Refugee Resettlement Watch

Posts Tagged ‘Church World Service’

Buffalo, NY refugee contractors jumping for joy as refugee arrivals pick up

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 12, 2017

…and they seem especially pleased to announce that they are getting them from those terror-producing countries—a flow that the Trump Administration was trying to curtail.

From Buffalo News:

WASHINGTON – President Trump’s promise to cut in half the number of refugees coming to America – and therefore Buffalo – has turned into a dream unfulfilled.

Buffalo offers proof of it. State Department figures show the city welcomed 376 new refugees between Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration and last Wednesday. That’s a 32 percent reduction from the 554 who arrived a year before, but nothing close to a 50 percent reduction.

Yippee! More refugees coming to Buffalo from Africa and the Middle East. Ms. Scott works for a subcontractor of Church World Service. http://www.jersbuffalo.org/index.php/news/entries/journeys_end_refugee_services_announces_new_executive_director

What’s more, 149 of those new arrivals come from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan or Syria – nations subject to Trump’s travel ban before the federal courts ruled it was unconstitutional.

And now, the city’s refugee resettlement agencies are gearing up for a growing wave of refugees under a new State Department announcement that further undercuts Trump’s promise.

“We had a very busy May, and we will have a very busy June,” said Karen Andolina Scott, executive director of Journey’s End Refugee Services, one of Buffalo’s four refugee resettlement agencies.***

Church World Service, the national refugee agency affiliated with Journey’s End, “was able to send us more people than we thought,” Scott added.

[….]

Now Buffalo stands poised to welcome a growing number of refugees in the next few months. That’s because the State Department last month quietly abandoned the weekly refugee admission quotas that had been in place earlier in the year.

[I’m highlighting this (above) because I have readers who still don’t believe this happened.—ed]

Congress fully-funded refugee resettlement for the remainder of FY17 and Trump signed it!

Budgetary constraints previously limited the number of refugees coming to America in the current fiscal year. But a State Department spokesman said the temporary budget bill that Trump signed on May 5, which funds the government through Sept. 30, includes full funding for the nation’s refugee resettlement program.

That returns the annual cap for refugees coming to America the same as the one Obama set: 110,000 for the year ending Sept. 30.  [This part is still up in the air, however, a reminder that this number—110,000—is a ceiling not a target!—ed]

Refugee resettlement advocates doubt the nation will receive that number. They said it appears the Department of Homeland Security, which vets prospective refugees, slowed down that process in several countries in wake of Trump’s earlier actions, which in turn could slow refugee arrivals in the United States.

Still, local resettlement agencies expect the pace of new refugee arrivals to grow in the coming months.

Yippee! Their paying “clients” are arriving!

More here.

I have a fairly large archive on Buffalo (here) and its problems (similar to Utica).

*** Go here for the list (not sure if it is complete) of resettlement contractors working near you.

Update:  Refugee admissions picking up in Twin Falls, Idaho too!  See here.

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Resettlement cities, The Opposition, Trump, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Pipeline disruption? LA Times adds a bit more information to the Trump refugee admission reversal

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 28, 2017

Go here to see what the LA Times is reporting about the stunning reversal on Thursday by the Trump State Department on refugee admissions where we learned that by September 30th we could see 70,000 refugees admitted to the US, in a year Trump initially said we would see a MORATORIUM. 70,000 is a number higher than five of Obama’s eight years!

Worried about not enough paying ‘clients’ in the pipeline to America! See how much of your money they get here: https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/refugee-contractor-church-world-service-could-not-exist-without-your-tax-dollars/

Be sure to take note that it is Congress that is shoving money (your money) for refugees down the throats of the Administration.  I contend that the Administration has the power (but no will!) to reject it and tell Congress to rescind it (but that is a story for another day).

This is the bit of the LA Times story I wanted you to see. The refugee resettlement contractors are complaining that the “pipeline” abroad has been so severely interrupted that they might not get even 50,000 in FY18. Only urgent cases are being interviewed! Isn’t that what should be done?  Why are US taxpayers responsible for non-urgent cases?

