“…any resettlement agency that resettles less than 100 (refugees) in principle they are supposed to close their doors.”
I sure hope some concerned citizens were permitted to attend the meeting and hear all this personally!
For new readers, the resettlement contractor working near you is supposed to hold quarterly consultations in the community, but often block taxpaying citizens from attending, saying they are not “stakeholders.”
I say that the taxpayers are the ultimate stakeholders!
As I read this story, in the Bowling Green Daily News, I wondered if anyone ever mentions that terrible case a few years ago where two Iraqi refugees were arrested and ultimately sentenced for planning Islamic terror right there in Bowling Green.
At its current rate, the International Center of Kentucky in Bowling Green doesn’t expect to meet its goal of resettling 300 refugees before the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30.
“As of today, we have about 36,” Albert Mbanfu, the center’s executive director, told a group of refugee resettlement partners Monday during a meeting at the center.
Mbanfu called that amount “by far the lowest number that we’ve ever resettled in a three-month period.”
During the meeting Monday, representatives from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s office, the Bowling Green Independent School District and other resettlement stakeholders reviewed data on the previous fiscal year’s refugee arrivals. [Glad to hear that Paul is on it, but where was Mitch McConnell’s office rep?—ed]
Between October 2016 and September 2017, the center saw 287 refugee arrivals. Of those, 194 – or 68 percent – arrived during the first quarter of fiscal year 2017.
Somalis made up the largest group of arrivals at 114 with refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo just behind at 75.
The average number of days for refugee job placement was 112, and the 90-day job retention rate was 92 percent.
The top four employers were Perdue [BIG CHICKEN!—ed], ARC Automotive, Trace Die Cast and Kroger.
Also at the meeting, Mbanfu brought up an issue with the low number of refugees the International Center at Owensboro is resettling. “Basically, any resettlement agency that resettles less than 100 (refugees) in principle they are supposed to close their doors,” he said.
Mbanfu said the International Center is working with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to raise those numbers.
A scrum to behold?
I can see it now—there must be fierce fighting going on among the nine federal contractors as they bid for bodies—paying refugee clients—in a smaller pool than they have ever had.
I would love to be a fly on the wall at one of those US State Department weekly meetings when they divvy-up the incoming refugee cases!
Mbanfu is obviously putting a lot of confidence in his contractor USCRI and Lavinia Limon’s skills as she throws her weight around at the DOS.
BG News continues….
In a follow-up interview, Mbanfu said that because the site is the only one in its area, it has a greater chance of staying open. He said the USCRI supports keeping the location open and that he’s confident it will help raise the location’s arrivals.
And, go here for our Bowling Green archive.
We have a lot from there because it too had problems (USCRI had problems!) with refugees being placed in substandard housing a few years ago.