Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘Reforms needed’ Category

What does the Refugee Admissions timeline look like for the remainder of 2017 and in to 2018?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 8, 2017

And, what more can President Donald Trump do?

If today is the first day you ever began to try to understand the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program, I’m going to walk you through from where we are.

Presumably you are here because you heard that President Donald Trump announced a 120-day moratorium on the USRAP beginning next Thursday (March 16th).  And, let’s assume that activist groups will be unable to stop it in the courts, see here.

LOL! This is going to be long! Serious students of the USRAP, continue reading…..

We will start our timeline by explaining that planning for the upcoming fiscal year (FY2018) is happening now over the next few months and culminates in September….

In September, the President submits a “determination” to Congress with the number of refugees that could be admitted (and regions from which they will come) in the upcoming fiscal year.  Right now we are in FY2017 which began on October 1, 2016 and runs to September 30, 2017.  The number he chooses is a CEILING, it is not a target!

President Obama in his last months in office set the CEILING at 110,000 for the year FY2017 (most of a year in which he would not be in office). It grates me to see stories like this from a Nebraska newspaper that says Trump is bringing in less than half of what Obama brought in!  Obama had never set a CEILING that high in his previous seven years! In his highest year (2016) he brought in just short of 85,000.

Congress’ only role is to “consult.”  I have followed the USRAP since 2007 and up until 2 years ago, I was not aware of any interest by Congress (House or Senate) to do anything. Perhaps there was “consultation” behind the scenes.  Early on I asked my Congressman to help me attend a “consultation,” but I was told the public could not attend. I suspected it was because there was nothing much to attend!

The “determination” is sent to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and someone from the US State Department goes to The Hill with the letter and report prepared by the Department of State (you can see last year’s here).

The Refugee Act of 1980 does mention Congressional hearings on the “determination,” and to his credit, Senator Jeff Sessions held two very good hearings in 2015 and 2016.

I shouldn’t have said “only role” for Congress is consultation because they do hold the ultimate card—funding! The USRAP could be seriously curtailed through the Appropriations process (something I have discussed at length in my tag ‘Where is Congress‘).  Trump could control the program through his budget too!

And, I am going to argue below that Congress, if it had the guts, could reform the whole program.

Department of State Public hearings were a sham!

In preparation for the ‘determination,’ the US Department of State holds (held!) a ‘hearing’ of sorts to supposedly gather information from interested parties about how many and which ethnic groups we should admit in the upcoming fiscal year. That ‘hearing’ happens (happened!) usually in May.

However, during my years, I’ve watched what was a stacked hearing (dominated by refugee resettlement contractors) to begin with become a nothing-hearing by last year.

The first year I attended the meeting/hearing was fairly large—maybe 100 people in a room in Northern Virginia.  It was a parade of those who were being paid to resettle refugees before a panel that included bureaucrats from the Dept. of State, ORR (in Health and Human Services) and USCIS. They all asked for more refugees and more ethnic groups (notably the Rohingya of Burma/Bangladesh).

After that year, readers of RRW began sending in testimony and more of us with concerns who lived locally attended, until 2014 when the meeting was tiny, held in the US State Dept. with security screening, and was dominated by those of us with problems with the program.  Most of the contractors mailed in their testimony!

Here is the testimony I sent (or delivered in person) each year.

They thumbed their noses at the citizens with concerns!

And, finally, in 2015 there was no public hearing at all! Why? I am sure it is because they didn’t like what they were hearing! They only took written testimony that was not available to the public!

Here is what I said last May:

If you would like to see what some of your fellow critics of the program said in the past, go here, here and here (when you click each of these, scroll down for all the posts in the category). These are our archives for any discussion of hearing years 2012 (for FY13), 2013 (for FY14), and 2014 (for FY15).  The only reason we obtained any of that testimony is that some of you sent it to us and we attended the hearings in person and were given the testimony.

That testimony is not made public because secrecy has always been the watchword of the program!

I doubt that any Member of Congress or Senator has ever attempted to make that testimony public and I’d bet a million bucks (if I had it!) that no Members/Senators have ever asked for that testimony! Shameful!

