Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting’ Category

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

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 8, 2016

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]

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/1/2012 State Dept. meeting, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting, Testimony for 5/19/2016 State Dept. citizen input, Testimony for 5/29/2014 State Dept. meeting, The Opposition | Tagged: | 22 Comments »

State Department announces comment period for FY2017 Refugee admissions

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 23, 2016

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]

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/1/2012 State Dept. meeting, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting, Testimony for 5/29/2014 State Dept. meeting, Where to find information | Tagged: | 27 Comments »

Former refugee worker testified last year; revealed serious flaws in refugee program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 13, 2014

Editors note:  As I mentioned previously, I am going to re-post several significant comments that were sent (or delivered in person) to the US State Department for its “scoping” meeting in advance of fiscal year 2014.  This is the first in a series.  All other testimony we published last year can be found in this category (Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting).

Remember you have until May 29th to get your testimony submitted to the State Department.

 Re-post from here (one year ago today!)….

In a must-read letter to the US State Department a 25-year veteran of the International Rescue Committee (one of the largest of the top nine federal contractors) calls for a moratorium on refugee resettlement until the ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) and the volags (contractors) get their act together.

Boston on our minds. The IRC closed its Boston office in 2009. But, several other refugee contractors are still doing business there.

Consider this long-time Boston resident’s comments about fraud and lax security screening in the light of two posts we have written in the last two days, here and here.  It all rings true.

Editor:  This is one more, but, by far the most damning, of the testimony we have been publishing in advance of this Wednesday’s hearing at the US State Department.  All other testimonies we have received are archived here.

(Emphasis below is mine)

Ms. Anne Richard
Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration
US State Department
Washington, DC. 20520

April 27, 2013

Re: Federal Register Public Notice 8241 Comment Request

Dear Ms Richard:

I worked for the IRC in several capacities from 1980 until 2004 (caseworker, deputy director of the Boston office). In 2004, amid increasing budget constraints, I volunteered for a lay off. At the time, my heart was still into the work I loved and I continued to volunteer for two additional years, spending 3 days a week working on the family reunification program, in which I was considered an “expert.”

Early on, I grew familiar with the fraud that was rampant throughout the program, from the refugees themselves (sometimes forgivable), the overseas OPE’s (not forgivable) and on up to the UN (most unforgivable). Most of my colleagues were also aware of it, and while they often joked about it, almost no one did anything to change or challenge it.

In our work, it was all about “getting the numbers,” often at the expense of legitimate screening for “real“ refugees.

To be honest, I never turned a blind eye to obvious fraud, but had been instructed to give all refugee applicants “the benefit of the doubt.” Yet there were many applications about which I had serious reservations. Some of them were classically laughable ( “I don’t remember my mother’s name… let me make a phone call..”). There were more than a few applicants that I rejected (or referred to another Volag that might not have had the same concerns).

Being directly “in the field,” it’s often difficult to objectively see outside the perimeters of our day to day work.

My major concern was helping people re-unite with close and legitimate family members whose relationship I believed to exist in fact. I can’t tell you how many times, after resettlement that those relationships were revealed to be fraudulent. Sometimes the reasons were understandable from a human kindness point of view ( claiming an orphaned niece as a sister), but often those “relationships” were simple financial transactions.

In my long years at the IRC, I assisted many ethnic groups. I can say without reservation that the Somalis were among the most duplicitous. There was a time when I suggested that they swear on the Quran before signing the affidavit of relationship. Most of the time they would flee and not return. That practice was discontinued, being deemed politically incorrect.

All of us in the field know just how weak the “security screening” was. It’s mostly a very poor and ineffective system of simple name checks from countries that for the most part keep no records.

I personally had some concerns about some Iraqi refugees admitted in the mid 90’s.

One of them went on to become implicated in the Oklahoma City bombings. Being a volag worker, I was very protective of him but, having spent hours with him in the emergency room of a mental hospital.  I still have not been able to say to myself that he was not involved.

