Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘Resettlement cities’ Category

Getting new housing in your town? Then you will get refugees!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 8, 2017

If Trump doesn’t turn off the spigot, both of refugees and funding/regulations for low income housing (Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing!), then expect refugee contractors to find your town!

Changing the heartland one town at a time!

tysons-map

Tyson Foods is the top employer in Garden City, Kansas and the primary reason Somalis and other refugees move there. If you have a Tyson Foods plant (or any BIG MEAT plant near where you live, you will have refugees too.

Here we have news from Kansas where a federal refugee contractor crows about all the new housing that could be available for refugees in Liberal, Dodge and Garden City, Kansas.

Governor Brownback recently withdrew the state from the Refugee Admissions Program, but that means nothing unless he is willing to sue the federal government on states’ rights grounds.

His withdrawal means that contractors, like the International Rescue Committee, will move in to run the program with Washington. As we said here, Brownback cannot be trusted on this issue!

From KSN.com (Refugees may double for southwest Kansas in 2017):

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Southwest Kansas welcomed 67 new refugees to the area in 2016, just shy of the 80 the International Rescue Commission [Committee—ed] was authorized to re-settle, but that number could soar this year.

amy-longa

Any Longa, director of the International Rescue Committee office in Garden City, says she is working to expand housing opportunities for refugees. http://www.gctelegram.com/news/local/ugandan-natives-share-sorrows-humor-of-moving-to-america/article_0639af00-30b8-55c9-9028-5c39ede42b6b.html

“We do have the capacity to settle 140,” said Amy Longa, who manages the southwest Kansas site of the Commission. “I do not know how many we’ll end up settling by the end of the fiscal year.”

It depends on many factors at play in the international resettlement efforts, but the number of new refugees settling in Dodge, Liberal, and Garden could potentially double this year over last year.

[….]

The housing shortage in the region is an obstacle, but it is being addressed.

“We’re now seeing a little more opportunity with the recent building,” said Carol Davidson with Garden City Community Development, “and we also have plans in the future, this next year 2017, we do have a development that’s going in.”

“19 duplexes, 12 fourplexes, and five 36-unit apartment complexes,” said Cory Hodapp, who owns the company building a new housing complex in Garden City. “We’ll have half of the duplexes and half of the fourplexes complete this year.”

Good news for the IRC and Tyson Foods!

It’s good news for the IRC, which competes with the market to help find homes for refugees.

“What we have been working on the past two years is reaching out to landlords and creating partnerships with landlords to create housing,” said Longa. “Not only in Garden City, but in Dodge and Liberal as well.”

As we have reported on many previous occasions, the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program works closely with large companies like Tyson Foods and others to supply them with cheap immigrant labor.  Those laborers are further subsidized by your tax dollars including those used to expand low-income housing.

So, don’t fall for the humanitarian mumbo-jumbo!  Refugee resettlement is an industry!  Chambers of Commerce want it, housing developers want it, big industries want it for cheap labor, local mosque leaders want it, politicians want it (money!), and the resettlement contractors get jobs and nice salaries all while pretending to wear a white hat of humanitarianism!

We have many previous posts going back several years on Garden City, click here.  And, see Garden City’s wikipedia page where someone had to be sure that the recent arrest of three Kansans who allegedly planned to blow up one of the Somali apartment complexes has been added to the page.

There is another article about Kansas and refugees, here, in recent days.  You might want to have a look at.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

First Syrians to Rutland, VT in direct challenge to Donald Trump

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 7, 2017

The US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) said in a press release in recent days that they were going ahead with their plans to open an office in Rutland, VT for the purpose of placing 100 Syrians (the first 100!) in the city where those plans have drawn heated controversy since last spring.

screenshot-14

Lavinia Limon with Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya. Ms. Limon’s organization, USCRI, helps Chobani Yogurt by sending refugees to Twin Falls, Idaho. Limon headed Bill Clinton’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. Warning to Mr. Trump: These are not squishy do-gooder organizations and people who you can easily roll. They are sharp, experienced political fighters.

