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Virginia: Iraqi refugee to plead guilty today to lying on refugee application

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 28, 2017

She failed to disclose a family relationship to an Iraqi terrorist.  Ho hum! There was no American fatally affected.

I’m joking because in a story I read within the last day, but can’t remember where, a pro-more-refugees advocate qualified his comment about no refugees committing terror attacks to say—no US refugee committed a fatal terror attack on US soil.  That isn’t true, and, the main reason there aren’t more is that the cases have been foiled!

This is the story we reported in March.

(Dear Supreme Court, family members lie!)

We learn that the Iraqi female liar will admit guilt today.

From AP at the Lincoln Journal Star (hat tip: Joanne). BTW, I searched and searched for any photos of the perps, but found none.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A Virginia woman living in the U.S. as an Iraqi refugee for the last decade is scheduled to plead guilty Wednesday to federal charges after being charged with hiding her ties to the kidnapper of a U.S. contractor. [Translation—she lied on her refugee application and in her screening interviews!—ed]

Enas (eh-NAHS’) Ibrahim of Vienna was charged in March on allegations of visa fraud.

Prosecutors say Ibrahim, her husband and her husband’s brother all came to the U.S. and settled in the suburbs of the nation’s capital after receiving refugee status.

But prosecutors say the two men are brothers of Majid Al Mashhandani, who admitted participating in the 2004 kidnapping of U.S. contractor Roy Hallums.

Fraud, fraud and more fraud!

In addition to leaving out any reference to the Islamic terrorist brother because people told them in Iraq (who told them, a refugee contractor!) that they would be rejected from the refugee program if they revealed the terrorist brother, they FABRICATED PERSECUTION STORIES FOR THEMSELVES.

See the DOJ press release from March with all of the details of their lies.

How many more Iraqis lied to get in as refugees and to gain citizenship?

Checking Wrapsnet just now, I see that since the US opened the floodgates for Iraqis we have admitted 140,576 with no end in sight!

Virginia is number seven in the top ten receiving states with 4,536.

Alaska got 49 and Hawaii got a whopping four!

 

Posted in Crimes, diversity's dark side, Iraqi refugees, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Where to find information, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

And so it begins—the battle of the bona fides

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 28, 2017

“Anyone who has an existing relationship with a nonprofit, frankly tens of thousands of refugees, should be seen as having bona fide ties.”

Becca Heller

 

The US Supreme Court has taken it upon itself to re-write Refugee law by creating a new requirement (even if it is just for a few months) that refugees may enter the country ABOVE TRUMP’S CEILING OF 50,000 ADMISSIONS by September 30th if they can show a “bona fide relationship” to someone already here or to an “entity” in the US.

In Washington, DC, the scrambling to define those words—“bona fide relationship”—is underway!

The Refugee Act of 1980 has no provisions for going over the President’s CEILING except in an emergency and in such a case, the President (wishing to increase the ceiling) must “consult” with Congress.

The Supremes have thus gone beyond their Constitutional role and are crafting a new requirement that effectively nullifies Trump’s 50,000 admissions ceiling and strips the President and Congress of their authority under the Refugee Act of 1980.

Before I give you the  NY Times on the battle of the bona fides, you might want to read Andy McCarthy here (not much of a victory) on the decision as he raises an important point about giving powerful legal rights to some random immigrant who just happened to get here earlier who can now, with a demand to bring in the family members, have a legal right to supersede the President’s power to keep us safe.

International Refugee Assistance Project is one of the original litigants.

Here is the NY Times (other news outlets are signalling as well in which direction the refugee industry is going on this) which begins with the usual get-your-minds-right sob story with a couple of refugee ‘stars’ of the article telling their sad tale.

Skipping to the important part ……

About four out of 10 refugees who come to the United States have no family ties in the country, according to independent estimates. In some cities known for taking in refugees — like Boise, Idaho; New Haven; and Fayetteville, Ark. — those with no family ties are a majority.

On Monday, the Supreme Court threw into question whether such refugees, who are among the most vulnerable people seeking a haven after fleeing persecution or conflict, will be approved for resettlement in the United States.

