Refugee Resettlement Watch

Posts Tagged ‘Nashville’

Nashville refugee/immigrant conference disrupted by protestors!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 14, 2016

Are some starting to understand that an element of the Open Borders movement is really more concerned about cheap labor for global corporations?  That is how I read the message from protestors who stormed the stage in Nashville over the weekend.

For background, you might want to read Leahy’s earlier piece about the conference in general, here.

From Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart:

NASHVILLE, Tennessee–Protesters shouting “liberation not integration” stormed the stage at the National Immigrant Integration Conference on Tuesday, disrupting Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) as he was about to deliver a speech to the gathering, eyewitnesses tell Breitbart News.

ryan-gutierrez-fb-640x480

Does Donald Trump know that Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Gutierrez are on the same side!  http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/17/paul-ryans-open-borders-push-luis-gutierrez-exposed-2013-video/

As Breitbart News reported previously, the conference is a gathering of refugee and immigrant advocates meeting to plan opposition to the refugee and immigration policies of President-elect Donald Trump.

A spokesperson for the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), one of the two hosts of the conference, confirmed that Gutierrez’s remarks were disrupted.

[….]

One eyewitness who was present at the conference when the disruption took place offers a more detailed version of the event.

“A group of mostly non-black activists started screaming about black immigrant rights and rushed the stage blocking the speaker [Rep. Gutierrez] with a banner that said ‘What About My Family?,’ ‘Black Immigrants,’ ‘What About Sex Workers, LGBTQ Folk, Muslim Immigrants, Criminalized Immigrants?,’ and ‘Not 1 More Deporation,’” the eyewitness told Breitbart News.

“They [the protesters] accused conference organizers of working with multi-nationals to exploit workers, and they started shouting ‘liberation not integration,’ ” the eyewitness added.

Continue reading here.

In my ideal world I want those promoting refugee resettlement to admit that much of the drive for more refugees to be admitted to the US comes from BIG business looking for legal immigrant workers willing to work for lower wages (which we subsidize with various forms of welfare).

The RAP is not first and foremost about ‘humanitarianism.’  It is about workers and increasing the Democrat voter base. Maybe once that fact is completely out in the open, we could have a fair national debate about the issue!

Business interests (and those making a living admitting refugees) have just very effectively used the bludgeon of name calling (racist!) against anyone who raises the issue.  LOL! That is why it was so amusing to hear that in Nashville some activists on the Far Left have caught on!

Endnote: Learn more about the Left’s control of the language: Integration vs. Assimilation (here).

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Colonization, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Is your Chamber of Commerce working with the ‘progressives’ at Welcoming America

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 27, 2016

They apparently are in Nashville, TN according to this story at a website called The New South?’

For background on ‘Welcoming America’ (click here ) for our past posts.

To tell you the truth, this, to me, is one of the great mysteries of the whole refugee resettlement industry—how is it that Republicans like Paul Ryan (backed by the Chamber) are so doggedly pro-refugee and the only answer that continues to make any sense is that refugees are needed as cheap labor for businesses (workers salaries are low, but welfare fills the gap) and they are all new consumers (food, used cars, housing etc.).

I don’t see any other explanation than this—your community is disrupted socially and culturally so these business interests can make more money, and politicians can fill their campaign coffers.

To add insult to injury, all of the myriad economic interests have figured out how to hide under that white hat of humanitarianism. Do they have training sessions on how to snooker the public? I wonder!

Perhaps one of the most shocking photos I’ve seen in a long time is this one (posted in this story).  Certain special people—‘NEW Americans’—are not required to pledge allegiance to their new country.

 

Somalis swearing

 

From The New South?

In 2014, speaking from Casa Azafran where TIRRC [Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition—ed] and its allied organizations are headquartered, Obama talked about his New American Task Force*** and his end-run-around-the-Congress DACA program. He specifically recognized, David Lubell, TIRRC’s first director and creator of “Welcoming Tennessee/ Welcoming America” who also won an award from the National Council of La Raza awarded.

Welcoming America will judge how progressive your community is

Nashville is among the “Welcoming Cities” in Welcoming America’s (WA) network. Last year, Welcoming America paid the Nashville Chamber of Commerce for an economic report to support their story that legal and illegal immigrants are the hub of Nashville’s economic success. The Chamber’s report looks strangely just like the WA website, suggesting a WA templated product that will be replicated by Chambers in other “welcoming cities.”