Throwing all caution to the wind (shelling out money they don’t know they will have) and gambling that they can back Trump down, the federal resettlement contractor headed by longtime Clinton ally Lavinia Limon is hiring staff for a proposed opening in a couple of weeks—timed, I surmise, to happen just about the time Donald Trump is inaugurated.

Setting up a showdown with Donald Trump…..

If Trump does what he said he would do and quickly pauses refugee resettlement at least from terror-producing regions of the world, USCRI will be in a position to scream bloody murder—how dare Trump stop these poor women and children who were headed to a ‘welcoming’ Vermont town. 

By the way, the NYT puff piece on Rutland recently was likely part of the propaganda set up to nail a heartless Trump.

These resettlement contractors have been around for over 30 years!  Lots of big salaries depend on the continuation of the industry (yes, it is an industry), not to mention cheap labor for global corporations. Goals also include increasing Democrat voter rolls and generally driving all of us to accept a multicultural borderless world.

They are not going to give up easily or quietly!

From Valley News:

Rutland —

The Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program’s Rutland office is expected to open and be fully staffed within a couple of weeks.

According to Stacie Blake, director of government and community relations with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the office will have three full-time employees. Primary guidance will come from the Colchester, Vt., office and will be based on the organization’s 35 years of experience working with refugees in Vermont.

“The program expects to welcome the first refugee families to Rutland in January,” Blake said in a news release.

[….]

“Sites across the country are continuing to welcome new arrivals as their travel from overseas is booked,” Blake said in an email. “We have no information regarding changes to the resettlement program.”

I’ll bet you those travel bookings at IOM are going through the roof!

The article goes on to say how excited the volunteers are who are anticipating their very own Syrians (how cool is that!), and these local refugee advocates can be counted on to wail if Trump pauses the program (and they will have no clue that USCRI used them).

See our extensive archive on Rutland, here.  And for more on Lavinia Limon, go here.

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, The Opposition, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Refugee advocates think Trump can’t change Obama’s 110,000 refugee goal for this year

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 3, 2017

I have no time to say much about this sob story in South Carolina’s The State newspaper about Muslim refugees resettled in the Carolinas (mostly in North Carolina) because I have to dash to jury duty again today.  But, I can’t not mention this little blip from Jason Lee.  We wrote about him on many occasions when he was chosen to work for a refugee contractor, World Relief, in Spartanburg, SC in 2015.

trump-and-sessions

Trump Test! Trump here with Senator Jeff Sessions his Attorney General nominee, can and must pause the Refugee Admissions Program. He can do it on day one, but I give him 4 weeks (I’m being generous)—until February 16th to do it! Sessions knows what can and should be done!

That was a resettlement plan that resulted in a heated controversy. Spartanburg is also in Rep. Trey Gowdy’s district and despite efforts by the Immigration Subcommittee chairman (Gowdy!) to question the choice of Spartanburg as a new resettlement site (he wrote a letter to Sec. of State Kerry), it went ahead as planned.

Jason Lee is wrong.  Congress does not approve the level of resettlement for the coming year (it is not an act of Congress).

The President of the United States proposes the level in September preceding the fiscal year and sends his determination to Congress for “consultation,” but there is no legal requirement for Congress to agree to whatever number the President has chosen.  Of course, if they give the President money to admit a certain number of refugees through the Appropriations process, then that is tantamount agreement to the numbers.

That said, Donald Trump can and should, because he has the power to do it, limit the number set by Obama on day one of his Presidency.  He can halt immigration from certain regions of the world, or pause the refugee program altogether. In fact, he would not be the first to pause the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program.  In 2002, the program was almost ground to a halt as fear grew in the wake of the 9/11 attack.

jason-lee

Jason Lee’s wishful thinking?

Here is what Lee told The State:

Congress has approved admitting 110,000 refugees in fiscal 2017.