In agreeing to hear two cases on President Trump’s travel ban, the court introduced a new phrase to the fraught discussion of refugees and Muslim immigrants: “bona fide relationship.”

Those who can show a “bona fide relationship” with a “person or entity” in the United States will not be affected by Mr. Trump’s 120-day halt to refugee admissions or his 90-day ban on travel from six majority-Muslim countries, according to the court’s order. Those refugees or travelers must be admitted, at least for now.

However, those who have no family, business or other ties can be prohibited, the court said.
The justices gave some examples of a bona fide relationship: visiting relatives in the United States, attending a university or taking a job offer.

Here we go! No family ties? So, they are setting the stage for demanding that anyone already connected, even tangentially, to a US refugee resettlement contractor*** should be admitted in addition to the relatives!

On a conference call Monday, lawyers who have fought the Trump administration argued that other refugees and travelers should also be allowed in because, like Mr. Dagoum, they often have ties to a nonprofit organization that has been helping them even before they land in the United States.

“Anyone who has an existing relationship with a nonprofit, frankly tens of thousands of refugees,” should be seen as having bona fide ties, said Becca Heller, director of the International Refugee Assistance Project.

Representatives of some resettlement agencies said they were awaiting guidance from the State Department. Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman, said on Tuesday that the department would consult with the Justice Department on how to define “bona fide relationship,” a process she expected to take two more days. Meanwhile, anyone already approved for travel to the United States by July 6 would be allowed in, she said.

Continue reading here.

Just checking the numbers at Wrapsnet and see that as of this morning we are at 48,920 refugees admitted this fiscal year (began Oct. 1, 2016). We are thus 1,080 away from Trump’s 50,000 CEILING—a ceiling now rendered meaningless by the Supreme Court with this assertion.

With this below from the Court’s opinion, Trump (and America!) loses big time (where are you Congress?):

 

 

My previous posts on the Supreme Court debacle are here and here.

*** These are the nine major US resettlement contractors and working under them (using your tax dollars) are hundreds of local subcontractors.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Supreme Court, The Opposition, Trump | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Random thoughts on the Supreme Court decision yesterday….

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 27, 2017

See my post yesterday immediately following the surprising announcement by the Supreme Court on the Trump ‘travel ban’ from six terror-producing countries and the ceiling/moratorium on refugee resettlement across all countries and ethnic groups.

This morning I thought I might find an article or two that sounded reasonably informed about what is going to happen in the coming days and weeks.  I didn’t find anything (yet) that looks very useful. Everyone seems confused.

There is an LA Times story with a juicy nugget where they say 50,500 refugees (yikes!) are waiting in the wings from the six targeted ‘travel ban’ countries. And, a Buffalo News story is representative of the myriad stories from across the country where refugee contractors are scratching their heads about what it all means for them.  Those that get mostly refugees with “family ties” believe they will be getting their full quotas of paying clients.

Random thoughts!

So, as much as I would like to give readers guidance on what is going to happen, I can’t.  But, here are some thoughts I have in random order. Some are comments, others are questions.

Some of the articles I read this morning suggest we have more of this coming….

~The issue of bona fide relationships is going to be a huge mess.  Already the contractors and subcontractors are thinking that if they have some refugees on the way from any country, they, the contractor, will be a bona fide “entity” and therefore their refugees will get in.

~Apparently a 120-day MORATORIUM on refugee resettlement (90 days for those 6 countries is a separate part of the EO) will go into effect, except for those who can claim a relationship of some sort. If it begins on Thursday (as most are predicting), 120 days ends on or about October 26th which is 26 days in to  FY18.  It then makes me wonder what Donald Trump will do with his ‘determination’ for that fiscal year which by law he will present to Congress in September.

~After wandering in the weeds about numbers, will the Trump Administration have any will to reform the whole US Refugee Admissions Program?  It is now or never!

~Even if the Supreme Court hears the case in October, it could be months later for a decision (well in to election year 2018).

