean that these documents, prepared at the level of your local resettlement contractor with the help and guidance of one of the major nine federal contractors, are the blueprints for what is being planned for your town for the upcoming fiscal year.
Update: I’ve been talking about all of this for so long I forget that new people don’t know how to find a contractor near them. Go here and find an office near you (any of the agencies within a hundred miles of you could be bringing refugees to your town). Call or write to the office and ask for a copy of the FY2017 R & P Abstract.
Fiscal year 2017 begins October 1, 2016.
It is my contention that the public is entitled to this document in advance because you have a right to know what Washington has planned for your town (especially because you are paying for this!)
You should be told about this plan before it even goes to Washington where it becomes the basis for the President’s ‘determination’ in September when he sends his wishlist for how many refugees Congress must fund for the upcoming year. For eight of the last nine years that I’ve been following the program, Congress says NOT a word and just takes the Presidential determination with a ‘yes master, anything you say, master’ attitude.
Last year there was a little push-back, but ultimately Congress (Speaker Paul Ryan!) agreed to pay for the increased number of new refugees (from the average of about 70,000 to 85,000 for FY16) to accommodate the Syrian influx.
So here we go again. Obama has one more shot at changing America by changing the people. The minimum number we can expect Obama to propose is 100,000.
Before I get to what an Abstract looks like and what you should do with it when you get it, I want to say that not only should communities have this document and see it published in a local newspaper, but it should be discussed in the community before it is finalized. I recommend that every ‘welcoming’ community hold a public hearing at the mayor/council level to discuss the numbers being proposed and the amenities the town is offering the refugees.
[Note to long time readers, we have done this exercise before, see especially here when I obtained the R & P Abstract for a new resettlement site—Reno, NV. Perhaps re-read that post now. And, I encourage your local research teams to read through the ‘Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2016, report to Congress’ by clicking here as part of their investigative work.]
Why do I know that the R & P Abstracts are important for you to obtain? Because the contractors do not want you to see them! In fact one of the nine contractors (maybe all of them!) sent a message to their subcontractors this past year specifically instructing their offices to NOT give them out to anyone who calls. So what are they hiding?
Despite attempts to keep them from public view, some of you are successfully obtaining your local Abstracts and a few are actually receiving the plan for FY2017 and not the older ones. Of course in many of these cases it has taken a Freedom of Information Act request, but at least you have them. A few of the ones I have seen are not complete based on the 16 pages of the document for Reno, NV which includes VERY useful and informative letters of support from various entities and agencies including the local Islamic Center.
Let’s have a look at the troubled city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin!
Clearly the African-American community there is troubled! That is a given (you would have to be living under a rock to not know that!).
So what is the US State Department planning for Fiscal year 2017 with the paid help (you pay them!) of three resettlement contractors? They will be dropping off a total of 925 more impoverished people from Burma, Somalia, Iraq, DR Congo, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bhutan (Nepal really), Eritrea and Ethiopia in FY 2017 alone to compete with the local African American community for work and for ‘services.’
There are three federal contractors (bidding for bodies) with offices set up in Milwaukee (three! why is there a need to have three agencies doing the same work?). They include the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Inc.), USCRI (International Institute of Wisconsin), and the Ethiopian Community Development Council (Pan-African Community Association).
The Catholics say they want 500 refugees (included in their wish list are devout Rohingya Muslims from Burma). USCRI wants 300 and ECDC wants 125.
In light of the trouble Milwaukee has right now, if there was a public hearing in advance of these documents going to Washington, isn’t it likely that members of the public would say—well hold on here, we have a lot of problems we need to solve right here at home before we invite the world’s poverty to Wisconsin!
We will look at the R & P Abstract for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee (which also serves Sheboygan). (I confess I don’t know what every line of the document means!)
Of course you can see the location and the agency name. And, you can see that they expect to resettle 450 refugees by September 30th (for FY 2016).
Then the most important section follows where they fill in the numbers from each area of the world they want to place in Milwaukee beginning in October for FY17. “Tie capacity” means that there are some relatives or some others related in some way to those already there.
AF = Africa. African ethnic groups we resettle are from: DR Congo, Somalia, Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and a few other lesser groups.
EA = East Asia. This group includes the large number of Burmese we have been admitting for years (and now including the Rohingya Muslims). Also, smaller numbers of Vietnamese, Chinese, Laotians and North Koreans are admitted from this region.