It will be difficult for President Trump to cut that number, said Jason Lee, former director of the refugee assistance group World Relief Spartanburg. [As you know, World Relief is one of nine major federal refugee resettlement contractors, paid by the head to place refugees in your towns—ed]

“A number of questions won’t be answered until President Trump takes office,” Lee said. “(But) he’s already backed off not allowing Muslim immigrants into the country.”

Read it all here.

See our archive on Spartanburg by clicking here.  (I warn you there are many posts there!)

It is through the Spartanburg controversy that I formed my opinion of SC Governor Nikki Haley (Trump’s nominee to be Ambassador to the UN).

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Obama, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 15 Comments »

Lancaster, PA school district didn’t cave to ACLU, appealed refugee students case to higher court

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 2, 2017

In my previous post I noted that the media (the New York Times) is working overtime to sell the public on the notion that everything is just peachy in Lancaster with the decades-old refugee program there.  Then we see stories like this one that indicate at least some segments of the community are not thrilled at all—namely the school system.

BTW, see my Ten Things your town needs to know when ‘welcoming’ refugees and see that the first great impact on your community will most likely be in the school system.

Look how much this lawsuit filed by the ACLU is costing Lancaster taxpayers! If your town becomes a new ‘welcoming’ site, be prepared for unanticipated costs like these!

From Keystone Crossroads (hat tip: Joanne):

About 17,000 of the refugees arriving each year in the U.S. are children, yet their education — in particular, how public schools might accommodate them — plays a surprisingly minor role in placing families.

Federal law says public schools have to adjust to meet any number of students’ varying needs, including overcoming language barriers.

But that doesn’t always happen.

A few lawsuits have been filed in recent years on behalf of student refugees suffering the consequences of systematic shortcomings.

Schools have settled out of court in most cases.

Not Lancaster.

[….]

Lawyers for the Pennsylvania ACLU and Philadelphia-based Education Law Center sued the School District of Lancaster last summer.

The lawsuit claims that, despite the city’s robust tradition of resettlement, several teenage refugees waited months to enroll in public school. Ultimately, they were denied outright or diverted to magnet school Phoenix Academy, which has less support for nonnative English speakers than mainstream McCaskey High School.

[….]

In the meantime, a judicial panel in Philadelphia is considering Lancaster’s appeal. (See that story here)

[….]

Whether the district’s on the hook for any expenses depends on how the case turns out.

Defense attorneys’ bills are at about $150,000 so far, according to the district’s business administrator Matthew Przywara. The ACLU’s costs are approaching $2 million.

But Lancaster’s insurer has indicated it won’t pay out more than $100,000 for this lawsuit, district officials say.

There is more, continue reading here.

If the ACLU prevails be forewarned for refugee resettlement to your town to become even more expensive!

Click here for more on Lancaster, PA.  Someone should do a study of the negative impact on this longtime resettlement site.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

BT! Church World Service working hard to get Syrian Muslims placed in Lancaster, PA

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 2, 2017

BT=Before Trump

This is the first of two posts (second one is here) on Lancaster, PA this morning.  I’ve been interested in Lancaster ever since that city’s refugee program was linked to Church World Service’s (CWS) placement of refugees in my county seat.  Those were mostly Meshketian (Russian Turkish Muslims) back in 2007.

Five years later, I traveled to Lancaster to a meeting of the refugee industry there—the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement was meeting with refugee contractors and advocates in 2013. A federal ORR employee shocked me by referring to any of the communities questioning the program as “pockets of resistance.”  He was happy to tell the gathering that Pennsylvania was ‘welcoming’ and didn’t have any PORs.

cws-mccullough-arrest

Church World Service does not just resettle refugees, but they advocate for illegal aliens as well. CWS CEO Rev. John McCullough being arrested in Washington, DC protesting in support of Obama’s executive amnesty. Photo and story here: http://njfon.org/2015/04/08/faith-groups-challenge-fifth-circuit-court-on-presidents-immigration-actions/ McCullough pulls down an annual salary of over $300,000 a year from his CWS work and from “related organizations.” Page 13- 14 http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2015/134/080/2015-134080201-0c44e710-9.pdf

If you would like to get some background on Lancaster before reading this below, click here for our Lancaster archive.