~BTW, as several news articles yesterday pointed out, there was and probably still is, a huge amount of fraud in the Refugee Admissions Program as it relates to who is, and who isn’t, a family member.  Long time readers may remember the discovery in 2008 that literally as many as 20,000 Somalis entered the US fraudulently as part of the P-3 Family Reunification program. The Dept. of State shut down the P-3 for parts of Africa for years.  The Supreme Court has now further increased the incentive for fraudulent claims of family connections.

~The Supreme Court ruling is troubling to me, actually on many levels, but they suggest that refugees with family ties get priority, while perhaps more persecuted people are left behind.  Heck, every Somali probably has a family tie to someone in the US (since way over 100,000 are here already), while a truly persecuted Syrian Christian may have no ties because so few Syrian Christians have been admitted  to the US. How did the Supremes let themselves get into this quagmire?

~The Dept. of State, with the likes of Brian Hook working with Sec. of State Tillerson, will be making critical decisions about how choices will be made about who gets in here between now and October 26th. They will be forced to depend on career bureaucrats (because Trump has moved too slowly to get people loyal to him placed in agencies across Washington) who have long-time personal relationships with the contractors.

~Although, as I said yesterday, I’m glad the Supreme Court put to rest the issue of whether Trump had the authority to reduce the refugee CEILING that he inherited from Obama (from 110,000 to 50,000), I am extremely troubled by the Supreme Court writing refugee law. The Refugee Act of 1980 is very specific about what steps must be taken for a President to go above the CEILING. The steps involve the President consulting with Congress in the case of an emergency. The court here is saying they have now stepped in to allow an increase over 50,000 (for relatives!).  What is Congress going to do—continue to hide on the subject of refugees—and give up their Constitutional power to the courts?

~Congress actually appropriated enough money for 75,000 refugees to be admitted by September 30th, so what happens to that money as the number surely won’t come in anywhere near the 75,000 level (how on earth did Tillerson/Hook get out on that limb back in May telling contractors 1,500 would be admitted every week?).

~Representatives of the nine federal contractors*** are in a tizzy (as I read many news stories this morning), some trying to put a positive spin on what the Court has done. I wondered if they wouldn’t have been better off just letting Trump’s EO go in to effect months ago and get the review over with. It would have been done by now and some normalcy returned.  Instead we are all looking to many more months of chaos, confusion and lawsuits.  So maybe we can say, that the contractors are responsible for those “vulnerable” refugees left in limbo now.

~On that point about being in a tizzy, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) is organizing a briefing call on Thursday so you can find out what they think of the decision and what they will do going forward.

From an e-mail:

To learn more about the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision for refugees and non-citizens, join HIAS for a briefing call on Thursday, June 27 at 4:30pm EST. Click here to RSVP and receive a call-in number.

[Update!  A reader has pointed out that Thursday is the 29th! So, I expect there will be an e-mail correction coming from HIAS—ed]

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, and if I find some great legal mind who can predict what is going to happen beginning on Thursday, I’ll send it your way.  In the meantime, send story links that you think add to the discussion to the comments here at RRW.

More later…..

***Federal contractors in a tizzy.  Since the vast majority of their annual income is from the US Treasury based on the number of refugees admitted each year, their budgets have again gone to hell. Not that  I am sympathetic about their financial mess, but this is why Congress has to get the middlemen contractors out of the refugee business!

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Supreme Court, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

“Trump wins” on travel ban/refugee restrictions, or does he?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 26, 2017

Update June 27, 2017: My random thoughts this morning, here.

Update #6: See what the NY Times has to say.

Update #5: Michael Leahy at Breitbart—it is a mess.

Update #4: UN not happy with US Supreme Court, here.

Update #3: Don’t pop the champagne yet says Daniel Horowitz at Conservative Review.

Update #2:  See what former Rep. and Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says here at WND.

Update: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society says they are pleased with some of  the court’s conclusions, see here.

On the surface it might appear that the Trump Administration has won an important victory in the Supreme Court which ruled just a few hours ago on the so-called “travel ban” Executive Order, but in my view the Court has created an enormous bureaucratic mess, not to mention having re-written Refugee law! What were they thinking???

