Earlier today we told you that many of you had contacted me to say you had commented at the Heritage Foundation website where the venerable Washington DC think tank had sought comments on its proposal to “reform” the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), but that your comments were only visible to you (the author).
See my post hereyesterday andhere this morning where we speculated that Heritage either had technical difficulties or was deliberately shadow-banning comments.
However, sometime late this afternoon, without explanation, the comment counter jumped from 28, where it had hovered all day, to 137 (where it is now).
Please go hereto see that the vast majority of those commenting want a serious reform of the USRAP or a complete halt to the program, not the ‘reform’ prepared by Heritage Foundation experts that sounded more like a product drafted by the US State Department espousing its foreign policy goals with no consideration for the impact on US taxpayers and citizens in refugee-stressed towns.
In addition to concerns over refugees, many of those who commented demonstrated what we already knew from the election of Donald Trump last fall—American citizens want immigration brought under control and they want a wall!
It isn’t too late to comment so please do that, here.
Tell the President! Not foreign policy objectives first, America first!
But, more importantly, it is imperative that you take a few extra minutes and write to the White Houseand alert the President that the Heritage Foundation Refugee Reform proposal, that was presented to the National Security Council last week, is way off the mark and must not be given serious consideration by members of your Administration.
Update #2: Hereis what I said about the missing comments being found.
***Update***Happy news and happy reading! Some of you went to work today and just now I see that there are 137 comments posted (while the number had hovered around 28 since yesterday)! All of you who contacted me are now posted for all to see!Here !
Yesterday I told you about that completely inadequate “reform” proposal for the US Refugee Admissions Programthat the Heritage Foundation took to the White House last week. If you missed the story click here.
Heritage invited comment from the public on its plan, but has apparently failed to post many of your comments.
I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt until tomorrow morning that their failure to post comments, or more accurately let the commenter believe his or her comment was posted, but then not make it visible for the general public is because they had a technical malfunction and that all comments would be posted on Monday when they return to work…..
However, the other scenario is that Heritage was practicing what is called “shadow banning”(a highly questionable trick in the tech world) where the commenter can see his comment as if it had been posted, but no one else can. I wrote about it here in Augustwhen obviously twitter had briefly shadow-banned me.
Again, we will see what happens tomorrow when DC workers return to their offices and Heritage checks its system.
(I do know that Heritage says they screen comments and reject some, but if so, why do they appear to some readers and not to others if they had been outright rejected? And, if you are immediately thinking they are rejecting comments they don’t like, it doesn’t make sense. Some of those that have disappeared don’t seem any more critical than some they did post for all to see. And, besides, is it reasonable to assume that a Heritage worker, knowledgeable about refugees, was screening comments on Saturday of a holiday weekend? No.)
This is why I suspect shadow-banning is possibly going on. It would be very shameful if the estimable Heritage Foundation is engaging in that unfair practice. After all, they were soliciting comments!
What do you think should be done about America’s refugee program?
Several readers wrote to me to tell me that they had posted comments, but I couldn’t see those comments. Some reported that they hadn’t seen mine. Strange, I thought, because mine is right here in front of me. This is a screenshot of what I saw. (At that time there were about 16 comments and as of this writing there are 28.)
I was the first commenter on November 25th right under Ron and before Gail:
I then tried something else. I opened the site in another browsing window and what do you know, I was gone! See screenshot below. Who is now missing between Ron and Gail? Me!
So, dear readers, how many of you can see my comment, and how many can’t?
About six other people reported that they had posted comments that they could see, but were not visible to me. Here are two of those. Tell me, can you see Margaret Starry or Richard Falknor’s comments? I can’t (other than in the screenshots they shared with me below)!
Look for her just before Thomas Stark, do you see her comment?
How about Richard Falknor’s?
Can you see Richard Falknor’s comment immediately following Stephen Palmer? Mr. Falknor could obviously see it in order to take this screenshot.
Since so many comments are missing, there is no way for me, or anyone!, to know if you posted a comment. Please send me an e-mail here: email@example.com and I will tell you if your comment is visible. I have already received e-mails from a few of you who sent me your comment’s text and I confirmed that it is not visible to me.
If you can, get a screenshot of your ‘posted’ comment and send it to me.
Or, ask one of your friends to go to Heritage’s comments and see if they can see your comment!
And, tomorrow if Heritage has a good explanation we will report that—stay tuned!
Editor:From time to time I post guest columns from readers whose work adds significant new information to our discussion about how the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program is having an impact on your wallets and your quality of life.