This is the news that appeared in the New York Times and reposted here in Vermont newspaper. Church World Service (with the NYT) is trying so hard to make everything look so perfect in Lancaster.  But, it isn’t and you will see what I mean in my next post.

Their [Syrian family—ed] imminent arrival explains all the commotion inside this slate-colored house in the small city of Lancaster, in south-central Pennsylvania. The state may have gone to Donald Trump, who likened the Syrian resettlement program to a “a great Trojan horse” for terrorists. But he isn’t president yet.

[….]

He [Josh, CWS’s 26 year old housing guy—ed] scours a government checklist of housing requirements for a resettlement [Contractors sign contracts to provide essential items for the refugees’ new home—ed], mindful that whatever he spends is deducted from a refugee’s one-time government grant of no more than $1,125. A family’s combined grants must cover its rent and other expenses until the nonprofit has helped the adults acquire Social Security numbers and jobs.

I want you to know (and the NYT doesn’t) that it is $1,125 per family member, so the Syrian family of 6 being discussed here will get $6,750 (plus welfare) and that CWS will get another approximately $6,750 as their share (of your tax dollars) to resettle this family (for their salaries and overhead).

Such encounters [Josh meets a refugee at Walmart***] happen often in Lancaster, whose rich history of acceptance is rooted, in part, in the influence of the Mennonites, Amish and other faiths. A glimpse of the local worldview came in January when a supportive rally of more than 200 people drowned out a much smaller anti-immigrant protest outside the Church World Service office in Lancaster. [See our report on the resistors rally, here.]

Sheila Mastropietro, the group’s longtime supervisor in Lancaster, took heart in the moment. It reflected a communal understanding of both the global refugee crisis and the rigorous screening process that refugees undergo before coming to the United States. [The communal understanding is wearing thin as you will see in my next post.—ed]

The big question for the resettlement contractors is: What will Trump do and when will he do it?

Still, given a president-elect who seems averse to the country’s modest commitment to refugee relocation, Mastropietro says, “We don’t know what to expect.”

[….]

Last fiscal year, the Lancaster office of the Church World Service helped to resettle 407 of the 85,000 refugees admitted to this country; this fiscal year, its target is 550 of a hoped-for 110,000.

“We are acting as if the numbers are going to be the same — until we hear something different,” she says.

Lancaster a happy “medley of cultures” (then why did Lancaster County go 57% for Trump):

Decades of resettlement work have transformed the Lancaster area into a medley of cultures so rich that Amer Alfayadh, 34, a senior case manager, struggles to name them all: “Syrians, Iraqis, Somalis, Congolese, Ukrainians, Belorussians, people from Kazakhstan. Then, of course, Lebanese, Palestinians. Bhutanese, Nepalese, Burmese, Sri Lankans …”

***I would love to know what the deal is with Walmart.  Wherever I traveled on my middle America tour this past summer, I heard that Walmart was a gathering place for Muslim refugees.  Is Walmart giving them gift cards or other goodies?  Does anyone know?

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Refugees with low education levels needed for jobs like meatpacking

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 31, 2016

Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart yesterday analyzed the education levels of refugees arriving at record numbers in the US right now as Obama gets ready to vacate the White House.

cargill-somalis

Residents told me that Somalis working for Cargill have changed the town of Ft. Morgan, Colorado. Photo: http://madworldnews.com/colorado-biz-200-muslims-job/

Readers here know that I have been for years discussing the role that BIG MEAT plays in the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program and my 6,000 mile tour of America this past summer took me to several major meatpacking towns being changed by the influx of large numbers of Somalis to supply cheap labor to meat industry giants like JBS in Greeley, Colorado and Cargill in Ft. Morgan.

(I also visited meatpacking towns in Minnesota and North and South Dakota.)

Here is Leahy reporting on the fact that Somalis enter the US with the least education of any refugee group thus making them desirable employees for the beef and poultry industry (LOL! Not pork!).