ECA = Europe and Central Asia. Ukrainians and those living in the former Soviet Union like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan fall in this group. Earlier we took tens of thousands from the Balkans.
LAC = Latin America and the Caribbean. One major country in this category is Colombia (don’t ask me why we favor Colombia!), and of course Cuba. Think about it, we still take tens of thousands of Cubans!
NE/SA= Near East and South Asia. This is the big category right now and includes: Afghanistan, Bhutan/Nepal, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Syria.
In our sample Abstract, Catholic Charities of Milwaukee*** wants more of the following ethnic groups to add diversity to a struggling city. Burmese, Chin, Karen and Rohingya are all religious minorities from Burma (Myanmar) where the Buddhist government wants to keep Burma for Buddhists only, so we see it as our job (America’s job) to take care of all their displaced people (even though the Karen and Rohingya are enemies of each other!). But, of course the naive do-gooders think all of their differences will melt away when placed together in slums in Milwaukee.
Somalis, Iraqis, Sudanese, Congolese and Cuban round out their wish list.
And, wow, see they have 50 languages available locally from which to select expensive interpreters!
See that PRM (that stands for the State Department branch called ‘Population Refugees and Migration’) has monitored the agency and found them not completely compliant with their contract in one recent year.
Now, let’s have a look at another page:
See the industries they will be placing their refugees with—Meatpacking is one! And, check out the wages. A family is not going to live on $8.75 an hour so of course the refugees will remain on welfare.
And notice that Catholic Charities is bragging that the government has great medical care available for refugees in Milwaukee. Oh boy, that means you get to pay for their Obamacare!
Here is the third page of this abstract. And, by the way, I feel sure this abstract is not complete. If Reno was 16 pages this one has been shortened for some reason. What are they hiding?
Have a look at this chart. Here is what this is about. The contractor/subcontractor is supposed to be putting up its share of money for this supposed PUBLIC/PRIVATE partnership. So here they have to prove they have some skin in the game, that this isn’t being run completely out of the US taxpayers’ pockets (which it is, but here they try to pretend it isn’t).
What do you think the odds are that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which ponied-up a whopping $3,000 in cash from individuals in 2015, is actually going to find $100,000 from individuals in 2017? Don’t make me laugh!
Then see the line ‘Volunteer hours/miles!’ They need to find volunteers because the volunteers time and miles are turned into cash (on paper) for the purpose of showing the feds in this phony system that they are doing their share to contribute to the resettlement of hundreds of poor people to Milwaukee.
And, don’t miss the line with the amount of money local and state government is handing out (and they keep telling us this is completely funded from the federal level). Ha! Ha!
Then see the last line. CC says it will contribute $540 per refugee in cash in FY2017, but only managed $242 in 2015. Optimistic aren’t they!
And, that doesn’t mean the cash necessarily goes to the refugee, but likely goes toward the agency’s overhead!
If you want a really good laugh, you should see the Abstract for the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) for FY17 for Milwaukee. They are going to contribute a grand total of $53 in cash per refugee they resettle while in 2015 they shelled out a whole $24 per refugee (whoop-de-do).
Are you still with me????
So what do you do with your local R & P Abstract once you get it?
You must make the document public!
You are going to have to figure out how to do that where you live. Go before your local government (when the media is there) and ask if your elected officials had any role in its preparation. Tell them to hold a public meeting to discuss it.
Make sure all those in your local group with similar concerns are given a copy.
If you are doing a power point presentation in your state, be sure to put the pages on the power point.
Take it to your Member of Congress and US Senators and tell them you disapprove of the numbers and that you don’t want them to vote to fund it.
Demand to know exactly which ethnic groups are coming to your town. And, are they screened for communicable diseases?
I feel like I am beating a dead horse with this next one…..
If you can’t get to the media (those local papers have been captured!), you will have to write a blog or website so all of the information you gather is made public by your own alternative media. Facebook pages are not as good because I don’t think you can catalog information for future reference.
It is pretty late in the cycle to make a huge impact this year with the Abstracts except to pressure Congress in to not funding Obama’s planned expansion of the program.
Next year? What do we do? Who knows…..It all depends on November!
*** Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee received almost $7 MILLION FROM US TAXPAYERS in the last 3 years. See USASpending.gov here.
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