Refugee Resettlement Watch

Posts Tagged ‘Anne Richard’

70 MEN held in Australian offshore detention will soon be told if they are moving to Anytown, USA

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 18, 2017

It is truly insane.  You really must unload on the White House and on your members of Congress and Senators to stop this awful “deal” with Australia.

If you are new to RRW, see my post here last week and be sure to read Nayla Rush’s (CIS) detailed accounting of the insanity, here.

From Today Online:

SYDNEY – The United States will tell dozens of refugees held in an Australian-run offshore detention center whether they will be offered resettlement in America within six weeks, two detainees told Reuters on Friday.

The deadline marks the first concrete timetable for a U.S.-Australia refugee swap arrangement that sparked tensions between the strong allies after President Donald Trump described it as “a dumb deal” for America.

So whose brilliant idea was this? According to Nayla Rush at CIS, it was Anne Richard, Obama’s Asst. Sec. of State for PRM who said this: Richard told reporters she was approached by the Australian embassy in Washington, D.C.: “When the Australians first came to us my motivation was let’s do this, let’s make this happen, we have got to get these individuals to a better place.”

U.S. officials representing Homeland Security this week returned to Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, home to one of two Australian-administered detention centers in the Pacific, to conduct medical examinations on 70 men.

Extreme vetting involved six hours of questioning (oh boy, that is rough)! Any chance they used lie detector tests?

The men last month completed “extreme vetting” interviews that lasted up to six hours, with in-depth questions on associates, family, friends and any interactions with the Islamic State militant group.

After completing the medical tests, refugees were told to expect a decision on their resettlement applications within six weeks, two of the Manus Island detainees told Reuters.

[….]

It is not clear how many of the 70 men vetted will be accepted for resettlement in the United States. The refugees include men from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar. [These from Myanmar, aka Burma, are likely Rohingya Muslims.—ed]

[….]

In exchange, Australia has pledged to take Central American refugees from a center in Costa Rica, where the United States has taken in a larger number of people in recent years. [A ‘deal’ implies that both sides get something. Again, why are any mostly economic migrants who got to Costa Rica our problem?—ed]

The swap is designed, in part, to help Australia close one of its offshore centers that is expensive to run and has been widely criticized by the United Nations and others over treatment of detainees.

[….]

Australia’s hardline immigration policy requires asylum seekers intercepted at sea trying to reach Australia to be sent for processing to camps at Manus and on the South Pacific island of Nauru. They are told they will never be settled in Australia.

So Australia has a hardline immigration policy and we bail them out???  And, to add insult to injury, you won’t be told if any of Australia’s illegal aliens (they are not refugees!) will be placed in your towns!

Illegal aliens (or legitimate refugees) who get to Australia are Australia’s problem, not ours!  Imagine a scenario where some Africans came across our southern border, asked for asylum (although there is no way of screening them) and we asked Australia to take them.  Would that ever happen? No!

And, remember this!  Australia needs us more than we need them!

Continue here.

President Trump’s first instinct to call this a “dumb deal” was right, the only thing dumber is to know that and go ahead with it anyway!

For my complete Australia archive, go here where this becomes post #204.

Photo:  Anne Richard was the Asst. Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) for Obama. She came to that job from the International Rescue Committee (I wrote about them yesterday, here). She represents the classic revolving door since she worked earlier in her career at the DOS, then went to the private contractor job, and then back to dole out refugees and your money to her contractor comrades.  Click here for my archive on Richard.

The Deep State is running PRM! (probably with the help of the Obama shadow government, including Richard, in DC).

One of Trump’s great failings is that he has put no one loyal to him in a leadership role in PRM, so they are outmaneuvering him on refugees!

Posted in Australia, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch!, What you can do, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Anne Richard leaves her perch as chief refugee promoter for Obama with not much to show!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 17, 2017

In an interview at Refugees Deeply, Anne Richard, Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, says she is “shocked” by the national conversation on refugees and laments that the once bipartisan support for refugee resettlement has almost disappeared during Obama’s term in office.

Editor:  Anne Richard is a political appointee and as such she must have tendered her resignation or will be doing it before Friday. Career bureaucrats will be running the refugee program until the Trump people pick a replacement.

bill-oreilly

In December Bill O’Reilly called for a complete one year moratorium on refugee resettlement, something that would have been unheard of prior to the Obama Administration. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/fox-news-bill-oreilly-calls-for-one-year-moratorium-on-refugee-resettlement/

Most of the interview focuses on Richard’s struggle to find something that the highly publicized September refugee forum at the UN did to advance their agenda.

We saw the event as a publicity opportunity to advance Hillary Clinton’s Presidential bid and to denigrate Donald Trump whose message about unvetted refugees being placed in unsuspecting communities was resonating with voters.  The publicity stunt fizzled especially as countries refused to make any firm commitments.

You can read about it in the first part of this report at Refugees Deeply.  In the closing paragraphs of the interview she bemoans the fact that the Refugee Program, once supported on both sides of the aisle, has become a politically charged issue and that there are now members of Congress, governors and some in the media calling for a complete halt to it.

I could tell her where they went wrong, but that isn’t my job.

Here is what she said to author Daniel Howden:

(Emphasis is mine)

The end of the Obama era coincides with the emergence of deeply polarized views in the U.S. on the country’s leading role in resettling refugees.

anne-richard-cspan

The arrogance and secretiveness of those administering the RAP is partially responsible for the divisiveness surrounding the resettlement of refugees. Keep it up! Keep calling concerned citizens the “ugly element.”

The Obama administration has faced strong domestic opposition to increasing the number of refugees it resettles each year from from 85,000 in the fiscal year of 2016 to 110,000 in 2017. Republican lawmakers, most notably in Texas, have sought to block federal resettlement programs for Syrian refugees. The son of Republican nominee Donald Trump recently compared Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles on social media.