“I worry the damage has been done internationally,” said Erol Kekic, executive director of the immigration and refugee program at Church World Service. “Agencies that do refugee processing have been so severely cut [including] staff laid off that even if the money is made available, it will take time.”

[….]

Experts are also concerned about the near-complete halt in interviews and screenings by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, which is required for refugees to complete the application process.

“Only people with urgent cases are being screened and interviewed,” Kekic said. “Unless we continue to add people to the pipeline, we aren’t certain if we will be able to even meet the level of 50,000 refugees entering the U.S. for fiscal year 2018.”

There is more here.

This entire system of refugee resettlement set up by the Refugee Act of 1980 should be scrapped.  Contractors like Kekic’s Church World Service are worried because they are paid by the head and must build their entire budgets (since it is largely funded by you) around the number of refugee clients in a “pipeline” to America.

There is never any incentive to moderate the flow when nine contractors are ‘bidding for bodies!’

My disappointment at the news, that Trump’s State Department has apparently caved to pressure and is opening the spigot wide for the remainder of the fiscal year, is primarily because this move signals that the Administration has no plans to lead a reform of the program in Congress.

Congress is never going to review, in any serious way, the program and change it significantly without leadership from the White House.

What can the White House do? The White House could have continued on its earlier course. A MORATORIUM placed on the program would be a strong incentive for Congress to finally, after 35 years, review the original law and scrap or re-write it.

And, remember this in the first EO, see here?

It is Section 5 (g):

(g) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

There is no longer any mention of impact on communities, states rights, cost to taxpayers, public health concerns, crime, security concerns, transparency, nothing!—nothing that motivated voters to work their butts off for Trump.

Sadly, we have been dragged into a debate framed solely on numbers.  Will it be 50,000, 60,000, 75,000, 100,000, more?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

‘Religious Left’ on the rise in response to President Trump’s people and policies

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 28, 2017

Are they organizing in your name?

This is a Reuters story highlighting the phrase ‘Religious Left’ something we have been talking about on these pages for years.  Entitled of course to their political views, what has grated on me for so long is the FACT that many of the organizations working on the ‘Religious Left’ receive large pots of federal grant money that is not sufficiently accounted for.

The ‘Religious Right’ has not tapped in to the US Treasury as the Left has done!

Also, I believe churchgoers (Catholics and Protestants) should know what is being done in their names.

Here are some snips from the story featured at Drudge yesterday:

(Reuters) – Since President Donald Trump’s election, monthly lectures on social justice at the 600-seat Gothic chapel of New York’s Union Theological Seminary have been filled to capacity with crowds three times what they usually draw.

Rev. Serene Jones, a leader of the Religious Left

In January, the 181-year-old Upper Manhattan graduate school, whose architecture evokes London’s Westminster Abbey, turned away about 1,000 people from a lecture on mass incarceration. In the nine years that Reverend Serene Jones has served as its president, she has never seen such crowds.

“The election of Trump has been a clarion call to progressives in the Protestant and Catholic churches in America to move out of a place of primarily professing progressive policies to really taking action,” she said.

Although not as powerful as the religious right, which has been credited with helping elect Republican presidents and boasts well-known leaders such as Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson, the “religious left” is now slowly coming together as a force in U.S. politics.

This disparate group, traditionally seen as lacking clout, has been propelled into political activism by Trump’s policies on immigration, healthcare and social welfare, according to clergy members, activists and academics. A key test will be how well it will be able to translate its mobilization into votes in the 2018 midterm congressional elections. [They better darn well not use taxpayer dollars for their vote mobilization!—ed]

[….]

Some in the religious left are inspired by Pope Francis, the Roman Catholic leader who has been an outspoken critic of anti-immigrant policies and a champion of helping the needy. [These reports NEVER mention that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities receive millions of tax payer dollars every year!—ed]

Although support for the religious left is difficult to measure, leaders point to several examples, such as a surge of congregations offering to provide sanctuary to immigrants seeking asylum…

[….]

