In my previous post I said I had two stories today (so far) about reactions from within the refugee resettlement industry about the future of the program in a Trump administration. The second story comes from NJ.com which begins with the usual heart string-tugging story that has to be the first lesson of Journalism 101 classes at our colleges and universities. However this story has a little smell to it! (Emphasis below is mine)
The woman, a Syrian refugee recently resettled in Middlesex County, had one question the morning after the election of Donald Trump:
“What does this mean for my sons?”
What kind of visa allowed the Syrian couple admission to the US, and it is certainly a red flag that their TEENAGE BOYS were not admitted!
Also, since the pair have not yet been approved for asylum, they are NOT REFUGEES (not until their asylum applications have been approved are they eligible for all the goodies refugees receive from taxpayers!).
Her concern was recounted by the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, whose New Brunswick congregation has sponsored the resettlement of several refugee families. The woman and her husband had come to the United States on visas, and are seeking asylum***, but her teenage boys were denied visas and are waiting in a third country.
“I told her it doesn’t mean anything for her boys,” Kaper-Dale said. “I do not expect Donald Trump will be nearly as aggressive with his actions as he was with his mouth.” [Rather optimistic isn’t it?—ed]
Admitting it again! Trump does not need Congress to cut off the flow!
Trump campaigned on a promise to stop the flow of refugees from the Middle East, vowing to hit the pause button on the current administration’s acceptance of refugees from the brutal civil war in Syria. Since the refugee resettlement program is administered by the U.S. State Department, a president does not need congressional approval to make the change.
And, just as we predicted! Obama may be trying to front-end the resettlement of his 110,000 refugee plan for FY2017. However, contractors beware because if you get out ahead of your federal funding, you may actually have to find private money later in the year (or go belly-up!).
The New Jersey-based agencies that have federal contracts to help refugees find housing and jobs all vow to continue to welcome people who have come to New Jersey from at least 18 countries. [Progress when mainstream media mentions that the ‘religious’ groups have federal contracts!—ed]
If anything, some expect the pace of resettlement may pick up as the Obama administration tries to bring over as many families as possible before Trump takes office in January, one volunteer said.
Concerned about the impact the Trump election might have on the organization’s refugee resettlement program, Bertrand made inquiries a few days after the election and said he was told refugees would continue to arrive until the change of administration takes place in Washington.
“And after that, they have no idea what will happen,” he said.
Gov. Christie’s withdrawal of the state from the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program only means a non-profit federal contractor like Church World Service in this story will call the shots for NJ (maybe it already has become a Wilson-Fish state). If he was serious he would file a lawsuit as Tennessee is doing here.
Although Gov. Chris Christie came out against the state accepting any Syrian refugees – saying he would be opposed to accepting even orphans under the age of five – states cannot ban refugees from resettlement in their borders.
Will wonders never cease! Here they actually admit what we have been saying all along about screening Syrians!
Agencies that help with refugee settlement say the people arriving today have been in the vetting pipeline for years. But they concede that the chaotic conditions that triggered a mass exodus from Syria in 2015 makes it very difficult for refugees to prove anything about their backgrounds, as employers, relatives and even records are now scattered, unavailable, or destroyed.
***As I warned in my earlier post this morning, watch out for more extensive use of the asylum process if the refugee resettlement program is curtailed.
Go here for more on New Jersey.