Richard said she had been “shocked” by the U.S. national conversation this year. “We’ve had pushback on refugees. There has always been an ugly element that believes that the latest wave of newcomers are not to be trusted.”  [It is nothing Obama or she did, it is all about you haters!—ed]

She said that there had traditionally been bipartisan support for the U.S. giving refuge to the most persecuted people in the world, as “that is who we are,” but that this is now under threat: “What’s most alarming about the current discourse in American politics is that it’s a departure at the leadership level from defending that.”

More here.

I don’t want to leave readers with the idea that Obama did nothing to advance his agenda to diversify America, he did plenty.  We are now talking about refugees in the 100,000 range as normal when only a few years earlier, we were resettling about 60,000 on average.  Obama also managed to increase the number of Muslim refugees coming in from places where it is impossible to vet them.

Anne Richard was a well-paid VP for one of the federal refugee contractors, the International Rescue Committee. Prior to that she worked for the State Department. It will be interesting to see if she revolves back to a federal contractor job.

As we have said on many previous occasions, who the Trump team nominates for this post will be telling.  The job requires approval by the Senate.

***Update*** One of our readers has reported that Ms. Richard is already gone and is now an Adjunct professor at Georgetown Univ. according to LinkedIn:

Anne Richard

Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University

United States
International Affairs
Current Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University
Past Assistant Secretary, Population, Refugees & Migration at U.S. Department of State, Vice President, Government Relations & Advocacy…
Education The University of Chicago, Georgetown University
Summary Specialties: (1) Relief and Development policies of US and other major donor governments (2) Budget and management of US government…

 

 

 

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

No surprise, Time magazine publishes biased (anti-Trump) report on refugee controversy

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 9, 2017

Time reporter, Maya Rhodan, quotes Anne Richard the Obama Assistant Secretary of State, and public relations people at two resettlement contracting agencies, an academician, but no one on the side of slowing the flow of refugees to America for economic and security reasons!  And, there are plenty of us out here now! She does quote Kellyanne Conway to be sure you know that it is Trump vs. the humanitarians!

Here is the story (actually we thank Ms. Rhodan for giving us so much information we didn’t have!):

anne-richard-un-symbol

Poor Anne Richard has been constantly challenged about how she does her job.

Officials at the State Department and beyond are anxious about what the Trump presidency means for their work.

The past year had been tough for Anne Richard, the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. Ever since the body of 3-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi washed up on the shores of Turkey in 2015, her office, which processed 84,995 refugee claims last year, has been caught in political crossfire. [Notice how the propagandists have to get that poor baby in the story!—ed]

Richard says she’s been challenged constantly about how her office does its job, from members of Congress and everyday Americans….  [Glad to know this!—ed]

[….]

“I get these letters saying ‘Oh, you’re naïve, terrorists are going to use this program to infiltrate the United States,’” Richard said. “I don’t think I’m naïve. I’m looking at facts. The debate in the United States centers on this question of whether or not people should be afraid of refugees. I think not.”

The problem for Richard and her allies is that the next President of the United States, who will effectively run her office when she leaves on January 20, disagrees with that conclusion. [Anne Richard is an Obama appointee, so Trump will be choosing her replacement.—ed]

[….]

Inside and outside of the State Department, those who handle work around refugee resettlement are worried about the future of their work in the Trump administration. [And, the future of their paychecks!—ed] Many are working to share positive refugee stories with hopes of changing the hearts and minds of skeptics. While questions loom, the work continues—a little over 25,000 refugees have already been admitted to the U.S. since the beginning of the fiscal year—but on day one of the Trump administration things could change significantly.

What hardened the public against the refugee program was indeed the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris. We noticed a huge jump in readership at RRW at that time.

Rhodan continues….

brenda-crime-poster

I know you can’t see it clearly, but wanted readers to know that Brenda in Charleston, WV has created this homemade poster of US refugees who have been arrested/convicted of Islamic terrorism or other heinous crimes. She plans to use it at meetings where the refugee advocates are promoting the meme that refugees are pure as the driven snow.

After a slight shift in opinion in the wake of Kurdi’s death, the majority of the public hardened on refugees after the terror attacks in San Bernardino and Paris. In September 2015, the Pew Research Center recorded that about 51% of Americans supported the government’s decision accept more refugees in response to the European migrant crisis. Two months later, a Bloomberg poll found 53% of Americans wanted the U.S. to stop accepting refugees altogether.

[….]

Around that time, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, which houses the refugee admissions program and funds and manages the nine Resettlement Support Centers around world that prepare refugee applications, started playing defense.

When Senators Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden and President Jimmy Carter created the Refugee Admissions Program in 1980 they gave the President inordinate amounts of power to determine who comes and how many. Now, as refugee skeptic Donald Trump arrives in Washington it could come back to bite them.  (Both Bushs were soft on refugees).

In October, President Obama set a new goal of resettling 110,000 refugees in 2017—a number that president-elect Trump can decide to either reduce or ignore. The goal functions as a ceiling that the country can’t go over, and Trump can change it once he is president without an act of Congress.

At this point reporter Rhodan quotes from two representatives of refugee contracting agencies without mentioning that many jobs are at stake now at these quasi-government agencies since both of these organizations receive millions of taxpayer dollars to place refugees in your towns and cities. After discussing the International Rescue Committee, here is what she reports that Church World Service is doing.

What is so galling to me is that CWS is likely using funds you, as taxpayers, give them to organize lobbying efforts, marches on Washington and media propaganda campaigns.  They use your money to work against you!

The Time article continues…..