I know, I know, they will decide the case on the merits after hearing it next fall (and this decision does show where they are leaning), but from now until then there will be nothing but chaos and controversy relating to travel from the 6 countries and regarding the refugee admissions CEILING.  Remember readers, I am not a legal beagle, but the minute I heard some of the convoluted balancing of equities argument I thought my head would explode!

The gist of the decision is that Trump (the President) can halt immigration from the six (although incomplete list) of terror-producing countries unless the wannabe entrant (for any purpose) “can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

So, I guess  that means the court has decided in advance who the potential terrorists are and that they can’t possibly be someone who has a relative here already or is coming to college at the University of Hawaii (or any college) or connected to any “entity” (a VOLAG perhaps!).

Of greater interest to me is that, although Trump can have his refugee admissions ceiling of 50,000 (remember CEILING is not a target), but the ceiling can be surpassed (says the majority opinion) in the remaining months of this fiscal year  (up to September 30th) if the wannabe refugees have relatives here (what if 10,000, 20,000 and so forth have relatives here!).

Can you see the potential for fraud as all over the world, migrants wishing to get to America are scrambling to have relatives or a bona fide entity with which to associate themselves.

So, in effect the Supreme Court (led by Chief Justice Roberts) has just rewritten the Refugee Act of 1980!

The Act allows the President to exceed his designated ceiling (and here they agree it is 50,000!) only by making a case for an emergency and consulting with Congress.  Well, forget that! Looks like the Supreme Court is now determining the number of refugees to be admitted to America.

(I concede real lawyers might have a different interpretation, but reading the Court’s decision today one wonders if they read the Refugee Act!).

Here in the dissent written by Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch you can clearly see the bureaucratic and legal mess the Court has thrown to a State Department not firmly in the White House’s control, not to mention the parade of court cases the three dissenting Justices envision.

Here is the opinion.  I invite you all to make up your own minds, send comments with your analysis.

Here is the portion of the dissent that says it all:

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Supreme Court, Trump | Tagged: | 20 Comments »

Will President Trump restrict welfare use by refugees too?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 26, 2017

When President Trump announced in Iowa last week that he planned to ask Congress for a tightening of restrictions on welfare use by immigrants—barring their use of welfare for 5 years—I wondered if he would wander in to the minefield of refugee welfare use.

Iowa announcement June 21, 2017—immigrant welfare use to be restricted (crowd cheers!).

Readers here know that refugees use social services/welfare immediately (within weeks) upon arrival and that the primary job of their resettlement contractor*** is to get them signed up for their services ASAP.

Here is Trump in Iowa last Wednesday:

“The time has come for new immigration rules that say … those seeking immigration into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,” Trump said.

My ears pricked up and I wondered if he means refugees too.  If he does, he can expect wailing and moaning on the level he received when he announced his original travel ban.

(See here that refugees are exempt from the Clinton-era restrictions on welfare use by immigrants.)

If Trump persuades Congress to disallow welfare for 5 years for all classes of immigrants that would certainly be a backdoor way to rein-in the US Refugee Admissions Program. Maybe, just maybe, the mostly ‘religious’ resettlement contractors*** would have to raise private charitable money or cut the number of the ‘clients’ they ‘care for.’  And, heck, maybe those meatpackers would have to go to paying higher wages as refugee families now use welfare as a back-up for low-wage earnings.

But, don’t hold your breath!

If you are interested in reading more on ‘refugee welfare’ click here for my extensive archive on the subject.

***For new readers, these are the nine federal refugee contractors whose main job is to get their refugee clients their social services in the first three months and then they move on to a new set of paying clients (they are paid by you, the taxpayer, at a per head price for placing refugees in your towns and cities).

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Refugee contractors brought refugee lobbyists to Washington (again) last week

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 26, 2017

They do this every year. It is the sort of thing those of you concerned about an overload of refugees in your communities can’t really do, first and foremost because it is expensive to travel to Washington. And, our pro-reform side has no money!!!

I suspect your tax dollars helped pay for the lobbying organized each year through one of the nine major federal resettlement contractors—Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (headquartered in a posh section of Baltimore).