Hold field hearings!

If Donald Trump’s Administration is serious about reforming the USRAP (and not just temporarily reducing the numbers), his DOS should hold field hearings in refugee overloaded cities!

Any Member of Congress or US Senator could do the same!  (I can help guide anyone who wants to hold such hearings to the troubled communities.)

Right now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson must depend on career State Department officials like Henshaw who we presume likes the USRAP the way it had operated for decades.

Right now you can assume that any planning for FY18 is being done by career bureaucrats and an acting Asst. Secretary of State (Henshaw here).   The Trump team has apparently not selected an Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, an appointment that requires Senate approval.

Of course right now, I suspect the careers are all in disarray and figuring out how to get the last refugees in to the US before the moratorium that begins on the 16th.

This morning we are at 37,425 admitted so far (again Trump’s CEILING is 50,000).  Trump has no legal obligation to reach the CEILING.

Will there be hearings in May?  Who knows!

But….

Planning for the annual determination (for FY18) will begin in your local community (but you won’t know it!) soon.

The local subcontractors (of the nine major contractors) will, in late spring/early summer, be preparing those very secretive documents called R & P Abstracts.  To learn what they are click here for our complete archive on ABSTRACTS.

Those documents list what refugees your community could support (numbers and ethnic groups).  It will give the amenities your town has available—medical care, housing, jobs, education system, etc—for refugees!  It is a document we maintain should be available to you—local taxpayers—BEFORE it goes to Washington!

The R & P Abstracts go to the US State Department and are used to determine how much money will be spent for refugees and will be used to make the President’s “determination” to be sent to Congress in September.

Stakeholder meetings!

The bureaucrats of the refugee industry at the DOS and the ORR will tell the Trump people that there is public input, that they hold quarterly “stakeholder” meetings, and the Trump people will not know what a sham this is.

They will trot out their ‘stakeholder’ meetings as an example (here is one post on those) of how transparent they are with the communities they are targeting.  But, you need to know that unless you are watching closely and demanding public admission to those meetings, they are dominated by the subcontractors (list here), and various branches of local government.  Elected officials who oppose more resettlement will be excluded. And, taxpaying citizens in most places are not considered ‘stakeholders’ and have no role in the preparation of the planning documents.

Back to the 120-day Moratorium which puts us into mid-July, leaving only half of July, August and September to reach the 50,000 CEILING.

This is what John Podesta’s Center for American Progress was tweeting out yesterday to show why the USRAP might in fact be dead for the entire fiscal year.

Again, today we are already at 37,425.

Depending on who is chosen for Asst. Sec. for PRM and for the Director of the ORR (in Health and Human Services), they may or may not be able to gear-up for a huge number of refugees because the process abroad is pretty time-consuming.

The contractors’ fears (and the Open Border advocates like CAP at left) are that the flow cannot get moving with only 2 and 1/2 months left in the fiscal year.

If you have made it this far through this long post, the point I am getting to is this: What will Donald Trump do for FY2018 which is rapidly approaching?

He can set the CEILING low (we don’t consider 50,000 low! See here.).  He can make regulatory changes to make the program more transparent and involve state and local governments in the process.

But, will he pressure Congress to reform the law because only changing the law will assure that in 4 or 8 years we don’t go back to the same old flawed system!

Pens and phones only last so long as the particular President is in power! If the USRAP is not reformed legislatively (I would get rid of the whole VOLAG system of paid refugee contractors) then there is no real reform.

Right now, during a Trump presidency, is the only opportunity we will probably ever have to rein-in and reform the out-of-control Refugee Admissions Program. By 2018 everyone will be looking to the next election and nothing will get done!

Endnote:  If you missed it, see my post yesterday where I suggested that if you live in a state where state legislators are having problems with the program, you must convince them to call Sec. of State Tillerson and ask to meet him and tell him the problems at the state level!

They should go in with one message: Yes, do as much regulatory reform as possible, but Trump must pressure Congress to repeal and re-write the law (assuming some refugee program will be needed).