The real agenda of groups like TIRRC and WA is to mutate our communities until they satisfy a leftist open-borders, one-world, globalist vision of an ideal society.

Continue reading here.

Read about Obama’s New American Task Force, here.

Find out if your Chamber of Commerce is peddling a similar report!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Tennessee: Refugee agency places immigrants in jobs Americans would love to have!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 4, 2016

And, adding insult to injury, the biggest chunk of their funding comes from you—the taxpayer!

Update!  National layoff numbers skyrocket! Breaking story.

This story from The Tennessean is meant to give the impression that this program of World Relief (National Association of Evangelicals) is doing wonderful humanitarian work by helping immigrants and refugees with advanced degrees find good paying jobs.

But, if you are like me, you reacted to this story by immediately asking these questions:

What about Americans who have advanced degrees and no work?  What about all of our children, recent college graduates (with big student loan debt), who can’t find jobs? Shouldn’t they come first?

Not according to World Relief’s REACH program or The Tennessean.

As is too often the case, one must read through refugee sob stories and eventually the reader learns that there are 10,000 immigrants in Tennessee who need high level jobs—-ahhhhhh!  10,000!  I wonder how many Americans with advanced degrees are competing with them for limited job opportunities?  Of course The Tennessean would never give us that number!

And, the American job seekers don’t have the services your tax dollars provide the immigrants through REACH. Here is what World Relief (a so-called Christian charity) does for the immigrants according to The Tennessean.

REACH, in Nashville, connects immigrants to mentors, who seek to introduce them to local individuals in their field, and coaches them through licensing processes. The organization also offers training on resumes and interviews. Between licenses and networking, it typically takes between nine and 12 months for an individual to move from a survival job to a professional one.

REACH, launched in 2011, has been able to help as many as 100 people a year. Among them are Coptic Christians fleeing Egypt, Kurds from Iraq and those coming from Congo after fleeing ethnic persecution in Rwanda.

Watch an unidentified REACH employee explain how they helped ‘Ahmed’ get a $93,000 a year job!

 

 

Here is what a reader said this morning about this story:

I have a very close friend, also an Ivy League masters graduate who is struggling to find a job in the Middle Tennessee job market. In fact, I have several friends, middle-age, well educated, intelligent, hard-working contributors to their communities who live in Middle Tennessee, and who are either unemployed or underemployed.

But the newspaper and the Chamber of Commerce isn’t taking up their cause.

Neil-MacDonald-3112161-220

Neil MacDonald of the Chamber of Commerce told The Tennessean: “If we want to continue to compete on an international basis, it’s essential we continue our growth in diversity.” (Huh?)

Nor do my friends have federal contractor agencies helping them find jobs.

And my friends aren’t wired-in either. They too are struggling.

At least the refugees and their federal contractors can blame the receiving community for not being more “welcoming” and ensuring that new arrivals get the jobs they thought would be waiting for them when they arrived.

According to this article, there are 10,000 refugees in Tennessee who can’t find the jobs they want. Predictably, federal refugee resettlement contractor World Relief and the refugees themselves blame the receiving community as “unwelcoming” because circumstances haven’t unfolded as they had planned.

But, this, of course, doesn’t stop World Relief from keeping their own cash flow going by bringing ever more refugees to the area.

And the Nashville Chamber of Commerce is telling us that businesses here value “diversity” over workers that are raised, educated and have roots in our Tennessee communities.

Speaking of World Relief’s financial position, World Relief Nashville directs people to its national headquarters where we can examine recent financial documents and their Form 990s.

Here we learn that in 2014, World Relief (National Association of Evangelicals) is a $61 million a year operation and that $41 million comes directly from US taxpayers.

They could not supply all of these benefits to job-seeking immigrants if you (or the good-for-nothing Congress!) weren’t willing to pay for it.

Go here to see who else is funding World Relief’s REACH job hunting program.

More on MacDonald, here.

See 83 previous posts on Nashville by clicking here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Nashville World Relief office to give tour of local mosque/Islamic center

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 19, 2015

If you are in the Nashville area next Saturday (October 24th), maybe you would like to check it out.

