There are two good news stories out since yesterday about what is happening in Spartanburg, SC where the citizens there are demanding to know how it came to be that their small city was secretly targeted as a new refugee resettlement site.
By the way, it is so important to note that Spartanburg is not alone. In December, the US State Department referenced the fact that their resettlement contractors*** had offices in 180 cities, and just about three months later the State Department is saying they have offices in 190 cities. So they have found more new sites—is your town one of them?
If you think we are being too casual in using the word ‘secretive,‘ some of you may remember the incredible admission by the board of Lutheran Family Service Rocky Mountains in March 2014 (revealed in a letter to the editor), that the reason there was a public controversy over opening a resettlement office in Wyoming (the only state in the nation without a program) was because word of what they were planning leaked to the public before they were ready to spin it.
Here is what I said then, and say now about Spartanburg:
We can’t stress to you enough that federal contractors, like Lutheran Family Services, cannot sell a refugee resettlement plan to a community by telling citizens the whole truth up front!
In fact, the driving force behind this blog from day one has been our fury over this very point—if it’s a good program, then dammit tell the public the whole plan. If you can’t sell it with the truth, then it shouldn’t be done with secrecy (or emotional appeals using refugees as poster boys and girls). In fact, this is exactly why citizens everywhere are sick of government at all levels, government-funded non-profits like this Lutheran bunch, and our so-called leaders.
Maybe we have finally gotten a leader in Washington!
Here are the two stories making the rounds today about Rep.Trey Gowdy’s excellent letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. If you see more stories let us know.
The Daily Caller: ‘Gowdy demands halt to refugee resettlement in his district’
Frontpage Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, ‘An Invasion of refugees’
Many of you ask: What can I do?
Today you can call Gowdy’s office (202-225-6030), thank him and tell him to hold hearings (he is chairman of the House subcommittee responsible for the Refugee Program as it is now being administered). It is secretive, complicated, expensive and unfair and must be either scrapped or completely overhauled.
***These nine major contractors (who receive the majority of their funding from you, the taxpayer) oversee 350 subcontractors in 190 US cities and towns:
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)