Somalis are the least educated group of refugees who have arrived in the United States during the first three months of FY 2017.

As Breitbart News reported previously, the Obama administration has resettled 25,671 refugees in the country during the three month period beginning October 1, 2016 and ending December 30, 2016. This is almost double the number of refugees resettled in the United States during the same period in the prior fiscal year, FY 2016.

More than 85 percent of these refugees arrived from just eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Burma, Ukraine, Bhutan, and Iran.

[….]

The levels of education of arriving refugees from these eight countries vary widely. More than 71 percent of refugees arriving from the Ukraine have achieved high school level or higher training (secondary, university, professional, or technical degrees). At the other end of the spectrum, less than nine percent of refugees from Somalia arrived with high school level or higher training.

[….]

Somalis, in particular, are heavily employed in the meat packing industry.

The consequence of the availability of low skill, low wage refugees to fill jobs in the meat packing and related industries has been to keep wages down and limit employment opportunities in those industries for low skilled American citizens living near those meat packing plants. The plants also need a steady supply of new healthy workers to replace the workers whose hands are eventually damaged by the rapid repetitive motions required in the high-speed, low-tech slaughterhouse line.

A number of communities have experienced this problem over the past decade, including Shelbyville, TennesseeLiberal, KansasFort Morgan, ColoradoAustin, Minnesota; and Grand Island, Nebraska.

It is an extensive report, continue reading here.

I have been told by readers over the years, and by some living in meatpacking towns, that meatpacking was a desirable job for Americans a couple of decades ago, but when these global corporations discovered immigrant (cheap!) labor all that changed.  Refugees supplement their wages with your welfare subsidies!

Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, diversity's dark side, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

Refugee Resettlement was big news in 2016

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 31, 2016

Just now as I read through news on my various alerts I saw several year-end wrap-up local news stories including from Poughkeepsie, NY and Rutland, VT which ranked refugee resettlement controversies among their top stories of the year.

The one from Idaho places refugee resettlement right up there with the 2016 Presidential election as a leading story for 2016!

refugee-resettlement

MagicValley.com gleefully notes that a petition drive failed to put the issue before county voters, but this type of activity is not a wasted effort. It generated media, sneering media, but nevertheless the process created political controversy. This is an important stage in bringing about political change. As I say to everyone, stop looking for the silver bullet. There is no silver bullet, or no right thing to do, just keep up the political pressure in whatever way you can using whatever talents and time you have.

I’ve been writing RRW since 2007 and I must say, this has not happened in those nearly ten years—that the refugee issue would be a leading story of the year anywhere, so keep up the good work.

When you are feeling frustrated that your concerns about the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program are not being addressed, know that getting those concerns reported in your local media (within an overarching theme of agitating your elected officials) is a first important step toward reaching a political tipping point.

Here is some of what MagicValley.com had to say:

Refugee resettlement, which was a controversial issue in Twin Falls in 2015 and continued to be on in 2016, was also a major issue in the presidential race, and the debate over Medicaid expansion in Idaho will be shifted drastically because of the outcome. [By the way, the Office of Refugee Resettlement itself says that if your state has expanded Medicaid it makes it a more ‘welcoming’ target for the placement of refugees.—ed]

[….]

A movement to shut down the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center started last year, after news came out that some Syrians could be among the refugees to be resettled in Twin Falls. (None have been to date.) As the Syrian civil war dragged on, displacing millions of people, refugee resettlement became a topic of worldwide debate and a major issue in the presidential race, with Trump’s hard-line views on refugee admissions and anti-Muslim rhetoric energizing some and horrifying others. As for Twin Falls, it started to attract national media attention as an example of a town divided over what was becoming a focus of national political arguments.

A drive for a countywide referendum on whether to shut down the refugee center fizzled this spring when organizers got about a quarter of the number of signatures they would need to get on the ballot. In June, however, the debate flared back up after news came out about a 5-year-old girl at the Fawnbrook Apartments being sexually assaulted by three boys from Middle Eastern refugee families.

Continue reading here.