Bauman

Stephan Bauman is CEO of World Relief and one of 5 employees making a six-figure salary largely on your dime while advocating for 100,000 Syrians be resettled in your towns and cities in the coming year! Photo: http://worldrelief.org/leadership

World Relief (Evangelicals), one of the major federal resettlement contractors, is working in the Wilson-Fish state*** of Tennessee.  According to their website, since 1987 they have seeded Nashville with diversity:

We have directly resettled refugees from various war torn areas including the following ethnic backgrounds: Afghani, Bhutanese, Bosnian, Burmese, Burundi, Chin, Colombian, Congolese, Cuban, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Iranian, Iraqi, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Kurdish, Laotian, Pakistani, Palestinian, Somali, Sudanese, Vietnamese, and Ukrainian.

Now they are clearly getting ready to begin the Syrian settlement in Nashville starting with a tour of the Islamic Center of Nashville (so they can get your minds right?).

Go here for the invite:

We’ll meet in the parking lot behind the Islamic Center of Nashville before heading in for a tour of the mosque and a Q&A presentation. This is a great time to ask any honest, but respectful, questions you may have about the Islamic faith and Muslim culture. [LOL! What is a dishonest question?—ed]

We will then enjoy an Indian lunch buffet ($9.95) at Sitar (116 21st Avenue North). During this time, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about World Relief and the refugee community in Nashville.  [Then they are off to a temple—ed]

We have been following the plight of Nashville for years and have an entire category devoted to news from there.  Go here to learn more about how Catholic Charities, which runs the resettlement program in TN (working with other contractors like World Relief), has brought huge demographic change to the buckle of the Bible belt.

***If you live in one of 12 Wilson-Fish states you need to start learning more about what that means for you.  Although elected officials at the state and local level in all states have little say about the administration of the program in the state, in Wilson-Fish states the resettlement of third worlders is run exclusively with a contractor and the federal government.  After reading our Wilson-Fish post, go here and learn more.

Wilson-Fish states:  Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Stealth Jihad, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Others, including Allen West, pick up Nashville schools to teach Arabic

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 2, 2015

I love to see stories we have posted here at RRW go out to even broader audiences. Be sure to see Daniel Horowitz writing at Conservative Review yesterday to see one such story.  Another is this one about Nashville public schools announcing that Arabic will be taught in 6 schools there in the next school year.

Follow Allen West on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllenBWest

See our Nashville story, here, which received thousands of hits in one 24 hour period last week.

From former Congressman Allen West who asks some very good questions:

…. the schools were chosen because there’s a high number of native Arabic speakers in the neighborhood. Why exactly do they need Arabic lessons? Wouldn’t English be more appropriate?

And why is it the public school’s role to help keep students “connected to their native culture?” I thought that was their parents’ role. But I’m old fashioned that way.

I thought the purpose of the American public school system was to keep Americans connected to their American culture. But I guess I’m old fashioned that way too.

Now perhaps none of this is cause for any sort of concern whatsoever, except if you dig a little bit, you’ll find an awful lot of imams in Tennessee with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

How can you help, especially if you live in Tennessee?  Go here to the ‘tn council for political justice’ and see what you can do!

By the way, we have an extensive archive, in fact a special category just on Nashville’ one of the hottest refugee resettlement sites in the nation that has also become a well-developed “pocket of resistance.”

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Stealth Jihad | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

So it begins…Nashville schools to teach Arabic

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 26, 2015

Update May 30th:  Be sure to see call to action here.

And, in case you didn’t know, Arabic is the number one language of refugees entering the US right now.

Nashville Director of Schools Jesse Register: “…helps meet the demands of our increasingly diverse city.”

From The Tennessean (hat tip: Joanne):

Starting this fall, Metro Nashville Public Schools will begin offering Arabic language classes.

The creation of the classes expands on the district’s foreign language offerings of Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, Latin and German, according to a press release from the district.

All of the Arabic classes will be offered in grades 7-12 and are being installed in six South Nashville schools. The area is one of the most diverse in the district and includes a high number of English Language Learners.

[….]

The six schools were chosen based on an audit of students’ home languages. Each of the schools has students that speak Arabic as their primary language, and beginning Arabic and heritage Arabic classes will be taught for the varying abilities of students.

For more information, I wrote about Arabic coming to Maryland schools here in 2011.  I don’t think the plan ever advanced.  I guess I better find out!

By the way, we told you here in 2014, that Nashville’s public schools are a wreck thanks to the large numbers of impoverished immigrants in the city.  Maybe those immigrant kids should be focusing on learning basic education skills including learning to speak and write ENGLISH well!