Church World Service is working on sharing refugees’ and volunteers’ stories through a digital campaign called #GreaterAs1. They’ve also been encourage partners across the country to reach out to local and national officials to share refugee success stories and comment on the impact of their work. The group also plans to have refugee presence at both the confirmation hearing of Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as well as a women’s march planned for after the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump. [So they are going to parade refugee pawns in to Senator Sessions’ hearing to be Attorney General? Once again, thanks to reporter Rhodan for this information.—ed]

As Richard’s appointment comes to an end, she’s still working to get the word out about refugees. After a young Somali refugee carried out a knife attack at Ohio State University, she penned a letter to the editor to USA Today. “The biggest issue that I’ve tried to get across is that refugees are not terrorists,” she said. “They are the victims of terrorists, and victims of war, victims of persecution.”

There is more, click here to read the rest of the biased Time story.

Remember, even as Ms. Richard packs up and leaves, there are career bureaucrats who will carry-on until Trump puts someone in there to rein them in!

Endnote: You might want to see yesterday’s post about Rochester, NY where we learned that the State Department is not only countering negative news, but pushing resettlement agencies to the brink with a huge number of mostly Muslim refugees they are bringing in as they come up against the clock—Inauguration day January 20th.

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

What the hell! Somali American goes HOME for visit to Somalia!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 21, 2016

“Women can lead Somalia…” Ilhan Omar

Then why don’t you!

It has got to stop! There is no reason that we are admitting thousands of Somalis to the US every month when their country is safe enough for newly elected Minnesota legislator, Ilhan Omar, to go HOME for a visit!

ilhan-omar-2

Maybe it is time for Omar to stay at HOME and help Somalia! LEGITIMATE refugees claim that they fear to go home because they they will be persecuted! What a joke!

I’ve just been telling readers in my two previous posts (here and here) that we have admitted over 100,000 Somalis to the US since Black Hawk Down (over the last two plus decades) and they are coming in now at the highest rate ever!

Why aren’t they going to Somalia to rebuild their own country?

From Africa Times:

Somalia welcomed newly elected American legislator Ilhan Omar home to Mogadishu on Tuesday, where she met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

The Somali American left as a child and lived for years in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya before moving to the United States in 1997. She is the first Somali-American woman to become a lawmaker in the U.S., where she will serve as a Minnesota state representative.

Omar lives in the city of Minneapolis, which is home to the greatest concentration of Somali immigrants in the United States. Minneapolis-St. Paul also has a large Oromo population, among significant communities coming from Ethiopia, Kenya and other nations. Omar, serving as Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women, has a long history of public service and other achievements within the community.

She praised Somalia for its embrace of women in leadership roles during her meeting, specifically noting the 30 percent benchmark for female members in the country’s new parliament.

“Women can lead Somalia,” Omar told Radio Dalsan. “Somalia is moving ahead.”

anne-richard-3

Anne Richard, Asst. Sec. of State for PRM is responsible!

I am so angry.

In my nearly ten years of writing RRW, I don’t think I have been so angry as I am at this moment.

Obama and his Department of State are committing treason in my view with this huge flood of Somali fake refugees they are ‘welcoming’ to the US just as they walk out the door!

Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Stealth Jihad | Tagged: , , | 16 Comments »

Feds tickled, just short of 85,000 refugee ceiling for FY 2016 achieved, more “clients” on the way this week

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 3, 2016

Voice of America has a wrap-up article for the FY16 UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program (saves us looking up the numbers). What tickled me was the US Conference of Catholic Bishops head lobbyist referring to refugees as their “clients.” We’ve been telling you that this is a business—big business—a several $ billion a year business.

Voice of America:

WASHINGTON —The United States narrowly missed its refugee cap for the fiscal year, closing out 12 months of political turbulence over admissions policies just five people short of the administration’s target of 85,000.

Special Event: on “Common ground for the common good” (to mark the concluding day of the World Interfaith Harmony Week (1–7 February 2012), as proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 65/5 (A/RES/65/5)) (organized by the Office of the President of the General Assembly, in cooperation with the NGO Community at the United Nations Bill Canny - Catholic RElief Services

Bill Caney (at the UN) is the head honcho for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Here he confirms for us what we knew—refugees are “clients” because this is a business, a lucrative one! The USCCB is paid by the head for each refugee it resettles, so this has been a good year financially.

State Department data as of midnight October 1, the start of the 2017 fiscal year and the reset point for the government’s financial calendar, is the closest the refugee program has come to meeting the presidentially established limit in 24 years. [You knew they would bring them in here fast and not thoroughly vetted because Obama had to speed up his seeding plan—ed]

Among the largest groups of refugees this year were more than 12,500 Syrians, following a self-declared goal by the administration last September to admit at least 10,000 people fleeing civil war and Islamic State violence there.

Refugee Arrivals to the U.S. for FY2016

Dem. Rep. Congo: 16,370
Syria: 12,587
Myanmar: 12,347
Iraq: 9,880
Somalia: 9,020
Bhutan: 5,817
Iran: 3,750
Afghanistan: 2,737
Ukraine: 2,543

Refugee and resettlement officials told VOA last week that travel for some refugees who were scheduled to arrive by the end of September was postponed because the limit had been met. A State Department spokesperson did not confirm how many refugees were affected, but said that those who were delayed would be included in the coming fiscal year, which begins October 1.  [See our post of a week ago about the “ceiling” each year—ed]

Our additional “clients” will be arriving shortly says USCCB honcho!

“We understand that some clients may be held back these days and booked immediately in October. Thus, we expect no effect on clients,” said Bill Canny, who heads migration and refugee services for one of the country’s longest-serving resettlement agencies, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

More resettlement cities have been chosen….

anne-richard-in-black

Anne Richard, Asst. Sec. of State for PRM and a former VP at a federal contractor (International Rescue Committee) is delighted to report that they have secretly chosen more towns in which to place refugees (they have 350 towns already) she says.

The article also says that the largest category for FY17 (for the first time) will be the Near East and South Asia category.  We will be taking 40,000 of those.  (Near East and South Asia includes: Afghanistan, Bhutan/Nepal, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Syria.)