It is time for a moratorium on refugee resettlement until ORR and the volags get their act together.

Refugee resettlement affects every community it touches, from Lewiston ME, Minneapolis MN,  to Kansas City KS.

The Volags hide behind their time frame responsibility fences. While I agree that they do not have funding to do much beyond initial basic placement, this is hardly adequate for a successful program, when most refugees end up being on long term public assistance.

The present program is really a “resettle and dump on the community” thing. This is not fair to the communities, the refugees or the volags.

ORR has yet to release long overdue federally mandated reports that show welfare dependency rates or employment figures. Some people say that ORR may have something to hide. I tend to agree.

Refugees are not assimilating for the most part. (some argue that refugees should not “assimilate” but “integrate” but , to me, it‘s all the same, since the majority do neither.). The State Dept continues to fund MAA’s (ethnic based organizations) which only keep immigrant and refugee communities separate and ghettoized.

As someone who spent most of my adult lifetime working in this field, I ask for a serious second look at the current program.

After 9/11, I was, as always, very vocal in defense of refugees and the US refugee program , convinced that no one admitted under the program could possibly be or become a terrorist. Regrettably, my mind has changed.

I now believe that we need a moratorium on continued resettlement until such time as ORR can get its house in order and present a restructured program that can provide safe haven for those truly in need and at the same time guarantee that this currently flawed program does not admit persons unworthy of our kind-heartedness or who are unwilling to become a positive part of our national fabric.

I do think the US should continue to receive some refugees, but it needs to be a much smaller and very carefully monitored program. The current one is a huge mess and a danger to our security and a detriment to our economy and society.

Respectfully,

Michael Sirois

No need for me to say anything further, except maybe to remind readers that S.744 (the Gang of Eight bill in the Senate) provides more funding for resettlement contractors and makes it easier for a greater number and variety of refugees/asylum seekers to gain admission to the US.

About the photo caption:  We wrote about the closure of the IRC Boston office here in 2009.  Visit it!

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting, Testimony for 5/29/2014 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

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

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 30, 2014

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.

 

 

Posted in Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/1/2012 State Dept. meeting, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting, Testimony for 5/29/2014 State Dept. meeting, The Opposition | 5 Comments »

St. Cloud, MN: Battle resumes today in zoning dispute over Somali mosque

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 7, 2013

Update October 8th:  Contentious hearing ends with Somali Islamic Center withdrawing its plan, here.

Update:  I have just heard from the editor of the St. Cloud Times who asked me to remove their copyrighted story.  I am therefore honoring his request.

St. Cloud is a city on the Mississippi River in central Minnesota with a population of about 66,000.  Although no one seems to have the definitive answer (a published number that I could find!), I’m told the Somali population has grown to over 10,000.  Now the Somalis want a mosque, a school and an entire Islamic complex in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

St. Cloud City Hall where citizens can speak up this evening about the Somali mosque and school planned for a residential community.

Organized opposition (see below for their website) has grown and tonight the City Council could vote (after hearing from residents) to support their Planning Commission’s recommendation for the Mosque and School portion of the proposed plan.

This is the news we have removed from the St. Cloud Times  (please follow the link to the story).

Were they planning a city within a city for THEIR people?

One of the first questions I have is where is all the money coming from for this ambitious project?  Saudi Arabia? The city’s Somali population has grown rapidly in only a few years and is largely made up of ‘poor’ “refugees,”  right?  Primary employment for Somalis in the area is in meatpacking.  They can’t possibly be getting rich doing that!

How did the population grow?

And, if you are wondering how so many Somalis got there—thank the US State Department and their contractors, specifically Lutheran Social Service!  St. Cloud had originally been a secondary migration site, but in 2010 the US State Department made it a primary resettlement city, meaning Somalis were being settled there directly from Africa rather than having migrated to St. Cloud from another US city.  See our December 2010 post on the change.