Nashville has been a targeted resettlement city for a long time.  See our whole Nashville category, here, to learn more.  Wow! This is our 80th post on Nashville.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Stealth Jihad, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: | 35 Comments »

Obama is transforming American towns and cities with migrants; called “social engineering writ large”

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 7, 2015

Leo Hohmann, writing at World Net Daily, has another in what is turning into a series on Obama’s plan to change America by changing the people.

Chris Farrell, Director of Research at Judicial Watch, characterizes it as “social engineering writ large.”

However, one of the revelations in this article entitled ‘Mayors join Obama’s ‘welcoming’ parade for immigrants’  is that the social engineering began long before Obama took office!

According to Nashville citizen activist Joanne Bregman, it began in earnest during the Bush Administration!

We told you about Atlanta and public-enemy-number-one—David Lubell—here last October in our post on the ‘dirty dozen mayors’ selling out America! https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/welcoming-america-announces-dirty-dozen-mayors-who-invite-illegal-alien-children-to-their-cities/

Hohmann begins his narrative with news from ‘Welcoming’ Atlanta:

For the millions of immigrants and refugees who might feel unwelcome in Georgia, Texas, Alabama and any other state not on board with President Obama’s plans to “build welcoming communities” for “new Americans,” Mayor Kasim Reed has a message: Come to Atlanta.

[….]

City spokeswoman Melissa Mullinax told WND that Reed began working with Welcoming America more than a year ago.

Welcoming America is headed by David Lubell, a close associate of President Obama who met with the president when he announced his executive amnesty plans in Nashville last November. Lubell’s group was hatched in 2010 with $150,000 in seed money from billionaire George Soros and is now flush with federal grants.  [‘Welcoming America,’ patterned after Lubell’s earlier group ‘Welcoming Tennessee,’ first came to my attention at an Office of Refugee Resettlement ‘stakeholders’ meeting here in Lancaster, PA in 2013.—ed]

Gotta get those Democrat voters registered!

According to city documents, Reed agreed on Sept. 17, 2014, to implement a list of 20 recommendations from the Welcoming Atlanta Working Group, an outgrowth of Lubell’s national Welcoming America. Number 10 on the list was to open “citizenship corners” at local libraries and to “conduct voter registration drives and outreach at City of Atlanta festivals.”

Changing Nashville, TN began in 2001 with a federal grant!

Hohmann continues:

A local activist who opposes new settlements of refugees in Tennessee and asked not to be identified, told WND the city has received thousands of Kurdish and Somali refugees over the past 15 years and most have not assimilated, living in “enclaves.”

“They call Nashville ‘Little Kurdistan,’” she said. “We have the largest Kurdish community in the U.S. thanks to refugee resettlement. They’re mostly Sunni, and most of the Islamic activism has come out of the Kurdish community here.”

Like the mayors in Chicago, Atlanta and L.A., Nashville Mayor Karl Dean has created a special high-level office, the New Americans Advisory Council, to advise him on how to integrate the growing population of foreign-born residents.

Planting seed communities in smaller cities

Nashville’s foray into the immigrant welcoming business began in earnest when it agreed to join a pilot program funded by a federal grant to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2001. Nashville joined Portland, Oregon, and Lowell, Massachusetts, as the three experimental testing grounds.

That experiment, called Building the New American Community Initiative, contained a mission that became the model for transforming the demographics of cities of all sizes across the U.S.

“The whole point of this grant if you look in retrospect what they were trying to do, is expand the resettlements outside of the traditional gateway cities of L.A., New York, Houston, Boston, Miami and Chicago and plant new seeds throughout the country,” the Nashville activist said.

“They roped in the Chamber of Commerce, which took this federal grant,” she added. “And one of the outgrowths of this twisted thinking is to very quickly get the refugees invested in local government and forming coalitions within their communities.”

There is much, much more, please read it all!

For those of you conflicted about the humanitarian issues involved with refugees and immigrants, make no mistake, this is about money and power, straight up! 

Most refugees (who don’t have an Islamic supremacist agenda) and refugees and immigrants (who aren’t looking for a handout of taxpayer-funded goodies) are pawns for the Chamber of Commerce, big businesses and progressives hungry for power.  Is it all about money for the Republican elitists who turn a blind eye?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, diversity's dark side, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Where to find information, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

Obama: Big smooch for immigrant community organizer David Lubell

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 19, 2014

While I was busy last week with that bigger project, this is one story I wanted to post and didn’t have time for.  I am playing catch-up!

