Pittsburgh’s Jewish refugee resettlement agency, HIAS vow to continue work after threats, Squirrel Hill shooting
The story paints a picture of a ‘non-profit‘ group that is all about welcoming the poor and downtrodden to America, but never mentions the fact that it is more than 50% funded by US and state taxpayers many of whom do not share its open-borders views and would prefer their tax dollars be spent on America’s needy people.
HIAS received $186 million from taxpayers in the last ten years, here. Its CEO is paid over $300,000 annually.
And, like virtually all mainstream media stories about the horrific attack on innocents, The Post-Gazette, mentions not one word about that fact that HIAS is paid to do its ‘good works’ by the US government.
It is fine and dandy if HIAS wants to hold anti-Trump political rallies, sue the President and organize for the Tuesday midterms, but doing those things while accepting millions of taxpayer dollars every year strikes most people as fundamentally unfair!
Here is a bit from the deficient Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story:
The Jewish refugee resettlement agency in Pittsburgh remains defiant in its work despite the connection Saturday’s mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue shared with its mission.
“These [sites] are echo chambers where people just get angrier and angrier and angrier about falsehoods,” said Mark Hetfield, CEO and president of HIAS — formerly the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society. “I mean, what harm was this congregation doing by welcoming refugees in a religious service?”
Mr. Hetfield said that he’s aware of several “hate sites and hate sites masquerading as issue-oriented sites” that have attacked the work of HIAS and JFCS.
“But they’ve just been words so far, but as we see now, words lead to action.”
Mr. Hetfield said HIAS has in the past had a designated person monitor social media for threats but the organization will be “totally changing” its strategy.
“I mean we did not know about this murderer on Gab, we were not following Gab.We do not follow these hate-filled fora, but we need to,” he said. “And then we need to figure out what do we do when we see things. We see things every day against us.”
That is an example of how out of touch with most Americans these open borders leftwing groups are, they didn’t know about Gab? This is a prime example of why the Dems were so shocked at the 2016 election of Donald Trump.
Mr. Hetfield said the physical security strategy has changed as well since Saturday. Armed guards now surround HIAS offices in New York City and Silver Spring, Md. He likened the change to how he felt after 9/11.
JFCS has begun closely monitoring social media and re-evaluating security since the attack happened; it had also not known about Mr. Bowers prior to Saturday.
See if you can find one word about how HIAS is a US State Department contractor that is paid by the head to place refugees in towns and cities of their choosing (behind closed doors in conjunction with the US State Department).
If HIAS, the US State Department, and the mainstream media were transparent and honest about how refugee resettlement is carried out in America, citizen taxpayers wouldn’t get so frustrated.
So, why aren’t they more transparent?
I have a guess, but I would like to hear what they say for a change!
Endnote: I did see an AP story sometime in the last week that did mention (briefly!) that HIAS receives taxpayer dollars, but couldn’t find it again.
Surely you know all about Democrat Mayor Bill Peduto shunning the President and his family when they went to Pittsburgh yesterday to pay their respects to those murdered in the synagogue attack last Saturday. Here is one of many stories about the Mayor’s snub.
And, here is Peduto with Chris Matthews:
By the way, the Rabbi, who was leading services on Saturday when the attack happened, welcomed the President saying “he is my President.”
So, what does this have to do with RRW?
Let’s take a trip down memory lane!
Mayor Bill Peduto was one of 18 mayors who signed a 2015 letter to then President Obama telling the President that 10,000 Syrian refugees for America in the upcoming fiscal year was too few and they wanted Obama to ultimately admit 100,000.
The letter was organized by Cities for Action which says it is: “A coalition of city governments who stand in support of stronger cities through immigration action.”
As you know, President Trump is permitting very few Syrians to enter the US at the present time.
