Reminder! Get your testimony in to the US State Department within the next ten days!

Editor: Below is a repost of a post from April 23rd.  A reader suggested I remind you that as of tomorrow you have ten days to get your testimony/comments to the US State Department.  You should take a few minutes and do this.  You don’t have to say much, but whatever you say, be polite! (and copy anything you say to your elected representatives at all levels of govt!).

Also, if yours is not a resettlement site yet, you need to be watching for any hints that they are working in secrecy to tag your town as a new site. They are running out of places and Obama plans to announce at least 100,000 for FY2017 (he has one more shot at this in September).  We recently reported on three new sites that we know of:  Missoula, MT, Ithaca, NY and Rutland, VT.

(Reposted from April 23)

This is the official launch of the preparations underway for the Obama Administration’s last Refugee Admissions plan to be sent to Congress in September of this year.  Obama has already signaled that he wants 100,000 refugees seeded into your towns in FY2017.

Each year at this time, the US State Department takes testimony from the public on how many refugees (and from where) that you, the taxpaying public, thinks we should admit.  From past experience, we know, of course, that your testimony goes down a black hole!

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Affairs Anne Richard arrives for a press conference at a hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia Monday, June 1, 2015. Richard said resettlement in a third country is not the answer to the swelling tide of boat people in Southeast Asia and called for Myanmar citizenship to be given to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution there. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
Address your testimony to: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard

For probably decades this testimony was taken in public and was dominated by federal contractors. However, we attended in three consecutive years, but starting last year, there was no longer an opportunity to go face-to-face to the State Department to tell them what we think.  Why is that? Because in that last year where a PUBLIC hearing was held, the opposition to the program dominated the pro-open borders resettlement contractors and they didn’t like it one bit!

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!

Anyway…..

Here (and below) is the Federal Register Notice for FY2017.  You have until 5 p.m. on May 19th to submit written testimony!  

I’m asking all of you to prepare and send in testimony by the May 19th deadline. You don’t have to do some deep analysis of the program, just tell them what you think, and what is happening where you live. (Please be professional and polite!)

I know I said it goes into a black hole, but you can use your testimony in other ways. Use it to do press releases and letters to the editor.  Use it to ask your concerned local elected officials to send in testimony too.

Be sure to send your testimony to all of your elected officials at all levels of government (cc them on the testimony). When sending your testimony to your elected Washington representatives, ask them to do something in your cover letter so that they are at least put on notice that you want a response from them.

Federal Register Notice:

The United States actively supports efforts to provide protection, assistance, and durable solutions for refugees. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is a critical component of the United States’ overall refugee protection efforts around the globe. In Fiscal Year 2016, the President established the ceiling for refugee admissions into the United States at 85,000 refugees.

As we begin to prepare the FY 2017 U.S. Refugee Admission Program, we welcome the public’s input. Information about the Program can be found at http://www.state.gov/g/prm/. Persons wishing to submit written comments on the appropriate size and scope of the FY 2016 U.S. Refugee Admissions Program should submit them by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2015 via email to PRM-Comments@state.gov or fax (202) 453-9393.Show citation box

If you have questions about submitting written comments, please contact Delicia Spruell, PRM/Admissions Program Officer atspruellda@state.gov.

 

Simon Henshaw,

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Department of State.

[FR Doc. 2016-09267 Filed 4-20-16; 8:45 am]

State Department announces comment period for FY2017 Refugee admissions

This is the official launch of the preparations underway for the Obama Administration’s last Refugee Admissions plan to be sent to Congress in September of this year.  Obama has already signaled that he wants 100,000 refugees seeded into your towns in FY2017.

Each year at this time, the US State Department takes testimony from the public on how many refugees (and from where) that you, the taxpaying public, thinks we should admit.  From past experience, we know, of course, that your testimony goes down a black hole!

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Affairs Anne Richard arrives for a press conference at a hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia Monday, June 1, 2015. Richard said resettlement in a third country is not the answer to the swelling tide of boat people in Southeast Asia and called for Myanmar citizenship to be given to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution there. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
Address your testimony to: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard

For probably decades this testimony was taken in public and was dominated by federal contractors. However, we attended in three consecutive years, but starting last year, there was no longer an opportunity to go face-to-face to the State Department to tell them what we think.  Why is that? Because in that last year where a PUBLIC hearing was held, the opposition to the program dominated the pro-open borders resettlement contractors and they didn’t like it one bit!