LIRS Leadership Academy last week. That is LIRS CEO Lynda Hartke in the bluish jacket in the front row. Learn about their finances here (they are 95% funded with taxpayer dollars): https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/south-carolina-lutheran-agency-cutting-staff-will-bigwigs-in-baltimore-see-pay-cuts/

However, this story from the Huffington Post that focuses on visits to Texas’s two US Senators confirms what we have said and what you should do—keep up the political pressure on your Washington reps from back home!  And, I mean, keep it up!

Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON ― On a hot D.C. summer day on Tuesday, seven refugees from Texas made their way to the office of their home state senator, Ted Cruz, to do what one does in the nation’s capital: lobby.

[….]

The former refugees had come to Washington for the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Leadership Academy, where they had spent the last few days training and strategizing on how to help new arrivals and convince politicians that it was right and humane to do the same. It was the fifth year of the program, with 48 former refugees from 17 states participating.

This year is different from the last four. Now they are operating in the age of Donald Trump, who wants to cut the number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S. and bar them from entry for at least four months. The Texas advocates are facing an anti-refugee wave at the state level that Trump tapped into nationally. Texas took in the second-highest number of refugees of any state in fiscal year 2016, but its Republican leadership has echoed the president’s approach, last year taking the extreme move of dropping out of the resettlement program, making it the largest state to do so. Gov. Greg Abbott has also tried to bar Syrian refugees from the state entirely. And while Republican officials in Texas can’t legally keep refugees out, they’ve done their best to say they are unwelcome.

Despite the open hostility that is exhibited by their state ― or perhaps because of it ― refugee advocates feel an intense urgency to change minds. That includes Cruz, who supported measures to bar certain groups of refugees and backed Trump’s travel ban, which is now blocked in the courts. The former refugees knew that having a positive reception from congressional staffers wouldn’t change much, if anything. But they felt that if they met the staff in person, they could work to maintain and grow relationships within the state. After visiting Cruz’s Washington office, Nsenga suggested that they reach out to Cruz’s offices in Texas as soon as possible to request meetings, since they take some time to schedule.

After visiting Cruz’s office they went on to meet Senator Cornyn’s staff and we learned a very important bit of information for Texas taxpayers concerned about the impact of refugee resettlement on the state:

This time they decided to also ask what they could do to win the senator over. They said the Cornyn staffer told them that his office gets a lot of calls expressing concerns about refugee resettlement and hardly any from people who support refugees. [Hint!—ed]

“She said, ‘You can help by educating fellow Texans about refugees,’” Emmanuel Sebagabo, a former refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said afterward.

It was a tangible bit of information that the former refugees felt could serve them well.

[….]

…. They [politicians] don’t base their policy positions on whether constituents set up apartments for people resettling in their states, and they haven’t been universally moved by protests against Trump’s executive orders. Politicians care about getting elected and reelected; they care about doing what their constituents call on them (literally and figuratively) to do.

It’s a basic principle of advocacy, but it can get lost when activists are focused on more immediate matters, like getting people resettled in a new country. Now up against Trump, Abbott, Cruz, Cornyn and other Republicans, the refugee advocates got a reminder that they can’t forget about the politics. They need to convince more fellow Texans that refugee resettlement is a good thing, but that requires combating messages from politicians who spread fear that refugees can be dangerous. They need to convince those who support refugees to not just offer places to stay, warm meals and social services. They need them to call politicians’ offices and show up at town halls.

Yup!

Continue reading here.

Thanks to HuffPo reporter Elise Foley for giving us those important reminders!

By the way, this article focused on Texas, but you can be sure they were visiting YOUR Senators and members of Congress too!

This article is posted in my relatively new category ‘What you can do’ here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition, Trump, What you can do | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Did Sec. of State Tillerson’s right hand man, Brian Hook, set a major policy shift on refugees?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 25, 2017

“…..if he hires Brian Hook, he will be opening his arms to a member of the very establishment he campaigned against.”

Daniel DePetris

 

Last night I told you that twitter phenom Mike Cernovich immediately fingered Tillerson’s chief policy advisor, Brian Hook, as the State Department official who okayed the release of an e-mail last month to their refugee industry partners around the world announcing a huge jump in weekly refugee admissions.

