Editor’s note: I am still out of the country and trying to post when I get a minute. I see I have a boatload of e-mails and will try to get to those as soon as possible. I apologize for not responding sooner.
It was only a few weeks ago that WDAY-6 News was reporting that the number of refugees expected in North Dakota this fall was going to jump, but now following controversy that those statements generated, it seems that Lutheran Social Services North Dakota is moving quickly to say, oh, no!, the numbers will be ‘normal.’
In this article at Inforum, a spokeswoman for LSS says that people (citizens, taxpayers) don’t understand how this all works and that is how they/we get confused.
But, here is the deal, the reason people can get confused is that these agencies have been for 35 years(!) working in SECRECY, so is it any surprise there could be confusion.
There should be a least one public meeting a year in each refugee receiving community where the resettlement agency, the feds and city and state elected officials explain to the community who and how many they will be expected to “welcome” to town in the coming year.
How about a public meeting in Fargo or Grand Forks where LSS does explain how the whole program works!
Here is Inforum:
GRAND FORKS – Refugee resettlements in Grand Forks are expected to remain the same as in previous years, according to Lutheran Social Services.
The city can expect four to 12 refugees to arrive here by October, said Katie Dachtler, resettlement services supervisor. The total number expected is on par with previous years, she said.
Varied reports on the expected number of refugees to arrive this fall in the Fargo area led to the perception by some that the cities would have more refugees than each could handle by October, sparking harsh online comments and a Change.org petition asking LSS to stop further placement unless it’s approved by a vote from Cass County residents. As of Friday afternoon, the petition had gained 3,037 signatures.
Read the whole thing and follow links.
Be sure to see the section on the ‘Somali Community of Grand Forks’ which is what previously was called an ECBO (Ethnic Community Based Organization) ‘non-profits’ funded largely with tax dollars. ECBO’s help THEIR people get a start, help them find “resources,” help them get registered to vote, and then act as political spokespersons if some problem arises with THEIR people.
Now they are called Ethnic Community Self Help groups. Here is one recent list of grantees at the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. The Grand Forks Somali ECBO is not listed here, but has certainly received start-up money from some federal or state agency. I could not find any financials on the group. Concerned citizens in North Dakota need to do some research on this group and others like it.
The big question is why should taxpayers fund groups that seek to promote special treatment for THEIR ethnic “community.”
We have a category on ECBOs here, but haven’t had much news archived there lately.
This post is also filed in our new ‘Pockets of Resistance’ category, here.