EEEK! “Pockets of resistance” to refugee resettlement have developed; ORR hires ‘Welcoming America’ to head off more

This is the second part of my report from the Pennsylvania Refugee Conference which I attended earlier this week in Lancaster, PA.  If you haven’t read my earlier report it might be useful to check it out and then come back here for part II.

One of the many things that I found revealing about the conference was that problems with the program to resettle over 100,000 “refugees and asylees” to your towns and cities each year was not discussed (your classic hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil!).  There was no direct discussion about problems with assimilation, tensions in communities, crime problems, cost to local communities, school conflicts, housing shortages for refugees etc. except for one session dedicated to how to silence people who might like to complain—the keynote speaker talked about how ‘Welcoming America’ was working to get YOUR minds right about your new refugee neighbors (and, they received a federal grant from ORR to do it!).

Before Susan Downs-Karkos from ‘Welcoming America’ spoke, we had been alerted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Director of Placement, Mitiku Ashebir that  (gasp!) “three pockets of resistance against new arrivals” had developed.  He assured the gathering it was not widespread and that Pennsylvania, thankfully, was not one of them.   Drum roll please!  Here are the pockets of resistance and Mr. Ashebir’s brief description of the unwelcoming problems:

New Hampshire—some mayors have problems, said Ashebir

David Lubell, founder of ‘Welcoming America,’ doing work for George Soros!

Georgia—budget reductions for some service providers

Tennessee—they want to control arrival numbers!  Imagine that!

But, Welcoming America is on the case!  They want to “transform” communities by “Building a Nation of Neighbors”!

Downs-Karkos described her organization’s job as “promoting understanding and support for refugees.”  The whole concept is that YOU must improve your attitude to your new neighbors, not that the refugees must learn to fit into American society.  We are a Nation of immigrants, they are coming, so get used to it was the basic message.

The refugees and immigrants are the seeds and your community is the soil into which they are being planted is how she described what is happening.  Her group is working on improving the soil.

She said ‘Welcoming America’ was created by David Lubell of TENNESSEE who had successfully launched ‘Welcoming Tennessee’ a few years ago where he mobilized support for refugees in Nashville and Shelbyville and promoted the propaganda film—Welcome to Shelbyville.  If you are a new reader here you might want to visit our many posts where we traced the history of that deceptive film from its origin when a Hard Left documentary film group was funded to visit Shelbyville (where community tensions had developed around a large influx of Somali refugees who had arrived there to work for Tyson Foods)–-it is a classic case study in how to produce propaganda.

“Is everything perfect in Tennessee now?” asked Downs-Karkos.  No, she answered herself, “but it is improving.”  Really?

Follow the money!

Here is a summary from Welcoming America’s website about how the organization got its start (with the help of George Soros).  Our friends in Tennessee will be amazed at the spin about their state! “Changing communities” indeed.  I wonder does David Lubell understand what just happened in Manchester, TN last week?

The history of ‘Welcoming America’:

In 2005 the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), inspired by the Iowa campaign’s message and approach, started to make plans for a “Welcoming Tennessee Initiative” (WTI). Since launching in 2006, The Welcoming Tennessee Initiative – the model for all subsequent welcoming initiatives – has substantially improved the climate for immigrants within the state. Statewide polling by Middle Tennessee State University has demonstrated an increase in positive opinions towards immigrants, and thousands of Tennessee residents have become active supporters of Tennessee’s increased diversity as a result of the project. In 2009 WTI was awarded the E Pluribus Unum Prize for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives.  [LOL! an award!—ed]

The success of Welcoming Tennessee inspired several additional immigrant support organizations across the country to follow its lead. In July of 2007, seven organizations interested in starting Welcoming campaigns met  to combine efforts and expand Welcoming campaigns past Tennessee. Hosting the meeting was Four Freedoms Fund, a funding collaborative that has played a crucial role in the formation and development of Welcoming America.

Here is what Discover the Networks says about the ‘Four Freedoms Fund’ listed as one of many groups directly supported by George Soros’ Open Society Institute.  Soros, as longtime readers know, is pushing to “change” America by swamping the country with third worlders. He can’t have you fighting the “transformation.” Therefore, “Pockets of resistance” must be stopped now!

Four Freedoms Fund: This organization was designed to serve as a conduit through which large foundations could fund state-based open-borders organizations more flexibly and quickly.

Longtime readers know that Soros has had his proteges installed as Asst. Secretaries of State for Population, Refugees and Migration throughout the Obama Administration.   Type ‘George Soros’ into our search function for more.

A chuckle for TennesseansTom Negri is on the board of ‘Welcoming America’!   You may remember the story from back in 2009:  Negri, who manages the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in downtown Nashville (hotels need cheap immigrant labor and that’s why so many are behind open borders), broke a contract just days before a conference that I and others (from around the country) had registered to attend saying we might be a danger to their other guests.  Maybe the Muslim protesters would be a danger, but not us!  The conference went on peacefully at another “welcoming” hotel!

Negri’s move was a stupid one because it just confirmed for all of those who knew about it (including thousands of readers of Newsmax) what dirty tricks the open borders advocates and Lefties are willing to use to silence speech they don’t like!

Bottomline is that ‘Welcoming America’ is spreading throughout the US–they are “community organizers” with affiliates in twenty plus states, here.  If you are in one of those states, sign up for the group and begin learning what they are planning for your community.  And, then spread the word!

For new readers:  If you would like to learn more about those pockets of resistance in New Hampshire, Tennessee and Georgia, simply type the state name into our search function and dozens of posts will be available.  Also, note that we have a separate category on Nashville (50 posts!) because it has been such a controversial site for refugee resettlement (by Catholic Charities!) and Islamic activism.