(So far we have not seen the bump-up from 900 to 1,500 a week that was  announced as Trump and Tillerson were wrapping up a world tour. That is not to say it isn’t still coming.)

A jump to 1,500 a week for the remaining weeks of the fiscal year would push Trump’s numbers up above 2—56,424 and 58,238—and perhaps as many as 5 of Barack Obama’s years! (Here).

When the New York Times announced the stunning news (we wrote about it here), I and many others following the issue closely, were completely flummoxed—-how could Trump go so far from his campaign promises, and did he think no one was watching?

 ***Update*** Just checked the numbers and there is no sign of any bump-up. We admitted 2,244 in the last 3 weeks (June 2-June 23) which represents an average of 748 refugees a week.

We don’t know if Cernovich is correct, but when you learn more about Hook, it makes sense.

Here is what you need to know about who Rex Tillerson relies on for policy decisions in a State Department being run almost completely by career bureaucrats who frankly hate Donald Trump.

And, incidentally, it easily could have been Hook (Tillerson’s chief policy strategist) who was the leader of the pack stomping on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban while shilling for GEORGE SOROS here last week.

Here is Brian Hook’s bio.

Here is what Alex Pfeiffer (Daily Caller) said about him and his appointment in March:

Brian Hook, a Trump critic and former Bush administration official, is currently serving as the State Department’s director of policy planning, The Daily Caller has learned.

Brian Hook is not only a Bushie, but a Romney advisor and cheerleader. When Trump did not choose Romney for Sec. of State, was Hook the bone Trump threw to the Bush/Romney interests. Was Tillerson required to take Hook?

Foreign Policy magazine previously reported that Hook was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s favorite for the role and a department spokeswoman confirmed to TheDC Thursday that Hook got the job. The director of policy planning is a key position responsible for running the department’s internal think tank, which is home to the secretary of state’s speechwriters.

Hook previously served in the Bush administration in several roles, including as assistant secretary of state for international organizations, and later served as a foreign policy adviser for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.

The State Department official also co-founded the John Hay Initiative, a neoconservative group that organized a letter of over 100 Republican foreign policy experts who would refuse to back Trump. Eliot Cohen, another co-founder of the John Hay Initiative, has been a strong critic of the Trump administration.

During the Presidential campaign, Hook disagreed with every one of Trump’s positions, so clearly he is opposed to slowing the flow of refugees to America.

The John Hay Initiative*** advocated for a foreign policy that Trump rejected during the presidential campaign. It called for a tougher stance against Russia and more involvement overseas. Hook told Politico in May, “Even if you say you support him as the nominee, you go down the list of [Trump’s] positions and you see you disagree on every one.”

After Foreign Policy reported that Hook might land a State Department role, Daniel DePetris, a National Interest contributor, wrote, “Trump should know what he’s getting himself into: if he hires Brian Hook, he will be opening his arms to a member of the very establishment he campaigned against.”

More here.

Then we learn even more from a huge article at Politico.  Of course Politico is writing in support of the State Department bureaucrats who, first and foremost, hate Donald Trump and are working daily to undermine his White House (at least on the issue we care the most about, see here).

Politico tells us that because the Tillerson State Department has hired so few people loyal to the President, foreign governments are going directly to Hook or, Jared Kushner!

In theory, the Policy Planning office is a kind of in-house think thank that develops long-range strategy, but in practice it often feeds the secretary of state with views about day-to-day problems. The lack of Trump appointees at the State Department’s regional desks and embassies, and the sidelining of many career diplomats, has added pressure on Hook’s office to develop policy for Tillerson.

It’s also led foreign governments to seek out other avenues of communication. Trump has nominated only a handful of U.S. ambassadors, and some countries have responded simply by reaching out directly to Hook or to other White House officials, including Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Politico tells us that career bureaucrats went bonkers over Trump White House decision on refugees.

Others say asking senior aides who were deeply and visibly supportive of an array of Obama-era foreign policy initiatives — including the Iran deal — to reverse, modify, or unwind those initiatives, is difficult if not impossible. Even before Tillerson’s confirmation, the State Department’s dissent channel — an internal venue for career officials to register concerns with the trajectory of American policy — lit up with protests over the administration’s temporary ban on refugees.

