I’ll be reporting the news below, but I first want to make my key points up front so that you don’t fall for the pity-party news story.
~The International Rescue Committee is ostensibly a private non-profit group and therefore the US State Department can’t dictate that it must close offices (supposedly they will be closing 3 of 28).
They might not be getting new refugees at the office in GC that was set up only 4 years ago at the heyday of Obama’s presidency, but they surely could pay for some staff and a small office to help those they already dropped off in the town whose major employer is Tyson Foods!
~The IRC is a financial giant as non-profits go. From its 2016 Form 990 we know they had revenue that year of $736 million and that $494 million was provided to them by you—-the US taxpayers!
~Some of their top expenses were salaries ($244 million), grants and other assistance to foreign organizations, foreign governments, and foreign individuals ($296 million) and office expenses ($20 million).
Their headquarters are in Manhattan, New York (not Manhattan, KS). I mention this because I wonder: how much could a small office to aid struggling refugees cost in Garden City, KS? (You will see that the GC Telegram story is all about how refugees will be left in the lurch.)
~Salaries of top staff we have reported previously are here:
The point I am making is that the IRC could very well have kept its Garden City office open even if new refugees (new paying clients) were not being sent there by the State Department. They could have continued to help the refugees they brought in during the first 4 years with other money from their ginormous pot of money.
But, instead, this news will be used as one more bit of media fodder to blast President Donald Trump.
From the Garden City Telegram:
(By the way, there are other contractors working in GC and so this does not mean the end of refugees being placed there. After all, the slaughter plant run by Tyson Foods needs the cheap labor!)
Organizations, institutions look to continue IRC mission
Garden City’s International Rescue Committee office is on a countdown.
Members of the limited staff have ended their tenures. The Fulton Terrace office has been packed away, the internet shut down. By the end of the month [July—ed], the location will close, a decision laid down by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the U.S. State Department due to lower resettlement numbers in the region.
To Site Manager Amy Longa, it’s a difficult process. She has said for months that every week has felt like one step closer to the office’s closing day on Tuesday.
“I was going to say ‘Have a seat,’ but there are no chairs,” she said on Monday, looking for space in an old conference room.
The closure’s been an incremental process. The office resettled its last client in February and has been holding exit meetings with refugees, showing them where they can find local aid after the office shuts down. Even after the doors close, Longa and volunteer coordinator Kaitlynn Lagman will finalize office and program reports.
For four years, the local IRC office has helped resettle and acclimate refugees to life in southwest Kansas, particularly in and around Garden City, Dodge City and Liberal. Staff and volunteers have bolstered a local network of institutional support for refugees and helped clients reunite with family members once an ocean away, obtain citizenship, locate housing, employment, language and healthcare resources and bridge cultural differences or misunderstandings.
By the end of the year, the number of United States IRC offices will shrink from 28 to 25, closing locations in Garden City, Miami and Midland, Texas. Last year, those three offices were projected to resettle less than 100 clients in their areas as a result of a recent, mandated cutoff from the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration following restrictive federal immigration policies, said Tracy Reines, IRC regional director of U.S. programs.
Reines said the new restrictions were a result of increasingly restrictive immigration policies set forward by President Donald Trump’s administration in the past 18 months.
I’ve written often over the years about ‘welcoming’ Garden City. See previous posts by clicking here.
And, new readers might enjoy my David Miliband archive here. He is a British national, former Labor Party Foreign Secretary, friend of George Soros and is being paid handsomely by you to change American towns and cities.