Refugee Resettlement Watch

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    Ann Corcoran
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Posts Tagged ‘2012 Annual Report to Congress’

Taxpayers fund savings accounts for refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 9, 2014

How do refugees get money for cars, houses, education, businesses?

The program is known as Individual Development Accounts through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS).

Albert Mbanfu, Director of the International Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky. http://www.bgdailynews.com/new-international-center-director/image_02fb9de4-89e7-5d6d-97e8-6cf648b73901.html?mode=jqm

This is one of the many ways your local refugee resettlement contractor is able to hand out government (your) cash to refugees and surely get a little cash for themselves for administering the program.  (There are also micro-enterprise loan programs especially for refugees as well).

The local contractor gets a grant from ORR and then refugees may sign up for the savings plan.

For every dollar they save toward certain savings goals, they are matched with a dollar from the US Treasury.  Frankly the complete unfairness of the program to American low income people is often responsible for the hard feelings toward some refugees in certain areas.

We have heard disgruntled citizens ask, for example:  how are they getting cars?

We have reported on this program often but the story we mentioned from Kentucky (yesterday) contained a reference to the program that you may not have noticed, so I thought some clarification was needed.

Here is the section of the ‘Refugees get new homes’ Bowling Green article (hat tip: Robin) that I want you to see:

When Me Meh and her family escaped Burma for a refugee camp in Thailand, they lived in a bamboo house without electricity or other amenities.

The family of 10 resettled in Bowling Green in 2009, bringing with them only some clothes and important papers, Meh said. She was 17. Meh’s two older brothers and her father started work while she went to school and her mother took care of their home.

After a couple of years, the three had saved $4,000. She said the International Center gave them a grant that matched their savings, and they were able to put a downpayment on a house.

The reader is left with the impression that this very nice resettlement contractor—the International Center—was being generous, but this is taxpayer money that was only passed-through the contractor’s coffers!

Go here for a recent list of grantees for the multi-million dollar program.  And, for more information you might want to look at page 38-40 of the FY2012 Annual Report to Congress.   While you are visiting the Annual Report, check out all of the other grant programs that refugee contractors can apply for.  You will be amazed!

Addendum:  I was once told by an official involved with the refugee program in Washington that there is no financial audit done of these resettlement contractors.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, creating a movement, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

How many Iraqi refugees came to America since 9/11? How are they doing?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 13, 2014

In our earlier post this morning, we reported that the US State Department is going to begin bringing in Syrians (at the UN’s direction) on par with what we have done for Iraqis.  That reminded me that I wanted to pull together the Iraqi resettlement data.

We are on our way, as this fiscal year ends in a few weeks, to 115,000 Iraqis admitted to the US since 9/11.  Approximately 62% are Muslims (71,300).  How do we know?

Recently a reader sent me some numbers for Iraqi refugees from a data base kept by the US State Department that only select people have access to.  It was the data base of religions refugees bring to America.  Our reader said that of 111,854 Iraqis admitted since 2003, 42,137 are Christians. (38%).   I don’t have access to the religion data, but I did want to check the total numbers for myself.

I don’t come up with 111,854 (I get 111,731, but it’s close and we could easily reach 115,000 by the end of the fiscal year).  This information below comes from data tables at the end of Annual Reports to Congress, here.

Iraqi refugees who were ultimately convicted on terrorism charges were arrested in KY and caused a dip in the numbers for 2011.

From 1983-2002:  we resettled 41,549 Iraqis

From fiscal year 2003 to August 31, 2014:

2003:  294

2004:  65

2005:  186

2006:  189

2007:  1,605

2008:  13,775 (this was a George Bush year)

2009:  18,709

2010:  18,016

2011:  9,388  (Assume this dip is because of the Iraqi terrorists arrested in KY which resulted in a federal freak-out and a re-do on the security screening of Iraqis).

2012:  12,233

2013:  19,500

2014 (11 months of the fiscal year): 17,771

Bottom line is that we are approaching 115,000 Iraqis admitted to the US in the last 12 years (the State Dept. and contractors will make a big push this month to hit their targets and so I am guessing they will reach 115,000).

How are they doing? 

See the special section on Iraqi refugees in the 2012 ORR Annual Report to Congress (the most recent data available) beginning on page 110.

Not so hot!

~The overall US unemployment rate that year was 7.6%, the Iraqi unemployment rate was 22.6% (but up from 40% or so in some previous years).

~Of those not looking for work, 33.6% had poor health or disabilities.

~The average hourly wage for Iraqis who were working was $9.79 per hour.

~ORR says that the goal is self-sufficiency in 3 months, but only 21% got their first job in 6 months and welfare continued.

~60% were on Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance.

~82% were receiving food stamps.

~58% were receiving some sort of cash assistance.

~36% were getting SSI (Supplemental Security Income).

The report tries to put a happy face on it, but the numbers are abysmal!

Sure looks like we are importing poverty and you can expect the Syrians to be in the same situation when they begin arriving at rates comparable to the Iraqis—from 10,000-20,000 a year!

For ambitious readers, our Iraqi refugee category has 628 previous posts in it.

Update:  About the photo.  The photo we placed in this post this morning disappeared. This is not the first time, that has happened with the official photo of this pair.  Let’s see what happens with this one.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Christian refugees, Iraqi refugees, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

ORR Annual Report to Congress for 2012 is available

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 29, 2014

Washington revolving door! Eskinder Negash (left) Director of ORR pictured with Lavinia Limon (second from right), Clinton Director of ORR and Negash’s former boss at the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a private federal resettlement contractor. Photo: http://www.kontrolmag.com/wyclef-plays-wtongue-to-raise-awareness-about-refugees-immigrants/dsc8260-xl-2/

I don’t know when they published it, but it now appears that the Office of Refugee Resettlement is trying to catch up on those legally required annual reports.

At one point, ORR was behind for three years making the reports virtually useless for anyone examining the program (if only Congress would examine this program!).

By law, the reports to Congress are to be filed by the end of January of the following fiscal year.  So, that would mean that the report for FY 2013 should have already been made available by having been filed in January or February of this year.  (See our post about the fact that the reports were always on time until the Clinton years when Lavinia Limon was in charge of ORR, here).

Last night when I wanted to check out how many Somalis we have admitted in recent years, I came across the Annual Report for 2012 submitted by ORR Director, Eskinder Negash.   We had mentioned the availability of FY2011, here in March.

I don’t know the exact publication dates of any of the reports after the Limon years because they are not dated as far as I can tell.  By not publishing a date, no one knows exactly when it went to Congress.

These reports are a treasure-trove of information, and by the way, for all of you doing research on the ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children’ problem, there is a lot in there.   In fiscal year 2012, the ORR was already panicking over the huge jump in illegal alien children coming under their care.

Click here for the report!

One of the first things I check is welfare usage by refugees (page 106) and get this —it is definitely up.  Food stamp usage has gone from 49% of refugees using food stamps in 2007 to 73% for 2012.  The refugee group using food stamps at the highest rate (89%) were Middle Easterners.

So, check it out!  There are hours of reading fun for you this Labor Day weekend!

Posted in Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on ORR Annual Report to Congress for 2012 is available

 
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