If you missed it in 2015, here are the 18 mayors pressing Obama for more Syrian refugees for their cities:
Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown, PA
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore, MD
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston, MA
James Diossa, Mayor of Central Falls, RI
Mark Kleinschmidt, Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, IL
Edward Terry, Mayor of Clarkston, GA
Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, OH
Domenick Stampone, Mayor of Haledon, NJ
Pedro E. Segarra, Mayor of Hartford, CT
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, CA
Betsy Hodges, Mayor of Minneapolis, MN
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, NY
Jose Torres, Mayor of Paterson, NJ William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA
Javier Gonzales, Mayor of Santa Fe, NM
Francis G. Slay, Mayor of St. Louis, MO
Stephanie A. Miner, Mayor of Syracuse, NY
Some posts on that campaign by the leftwing open-borders mayors, especially Pittsburgh’s Mayor Peduto, worth revisiting:
Editor: First, let me be clear. Nothing in this post is meant in any way to suggest that we condone this horrific act of violence against innocent people. This was a vile act by someone whose hatred of Jews was so great that he had obviously abandoned all reason and we condemn it.
UPDATE 1-Who is Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect?
Two hours before a gunman burst into the Tree of Life synagogue and opened fire during a Shabbat religious service, Bowers posted on chat site Gab.com about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a non-profit that helps Jewish refugees relocate to the United States.
“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in,” wrote Bowers, a heavy-set, white male.
Bowers, who is a registered voter with “no affiliation” in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, took aim in one post at U.S. President Donald Trump, accusing him of being a “globalist”who did nothing to stop the “infestation” of the United States by Jews.
“For the record, I did not vote for him nor have I owned, worn or even touched a MAGA hat,” he wrote.
Just so you know, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society(rebranded as HIAS a few years ago), resettles very few Jews. As a federal resettlement contractor, it resettles refugees assigned to it by the US State Department from all of the usual hot spots around the world.
Curious to see how many Jewish people have been admitted to the US as refugees over the last ten years, I checked Wrapsnet.
In ten years the US admitted a total of 635,173 refugees representing a vast array of religions from all over the world.
Of that number only 1,893 (.3%) were of the Jewish faith with most of those coming from Iran(658) and Russia(545).
HIAS has put itself out as the most politically active refugee resettlement agency making them not hard to miss on the internet!
Indeed, according to media reports (assuming they are accurate!), what drew the killer to a target was HIAS’s e-mail advertisement for their special services called National Refugee Shabbat held in hundreds of synagogues in the run-up to the November election.
As readers here know, there are nine federal resettlement contractors*** and based on my informal assessment going back several years, HIAS is the most politically active of the resettlement contractors and has been dogging Donald Trump unrelentingly since the 2016 Presidential campaign.
Not far behind as open borders political organizers and activists, I would put Church World Service and then the US Conference of Catholic Bishops/Catholic Charities.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Serviceis also very politically engaged.
They don’t just advocate for refugees!
I think we all agree everyone is entitled to free speech, and HIAS can demonstrate in the streetsagainst the President and for open borders, they cansue the Administration, they can cheer on the migrant caravan and they can campaign against Republicans in the midterms, but what is so patently unfairto the average citizen who is learning about their community organizing activities (from alternative media) is that they receive millions and millions of taxpayer dollars each year while promoting a political agenda that many Americans vehemently disagree with.
If they were truly a private non-profit organization, they could pay big salaries and politically organize to their hearts content, but when they are a government partner, ostensibly to care for refugees, we expect them to be neutral on what is the greatest concern facing the country now—-immigration.
Where is Congress?
The mainstream media rarely tells the public about the source of the resettlement contractors’ funds, and Congress has never, in the ten years I’ve followed the US Refugee Admissions Program, ever done any oversight of the federal contracting system that these nine have monopolized, in some cases for over three decades.
Funding the Open Borders Left!
See just for starters this graph from the Capital Research Centershowing the last ten years of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the nine VOLAGS.
Again, there is no excuse for violence, but there is great frustration out there that a serious effort to be more open and transparent with the public might begin to quell.
So, how about the mainstream media does its job and gives the public the facts about groups like HIAS so ‘conspiracy’ theories don’t develop, and then it would be refreshing if Congress took its role seriously, investigated where our tax dollars are going and what they are being used for, and thus give us confidence that our government cares about us—Americans first!
I’ll update this post as we get more information.
*** The nine major contractors (VOLAGS) that monopolize the US Refugee Admissions Program are these:
Church World Service (CWS)
Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) (DFMS is its other name)
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)
US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
World Relief Corporation (WR)
Update: CWS didn’t have to wait for long. Secretary of State Pompeo has announced a ceiling of 30,000 refugees for FY19. But, will the administration be ready to welcome those ‘new Americans’ in two weeks from today? See the news here.