Note the involvement of SASSO (an ECBO like the one in Seattle we told you about yesterday) in St. Cloud.

We have an extensive archive on St. Cloud, click here.  Be sure to take a few minutes to visit this 2010 post about how the Somalis have joined forces with the hard Left to destabilize the community with one of several aims—-to get rid of Rep. Michele Bachmann whose district includes St. Cloud.  She has recently announced her retirement from Congress.

If you want to do something, visit the website for the group (St. Cloud Citizens for Responsible Zoning) opposing the zoning change, here

Note they have a petition you can sign.

But, if you really want to do something more permanent—someone needs to thoroughly research how St. Cloud is being changed by Muslim migrants and write a book about it and get as much media attention as possible for its release.  

A friend asked me in an e-mail this morning about how one reaches Members of Congress on what is happening and how they are funding community organizing by Muslim groups, and I told her that they aren’t going to listen until the issue gets to the national stage.  A book would help get it there.  And, hey, the book could include several other small cities being transformed—Lewiston, ME comes to mind!  Update!  how about Ft. Morgan, CO too!

One more thing!  Read this post from 2008 about the stages of the Quiet Jihad in Minnesota.

Just because there aren’t planes flying into buildings doesn’t mean it isn’t jihad.

Posted in Diversity Visa Lottery, health issues, Legal immigration and jobs, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

A message to NGOs: Do your good works elsewhere!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 21, 2013

Editors note:  This is one more in a series of statements presented to the US State Department for their hearing last week (May 15th) on the “size and scope” of refugee admissions for FY2014.  I will continue to post testimony from the hearing in between the pressing news of the day.  Between refugee terrorist stories and the US Senate bill S.744 (Senate terrorist stories!) I’ve been pretty distracted.   This forcefully delivered statement by Anne Turner of Maryland wrapped up the public meeting last week.   All other testimony that we’ve posted is archived here in our special category for the meeting.

Anne Turner (emphasis added is mine):

I come here today not as a member of an organization or a political activist but as a concerned citizen and fearful mother.  I am very much afraid for my country, for my family and for myself.  We have maintained an immigration policy in this country that has put all that I consider a treasure at risk.  There was a time when immigrants coming to this country respected our laws, understood our culture (wanted to be a part of it) and were equally proud to become Americans.  This is no longer the case.  All the chaos and violence that exists in the world today is being imported into our borders with no consideration for the destruction it is causing.  We are building our very own “Tower of Babel”.

I remember a time when I was able to visit a shopping mall with no sense of fear.  A time when I could get on an airplane and not feel my life was potentially at risk. A time when I could travel to a major city and not have to worry that there might be a terrorist attack.  A time when I would tell my children “let’s go to the 4th of July celebration” and now I tell them “stay home”.  The days are gone when I felt my life was my own, my home my sanctuary, and my country free.

Immigration policies, through this Resettlement Program, have been totally corrupted.  There has been collusion between this administration and the NGO’s with dangerous consequences.  The money being funneled through these organizations and their never-ending appetite for money and power have removed all reason and common sense.  Under the guise of “good works and humanitarianism”, the fabric of this nation has been dramatically altered, if not destroyed.  This “Resettlement Program” has stolen our very identity.  Our freedoms are disappearing.  To be safe we now live in a world where the government has to keep a constant surveillance on its own countrymen.  We have soldiers in the streets threatening law-abiding citizens (have you seen those pictures of Boston?), data from our phone conversations is being monitored, and our ability to protect ourselves is being challenged.  Even with the imposition of government into every facet of our lives, the task of keeping us safe is becoming increasingly impossible,

You don’t even know who you are bringing into this country!  They cannot be properly vetted because they have no reliable form of identification, not even birth certificates.  How can you even know who they are or what their intentions are?  And what is this nonsense that women from Pakistan and Afghanistan should automatically be able to come to this country to escape persecution? Do you really think that by the very nature of a woman’s existence she is an innocent?  Do you think having an open border policy for women excludes us from terrorist threats?  Have you already forgotten that the one responsible for radicalizing the Boston Marathon Bombers was their mother?  Women are as easily radicalized as any man.  These are just two of many examples of the twisted logic of your immigration policies.