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/19/2016 State Dept. citizen input, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

US Catholic Bishops assail Trump refugee slowdown, never mention the millions they are paid!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 7, 2017

Actually it is over a half billion the US Conference of Catholic Bishops received from US taxpayers since 2008!

(By the way, I just heard Raymond Arroyo on Fox and Friends say that the USCCB gets millions of tax dollars annually from the federal treasury, but I couldn’t find the clip.  Yeh! Finally that information is getting in to the mainstream media!)

***Update*** Reader Robin has found the clip.  Be sure to watch (click here) at about 50 seconds in when Brian Kilmeade asks why Lutherans and Catholics oppose the Trump refugee slowdown.  Clearly Arroyo has done some homework!

Here is the latest from Catholic News Agency (CNA):

Washington D.C., Mar 6, 2017 / 03:50 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- With people fleeing humanitarian crises around the world, President Donald Trump’s new executive order halting refugee admissions is wrong, Catholic bishop and aid groups maintain.

Bishop Vasquez chairs the U.S. bishops’ committee on migration. Last time we looked we reported that 97% of the Bishop’s Migration funds money comes from you—the taxpayers! https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/and-we-almost-missed-it-us-conference-of-catholic-bishops-celebrates-its-national-migration-week/

“We remain deeply troubled by the human consequences of the revised executive order on refugee admissions and the travel ban. While we note the Administration’s efforts to modify the Executive Order in light of various legal concerns, the revised Order still leaves many innocent lives at risk,” Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin stated March 6. Bishop Vasquez chairs the U.S. bishops’ committee on migration.

“The U.S. Catholic Bishops have long recognized the importance of ensuring public safety and would welcome reasonable and necessary steps to accomplish that goal,” he said.

“However, based on the knowledge that refugees are already subjected to the most vigorous vetting process of anyone who enters the United States, there is no merit to pausing the refugee resettlement program while considering further improvement to that vetting process.”

Here comes the big lie that Trump is reducing the number  of refugees dramatically!  Contractors, like the US Bishops, did just fine on less than 50,000 refugees during 4 of Bush’s years.

But, for only one year did Obama propose the astronomical number of 110,000 (for most of the year he would not be in office!) and that becomes the standard that the ignorant, gullible media goes with!  For the many new readers we get every day, the resettlement contractors, including the USCCB, gets paid by the head to place refugees in your towns. More refugees=more money!

“Resettling only 50,000 refugees a year, down from 110,000, does not reflect the need, our compassion, and our capacity as a nation,” Bishop Vasquez stated. “We have the ability to continue to assist the most vulnerable among us without sacrificing our values as Americans or the safety and security of our nation.”

He goes on to oppose any religious test (like the prioritization of Christians in the first EO) for admission to the US.

Now, here comes a major truth! And, this is why Christians are not prioritized from Muslim countries!

Refugees must first register with the UNHCR to be eligible for resettlement.

Trump should immediately sever our ties with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, save us millions of dollars, and put in place a program where we, the US, chooses our refugees without the UNHCR middle men!

CNA continues……

“The Obama administration policy was to prioritize these groups, but despite this they remain severely underrepresented in U.S. refugee admissions, so it’s clear that a fair outcome is even more important than a stated priority,” he said. [Andrew Walther, vice president of communications and strategic planning at the Knights of Columbus.]

Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan of Antioch has warned that Christians hoping to be resettled in the U.S. or Canada have never even had the chance.

“I personally heard on several occasions from many of our Christian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, that their applications for refugee visas, either to the USA or Canada, are without any response, if not refused by the consulates of the USA and Canada,” he stated.

Never mentioned at CNA News is the financial reason the USCCB does not want to slow the flow for even a short period of time—$$$$$!

Here (below) is just one page of the income the USCCB is getting from you (from 2008-2016).  This does not include the millions and millions of tax payer dollars received separately by individual Catholic Charities around the country.

My screenshot from USASpending.gov captures only 7 of 227 transactions.

For those of you interested in the USAID funding be sure to scroll through the pages and see how much of that money the USCCB gets!

By the way, since the Bishops are exempt from filing Form 990’s we can’t get at their salaries.