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!

Anyway…..

Here (and below) is the Federal Register Notice for FY2017.  You have until 5 p.m. on May 19th to submit written testimony!  

I’m asking all of you to prepare and send in testimony by the May 19th deadline. You don’t have to do some deep analysis of the program, just tell them what you think, and what is happening where you live. (Please be professional and polite!)

I know I said it goes into a black hole, but you can use your testimony in other ways. Use it to do press releases and letters to the editor.  Use it to ask your concerned local elected officials to send in testimony too.

Be sure to send your testimony to all of your elected officials at all levels of government (cc them on the testimony). When sending your testimony to your elected Washington representatives, ask them to do something in your cover letter so that they are at least put on notice that you want a response from them.

Federal Register Notice:

The United States actively supports efforts to provide protection, assistance, and durable solutions for refugees. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is a critical component of the United States’ overall refugee protection efforts around the globe. In Fiscal Year 2016, the President established the ceiling for refugee admissions into the United States at 85,000 refugees.

As we begin to prepare the FY 2017 U.S. Refugee Admission Program, we welcome the public’s input. Information about the Program can be found at http://www.state.gov/g/prm/. Persons wishing to submit written comments on the appropriate size and scope of the FY 2016 U.S. Refugee Admissions Program should submit them by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2015 via email to PRM-Comments@state.gov or fax (202) 453-9393.Show citation box

If you have questions about submitting written comments, please contact Delicia Spruell, PRM/Admissions Program Officer at spruellda@state.gov.

 

Simon Henshaw,

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Department of State.

[FR Doc. 2016-09267 Filed 4-20-16; 8:45 am]

Re-post: Ten reasons there should be a moratorium on refugee resettlement

Now that the mainstream media and the public are waking up to the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program and how it has been operating for the last 35 years, I thought it would be a good idea to re-post this testimony I gave to the US State Department (first in 2012 at its annual scoping meeting and repeated in 2013 and 2014).

Anne-Richard-640x480 (1)
Anne Richard is the Asst. Secretary of State for Population Refugees and Migration. Here she testified last month at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Syrian refugees. She needs to produce the hearing record for the 2015 ‘scoping meeting’ which we believe was held in secrecy. Photo and story about Judiciary hearing: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/19/state-dept-official-syrian-refugees-less-threat-stops-tracking-3-months/

I just mentioned it in my previous post on annual reports.

As far as we can tell, the US State Department did not hold a public scoping hearing in 2015 (for FY2016) because we never saw a notice for it this year. In these ‘scoping meetings/hearings’ they ostensibly seek public input on the size of the program for the upcoming year and they want to know what countries should be the focus of protection.

The ‘scoping’ meeting (like a hearing) was usually held in late spring/early summer of the preceding year. Prior to our attendance in 2012, these meetings/hearings were dominated by the resettlement contractors and their groupies.

And, one more thing, the State Department does not keep and publish a hearing record for this meeting.  The only way we could ever learn what others were saying was to obtain the hard copy testimony by attending in person! There ought to be a law!

Here is my testimony in 2012 (repeated in 2013 and 2014):

Ten Reasons there should be no refugees resettled in the US in FY2013—instead a moratorium should be put in place until the program is reformed and the economy completely recovers.

1)    There are no jobs. The program was never meant to be simply a way to import impoverished people to the US and place them on an already overtaxed welfare system.

 2)     The program has become a cash cow for various “religious” organizations and other contractors who very often appear to care more about the next group of refugees coming in (and the cash that comes with each one) than the group they resettled only a few months earlier. Stories of refugees suffering throughout the US are rampant.

3)   Terrorist organizations (mostly Islamic) are using the program that still clearly has many failings in the security screening system.  Indeed consideration should be given to halting the resettlement of Muslims altogether.  Also, the UN should have no role in choosing refugees for the US.

4)    The public is not confident that screenings for potential terrorists (#3) or the incidences of other types of fraudulent entry are being properly and thoroughly investigated and stopped.  When fraud is uncovered—either fraud to enter the country or illegal activity once the refugee has been resettled—punishment should be immediate deportation.

