Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘The Opposition’ Category

Linda Sarsour: Muslim immigrants must not “assimilate”

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 8, 2017

The news is not surprising, so I’m bringing this Breitbart article by Neil Munro to your attention so I can once again mention the words “assimilate” and “integrate” in the Left/Open Borders agitators’ lexicon.

Linda Sarsour is the American-born daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents according to wikipedia and she is making news almost on a daily basis as she champions the cause of Islam in the age of Trump.

Here is Munro in a story entitled: ‘Muslim Immigrants Must Not Assimilate, Says Progressive Ally Linda Sarsour’

Muslims in the United States should not assimilate into American society, but should instead act “to please Allah and only Allah,” said Linda Sarsour, a rising star among progressive Democrats, last weekend.

Sarsour’s remarks were part of a July 1 speech given at the annual meeting of the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA.

[….]

Sarsour’s speech was peppered with refusals to integrate into Americans’ Western-style blends of secular government, religious freedoms, and civic society, or to compromise any aspects of Islamic doctrines, such as support for Muslim Palestinians living alongside Israel.

[….]

She urged Muslim groups to build alliances – but to not integrate — with other groups in America, saying “You are not [numerous] enough on your own …. we need to build coalitions, we need allies.” [Not numerous enough yet!—ed]

Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community. It is not to assimilate and to please any other people in authority.

Read the whole thing by clicking here.

Integrate vs. assimilate?

Watch closely going forward.  The open borders left is outright opposed to any assimilation by immigrants.  They see assimilation as meaning that the immigrant must take on some American lifestyles and values (be a part of a national community) and is therefore a bad thing!

They prefer the word ‘integrate’ which they see as a side-by-side (separate and no compromising of principles) way of living.

Did you ever see Obama or any of his gang say ‘immigrant assimilation?’ Never! But, instead they said ‘immigrant integration’ was a worthy goal.

I’ve watched over the years and haven’t seen the refugee contractors use the word “assimilate” either as a desired goal.  But, they will use the word “integrate” as a positive objective (LOL! and integration implies that you, Americans, must bend to accommodate the migrant community and its values!).

Be sure to see my 2015 post for further edification:

Migrant “integration” vs. “assimilation,” how the Obama Administration is changing the language with devastating results

The point I’m making is twofold, no well-trained progressive worth their salt would ever want immigrant “assimilation.”  That is taboo!  And, we must be careful in swapping those words back and forth because they don’t have the same meaning for the Left.

My recommendation is to use the word, and demand “assimilation”! Make them go ballistic!

And, avoid falling in to using their preferred word choice—integration.

I did not read Sarsour’s speech, let me know if she goes back and forth between those words as reporter Munro does.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition, Trump | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

State Dept. extends refugee cut-off date; Hawaii judge denies new request for clarification

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 7, 2017

It was supposed to have been yesterday that the US State Department expected the President’s FY17 50,000 cap to be reached.

When the number is reached (a ceiling set for decades by the President under refugee law), as we know, the US Supreme Court owns it because they stepped in to rewrite law and the battle for the bona fides begins.

As of today we have admitted 49,793 refugees this fiscal year according to the State Department’s own Refugee Processing Center (aka Wrapsnet).

Here is the LA Times reporting that the deadline is extended because the 50,000 cap was not reached yesterday as expected.

Hetfield’s name turns up in most mainstream media stories about the US Refugee Program and Pres. Trump. The media must see him as the go-to guy for quotes! Did you know that he pulls down a salary of over $300,000—doing well by doing good? Learn more about him and HIAS’s finances here: https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/hebrew-immigrant-aid-society-lectures-trump-never-mentions-its-pecuniary-interest-in-refugees/

Refugee resettlement agencies say the State Department has given them updated instructions on President Trump’s travel ban that extends the cutoff date for refugee admissions.

When the ban was put into place last week, the administration said refugees who had booked travel would be admitted through Thursday. After that, immigration officials would block all refugees, except those who could prove they had U.S. connections, such as close relatives.