Posted in Christian refugees, Colonization, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump Watch!, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Politico: Fight will now focus on 120-day refugee moratorium

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 7, 2017

Since the Trump Administration retooled the so-called ‘travel ban’ to take away some of the objections of the Open Borders lawyers and threw out the earlier version of the ban that had been blocked by the courts, Politico is reporting that the pro-refugee industry groups will now focus on the 120-day refugee moratorium.

My personal view is that they don’t have a legal leg to stand on since the President, under the Refugee Act of 1980, has authority to set the number for each fiscal year. Trump did that with his 50,000 ceiling in the new Executive Order.  He has NO LEGAL OBLIGATION to reach the ceiling.

Becca Heller of the International Refugee Assistance Project says they will be seeking “emergency relief” in the next ten days.

As of this morning we are at 37,323 for FY17, 2,193 short of President George W. Bush’s lowest year of 39,554 (Bush had 4 years under 50,000).

Before I get to more on the moratorium and what Politico is reporting, know that the new EO did remove any language that would prioritize entry to the US of religious minorities (like Christians from the Middle East).

So, please return to my discussion of the Lautenberg Amendment (supported by the refugee contractors over the years!) that prioritizes Jews from Russia and religious minorities (non-Muslims) from Iran. In light of the earlier Ninth Circuit court decision (no religious test permitted!), and Trump’s removal of a religious preference from the earlier EO, will Congress move to REPEAL the Lautenberg Amendment? 

Don’t hold your breath!

Here (and below) are some of the key provisions of the new Executive Order regarding the US Refugee Admissions Program.

I believe the 120 days begins on March 16th, the effective date of the order, which means it will end sometime during the week of July 10th. (More on that in my next post.)

Sec. 6. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) The Secretary of State shall suspend travel of refugees into the United States under the USRAP, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall suspend decisions on applications for refugee status, for 120 days after the effective date of this order, subject to waivers pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication processes to determine what additional procedures should be used to ensure that individuals seeking admission as refugees do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. The suspension described in this subsection shall not apply to refugee applicants who, before the effective date of this order, have been formally scheduled for transit by the Department of State. The Secretary of State shall resume travel of refugees into the United States under the USRAP 120 days after the effective date of this order, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall resume making decisions on applications for refugee status only for stateless persons and nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that the additional procedures implemented pursuant to this subsection are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any entries in excess of that number until such time as I determine that additional entries would be in the national interest.

I don’t believe that the President had to give any reason for setting the ceiling at 50,000.

It is vitally important for all of you working in your state legislatures to urge state lawmakers, with concerns about the process of placing refugees in your states, to reach out to Secretary of State Tillerson to ask to be involved in this review of the law. I’m thinking especially of Nebraska, West Virginia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and North and South Dakota lawmakers! Believe me, the news you are making in the state will not reach Washington unless your elected officials make a concerted effort to get it there!

For all of you working in your communities and in your state legislatures to assure more transparency in the resettlement process, please focus on this section.  We must hold the Administration’s feet to the fire.  Everyone who has a Republican legislature looking to have more input, make sure that those legislators reach out to the US State Department!

(d) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of State shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

So, finally this is what Politico said late last evening:

President Donald Trump’s second stab at a travel ban executive order will redraw the battle lines in the legal war his first order set off about a month ago, turning the focus to a small number of lawsuits aimed at the new order’s continued moratorium on refugees entering the U.S.

[….]

So far, most of the media attention has been devoted to early lawsuits in Boston, New York, Seattle and Alexandria, Virginia, that focused mainly on the initial travel ban’s impact on green card holders and visa holders. Now, with the revised order leaving in place a 120-day halt to admission of refugees, other suits may get their moment in the spotlight, such as one filed in Greenbelt, Maryland, last month by refugee aid groups.

Becca Heller of the International Refugee Assistance Project said her group plans to ask the judge to block Trump’s new order before it is set to take effect next Thursday.

“We’ll be amending our complaint and seeking emergency relief,” Heller said. “To me, not much has changed. It’s nice that people with visas get to keep their visas … This is just an indication of why we need multiple legal challenges.”