5)     The agencies, specifically the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), is in complete disarray as regards its legally mandated requirement to report to Congress every year on how refugees are doing and where the millions of tax dollars are going that run the programThe last (and most recent) annual report to be sent to Congress is the 2008 report—so they are out of compliance for fiscal years 2009, 2010 and 2011.  A moratorium is necessary in order for the ORR to bring its records entirely up-to-date. Additionally,  there needs to be an adequate tracking system designed to gather required data—frankly some of the numbers reported for such measures of dependence on welfare as food stamp usage, cash assistance and employment status are nothing more than guesses.  (The lack of reports for recent years signals either bureaucratic incompetence and disregard for the law, or, causes one to wonder if there is something ORR is hiding.)

6)    The State Department and the ORR have so far failed to adequately determine and report (and track once the refugee has been admitted) the myriad communicable and costly-to-treat diseases entering the country with the refugee population.

7)   Congress needs to specifically disallow the use of the refugee program for other purposes of the US Government,especially using certain refugee populations to address unrelated foreign policy objectives—Uzbeks, Kosovars, Meshketians and Bhutanese (Nepalese) people come to mind.

8)   Congress needs to investigate and specifically disallow any connection between this program and big businesseslooking for cheap and captive labor.  The federal government should not be acting as head-hunter for corporations.

9)     The Volag system should be completely abolished and the program should be run by state agencies with accountability to the public through their state legislatures. The system as presently constituted is surely unconstitutional.  (One of many benefits of turning the program over to a state agency is to break up the government/contractor revolving door that is being demonstrated now at both the State Department and ORR.)  The participating state agency’s job would be to find groups, churches, or individuals who would sponsor a refugee family completely for at least a year and monitor those sponsors. Their job would include making sure refugees are assimilating. A mechanism should be established that would allow a refugee to go home if he or she is unhappy or simply can’t make it in America. Short of a complete halt to resettlement-by-contractor, taxpayers should be protected by legally requiring financial audits of contractors and subcontractors on an annual basis.

10)   As part of #9, there needs to be established a process for alerting communities to the impending arrival of refugees that includes reports from the federal government (with local input) about the social and economic impact a certain new group of refugees will have on a city or town.   This report would be presented to the public through public hearings and the local government would have an opportunity to say ‘no.’

 

For these reasons and more, the Refugee admissions program should be placed on hold and a serious effort made by Congress to either scrap the whole thing or reform it during the moratorium.  My recommendation for 2013 is to stop the program now.  The Office of the President could indeed ask for hearings to review the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980-–three decades is time enough to see its failings and determine if reauthorization is feasible or whether a whole new law needs to be written.

Information on the three hearings we wrote about and attended are archived here, here and here.  (Those files include posts in which we referenced the hearings/meetings as well.)

By the way, Richard revolved into the State Department from her contractor job at the International Rescue Committee. She had a previous stint at the State Dept.  The revolving door is alive and well between contractor and federal agency involving refugee resettlement.

US State Department will not hear public testimony on refugee program this year

For the first time that I know of, there will be no opportunity for the public to go to Washington (frankly they should be having hearings all over the country!) to make suggestions for the refugee program for the upcoming fiscal year.

See announcement of public comment period here.

We can only conclude that officials were not happy with the outspoken testimony given by a handful of concerned citizens in the last two or three cycles.

Anne C. Richard Assistant Secretary of State for PRM.

I’ve been to the last two, and two years ago the room was mostly filled with contractors and others employed in the refugee business.  Several of us testified that the program needed to be changed.  [You can see my testimony here—ten reasons for a moratorium on refugee resettlement.  I presented virtually the same testimony both years.]

Last year a larger number of critics were in attendance and many of the contractors had apparently simply mailed in their comments and didn’t attend.  Here is my report from last year.

We just got word yesterday that there will be no hearing at all this year.

In the past two years (and I assume previously as well), the only way for your mailed-in testimony to see the light of day was by those of us in attendance bringing it home to review.  There was no public record made.

This year we must insist on a published public record.  Don’t send your comments yet, you have time.   I’ll have more information later….gotta run today! 

And, as I said I will be re-posting some of last year’s testimony so you can see what some of your fellow citizens had to say.

Anne C. Richard is Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration.  She was formerly employed as a contractor (International Rescue Committee) and was likely the official responsible for making the decision to have no public hearing for FY 2015.