The July 6 date was a government estimate of when the country would reach a 50,000-person cap on refugee admissions this fiscal year. Federal officials now estimate that the cap will be hit a week later, according to refugee groups.

[….]

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the State Department would not confirm the change and said more information would come out Thursday.

“The cap could be hit earlier, so it could be earlier than July 12,” said Mark Hetfield, chief executive of the resettlement group HIAS, formerly known as Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

HIAS is among several refugee resettlement groups that have challenged the ban, which blocks travel from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspends refugee admissions from everywhere for 120 days.

The LA Times goes on to say that the Hawaii Open Borders advocates filed suit (again) looking for clarification about whether the contractors*** are bona fide entities for the purpose of bringing even more than 50,000 refugees in over the remaining roughly 2 months and 3 weeks remaining in this fiscal year.

Justices wrote that people with “bona fide” connections to the U.S. such as jobs, university admission and family could bypass the ban but left it up to the Trump administration to define which family members counted.

The administration has said that people with “close family” in the U.S. — such as a parent, spouse, fiance or fiancee, child or sibling — could go around the ban. But it blocked others, including grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Immigrant and refugee groups are challenging the definitions in a Honolulu federal district court, saying the administration is violating the Supreme Court’s orders. A federal judge there who previously ruled against the ban in one of the cases being considered by the high court could issue a decision on the matter this week.

Refugee advocates argue that their relationship to refugees should be enough for them to gain admission to the country despite the ban. The government disagrees.

Request denied!

 

 

Just as I am writing this post, I see that the same Hawaii judge has denied their request for clarification.

See here!  Let the Supremes decide.

By the way, the other plaintiff in the case joining with the State of Hawaii is an Imam who wants more Muslims admitted to the US, here.  But, Hawaii is normally at the bottom of the list of states taking any refugees! 

Hey, maybe the State Dept. could put all those they bring in above the cap (it could be thousands!) in Hawaii!

Why not tell the President that when you write to him today! Give Hawaii its dearest wish—more third world diversity. Go here.

All of my posts on this topic are filed in my new ‘Supreme Court’ category.

***Federal contractors/middlemen/lobbyists/community organizers paid by you to place refugees in your towns and cities.  Because their income is largely dependent on taxpayer dollars based on the number of refugees admitted to the US, the only way for real reform of how the US admits refugees is to remove the contractors from the process.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Supreme Court, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

State Department brags: enough refugees admitted to US to make 10 Pittsburghs

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 3, 2017

Charleston, WV citizen activist, Brenda Arthur, pointed us to this interesting and useful page at the US State Department website—it is a review of the work of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) for 2016.

By the way, PRM is still being run by career bureaucrats who have close ties to the resettlement contractors*** and have longtime ideological leanings toward ‘welcoming’ large numbers of third worlders to America.

This graphic (below) is very useful.  Remember though that the US State Department (DOS) share of the costs for refugee resettlement is only a portion of the cost of admitting an average number (about 64,000 is the average over the last ten years) of refugees to the US each year.

Greater  amounts of your tax dollars go to the Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement for refugee welfare and for awarding grants to contractors for myriad activities. There is another chunk that  goes to the Dept. of Homeland Security for ‘screening’ refugees around the world.

Go here, the artwork is useful! But, 10 Pittsburghs? And, this is Trump’s DOS bragging!

 

More than ten times the population of Pittsburgh!

 

*** Resettlement contractors receive the majority of their funding from taxpayers via PRM and ORR.  One of the contractors is 99.5% funded by you, others are well up in the range of 95% plus. There can be no real reform of the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program if these ‘non-profits’ continue to call the shots. The minute a new Administration signals a slowdown for a few years, the contractors, which receive funding on a per (refugee) head basis, put their community organizer hats on and run to the Leftwing media screaming bloody murder.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump, Where to find information | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Refugee industry lauds Supreme Court, says we will get many more refugees in coming months

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 2, 2017

I think it has dawned on them that the Supreme Court, in writing refugee law, has just exploded the decades-long concept that a ceiling is a CEILING.  Here they predict that it will be a refugee free-for-all for months to come.  Effectively they are saying there is NO ceiling (no longer even Obama’s 110,000) in place at least until October!