Anne Richard, Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, reported to VOA on the growing number of cities that will ‘welcome’ refugees!  We knew that!***

Richard also said the number of cities where refugees are resettled in the U.S. is “likely to grow” in the coming months. Programs are already in place in roughly 350 cities in nearly every state.

The refugee industry’s lobbying arm weighed in with this:

Naomi Steinberg, director of Refugee Council USA, an advocacy group for 22 NGOs that work in refugee resettlement, said that what stood out for her after what she called “a difficult year of nasty political rhetoric” is that the U.S. continued a “proud tradition” of welcoming those fleeing persecution.

We know that as loud as those anti-refugee voices are, that they are still in the minority,” said Steinberg.

Please get your testimony off to Senator Sessions today or at the latest tomorrow!  Let Sessions know that Ms. Steinberg is blowing smoke!

***These are the new towns/cities we have learned about so far (we have heard that there are 47 new ones!). The selection process is mostly done quietly and out of public view.

Asheville, NC

Rutland, VT

Reno, NV

Ithaca, NY

Missoula, MT

Aberdeen, SD

Charleston, WV

Fayetteville, AR

Blacksburg, VA

Pittsfield, MA

Northhampton, MA

Flint, Michigan

Bloomington, IN

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Resettlement cities, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

Obama looking to ‘welcome’ 213,000 humanitarian arrivals in FY17 with $2.2 billion budget

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 15, 2016

…..and that $2.2  billion is only for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS) portion of the costs!  It does not include the US State Department funding or the cost of security screening. Nor does it cover the cost of most welfare, subsidized housing, medical care and most of the cost of educating the children.  They aren’t saying yet how many Syrians Obama will be requesting.

While I was on my 30 day ‘listening tour’ that took me to 13 mid-western and western states, the Obama Administration held a press conference call about the stepped-up Syrian Muslim refugee flow in to the US.  Thanks to Christine for sending the transcript which I decided to post below in full.

Just so you know, all of the officials on the call are Obama appointees.  Remember them! These are the people who are changing the demographics and the character of your home towns.

Anne Richard and Robert Carey both revolved in to their government perches from a refugee resettlement contracting agency (the International Rescue Committee). Shin Inouye is a former Washington, DC spokesman for the ACLU.  And, for my friends in Montgomery County, MD, León Rodríguez was once your county attorney.

These Obama appointees are all hard core open (NO!) borders advocates, and if Hillary is elected they will likely be able to stay on and continue their work of changing America by changing the people!

And, if you are wondering, Obama has one more shot in September to make a determination about how many refugees will be admitted to the US in the next fiscal year.

We know what Obama is going to do, but what will Paul Ryan do?

It will be up to Speaker Paul Ryan and the REPUBLICANS to decide if the numbers Obama is requesting will be acceptable because it is Congress that will fund (or not fund!) the President’s final request!

This (below) is from a press conference call on August 5th. Those of you doing research around the country on what is happening where you live will find this useful.

BTW, I am struck by how little the reporters know about the program and so they largely wasted their questions.

See phone numbers at the end for the public affairs office of each government agency responsible for the refugee program.  If you are reporting via alternative media about what is happening where you live, try calling those numbers!  Call and ask questions even if you already know the answers!

 

Coordinator: 

Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode until the Question and Answer session of today’s conference. At that time you may press Star 1 on your phone to ask a question.

I would like to inform all parties that today’s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections you may disconnect at this time. I would now like to turn the conference over to Shin Inouye, USCIS. Thank you, you may begin.

Shin Inouye:   

inouyeshin

Inouye

Thank you (Sheila) and thank you all for joining us today to discuss the current state of Syrian refugees security screening and admissions. As a reminder this call is on the record and without embargo. On the call we have Assistant Secretary of State, The Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration, Anne C. Richard, US Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez, and Health and Human Services Director of Refugee Resettlement, Robert “(Bob)” Carey.

We’ll have our speakers offer remarks about their agency’s respective roles in the refugee process and then open up the call to your questions. Let me first turn it over to Assistant Secretary Richard.

Anne Richard:  

Thanks, this is Anne speaking. The United States has been a global leader in the resettlement of refugees. That’s why last year the President made a renewed commitment to help in some of the most vulnerable refugees in the world, pledging to increase the number of refugees we will accept from around the world to 85,000 from 70,000 per year over the last three years. As part of this commitment we also pledged to welcome at least 10,000 refugees fleeing the terrible conflict in Syria.

Anne Richard

Richard

To that end early in the fiscal year we began working to adjust the capacity of our refugee admissions program, to bring many more refugees to the United States. To welcome more refugees from Syria we worked with the Department of Homeland Security, with our intelligence community and with other relevant agencies to upgrade our capacities to conduct security screening. DHS increased the number of the DHS offices available to interview applicants so that more security screening interviews could take place for more applicants, resulting in more refugees approved for travel.

In Jordan, for example, between February and April of this year we worked with DHS to surge additional staff to Jordan where DHS offices conducted interviews for about 12,000 UNHCR referred refugee applicants. In Beirut, Lebanon we restarted interviews of refugees in February. These had stopped for a year because of space limitations in the embassy compound. In Turkey we added staff to the resettlement support center in Istanbul that covers refugee processing in Turkey and Lebanon and DHS sent additional officers to conduct interviews.

In Iraq we began processing refugee resettlement cases in Erbil in December 2015. Thanks to these efforts and through the coordinated efforts of the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, we can now say that we have 8,000 Syrian refugees so far this year and that we are very confident that we will welcome at least 10,000 refugees from Syria by the end of this fiscal year. Monthly totals have climbed from low numbers of refugees admitted in the first half of the year to higher numbers recently.

In May, June and July the impact of our investments in and the enhancements to the process began to be realized. Our expectation from the beginning was that the rate of Syrian refugee admissions would increase over time as referrals from UNHCR — the Human Refugee Agency — UNHCR increased as we added to the capacity to process more cases referred to us and as DHS sent more DHS officers to the field to conduct the necessary rigorous and exhaustive security screening.

