Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘What you can do’ Category

Each of you must get the planning documents and attend refugee “consultations”

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 16, 2017

You are going to get so sick of hearing this from me!

Reader Paul reminded me again of this quote by David Gergen reported in the NY Times in 1993, here.

I’m taking my cue from Richard Nixon!

nixon

What Nixon advised is likely the single most important thing that you can do to bring attention and possible change to the refugee resettlement industry where you live (or to any issue that concerns you!).

Gergen said of Nixon:

He learned the importance of saying the same thing, over and over and over: “Nixon taught us about the art of repetition. He used to tell me, ‘About the time you are writing a line that you have written it so often that you want to throw up, that is the first time the American people will hear it.’ ”

The more I think about this, the more I realize what masters the Left are at this: “Diversity is beautiful,” “America is a nation of immigrants,” “Refugees undergo ‘robust’ screening,”  yada, yada, yada.

(LOL! btw, try to work that word ‘robust’ into anything you do. I want to barf whenever I hear it from the Left, so let’s have some fun with it!)

We don’t repeat things enough! Why is that? We tend to think our people are smart enough and will get it the first time? We aren’t willing to get to the barf stage?

Anyway, back to my headline….

For a few months, I had high hopes that we were going to see some significant demands for reform of UN/US Refugee Admissions Program in Washington.  Dropping the ceiling to 45,000 for this fiscal year is not significant. If no reform of the general structure of the program happens, as soon as Trump is no longer Prez they will just boost the number to make up for lost time.

Therefore….

As I have already said, our energy must now shift back to grassroots activism on the local and state level.  And, first, don’t worry that you haven’t hundreds of people behind you, just get to work yourself (with maybe a friend or two, for help and support).

Lancaster, PA

Let’s use Lancaster, PA which I wrote about yesterday as a model for a step-by-step action plan.

First, go here and find your State Refugee Coordinator.  The list is a little old but through these contact numbers you should find your state’s key people. (This link and many others are at my Frequently Asked Questions, here.)

Ask the coordinator politely for your State’s refugee plan (usually not of great interest because it’s likely written in a mealy-mouth format, but get it). Tell the coordinator where you live and ask to be included in (put on the list for notification of) the “QUARTERLY CONSULTATIONS.”

Obviously for our Lancaster model, find the coordinator for Pennsylvania (often these are employees of the State government).

Next, find out, which resettlement contractors/subcontractors work where you live. Find any office here that is within 100 miles (generally 2 hours drive time) from where you live.  Refugees can be placed within that distance from the office.  If you live on a state border, be sure to check the neighboring state.

For Lancaster, there are two contractors listed (one for Church World Service the other two for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service).  You might find numbers and addresses have changed because the feds are pretty lousy at keeping this up to date.

Screenshot (987)

Contractors are the abbreviations in the left hand corner: Church World Service and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

 

 

For folks in Lancaster, call all three subcontractor offices and politely ask for R & P (Reception & Placement) Abstracts for FY16, FY17 and the new one for FY18. These are plans for your town.  Of course the FY18 plan is most interesting, ask for three years for comparison.

You will likely be told NO, you can’t have them. By the way, on FY18, until a couple of weeks ago, they might have said you can’t have that one because it is a document not yet approved by the State Department.  But since the fiscal year began on October 1, that excuse is no longer valid.  (See what the Abstract looks like here).

Mayor Rick Gray

Welcoming Mayor Gray. Has he ever seen the Abstracts for Lancaster?

If you get a NO at the contractor’s office, go back to your state coordinator and ask him/her for those important documents.  Be sure to say you want the entire document which includes more than just the pages with numbers and spells out the amenities your town is offering refugees.

At this point if you are still getting a runaround, you may have to use your state’s public information law to attempt to get them.

Put your mayor and council on the spot!

However, while waiting for that to work through the system, ask your Mayor and Council for the R & P Abstracts.  Either your local elected officials will say they don’t have such documents, or they will say you can’t have them.

For Lancaster, contact “welcoming” Mayor Gray!

Now you have some excellent political ammunition if they don’t give you the R & P Abstract. 

Either the mayor/council is completely unaware that a document like this exists or they keep it from you on purpose, and either way they are politically in a hot seat!

They are either so incompetent they didn’t know that a federal contractor was sending plans for their (your) town to Washington, or they did know and kept it from the citizens (aka voters).  Lack of transparency/secrecy are words that you can use against them (until you want to barf!).

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Republican Rep. Smucker. If he can’t get the Abstracts he should be pretty angry at the US State Department!

Next! Contact your Representative in the US Congress.  It looks like for most of Lancaster that is Rep. Lloyd Smucker.

You are going to report to his staff (try his local office first) that you are getting a runaround and can’t get the R & P Abstracts for Lancaster and ask his staff to get them for you.

Again, this is an important exercise, not so much that the documents contain bombshells (although most I’ve seen are very interesting), but it will tell you something about the man representing you in Congress. If he can’t get the documents (and get you invited to quarterly consultations), he is weak, or he is lying.

You will do the same exercise with the US Senate offices of Pat Toomey an Bob Casey.

For additional fun contact your governor’s office too.  See if the governor’s office is being kept informed by the state coordinator (who may actually be employed by the governor’s office).

Presumably you now have the documents and are on the list to be invited to the next QUARTERLY CONSULTATION (aka Stakeholder meeting).  Look for another post from me on what to do next involving publicizing what you have learned and pushing for the Abstract to be made public BEFORE it goes to Washington next year!

