Nonprofit Quarterly: Entire System of Refugee Resettlement Nonprofits Teeters on the Edge
Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 22, 2017
“The question is: Is this just 2017, or is this business as usual going forward”
Our title is the headline of a story at a publication for non-profits. Another headline is: Nonprofits, Your Sole Goal in 2017: Pick a Fight with Trump!
And, this one: Your Nonprofit’s Role in Reframing the Post-Election Discourse!
Remember this is the rarefied club that many tea party groups were unable to join when the Obama IRS blocked many 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 applications for conservative-leaning groups a few years ago.
Maybe the Trump Administration should start to look in to the whole non-profit system in America and ask this question:
Are federal funds being used to fuel Leftwing political action?
I’m sorry to have to continue to repeat some key points, but the article entitled, ‘Entire System of Refugee Resettlement Nonprofits Teeters on the Edge,’ contains some points we need to continue to make.
The United States was slated to receive 110,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017, so this cuts that flow in half. So far, it has taken in in 32,954 since October 1, 2016, which means that just over 17,000 additional refugees will be allowed into the U.S. through the end of September. A four-month hiatus on accepting new refugees is now in place.
As I explained in some detail here, that 110,000 was a hoped-for number from Obama in the final months of his presidency for a year he would not be in the White House. 110,000 is much higher than anything he accomplished during his previous 8 years.
And, as I pointed out here, Trump’s 50,000 is not that low when one examines post-9/11 refugee admissions.
This morning we are at 36,461. Four days ago we had admitted 36,205, so the slowdown has begun.
Ponzi scheme revealed.
One important thing all of this turmoil in the refugee industry reveals is that the whole program is built on a kind of Ponzi scheme that requires a continuous flow of paying clients (refugees!) to keep the system afloat.
Non-profit Quarterly continues….
This is one part of Trump’s trio of executive orders on immigrants and refugees that was not stayed. It has shut down the pipeline for refugees and the $2,000 that is paid to refugee resettlement groups to help each individual, and that makes sustainability for these critical agencies pretty difficult. [LOL! I like the use of the word ‘pipeline’ by this publication!—ed]
This, of course, should create concern, because once those elements of infrastructure are gone, rebuilding them and their local relationships will create untold additional cost and delays. “It will impact all nine resettlement agencies, so the infrastructure for refugee resettlement in our country—built over decades, at least since the Refugee Act of 1980—could be decimated,” Matthew Soerens of World Relief said.
While some of the networks are launching fundraising campaigns to try to maintain their services, raising enough to replace federal dollars may be a real long shot, even for a system at relative rest. For instance, in 2015, approximately $42 million of World Relief’s $62 million budget was federal grants. [If they can’t raise private money to stay afloat it means that the general public does not support what they are doing!—ed]
In many cases, the agencies may be national, but their offices are local. These local satellites*** do the real work of helping refugees gather necessary documentation and assisting them in finding housing, job training, and public benefits. But all in the system recognize the system as a public-private partnership, and when the federal government shuts down their pipeline, the whole system freezes, creating a very serious situation.
This so-called public-private partnership has become a largely publicly-funded program as the resettlement contractors, like World Relief, have come to depend mostly on their taxpayer-funded payments and were doing little over the years to raise private funding.
As Abramzon asks, “The question is: Is this just 2017, or is this business as usual going forward? I think it’s important for all of us to know that.” Unfortunately, by the time that question is answered, it may be moot for some of the agencies involved.
To answer Ms. Abramzon’s question (how far forward is this slowdown going?), it is imperative that Congress get involved and reform this entire system. EOs are only good for a president’s term in office (as Obama has learned the hard way). It is past time for Congress to stop being lazy (and chicken!) and reform the system!
***For new readers: Since some of you are new readers arriving here in great numbers daily, it requires me to continuously repeat that there are nine major federally-funded refugee resettlement contractors. When you see one like this, Jewish Family Services in Michigan, and wonder who they work for, go to one of the nine VOLAGs website and look for ‘affiliates’ or ‘partners,’ or visit this data base and look for your state. You will see abbreviations for the BIG NINE in the lefthand corner of the entry.
And, while I’m at it, explaining basics to new readers, you might want to visit my Frequently Asked Questions, here.
BIG NINE VOLAGs crying for (your) money!
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)
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