I was interested to see that Eric Schwartz is back…..

From Bloomberg:

The refugee ban will actually add more refugees.

Schwartz was Obama’s first Asst. Sec.of State for PRM (Anne Richard’s predecessor). He is now head honcho of this pro-refugee lobbying group. RI is not a resettlement contractor. https://www.refugeesinternational.org/people/

Trump used his power to reduce refugee entries for the current fiscal year to 50,000 from the target of 110,000 set by President Barack Obama. But the number of refugees who enter the U.S. is likely to end up higher. Under the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling, refugees who have “bona fide” ties to the country may be admitted, and they don’t count as part of the cap.

Immigration advocates say that more than half of all refugees admitted each year have such ties. So even though the U.S is just days away from hitting the 50,000 figure, many more refugees may be entering the country while the 120-day ban is in effect.

“In all likelihood, I would expect we would end up with more than 50,000 this year,” said Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International and former assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration. “Once we get to 50,000 there will inevitably be some number of refugees that meet the ‘bona-fide’ test and if the administration monkeys around with that by trying to slow down approvals, then they’ll be in violation of the court decision.”

More here.  So you can tell where they are going with this…

We haven’t written much about Refugees International in the last few  years (ever since Ken Bacon of Clinton/Lewinsky/Linda Tripp fame died while heading this organization).

We have written several important posts on Soros groupie Schwartz, see here.

This post is filed in my new category, ‘Supreme Court’ which will include all posts related to the decision handed down last week.

Posted in Colonization, Refugee Resettlement Program, Supreme Court, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Refugee contractors planning lawsuits: are resettlement contractors ‘bona fide entities?’

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 1, 2017

So far, the US Department of State says no….

Justice Clarence Thomas (Alito and Gorsuch) were right that the Supreme Court’s effort to ‘split the baby,’ with its decision on Trump’s ‘travel ban’ and refugee moratorium, will invite litigation through the remainder of the summer.

I wasn’t planning to write today (except maybe a post about this being RRW’s Tenth Anniversary) because it is Saturday of a big holiday weekend, but I want you to see that, yes, the contractors*** are getting in gear to sue the feds claiming that since refugees are assigned to them for placement in your towns, they are bona fide entities.

They sue while we pay their salaries!

Longtime readers know that it is my contention that the system in place for decades, where a federal contractor is hired to place refugees in your towns and the contractor is ostensibly a non-profit (some are ‘religious’) charitable organization being paid with your tax dollars yet can file lawsuits and lobby Congress, is an outrage.

Congress could do something about this, if it had the will (the Labrador bill is insufficient), but since leading Congressional Republicans are in the pockets of lobbyists (Tyson Foods for instance!) and the Chamber of Commerce in need of cheap labor, no real reform ever happens.

Carving itself out as the leader of the pack for political advocacy is the politically aggressive Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). HIAS was a litigant in one of the cases before the Court.

I just checked USA Spending and found that HIAS got over $104 MILLION from taxpayers since FY08. 

And, what do you know, the feds paid them over $4.1 million in the 5 days before Donald Trump was inaugurated.

Here, about 3 weeks later, HIAS organized a NYC  rally against Trump featuring speaker Rep. Keith Ellison.  How much of your money was used for their protest?

Yesterday we learned a lot about what they plan to do next—sue!

And, LOL!, the Christian Post says not one word about how the do-gooder organizations are paid per refugee head to do their good works!

Refugees with connections to the nine refugee resettlement organizations in the United States should be allowed to enter the country in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday that allowed a limited version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to go into effect, advocates argue.

[….]

After the nation’s high court decided Monday that it would allow a scaled-back version of Trump’s March 6 executive order on immigration to be enacted, opponents of the travel ban were left wondering whether the the Supreme Court considers relationships with a refugee resettlement organization to be the type of “bona fide” relationships necessary to allow them to enter the country, once the 50,000 refugee cap set for fiscal year 2017 is met in July.