David Lubell, head honcho of Welcoming America.

Remember Obama went to Nashville last week to give himself a pat on the back for the fact that he had “welcomed” a few million illegal aliens to stay in America.  While in Nashville he invited David Lubell of “Welcoming America” to join him on Air Force One.

Before I get to the news, remember that Lubell is a community organizer who receives funding from you, the US taxpayer, through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

“Welcoming America,” a product of the Four Freedoms Fund (see history at their website) is working across the country to plant their open borders propaganda in your community. By the way, George Soros was one of the initial backers of the Four Freedoms Fund.

We first learned about Lubell’s gig, here, in June 2013 at a meeting in Lancaster, PA when the ORR announced that they had been hired to keep you in line—to tamp down any “pockets of resistance.”

Here is the news from The Tennessean:

David Lubell, who created the national nonprofit Welcoming America in Nashville, was recognized by President Barack Obama during his visit to Nashville on Tuesday for his role in supporting immigrants.

Obama smooch

Lubell is the founder and former director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and built Welcoming Tennessee to build understanding between immigrants and U.S.-born residents. The project grew into Welcoming America, based outside Atlanta, and has since expanded to more than 40 cities nationwide, including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, helping immigrants contribute to their local economies.

Obama met with Lubell on Air Force One as he visited Nashville to discuss his immigration policy. Speaking to a crowd at Casa Azafran, Obama acknowledged Lubell’s efforts in bringing immigrant communities together.

Lubell credits Nashville as being a catalyst for change nationally on immigration issues, pointing to its transformation from an area hostile to immigrants to one that embraces them.

Don’t believe it!

Nashville is still just as much a “pocket of resistance” today as it was in June 2013, when the ORR announced it had hired Lubell to get your minds right on immigration.  Be sure to see Lubell’s handiwork—Nashville school system a wreck!

Frankly, we need a countering force which sends out teams to help challenge (with facts!) Lubell’s propaganda and encourage citizens to keep asking questions about the impact of large numbers of needy refugees and illegal aliens on American communities.

The only problem is that our side doesn’t have any money, but their side does—it has your money!

For more on a swamped Nashville and all of its refugee problems, click here for our entire category on Nashville (76 previous posts!).

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Obama to visit Nashville next week to celebrate diversity; illegal aliens

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 5, 2014

Wouldn’t it be great if he got a ‘welcome’ from those who vehemently disagree with his recent Executive amnesty!

Mr. Cool to rally illegal alien supporters in Nashville on Tuesday.

Here is the story at The Tennessean:

President Barack Obama is visiting Nashville next week to discuss his recent executive actions on immigration in a stop that will shine a spotlight on one of the nation’s fastest-growing immigrant populations.

The president, who will make his second trip to Davidson County in less than a year, will deliver his remarks Tuesday at Casa Azafran, an immigrant community center on Nolensville Pike that opened two years ago.

His visit comes two weeks after he issued an executive order to provide temporary legal status and work permits to more than 5 million immigrants who are in this country illegally. Seventeen states have joined together in a federal lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Obama’s action, but Tennessee is not among them.

“With the number of foreign-born residents more than doubling over the past decade, Nashville has actively worked to welcome new Americans,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. “Through community-based programs and government initiatives, the city is empowering and engaging New American community leaders. And the city’s actions are paying off.”

Nashville’s foreign-born population is nearing 12 percent, about double from a decade ago and fueling the city’s overall population growth during that span. Thirty percent of Metro’s public school students reside in homes where English is not the primary language, and 140 languages are spoken across the district.  [Oh, aren’t they lucky! See school system a wreck!—ed]

[….]

Though the majority of Nashville’s immigrants are Hispanic, the city has welcomed large Kurdish, Somali and Burmese refugee groups as well.

Readers of RRW know well how Catholic Charities has resettled thousands of refugees in Nashville.  In fact, in 2013, the ORR referenced Tennessee as a ‘pocket of resistance’ and we have an entire category devoted to ‘Nashville’ here.

Tennesseans who disagree with Obama should be sure to voice their displeasure at his choice of Nashville for a pro- Open Borders speech by complaining in advance to their Governor and to their two US Senators.  They are all three squishes on immigration, but all the more reason to give them an earful.

Did anyone let Laura Ingraham know?

