The structure of the US Refugee Admissions Program as designed by then Senator Ted Kennedy (with his sidekick Joe Biden) and signed in to law by Jimmy Carter in March 1980 is crumbling (crumpling, whatever) and I want to know—
Where is Congress?
The original concept—non-profit groups being paid by the head to place refugees—is flawed. How do you run an organization and create an annual budget when the program is almost wholly dependent on that per head government payment?
Any legitimate advocate for refugees, should be asking Congress to reform the entire program.
But, of course the leadership (with fat salaries!) of the nine non-profit contractors*** isn’t urging Congress to reform the program and instead is working tirelessly, through the media, to show how mean Donald Trump is to have reduced the number of paying clients (aka refugees) with the assumption that in a few years they will get rid of him and go back to the good ol’ days.
It has been missing for awhile! What is up with that. I thought we were going to have more transparency for communities that are (or might become) refugee placement towns and cities.
This morning I saw this brief mention about Ann Arbor that had been fingered as a possible new resettlement site at the end of the Obama Administration when his State Department was planning as many as 40 new sites (older ones getting overloaded?).
Samaritas, Michigan’s largest refugee resettlement agency, had planned to open an Ann Arbor office and that’s now on hold because there are not enough refugees coming to the area any more, according to John Yim, supervisor of new Americans in Michigan for Samaritas.
(For new readers Samaritas is the Lutheran resettlement agency. Why did they change their name? Who knows.)
You might want to visit this post in which I reported on the State Department’s “New Site Development Guide” published under Bartlett’s leadership.
The Ann Arbor mention reminded me to check Wrapsnet for the:
R&P AGENCY CONTACT LIST EXTERNAL DISTRIBUTION
The most recent map (like the one Bartlett is showing-off in the photo) is from FY16, but the full contact list is missing.
It hasn’t been available for awhile, so how is anyone supposed to know if their town or city has a refugee office? I suspect its absence is also hampering the refugee industry activists. Don’t we all have a right to know where refugees are being placed and which of the hundreds of subcontractors are still open for business?