Briefly and in closing we want to reiterate that this is just one line of multiple lines of effort that the US government is undertaking to help the victims of terrible conflicts and crisis around the world. I want to remind you all that President Obama will convene the leader’s summit on refugees on the margins of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in September. This summit is about encouraging all countries to take action and do more now.

Wealthy governments are asked to make new and significant contributions relating to humanitarian financing and refugee resettlement or admissions – other forms of admission to their country. Countries that host refugees are asked to make new commitments related to refugee self-reliance and inclusion, with a specific focus on letting refugees work and allowing refugee children to go to school. The purpose of the summit is to recruit other countries to join with us and make a real difference in the world’s contributions towards helping refugees.

At this point I’d like to turn to my colleague, the head of USCIS, Leon Rodriguez.

Leon Rodriguez:  

Thank you Anne and thank you for your presentation. I too am gratified with the success that we’ve had in refugee admissions, particularly with respect to Syrian admissions. The process that we have applied to reach those admission levels is the same process that we have applied for many years – actually with a few enhancements that have further strengthened that process.

LeonRodriguez

Rodriguez

There are basically two critical components to the process and adjudicating, whether an individual is admitted to the United States as a refugee after that individual has been referred to us by the United Nations high commissioner and refugees and by the State Department. The first is to determine – this is what our officers do to determine whether that individual actually qualifies as a refugee – whether they meet the legal definition.

The legal definition that we use is derived from the United Nation’s convention on refugees, and that definition is used by all of the signatory countries to the convention, although in many cases each country interprets the conventions slightly differently. The second aspect and probably particularly critical for this discussion is we determined if — notwithstanding the fact that the individual meets the legal definition of refugee — if there is still some basis to deny that individual admission to the United States.

That can occur in one of two ways. In some cases we have – we exercise our discretion. For example if we have concerns about that individual’s credibility. In other cases we may have evidence that that individual falls under a specific category of inadmissibility. For example, if there is evidence that they are a known or suspected terrorist. To do that we used a number of tools. From my perspective the most critical of those tools is the refugee officer – is our highly trained, highly experienced staff that we deployed throughout the world to screen refugees.

Before they get there they have been extensively trained both in the legal tenants surrounding refugee law — the grounds inadmissibility that I discussed before — but also very critically in fraud detection and prevention, security protocols, interviewing techniques, credibility analysis.

They’ve also been briefed in country conditions and in regional conditions and again that briefing is often extensive, and the depth of that briefing grows as we spend more time in a particular refugee environment, be that the Syrian environment, the Iraqi environment, the Somalian environment, or as the case may be, the central American environment. The interviews that are conducted by those officers are frequently extensive – pro-credibility issues and pro-particular basis of inadmissibility.

In the specific cases of Syrians there are additional steps that are also taken. All of those cases or the majority of those cases, rather, are subject to something we call Syrian enhanced review, which provides us specific in-depth support both from our Refugee Affairs division and our Fraud Detection and National Security directorate to provide enhanced view of those cases before the interviews even occur overseas. This is intelligence-driven support – for example it yields specific lines of questioning that our officers are prepared to ask.

It also includes social media review of certain Syrian refugee applicants. Additionally and during the course of the interview an officer identifies areas of national security concern about a candidate, and that case moves into what we call the controlled application review and resolution process – essentially a hold process where further investigation and inquiry into that case occurs.

At the same time we have a number of law enforcement and intelligence resources that our officers utilize in order to determine whether there is any derogatory — and that’s a critical term — derogatory information about that individual. Those sources can come from State Department databases, databases of customs and border protection, the Department of Defense, but most critically from both the United States law enforcement and intelligence communities, including the FBI as well as a number of intelligence community partners as well.

One particularly important aspect there is a process that we call the intra-agency check which involves queries of a series of intelligence community holdings. That occurs not only prior to the interview of the individual but actually occurs on the recurrent basis during the entire process of that individual’s adjudication, and in many cases actually beyond the period of that individual’s admissions. So that if new derogatory information arises about that individual we are able to act on that derogatory individual – derogatory information at any time that that information may arise.

We have on an ongoing basis the implementing improvements to these processes – much of that is law enforcement sensitive or intelligence community protected. But those improvements have been occurring on an ongoing basis. I believe that this information is very critical because it really rebuts what is a widely held view that in fact we do not have resources against which to vet these individuals.

In fact literally hundreds of individuals from different countries, including hundreds of individuals from Syria, have had their admissions to the United States denied because of information that was found in these databases. Additionally, a number of other individuals have been denied admissions or have been placed on hold because we have determined – we have accessed that there are credibility concerns that have arisen during the interview process.

And that process is the same one that we conducted a year ago, two years ago and last week, and we will continue as we move through the process of screening refugees to apply those methodologies. Thank you.

Shin Inouye:     

Thank you Director Rodriguez. Next we’ll hear from Director Carey.

Robert Carey: 

bob carey

Carey

Okay thank you. (Bob) Carey here. We could go to the work of your Office of Refugee Resettlement, under the Refugee Act of 1980 Congress created within the Department of Health and Human Service and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and we are charged with providing refugees with resettlement assistance. This assistance includes employment training and placement, English language instruction, cash assistance and additional social services, all of which are designed to assist refugees in integrating into their new communities and to promote early self-sufficiency.

ORR carries out this work through an extensive public-private partnership network and funding to state governments and non-profit organizations across the US. In fiscal year 2016 ORR expects to serve upwards of 200,000 humanitarian migrants. So these humanitarian migrants include refugees, but also asylees, keeping Asian entrance on unaccompanied refugee minors, victims of torture and unaccompanied children.