The number of churches volunteering to offer sanctuary to asylum seekers doubled to 800 in 45 of the 50 U.S. states after the election, said the Elkhart, Indiana-based Church World Service, a coalition of Christian denominations which helps refugees settle in the United States – and the number of new churches offering help has grown so quickly that the group has lost count.

You need to know that “asylum seekers” are illegal aliens until their cases are settled by an immigration judge. The Left uses the phrase to put a veneer of respectability on illegal aliens who may or may not have a shot at being granted asylum and thus being deemed a legitimate refugee.

Church World Service!

As we said here earlier in the month, CWS, got nearly a HALF A BILLION tax dollars during the Obama years. Why doesn’t Reuters ever mention this!

There  should be a law! Any non-profit sucking this kind of money out of the US Treasury should be prohibited from running anti-Trump (or anti-any President) campaigns!

 

 

Donald Trump needs to nip this in the bud through the budget process. Will he?

Are you being used by the Religious Left?  Are they working in your name?

I recommend that you check with your ministers and pastors!

See the churches that are affiliated with Church World Service and its progressive policies:

Member Communions

    African Methodist Episcopal Church

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump, Where to find information | Tagged: , | 9 Comments »

Refugee resettlement contractors “whipsawed” says New York Times

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 18, 2017

Of course, the New York Times could be expected to help the US Refugee Resettlement contractors wail about their loss of paying ‘clients’ (aka refugees).

As I have said (more than seven times), the contractors*** have only themselves to blame if they can’t maintain staff and offices during a pause in refugees entering the US.  They have gotten fat (with big salaries!) on the US Treasury teat and long ago stopped doing any serious private charitable fundraising.

Here is the NYT:

Last month, in anticipation of the Trump administration shutting down the flow of refugees entering the United States, Church World Service, one of the groups that handles resettlement, took drastic measures. It laid off all but 40 of the 600 employees at its African center that prepared refugees for travel.

My first question is WTH! did CWS need 600 employees in Africa for? And, since many were probably low-paid jobs for Africans, did the Reverend McCullough take a pay cut to keep some of those poor people employed?

Doing well by doing good! The President and CEO of CWS pulls down a cool $316,714 in annual compensation. Will he and other top execs take a pay cut to maintain some of their staff? BTW, I wouldn’t care what they paid their CEOs if they weren’t largely funded by taxpayer dollars. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/church-world-service-announced-yesterday-that-it-is-launching-anti-trump-campaign-to-raise/

Then on Wednesday night, a federal judge in Hawaii temporarily stayed the executive order that would have, among other things, halted refugee resettlement for 120 days and cut the total number of refugees admitted in the 2017 fiscal year by more than half, to 50,000.

First, Church World Service and the other organizations that resettle refugees cheered the news. Then they wondered, what now?

“We just simply do not know,” said Erol Kekic, the executive director of the immigration and refugee program for the agency. “There’s no guarantee that this, well, hold, will hold between now and Sept. 30,” he added, referring to the end of the fiscal year. [See our previous post which indicates that they better get used to a lower paying client flow—ed]

But one thing was clear, he said: “You can’t just play games with people. You can’t just lay off 500 people and then hire them back and lay them off again. We’re going to need some answers from the federal government.”

The judge’s decision was just the latest dramatic twist in six weeks of whipsaw changes faced by refugees and the agencies that work with them.

[….]

More than 60,000 refugees were already in various stages of approval before Mr. Trump’s first order went into effect on Jan. 27. The State Department, realizing that the new cap meant that there was only room for about another 17,000 refugees, slowed down the machinery to space out arrivals to 400 per week.

But the slowdown meant the agencies faced budget cuts. The State Department pays each refugee agency $950 per person to cover administrative costs, with another $1,125 going directly to the refugee or to cover expenses like rent.  [But they are paid, much much more! See below—ed]

Readers who are researching the refugee program where you live might see slightly different numbers involving the split of the $2,075 per head payment. Some of the contractors keep a larger chunk of the State Department’s per head payment which represents a perverse incentive to never stop the flow no matter how over-loaded a community becomes.