So, did Hook (Politico calls him Tillerson’s “policy brain”) agree to the announcement of a stepped-up refugee admissions schedule to appease the swamp monsters—the long-time bureaucrats who almost unanimously donated to Hillary’s presidential campaign?

And, one more thing.  We have been pointing out for many weeks that the US Refugee Admissions Program is being run by long-time bureaucrats and that there has been no move to find a Trump loyalist to fill the Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) position.

Politico confirms that Trump/Tillerson have made no move to get their own people in place.

LOL! Politico suggests that the ‘career civil servants’ want some leadership, but, at least for PRM, I’m betting they are pretty happy to have no Trump-appointee holding the reins so that they can simply run the show and persuade Hook/Tillerson that opening the spigot to 1,500 refugees a week will go unnoticed.

Politico continues…..

About four months after Tillerson’s confirmation, Hook has told associates that his boss is in no rush to fill the several hundred senior-level posts that require political appointments. Trump has yet to nominate a single assistant secretary, leaving the department’s top posts for regions like Europe, Asia and the Middle East vacant. Instead, career civil servants — “acting” assistant secretaries — are filling the jobs until their replacements are nominated, a move that is eliciting criticism from department veterans.

By the way, it will be a battle-royal in the Senate over the PRM job, but there is no reason that Tillerson can’t (right now!) get an advisor who knows something about the USRAP, and such an advisor/consultant does not require Senate confirmation.  Indeed it should be noted that George W. Bush had to get his Asst. Sec for PRM (Ellen Sauerbrey) in place by using a recess-appointment.

Much more here at Politico.

*** More on Hook at the John Hay Initiative.

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

So did President Trump get blindsided by Dept. of State announcement last month?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 24, 2017

That would be the announcement that the State Department was going to almost double the number of refugees being admitted to the country from around 900 a week to 1,500 a week. (So far that rate has not materialized!)

We reported the stunning news from the New York Times here.

Thanks to Richard at Blue Ridge Forum (on twitter @highblueridge ) for sending us this tweet from twitter extraordinaire Mike Cernovich.  @Cernovich has 298,000 followers and here is what he posted on May 30th:

 

 

So who is Brian Hook?

Hint! He worked against Donald Trump in the primary and now he sits next to Tillerson’s throne!

This is not how one goes about draining the swamp!

More tomorrow……

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Refugee Resettlement Program, Rumors, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Supreme Court could announce fate of Trump ‘travel ban’ and refugee ceiling reduction at any time

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 24, 2017

According to AP at ABC News, here, they have likely already decided and an announcement will come next week.

 

Which way will they go?

 

There are two major issues at stake (maybe more than two, but two for me!).  The first is whether the President has the authority to ban, for a limited time, all entry to the US from six (mostly Muslim countries that are hotbeds of terrorism) in order to keep us safe while they review the entry screening process.  Again, this involves all those of all religions and ethnic groups entering the US through any means from those six countries.

The second issue, and the one more interesting to me, is the one addressed by the Hawaii court (9th Circuit), but NOT by the Maryland court (4th Circuit), and that is whether the President has the legal right to come in at any number below the refugee admissions CEILING set last fall (in this case set by Obama), or more specifically has a legal right to announce a mid-year lowering of the admission ceiling for all refugees, of all religions, from all countries! And, does he have the legal authority to put in place a 120-day moratorium (again all countries, all religions) while the federal government reviews the screening process for refugees.

Presidents always come in under the CEILING, some by very significant numbers, and no one has legally challenged previous presidents on that issue.  There may have been some squawking by federal refugee contractors***, who receive a large portion of their budget based on a per head payment, when Bush came in way low in the wake of 9/11, but I don’t think he was taken to court over it.

See what I said here about how Obama failed to reach some of his ceilings:

In FY2011, they were 23,576 below the CEILING. Did anyone sue President Obama?

In FY2012, they were 17,762 below the CEILING. Did anyone sue President Obama for leaving thousands “stranded in war-torn countries”?