If no transparency….

If you are still getting a runaround, you have some perfect ammunition to use in the next mayor/city council election (and in 2018 for your member of Congress!).  They are all keeping you, taxpaying citizens of refugee resettlement towns and cities, in the dark about plans from Washington about your very neighborhoods!

Say that over and over and over again until you want to throw up!

This post is filed in my ‘What you can do’ category, here.

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, creating a movement, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, What you can do, Where to find information | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Open Borders bigwigs to descend on Boise, Idaho

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 14, 2017

Later this month leading refugee advocates/Dems will attend a two-day confab in Boise, Idaho in hopes of generating support for illegal alien amnesty (the DACA kids) and to push for more refugees for Idaho and other states they are working to transform (turning red states blue!).

Idaho protest

This time last year, Idaho citizens demonstrated (in Boise) against more refugees being placed in Idaho.

 

Here is the announcement published at Boise Weekly from the Frank Church Institute (emphasis is mine) Hat tip: Joanne:

The Trump administration recently unveiled yet another travel ban restricting certain individuals from mainly Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. In a time where the refugee migration worldwide has reached near World War II levels, these bans have proved to be highly controversial and have sparked much debate across the country. The Frank Church Institute plans to continue the debate at the 34th annual Frank Church Conference—Monday, Oct. 23 and Tuesday, Oct. 24—with a focus on current global concerns over refugee displacement and immigration.

anne richard with UN seal

Richard, as you must know, was Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for PRM. Learn more about her at our huge archive:  https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/?s=Anne+Richard

“[It’s a] timely issue with the new administration’s policies on immigration and DACA, and the public’s questions about the role of refugees both nationally and in the State of Idaho,” said Frank Church Institute Director Garry Wenske.

The theme of the conference at the Simplot Ballroom of the Student Union Building at Boise State University, is “America’s Future: Refugees, Migration and National Security.” Speakers will include former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Anne C. Richard, and International Rescue Committee Senior Vice President Jennifer Sime, as well as Jacob Sullivan, who served as national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and deputy chief of staff for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [You will recognize Sullivan as a bigwig from the Clinton campaign.—ed]

There will also be speakers from local organizations like the International Refugee [Rescue!–ed] Committee and ACLU-Idaho, as well as a panel of experts and refugees, including Refik Sadikovic, a Bosnian refugee who resettled in Boise and is now working toward his Ph. D. at Boise State University. [Token success story is part of their MO!—-ed]

Idaho uzbek

For every refugee success story I can find you someone like this Idaho Uzbek refugee convicted terrorist. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/idaho-uzbek-convicted-terrorist-indicted-in-attempt-to-kill-prison-warden/

Idaho, especially the southern half of the state, has a long and significant history of accepting displaced people. According to a Pew study, Idaho accepts among the most refugees per capita of any state in the country. The Idaho role in resettlement, however, has been controversial. The College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center was criticized for its role in bringing refugees into Idaho amid fears of an influx of Syrians and fake news surrounding a crime connected with refugees in Twin Falls brought the issue to a boil.

Citizens wishing to get a “better understanding” of what is in the works for Idaho and the country should attend (and take notes)!

Wenske said he expects to fill the ballroom, and hopes the audience can walk away with a “better understanding of some of the issues that we’re facing as a country, as a state, and as a city.”

“Boise is a welcoming city for refugees,” he said. “These are important issues we need to discuss.”

For my Idaho archive, click here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, The Opposition, Trump, What you can do | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

New Yorker mag describes how Trump Admin set the 45,000 refugee cap for FY18

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 14, 2017

The first story I read this morning has got my blood boiling! Not because it is one more blast at Trump, or at Stephen Miller (he can take care of himself).

And, although I have now learned more about the secretive process thanks to the leakers (the blabbermouths!), what has me steamed is that the Trump Administration clearly still has many people throughout government (the State Department!) and in the White House who are not loyal to him and are so willing to dish the dirt on his Presidency.

Whose fault is that?

It is Trump’s fault for not placing enough of his own people in leadership slots—people who would be loyal and keep the bureacrats in check.

Trump shrug

Was he even paying attention?

Indeed the US Refugee Admissions Program in the State Department is still being run by career bureaucrats who saw Obama’s fantasy 110,000 refugee ceiling last year as the holy grail!

For new readers, know that I have maintained that there is nothing heroic about this 45,000 (split the baby) ceiling.

Trump had the perfect opportunity to suspend the program entirely, to put off setting the ceiling.  He could have done it for 6 months and told Congress to investigate the entire program with an eye to reforming it or setting up an entirely new system to admit only the most desperate people. (There is likely zero chance any reform will be initiated in election year 2018!)

So, as you read through New Yorker reporter Jonathan Blitzer‘s story, meant to paint Stephen Miller as the boogeyman (written thanks to so many blabbermouths), know that I believe Trump flubbed this one and took an easy way out.

(You should read the whole thing. I couldn’t snip it all! So, I picked out what interested me most and the emphasis below is mine.)

Late last month, the White House announced that next year’s cap would be forty-five thousand, a record low. The State Department, the Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Vice-President, and the Office of Management and Budget had wanted the number to be higher.

But they had all been forced to compete with one influential White House official: Stephen Miller, the thirty-two-year-old former aide to Jeff Sessions who has become Trump’s top immigration adviser.