(In response to another speaker)

I hear you speak of the plight of women in other countries being the victim of the Sex Slave Trade.   Well, we have a brought this problem into our own country with present immigration policies and I strongly recommend we clean up our own back yard before we start trying to cure the ails of the rest of the world.

You sit in this bubble called “Washington” totally out of touch with the results of the decisions you make and the impact they have on our lives.  Then you have the audacity to say that “it is for our own good, the good of the country”.  Well, I would like to see one of you living in the middle of the consequences of your actions.  I would love to have you live across from a development that reeks of sewage because these immigrants don’t’ even have the most primitive of sanitary habits.  I would love for you to have to live amongst a crumbling infrastructure because all the communities are spending taxpayer’s hard-earned money on supporting these people instead of repairing our roads, our drainage system, and our schools.  They have no desire to educate themselves, no desire to learn our language, and don’t even understand the basics of a civilized society.  Yet, you dump them on us and then call us “racist” if we dare to complain.  I think it is time for you to experience the realities of your lofty decisions.

If it is so very important for you to help these people, and I do understand the necessity to help people, then go live amongst them and change them.  Go live amidst their squalor and teach them to be clean, go live amidst their poverty and teach them to be entrepreneurs, go experience the violence of their daily lives and teach them reason.  Go do your good works…………. JUST DO NOT BRING THEM HERE!!

Ms. Turner went on to conclude by asking where are the legally mandated annual reports to Congress, something we too have been harping on here for years.  The Office of Refugee Resettlement is required by law to produce a detailed report of the refugee program within three months of the close of the fiscal year.  They are three years behind.  Turner continued:

And I, also,  would like to know where the annual reports are.  You are mandated, by law, to make them available to every citizen in this country and you have not done this since 2009.  As a citizen, I want to see those reports now!

Readers, do any of you have testimony you wish to share publicly?   We received a very large packet of statements at the hearing and many of you sent testimony—there were many more statements against bringing more refugees in 2014 then there were promoting more refugee resettlement.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Senator Chuck Grassley wants to strip refugee/asylum sections from Gang’s bill!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 20, 2013

Update May 21:  His amendment lost of course, the Dems teamed up with Graham and Flake have defeated just about everything Grassley and Sessions tried to do.  I’ll have more tomorrow, but for now check out this letter of all those opposing the bill when it comes to the floor.  We are among some great patriots!

This is such good news! Really, really, really good news!  [Amendment lost but thank Grassley anyway and tell him to take the fight to the floor!]

You must call Senator Grassley this morning to tell him you support this effort! (see below)

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is offering an amendment to S.744  to remove all references to refugees/asylum from S. 744 until after a report is completed about how the Tsarnaev terrorists were granted asylum!  I could kiss the Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Republican!

Erol Kekic of Church World Service does not want more security provisions added to S.744.

I stopped in his office last Wednesday when I went to DC for the State Department hearing and left a letter for him asking him to do just what the Washington Times is reporting (LOL!  But, I am sure he figured this out without any help from me!).

From the Washington Times (hat tip: Joanne).  Emphasis below is mine:

The Boston Marathon bombing hasn’t derailed the immigration debate, but it has sent lawmakers back to the drawing board on some key provisions, including changes to the asylum system that the two suspects in the bombing used to come to the U.S.

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were brought to the U.S. a decade ago by their parents, who fled the deteriorating economy and burgeoning conflicts in the Central Asian region the family had called home.

Now, as the Senate Judiciary Committee works its way through the 867-page immigration bill, some lawmakers say it’s a chance to make changes that could help prevent a future incident.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the committee, has introduced an amendment that would prevent any changes to the asylum or refugee systems until at least a year after an audit of what went wrong in Boston.

