My next post today was going to be on this very subject when I spotted this news about an 8-year-old refugee boy from the DR Congo dying mysteriously during a flight change in Chicago. His family was reportedly on the way to Texas and their new home (so much for Governor Abbott’s efforts to close the program in the state).
We told the United Nations we would take in 50,000 from the DR Congo over 5 years. We took about a 1000 in FY12. We are now up to 33,212. These are very needy people (some small number of Muslims in the mix), and they will not be contributing members of the community for a very long time. We have seen reports that the women need mental health treatment. Texas received the most so far (3,724).
We will have to wait until an autopsy is performed to learn why the child sickened and died. Here is the news at Breitbart:
“An 8-year-old refugee from Congo died Tuesday after landing at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport,” the local CBS affiliate reports:
David Dieme, an 8-year-old boy landed Tuesday at approximately 4:30 p.m. with a refugee family at O’Hare International Airport.
Dieme was traveling with his father and several other children, who arrived to Chicago on a flight from Dubai. After clearing paperwork, the family was being escorted to their next flight, when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer noticed Dieme unresponsive.
Emergency Medical Services was immediately notified and arrived at the terminal. Standard procedures are in place to address sick passengers, according to a spokesman for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Dieme was sick prior to the flight, but did not report any symptoms on the flight. He was examined at the airport by CDC officials, in an isolated room. Dieme’s temperature was taken, but he had no fever. He experienced diarrhea and vomiting. It was determined he should be taken to the hospital.
Dieme was taken to Presence Resurrection Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Waiting on an autopsy report.
Breitbart News has reported extensively on the public health risk to the general public posed by a resurgence of diseases that had been on a path to eradication until the recent influx of migration to the country. Among the diseases newly resurgent are tuberculosis, whooping cough, intestinal parasites, mumps, and measles.
Refugees are required to undergo overseas medical screenings prior to their arrival in the United States. Those screenings, however, do not prohibit refugees with a number of diseases from arriving in the United States. Few arriving refugees, for instance, are tested and treated for latent tuberculosis infection prior to their arrival in the United States.
Though initial domestic medical screenings of all arriving refugees are recommended within ninety days of their arrival, those screenings are not required by either law or regulation.
Go here for more of that news (plus to follow the links I was too lazy to add!).
Is carelessness and neglect of the refugees themselves the inevitable next step as the White House has obviously demanded the program be accelerated?
I think it’s a very real possibility.
Did this child die because it was a rush-job to get his family here?
With the huge number of refugees being flown in to the US right now, look for refugees to not be properly taken care of with possible breaches of the contract the resettlement agencies sign with the Department of State.
Our news above highlights the medical issues that might be overlooked when attempting to get the refugees placed at an accelerated pace. Are they cutting corners on more than security screening?
What you need to do where you live: look for refugees being neglected by the agencies hired to bring them in.
I think there is a very good chance that your local resettlement agency won’t be able to handle the numbers coming in. We are already hearing about drives in many communities to find enough volunteers. (I’ve heard there is a pretty high turnover rate for volunteers as they learn how needy, and sometimes not very grateful, the refugees can be.)
- If you see refugees confused and wandering in an airport, take note. They are supposed to be met by the resettlement agency and escorted to an apartment where the refrigerator is required to be stocked with culturally appropriate food.
- Get friendly with the local medical officials in your town and stay on top of any notices being released to the public about health threats arriving in your community. Try to find out if the refugees are being screened in the prescribed time frame and whether school-aged children are being vaccinated.
- Look for refugees being placed in temporary housing. Refugees are supposed to have apartments/houses that have sleeping space for large families. (You probably have a zoning code requiring certain limits on family size for the size of the apartment.)
- Keep an eye out for any news about refugees being homeless (yes, that is happening).
- Report any suspicions about refugee kids turning up at school hungry or sick.
- If you see or hear that refugees are not being supplied with adequate winter clothing and bedding, take note.
- You should try to find out how many refugees are living in your community and what sort of housing they have. Have they been placed in dangerous slums. Especially try to determine if any of your local poor and disabled are being bumped down the list for subsidized housing.
- See if refugees who speak little English are being bugged unnecessarily soon by the resettlement agency for the repayment of the airfare loan (which they get a cut of!).
- Maybe even volunteer yourself so that you will have firsthand knowledge of any shortcuts the resettlement agencies are taking in the care of the refugees. Remember the contractors are supposed to be putting their own time and money into this and if they can’t do a good job they need to say to the DOS—we can’t handle that many refugees! Don’t send so many. (NOT! Ask for more federal money.)
So what do you do if you believe refugees are being neglected, contact the US Department of State.
Barbara Day is in charge of the resettlement of refugees to your towns via the contractors (or at least she was last I checked). Send her any information you have about refugees not being taken care of by your local resettlement agency.
Her address is:
Domestic Resettlement Section Chief
Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration
2202 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520
This may still be her e-mail address: email@example.com