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I’m still laughing! They are all angry because Miller knows how the “sausage is made.”

I recently spoke to four Administration officials [come on chickens, who are you? put your names out there!—ed]  involved in the refugee-cap process to try to understand how Miller was able to outmaneuver an array of powerful factions in the federal bureaucracy. Each official described Miller as a savvy operator who understands how to insert himself into the policy-creation process. They also described him as the beneficiary of a dysfunctional and understaffed Administration. Miller hadn’t completely gotten his way on the refugee cap, they told me; he wanted it to be lower. The forty-five-thousand figure—which past Administrations would have considered impractically low—amounted to a kind of compromise.

Miller, who has gone from the political fringe to the White House on the strength of his reputation as an anti-immigration ideas man, joined the Trump campaign early.

So the process begins in June. We will remember that for next year!

Blitzer continues…

The chain of events that led to the announcement of the new refugee cap began on June 5th, when Miller met with officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security, and a policy group called the Homeland Security Council. Every summer, the State Department and the N.S.C. lead a series of discussions to decide the next year’s cap. Officials weigh dozens of different considerations, solicit input from the various stakeholder agencies, and ultimately bring a number to the President for his approval. [Could the stakeholder agencies be the federal contractors?—ed]

[….]

Miller introduced the officials to Gene Hamilton, another former aide to Sessions, whom the Administration had installed at D.H.S. This year, Miller and Hamilton explained, D.H.S.—not the State Department—would present the refugee-cap number to the President. Hamilton would be Miller’s key ally in the process. “They were in direct and constant contact,” the second White House official told me. “If there was ever a question you had for Hamilton, he’d say, ‘Hold on,’ and call Miller.” According to the first White House official, “It was clear that there was some precooked plan here.”

On this issue of asylum (in the next snip)…

….know that there are an estimated 270,000 asylum seekers presently in the country waiting for their day before a judge to make a pitch for asylum. Under the Refugee Act of 1980, once granted asylum, they are REFUGEES in every sense of the word and are on track to citizenship. The only difference is that they were not screened abroad at all and did not have their airfare to the US paid by the US taxpayer.  So, Miller is making a very important point on numbers.

Blitzer continues:

When officials pushed back against these kinds of changes, Miller would point to the backlog of asylum cases at D.H.S. and argue that the refugee program was unsustainable. All four officials believed this argument was disingenuous. “This was a manipulation to get the result he wanted,” one White House official told me. “He basically just had a political agenda: to limit the number of foreign nationals who come into our country.”

This next bit made me laugh! The bureaucrats who basically run the State Department were angry that Miller knows how the “sausage” is made in Washington!

henshaw

Simon Henshaw is a career bureaucrat running the Refugee Program under Tillerson. https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/bureau/213334.htm

You can bet the biggest blabbermouths Blitzer talked to came from the branch of the State Department called ‘Population, Refugees and Migration.’

I asked the officials how Miller, with his limited experience in the executive branch, had become such a formidable bureaucrat so quickly. “Look at who the senior advisers to the President were and are—Bannon, Kushner—Miller’s the only one with prior government experience,” the State Department official told me. “He knows something about government, and it turns out to be useful. He saw how the sausage was made. And he’s smart enough to make his own sausage. The chaos of the Trump Administration helped. “The White House remains in utter disarray,” the official said. “If you don’t have an established set of procedures in place, it’s very easy to create your own process.”

[….]

In early September, officials at the State Department and N.S.C. were told that the Department of Homeland Security was ready to propose to the President that next year’s refugee cap be between fifteen thousand and twenty-six thousand people.

OPTICS! OPTICS! WHAT THE HELL! TO SATISFY SOME FOREIGN POLICY OPTICS! WHAT ABOUT AMERICAN COMMUNITIES SADDLED WITH THE COSTS AND THE CULTURAL UPHEAVAL?

Elaine Duke

Duke: No number below 40,000 was permissible.

Officials at the other government agencies involved in the process balked. “If we go below fifty thousand, we won’t satisfy the optics that the program was designed to generate, and that functionally hurts national security,” one White House official told me. “We look scared.” Miller and Hamilton weren’t swayed by the arguments, but when Elaine Duke, the interim Secretary of Homeland Security and Hamilton’s boss, insisted that the number couldn’t be lower than forty thousand, they were forced to retreat. (The White House disputed this account.)

Putting up a modest resistance, the State Department proposed a cap of fifty thousand. “People felt beleaguered and betrayed,” the official there told me.

[….]

“By the time we talked about splitting the difference, we were already two-thirds lower than where we were previously,” the State Department official told me. “We’d gone from a hundred and ten thousand”—which President Obama had set for the current year—“to around forty thousand, with no evidence to support the decision. It was purely political. The process has never been this corrupt.”

In mid-September, Tillerson lowered the State Department’s desired number from fifty thousand to forty-five thousand. The State Department official said the Secretary’s staff was surprised. “He undercut his deputy,” the official said. “He undercut the recommendation of the staff. He broke with every other federal agency except D.H.S.” The other agencies had all previously said they would back the State Department, so forty-five thousand was the only number that went to the President.

“The President would never know that almost all of his Cabinet wanted a higher number,” one of the White House officials told me.

So who is the White House blabbermouth?

There is much more, continue reading here.

If you are looking for something to do, contact the White House and tell the President to put his LOYAL supporters in key positions in order to begin reining-in the blabbermouths!