Moves to block Trump’s new order are likely to play out in courts across the country over the next 10 days, before the new order kicks in.

She must be referring to this lawsuit we mentioned here where I said this:

….their complaints seem to center around the idea that they were promised so many refugees (paying clients) this fiscal year and now they might not get them.

Looking for something to do today? Find out more about the International Refugee Assistance Project and who funds them!

This post is filed in my Trump Watch! category where 57 posts are related to this topic—reform of the refugee program under the Trump Administration.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Trump Watch! | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Call the White House to support President Trump’s plan to keep us safe!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 6, 2017

Not surprisingly, here is the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) out with its action alert e-mail minutes after today’s Trump Administration press conference asking the Leftwing open borders gang to call the White House to oppose more vetting and to do more for refugees (HIAS’s paying clients).

See my post earlier today about how HIAS supports a religious test for refugees—the ones they want admitted to the US!

See the phone numbers HIAS has kindly supplied for us. Call the White House and thank the President for keeping us safe and for slowing the flow of expensive refugees to your towns and cities.

 

More later………….

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Will the President’s new Executive Order, so-called “travel ban,” come tomorrow?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 5, 2017

Politico is reporting that it will be tomorrow, but who knows.

What we do know is that the portion of the Executive Order reducing the number of refugees being permitted entry to the US this fiscal year was not affected by the court wrangling and that the federal refugee resettlement contracting agencies*** are going to mount a campaign against Trump no matter what the new EO says.

trump-and-bannon

Pow-wow on the EO? Hope it includes step #2, getting Congress to reform the Refugee Admissions Program.

Their money is already being cut off by virtue of the reduced numbers since they are paid by the head for each refugee client they place. (Fewer clients=less money for them)

This morning we have admitted 37,323 refugees in FY2017, and the Trump team says the number for the year will not go over 50,000.

But, I am repeating (until I want to barf) that 50,000 is not that low considering that George W. Bush had 4 years under that number, see here. And, as soon as he left office, Obama opened the spigot.

Here is Politico:

President Donald Trump is expected to sign on Monday a new executive order on his controversial travel ban at the Department of Homeland Security, according to senior government officials familiar with the matter.

It is unclear how significant the changes to the current order will be or whether the White House will continue a court fight over its old order.

The original order restrained immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, temporarily halted the entry of refugees and indefinitely shut down the entrance of refugees from Syria.

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was heading on Saturday to Mar-a-Lago “for an EO launch meeting” with a team from the Department of Justice. They will meet with DHS officials and the president, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Repeat seven times!

congress

I’ve lost track of how many times I have said it, but tinkering around the edges and simply reducing the number to 50,000 will do nothing to reform the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program.

Only a complete moratorium for an extended time will force Congress to BEGIN to examine the present flawed system. 

If not reformed/trashed/re-written (or whatever), the next President can just open the spigot wide again!

Congress is only too happy to hide on the subject, Trump must make them do their jobs!

*** These are the nine federal contracting agencies that monopolize the system of placing refugees in your towns and cities:

Posted in Changing the way we live, Obama, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Numbers update: end of first 5 months of fiscal year, highest number of refugees admitted in over 10 years

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 1, 2017

Yesterday, February 28th, was the end of the first 5 months of fiscal year 2017.

I checked the refugee admission numbers this morning (at Wrapsnet) and see that we admitted 37,026 refugees from all over the world since October 1, 2016.

tillerson-and-trump

How low will they go for Fiscal Year 2018? In 6 months that determination will be made.

Two days ago we reported that 36,822 had arrived.

By two days from now (March 3), the flow should almost come to an end for now, although remember that President Trump has said 50,000 will be admitted by September 30th—a number that is too high in my opinion.

It is obviously too late, but I had argued for 35,000.

I knew that for the time I’ve been writing this blog (since 2007), that 37,026 was much more than we had ever admitted in the first 5 months of a fiscal year, so I was able to go to this chart and confirm it.

If you live in one of over 100 resettlement sites in the US, and felt that you were being swamped recently, you probably were!

37,026 is 7,834 more than the highest year below, and a whopping 24,782 more than the lowest year!