Also, I repeat!  This is not the only funding the contractors get from you.

They get myriad grants totaling in the millions of dollars for such things as building community gardens for refugees, training refugees to do ‘culturally appropriate’ daycare, handing out micro-enterprise loans to refugees, and teaching them English (something I have maintained could be done at local community colleges). And, in the case of CWS, running programs in Africa.

Continue reading here for more of the wailing at the NYT!

Can’t these lazy biased reporters ever take a few minutes and get all the facts! 

Look at how much CWS is getting from you! This is one page at USA Spending.  In the last 8 years they are approaching a half a billion $$$ from the US Treasury!

 

 

If anyone sees a report about the top execs at the nine contractors taking a voluntary pay cut, let me know and we will give them credit!

*** The nine contractors that monopolize refugee resettlement in America:

 

Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump, Where to find information | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Church World Service announced yesterday that it is launching anti-Trump campaign (to raise $$$)

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 4, 2017

Is your denomination one of 37 that will be holding demonstrations and lobbying Congress?

It is called the #GreaterAs1 campaign.  (Just my personal opinion, but I sure wouldn’t run my whole campaign around a hashtag, see what happened at #ThisIsARefugee!)

greater-as-one-t-shirt

Get your T-shirt and help pay some big salaries at Church World Service as Donald Trump turns off their flow of your money (your tax dollars!). https://greateras1.org/ACT/

Here is the news at WFYI (Indianapolis):

Religious groups around the country Friday announced a coordinated effort to fight immigration policies being pushed by the Trump administration. The campaign includes 37 Christian denominations representing 30 million Americans.

President Donald Trump’s hardline stance on immigration was made manifest in January through an executive order blocking citizens from seven countries – said to protect Americans from foreign-born terrorists. A federal judge blocked the order, but a revised version is expected soon.

The order has been divisive among faith groups. But on Friday a number of Orthodox and mainline Protestant churches announced a grassroots effort to fight any version of the ban.

[….]

The campaign also hopes to raise $1 million over the next six months to help refugees. [They have salaries to pay!—ed]

It was announced through the National Council of Churches and Church World Service, a group that helps settle refugees. [Paid by the head by American taxpayers to resettle refugees!—ed]

You can go here and see what the campaign will do.

mccullough-arrest

CWS CEO Rev. John McCullough being arrested in Washington, DC protesting in SUPPORT of Obama’s executive AMNESTY. Photo and story here: http://njfon.org/2015/04/08/faith-groups-challenge-fifth-circuit-court-on-presidents-immigration-actions/

And, I had a hard time finding a link to the 37 denominations they are bragging about, but it must be their usual list of congregations that are affiliated with Church World Service, see here (there are 37 listed).

Is one of these your church? If so, and you disagree with the anti-Trump campaign, speak up!

 

So those churches above will be fundraising, demonstrating and lobbying Congress against President Trump’s immigration policy.

Now, let’s look at Church World Service’s financials….

According to Charity Review, Church World Service has 241 paid staff.  Head honcho, the Rev John McCullough, CWS’s CEO, makes a shamefully high annual salary of $316,714!

 

screenshot-393

 

Here is a breakdown of their income. Besides the $50 million from the US Treasury in one year, that service fee is likely your money too!

screenshot-394

 

 

And holy moly!

Just for the heck of it, I checked USA Spending.gov to see how much of your money this supposed ‘religious’ charity got from you since 2008.

I am shocked! In the bidding-for-bodies racket, they have got the Lutherans beat!

They are approaching a half a billion dollars in federal money between 2008 and 2016!

 

screenshot-396

Here are just 5 transactions of 351! And, aren’t you wondering why the Dept. of Homeland Security is giving them payola!

 

There  should be a law! Any non-profit sucking this kind of money out of the US Treasury should be prohibited from running anti-Trump (or anti-any President) campaigns!