In what I thought was going to be another ho-hum whinny story about Church World Service, a Lancaster, PA refugee agency director dropped this bomb:
Mastropietro [Sheila Mastropietro, director of the CWS Lancaster office] said the CWS national office is being kept in the dark.They just found out this week that the fiscal year will be extended to Dec. 31, delaying the decision of who will be fundedand leaving CWS “on pins and needles for an additional three months,” she said.
If you have been a regular student of Refugee Resettlement Watch, you know that the fiscal year ends on September 30th, and for decades September is the month when we learn how many refugees will be admitted in the following year and from where they will come.
And, surely you haven’t missed my many posts on the PR campaign the federal contractors*** have been promoting as they demand that Trump admit 75,000 refugees beginning on October 1.
I can only guess that if true, that there will be no announcement this month, it means there is an internal battle of ginormous proportions going on, or it could be a complex funding issue involving the whole federal government.
With funding at risk, Church World Service ‘on pins and needles’ about future of refugee program
As President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the 30th year of Church World Service resettling refugees in the county, Lancaster city was deemed “America’s refugee capital” by BBC News for resettling 20 times the number of refugees per capita than the country as a whole.
The distinction led to a visit from Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who went on to promote Lancaster’s efforts on a national stage.
Now, in the 20 months since Trump’s travel ban, Church World Service has resettled about half as many refugees here as it did in the previous 20 months, according to data provided by CWS.
The reporter continues with many paragraphs featuring personal refugee stories and about what President Trump is doing to the refugee program. Then this:
Church World Service, headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, is one of nine national organizations funded by the Department of State for refugee resettlement. Each of them is a large operation with multiple local offices spread throughout the country.
Actually, CWS still has it original headquarters at the famous 475 Riverside Dr. building in New York City, home to dozens of hard Left ‘religious’ groups, like the National Council of Churches, and other similar socialist organizations. I’m guessing the lower level staffers work in Indiana to keep costs down.
But with fewer refugees making it to America’s doorstep, the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration “expects to fund a smaller number of recipient agencies” in the next fiscal year, according to a notice provided by a State Department spokesperson.
How many fewer agencies — and what factors might lead to the decision — is unclear. Mastropietro said the CWS national office is being kept in the dark. They just found out this week that the fiscal year will be extended to Dec. 31, delaying the decision of who will be funded and leaving CWS “on pins and needles for an additional three months,” she said.
While stripping refugee resettlement funding may be a fatal blow for some of the nine agencies, Mastropietro said CWS in Lancaster will carry on even if resettlement — its largest program — goes away.
Carrying-on will be tough!
With other public [public of course means taxpayer dollars!–ed] and private funding avenues, CWS would continue operating programs such as legal immigration counseling, employment services and advocacy.And if it does lose the resettlement money, Mastropietro is convinced it will be a temporary, if difficult, setback.
And, she confirms what I have been saying!
“We’re just going to wait it out,” she said. “If anything happens, we’ll wait it out until the next president.”
Ambitious readers might like to learn more about refugees in Amish country. See my complete archive on Lancaster by clicking here.
Do not become complacent!
If the Trump Administration only reduces numbers of refugees and funding for a few years nothing will change!
A few of the smaller contractors may go belly-up, but it only will mean a greater monopoly for the surviving contractors like Church World Service.
Those contractors will be working to elect the next president, they will continue to lobby for more federal dollars and more refugees, and they will resume placing refugees quietly in to your unsuspecting towns and cities!
***Here below are the nine federal refugee resettlement contractors.
You might be sick of seeing this list almost every day, but a friend once told me that people need to see something seven times before it completely sinks in, so it seems to me that 70, or even 700 isn’t too much!
And, besides I have new readers every day.
The present US Refugee Admissions Program will never be reformed if the system of paying the contractors by the head stays in place and the contractors are permitted to act as Leftwing political agitation groups, community organizers and lobbyists paid on our dime!
And, to add insult to injury they pretend it is all about ‘humanitarianism.’