Here are the admission numbers for the first 5 months of the fiscal year going back to 2006:

2006: 16,287

2007:  12,244

2008:  14,224

2009:  22,809

2010:  29,192

2011:  25,680

2012:  18,581

2013:  28,078

2014:  26,925

2015:  26,717

2016:  22,827

Next big test for the Trump Administration!

In September, President Trump will make his ‘determination’ for the number (and regions of the world from which they will come) of refugees to be seeded in to your towns and cities in FY2018.

This post is filed in our Trump Watch! category as well as ‘refugee statistics’ and ‘where to find information.’

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Trump Watch!, Where to find information | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Senator Tom Cotton’s RAISE Act to bring legal immigration under control, but will it control refugee program?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 1, 2017

Many of you have been directing me to look at the RAISE Act….

As time goes on we will need to talk about this legislation, assuming Senators Cotton and Perdue are able to move it!

senator-tom-cotton

A lot of good things in his bill, but not much reform for out-of-control UN/US Refugee Admissions Program.

Sorry I have not focused on it because on the issue of refugees it is inadequate. Simply placing a 50,000 cap on the program is meaningless if the program continues to run as it does with ‘non-profit’ (federal refugee contractors) groups acting in collusion with a secretive US State Department to place third world poverty in unsuspecting US towns and cities.

And, besides as I said here, the average refugee admission numbers for the years since 9/11/01 (including that high number for 2001) is 65,000. And, those years spanned both the Bush and Obama Administrations.

50,000 does not represent much of a drop.

If the Senators were seeking to cut legal immigration in half, the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program would require a ceiling of about 32,500, right!

Here is the text of the RAISE Act (“Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act”) (S.354).

There is lots of good stuff in the bill (see NumbersUSA here), but not on refugees.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Starving the beast! Another way to set policy at the Department of State

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 28, 2017

Politico is reporting that they are getting out their worry-beads all over the world as the Trump Administration works on its first budget.

Could this mean what we hope it means—a reduction in the millions of dollars we give away to the UNHCR while they dictate to us, telling us which refugees and how many America must take.

unhcr-headquarters-in-geneva

UN High Commissioner for Refugees huge glass-domed office building in Geneva, Switzerland. How many of your tax dollars, paid out through the DOS, keep this international organization going? Aid organizations seem to like nice buildings!

Politico (it is kind of cryptic, but hopeful sounding!):

U.S. diplomats and aid workers have been afraid that President Donald Trump wants to sideline them in favor of the military.

On Monday, they got even more reason for concern.

The Trump administration is developing a federal budget proposal the White House says will give defense programs a $54 billion boost while cutting funding to the other agencies, including the State Department, and especially foreign aid programs.

Lawmakers, foreign embassies and others were scrambling to get the details of the budget plan Monday. Officials at the State Department declined to share their budget reduction targets — it was not clear if the guidance had yet been delivered to them — but some reports forecast as much as 30 percent reduction, a devastating blow.

[….]

Funding for the State Department and foreign assistance falls under what’s called the “international affairs budget,” a category that doesn’t include the military. Those programs overseas — including everything from embassy security to pandemic prevention to refugee assistance via the United Nations — cost roughly $58.8 billion. The vast majority of that figure goes to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

[….]

On a call with reporters, officials with the Office of Management and Budget noted that most federal agencies will be expected to trim their budgets. But they singled out foreign aid programs in particular, indicating the administration believes that other countries are merely taking advantage of the United States.

More here.

I wish I knew exactly how much the US Department of State is paying the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. If anyone can figure it out, send it our way!

Here is one place to start your research!

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

South Carolina Lutheran agency cutting staff; will bigwigs in Baltimore see pay cuts?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 28, 2017

Ho hum! One more story about a federal resettlement subcontractor having to fire staff because this entire UN/US Refugee Admissions Program was so ill-conceived in the first place and because these supposed ‘religious’ charities became fat and happy on taxpayer dollars rather than raising private money for their “good works.”

lirs-building

The Lutheran Center (LIRS headquarters) is a six-story structure constructed in 1999 on property owned by Baltimore’s historic Christ Lutheran Church. The building is located near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood, a charming area rich with history and an eclectic array of eateries and shopping venues. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/lutherans-may-be-operating-centers-for-unaccompanied-minors-in-your-state/

Here is the news from Charleston, South Carolina’s Post and Courier.

