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

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!

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

  1. They sound a lot like Congress. A bunch of liars. Fact checking their little meeting is a nightmare, and they want it that way.

    One thing is very clear. They hate our President, and those who elected him and sent a very clear message on these many subjects, and they hate the United States Constitution. Again, sounds just like Congress. The swamp is very deep.

    It is time that all of these groups be fired, and a new RFP put out for any new refugee business to be undertaken. Preferably to go to REAL CHURCHES. Who agree to fundraise for their respective “refugee welcoming”, rather than putting that expense on the backs of our grandchildren, who may want children of their own one day, or now.

    It will take a good year to get this in place, and while we do that we need to attend to our own hurricane refugees here. I haven’t seen any other countries come to our rescue like we always do for them.

    The only thing these people are worried about now is their disappearing high priced salaries and mortgages. Where are they ever going to find another gig like this where there is NO COMPETITION and ENDLESS TAXPAYER FUNDS? PP is next.

    We need to get this on air. EVERYWHERE!


  2. Ann, if RRW followers were to post something like the following on their facebook accounts, it might well have the desired impact:

    HEADS UP: call the White House comment line week days (1-202-456-1111) to encourage the President to SUSPEND refugee program for FY’18 until such time that a thorough, independent review and overhaul of the program is conducted and recommendations submitted to him and Congress for review. (Which refugee groups are assimilating and contributing and which are not; also, costs of resettling refugees vs providing assistance to them overseas until they are able to safely return to their country of origin.) Also, encourage him to ask Congress to pass a law which requires States to have final say over the number & nationality of refugees which the federal government is permitted to resettle in the States. Time: 2.5 minutes.


  3. “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.”

    You should save the audio and make sure it gets to the President and the DOJ for the court case.


  4. Totally agree, Ann. The White House comment tel. no. is 1-202-456-1414 during week days. USRAP needs to be suspended until it is thoroughly reviewed, overhauled before reinstatement. Finally, the States must be consulted regarding number and nationality of refugees permitted entry, and should have be granted lawful authority by Congress to take as few refugees as they so desire.


    1. The only problem, as some of my hardcore followers know, is that even if say Vermont wants refugees and New Hampshire doesn’t, Vermont can pour them in and then they migrate within months to NH anyway.


  5. Want to really reduce immigration? Here is THE PLAN. LOL

    Posted by Bruce Cain on Friday, September 8, 2017


  6. I’ve left Clooney pieces here before, but did you how deeply involved he is with the “deep state” (if you use that term?) It’s not just shilling for Soros…it’s Russia, refugees for open borders, Awan…awful. Now he’s saying he’s “maintaining” a “Refugee” in KY as the kid attends college at Obama’s alma mater in Chicago (Bill Ayres land) which is a 300 mile commute. He’s so full of it. I expect what with the UN meetings in September of which the Clooneys were the stars last year when they got $500M from Obama for “refugees” and his new movie opening in October for him and Damon and Moore (also part of Soros’s “Enough” project) to ramp up the propaganda in their interviews, etc. It’s disgusting. Can’t they be tried for treason or something?https://rednationrising.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/clooney-collusion/


  7. NO! NO! NO! Not one more refugee or immigrant until ALL able US CITIZENS, VETERANS AND EXISTING REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS ARE GAINFULLY EMPLOYED AND HOUSED ! There are far too many refugees and immigrants in this country living off of the CITIZENS tax dollars and that is immoral and wrong and will ultimately lead to our becoming bankrupt just like Venezuela !


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