LOL! That is all I am snipping.  I am really careful about not taking too much of published news accounts, however, this publication is the only one in the nation to ever send me a legal letter telling me I have snipped too much of their report.

Does anyone know where the case is regarding the sexual assault from last June?

Our archive on Twin Falls may be found by clicking here.

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Colonization, Community destabilization, creating a movement, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Stealth Jihad, Who is going where | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

Nearly 100,000 Bhutanese refugees later we help UN clean out camps in Nepal

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 28, 2016

Lesson! When the Department of State welcomes an ethnic group to America expect the resettlement to be larger and longer than they initially said it would be.

We have followed the process of cleaning out UNHCR camps in Nepal of Bhutanese refugees ever since the Bush Administration said: ‘come on in’ we well take 60,000.  This resettlement was planned to last for five years (as we now approach ten!). I suspect it was UNHCR Antonio Guterres (now Secretary General of the UN) who talked the Bush State Department in to this!

***Update*** More news here: UN says the movement of over 100,000 third worlders to first world countries was a great success.

The so-called “Bhutanese” are people of Nepali ethnicity that were pushed out of Bhutan when the Bhutanese government basically said, we want Bhutan for Bhutanese and you Nepali people who have moved in here for decades need to leave.  To learn more about what happened, check out wikipedia, here.

bhutan-map

When we began posting on this group of mostly Hindu people back in 2007, most did not want to be resettled anywhere but back in Bhutan. And, obviously Nepal wasn’t welcoming their kinsmen home.

So, how did this become our problem?

Why did the US decide to resettle tens of thousands and scatter them around America? Frankly, with our economic muscle certainly we could have prevailed on either Bhutan or Nepal to work this out! Or, did we simply acquiesce to pressure from the United Nations? And, was the refugee industry looking for more paying clients and big business looking for cheap labor?

So here we are almost ten years in.  We said we would resettle 60,000 and so I checked Wrapsnet.org (2007 to December 15, 2016) to see exactly how many we have taken since 2007.  The answer is 91,713!  But according to this article in the Katmandu Post we will be closing the program in 2017 (I guess to make more room for the Muslim Syrians, Iraqis and Somalis).

For ambitious readers, visit our archive on the Bhutanese by clicking here.  Some have done well in America, but for years they had an extremely high suicide rate that worried the resettlement industry. One of many morals to this story is that when the US State Department gives you a number that will be resettled, expect the resettlement to be much larger and much longer than they said it would be!

Many forced to choose resettlement against their will!

Here is the story from before Christmas from the Katmandu Post (notice that many are still holding out hope that they will go home to Bhutan):

Dec 15, 2016- More than 100,000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in various countries under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) third country resettlement programme. But some the remaining refugees in eastern Tarai are still putting their feet down for repatriation.

Around 2,000 of the remaining 11,000 refugees, put up at various camps in Jhapa and Morang, are refusing the third country resettlement and willing to return their own homeland in Bhutan, according to a source at the UNHCR. The repatriation campaign has come closer to end after the UN body’s resettlement programme. The repatriation campaign has been weakened as the leaders spearheading repatriation themselves opted for third country resettlement. And the majority of the remaining refugees are also in resettlement process, giving up hope of repatriation.

Bhampa Rai, Balaram Poudel, among other refugee leaders, are still campaigning for repatriation, though. They blamed the government of Nepal for its failure to take any initiatives for their cause. “Nepal could neither convince Bhutan to take back refugees nor pressure the international community over the issue,” said Rai, claiming that hundreds of refugees had been forced to choose third country resettlement against their will.

[….]

According to the UNHCR, 107,000 refugees are already resettled in various host countries, including the US, Australia and Canada. Another batch of around 9,000 refugees are in the process of resettlement, officials at the UNHCR said.

The UNHCR’s third country resettlement programme will come to an end in 2017.

So where are they in America? (Or, at least where were they originally resettled). Map is from Wrapsnet.org.

screenshot-104

States cut off in my screenshot are Hawaii (0), Alaska (148) and Florida (671)

Here are the top ten states where the Bhutanese were resettled:

screenshot-103

Inds stands for Individuals.