The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees into your towns and cities and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare)! And, get them registered to vote eventually!
….Jewish resettlement agency says they don’t have the funds to find them anything better.
I don’t want to leave readers with the impression that this is pick-on-HIAS week, but that major resettlement agency (one of nine***) just seems to be in the news a lot lately.
It is in the news more than most, partly because HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) is the refugee contractor leading the legal challenge to President Trump’s refugee slowdown.
HIAS wants more refugees admitted to the US and yet they can’t do anything better for them but to place them in dangerous housing? Of course, they would love it if the feds sent more funding their way, but maybe some of their ‘humanitarian’ bigwigs could take pay cuts and help these poor people! (See astronomical salaries hereyesterday and below).
Here is the story at North Carolina Public Radio (one of many sites that this article appears) chronicling the horror of refugees living in dangerous housing (where they are raising kids!) and then they need mental health counseling to cope.
(As you read this long report, have sympathy for the refugees who really were sold a bill of goods about life in America. The blame for this situation rests entirely with the US Congress, the US State Department and this contracting system that must be abolished).
After a lead-in about someone who lived in this public housing complex decades ago (when it was a safe place to live), we learn this:
Around 1,600 people still live in Northview Heights. Gandy, who visits regularly, was surprised a few years ago when he started seeing some of the newer residents: people who came to the US as refugees fleeing war zones in several African countries. He worries about them trying to start their new lives in his old neighborhood.
“I don’t think that’s an environment that you would want to bring somebody new into this country in,” he says. “After they’ve already left a traumatic situation, you’re bringing them back to another area where you can experience trauma.”
One of those newcomers is Samuel Bomera. A few months after he moved into the housing project, in August 2017, there was a shootout between different groups of teenagers. There were no deaths, but it rattled everyone at Northview Heights.
“It was like being back in Congo, hearing the gunshots,” Bomera says. “And I think, ‘Am I back in a war zone, or am I in a safe country?’ That’s when I kind of regret being here.”
Bomera came from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He and his family moved to Pittsburgh in 2016 after years of living in refugee camps in Uganda. A resettlement agency, Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh, found them an apartment on a bus line so they would be able to get to work and appointments without a car. Federal funds from the State Department and Office of Refugee Resettlement that are distributed by the agency paid their $900 per month rent for the first few months. Jewish Family and Community Services paid for a few more months with money the organization receives from grants and donations.
“After that, the family was trying to pay but you could tell it was a struggle,” says Violeta Byegata, a social worker with Jewish Family and Community Services.
“We don’t really have that kind of funding to sustain them forever. So that’s how he ended up coming here.”
And, be sure to see my post yesterday about how several Pennsylvania resettlement agencies are bemoaning the refugee arrival slowdown for the state.
So wouldn’t a logical thinker ask:
Why is HIAS suing the President for MORE refugees to be admitted to the US when one of its workers says there isn’t enough funding to take proper care of them?
Here are the top salaries at HIAS, (Jewish Family and Community Services is a HIAS subcontractor, see list).
I wonder does Violetta have any clue about this?
*** These are the nine federal resettlement contractorswhich have hundreds of smaller subcontractors working for them. With the US State Department (DOS), they choose the towns and cities where refugees will be placed as those refugees enter the country.
President Donald Trump can set them back financially for a few years, but the program will never be reformed while their funding depends on the number of refugees arriving in the US.
And, there is little accountability in cases where the refugees are suffering, like those in this Pittsburgh housing complex. (I’ve only heard of the DOS pulling a contract a few times over the last ten years.) WHERE IS CONGRESS?
Sometimes I want to scream because the media bias is so blatant on the issue of the US Refugee Admissions Program. This story from WYYY by Laura Benshoff is a case in point.
Entitled: ‘In 2017, Pa. resettled nearly 1,000 fewer refugees than previous budget year,’ the title alone is deceptive!
Sure it might be 1,000 fewer than last year and that is because last year (FY16) was an outlier!
It was the ONE year that Obama was attempting to pour refugees in to the country at a higher than normal rate.
When I checked Wrapsnetjust now, that is the US State Department’s data repository, I found that the average number of refugees placed in PA over the last ten years was 2,568 per year. (BTW, her numbers from the PA refugee office do not match the federal data, so it is unclear what numbers the PA refugee office is using.)
