Illinois: pro-refugee op-ed is worth mentioning, state taxpayers on the hook
Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 19, 2016
Every time a federal resettlement contractor arrives in a new site and attempts to convince local taxpayers that the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program is a federal program that won’t cost local and state taxpayers anything, beware.
Editor’s note: I was in Washington, DC yesterday for business and pleasure so only just now posted good comments from readers to my posts of Thursday. Sorry for the delay.
This op-ed at Chicago Monitor by Megan Waden has a few interesting nuggets I want you to see, and this final line sums up exactly why I do what I do and thus I agree whole-heartedly with its author:
When engaging in policy discussions to address the refugee admissions process, presenting a more comprehensive picture of the security clearance process and the resources provided throughout resettlement is critical.
My role at RRW for the last nearly 10 years has been to present a “more comprehensive picture” of how resettlement works and who is paying for it.
The writer begins by giving the refugee industry’s talking points about security screening, but you need to know that for the Syrian resettlement, the Obama Administration has reduced screening time down to 3 months.
Then in this next section, I was stunned, flabbergasted, to see how much Illinois taxpayers have been ponying-up for refugee and immigrant “services.” You need to find out how much your state is spending. And, this below doesn’t even mention the cost of welfare payments and the cost of educating the kids!
(Editor: I split this paragraph in to segments for easier reading):
Agencies funded at the state level remain particularly vulnerable to the budget impasse in Illinois. The impasse has led to cuts for several services including the Immigrant Family Resource Program, which “assists immigrants in determining whether they are eligible for public benefits and enables the state to meet federally mandated language-access obligations***”. [They have a whole agency which determines if refugees/immigrants are eligible for welfare!—ed]
Funding was also cut for The New Americans Initiative, ending the program’s ‘citizenship application assistance and outreach’. Over 200 employees were laid off in the Refugee and Immigrant Services sector, as an additional 100 positions remain severely at risk. [Illinois had 300 employees doing this!—ed]
The Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Breandan Magee, has quoted over 102,000 clients this year as going without services as a result of these funding cuts. Non-state funded groups like the Syrian Community Network in Chicago, who provide resettlement services for Syrian refugees, try to fill that gap in state funding. But they have to rely on community donations to fund their training and other programs.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is an activist group promoting open borders which we have mentioned often over the years. Click here to see those posts.
***This reference to “federally mandated language-access obligations” is about a Clinton era EXECUTIVE ORDER that Bush could have rescinded but didn’t. Trump? It says that you, local and state taxpayers, must provide at your expense interpreters whenever refugees/immigrants have problems with any institution receiving federal funding for medical care, school systems, criminal justice system, etc.
About the photo: Ahhhh! there is a degree in Refugee Studies! Will they hire me to be a guest lecturer?