Our work includes collaborations at the federal and state level with resettlement agencies, resettled refugees themselves and members of the communities that welcomed them. A central goal of the program is to ensure that states and municipalities have the best information available to help them prepare for incoming refugees. To this end each state has a state refugee coordinator, and often a state refugee health coordinator who oversees services and refugee benefits provisioned to eligible individuals in the given state.

The President’s fiscal year 2017 budget requests include $2.2 billion for ORR programs and that represents the cost of maintaining services for additional refugees and other entrance and unaccompanied children primarily from Central America. The President’s budget request would support a total of 213,000 humanitarian arrivals including 100,000 refugees in 2017. Once a refugee arrives in the US they are eligible to access the same benefits as American citizens who are here legally including temporary aide to newly families, Medicaid, SSI, and SNAP.

When refugees do not meet eligibility requirements for these programs ORR provides time-limited refugee cash assistance and refugee medical assistance. Social services and targeted assistance funds are allocated to states based on a formula tied to the prior two years of refugee arrivals, and that accounts for refugees and other entrance movements to other states after their initial resettlement on their path to legal permanent residence and citizenship.

ORR also supports additional programs to refugees and integrating which include migrant enterprise development assistance for ethnic community organizations, agricultural partnerships and services for survivors of torture. Another critical service we provide is school impact program funding which provides approximately $15 million for activities that assists children in adjusting to school after the trauma of war flight and all too often interrupted education.

As an alternative to access and cash assistance refugees may also enroll in what is known as the Matching Grant program – that’s Intensive Case Management program conducted by private non-profit organizations which assists refugees in finding employment and in economic self-sufficiency – self-sufficiency within four to six months after their arrival in the US and which is funded with a combination of private and government funds. And at the end of the program last year 82% were self-sufficient at the end of 180 days. [This is a joke, refugees can still be receiving most forms of welfare, such as food stamps and housing help and still be labeled “self-sufficient.”—-ed]

In summary, the Office of Refugee Resettlement stands committed to welcoming integrating newcomers into the fabric of our society. We believe this goal benefits not only refugees and their families, but strengthens communities and our nation as a whole and refugee resettlement is a reflection of our core value of who we are as a country, providing protection to individuals fleeing persecution on the basis of their race, religion, political opinions or membership in a social group. So thank you.

Shin Inouye:   

Thank you Director Carey and thank you to all of our speakers. Operator if we can go ahead and open it up or if you could provide the instructions for how folks can ask questions.

Coordinator:

Thank you. We will now begin the Question and Answer session. If you would like to ask a question please press Star 1 to unmute your phone and record your name clearly. If you need to withdraw your question press Star 2. Again to ask a question please press Star 1.

Our first question comes from Julia Edwards with Reuters – your line is open.

Julia Edwards:      

Hi, thank you. I was wondering if you could quantify how many refugees or how refugees were not considered after the additional screening procedures that were put in place by Congress at the end of last year? Or was there anyone who was ruled out as a result of this additional screening measures being put in place?

Leon Rodriguez: 

I think that the screening measures were never actually voted into effect that you’re discussing, so when I talk about screening measures they’re basically the ones that we apply as our part of our ordinary process – that is joined between USCIS, State Department, the law enforcement intelligence community partners. And again what I would say is based on that screening – just speaking to the Syrian case, you know, hundreds – I wouldn’t be able to put a specific number on it now but hundreds have been denied.

There are even larger numbers of individuals who go on hold because concerns have been raised or – and also individuals who are denied on a credibility basis because our officers determined that there are concerns about the accounts that they’re given when we interview them.

Coordinator:       

Our next question comes from Julie Davis with the New York Times. Your line is open.

Julie Davis:  

Hi there. Well I was hoping you could be more specific about how many of the Syrian applicants had been denied because of the information that was found on the databases or put on hold because of credibility concerns. It sounds like you don’t have those numbers now. Would that be something you could get to us after the call potentially?

Leon Rodriguez:   

Yes we can see if we can get you those numbers. Again what I will share are those numbers are large. When we’re talking still about, you know, we’re talking about 8,000 who have been cleared for admission this year we’re still talking about a substantial number who have either been denied or held because of these types of concerns.

Julie Davis:      

Okay and also I’m wondering whether you can say, based on the up-ticks that you described, just in May, June, July – I assume August, you’re expecting will be the same if not larger in terms of refuge – Syrian refugees resettled. Do you expect that to continue rising into fiscal 2017, and do you have any estimate at all of how many Syrian refugees you may be looking at welcoming as a result of this surge in the next, you know, after the fiscal year ends?

Leon Rodriguez:

Actually I’m going to share a little bit more of an answer to your first question and I think I’m going to defer to my State Department colleagues. So our approval rates are 80%, denial rate is 7%, and the balance is hold – that kind of reflects the overall universe. So, you know, I can’t give you specific numbers that reflects about our clip of approvals denials and holds.

Julie Davis:     

Got it.

Leon Rodriguez:  

And Anne I’m wondering if you want to – I don’t know if you’re in a position to talk about next year or not…

Anne Richard:   

Well just to say the current pace of arrivals will continue through the end of this fiscal year so we may exceed 10,000 and for next year we will continue to welcome large numbers of Syrians, but it’s too soon to have a target figure established.

Coordinator:     

Thank you. And our next question comes from Jared Goyette with PRI. Your line is open.

Jared Goyette:  

Hi I was just wondering if you could provide any detail to the I-130 program and if that’s had any impact in terms of the numbers of, you know, the number of Syrian refugees coming in – that’s of course the family petition? Thank you.

Anne Richard:  

No we don’t have numbers for you for this call but we can follow-up on that after the call.

Jared Goyette:

Okay thanks.

Coordinator:   

The next question comes from Nick Ballasy with PJ Media News your line is open.