Where is Congress?

Go here to see if politically Leftwing Church World Service operates a refugee office in your city.  And, click here, for all of our previous posts on CWS.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 25 Comments »

Dept. of State coordinating with its refugee contractors to try to keep refugees coming for two more weeks

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 5, 2017

That is the time frame they estimate they have before the latest legal wrangles are resolved.

So look for another big rush of refugees in the coming days.

mark-hetfield-hias-logo

US Together in Ohio is one of Hetfield’s subcontractors.

And, if they don’t materialize, contractors will have to start reducing their federally-funded staffs.

From CNN:

Washington (CNN) For the second weekend in a row, nonprofits tasked with welcoming refugees to the United States are reacting to a sudden, major shift in the policies that govern their work.

A week ago, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending resettlement for 120 days and initiating a review of the vetting procedures used to approve applicants to come to the United States.

Then Friday, a more welcome surprise for refugee groups: A federal judge in Washington reversed several key provisions of the executive order, paving the way some refugees to enter the country.

US Together is the Ohio subcontractor for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

I feel like our whole world has been turned upside-down,” Danielle Drake, community relations manager at the Cleveland*** nonprofit US Together, told CNN Saturday.

“The executive order came in so quickly, no one was prepared for it,” she said. “We had zero notice.”

Why can’t leftwing media like CNN be completely honest about this funding and explain how contractors are paid by the head out of the federal treasury to do their ‘work.’  As subcontractors of the big nine contractors, groups like US Together are almost exclusively funded by taxpayer dollars!

I am sure that the average American reading this has no understanding that they are talking about mom and pop taxpayer paying for all of this.

screenshot-256

Henshaw is a career federal employee obviously running the show and giving guidance to the DOS refugee contractors. Trump must appoint his replacement.

Funding for resettlement groups is also in question as the administration and the courts each consider the future of the US refugee program.

If the administration is given the go-ahead to move forward with its four-month suspension, Drake estimates US Together will have to lay off at least half its staff.

“One of the other very difficult aspects of the executive order was the financial implications faced by the local resettlement offices,” Sarah Krause, a senior director for the national resettlement agency Church World Service, told CNN. [See my funding analysis of CWS, here.—ed]

Busy, busy bureaucrats!

The State Department has been coordinating with CWS and other agencies to provide guidance on what Friday’s court ruling means for them in practical terms.

As of Saturday afternoon, CWS had been advised that flights were expected to resume early next week and continue for at least the next two weeks.

The cap of 50,000 refugees for this fiscal year remains in effect. See here where we explained why this was still too high! Bush had 4 years under 50,000, so this does not represent any big slowdown! Even 50,000 is going to cost taxpayers several billion dollars!

But for refugees still awaiting approval to go to the United States, the uncertainty created by the executive order and subsequent legal challenges has left them in limbo.

That’s due, in part, to a provision of the Trump administration’s order that was not overturned in Friday’s court ruling — a provision capping total refugee admissions at 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year, which ends October 1.

More than 30,000 refugees had already been admitted to the US before the new policy went into effect, according to State Department data, leaving just under 20,000 spots open.

Continue reading here.

Church World Service and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society are organizing demonstrations against Trump. There should be a federal law prohibiting federal contractors from such overtly political activities.

*** Interested readers might want to visit my 2013 post about when ‘Welcoming America’ came to Cleveland to push for changing the city by seeding it with more third worlders.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump Watch!, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Poughkeepsie: Church World Service has signed lease, refugees coming

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 18, 2017

The opposition that had begun to grow seems to have waned according to Poughkeepsie mayor Rob Rolison and Church World Service is expecting refugees shortly apparently confident that Donald Trump will not stop the flow anytime soon.

Although, opening the office and then having to close it, if Trump does pause the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program, will serve them well as a public relations hammer to use on the Trump administration meanies. So, it isn’t a crazy gamble on their part.

poughkeepsie-map

Refugees to be placed within 50 mile radius of Poughkeepsie.