I have my fingers crossed that Justice Department lawyers knew enough to separate the two issues (the overall travel ban from the CEILING issue) which should never have been addressed in the same Executive Order in the first place.

Here is what ABC is reporting:

The Supreme Court has almost certainly decided what to do about President Donald Trump’s travel ban affecting citizens of six mostly Muslim countries.

The country is waiting for the court to make its decision public about the biggest legal controversy in the first five months of Trump’s presidency. The issue has been tied up in the courts since Trump’s original order in January sparked widespread protests just days after he took office.

The justices met Thursday morning for their last regularly scheduled private conference in June and probably took a vote about whether to let the Trump administration immediately enforce the ban and hear the administration’s appeal of lower court rulings blocking the ban.

The court’s decision could come any time and is expected no later than late next week…..

[….]

The case is at the Supreme Court because two federal appellate courts have ruled against the Trump travel policy, which would impose a 90-day pause in travel from citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the ban was “rooted in religious animus” toward Muslims and pointed to Trump’s campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the travel policy does not comply with federal immigration law, including a prohibition on nationality-based discrimination.

That court also put a hold on separate aspects of the policy that would keep all refugees out of the United States for 120 days and cut by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000, the cap on refugees in the current government spending year that ends Sept. 30.

More here.

If the court rules against Trump on this last point, I see the contractors getting what they always wanted—the President’s determination set in September in advance of the fiscal year would become a TARGET that must be reached, and not simply a CEILING not to be exceeded.  (The Refugee Act of 1980 does have a mechanism for increasing the ceiling during the course of the year that requires consultation with Congress, but is silent if the President comes in low.)

For a laugh, as the contractors argue in the Supreme Court that the President (in this case, Donald Trump) doesn’t have the right to set the ceiling, they say this (see here) about a bill in Congress that would eliminate some Presidential power to set the ceiling:

“….it would remove presidential authority to set the number of refugees who may enter the country per year.”

Make up your minds—does the Prez have the power or not? Truth be told, this is about Donald Trump and not if the president was Mark Zuckerberg!

***Federal refugee resettlement contractors are paid by you, on a per head basis, to place refugees in your towns:

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

LA Times headline is deceptive (yes, can you believe it!)

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 24, 2017

Here is the headline of an LA Times story yesterday designed to give an impression to lazy readers that President Trump (the meany) has drastically cut refugee admissions.  He hasn’t.

Number of refugees admitted to U.S. drops by almost half

Their story begins:

The number of refugees admitted to the United States was cut by nearly half in the first three months of the Trump administration compared with the final three months of the Obama presidency, reflecting the new president’s skepticism toward immigration.

Further down, at least they try to be honest for readers willing to read more than the headline as they report what we reported ad nauseam and that is that the outgoing Obama State Department was pouring refugees in to the US at a phenomenal rate.

Obama at the UN last September just as he was opening the flood gates (wide!). http://www.lavocedinewyork.com/en/un/2016/09/21/obama-at-the-un-global-refugee-crisis-most-urgent-test-of-our-time/

The data suggest that the Obama administration, as it was about to turn over power to Trump, significantly stepped up the number of refugees admitted. Arrivals in its final three months reflected an 86% year-over-year increase compared to the same period the previous year.

In Trump’s first three months, arrivals were 12% lower than for the same period in the previous year.

But, heck, 12% lower doesn’t make for a headline designed to make President Trump look bad.

Have a look at the data for the last ten years (from Wrapsnet) and see the astronomical numbers that Obama was pushing through the pipeline in the final months of his presidency.

 

 

I’m getting sick of having to show how the mainstream media skews the news on refugees.  I bet you are too!

Then the LA Times story says this:

Trump has sought to limit the number of refugees to 50,000 this year. But adverse rulings in the courts could work against him.

As of today we are at 48,856, and at the present rate of arrivals we will reach 50,000 in a week to ten days.  I have maintained from the outset that Trump can legally slow or outright halt the number being admitted (under the ceiling of 110,000 set by Obama) at any time and will be watching to see how the Supreme Court handles this portion of the case before them.  (Decision is expected at any moment.)

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

 
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