Nicholas Ballasy: 

Thanks for taking the question. My first – the first part of my question is among the applications for refugee status that have been denied, you said some of them were denied – was it because of national security or terrorism issues? And then the second part of my question is as you know, if you’re applying for legal status by marrying a US citizen or in a different category, you have to prove you have the financial support and you’re not a public charge and you also have to pay thousands of dollars in fees for those applications.

Why are refugees treated differently than people seeking legal status in the United States through the legal immigration process?

Leon Rodriguez:   

Sure, this is Leon Rodriguez and I’ll invite my colleagues to chime in as well. You know, the fact is that refugees are refugees because they’re often coming out of war-torn countries or countries devastated in some other way. Frequently individuals have been living away from their countries without any means of securing a livelihood, or in many cases when we’re talking about Syrians, of having their children educated. So more typically individuals do not have the economic wherewithal. It’s also – frankly it’s a statutory decision that was made. We do not have authority to charge any kind of fee for refugees – it’s not a legal authority that we have.

Nicholas Ballasy:  

And then the issue of the denied applications, was the reason for any of those denials national security or…

Leon Rodriguez: 

Yes.

Nicholas Ballasy:

…(test) and concerns?

Leon Rodriguez: 

Yes.

Shin Inouye:      

All right (Sheila) if you could move to the next question please?

Coordinator:   

Absolutely and as a reminder if you would like to ask a question you can press Star 1 on your phone and record your name when prompted. Our next question comes from Lauren Ashburn with EWTN. Your line is open.

Lauren Ashburn:   

Thank you very much and thank you for taking my call. The percentage of those Syrian refugees who have been let into the country – what percent are Muslims? Do you have that breakdown?

Anne Richard:     

Yes, most are Muslims over 99% are Muslims. [At least she is being honest! But, the reporter wasted her question because that information is readily available elsewhere.—ed]

Lauren Ashburn:  

And then what percent are of religious (execution) are fleeing (because they) say religious persecution?

Anne Richard:   

I don’t have that breakdown for you.

Lauren Ashburn:  

Okay and then you mentioned, Secretary Carey – you mentioned that 82% are self-sufficient at the end of 180 days and I was wondering how long do the rest of them stay on benefits? How long do you extend the benefits?

Robert Carey:    

The benefits access depends on the category. There are some individuals for whom, you know, refugee cash assistance can be extended for up to eight months for certain individuals, and then others may be eligible for mainstream benefits if they fit the qualifications.

Lauren Ashburn:   

Okay, thanks.

Coordinator:  

Our next question comes from (Esa Gomez) with ABC News. Your line is open.

(Esa Gomez):    

I was wondering out of the 8,000 of the admitted refugees how many of them were children?

Anne Richard:      

I should – we should have that number for you. Seventy eight percent were women and children and the number of children we’ll have to get you but let’s see  – nearly – let’s see, 4,576 were under 18 – just a little under half female and roughly half male of the children. [Does this really give us any comfort when we know it is the Somali “children” who grew up in America that have been the most radicalized of the Muslim migrants?—ed]

(Esa Gomez):   

Is that of the children or women and children?

Anne Richard:     

So the first number I gave you the 78% were women and children. And then the second that’s 78% out of 8,000. And then the number of children is – or under 18 year olds is 4,576 and they’re roughly half and half men and – girls and boys rather.

(Esa Gomez):       

Oh okay, thank you.

Coordinator: 

And again as a reminder you can press Star 1 on your phone and record your name if you have a question. One moment please for any additional questions. We are showing no further questions at this time. (Unintelligible)…

Shin Inouye: 

(Unintelligible) (a couple). All right, well thank you (Sheila). Thank you all for joining us. As a reminder this call is on the record and without embargo. If you have any additional questions here are the phone numbers for the respective public affairs offices for the participants on the call. The State Department is at 202-647-2492. Once again The State Department is 202-647-2492. USCIS is at 202-272-1200. Once again USCIS is at 202-272-1200. And HHS is at 202-401-9215. Once again HHS is at 202-401-9215. Thank you very much.

Coordinator:     

That does conclude today’s conference. Thank you for participating. You may disconnect at this time.

This post is filed in our ‘where to find information’ category, here.

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Colonization, Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Where to find information | Tagged: , | 15 Comments »

Interview with Anne Richard (Asst. Sec. of State) is revealing!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 14, 2016

We learn that Irish immigrants at one time were as dangerous for America as Islamic terrorists and that refugee kids are cute!

Anne Richard cspan

I just want to give you two quotes from the woman who is at the top of the food chain when it comes to bringing third worlders to your towns.

Anne Richard is the Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration. She is one of several government employees involved with refugee resettlement who move in and out of government as employees first of federal contractors. (She was previously a VP at the International Rescue Committee.)

This is an interview with NPR where she knows her emotion-driven audience:

First, while responding to questions about terrorists getting in to the US as Syrian refugees, she equates the situation now with when the Irish came to America in large numbers (an aside: always remember that when the great waves of Irish came, they could not access welfare!).

Here she suggests that fear of them at the time is on the same level as our fear of ISIS today.

RICHARD: No, I think we’re trying to put together the best program possible. What I worry about the political discussion is it endangers this American tradition. And we have seen in the past that, you know, the Irish were too dangerous to bring in because they were going to be drunkards and hotheaded and backward.

And, further along in the interview, she demonstrates that she is driven by emotion (or at least trained to use that appeal)!

To me, to us, this is about being clear-eyed about the economic and social welfare of our communities.  This is about public policy decision-making.  This is about the costs to our economy. This is about whether there are unemployed Americans seeking work.

This is not about whether immigrants are nice people or their kids are cute!  

One of their favorite tricks (watch for it in your community) when you question the wisdom of inviting large numbers of impoverished people to your town, is that they want to drag out the poor refugees/immigrants as pawns to parade them before you in order to pull on your heart strings.