Remember, refugee resettlement is a business dependent on your tax dollars and the federal contractors are skilled political fighters and will use those abilities to keep their federal money flowing. (See CWS could not exist without your money!)

Here is the latest from Poughkeepsie.  (See our previous posts here)

A refugee resettlement program in the Hudson Valley is on schedule to welcome its first families this month. Church World Service has found office space in Poughkeepsie and volunteers in the region are ready to lend a hand.

Church World Service has signed a lease for office space in the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie and the welcome mat is out, with staff and volunteers at the ready. Church World Service is one of nine resettlement agencies that contracts with the federal government to resettle refugees across the country. Church World Service, as announced in November, expects 80 individuals to relocate within a 50-mile radius of Poughkeepsie through September.

rev-chris-antal

Rev. Chris Antal

Reverend Chris Antal is president of the Greater Newburgh Interfaith Council, which represents about a dozen faith communities in Orange County. The Council is a partner of the Mid-Hudson Refugee Solidarity Alliance and has established a welcome team. And Antal says the Council recently received an anonymous donation. [Someone gave them $10,000 for the effort to bring mostly Muslim third worlders to Poughkeepsie.—ed]

[….]

At a Church World Service meeting in Poughkeepsie in November, senior director for the organization’s Immigration and Refugee Program Sarah Krause said a priority is being placed on Congolese and Syrian refugees as well as Iraqis with special immigrant visas for the Poughkeepsie region.

[….]

Meanwhile, Democratic Assemblyman Frank Skartados says he hopes to work with the community to help refugees.

As is usual, the plan to resettle refugees was sprung on the community. Secrecy is its watchword (unless of course you are an insider in the interfaith community network!).

His district includes both the cities of Poughkeepsie and Newburgh. Some area residents at the November meeting expressed concern about the resettlement effort. And some say resources should be spent on Hudson Valley residents. Others are concerned the initial number of refugees could skyrocket, plus took issue with being informed of the program late in the process without many answers to their questions.

[….]

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison says any talk of formal opposition seems to have waned.

More details here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 2 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 »

BT! Church World Service working hard to get Syrian Muslims placed in Lancaster, PA

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 2, 2017

BT=Before Trump

This is the first of two posts (second one is here) on Lancaster, PA this morning.  I’ve been interested in Lancaster ever since that city’s refugee program was linked to Church World Service’s (CWS) placement of refugees in my county seat.  Those were mostly Meshketian (Russian Turkish Muslims) back in 2007.

Five years later, I traveled to Lancaster to a meeting of the refugee industry there—the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement was meeting with refugee contractors and advocates in 2013. A federal ORR employee shocked me by referring to any of the communities questioning the program as “pockets of resistance.”  He was happy to tell the gathering that Pennsylvania was ‘welcoming’ and didn’t have any PORs.

cws-mccullough-arrest

Church World Service does not just resettle refugees, but they advocate for illegal aliens as well. CWS CEO Rev. John McCullough being arrested in Washington, DC protesting in support of Obama’s executive amnesty. Photo and story here: http://njfon.org/2015/04/08/faith-groups-challenge-fifth-circuit-court-on-presidents-immigration-actions/ McCullough pulls down an annual salary of over $300,000 a year from his CWS work and from “related organizations.” Page 13- 14 http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2015/134/080/2015-134080201-0c44e710-9.pdf

If you would like to get some background on Lancaster before reading this below, click here for our Lancaster archive.

This is the news that appeared in the New York Times and reposted here in Vermont newspaper. Church World Service (with the NYT) is trying so hard to make everything look so perfect in Lancaster.  But, it isn’t and you will see what I mean in my next post.

Their [Syrian family—ed] imminent arrival explains all the commotion inside this slate-colored house in the small city of Lancaster, in south-central Pennsylvania. The state may have gone to Donald Trump, who likened the Syrian resettlement program to a “a great Trojan horse” for terrorists. But he isn’t president yet.