“The Boston bombing probably made us take a closer look at the asylum provisions in the underlying bill,” Mr. Grassley said. “My asylum amendments don’t address Boston specifically, but they will require a look back by the inspector general before any changes to weaken the current asylum law goes forward.”

The asylum program is for those who apply from within the U.S., while the refugee program is for those applying from outside the border. The U.S. is the most generous country in the world in granting protections, but the programs also have seen periods of fraud and abuse.

Mr. Grassley said the bill written by the “Gang of Eight” senators actually waters down some of the security measures in current asylum and refugee law, and he said he would prefer to see the process stiffened instead.

Let the whining begin! 

Refugee contractors are out in full force trying to protect their turf.  You see, they are paid by the head (with your tax dollars) to resettle refugees and get asylees hooked up with welfare goodies.  They don’t like Senator Graham’s amendments one bit either!

Human rights groups [Federal contractors—ed]…. are gearing up for a fight over another proposal by Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, who wants to prevent anyone granted asylum or refugee status from returning to their home countries, unless they got a waiver from the Homeland Security Department.

And, who is one leading whiner—Erol Kekic of contractor Church World Service.  Kekic testified at the State Department hearing on Wednesday for CWS and for the lobbying arm for contractors—Refugee Council USA.   Mr. Kekic is from Bosnia, here is his bio.

Erol Kekic, director of the Church World Service’s immigration and refugee program, said there are situations where someone wants to return home to see a dying relative or to try to play a role in constructive politics. And then there are the situations where someone was granted asylum years before, but their home country has since stabilized.

“If we’re going to deny protection for people like that I think that’s really taking away from any common sense,” Mr. Kekic said.  [Most people would see it’s common sense that if a person returns to the place of his persecution he is either crazy or never persecuted in the first place!—ed]

He said it wasn’t even clear whether Homeland Security officials could track every person they suspected of returning to their home countries.

We better damn well be able to track these people after what we learned in Boston!

NOW!  Please call or fax Senator Grassley’s office and tell him to strip out all refugee and asylum references in S.744.  No matter what happens with his amendment, thank him for his concern for our security!

Here is his fax and phone number.  If you call it will ring for awhile…they are being swamped with calls.

(202) 224-3744
Fax: (202) 224-6020

This is the most important thing you can do today if you want to get this refugee program under control.  And, don’t forget to call Senator Rand Paul too.  Although he isn’t on the committee he will eventually play a huge role in determining whether this monstrous bill—S.744—passes.

PLEASE ALSO GET THIS AROUND VIA SOCIAL MEDIA—PLEASE TWEET!

Update:  The refugee contractors are tweeting like crazy esp. IRC, CWS and Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS).

Posted in Asylum seekers, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

The IRC has a lobbying office in Washington and it should be busy today

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 20, 2013

For some unknown reason information on the International Rescue Committee’s D.C. lobbying office came up in one of my alerts this morning.  Maybe it’s because last week they put out an alert to tell supporters of the refugee resettlement industry to call US Senators working on the Gang of Eight plus Grover bill being marked up in the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

We told you about that here last Thursday.  (Go there to see what you must do!)

You need to call today too!  S.744 will increase the number of refugees and asylees in the US and it provides a slush fund for “non-profits” like the 9 BIG federal refugee contractors and their 300 plus subcontractors.

I recommend that you tell Senators that due to recent refugee-perpetrated terrorism cases that they should strip all references to the refugee program from S.744 and hold separate hearings!

To add insult to injury, the word is that the US State Department helps to fund the lobbying offices for the contractors.  I have written about that before especially as it relates to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (or any of the nine)—it infuriates me to think the Bishops are taking your hard-earned tax dollars to fund their lobbying campaigns!