Pennsylvania Refugee Conference was informative on so many levels

Update June 15th:  Pockets of resistance have developed, here is Part II of my report on Lancaster.

As I mentioned a couple of times yesterday, on Tuesday I traveled to Lancaster, PA (a “welcoming” resettlement city) for the 2013 Pennsylvania Consultation, a joint meeting between the “Commonwealth’s” refugee program and its workers, the national refugee contractors and the federal government.

The Atrium dining area at the lavish Doubletree/Hilton Hotel in Lancaster, PA where “stakeholders” met (at taxpayers’ expense) to learn more about how to help refugees sign up for social services. What is wrong with this picture?

Representatives from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (Health and Human Services) and the State Department’s Office of Population, Refugees and Migration were there to fill in the Pennsylvania “stakeholders” about the latest trends in nationalities they would be resettling, refugee and asylee rights including rights to welfare goodies, the shortage of money for the contractors and the program generally (they had money to give attendees promotional ink pens!) and how to push-back against what they called “pockets of resistance against new arrivals.”   (That last is so good it will require a second post!).

Readers, I know this type of meeting can be boring and so might my reports on it, or at least this one might be boring, but it’s very important to see the kinds of people involved in refugee resettlement, listen to them and to basically become informed about the minutia of this or any government program you might have concerns about.

Your state (except Wyoming) has a Refugee Office (or an assigned state employee/private contractor) somewhere and I recommend that you visit them or their website often or get on a mailing list to receive information about upcoming meetings like this one.  We were told from the podium that Pennsylvania had no pockets of resistance, perhaps no organized pockets, but I learned of a couple of people who have problems with refugee resettlement in Lancaster who didn’t know this meeting was occurring at their grand Doubletree/Hilton Hotel.

By the way, I had several occasions to help put on conferences (not taxpayer funded) at a Doubletree Hotel in Maryland, not as grand a hotel as this one, and I know that use of their facility/meeting rooms and food couldn’t be done for less than $50 a head for a boxed lunch.  Based on the amenities at the Lancaster “consultation” where attendance was ‘free,’ this spread must have cost (state and/or federal taxpayers) about $100 a person.  Fortunately there was no line dancing that I saw.

Here are some nuggets I learned (in no particular order):

* PA resettled 3,022 in 2011-2012.  1,194 have arrived in 2013 so far.

* The largest percentage of PA’s refugees are the Bhutanese (Nepalese), Iraqis and a smattering of Somalis.  There will be Congolese coming to PA to add to their diversity.

* The refugee hot spots in PA are Pittsburgh, Lancaster/Harrisburg, Allentown, Philadelphia (the largest right now) and Erie.

* Major PA contractors are Catholic Charities, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and Church World Service.

* ORR was represented at the meeting by former Ethiopian refugee, Mitiku Ashebir.  That is interesting because the present Director of ORR is Eskinder Negash, also from Ethiopia, who revolved into his government job from his perch as VP at one of the top  nine major federal contractors—USCRI.  Ashebir entered the government door through his former positions with contractors US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.  There really should be a law against the cozy contractor/government employee revolving door.

* There were lots of little nuggets about welfare that I noted.  One statistic of interest was that 2,550 refugees in PA are receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income).  After all, the US State Department is admitting elderly and disabled refugees who have to live on something—right!

* There was discussion on possible reductions in TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) on the horizon.  And, eeek! drug testing too.

* There was this bit of good employment news (NOT!)—refugee employment increased by 3% over 2011!  It went from 50% to 53%.

* Also considered good news is that 67% of refugees in PA are self-sufficient at 120 days, and 75% at 180 days.  That does not mean they don’t get any welfare benefits—they still get food stamps for sure and likely Section 8 housing.  And, so 25% are in need of all services after 180 days—doesn’t sound so good to me!

* The anticipated national caseload for FY2013 breaks down like this:  70,000 refugees, 28,800 asylees, 21,000 Cubans and Haitians, 600 human trafficking cases, and 4,000 Special Immigrant Visa holders (those are the Iraqis and Afghanis who we are admitting for “helping” America).  The total is 124,400 and as we were told ALL of them are entitled to all the benefits—welfare, housing, food stamps, education, health care etc.

* On top of the 124,400 is an expected jump in unaccompanied minors that ORR is responsible for.  In 2012, 14,700 kids arrived in the US without parents and in 2013 the number is expected to be 20,000. Prior to 2012 the numbers were dramatically lower.  Sounds like an incredible scam on America as probably parents from south of the border are abandoning their children to the government in advance of the amnesty legislation.

* Then here is something I found very interesting and helps answer a question I get often from readers.  How do they decide to resettle refugees to a given town? The contractors and federal government have to continually look for fresh territory in which to resettle refugees and apparently in light of failed attempts to get new seed communities established, the feds are having ORR-PRM joint quarterly placement meetings.  The next one will be in July.     Before any new site is opened (usually because some contractor thinks it would be a good place), ORR-PRM will visit the site together and decide if it will be “welcoming.”

A note of caution:  they will bring in a small number of refugees and see if there is going to be some resistance.  If there is none, then they will proceed with the assumption that yours is a “welcoming” community.  I call this the squawk factor.  I think this is one of several reasons why the contractors resettle refugees in city slums—there will be no organized community resistance from people who don’t know their neighbors anyway and are just trying to survive day to day.

One final thing.  I bet if attendees at the conference were asked to raise their hands if they were there simply as volunteers and not receiving a salary or travel expenses, the number of hands raised would be less than ten, maybe less than five of the approximately 130-150 attendees.  (I’m guessing on the number in attendance).

Lancaster gave birth to RRW!

To learn the role Lancaster played in the birth of this blog, visit this post from 2012So what is going on in Lancaster, PA?

More later…..”Welcoming America” combating pockets of resistance!