BTW, did you see the news about a town hall somewhere being opened with prayer and the Libs in the audience started shouting: “separation of church and state!”   Well, where are they with the resettlement contractors? Where is the ACLU and its lawsuits claiming there should be a separation of church and state?

I digress, here is the news from South Carolina:

Refugee resettlement agency Lutheran Services Carolinas expects to layoff and reassign staff in the wake of President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order dramatically reducing the number of refugees who can enter the United States.

Federal courts have halted Trump’s order suspending the U.S. refugee admissions program. But the courts did not touch a provision of the order that slashed the cap on refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 this fiscal year. As of January 31, just under 40,000 refugees have been admitted to the U.S., including 28 in Charleston. [For the umpteenth time, there was no slashing in half! That 110,000 (ceiling!) was Obama’s last wish, nothing more! Average has been around 65,000 since 9/11.—ed]

Agencies such as Lutheran Services Carolinas, which resettles refugees in Charleston, Columbia and Raleigh, rely on federal money tied to each refugee they help resettle.

Yes! As I have been saying, it’s a kind of ponzi scheme built on ever-increasing numbers of refugees (paying clients!) being admitted to the US.

Post and Courier continues…..

linda-hartke

LIRS CEO Hartke

Lutheran Services Carolinas is an affiliate of Baltimore-based Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, one of nine national organizations*** working on behalf of the federal government to help resettle refugees. Linda Hartke, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, estimates between 70 and 80 positions so far have been cut at partner agencies across the country.

“We and all of the resettlement networks are looking at reductions of staff,” Hartke said. “There’s not funding to pay for staff if refugees aren’t arriving. There’s some work that needs to be continued, but if the arrivals are dropping by more than 50 percent, it’s not good stewardship of resources to try to maintain staff infrastructure.”

***Update*** Hartke to receive Maryland business award, here.

Now, let’s have a little look at LIRS financial situation….

Why does no mainstream media ever bother doing this?

First, see one of their pages at USA Spending.  From 2008-2016 they received $358,862,898 of your money from the US Treasury.

screenshot-374

I’ve screenshot only 5 of 164 “transactions” here at USA Spending: https://www.usaspending.gov/Pages/AdvancedSearch.aspx?k=Lutheran%20Immigration%20and%20Refugee%20Service

This (below) is a page from the most recent Form 990 that I could find.  Do you see that the federally-funded portion of their total revenue that year ($59,862,898) included $55,341,275 in federal grants and that loan servicing fee ($1,817,755) is likely the travel loan collection fee they receive from collecting money from refugees for their airfare (that was all your money too).

Thus 95% of their income comes from you—the American taxpayer!

Look at that paltry little bit of money they raised privately!

Will any of the bigwigs in Baltimore see a pay cut or is Ms. Hartke preserving their resources at the top?

Is that good stewardship?  I find it uncomfortable to report people’s salaries, and if this was a real non-profit group or a private business instead of a quasi-government agency, it would be none of our business what they pay their staff.

However, it isn’t a real non-profit group and since we pay the vast majority of their salaries, you should know what you pay them.

For comparison, go here to see what members of Congress make ($174,000 on average).  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan makes less ($223,500) than Ms. Hartke!   (You are paying for both of them!)

So how many of you are crying for the contractors now?

For our complete archive on LIRS, click here.

***These are the nine federal refugee contractors:

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump, Where to find information, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

Nonprofit Quarterly: Entire System of Refugee Resettlement Nonprofits Teeters on the Edge

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 22, 2017

“The question is: Is this just 2017, or is this business as usual going forward”

(Anya Abramzon)

Our title is the headline of a story at a publication for non-profits.  Another headline is: Nonprofits, Your Sole Goal in 2017: Pick a Fight with Trump!

And, this one: Your Nonprofit’s Role in Reframing the Post-Election Discourse!