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition, Trump Watch!, What you can do | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

City Mayors shirking responsibility regarding Refugee Admissions Program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 13, 2017

Yesterday it was St. Cloud, MN and today it is Rutland, VT!

Getting the monkey off their backs!

Mayors and Councils across America, when confronted by citizens with questions and concerns about the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program, brush off citizens with the usual garbage line—it is a federal program and they have no role in it.

monkey-on-your-back

Mayor attempting to get the citizen ‘monkey’ off his back by saying he has no power. This is a federal program!  

Yes, they do! The Refugee Act of 1980 did give local governments a role.

And, repeatedly the State Department has said they don’t send refugees to places where they are not wanted. Mayors and councils could go on record with their opinions, but at minimum they should be attending QUARTERLY STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS. And, they should be involved in preparing the annual R & P ABSTRACT (see post yesterday).

Here we have news from Rutland, VT where the previous mayor was ousted by voters for working secretly with a refugee contractor and the new mayor depends on getting his news from a state bureaucrat.  Does he attend their meetings? I bet he is not even aware of the plan the contractor in Vermont sent to the US State Department not too long ago, let alone have seen it.

Shame on any mayors who are not intimately involved in preparing the plans submitted to the State Department each year for the city or town he/she is responsible for!

From the Vermont Digger

RUTLAND – Rutland has recently received word that the number of refugees an agency plans to resettle in the city in this fiscal year has been reduced from 100 to 75.

[….]

Rutland Mayor David Allaire said Thursday that litigation and court action nationally associated with the president’s immigration orders raises uncertainty over just how many refugees will actually be resettled in the city this year.

In the prior fiscal year, three families, totaling 14 refugees, resettled in Rutland. The plan had called for up to 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees to resettle in the city by Sept. 30, about a year after the city had been designated a resettlement site by the U.S. Department of State.

Why weren’t the mayor and aldermen in on the planning process? Do they even have a copy of the final R & P Abstract? Denise should give it to them! Or, do they have it and aren’t sharing it with the public.  Either way it is not good!

Rutland first signs

Signs like this helped defeat previous mayor!

Denise Lamoureux, state refugee coordinator, recently sent an email Monday to leaders of community organizations in Rutland discussing the change.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration “has approved a preliminary revised plan with an objective of 75 rather than 100 refugees for Rutland for federal fiscal year 2018 (10/1/17 to 9/30/18),” the email stated.

[….]

The issue of refugee resettlement had been a hot-button topic in Rutland during the mayoral election in March that saw Allaire win the job over longtime incumbent Christopher Louras.

 

The former mayor had been a strong supporter of the refugee resettlement program, while Allaire, then a veteran member of the city’s Board of Aldermen, had opposed it, citing a lack of transparency in the process.  [Where is the transparency now?—ed]

For the past several months there has been little, if any, debate or discussion about refugee resettlement at city meetings.

“My feeling about this right along has been if indeed there are more families that are coming into Rutland, refugee resettlement families, I would welcome them as I would anyone else,” Allaire said Thursday. “This is a federal program, the Rutland government has no control over the numbers or anything else.

See my Rutland archive, here.  The major federal contractor operating in Vermont is USCRI. You will see a lot about them when you visit previous Rutland posts. Of all the arrogant contractors, they are near the top of my list!

And, don’t miss: Swamp not being drained so local citizen action required!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, The Opposition, Trump, What you can do, Who is going where | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Lutheran Social Service planning to seed 225 additional refugees into St. Cloud this year

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 12, 2017

jodi harpstead

CEO Harpstead pulls down a salary and benefits package of over $300,000 annually to head the $91 million a year operation. Link to Form 990 below.

If they succeed they will be placing 27 more than they did in FY17 which ended on the 30th of September.

Checking Wrapsnet, here is a summary (below) of the refugees (mostly Muslims) who were placed by a subcontractor (Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota) of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service mothership located in Baltimore.

Refugees who went to St. Cloud in direct resettlement (there are no reliable numbers on secondary migrants) last year are below.

 

Secondary migrants are refugees placed elsewhere who migrate (legally!) on their own to another town or city.

Minnesota does have the highest number of secondary migrants in the country as we learned a few years ago when such information was published.

In FY17 St. Cloud received 198 of the 1,623 refugees resettled in the entire state.

Burma (4)

Ethiopia (19)

Iraq (9)

Somalia (166)

St. Cloud had the second highest Somali resettlement after Minneapolis (364).

Here (below) is the FY18 R & P Abstract for St. Cloud. 

This is the document that should be made available to the public BEFORE it goes to Washington.  These numbers are determined by Lutheran Social Service in Minnesota (Harpstead’s organization) with the help of “stakeholders.”  Stakeholders should include your local elected officials!

(See my post on St. Cloud yesterday)

Normally this document is kept from the general public, but we were fortunate enough to obtain it. Knowledge is power and that is the primary reason there is so little transparency with refugee resettlement. The feds and the contractors don’t want citizens to have all the facts!

I maintain that if the program is a good one for the community, they should be able to sell it with all the facts on the table!

Below are screenshots of the pages.  Serious students should go to this post where I explained some of the numbers, categories etc.  But, I am far from an expert!

Documents like this (reporting the capacity of your town to ‘welcome’ refugees and from where) come in to Washington from hundreds of towns and cities and are put together to become the basis for the Presidential determination which we know is a maximum 45,000 refugees for FY18 (which is now underway as of Oct. 1).