In 2016, Nezer of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society was the chair of the Refugee Council USA (this lobbying consortium of the refugee industry has revolving chairmanship). RCUSA in August of 2016 said they wanted Obama to set a ceiling of 200,000 for FY17. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/lobbying-arm-for-refugee-resettlement-contractors-wants-us-to-take-200000-refugees-in-fy2017/

As the travel ban — which bans immigration from six Muslim majority countries for 90 days and refugee resettlement for 120 days — took effect on Thursday, the Trump administration explained in guidelines sent to U.S. embassies and consulates what it considers to a “bona fide relationship.”

[….]

As for entities, the guidelines state that people seeking access to the United States must show formal proof of their relationship with the a business or educational institution. However, an administration official declared in a press call Thursday that “the fact that a resettlement agency in the United States has provided a formal assurance for refugees seeking admission is not sufficient, in and of itself, to establish a bona fide relationship under the ruling.”

[….]

Legal action has already been filed to seek clarity on the Supreme Court’s order, which was somewhat vague about what constitutes a “bona fide” relationship. On Thursday, the state of Hawaii asked a federal judge to clarify the ruling and argued that the administration’s interpretation is too narrow and violates the ruling.

On a press call Friday, leaders of resettlement agencies authorized to resettle refugees in the United States decried the administration’s interpretation of the ruling.  [You see how deceptive the press is—“authorized”—how about “contracted and paid!”—ed]

“Our argument is that under an interpretation of a clear reading of the Supreme Court decision is that a relationship with a resettlement agency does establish a ‘bona fide’ relationship for purposes of the ban,” said Melanie Nezer, the senior vice president of public affairs for HIAS, which was founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.  [They dumped “Hebrew” from their name a few years ago. I guess when you are resettling large numbers of Muslim refugees, the word Hebrew was an impediment.—ed]

[….]

“We also imagine the debate about this in the administration, thinking that there was significant debate among people who really do understand resettlement in the administration and those who don’t,” Nezer said. “It seems pretty clear that this decision was made by people who don’t know or don’t much care about how resettlement works.”

[By the way, I don’t think the Supreme Court knew much about resettlement either or perhaps they wouldn’t have been rewriting refugee law, but that would be the fault of whoever presented the case for the Justice Department.—ed]

[….]

Director of the lobbying arm of the refugee industry Naomi Steinberg says 26,000 refugees are in the pipeline. What a convenient number. We are at 50,000 and Congress has appropriated enough money to admit 75,000 this fiscal year. If we hit 75,000, it will be about 10,000 ABOVE the average for the last ten years!

Around July 6 is when the United States is expected to hit the 50,000 refugee cap for fiscal year 2017 that Trump set in his executive order. After that, the “bona fide” standard will be going into effect for refugees, Nezer explained.

See my post yesterday about July 6th.

As of today we are at 49,225 refugees admitted this fiscal year.  We may not see new numbers reported at Wrapsnet until the 5th or 6th.

[….]

Naomi Steinberg, the director of Refugee Council USA, added that there are over 26,000 refugees total who have gone through security vetting and have been approved to the come the United States and be resettled around the United States.

More here.

All of my posts related to what the Supreme Court ruled last week are archived in my category—Supreme Court.

*** For new readers, these are the nine contractors that monopolize refugee resettlement in America. Saying they are “authorized” to resettle refugees is a media deception.  They are paid out of the US Treasury per head for every refugee they resettle. The incentive is always to bring more while they pretend to be doing this work completely from humanitarian motives!

The UN/US Refugee Admissions Program will never be reformed until we stop paying non-profit groups to advocate and lobby for their vested (Leftist!) interests.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Supreme Court, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

State Department: refugee free-for-all until July 6th!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 30, 2017

Everyone wants to know what it all means… there is the 90-day travel ban (everyone, not just refugees) from six majority Muslim countries and then the 120-day moratorium for all refugees from all countries, but only for those refugees who don’t have certain relationships with those who got here before them.

And, so far it looks like resettlement agencies may not count as having “bona fide” relationships as ‘entities,’ but all of that could change next month, next week or the next minute!  Therefore I am not going to wander in to the weeds of all this or lose sleep over it.  We will just see how things evolve because there is nothing we can do to influence it all anyway.

