Trending? Connecticut resettlement contractor farming out refugee families
Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 24, 2016
This may be happening already where you live, but this is the first time I’m seeing such a strategy.
A subcontractor of both Episcopal Migration Ministries and Church World Service (two of nine major contractors) in Connecticut is lining up towns to take refugee families, raise money for them and take over much of the responsibility for the family.
I would really like to know if this is a new strategy for the federal contractors who are in fact doing a pretty lousy job of assimilating new refugees as the numbers keep rising beyond what they can handle. The article I’m posting (below) says there are 50 such arrangements in CT.
Connecticut politicians have made it very clear over the last year that the state is going to welcome as many Syrian Muslims as possible. See this post from last fall where CT Senator Blumenthal announces that he wants to see a reduction in screening time for Syrians (he got his wish since the Obama Administration did indeed reduce the normal 18 months or more down to 3 months to get his 10,000 Syrian Sunnis here by the end of September).
Here is the news item that caught my eye this morning at the Hamlet Hub. Mark your calendars:
In response to the global refugee crisis, a group of area residents has applied to sponsor a refugee family in Ridgefield in partnership with Integrated Immigration and Refugee Services (IRIS), a non-profit agency that has been resettling refugees in Connecticut for over 30 years. This local group, the Refugee Resettlement Committee—Ridgefield (RRCR), will host an information session for the public at the Ridgefield Library on Thursday, September 15 at 10am.
According to IRIS, there are 19 million refugees in the world today, the largest number since World War II. The U.S. Government is inviting 85,000 of those refugees to become Americans in 2016; that number will increase to 100,000 in 2017. Eight hundred are arriving in Connecticut this year; 450 of them will be welcomed by IRIS and its more than 50 state-wide co-sponsors. These refugees will arrive legally, fully vetted, fully documented and with many skills, but most likely without English or money.
As an IRIS co-sponsor, the RRCR will help the family secure affordable housing, find jobs, access language training, and navigate the education, health and social services systems. The goal is that the family be relatively self-sufficient in six months. During that first six months, however, they will need help with transportation and living expenses, so the committee is recruiting volunteer drivers and trying to raise $15,000 for the family.
To learn more about the process and how to get involved, come to the information session or contact the committee at RRCRidgefield@gmail.com. To make a tax-deductible donation, go to the ‘online giving’ tab at http://www.ststephens-ridgefield.org, which is managing donations on behalf of the committee.
A cautionary tale….
Just about the time I started RRW, a church in my town privately sponsored an African family. It became a nightmare for the church that finally ended when the family left for Minnesota to be with others of their African ethnic group. Church members were ultimately left with a bitter taste in their mouths. They first became weary of driving members of the family everywhere, and then were left with a mess in the donated home they permitted the refugees to use free of charge as the family packed up and left. The appliances in the home had to be trashed and the place repainted.
I would like to know who will be responsible for rental property etc. (or if some crime occurs) in Ridgefield, IRIS or the local welcoming citizens? And, do the Ridgefield citizens get to pick their family—perhaps a quiet Buddhist or Christian family?
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