Here reader Bob Enos crunches numbers about Somali employment in Minnesota and finds some very interesting data leading to an unexpected conclusion.
THE PARALLEL SOCIETY
First, my thanks go out to Minnesota refugee resettlement expert Ron Brantsner for putting me on to the 2016 report on the animal slaughtering and processing industry in central Minnesota, presented by the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development. A review of the report, for me, shed much light on both the stated objectives of refugee resettlement in the United States, and the unstated subtext.
The American people are constantly told that refugee resettlement serves to fill the labor needs that go unmet, due to low birth rates, an aging population, and the unwillingness of Americans to perform certain kinds of menial labor.
How does this mantra square with the data reported by federal and state government?
Federal data tells us there are roughly 30-40k Somali refugees residing in central and west central Minnesota. The populations of these regions reside primarily in Stearns and Kandiyohi counties, of which St. Cloud and Willmar are the county seats, respectively.
The MN DEED report states that about 4,000 people are employed in animal slaughtering and processing in the region. It goes on to say that, from 1995 to 2016, the percentage of “black employees” (read: Somali refugees) rose from 1% to 10% of total employment in the sector. From this data, it can be inferred that at least 400 Somalis work in the industry in this region.
Statistics on fertility rates from the World Health Organization and the federal government suggest that the typical Somali nuclear family – as American society defines nuclear families – includes nearly eight children. Therefore, infer that at least 3,000 adult Somalis in the region are eligible for employment.
The most recent report on performance indicators of refugee resettlement from the US Office of Refugee Resettlement suggested that the unemployment rate among Somali refugees nationwide is about 50%. Applied to the western/west central Minnesota region, this suggests at least 1,500 of the region’s work-eligible Somalis are unemployed. This leaves at least 1,500 Somalis participating in the region’s labor force.
Now, this is where things get interesting.
If 1,500 Somalis are eligible for employment and, of these, 400 are employed in the “livestock” sector, then at least 1,100 Somalis engaged in employment of some other kind have yet to be accounted for.
Anecdotal information suggests that Walmart is a significant employer of Somali refugees in the region. This region contains SIX Walmart stores.
Does it seem reasonable that six Walmart stores have 1,100 Somali employees? Not likely.
Consider an alternate scenario.
The lion’s share of the 1,100 Somali workers who, so far, are unaccounted for are likely working in support capacities for other Somalis: translation services for schools, law enforcement, health care, health and human services, refugee resettlement agencies, and transporting fellow Somalis to locations where they partake of these services. A few are owners and operators of storefronts which cater exclusively to…Somali shoppers.
What we are witnessing and financing with public dollars is a closed, parallel society in America.
If an economic goal of importing Somali and other refugees to the US is filling jobs which are going unfilled by America’s current population of Americans, then the refugee resettlement program will go down in history as the most bloated, inefficient, wasteful, expensive job service the United States has ever produced.
But, this hypothesis begs a larger question. Has refugee resettlement REALLY been about filling low wage, unskilled jobs? The data, at least in Minnesota, does not support the premise.
No, what the economic objective seems to be is to redistribute the world’s poverty among wealthy, industrialized countries in the Western world. In this social experiment, however, the United States, for the first time, has willingly embraced a population that, at least, shows no collective interest in assimilating to, and embracing the American Way of life; and, at worst, is hostile to it. Furthermore, our leaders have evidently sanctioned the concept of an unassimilated, parallel society in America. How do we know that? Just take a look at President Barack Obama’s Committee for Welcoming New Americans, and its 2015 report to the president. In it, we find the committee quite intentionally omits the use of the word “assimilation” anywhere in the report, and replaces it with the word “integration.” What’s more, “integration”, in the New Normal, seems to share more in common with what Baby Boomers were taught is, actually, segregation.
And what might be the quid pro quo for America’s two political parties? If employment is presumably suffering for a lack of eligible workers, then the same can be said for a lack of eligible voters. And let’s face it, the Democratic Party has a long tradition of building its voting ranks with new immigrants.
The trade-off, then, is more refugees, in exchange for new Democratic voters. But what is new this time around, my fellow Americans, is that, in the New Normal, taxpaying Americans pay an exorbitant price in the bargain, in public finance, cultural identity, and quality of life. Or, as our friend Ann Corcoran often reminds us, “changing America by changing its people.”
And, as any salesperson knows, one has to be prepared to walk away from the sale when the price is too high.
This post and others like it are filed in my category entitled: Comments worth noting/guest posts (here). Other posts by, and about, citizen activist Bob Enos are here.