Refugee Resettlement Watch

Rutland, VT mayor defeated over his plan to seed city with Syrian refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 9, 2017

“[W]hat happened here in Rutland….should be used as a template for the rest of country!”

Don Cioffi (Rutland First!)

It wasn’t only the plan—there are lots of mayors pushing for refugees to be placed in their towns—but it was the way he went about it that riled citizens there in VERMONT, of all places!

Thanks to all who sent me one of the many many stories written in the last 24 hours about his defeat at the ballot box.  We mentioned the upcoming election on Sunday, here.  Leo Hohmann writing at World Net Daily quoted that post.

Representatives of the federal resettlement contractor, USCRI, field questions from standing room only crowd in Rutland last year. Photo: http://news4security.com/posts/2016/09/rutland-first-vermonts-homegrown-opposition-to-syrian-resettlement/

(Just as I am writing this post this morning, Fox & Friends is reporting on the mayor’s election loss due to his support of the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program.)

Update: Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart weighs in here.

Mayor Christopher Louras’ defeat should be a wake-up call to mayors around the country that pushing the refugee program in collusion with a paid refugee contractor and the US State Department, while trying to keep the plan secret from the public, is not a good model for success.

Not only did Mayor Louras lose his reelection bid, but the federal resettlement contractor, USCRI in this case opened an office there for 2 families that they will now surely have to close, and their friends in the liberal media—see the New York Times hyping the Rutland resettlement—who were working to make Donald Trump look bad in advance of his inauguration, show how weak they have become.

For our many posts on Rutland going back to (I think) last May, click here.

The Rutland, Vermont model for all of you!

From Leo Hohmann at WND:

The people of Rutland, Vermont, have gained a measure of revenge against former President Obama’s forced influx of Syrian refugees, voting out the five-term mayor who helped negotiate the controversial resettlements with a federal contractor.

Rutland is Vermont’s third-largest city but still very small, with a population of 16,500.

The candidacy of Mayor Christopher Louras went down in flames in Tuesday’s election as he was defeated by the refugee program’s most ardent opponent on the board of aldermen. David Allaire won with 52 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Louras.

“That’s not just a win, that’s a drubbing,” said Don Chioffi, an activist who supported the upstart candidate Allaire.

Louras came out last April and “announced,” much to the surprise of his residents, that the city would be taking in up to 100 Syrian refugees [98.5% of the Syrians entering the US are Muslims—ed] in fiscal 2017 along with others from Iraq.

The announcement divided the city among those who wanted to welcome the refugees – no questions asked – and those who thought the refugee program was being dictated without any local input and with very little information. Protests and counter-protests were organized, attracting national media attention.

Unfazed by the division it caused in Rutland, a State Department contractor opened an office and started placing Syrians into the community.

The Leftist media doesn’t give you a fair shake, so go around them!

Hohmann continued:

Local activist Don Chioffi, an ACT for America chapter leader in Rutland, said Allaire got no help from the local media. But supporters bypassed the newspapers and TV stations by using social media, meetings and a conservative radio host to get their message out.

“The people we talk to always react positively, but you would never know that from the media coverage we get,” Chioffi told WND.

“In their sacrilegious and diabolical effort to squelch the truth, they won’t put it out there, so it’s hard to emphasize how important this victory is because the leftist media just doesn’t give you a fair shake, and we went into it expecting that. We knew we wouldn’t get a fair shake.”

[….]

“What won this race in Rutland is we concentrated on principles of democracies and how far we’ve strayed from those principles when a private, nonprofit agency is taking people’s rights away from them, using secrecy, getting government funding, all of the things about this refugee program that have been taken away from the people.”

Chioffi said his group’s requests for public-record documents were rejected by USCRI, which claimed the information was proprietary, even though it was doing the government’s work as a contractor.

Amila Merdzanovic, Director for USCRI of the Vermont Refugee Program: If we go public too soon “…all sorts of people will come out of the woodwork.”

“We said we have questions and we want answers,” he said.

The group’s big break came when the USCRI director of the state resettlement program stumbled in trying to answer a question about why the refugee plan for Rutland was so secretive.

In an April 14 email to Mayor Louras, USCRI Director Amila Merdzanovic wrote in an email “if we open it up to anybody and everybody, all sorts of people will come out of the woodwork, anti-immigrant … anti-anything.”

“When they came out and said they don’t’ think this should be made public because ‘too many people would come out of the woodwork,’ we just pummeled her and branded her,” Chioffi said.

Chioffi said Rutland is a microcosm for what happened nationally on Nov. 8 with the election of Donald Trump.

“We the people spoke, and we were sick and tired of being dictated to and people making decisions on our behalf. And we’re certainly sick of being dictated to by a private, nonprofit agency,” he said. “Since when do you turn over your local government to a 501c3 private contractor, which then denies you public information? So the lack of transparency was the focus of our campaign against this mayor.”

 There is much, much more including quotes from our friend James Simpson, continue reading here.

***Update 2*** See my latest on USCRI here.

6 Responses to “Rutland, VT mayor defeated over his plan to seed city with Syrian refugees”

  1. kerryhooks said

    Hi Ann

    I’m sure you know that Don is our chapter leader there. We plan on getting this out to all our activists to duplicate. 😊

    Love ❤️ your work!!

    Kerry French ACT for America

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The downside is that they will just stick some other community with them. It’s like having a clean apartment with a neighbor who has roaches. No matter how hard you try to keep your place clean, they will infest it sooner or later because you live next door.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. USCRI is little more than a Market for Slave Labor. Placing illiterate, Sharia minded Muslim to work in Sweat Shops and Meat plants probably far below minimum wage standards. In Turkey, they work 6 – 10 hour days for less than $3.46 so $5 or $6/hour is great especially for the business. In Lebanon, it’s $2/hour.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. icthelite said

    I ‘ve linked this article to the newly elected Mayor (in office for several months now) of my town. The reason for doing so is because he has refused to respond to my inquiries requesting his thoughts on refugee resettlement in our community. Maybe he’ll see the writing on the wall.

    Like

  5. You should have used a more recent picture of Merdzanovic. That one is too flattering. In reality she looks like one of MacBeth’s witches.

    Liked by 1 person

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