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Again, knowledge is power!

I leave it to you, again with the help of this post to examine the plans that Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in conjunction with the US State Department and the US Department of Health and Human Services have in the works for St. Cloud.

LOL! Do you see that line in the last chart about voluntary hours/miles?  What that represents is the number of hours and the miles that volunteers put on their own vehicles converted to a cash value.  The contractor uses that figure to show the federal government that they have put some skin in the game (it is supposed to be a public-private partnership after all).  I wonder do volunteers know that they are worth money to the contractor?

Check out the actual cash from foundations/corporations in FY16 and the enormous jump estimated for FY18.  Is that realistic? Can they just make up numbers?

Housing specialist? So the refugees get a housing specialist? Do just regular poor Americans get one from LSS of MN?

The most recent Form 990 for LSS of Minnesota is here (or see LSS financials page):

file:///C:/Users/Ann/AppData/Local/Temp/Lutheran%20Social%20Service%20of%20MN%20-%20Public%20Inspection%20Copy-1.pdf

Other contractors are operating in other cities in Minnesota. See here:

https://refugeeresettlementwatch.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/acb67-publicaffiliatedirectory1-6-17.pdf

What can you do?

Citizens in St. Cloud, see my complete archive on what I’ve reported about your city since 2008.

Concerned citizens elsewhere, go to the list of contractor/subcontractors I linked above. Call one near you and ask for the FY18 R & P Abstract (Reception and Placement Abstract).  Ask your local elected officials—mayor and council—if any of them have ever seen the plans for their town/city?

Addendum! If you get a runaround complain to your elected officials in Washington—your member of Congress and US Senators. If they can’t (or won’t!) get it for you, then you have even more to complain about!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump, What you can do, Where to find information, Who is going where | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Concerned citizens in St. Cloud, MN ask for a moratorium on refugee resettlement to their city

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 11, 2017

As I said here, the swamp is not going to be drained anytime soon, so my best advice to all of you concerned about the economic and cultural disruption in your communities fostered by the US State Department and its contractors choosing your town/city as a resettlement site (and the lack of transparency by federal government contractors in the process) must renew your efforts at the state and local level.

Here we have an excellent example of citizen action to get their local mayor and council to pay attention to their concerns.  The citizens are asking for a moratorium on resettlement until their questions and concerns are addressed.

Watch the council meeting here.  Begin at 13:45 to hear private citizens and then here again at 1:17:50 to hear Councilman Jeff Johnson say that he will be placing a resolution before the board at the next meeting.  (Hat tip: Ron)

You too can do this!

 

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Again, go here to play the video: http://stcloudmn.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1324

 

I had to laugh, check out their rule that a citizen may have 2 minutes only two times a year to address the high and mighty. And, they only take 5 commenters at each meeting.

You can learn more about the St. Cloud council at their website, here. They said at the meeting that they accept letters and e-mail commentary.

Let me be clear, there is nothing in refugee law now to address the issue of a city having any power to halt resettlement to their city.  However, the State Department has repeatedly said they will not place refugees in communities that don’t want them. So, if the council were to ask the federal government for a moratorium, it would (should!) carry significant weight!

But, if the council turns down a resolution for a moratorium, it becomes a very important educational opportunity for the community. If council members votes are recorded, the political stance (in support of, or opposition to, more resettlement and continued secrecy) of each council member becomes clear to the whole city.

Again, see my post here.  Some of you in St. Cloud might decide to run for mayor or council based on what happens next. Even if you don’t win, the exercise will educate even more voting citizens.

Please visit my post yesterday where I told you about the ‘stakeholder meetings (quarterly consultations)’ held without the public, and the R & P Abstracts that are kept secret from the public.

You should be demanding that your mayor and council members (or whatever local govt. format you have) attend those meetings and receive the planning documents before they go to Washington and make an opportunity available for the public to comment on the plans before they are submitted to Washington each year!

Just fyi, I have been to St. Cloud twice in recent years. You can see my whole archive on the controversy there by clicking here.

I think RRW’s first mention of St. Cloud was by Judy in 2008 when she wrote about Somali students harassing a fellow student’s service dog, here.

Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota is the primary contractor in St. Cloud responsible for placing large numbers of Somalis there.

This post is filed also in my category entitled ‘What you can do.

Because frankly the Washington swamp is alive and well!  Some important swamp creatures are the Chamber of Commerce and other business lobbyists looking for more customers and cheap labor! Do not be fooled! Refugee resettlement is not, first and foremost, driven by humanitarian zeal!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Stealth Jihad, Taxpayer goodies, What you can do, Who is going where | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

I repeat: all concerned citizens must ask to attend ‘Quarterly Consultations’ held by refugee contractors in your communities….

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 10, 2017

….transparency, transparency, transparency should be your mantra!

The ‘quarterly consultation’ is required by law and the US State Department has confirmed that the general public is permitted to attend.

One of the most important elements of the consultation is the discussion that should be held in public about how many refugees could be placed in your town in the coming year.

As I said here the other day, since the President has flubbed his great opportunity to push reform of the entire UN/US Refugee Admissions Program in late September, citizen efforts must necessarily now return to local action.

bartlett with map

Lawrence Bartlett is still running things at the US State Department because Trump has failed to put his people in place to supervise the career bureacrats. Here Bartlett told Senator Jeff Sessions that there are community consultations open to the public. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/senate-oversight-hearing-on-refugee-program-very-revealing-senator-sessions-did-a-masterful-job/

Shortly, I will tell you the latest about how citizens in St. Cloud, MN are doing just that, but because others of you are reporting a lack of cooperation from resettlement contractors to your requests to be notified to attend QUARTERLY consultations, we will walk down memory lane.