By legislating from the bench, the Supremes have made it likely that even fewer persecuted Syrian Christians will be admitted to the US before late fall.

Just so you know we are at 49,248 refugees for this fiscal year when I checked Wrapsnet earlier this morning.  We will hit 50,000 probably by July 6th, then what?

And, just to give you some comparison, that 49,248 is the highest number of refugees (excluding FY16) that we have admitted by the end of June in the last ten fiscal years, so the contractors*** shouldn’t be whining about a lack of paying ‘clients’ this year.

Syrian Christians now have an even smaller chance of getting to the US.

While I was at Wrapsnet, I checked the Syrian numbers.  We have seeded 6,397 Syrians in to your towns and cities this fiscal year (which ends on Sept. 30th).  Of the 6,397, 6,258 were Muslims of some variety. That puts the rate at 98% Muslim for the year (so far) for Syrians.

That same rate (Muslims to others) applies for the 1,809 Syrians Donald Trump’s State Department admitted since inauguration day.

As I continue to mention, because we have admitted so few Christian Syrians, any applying now likely will  not have relatives here while the Muslims will, so expect the Syrian Muslim relatives to continue to be admitted (thanks to the Supreme Court writing refugee law!) because we all know that if they are relatives of someone here already, they couldn’t possibly be terrorists, right?

Here are a couple paragraphs from Vox.  They and other leftwing media are trying very hard to figure out what it all means for their friends who make a living in the refugee industry and for those wanting more new Democrat voters that refugees represent. And, of course, so that they can further vilify Donald Trump.

What the ban means for refugees who don’t have “bona fide” family members in the US according to the categories laid out by the State Department. Many advocates have argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling should permit nearly all refugees to enter the US, because refugees have to be placed with a resettlement agency before entering the country, and that should count as a “bona fide” relationship. But the Supreme Court didn’t specify that, and the administration doesn’t seem to be taking it that way.

In a press call on Thursday, a senior administration official said that “the fact that a resettlement agency in the United States has provided a formal assurance for refugees seeking admission is not sufficient, in and of itself, to establish a bona fide relationship under the ruling.” It’s not yet clear whether this means refugees will only be admitted if they already have close family in the US, or whether some stage in the resettlement process will count as a “bona fide” relationship. And all refugees who are scheduled to arrive in the US through July 6th will be able to come without incident. But after that, tens of thousands of refugees, and the resettlement agencies in the US that employ people to help them, remain under a cloud of uncertainty — and it’s not looking good.

State Department Press Briefing with unidentified speakers!

 

Trump senior administration officials speaking to the media: From the Department of Justice we have [Senior Administration Official Five]. From DHS we have [Senior Administration Official Four]. From State we have [Senior Administration Official Two] and [Senior Administration Official Three]. [Senior Administration Official One] is from the White House. Whoever it was that opened the press briefing we have no clue.

 

Thanks to Vox for alerting us to the State Department press briefing to selected media here yesterday.  You can read it inbetween your Independence day festivities.

Wouldn’t you think that the Trump Administration would at least try to be more open and transparent than the previous administration. I’ve noticed over the years that at these briefings, no one is permitted to know by whom they are being briefed!

No one in the Administration wants their name used—-just disgusting!

We’re joined today by senior administration officials from the White House, Departments of State, Homeland Security, and also from Justice. From the Department of Justice we have [Senior Administration Official Five]. From DHS we have [Senior Administration Official Four]. From State we have [Senior Administration Official Two] and [Senior Administration Official Three].

As a reminder, the call will be conducted on background. Attribution should be to senior administration officials.

Transcript of press briefing, here.

My previous posts on the this topic are filed in a new category:  Supreme Court.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Supreme Court, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

State Dept. leaking like sieve to CNN, reveals WH thinking of moving refugee program to DHS

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 29, 2017

Update July 1: Michael Leahy at Breitbart has more on this story, here yesterday.

I know, I know, it is a CNN story with Jake Tapper on the byline, but there is very likely truth to it.