One of the things I’ve always wondered about is this:  The UN was so anxious to close these camps (to deny these people a ‘right of return’) while they never had any interest in resettling the Palestinians around the Arab world, but has kept the Palestinian camps (really cities) open for over 60 years.  I’m actually not wondering. I really do know the answer! It was (and is) to keep a thorn in Israel’s side.

Posted in Other refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information, Who is going where | Tagged: , | 9 Comments »

AP says Montana is an example of anti-refugee sentiment spilling forth in wake of Trump victory

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 27, 2016

Update December 29, 2016: Michael Leahy at Breitbart has a good piece on Montana here also.

This is an Associated Press story that ran on Christmas day so not sure how many of you saw it.

For background, Montana had a small refugee program many years ago, but up until this year it was alone with Wyoming in not having one at all.  That changed in 2016 as Missoula ‘welcomed’ its first African and Middle Eastern refugees. I traveled to the state this summer and can attest to the sentiment outlined in this story.

sk_rossi

S.K. Rossi, advocacy and policy director for the ACLU of Montana: “It’s pretty widely known that this is going to be a hard year…” Photo: https://www.aclumontana.org/en/about/staff

For new readers you might like to see our Montana archive, here.

From AP at The Seattle Times:

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The push to restrict refugee resettlements and immigration in the U.S. that figured so prominently in Donald Trump’s election is now headed to states that are preparing to convene their legislative sessions early next year, immigration advocates said.

In Montana, which took in just nine refugee families from January to early December, about a dozen bill requests related to refugees, immigration and terrorism have been filed ahead of next month’s session. The measures include requiring resettlement agencies to carry insurance that would defray the cost of prosecuting refugees who commit violent crimes and allowing towns and cities to request a moratorium on resettlements in their communities.

Refugee rights advocates say those measures are a sign of what is to come as the anti-refugee rhetoric that featured prominently in the presidential election spills over to statehouses and local governments.

“It’s pretty widely known that this is going to be a hard year for those of us who are seeking to protect the rights of refugees and immigrants,” said S.K. Rossi, advocacy and policy director for the ACLU of Montana.

The president-elect campaigned on building a border wall with Mexico to stop illegal immigration, deporting immigrants who are in the nation illegally and halting the resettlement of refugees to strengthen the federal program that vets them.

[….]

“It absolutely does not end with the presidential election,” McKenzie [Michele McKenzie, deputy director of the Minneapolis organization The Advocates for Human Rights] said. “It’s a national strategy by a small but organized group of anti-immigration advocates and anti-refugee advocates.”

[….]

“We need to get serious,” said Nancy Ballance, a Republican state representative from Ravalli County.

Ballance said refugees are a “gigantic issue” in her southwestern Montana county, just south of the liberal college city of Missoula. “People expect to see some legislation brought,” she said.

It is pretty clear that legally state legislators can’t do much to change the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), but here we have the ACLU lobbyist making the crucial point about efforts in the Montana (yours too!) legislature.

“Filing this and making it a public conversation automatically undermines the refugee process,” Rossi said.

“They can’t legally undermine the process, but they can socially undermine the process.”

Continue reading here.

Trickle up!

You have a right to ask questions and demand that your elected officials at all levels of government be transparent, and consider your economic worries and your safety concerns when the federal government targets your communities.

Efforts like these in the Montana legislature are important to help create controversy because the ultimate goal is for the controversy to ‘trickle up’ to Congress and to the new Trump Administration. There is no doubt that the USRAP must be trashed or reformed, but that pressure must come from the states (and local governments) to Washington.  Politicians hate noise and so it is your job as grassroots activists to make political noise!

To that end, since Montana’s lone House member is likely going to the Trump Interior Department, it is critical that you, in Montana, make the selection of his replacement a referendum on the refugee program. See The Hill (scroll down to Rep. Zinke).

Endnote: I am off to jury duty, be back later!