I wrote this post on October 12, 2015 (this is just a portion of it). Disregard the portion about contacting Trey Gowdy, he is no longer the chairman of the subcommittee responsible.

(LOL! I urge serious students to open the links and read related stories, so that I don’t go nuts having to repeat things!)

It has only been in the last year or so [2015] that we have been made aware that QUARTERLY CONSULTATIONS with community “stakeholders” were being held quietly, out of public view.   In fact, I wondered why I hadn’t heard about them and now I know why!

The citizens of St. Cloud, MN, here and here, brought the issue of exclusion of taxpaying citizens from the meetings where the ‘non-profit’ refugee resettlement agency meets with local elected officials, fire/police, education, health departments etc. to assess how things are going with the refugees, and they discuss how many to bring in the upcoming year. [Open both of those links at the beginning of this paragraph, please!—ed]

According to a State Department spokesman (unnamed!) doing a press briefing for reporters on September 11th, we learn that they have only been doing these QUARTERLY CONSULTATIONS since 2013!  WTH!  [Press briefing is no longer available so its a good thing I copied this bit of it.—ed]

And, they are lying!  “Private citizens” have not been welcome.

These agencies (‘non-profit’ resettlement subcontractors) work very hard to hold these meetings secretly and out of the view of local concerned citizens—the ultimate stakeholder, the taxpayer! Yet, we have a State Department official (why no name?) telling the mainstream media that private citizens can attend!

Why is the spokesman unnamed?

We are pleased to have [name and title withheld] with us today. Moving forward, [State Department Official] will be called State Department official for the purposes of this call. Again, this call is on background.

So much for Obama’s much ballyhooed transparency!  Now here is what ‘name and title withheld’ told a special group of reporters:

In addition, starting about two years ago, I believe it was FY13, we required that all of our resettlement agencies conduct quarterly consultations with stakeholders in their communities. So that means that not just once a year when they’re preparing a proposal, but every quarter they have to reach out to a wide variety of stakeholders. And that would include other community organizations. That could include the police department, the school, the mayor’s office, the fire department, other agencies that have a stake in refugee resettlement, and private citizens can be invited as well. And they hold those quarterly conversations and that is taken into account when we are making placement plans for the entire year and throughout the year.

You know Larry Bartlett told Senator Sessions this basic untruth here in the Senate hearing the week before last as well.

It gets worse!

We need lawyers on our team!  Have they been breaking the law for 33 of 35 years?  Or, have the states, which are supposed to prepare a plan every year and hold the meetings, not done their required duty to hold the quarterly meetings with communities?

Here are the federal regulations guiding the program (From CFR 400.5(h))

Provide that the State will, unless exempted from this requirement by the Director, assure that meetings are convened, not less often than quarterly, whereby representatives of local resettlement agencies, local community service agencies, and other agencies that serve refugees meet with representatives of State and local governments to plan and coordinate the appropriate placement of refugees in advance of the refugees’ arrival.

What should you do now?

So, for all of you working in ‘Pockets of Resistance’ (and others too!).  Go here, and call the closest refugee resettlement office near you and tell them you want a schedule for the upcoming quarterly consultation!  Ask them as well for the FY2016 [now FY18—ed] R & P Abstract which will tell you their plans for your town/city this year.

Continue reading here.

If you get a runaround, find a local lawyer willing to send the resettlement agency a letter on behalf of you—taxpaying citizens (stakeholders!). And, also make all the noise you can through whatever media you have available—tell the public that the program is being run secretively between a refugee contractor and Washington.

To all of you who have gotten this far, please send this to your fellow citizen activists. I don’t want to sound too cranky, but, if year after year, we reinvent the wheel, we will get nowhere!

This post is filed in my ‘what you can do’ category.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, What you can do, Where to find information, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Scranton, PA school district struggling under weight of needy immigrant students, working poor

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 9, 2017

The next time you see one of those head-scratching claims that assert that bringing more third world poverty to a dying city will revitalize it, think about this news from Scranton.  (Pennsylvania is usually one of the top ten states ‘welcoming’ refugees.)

And, instead of leaving this admonition to the end where you might miss it, here is what you need to do.  (See my post on focusing on local and state action where one of the targets of your political action should be mayors!)

First, try to get your paper to do a study like this one about your local education department, the place where a negative impact on your community usually shows up first.  It is really unusual to see an analysis like this one.  If the paper won’t do it—you should do it!

Then of course use the information to ‘educate’ your elected officials.

Here is the Times-Tribune:

Scranton classrooms seat more students today than they have in at least 25 years. With 10,222 students enrolled as of last week, the district is also experiencing:

Low-income enrollment of 82.5 percent. The number is the highest in the region and up from 60 percent in 2010.

Mayor of Scranton

Democrat Mayor Bill Courtright: we welcome everyone (who will become Democrat voters!) to Scranton even as we go deeper into debt and might have our school system taken over by the state. (He didn’t really say that last part!)  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/global-tastes-dinner-welcomes-congolese-refugees-1.2107781

A record-high population of students requiring special education services. As of last week, nearly 23 percent of children are classified as special education students — up from 19 percent just three years ago.