Remember this is the rarefied club that many tea party groups were unable to join when the Obama IRS blocked many 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 applications for conservative-leaning groups a few years ago.

Maybe the Trump Administration should start to look in to the whole non-profit system in America and ask this question:

Are federal funds being used to fuel Leftwing political action?

I’m sorry to have to continue to repeat some key points, but the article entitled, ‘Entire System of Refugee Resettlement Nonprofits Teeters on the Edge,’ contains some points we need to continue to make.

Non-profit Quarterly:

The United States was slated to receive 110,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017, so this cuts that flow in half. So far, it has taken in in 32,954 since October 1, 2016, which means that just over 17,000 additional refugees will be allowed into the U.S. through the end of September. A four-month hiatus on accepting new refugees is now in place.

As I explained in some detail here, that 110,000 was a hoped-for number from Obama in the final months of his presidency for a year he would not be in the White House. 110,000 is much higher than anything he accomplished during his previous 8 years.

And, as I pointed out here, Trump’s 50,000 is not that low when one examines post-9/11 refugee admissions.

This morning we are at 36,461. Four days ago we had admitted 36,205, so the slowdown has begun.

Ponzi scheme revealed. 

One important thing all of this turmoil in the refugee industry reveals is that the whole program is built on a kind of Ponzi scheme that requires a continuous flow of paying clients (refugees!) to keep the system afloat.

Non-profit Quarterly continues….

This is one part of Trump’s trio of executive orders on immigrants and refugees that was not stayed. It has shut down the pipeline for refugees and the $2,000 that is paid to refugee resettlement groups to help each individual, and that makes sustainability for these critical agencies pretty difficult. [LOL! I like the use of the word ‘pipeline’ by this publication!—ed]

This, of course, should create concern, because once those elements of infrastructure are gone, rebuilding them and their local relationships will create untold additional cost and delays. “It will impact all nine resettlement agencies, so the infrastructure for refugee resettlement in our country—built over decades, at least since the Refugee Act of 1980—could be decimated,” Matthew Soerens of World Relief said.

While some of the networks are launching fundraising campaigns to try to maintain their services, raising enough to replace federal dollars may be a real long shot, even for a system at relative rest. For instance, in 2015, approximately $42 million of World Relief’s $62 million budget was federal grants. [If they can’t raise private money to stay afloat it means that the general public does not support what they are doing!—ed]

In many cases, the agencies may be national, but their offices are local. These local satellites*** do the real work of helping refugees gather necessary documentation and assisting them in finding housing, job training, and public benefits. But all in the system recognize the system as a public-private partnership, and when the federal government shuts down their pipeline, the whole system freezes, creating a very serious situation.

This so-called public-private partnership has become a largely publicly-funded program as the resettlement contractors, like World Relief, have come to depend mostly on their taxpayer-funded payments and were doing little over the years to raise private funding.

As Abramzon asks, “The question is: Is this just 2017, or is this business as usual going forward? I think it’s important for all of us to know that.” Unfortunately, by the time that question is answered, it may be moot for some of the agencies involved.

Continue reading here.

To answer Ms. Abramzon’s question (how far forward is this slowdown going?), it is imperative that Congress get involved and reform this entire system. EOs are only good for a president’s term in office (as Obama has learned the hard way).  It is past time for Congress to stop being lazy (and chicken!) and reform the system!

Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County is a sub-contractor of HIAS which has filed suit against the Trump Administration for cutting off its federal money supply. See here.

***For new readers: Since some of you are new readers arriving here in great numbers daily, it requires me to continuously repeat that there are nine major federally-funded refugee resettlement contractors.  When you see one like this, Jewish Family Services in Michigan, and wonder who they work for, go to one of the nine VOLAGs website and look for ‘affiliates’ or ‘partners,’ or visit this data base and look for your state.  You will see abbreviations for the BIG NINE in the lefthand corner of the entry.

And, while I’m at it, explaining basics to new readers, you might want to visit my Frequently Asked Questions, here.

BIG NINE VOLAGs crying for (your) money!

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Obama, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

 
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