Here is what the IRC says about their DC shop.  And, btw, they were not at the State Department hearing on Wednesday.  Where were they?  Or did they feel they had an inside track to the State Dept and didn’t need to provide their wishlist for 2014 before their critics in public?

Asst. Secretary of State for PRM, Anne Richard, in Philadelphia recently with an Iranian transgender refugee.

Oh, yeh, they do have an inside track—Anne Richard, the Asst. Secretary of State for the refugee program, just recently left the IRC as one of its 6-figure salaried veeps.   Classic Washington DC case of the revolving door (federal contractors in and out of government jobs)!

The International Rescue Committee office in Washington, DC maintains relations with U.S. government offices, especially those that support some of the IRC’s programs.  This includes the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Migration, and Refugees and the U.S. Agency for International Development.  The IRC meets regularly with decision-makers on both sides of the political aisle, and in both the Executive branch and Congress, to raise issues of concern and advocate for change in U.S. government policies.  The IRC is also active working in coalitions  and with other non-governmental organizations.  Members of IRC’s public policy and advocacy department in Washington, DC also plan and guide IRC’s global advocacy efforts [Like snuggling up to Hamid Karzai?—ed].  The Washington, DC office houses staff from IRC’s International Programs Department and the Women’s Refugee Commission.

Contact Us:

International Rescue Committee
1730 M Street, NW – Suite 505
Washington DC 20036
Tel: 202-822-0166
Fax: (202) 822-0089
e-mail: advocacy@rescue.org

Gang member, Senator Graham, has amendments to S.744 for the purpose of increasing security in the refugee program.

Senator Lindsey Graham still has two amendments pending that are apparently inspired by the Boston refugee bombers ‘success’ in killing and maiming innocent Americans on April 15th.  We told you about them here and here.  It will be interesting to see if those commonsense security enhancements make it through mark-up.  You can bet the IRC is lobbying hard against them today!

Here is our entire archive on the IRC for the ambitious readers among you!  They just hired former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to step into his $450,000 a year job as its new CEO.

Photo is from Philadelphia Gay News, here.  Muslims persecute gays, so there is a big push to bring in refugees who are LGBTs from Sharia-loving countries.

Posted in Asylum seekers, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on The IRC has a lobbying office in Washington and it should be busy today

You did it! Your testimony flooded State Department hearing yesterday

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 16, 2013

Ed Hunter of Maryland testified against bringing more refugees to America in FY2014. Photo from a recent Maryland Thursday Meeting.*

I don’t know where to begin telling you about the State Department meeting yesterday to determine the “size and scope” of refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2014.

Thirty or so people who attended the meeting at the D.C. office of the State Department each received a voluminous stack of testimony, and it will take me a few days to find enough time to go over it all.  Suffice it to say, on a quick glance, it looks like 90% of those testifying oppose bringing tens of thousands of third-worlders into the US next year.

Will it amount to anything more than a speed bump for the federal agencies and their non-profit contractors, only time will tell.

It is important that anyone concerned about high refugee numbers from countries that have a track record of producing terrorists, or are concerned with the fiscal cost of importing impoverished people, must let your Senators and Members of Congress know how you feel.  That is especially so right now because the Gang of Eight plus Grover bill in the Senate (S.744) will make it easier for more refugees and asylum seekers to get here, and it will grant more $$$ to non-profits!

Only about ten people actually testified verbally.  And, it was pretty much evenly split between those who want more refugees and those who said stop this program now!

Testifying for more refugees were contractors:  Mark Hetfield for Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Anastasia Brown for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Erol Kekic of Church World Service (doing double-duty** because he testified for the Refugee Council USA as well. RCUSA is the lobbying arm for the non-profits), someone they all seemed to know, but I didn’t get his name from the Ethiopian Community Development Council, and not from a major contractor Pary Karadaghi from the Kurdish Human Rights Watch (who brought along two refugees to speak).

There is testimony in our packet from Duncan Breen of Human Rights First, but honestly if he testified he made no impression on me!