I’m not weighing in on the merits (or demerits) of such a move, my purpose here is to once again show you that the Obama shadow government, in this case Anne Richard, FORMER Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration has a pipeline in to the career bureaucrats running the refugee program in the Department of State and she is carrying their news to the likes of CNN.

Anne Richard came to her former post at the Department of State from the federal contractor the INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE. Prior to her job at the IRC, she was at the State Department! The system is incestuous!

The primary reason that the Deep State would not support the move of the program to the Dept. of Homeland Security is that they (in State) have a decades-long cushy relationship with the refugee contractors that I keep yelling about (here and here just this morning).

They are all on the same page—more, more, more refugees for America!

First, get the contractors (yelling and propagandizing) out of the system completely and reform of the program could be accomplished. (This depends on the lazy lunks in Congress!)

And, second!

Trump must get his loyalists placed in positions above the bureaucrats to get this under control.

Career people can’t be fired unless, and until, they are caught in insubordination to a boss. Right now Trump is at fault for not picking their bosses!

Here is CNN quoting Anne Richard extensively so she must be the one carrying the tales….

Washington (CNN)The White House is considering a proposal to move both the State Department bureau of Consular Affairs and its bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to the Department of Homeland Security, a senior White House official tells CNN.

The move, which the White House official cautioned was far from becoming official policy, would likely be controversial among diplomats and experts in State Department matters.

[….]

“It would be a huge mistake,” said Anne Richard, who led the bureau of Population Refugees, and Migration during President Barack Obama’s second term.

[….]

The proposals were written in a memo submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget from the White House Domestic Policy Council as part of President Trump’s March executive order pushing for ideas for Government Reorganization.

A State Department spokesperson referred CNN to the White House for comment.

The extremely complicated admissions process now starts with the UNITED NATIONS making the first cut as we have reported ad nauseam.

The White House did not explain the reasoning behind the recommendations, but perhaps the idea is rooted in a desire to streamline the refugee vetting process. As it stands currently, the United Nations High Commission of Refugees refers applicants to the State Department for vetting. This vetting is carried out by nine International Resettlement Support Centers (RSC) with American interests***; all of which are managed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Approved applicants are then sent to the Department of Homeland Security for final vetting. After final vetting at DHS, the State Department then resumes supervision of the process with its Reception and Placement Program.

[….]

Richard, the former Obama State Department official, pinned the proposal on an “imperfect understanding” of the bureau’s function. It’s not mainly a law enforcement body, Richard said, rather, it works with nongovernmental organizations and the UN to assist refugees around the world. [And that is the problem—the NGOs and the UN—ed]

More here.

*** Are there other interests operating Resettlement Support Centers???  See here.

Nine Department of State-funded Resettlement Support Centers (RSCs) not to be confused with the nine major refugee contractors (except that there is some overlap because some contractors work at these RSCs). Look at these locations. Can you say opportunity for fraud!

  • Amman, Jordan with sub-offices in Baghdad, Iraq and Cairo, Egypt;

• Bangkok, Thailand with a sub-office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;

• Damak, Nepal;

• Havana, Cuba;

• Istanbul, Turkey with a sub-office in Beirut, Lebanon;

• Moscow, Russia with a sub-office in Kyiv, Ukraine;

• Nairobi, Kenya with a sub-office in Johannesburg, South Africa;

• Vienna, Austria; and

• Quito, Ecuador with small sub-offices in San Salvador, El Salvador and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The nine federal resettlement contractors who are fighting tooth and nail to let nothing rock their cushy relationship with the DOS:

 

 

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

And so it begins—the battle of the bona fides

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 28, 2017

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

Becca Heller

 

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

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

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

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

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

International Refugee Assistance Project is one of the original litigants.

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

Skipping to the important part ……

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading here.

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

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

 

 

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

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

Posted in Changing the way we live, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Supreme Court, The Opposition, Trump | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

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

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

Huffington Post:

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

[….]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[….]

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

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

Yup!

Continue reading here.

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 25, 2017

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

Daniel DePetris

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is Brian Hook’s bio.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Politico continues…..

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

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

Much more here at Politico.

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

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

 
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