[….]

He [Josh, CWS’s 26 year old housing guy—ed] scours a government checklist of housing requirements for a resettlement [Contractors sign contracts to provide essential items for the refugees’ new home—ed], mindful that whatever he spends is deducted from a refugee’s one-time government grant of no more than $1,125. A family’s combined grants must cover its rent and other expenses until the nonprofit has helped the adults acquire Social Security numbers and jobs.

I want you to know (and the NYT doesn’t) that it is $1,125 per family member, so the Syrian family of 6 being discussed here will get $6,750 (plus welfare) and that CWS will get another approximately $6,750 as their share (of your tax dollars) to resettle this family (for their salaries and overhead).

Such encounters [Josh meets a refugee at Walmart***] happen often in Lancaster, whose rich history of acceptance is rooted, in part, in the influence of the Mennonites, Amish and other faiths. A glimpse of the local worldview came in January when a supportive rally of more than 200 people drowned out a much smaller anti-immigrant protest outside the Church World Service office in Lancaster. [See our report on the resistors rally, here.]

Sheila Mastropietro, the group’s longtime supervisor in Lancaster, took heart in the moment. It reflected a communal understanding of both the global refugee crisis and the rigorous screening process that refugees undergo before coming to the United States. [The communal understanding is wearing thin as you will see in my next post.—ed]

The big question for the resettlement contractors is: What will Trump do and when will he do it?

Still, given a president-elect who seems averse to the country’s modest commitment to refugee relocation, Mastropietro says, “We don’t know what to expect.”

[….]

Last fiscal year, the Lancaster office of the Church World Service helped to resettle 407 of the 85,000 refugees admitted to this country; this fiscal year, its target is 550 of a hoped-for 110,000.

“We are acting as if the numbers are going to be the same — until we hear something different,” she says.

Lancaster a happy “medley of cultures” (then why did Lancaster County go 57% for Trump):

Decades of resettlement work have transformed the Lancaster area into a medley of cultures so rich that Amer Alfayadh, 34, a senior case manager, struggles to name them all: “Syrians, Iraqis, Somalis, Congolese, Ukrainians, Belorussians, people from Kazakhstan. Then, of course, Lebanese, Palestinians. Bhutanese, Nepalese, Burmese, Sri Lankans …”

***I would love to know what the deal is with Walmart.  Wherever I traveled on my middle America tour this past summer, I heard that Walmart was a gathering place for Muslim refugees.  Is Walmart giving them gift cards or other goodies?  Does anyone know?

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Refugee agencies nervous about what’s ahead for program under Trump Administration

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 15, 2016

Editor: Apologies for not posting all of the comments you sent yesterday, most didn’t appear until I got up this morning.  What is up with wordpress?

I’ve been keeping an eye out for stories about how refugee resettlement contractors and the Obama agencies responsible for resettlement are reacting to the coming Trump Administration.  They are no doubt fearful that Trump will act on his campaign promises—-some are more optimistic than others that it was all talk on the campaign trail.

(For the record we expect Trump to stop the program (at a minimum) from terror producing regions*** of the world within days of his inauguration on January 20th.  And, we expect all Obama political appointees responsible for the refugee program to be gone before that date!)

Here is news from VICE magazine (featuring Texas) about some of the reaction (emphasis is mine):

Resettlement agencies in Texas—and other states with governors who have fought to block refugees—are working harder than ever to soothe their clients in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, who pledged during his campaign to severely restrict refugees from settling in the US. Now, as resettlement agencies try to keep a calm face, they also brace for a possible halt on the country’s refugee program, which advocates warn could cause a humanitarian disaster.

erol-kekik-2

Kekic points out that as legal immigrants refugees are free to move anywhere they wish in America. For more on Kekic, see what I said about him last month: https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/poughkeepsie-church-world-service-official-spins-about-refugee-islamic-terrorists/

The president-elect has kept quiet about his resettlement plans since his election, and his press office did not return requests for comment. But during his campaign, Trump vowed to suspend the acceptance of all Syrians and to stop sending refugees to any community that opposed them.  [More on this below—ed]

“A Trump administration will not admit any refugees without the support of the local community where they are being placed,” Trump said just three days before the election in a Minnesota campaign speech. He added that the state had “suffered enough” since Somali refugees began arriving. Later, after a Somali refugee attacked students at Ohio State, Trump tweeted that the 18-year-old “should not have been in our country.”