 

 

Burma: Muslim Rohingya riot, burn homes, kill residents after leaving mosque

Update June 10th:  Fighting continues in Rakhine as armed Rohingya rebels continue to terrorize Buddhists, here.

Special note to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops—these are the “persecuted” people you want to bring to America?

From Eleven Media Group:

Eleven Media Group)- Dozens of Rakhine people were killed amidst the Rohingya terrorist attacks in border town of Maungdaw in Rakhine State, the western part of Myanmar on Friday.

Due to the violence, hundreds of houses and buildings were burnt down by mobs, said the reporter Ko Win Maung of the Eleven Media at the scene.

The death toll in the incident has reached 20 to 30 until the night of 8 June and the injured persons nearby villages of Maundaw Township have been taken to Maungdaw hospital.

The onset of the violence on 8 June was that the Rohingya Muslims who returned from the mosque yesterday afternoon started throwing the stones to the Rakhine houses and buildings in Maungdaw Township, according to the Eleven Media reporter whose house was also blazed amidst the violence.

As the riots could not be controlled, the police forces took security measures in the town where Muslims are majority and Rakhine people are minority. Rohingya mobs were setting fire on the nearby villages of Rakhine ethnics, said a Buddhist monk who resides in Maungdaw Township.

Readers, at the May 1 State Department meeting to discuss who should be resettled in the US, Anastasia Brown of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops made a case for more Rohingya “refugees” to be resettled in the US.  Is it the job of the US to bring every group of supposedly persecuted Muslims to our towns and cities?  Should the average American taxpaying citizen have to pay for the Islamic upheaval in large parts of the world by bringing the Islamists to their neighborhoods?  For what?  To help Burma or Somalia or  Syria (next!)?  To show we are good people?  To show we are fair by balancing out our Christians and Muslims?

Readers please focus on the word Rohingya and don’t let this happen.  We were asleep when these same contractor/church groups began the importation of Somalis, but we are awake now.

This is our 108th post on Rohingya since 2008, please glance through our Rohingya Reports category, here, for more information.

Update:  Here is the Reuters version of the riots, but it doesn’t matter who started what, the message for us is that we should let them fight it out in Burma!  We don’t need to be resettling all of the world’s problems into the US.

Shake-up at Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

The longtime president of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), one of the top nine federal contractors resettling refugees in our cities, resigned this month.   Hat tip: Friends of Refugees.

He says it’s for family reasons (that is what they all say!), but this article suggests that the agency was being criticized for not focusing on Jews in trouble around the world.  To tell you the truth from the earliest days of writing RRW I wondered how HIAS justified resettling Muslims.  But, I will bet if they didn’t agree to resettle everyone, the feds would cut them off financially.

You can read all about it here.  Aronoff confirms that in order to keep the organization going you need to resettle as many warm bodies as possible—not just Jews—because their funding is dependent on a per capita payment from you, the taxpayer.

The interim President, Mark Hetfield, testified at the May 1 State Department meeting among other things to lighten up on the security restrictions and to get the P-3 program completely up and running.   He specifically, sensibly, says, “The terror which refugees fled must not follow them to the United States,” then goes on to say we are being too strict with our security screening.  Go figure!

We have written about HIAS and Aronoff previously, here is one post where we learned that Aronoff was letting staff go in 2009 while holding on to his quarter of a million dollar salary.

Learn more about HIAS!  Check out our archives with all the posts in which we mention this contractor here.

Rohingya connection to terrorist groups being searched here at RRW

Just an interesting bit of information I noticed yesterday in looking at our stats—-lots of people are looking at a 2009 post about the State Department having identified Burmese Rohingya people as being connected to Islamic terrorist groups.   For some reason that three-year-old post is getting a lot of attention.   Unfortunately, the State Department has removed the link for the terrorist group list.

There is another post in 2009 here that also mentions the Rohingya connection to Islamic extremists.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve written over 100 posts on the Rohingya, categorized here.  My primary interest over the years was whether we would bring Rohingya refugees to the US, but now that we are and no one is paying attention it doesn’t matter much (until something goes wrong!).

By the way, several of those testifying at the May 1 State Department meeting were pushing Rohingya resettlement, including Anastasia Brown, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops representative.

An afterthought:  I have New Hampshire on my mind (next post) and I wonder if NH got its contingent of Rohingya this past year?