A record-high enrollment of 902 students requiring English as a second language services, now called English learners, or EL. That number could climb to 1,000, or about 10 percent of the population, by the end of the year.

The growth creates unique issues, such as staffing and resources, as the district faces a deficit expected to reach $40 million by the end of the year.

“As a public school district, we are required to serve all our students, and to provide a quality education for all,” said Superintendent Alexis Kirijan, Ed.D.

[….]

District demographics mirror the city’s population. Scranton’s population has increased 1.5 percent from 2010, to 77,291, according to U.S. Census estimates released earlier this year.

The district now must educate more students as it faces growing financial problems. The state put the district on “financial watch” status in June, the first in a series of steps that could eventually lead to a takeover by a state receiver.

[….]

As enrollment increases, so do the number of students who speak a language other than English. Scranton students speak 36 different languages, and as of last week, 902 students received English support, or about 9 percent of the total population.

Some of those students escaped from war-torn countries, as their families sought a better life in the United States. Through the refugee resettlement program of Catholic Social Services, 140 refugee children were students in the Scranton School District during the 2016-17 school year. Students include former residents of Syria, Bhutan/Nepal, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many lived in refugee camps, without access to education.

[….]

Over the last six years, low-income enrollment in the district has increased by 37 percent. According to data released by the Pennsylvania Department of Education last week, 82.5 percent of students in the district live in low-income households, meaning the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

For a family of four, students qualify for reduced-price meals when the annual family income is below $45,510. The students receive free meals when the annual income is below $31,980. Last year, Scranton became part of a federal program for school districts with high poverty levels, which allows all students, regardless of family income, to eat breakfast and lunch at school for free.

As poverty increases, area social service agencies see more families seeking services.

At United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, people come in looking for assistance with rent, utilities and other necessities, said Michael Hanley, the organization’s chief executive officer. Many of the jobs available in the area do not offer a wage able to support a family, he said.  [But, they keep pouring in refugees anyway!—ed]

“More and more of the people we see are the working poor,” he said. “They just can’t make it paycheck to paycheck.”

[….]

Languages spoken in the Scranton School District

Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Chinese, Creole, Danish, Dari, English, Farsi, Filipino, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Kannada, Kinyarwanda, Lao, Mandarin Chinese, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese, Rohingya, Russian, Serbian, Slovak-Polish, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese.

This post is filed in my What you can do’ category.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, So what did they expect?, Taxpayer goodies, What you can do, Who is going where | Tagged: | 13 Comments »

Guest column: Feds shifting costs to states for refugee resettlement

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 8, 2017

Editor: From time to time we post guest commentary. This is from Joanne Bregman. As we refocus our efforts at the state and local level, because we can’t count on Washington, this is an effective argument for you to make on the state level.

This is about States’ rights!

(emphasis below is mine)

Federal Cost Shifting of the Refugee Resettlement Program

Background

In 1980 the federal government formalized the refugee resettlement program by passing the Refugee Act of 1980. There was no mandate to force states to participate in this program. Federal appropriations to provide for medical and cash assistance for newly resettled refugees, was authorized for 36 months. Refugees were and still are, first required to use state Medicaid programs if they are eligible, before federal medical assistance funds are used.

When the federal law was passed, it provided that for each refugee brought to a state by a federal contractor, states would be reimbursed 100% for three full years, the state incurred cost of providing Medicaid and cash welfare. The law also provided, that for refugees who did not meet eligibility criteria for state Medicaid and cash welfare programs, they could instead, receive a federal subsidy – Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) and Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) for 36 months.

By 1991, even though the number of refugees being resettled was not decreasing, the federal government eliminated reimbursement to states for the state cost of resettling and supporting refugees with Medicaid and cash welfare.

In addition, the federal government reduced the RCA and RMA subsidy from 36 months to 8 months for refugees who do not qualify for state funded programs. States have no other choice but to assume the greater share of the voluntary federal program’s costs.

Screenshot (936)

The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement told Congress early on in the program that the reason states were no longer being reimbursed for the state’s costs was because Congress didn’t appropriate enough money.

The 1981 Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy convened by Congress also documented that even the initial 3 years of 100% reimbursement to states, was not sufficient to “minimize the impact of refugees on community services.” The Commission was specifically referring to schools, hospitals and community support services.

In 1990, the U.S. General Accounting Office documented that the reduction in reimbursement to states for the federal refugee resettlement program, “costs for cash and medical assistance have shifted to state and local governments.” The National Governors Association has also questioned the federal cost shifting, stating that “[t]hese reductions represent a major federal policy change that shifts fiscal responsibility for meeting the basic needs of refugees from the federal government to states and localities.”

As the resettlement industry has grown, so has the cost to both federal and state governments but only the federal government controls its costs by appropriating annually “as available” while each state’s cost is driven by how much of the federal cost Congress chooses not to pay.

Be sure to see my post from earlier this past week about what you need to do on a state and local level, here.

This post is filed in my ‘What you can do’ category and in Comments worth noting.’

Posted in Changing the way we live, Comments worth noting/guest posts, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, What you can do, Where to find information | Tagged: | 13 Comments »

Swamp isn’t going to be drained, so it’s time to return to local action on refugee program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 6, 2017

I have to admit, I thought Donald Trump would come in to office and take a forceful position on the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program and tell Congress to investigate the program (and the contractors!) with an eye to trashing or reforming the whole system.