Here is Richard’s revealing comment to NPR:

RICHARD: Well, I meet a lot of refugees. And I find that when people meet refugees, they get it. They get the fact that these are families and that these are people who are really struggling and that they are resilient because they’ve already survived getting out of their countries. And so I think that Americans need to see more of the faces of refugees like I have. When you meet the individuals, the families, they have kids that are cute. They have grandparents who are wise. They have parents who are caring and want to help everybody.

I am sure all of those things are true, but they still don’t stack up to a clear-eyed economic analysis about whether mass migration of very needy people is good for American wise grandparents, caring parents, and cute children!

One more thought (I’m laughing when I think of it!):  Imagine the next time there is a refugee-promoting meeting in your town, and you bring out some impoverished senior citizens, some out of work vets, a few disabled Americans in need of subsidized housing and some poor/hungry American children to demonstrate your point.  Can you imagine the howls of outrage on the other side that we might play their same game!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Legal immigration and jobs, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , | 15 Comments »

Obama Admin: Europe facing existential threat from migration while flinging open America’s doors

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 15, 2016

These people have got to go!  Imagine this: Obama Secretary of State John Kerry is confirming what we all know: Europe is in very serious trouble as over a million migrants have flooded in over the last year because ‘leaders’ such as Germany’s Angela Merkel have welcomed them with open arms.

Kerry and Anne Richard

Sec. of State Kerry with his Asst. Sec. of State Anne Richard. The duo are responsible for refugee resettlement in every one of your towns.

Obama is doing the same to America!

We have thousands upon thousands of Unaccompanied Alien Children walking in to our country (or riding trains) and claiming asylum, refugee numbers have been increased (from countries that hate us!) and foreign workers are invited in by the hundreds of thousands to take Americans’ jobs, even Cubans (from a country supposedly now free!) are swarming in to the US from everywhere.

And, Kerry says the very same things (sans Cubans) pose an existential threat for Europe!  What about us?

Here is The Blaze yesterday:

Though just months ago President Barack Obama excoriated and mocked Republicans who oppose offering Syrian refugees resettlement in the U.S., Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday characterized the flood of refugees entering Europe as a “threat” of “near existential” proportions to the continent.

“The United States of America understands the near existential nature of this threat to the politics and fabric of life in Europe,” Kerry told the Munich Security Conference Saturday, according to the the State Department’s transcript of his remarks.

The top U.S. diplomat said that half of those trying to get into Europe aren’t even Syrian and that there’s “a whole industry” designed to move them over borders, echoing arguments made by those who want a more stringent vetting process before allowing migrants claiming to be Syrian refugees into the U.S.

“As we know, 50 percent of the people now knocking on the door of Europe — with a whole industry that’s been created to try to help move them and some very perverse politics in certain places that turns the dial up and down for political purposes — half of them now come from places other than Syria. Think about that — Pakistan, Bangladesh***, Afghanistan,” Kerry said. [We have admitted tens of thousands from those same countries to the US over the years—ed]

The secretary of state said that the “staggering humanitarian crisis” is posing “unprecedented challenges” and affecting “the social fabric of Europe.”

Yet, Kerry is so dense he doesn’t get-it that we see what is happening to Europe and DO NOT want it here!  

We want our social fabric left alone!

Continue reading.

*** People ask me all the time, what can I do to fight this—the invasion of America.

Not for the first time, I am going to beg someone to begin a blog or website about the Diversity Visa Lottery (Green Card Lottery).  If you think refugee resettlement is outrageous you haven’t seen anything yet!

Every year we admit 50,000 new permanent residents to the US (through a lottery!) for the sole purpose of increasing our diversity!  

I’ve highlighted Bangladesh, which is now ineligible for the program because in a previous five year period over 50,000 Bangladeshis entered the US!  Bangladesh is a safe Muslim country.  These people are not refugees!

And, for goodness sake, if anyone you know (or a political candidate or elected official) says, “I am fine with legal immigration, just not illegal immigration,” then hit them upside the head! (figuratively).

These people have got to go!

If you are in one of the early primary states where the 2016 Presidential candidates are everywhere in your state, you MUST be hitting them on refugees and on immigration generally everywhere you find them!  Tell them we don’t want to be Europe!

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Europe, Immigration fraud, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

More on Missoula County’s naive invitation to the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 28, 2016

We told you about Missoula County Commissioners’ invitation to the federal government and its contractor, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) here just the week before last.

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

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard is a former Vice President of the International Rescue Committee. The Washington contractor revolving door is on full display. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/188212.htm

My suggestion for citizens of Montana, who have concerns about the United Nations picking refugees to be seeded in the state, is to call for a public hearing on the matter.  If the county commission is bent on going down this slippery slope they should bring together all of those who will be involved in a public hearing format and require them to tell Montana citizens exactly how the program works.

The funniest part of the letter is that these naive local elected officials think they will have any say about the number to be resettled.  That decision will be made in Washington between the IRC and the US State Department—just ask mayors of Manchester, NH, Springfield, MA, and Amarillo, TX if they have any say in the numbers!

Additionally taxpayers should be demanding a plan from the IRC/US State Dept and the Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS.

Demand a plan!

In 2014, the mayor of Athens, Georgia demanded that these same agencies (IRC in Georgia) present a plan to the city of Athens before refugees would be resettled. They refused to give her a plan. Last I heard the stalemate was continuing.

And, you must now read this!  The IRC head honcho in Georgia tells the mayor to take a hike—US State Department will be making the decisions, not you!

Have a look at the letter the Missoula County Commissioners have sent to Anne Richard, click here.

Somehow their ignorance about what they are getting into is so much more striking when you actually see the letter they sent.

Go here for more on Montana, one of two states that has not received refugees in recent years.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

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

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 5, 2015

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

Anne-Richard-640x480 (1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Posted in Changing the way we live, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Testimony for 5/1/2012 State Dept. meeting, Testimony for 5/29/2014 State Dept. meeting, Where to find information | Tagged: , | 13 Comments »

 
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