We do know that Pennsylvania, over ten years, is in the top ten refugee placement target states (turning red states blue!) in the nation.
This year, a combination of pauses, new federal policies and screening procedures dramatically cut the number of refugees finding new homes in Pennsylvania. From 3,679 in budget year 2016, the number fell to 2,698 in 2017, a 26.7 percent decrease, according to the Pennsylvania Refugee Resettlement Program.
That drop-off appears especially steep due to an uptick in refugee arrivals during President Barack Obama’s last year in office. Local refugee resettlement agencies say the decline was also driven by Trump administration policies that could have long-lasting effects.
Now this next bit made me laugh. We have a HIAS employee complaining about how the “government’s back and forth with the courts” made their work harder. IT WAS HER ORGANIZATION, HIAS, THAT INITIATED THE LAWSUITS!
“It’s incredibly mercurial, it’s incredibly capricious, and it’s incredibly hard to manage,” said Cathryn Miller-Wilson, executive director of the refugee resettlement group HIAS, of the federal government’s back and forth with the courts over refugee policy this year.
And, let me add that this whole refugee system, based on a per refugee head payment to the contractors, is flawed because it will be “incredibly capricious” as each year the President has the power to set the arrival numbers.
The FACT that the contractors have become so dependent on high arrival numbers for their budgetary survival is their fault! (See my previous post, will HIAS head honchos take pay cuts?)
Ms. Benshoff really drank the koolaide the contractors served up with this line:
The president also lowered the total number of refugees allowed into the country each year from 110,000 to 45,000.
Let’s jump to the facts on the 110,000 Obama number. Obama admitted no where near 110,000 in any of his eight years in office! He proposed 110,000 as he was literally walking out the door in the fall of 2016!
“We’re all concerned about the number itself, and the unevenness with which we’re actually receiving word and being asked to resettle refugees,” said Margaret O’Sullivan, executive director of Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia. “That’s our job, to be ready.”
For those of you who continue to believe that the Refugee Program has no cost to state taxpayers (that it is solely a federal program), this next line should disabuse you of that notion.
As a result of the downturn, O’Sullivan described cutting or losing around a million dollars from the group’s budget related to refugee resettlement this year, due to reduced state grants and lower resettlement numbers.
Again, beating a dead horse, but this program, run like a ponzi scheme, based on the number of paying clients (aka refugees) being admitted each year and nine contractors paid based on the number, must be abolished!
And, you won’t find any sympathy here for their budget problems now, because they got fat and lazy on taxpayer dollars (they raise very little private charity) and apparently never planned for a downturn.
There will be no longterm reform of how refugees arrive (and are placed in your towns and cities) in America until these nine, Leftwing community activist groups, are removed from the federal dole.
You are going to get so sick of hearing this from me!
Reader Paul reminded me again of this quote by David Gergen reported in the NY Times in 1993, here.
I’m taking my cue from Richard Nixon!
What Nixon advised is likely the single most important thing that you can do to bring attention and possible change to the refugee resettlement industry where you live (or to any issue that concerns you!).
Gergen said of Nixon:
He learned the importance of saying the same thing, over and over and over: “Nixon taught us about the art of repetition. He used to tell me, ‘About the time you are writing a line that you have written it so often that you want to throw up, that is the first time the American people will hear it.’ ”
The more I think about this, the more I realize what masters the Left are at this: “Diversity is beautiful,” “America is a nation of immigrants,” “Refugees undergo ‘robust’ screening,” yada, yada, yada.
(LOL! btw, try to work that word ‘robust’ into anything you do. I want to barf whenever I hear it from the Left, so let’s have some fun with it!)
We don’t repeat things enough! Why is that? We tend to think our people are smart enough and will get it the first time? We aren’t willing to get to the barf stage?
Anyway, back to my headline….
For a few months, I had high hopes that we were going to see some significant demands for reform of UN/US Refugee Admissions Program in Washington. Dropping the ceiling to 45,000for this fiscal year is not significant. If no reform of the general structure of the program happens, as soon as Trump is no longer Prez they will just boost the number to make up for lost time.