If a Trump administration does decide to block refugee resettlement in certain communities, the move would be unprecedented. Currently, the Office of Refugee Resettlement places refugees throughout the country with the help of national NGOs under the federal refugee resettlement program. States cannot turn away refugees, even if their communities don’t want them.

[….]

Abbott’s withdrawal, largely seen as a political move, can’t actually prevent new refugees from coming to Texas. But some warn that the Trump administration could cut services and funds, effectively gutting these programs. [This is the key in my opinion because the resettlement contractors have almost no private resources—ed]

“If the services we provide now were to stop, it would be a humanitarian disaster,” Rippenkroeger told me. “There would be people homeless, without medical coverage and food. It would be a very direct human catastrophe so we can’t afford for the program not to be fully functional.”

Look at this! This program costs the federal taxpayer $100 million alone just for Texas for one year!

Texas is slated to receive about $100 million in federal funds for refugee resettlement in 2017…

[….]

“There’s no amount of fundraising we could do to replace federal support.” [That is right because people give their private charitable gifts to efforts they approve of!—ed]

Then this is something I expected was going on big time and not just in Texas—emptying the coffers at ORR before January 20th (not necessarily for refugees but to keep the contractor offices open).

Amid the uncertainty, Rippenkroeger said the Office of Refugee Resettlement was working with a “nose to the grindstone approach” in setting up a system to distribute federal funds through the Texas NGOs.

[….]

Refugee advocates in other parts of the country where anti-refugee sentiment is common displayed similar reserve when I asked them about Trump’s resettlement plans. Cole Varga, executive director of Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc.—the organization that sued Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana and vice president-elect, for trying to block Syrian refugees from the state—told me he was hopeful.

“Currently, we have not received any word from our national partners or the State Department on how the incoming Trump administration will run the federal government’s refugee resettlement program,” Varga told me in an email, declining to comment on the lawsuit.

Do not get excited by Trump’s statement about not sending refugees to communities that don’t want them.  This is not realistic and a long-time Church World Service head honcho gives us one reason why:

Even if Trump allows certain communities to pull out of resettlement, he can’t stop refugees from moving states after arriving in the US—which means the most significant difference may be the money states receive, noted Erol Kekic, executive director of the national resettlement agency Church World Service.

“Immigration is a federal matter, and if the nation continues to admit refugees, they’re free to go wherever they want the moment they arrive,” Kekic told me. “They may not receive services, but they’re free to move—so even if Governor Abbott says he wants none in Texas, how will he know a refugee won’t move to Texas?”

Continue reading here.

The RAP is built on a house of cards primarily based on federal funding per head of refugee admitted to the US. The ultimate answer is to stop the program (stop the numbers coming in and the funding for it!) altogether until the Refugee Act of 1980 can be reformed or trashed entirely.

I have to laugh when Kekic (above) says that “immigration is a federal matter,” but I would bet a buck he is all for those sanctuary cities thumbing their noses at the incoming Trump team saying they (the city) will decide whether to enforce federal immigration law or not.

***On terror producing regions of the world.  I am talking specifically about Syrians, Somalis, Burmese Rohingya Muslims, Afghans, and most Iraqis wherever in the world we are picking them up. For example, Trump’s people can’t say “we won’t take any refugees from Somalia.”  Most Somalis are not in Somalia any longer, but scattered around the world (some in very safe countries) and we are taking them to America anyway!   Again, at this point in time, Donald Trump as President must stop or slow the flow across the board and not get into the weeds on the issue of whether a community wants refugees or not!

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

 
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