Where were the other five major contractors?  Where was their testimony?  Who knows, maybe they didn’t want to make it public. Maybe they didn’t want you to know what refugees they wanted for their collection in 2014. They probably have their own back-channels at the State Department.   Heck, Anne Richard, the Asst. Secretary of State for Population Refugees and Migration, revolved into the State Department door from the International Rescue Committee.

Here is the list with links for all nine major resettlement contractors.    The International Rescue Committee was not represented, nor was World Relief, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee ServicesEpiscopal Migration Ministries, or the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

The hearing was presided over by:  Laurence Bartlett, Director of Admissions US State Dept,  Ken Tota, Deputy Director Office of Refugee Resettlement (that is in the Dept. of Health and Human Services), and Barbara Strack, Chief, Refugee Affairs Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

Those testifying to rein-in this program were Ed Hunter, testimony here, Anne Turner, Jim McDonald, Mark Tenney (here), and myself (I’ll post what I said in a separate post, just haven’t gotten to it yet).  Critics focused on security concerns, fiscal impact, community disruption and the cultural degradation of America.

This does not conclude my discussion of this meeting.  I need to now go back and review the written testimony.  Watch for more news later.

For new readers who don’t know what this is all about, go to our category set-up to report on this hearing, here. (Scroll down through 14 posts prior to this one.)

* Maryland Thursday Meeting website.

**Double-duty!  So next year some of us can request to get more time to speak for other groups—help me remember that!

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL): hundreds of millions would immigrate to America if they could

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 16, 2013

…..but we don’t have the financial resources to accept the world’s immigrants!—not to mention the fact that we would be culturally finished as a country.

Six Members of Congress standing in Speaker Boehner’s way!

That is it in a nutshell!  That is the truth of it all—of the Gang of Eight plus Grover bill now before the Judiciary Committee of the US Senate and the Refugee and Asylum program, the diversity visa lottery, and the list goes on.  When I ask critics of my work here at RRW at what number would they stop before fully closing the borders, they can’t answer.

Six Members of Congress held a press conference on Tuesday maintaining their steadfast opposition to the amnesty plan being labored over in the Senate.  Rumblings on the Hill are that Speaker Boehner wants a bill, and these Members stand in his way of unifying the Republican caucus.

I visited Hill offices yesterday (with a request to strip all refugee and asylum changes from S.744) since I was in DC for the State Department hearing on refugee admissions for FY 2014.

One stop I made was to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s office.  I was surprised that the prominent member of the Tea Party caucus, was not on the steps with Rep. Steve King and the others since she was opposed one month ago!  Getting squishy?  Her new staff person on immigration is Javier Sanchez (Javier.Sanchez@mail.house.gov), you might let him know where you stand.

Here is the NumbersUSA report on the press conference:

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was joined by five other House Members on Tuesday denouncing the Senate Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill, S.744. Rep. King was joined on the steps of the Capitol by Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, John Fleming of Louisiana, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Steve Stockman and Louie Gohmert of Texas. The six Congressmen said they were concerned about the huge negative impact an amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens would have on the national debt, and they said they stood by the rule of law.

The press conference took place as the Senate Judiciary Committee was continuing its markup of the Gang of Eight’s bill.

[….]

“In each of the past five years, 620,000 to 1.05 million foreigners have been given American citizenship,” Rep. Brooks said. “No country on earth comes close to being as generous as America is with its citizenship.

“The immigration issue is not about whether America is compassionate and generous. We are. The immigration issue is about whether America has the financial resources to accept all the world’s immigrants into America. There are hundreds of millions of foreigners who, if they could, would immigrate to America.”

Readers, more soon on my trip to DC and the State Department hearing.  There is much to report.  But, I will leave you now with this—you came through with testimony and completely swamped the refugee contractors with the number of comments you sent in.  Thank you!

Posted in Other Immigration, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/15/2013 State Dept. meeting | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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