You have probably seen them—bushels of stories about how the nine federal resettlement contractors are wailing and moaning as Trump cuts off their refugee/money flow—but I was surprised that the Wall Street Journal didn’t do a little better job of putting it all in perspective.
For new readers like Nancy, here are the nine federal resettlement contractors (aka Volags, short for Voluntary Agencies, Ha! Ha!) that make up the “refugee-resettlement industry:”
- 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)
The WSJ does make it clear that these NON-Profit groups (six are ostensibly religious groups) are paid by the head to place refugees in your towns and get them signed up for their stuff. For the first few years that I wrote this blog, mainstream media never mentioned that fact! So, yes, their budgets will vary as they have become almost completely dependent on federal money for their salaries/benefits, office rental, travel, etc.
For them to be whining that they have to raise private money for their ‘religious’ charitable work as refugee numbers vary makes me want to scream. When the Refugee Act of 1980 became law it was supposed to be a public-private partnership, but as the years have passed, federal funding (and state and local funding!) has become a greater and greater share.
Before I give you the latest whine-fest from the WSJ, here is how the contractors got in to this pickle. Obama set the CEILING for FY17 at 110,000 in his final months in office. The WSJ tells us it was the highest ceiling since 1995. Thus the contractors were building their budgets on a pipe dream of more paying clients (aka refugees) than they have had for years and years.
That 110,000 was, by far, Obama’s highest ceiling as we have reported ad nuaseum and as you can see in this chart from the Refugee Processing Center and is being used dishonestly as the benchmark for measuring the Trump flow:
Last night I wondered just how the first seven months of the fiscal year matched up (FY17 runs from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017). At the end of April we are 7 complete months in to the fiscal year, and those wailing contractors have been paid handsomely for 7 months based on the fact that by April 30,2017 we had admitted more paying clients/refugees than any of the previous ten years. Do the math using the chart above!
As of the end of April, the US admitted 42,414 refugees, the highest number in the first seven months of any of the years since before FY07. In fact, Bush had the lowest first seven months in 2007—17,150, but even Saint Obama had only 26,181 in FY12 as of April 30th. He never had a year with this high number (by April 30th) in his time in office.
Now here are a few snips from the Wall Street Journal giving the contractors another opportunity to wail and moan!
Although, I have to laugh to see the phrase “refugee-resettlement industry” in the first line!
Even though President Donald Trump’s travel ban has been put on hold, his administration is already reshaping the refugee-resettlement industry.
The Trump administration has cut the rate of refugee arrivals in half in the first months of the year [this is so dishonest!—ed] and charity organizations that settle refugees are slashing their budgets in response.
More than half of the nine agencies that are approved by the State Department to resettle refugees in the U.S. have already either laid off staff or frozen hiring. Some agencies have let hundreds of people go. Many are staging fundraising campaigns the help make up for lost federal funding, which is tied to new refugee arrivals but also supports programs for refugees already here.
“We’ve been asked by the State Department to cut our budget twice already,” said Mark Hetfield, president of HIAS, a Jewish nonprofit that resettles refugees in the U.S. HIAS has instituted a hiring freeze. “You can’t manage a program like this.”
In the last fiscal year, the federal government allocated more than $554 million for refugee admissions, and 84,994 refugees were resettled. More than $227 million of that money was distributed to the nine resettlement agencies, most of them religiously affiliated, that help newcomers adjust to the U.S.
World Relief, one of the resettlement agencies, began adding case workers in the fall, expecting a huge influx of refugees. At the organization’s 25 offices, case workers shepherd refugees through all aspects of life in America. They pick them up at the airport; set up housing, complete with furniture and clothes; advise them on searching for jobs; and help enroll children in school.
Oopsy! As Mark Krikorian pointed out on twitter last night the reporter left out one important duty of the contractor in that line above—they sign the refugee up for all forms of welfare and move on to the next client!
Resettlement agencies had been hoping 2017 would be a banner year. In September, before the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year, Mr. Obama announced he would raise the number of refugees allowed into the country to 110,000, the highest total since 1995. Many agencies began staffing up. [Sniffle—ed]
The nine resettlement agencies contract much of the work settling new refugees out to hundreds of local affiliates. These organizations are paid $2,075 for each refugee they resettle, the majority of which goes directly to refugee assistance. [No! About half goes to the contractor for salaries and overhead!—ed]
Many resettlement organizations have started fundraising campaigns to try to make up for lost revenue.
Pity! They actually have to go out to the public and look for private charitable dollars for their humanitarian good works.
You know what it means if they can’t find private money? It means the public is generally not behind their efforts to import poverty and diversify American cities and towns with refugees from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Read the whole article here and be sure to see that Mark Krikorian is quoted.