Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for September 9th, 2017

HIAS conference call informative; but appears to be in the dark about FY18 Presidential determination on refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 9, 2017

Of course it’s possible that Melanie Nezer and Mark Hetfield—two of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society‘s executives and DC insiders—aren’t being completely honest to those on last Thursday’s conference call, but since they were looking for help from supporters, I don’t know what they would gain by being cagey with them.

(I told you about the call here, but you can listen yourself here.)

To save me a lot of work, I’m going to simply list nuggets I learned while listening.  Here they are in no particular order:

~Funding the USRAP continues for now at the FY16 level and they say that is enough for 75,000 refugees a year.

Screenshot (730)

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is pushing for 75,000 refugees to begin arriving on October 1st. HIAS is the smallest refugee contractor but appears to have the biggest megaphone. https://www.hias.org/welcome-least-75000-refugees-us-2018.

 

~75,000 is their minimum target number for FY18 in order to not “undermine [their] infrastructure” (code for keeping the federal money coming so they can pay salaries and rent, but of course they never admitted that to listeners on the call). Less than 50,000 would mean “long lasting erosion” of the program.

~Everything is very confused this year they say. No Presidential Determination (PD) yet. (I expected them to know more!)

~They say the Report to Congress (in advance of the PD) has come in June or July in some previous years.  I have never seen it that early. It usually is mid-September because until the last couple of years, Congress didn’t care what the President sent up. Other than a few diligent staffers, it is likely that no members actually ever looked at the report. See last year’s report dated September 15th by clicking here.

~Mark Hetfield likened the PD to another kind of Executive Order. I think he wants to make it sound like its an Executive Order for future lawsuits.

~They admit they have a stable of lawyers ready and waiting for all possibilities from this White House.

~They even suggested there is a possibility that Trump would make no PD! Wow! One of their people remarked that Bush delayed his immediately after 9/11, but that was understandable they admitted (implying the Trump situation is not).  So even they are considering the possibility of a suspension of the program.

~A caller asked if there was any way Congress could ‘punish’ the President if he simply doesn’t make a ‘determination’ or initiate a consultation in the coming 3 weeks. No, there isn’t, said one of the HIAS experts. But, their stable of lawyers is looking at all the legal angles.

~Until Trump was elected, they (contractors) were in “expansion mode” opening new offices in new towns. Bringing in more communities now is impossible.

~There was a lot of discussion about what refugee advocates could do.  Top of the list was to tell their Congressmen and Senators that they want to “welcome” more refugees. Interestingly, I believe it was Hetfield who admitted the President sets the number not Congress, but important to try to get Congress to pressure Prez.

~They asked listeners to set up meetings with their Washington Reps in their own districts. But, surprisingly, could not give a caller the names of specific reps to target.

Hetfield and Nezer

See Mark Hetfield and Melanie Nezer in action this time last year. https://www.hias.org/blog/video-hias-mark-hetfield-and-melanie-nezer-brief-foreign-press-members

~Some other action ideas  included getting rabbis to sign their letter in support of more refugees. They have 48 states represented but no one from North and South Dakota.

~They want people to show up to demonstrate on the steps of the Supreme Court when it hears the so-called ‘travel ban’ case on October 10th. A caller asked how the timing of the case and the decision announcement (could be May or June) would affect refugee admissions, and the experts on the call could not say. As I said in my earlier post this morning, their own lawsuits have made such a hash of the program they have probably done more damage to refugee admissions than if they had simply let the 120 day moratorium run its course.

~They want people to plan demonstrations and to use social media to get the pro-more-refugees message out.  And, they want donations.

~There were several mentions of all the eager volunteers who want to help resettle refugees, but alas they may be disappointed with few new ones coming.  I felt like shouting—-put them to work helping your previously resettled refugees who are struggling, or better still tell them to help American refugees of Harvey and soon-to-be refugees from Irma.

There is a lot more, those of you in ‘pockets of resistance’ should listen to the 43-minute call, here.  Then…..

Tell the President and Congress that the US Refugee Admissions Program should be suspended for fiscal year 2018!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch!, What you can do, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

9th Circuit once again throws monkey wrench into US Refugee Admissions Program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 9, 2017

Groups like the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and International Refugee Assistance Project, with their lawsuits through friendly courts, have so perverted the legal process that has been in place since 1980 for admitting refugees that there is even more reason for President Donald Trump to simply suspend the USRAP for FY18 which begins in 22 days.