As I have already said, our energy must now shift back to grassroots activism on the local and state level. And, first, don’t worry that you haven’t hundreds of people behind you, just get to work yourself (with maybe a friend or two, for help and support).
First, go here and find your State Refugee Coordinator. The list is a little old but through these contact numbers you should find your state’s key people. (This link and many others are at my Frequently Asked Questions, here.)
Ask the coordinator politely for your State’s refugee plan (usually not of great interest because it’s likely written in a mealy-mouth format, but get it). Tell the coordinator where you live and ask to be included in (put on the list for notification of) the “QUARTERLY CONSULTATIONS.”
Obviously for our Lancaster model, find the coordinator for Pennsylvania (often these are employees of the State government).
Next, find out, which resettlement contractors/subcontractors work where you live. Find any office here that is within 100 miles (generally 2 hours drive time) from where you live. Refugees can be placed within that distance from the office. If you live on a state border, be sure to check the neighboring state.
For Lancaster, there are two contractors listed (one for Church World Service the other two for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service). You might find numbers and addresses have changed because the feds are pretty lousy at keeping this up to date.
For folks in Lancaster, call all three subcontractor offices and politely ask forR & P (Reception & Placement) Abstractsfor FY16, FY17 and the new one for FY18. These are plans for your town. Of course the FY18 plan is most interesting, ask for three years for comparison.
And, so you understand, if you get one abstract from one contractor that will only be information on their batch of refugees. They ‘bid for bodies’ so in order to fully understand what the total number is for your town, you must add the abstract projected numbers together. There might be 4 or 5 contractors operating in the same city!
You will likely be told NO, you can’t have them. By the way, on FY18, until a couple of weeks ago, they might have said you can’t have that one because it is a document not yet approved by the State Department. But since the fiscal year began on October 1, that excuse is no longer valid. (See what the Abstract looks like here).
If you get a NO at the contractor’s office, go back to your state coordinator and ask him/her for those important documents. Be sure to say you want the entire document which includes more than just the pages with numbers and spells out the amenities your town is offering refugees.
At this point if you are still getting a runaround, you may have to use your state’s public information law to attempt to get them.
Put your mayor and council on the spot!
However, while waiting for that to work through the system, ask your Mayor and Council for the R & P Abstracts. Either your local elected officials will say they don’t have such documents, or they will say you can’t have them.
For Lancaster, contact “welcoming” Mayor Gray!
Now you have some excellent political ammunition if they don’t give you the R & P Abstract.
Either the mayor/council is completely unaware that a document like this exists or they keep it from you on purpose, and either way they are politically in a hot seat!
They are either so incompetent they didn’t know that a federal contractor was sending plans for their (your) town to Washington, or they did know and kept it from the citizens (aka voters). Lack of transparency/secrecy are words that you can use against them (until you want to barf!).
Next! Contact your Representative in the US Congress. It looks like for most of Lancasterthat is Rep. Lloyd Smucker.
You are going to report to his staff (try his local office first) that you are getting a runaround and can’t get the R & P Abstractsfor Lancaster and ask his staff to get them for you.
Again, this is an important exercise, not so much that the documents contain bombshells (although most I’ve seen are very interesting), but it will tell you something about the man representing you in Congress. If he can’t get the documents (and get you invited to quarterly consultations), he is weak, or he is lying.
You will do the same exercise with the US Senate offices of Pat Toomey an Bob Casey.
For additional fun contact your governor’s office too. See if the governor’s office is being kept informed by the state coordinator (who may actually be employed by the governor’s office).
Presumably you now have the documents and are on the list to be invited to the next QUARTERLY CONSULTATION (aka Stakeholder meeting). Look for another post from me on what to do next involving publicizing what you have learned and pushing for the Abstract to be made public BEFORE it goes to Washington next year!
If no transparency….
If you are still getting a runaround, you have some perfect ammunition to use in the next mayor/city council election (and in 2018 for your member of Congress!). They are all keeping you, taxpaying citizens of refugee resettlement towns and cities, in the dark about plans from Washington about your very neighborhoods!
Say that over and over and over again until you want to throw up!
This post is filed in my ‘What you can do’ category, here.