Trump shrug

Looks like Trump has thrown in the towel on refugee program, it is now up to you where you live!

With his capitulation on the annual determination, with a substantial 45,000 refugees to be admitted in the next 12 months, Republican leaders (with the Chamber of Commerce cheering) gave a sigh of relief.

It is still enough cheap labor and no one is going to force them to investigate how taxpayer dollars are spent and no one will call them heartless racists.

(Although there is still one glimmer of hope. The 45,000 is a CEILING and the Trump Admin can come in substantially lower than that and be within the law. No executive order is needed to stay well below the ceiling!)

So, where does that leave you in the pockets of resistance that have formed over the last few years?  It means back to work (or continuing to work in your communities) exposing the system, exposing the contractors, and electing people to local office who don’t want Washington dictating the future demographic makeup of your towns and cities.

(By the way, I am very aware of many of you who never quit working hard, but won’t name you here now.)

For those of you who are advanced in your work, please forgive the following list of things that need to be done locally. We have new readers asking what they can do, so this is mostly for them.

My list of suggestions below is in no particular order:

~Learn all you can about the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program. You might start with my Frequently Asked Questions, here.

~Call your state refugee coordinator and politely ask for information on who came to your state in the past and who is coming in the future.  Ask for your state’s refugee plan.

~Learn how to use Wrapsnet (I’m going to have a tutorial shortly) so you know which ethnic groups are coming to your town.

~Find the subcontractor (s) working near you Go here. Find your state and city (if you live within 100 miles of one of these offices, your town is fair game).  Note the abbreviation in the left hand corner. That stands for one of the nine major federal contractors***

Screenshot (921)

Some cities are such large refugee resettlement sites that more than one contractor is working there.  Bidding for bodies?

 

~Call your closest subcontractor office and ask for the R & P Abstract for FY18.  They will dodge and weave and may even tell you they don’t know what you are talking about.  Be persistent.  You may ultimately have to use your state’s public information laws to get the abstract out of your state coordinator.  (You will likely never get a FOIA answered by the US State Department, however.)

The Abstract, in addition to other research you do, will lead you to the employers who want the cheap migrant labor because they are usually cited in the Abstract. Expose them.

~The local refugee contractor is required to hold quarterly “stakeholder” meetings.  They work very hard to keep the general public out.  Call them and your state coordinator and ask to be included.  If you get a runaround that is one more thing to publicize.  This program can only run with your money, therefore YOU are a stakeholder.

~Become friendly with people in your local health department and other social service agencies.  You may find them willing to tell you more about the mode of operation of the contractor/subcontractor working in your community and/or problems related to the refugees themselves (eg. high TB rates).

~Become familiar with the impact the refugee program is having in your local school system which is usually the first place we see problems erupting.

~I would expose every case you find where the subcontractor/contractor had left a refugee family or families in the lurch.  Keep your focus on the government agencies and the contractors and possible malfeasance there rather than being aggressively anti-refugee. Keep in the back of your mind, that some refugees have been sold a bill of goods and wish they could go home.

~Get as much as you can into your local newspaper/TV/radio show. If they are all pro-Open Borders you will have to write your own blog or facebook page to get the information you are finding out to a broader audience.

~If you have someone in your group (yes, it would be good to form a little group) who could do youtube, or small documentary films that is another option to reach more people.

~Speak up in your churches if they are affiliated with the nine major contractors*** Tell your church leaders that it isn’t Christian charity to take millions from the US taxpayers.

~Some grassroots activists have successfully taken to the road with powerpoint presentations to be shown to local civic groups.

~Arrange for expert speakers to come to your towns to educate a wider audience.

~All of the above, and more that I’m not thinking of, is to educate your community with the goal of electing mayors and council members who are on your same wavelength.  The Left has been electing mayors for years and that is how many cities are in the pickle they are now in!

~Consider running for elected office yourself.  Even if you think you can’t win because it is another way to publicize your views.

~Educate and put pressure on your governors and your state representatives, because if you can agitate them enough there will be a trickle-up effect on US Representatives and Senators who don’t want to hear a buzzing of bees back in the district.

~As the 2018 election year gets underway, make sure you have people ready to ask tough questions of your US Congressmen/Senators as they visit your town.

~When you earlier identified those industries and global corporations pushing for cheap labor, you should be working to find out which elected officials at all levels of government are getting campaign contributions from them as well. Use that information in 2018.

~If you are a member of one of the big three immigration control groups (CIS, FAIR, and NumbersUSA) and/or the Heritage Foundation you will need to keep pressure on them. Since they are in the swamp they may not have a good understanding of how the USRAP is affecting you and thus trade-off the refugee program for something they want.

And, one final thing for right now, don’t get discouraged if you can only find a few people to work with you, just plug away with a plan a little every day and look to your key helpers for moral support and a little help!

I’m sure there is more I’m not thinking of right now… I’ll update later.

*** These are the nine federal resettlement contractors paid by the head to place refugees in your towns.  They are also ‘community organizers’ who call upon their supporters to lobby Congress etc.  They are rolling in millions of tax dollars.

I’m thinking that one thing that Trump’s slightly lower cap for FY18 will do to them is to force them to tighten their belts and, as they do, tensions within the fake non-profits could rise—watch for it!

This post is filed in my ‘What you can do’ category, click here for more.

Posted in creating a movement, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump, What you can do, Where to find information | Tagged: | 10 Comments »

 
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