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, creating a movement, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

New Mexico: Lutheran resettlement contractor puts brakes on new Sante Fe refugee program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 23, 2016

With Trump win, Santa Fe’s refugee program on hold

(Albuquerque Journal headline)

Hurrah! We found another*** of the supposedly 47 sites the Obama Administration has (secretly!) approved or was working on approving for the massive numbers of refugees they expected to resettle had Hillary won the election rather than Donald Trump.

Here is the sad tale from Sante Fe (a city yearning for more diversity). After an initial heartwarming intro:

In less than a year – and largely through the efforts of Santa Fe’s faith communities – what snowballed into a group calling themselves Welcoming Santa Fe were able to get the city designated a refugee resettlement site by the U.S. State Department.

“We were elated,” Dickenson [Nancy a Sante Fe filmmaker who spear-headed the effort] said.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Santa Fe, New Mexico Mayor Javier Gonzales attends a press conference after attending New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's Mayor's summit on immigration reform on December 8, 2014 in New York City. The summit focused on how cities can best utilize President Obama's executive action on immigration reform. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Sante Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales wanted more diversity for Sante Fe. He was one of 18 mayors who demanded Syrian refugees for their cities in 2015. See here: https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/act-for-america-launches-citizen-action-campaign-urging-18-mayors-to-re-think-their-demand-for-more-syrian-refugees/

But that was in October. Weeks later, on Nov. 8, Donald Trump won the presidential election. He campaigned on a strict immigration policy that included building a wall on the southern border to stop illegal immigration. He also proposed a temporary ban on allowing Muslims into the country, a message he repeated Wednesday in response to this week’s terrorist attack in Berlin that was allegedly perpetrated by a Tunisian asylum-seeker.

No one knows what a Trump presidency will mean for immigration policy. And that’s what caused Lutheran Family Services, an affiliate of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service – one of nine national organizations that work on behalf of the U.S. government to resettle refugees in different parts of the country – to put on hold using Santa Fe as a refugee settlement site.

One hundred refugees, including up to 20 families and 30 children mainly from Central Africa but also from the Middle East and South America, were scheduled to make Santa Fe their new home next month. The startup of a refugee resettlement program was mentioned at a recent meeting of the city Immigration Committee and notice had been issued for a fundraising concert.

Money is the main reason it is on hold!

Burnett [Tarrie Burnett, program director for Lutheran Family Services in Albuquerque] said future funding is also a major concern. Trump has talked about scaling back the nation’s admissions program for refugees, defined by the State Department as people who face persecution in their native lands.

[….]

Burnett said her office operates on a budget of about $1 million, about 75 percent of it coming from the federal government. The rest comes from various grants, pass-through funding, donations and other sources.

Much more here at the Albuquerque Journal.

Bottomline! Resettlement subcontractors like Lutheran Family Services (LIRS is the major resettlement contractor) are not going out on a limb now to open offices, pay rent, and hire staff when Donald Trump could drastically cut the number of refugees arriving beginning on January 21st.

The contractor’s initial federal funding is paid out by the number of ‘clients’ they place. It is a per head payment!

*** We can now add Sante Fe to our list!

Below are new sites we have identified so far of the supposed 47 the Obama Administration is (or has been) trying to get established.

One of the first things the Trump Administration must do is to make all of this information public information.  Here are some of the sites we have identified so far by just keeping an eye on local news reports:

Asheville, NC (not decided yet)

Rutland, VT (approved, waiting)

Reno, NV (open)

Ithaca, NY

Missoula, MT (open)

Aberdeen, SD (not now)

Charleston, WV (approved, see Senator Capito as the Frau Merkel of WV!)

Fayetteville, AR

Blacksburg, VA

Pittsfield, MA

Northhampton, MA

Flint, MI

Bloomington, IN (dead for now)

Traverse City, MI

Poughkeepsie, NY

Wilmington, DE

Hudson, WI (dead for now?)

Watertown, NY (maybe)

Youngstown, OH (maybe)

Storm Lake, Iowa

Sante Fe, NM (approved but on hold)

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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