Here is the latest crowing at the New York Times about how the recent 9th Circuit decision will allow more refugees to be admitted to the US.

But, but, but….

No where does the NYT article mention that the Supreme Court did affirm the President’s legal right to set a CEILING for the fiscal year and that Trump did set it once he was sworn in at 50,000.  We are now at 51,726 (as of this writing).  This is the first time in the history of the program that the ceiling has been exceeded. 

becca-heller

Rebecca Heller, Yale law 2010, director of the International Refugee Assistance Project is “thrilled.”

Any day now Donald Trump could set the CEILING for Fiscal year 2018 that begins on October 1 making moot so much of this legal wrangling.

All of this language created out of thin air by the Supreme Court—this “bona fide relationship” BS—is not in refugee law.

My argument again is that since the courts (including the Supremes) have so mangled refugee law (with the help of these political agitators) that the program should be suspended beginning October 1 to give CONGRESS and the President time assess the program and to regain their Constitutional authority to write and administer law!

The Refugee Act of 1980 does not mandate any number that a President must admit.  He can set the level at zero! He can do that without any executive order via his September ‘determination’ required under the Act!

If he sets the level at zero at the outset, he also takes away any claim the contractors have to having been promised (via contract/agreement) by the Dept. of State that they will be getting a certain number of paying clients (aka refugees) in the coming year.

Here is the New York Times helping to further muddy the public’s understanding of how refugee admissions to the US are processed.

LOS ANGELES — A federal appeals court on Thursday reopened the country’s door to thousands of refugees who had been temporarily blocked by President Trump’s travel ban, and also upheld a lower court decision that had exempted grandparents and other relatives from the ban. [Thousands in 22 days?—ed]

The ruling, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Seattle, was cheered by refugee resettlement organizations,*** and clarified, for now, who was covered by the ban.

In June, the Supreme Court allowed parts of President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring all travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries, and all refugees, to take effect while the court considered arguments over whether such a ban was constitutional. But the court said the government should let in travelers and refugees with a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” without fully defining what that meant.  [There is no “bona fide” relationship standard in refugee law! Bona fide dies when the executive order dies unless Congress rewrites the law and the President signs it!—ed]

[….]

They also said that working with a resettlement agency*** meets the standard for a “bona fide” relationship with an entity in the United States.

[….]

The United States refugee resettlement program virtually ground to a halt at the end of June as a result of the travel ban. Since then, the government has frozen the applications of individuals already assigned to a resettlement agency, unless they could show ties to a close family member in the United States. Some 24,000 refugees were affected, the court noted in its opinion.

The court mandated that the government resume resettling refugees in the United States beginning in five days.

Becca Heller, director of International Refugee Assistance Project, an organization that provides free legal assistance to refugees abroad and has sued the government over the ban, said Thursday, “I am thrilled that two courts have now recognized the importance of the decades-old relationship between refugees and the American families, communities and organizations that help them resettle.”

More here.

The Dept. of Justice said they will appeal (to the Supreme Court) this latest legal overreach by the 9th Circuit.

If the Leftist resettlement agencies*** had never gotten involved, accepted the 120-day moratorium, it would be long over now and they would be back to their normal process.

And, so since this whole exercise will be moot shortly, what have the refugee advocacy and contracting agencies*** gained from these legal machinations?

They have gained an enormous anti-Trump media campaign, that’s what!

Tell the President and Congress that the US Refugee Admissions Program should be suspended for fiscal year 2018!

*** For new readers, these are the Federal contractors/middlemen/employment agencies/propagandists/lobbyists/community organizers? paid by you to place refugees in your towns and cities listed below.  Under the nine major contractors are hundreds of subcontractors.

The contractors income is largely dependent on taxpayer dollars based on the number of refugees admitted to the US, but they also receive myriad grants to service their “New Americans.”

If you are a good-hearted soul and think refugee resettlement is all about humanitarianism, think again! Big businesses/global corporations depend on the free flow of cheap (some call it slave) labor.  It is for this reason that Republican leaders of Congress are supportive of an uninterrupted flow of refugees into America.

The only way for real reform of how the US admits refugees is to remove these contractors/Leftwing activists/big business head hunters from the process.

As far as I know, all of the contractors below supported the lawsuits that Ms. Heller and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society filed.

Posted in Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Supreme Court, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

 
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