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, diversity's dark side, Immigration fraud, Nashville, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Refugee gardening projects: How much do those veggies cost you?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 21, 2014

Your tax dollars!

Michelle Obama on refugee gardening: “It’s a model for the nation, for the world”

A reporter once asked me how on earth could these refugee resettlement contractors and their spin-off groups make much money out of resettling refugees by the head when they receive a one time flat fee for each refugee planted in your town.  I explained that most of the income for the contractors and subcontractors come through the myriad grants they receive through the Office of Refugee Resettlement for administering everything under the sun—job training programs, English classes, refugee savings accounts, micro-enterprise loan programs, healthy marriage training programs, and even refugee veggie growing projects like those described in an article at TakePart.

Knowing a bit about agriculture and how hard it is to make a profit (unless you are a corporate farm with millions invested in land and equipment) these feel-good gardening projects taxpayers pay for—you pay for!—can only survive with large infusions of federal cash.

From TakePart (hat tip: Joanne):

There are now agricultural programs across the country—many of which have been bolstered by federal Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program grants—aimed at transitioning people into their new lives in the States by focusing on the agrarian background shared by many refugees. But these garden plots are also meeting the demand for niche produce, such as bitter melon, providing a local market for vegetables that are staples in a refugee’s country of origin but are harder to find in the U.S. and are often sold for a premium.

After a discussion about Cleveland, reporter Sarah McColl takes us to one of our favorite locations for refugee resettlement—Nashville, Tennessee where we learn about an $85,000 grant that the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee received from the federal government for FY14-FY16.

So how many veggies can you grow with $85,000 in federal funding!

Somali Community Center becomes Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee

Some longtime readers may remember that the Center was originally the Somali Community Center in Nashville.  Let’s take a minute and go down memory lane.  Here is what we said about the name change back in 2009:

So they conveniently dropped the name, Somali Community Center, eh?  Could it be they want to shed their bad image with federal granting agencies?    We have heard of this before, some agency or volag gets into grant trouble and pretty soon they are going by another name, I suppose hoping that new federal or state grantors (or the public!) won’t link them to the former bad acts.

A reminder to readers, the Somali Community Center got into hot water with the federal government over misuse of grants and with a possible connection to terrorist activities back in 2007.   Check out this important and shocking story from Nashville’s Channel 4 news at the time.

The link to the shocking story is gone, but visit our post where we had, thank goodness, preserved the original text.

Back to the gardening grant where you can be sure the Center gets to keep a certain amount of your money for administrative purposes.

Snake gourds trellised up a willow tree?  (and you paid for it!)

Lauren Bailey: We grow crops without spending a lot of money.  $85,000 is a lot of money!

It’s much the same in Nashville: There are plenty of international grocery stores, explained Lauren Bailey, director of agricultural programs at the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee. Access isn’t the problem.

“It’s less that they’re not able to find it and more that it’s expensive,” Bailey said. “But the crops that we’ve grown this year, they’ve been able to grow prolifically without spending a lot of money.” One enterprising gardener told Bailey he’d earned $25 from his mustard greens haul, though most take what they grow home to their own kitchen. “I sense that they’re excited to be growing, but also excited to be providing for their families,” she said.

In its first year after receiving a 2014 federal Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program grant, the Nashville program now includes a community garden, ESL instruction, and a training garden that hosts an 18-week market gardening course that’s regularly attended by refugees from Burma and Bhutan. It’s not a simple matter of the students learning from the teachers, however. “At one training garden they were growing a snake gourd, and they trellised it up a willow tree, and I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Bailey said.

Supplemental income, language practice, fresh veggies, and marketable skills are all important aspects of resettlement that are easier to quantify than some of the other benefits Bailey and Fitzpatrick have observed in the garden.

“It’s not just that it might provide income,” Bailey said, “but that it might bring health or improve their quality of life. For a lot of our gardeners, it’s a sense of ownership and pride—the work that they’re doing, and what they’re able to accomplish.”

Again, check out the whole list of grants for refugee gardens.  By the way, I see that the now defunct Indiana gardens that American volunteers had to try to save (when refugees tired of the work) are no longer on the list.

Someone needs to take one of these grants, get the original grant requirement and track the federal money and figure out how much it costs to produce the veggies and what the return on your investment is, photograph the gardens on a regular basis and see how many refugees are actually gardening.  I suspect there is lots and lots of room for fraud in managing one of these federal warm and fuzzy give-away programs.

Posted in Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: