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Posts Tagged ‘Rex Tillerson’

Refugee industry unhappy with new hire at State Department

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 9, 2018

Unhappy is probably a mild description of the mood of refugee activists inside and outside the government with the posting of Andrew Veprek, described as an aide to the White House’s resident monster, Stephen Miller, to a post as Deputy Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

Politico says that inside the agency, other staff might resign in protest.

(They obviously are convinced Veprek is on the side of slowing the refugee flow to America. And, for the record, I don’t know him, so I couldn’t say.)

Here is Politico reporting the latest discouraging news for the once prosperous refugee industry:

Screenshot (260)_LI

Since I couldn’t find a pic of Stephen Miller’s right hand man Veprek, this is my image of how the refugee industry is viewing the appointment.

A White House aide close to senior policy adviser Stephen Miller who has advocated strict limits on immigration into the U.S. has been selected for a top State Department post overseeing refugee admissions, according to current and former officials.

Andrew Veprek’s appointment as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) is alarming pro-immigration activists who fear that President Donald Trump is trying to effectively end the U.S. refugee resettlement program.

Current and former officials also describe Veprek’s appointment as a blow to an already-embattled refugee bureau.

The Deep State blabs to Politico:

Veprek is a Foreign Service officer detailed to the White House, which listed him as an “immigration adviser” in a 2017 staff document. He has worked closely there with Miller and the Domestic Policy Council, according to a current State official and a former one in touch with people still serving in the department. A former U.S. official also confirmed the appointment.

In interagency debates, some administration officials have viewed Veprek as representing Miller’s hard-line views about limiting entry into the U.S. for refugees and other immigrants.

Veprek played an influential role in Trump administration’s December withdrawal from international talks on a nonbinding global pact on migration issues. He also argued in favor of dramatically lowering the nation’s annual cap on refugee admissions, the current and former officials said.

Resignations coming???

Politico continues….

“He was Stephen Miller’s vehicle,” the former State official said. The current official predicted that some PRM officials could resign in protest over Veprek’s appointment.

“My experience is that he strongly believes that fewer refugees should admitted into the United States and that international migration is something to be stopped, not managed,” the former U.S. official said, adding that Veprek’s views about refugees and migrants were impassioned to the point of seeming “vindictive.”

Veprek’s appointment as a deputy assistant secretary is unusual given his relatively low Foreign Service rank, the former and current State officials said, and raises questions about his qualifications. Such a position typically does not require Senate confirmation. [It is significant that Trump has still not chosen an Asst. Secretary for PRM because that job does require Senate confirmation—a hellstorm they are apparently avoiding.—ed]

tillerson foia

Politico tells us that Sec. of State Tillerson has given up on the idea of scrapping PRM.  If I understand it, he was considering moving the refugee program to Homeland Security, a proposal that had some merit in my opinion.

[….]

The White House referred questions to the State Department. A State Department spokesperson confirmed Veprek’s new role and, while not describing his rank, stressed that Veprek comes to PRM “with more than 16 years in the Foreign Service and experience working on refugee and migration issues.”

[….]

The PRM bureau, like several other bureaus at the State Department, does not yet have an assistant secretary to lead it. People familiar with the bureau say the morale among its employees has sunk to unusually low levels as top officials have left or been reassigned and amid the anti-refugee messages emanating from the White House. But initial worries that Tillerson would scrap the bureau completely have faded, at least for now, as the secretary has scaled back plans to restructure the department.

More here.

In another report on the “refugee hard-liner”, The Hill says this of Trump’s reduction in the number of refugees to be admitted to the US:

The move signaled that there would no longer be a need for all of the 324 resettlement offices that were operating in 2017.

As we reported extensively in the waning years of the Obama Administration, the State Department was on a high identifying as many as 40 prospective NEW resettlement sites.

Elections have consequences after all.

But the consequences come with a time stamp and if there is no move to reform the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program by Congress, by changing the law, during the Trump Administration, the program will simply pick up where it left off when a new President (without Trump’s guts) comes in, bumps the numbers up, opens those offices and away they will go!

Where is Congress?

Posted in Obama, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Trump | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Sec. of State Tillerson attempting to clear huge FOIA backlog at State Department

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 3, 2018

The State Department is notorious for either delaying answering ‘Freedom of Information Act’ requests, or never answering them at all.

In fact, although I used FOIA a number of years ago with another federal agency, I never bothered with it on the refugee issue knowing of the State Department’s horrible reputation for stonewalling the public.

tillerson foia

Sec. of State Tillerson orders FOIA backlog cleaned up!  Transparency here we come! (I hope!)

This story at CNN from several days ago, got my attention because a former bigwig in the Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration was recently assigned to Tillerson’s admirable project of clearing the backlog of FOIA requests —-Laurence Bartlett (here).

CNN says disgruntled State Dept. employees sent to the FOIA office are hiring lawyers because they feel such work is beneath them.  (The article does not list Bartlett as one of those seeking a legal remedy to what is described as a demotion.)

Frankly, it makes enormous sense to me to place experienced people in that office because how would someone with no history with certain departments at the State Department know where to find the information requested.

Here is CNN’s “exclusive” story from nearly a week ago:

Washington (CNN) A growing number of State Department employees are charging they are being put in career purgatory because of their previous work on policy priorities associated with President Barack Obama and in offices the Trump administration is interested in closing.

The situation has got so serious that several officials tell CNN they have retained attorneys after repeatedly trying unsuccessfully to raise concerns about being assigned to low-level jobs in Foggy Bottom such as answering Freedom of Information Act requests.

The issue has also come to the attention of senior Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has made clearing a backlog of FOIA requests a priority and reassigned staff to what State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert has called “an all-hands on deck” effort to clear the backlog. Significant progress has been made, and the number of outstanding requests — which stood at 22,000 in January 2017 — has been reduced to about 13,000, Tillerson said in November, adding that he hopes the backlog will be cleared by the end of 2018.

The backlog grew over the last several years in part due to numerous requests from journalists and conservative groups, including Judicial Watch and Citizens United, for records relating to Hillary Clinton’s emails. [LOL! Leave it to CNN to blame the backlog on rightwingers!—ed]

bartlett at Heritage

When Lawrence Bartlett was the lead panelist at a Heritage Foundation event last fall, along with other inside the beltway types, I knew Heritage had no clue about what was really happening with refugees in your towns and cities.   https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/is-the-heritage-foundation-selling-you-out-on-unus-refugee-admissions-policy/

“Those helping with FOIA requests have a range of skills and backgrounds, from interns to deputy assistant secretaries,” Nauert told CNN. “The assignments are temporary — some staffing the office are simply between assignments as they determine their next step.”

But many of those assigned to the “FOIA Surge” effort resemble a band of misfit toys, including several ambassadors returning from overseas and senior career and civil service members who were detailed to other agencies. Others worked in offices created by Obama as policy priorities, which the Trump administration has announced it intends to close.

[….]

Nauert said that employees are being asked to serve in the FOIA office due to need, “without regard to politics.”

“There is a job that needs to be done,” Nauert said. “It may not be a glamorous job, but it’s an important one.”

Lawrence Bartlett, the head of refugee admissions in the State Department’s bureau of Population Refugees and Migration was recently benched and assigned as a “senior adviser” to the FOIA office. His case was first reported by Reuters.

The State Department said Bartlett’s assignment was temporary but has not said whether he would return to the post or whether someone would cover his position in his absence.

Several current and former officials fear the decision to reassign Bartlett, a leading advocate for refugees in the State Department, is part of the Trump administration’s wider effort to limit refugee resettlement in the US.

Much more here.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Trump | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Tillerson wants further investigation before jumping on the Buddhists are bad, Rohingya are victims bandwagon

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 19, 2017

Good for Secretary of State Tillerson! My estimation of him has just risen enormously!

He hasn’t fallen for the propaganda campaign that the Muslim Rohingya have no blame and that the Buddhist government of Burma (aka Myanmar) is made up of evil killer Islamophobes.

 

Tillerson with Suu Kyi

Secretary of State Tillerson is greeted by famous human rights activist and leader Aung San Suu Kyi.  CNN parrots the Rohingya are victims meme here too!  http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/15/asia/tillerson-myanmar-rohingya/index.html

 

Unlike VP Pence who immediately jumped to the international ‘humanitarians’ tune here in September, Tillerson wants more facts!

From the LA Times:

When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made his first official trip to Myanmar on Wednesday, he did not describe the country’s brutal military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims as ethnic cleansing, as other diplomats have done.

Now read this next paragraph, so typical of the Leftwing media. NO mention of how some atrocities were perpetrated by Rohingya against their Buddhist neighbors!

Security forces have conducted or allowed what critics call systematic rape and murder against the Rohingya minority, leading more than half a million to flee to squalid camps in neighboring Bangladesh since August.

But speaking in Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s capital, Tillerson declined to call for sanctions or other censure, saying more investigation is needed.

“If we have credible information that we believe to be very reliable that certain individuals were responsible for certain acts that we find unacceptable,” Tillerson said, “then targeted sanctions on individuals very well may be appropriate.”

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have already documented atrocities against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority country. In September, the United Nations’ top human rights official accused Myanmar of carrying out “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Whether Tillerson was ill-informed or following administration policy wasn’t clear.  [It is almost laughable how they write the ‘news’!—ed]

obama and aung san

Obama failed to sufficiently charm Suu Kyi!

This is what really has the Human Rights Industrial Complex (HRIC) steamed. Their hero won’t come to an unqualified defense of the Rohingya:

In Myanmar, human rights groups have been dismayed at the failure of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to speak out on the plight of the Rohingya, especially now that she is state counselor, a position akin to prime minister.

“What people mean is what I say is not interesting enough,” she said of her critics during Tillerson’s visit. “What I say is not meant to be exciting. It’s meant to be accurate, not set people against each other.”

John Sifton, who is following the conflict in Myanmar for Human Rights Watch, said it was “naive” for Tillerson to call for another investigation.

Continue reading here where the reporter gives another opportunity for Republican Senators Corker and McCain to badmouth Trump and the changes being made at the US State Department.

You should know that, in my opinion, Trump and Tillerson are making a huge mistake with this staff cut-back by leaving in place career bureaucrats to run the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), the agency within the State Department that hires the contractors that place refugees in your towns.

But, for the moment, I am thrilled that Tillerson has enough sense to not buy the HRIC line that will soon be followed by demands that we admit even more Rohingya to your towns and cities than we have already (nearly 20,000 in the last decade).

See my Rohingya Reports category here where for nearly ten years I’ve reported on the build-up of this propaganda campaign—that the Rohingya are the sole victims here.

Posted in Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Rohingya Reports, Trump | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

WaPo: Stirring the pot, highlighting controversy between White House and DOS on refugees, etc.

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 10, 2017

We told you about the discussions (supposedly) on-going in the administration to possibly shift the refugee program and consular affairs from the Dept. of State to the Dept. of Homeland Security, here.

The Washington Post describes the battle lines as Tillerson/Democrat (the ‘good guys’ in the Senate) vs. Stephen Miller (leader of the “Nativist strain”) in the White House.  Who knows what is really going on! I don’t.

Stephen Miller, we are told, crafted that historic Warsaw speech last week (the save Western Civilization speech!). Here he is during the campaign with his former boss and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Left (including the WaPo) would like nothing better than to put the two on the President’s wrong side. See WND here when Trump tapped Miller: http://www.wnd.com/2016/01/trump-snags-top-aide-to-jeff-sessions/

However, Washington Post opinion writer Josh Rogin has got it all figured out and it all goes back to that Poland speech the left is having hissy-fits over—the LOL! Nationalist speech and its boogeyman author.

Here is what Rogin says in his closing paragraphs after trying to make a case that bureaucratically the refugee program should stay at the State Department.

That nativist strain in the White House is represented by Miller, who was the principal author of Trump’s travel ban, which targeted six Muslim-majority countries, as well as of Trump’s speech last week in Poland, which cast the mission of U.S. foreign policy as one based on threats, not relationships.

“The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive,” Trump said. “Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”

I would like to think that there is a great battle of ideals happening around the subject of moving one bureaucratic function from one federal agency to another, but it is more likely that the little fiefdoms and power structures built around certain federal agencies (and their friends in Congress) are simply protecting turf and their MONEY!

Earlier Rogin tells us this which I think is closer to the truth about what the concern is—there are little fiefdoms to protect at Foggy Bottom and the bureaucrats/Senate lackeys are trying to not have their little world rocked or any power removed from the State Department, a bastion of liberalism in Washington.

Although the State Department’s internal reorganization plans are still under review, spokeswoman Heather Nauert told me that Tillerson believes the two bureaus should remain where they are and he views consular and refugee work “as essential to the Department’s mission to secure our borders and protect the American people.”

State stands to lose not only the 12,000-plus personnel billets associated with the work but also the more than $3 billion annually that consular fees bring in.

Tillerson’s position runs counter to the “Listening Report” he commissioned to review the State Department’s organizational structure, which actually recommended handing over all consular functions to DHS. The report, compiled by the private firm Insigniam, claimed such a move “would elevate security at our borders and remove a source of dissatisfaction and frustration.”

Read it all here.

As for those fiefdoms!  Such a move could upset the little fiefdoms developed between the State Dept. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and its nine federal contractors that monopolize all refugee placement in America.

Someone once told me that one must repeat the same message seven times before people listen.  I’m probably up to at least that many on this subject!

There can never be real reform of the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program as long as these nine fake non-profit groups, functioning as contractors, lobbyists, and community organizers, are being paid with taxpayer dollars to seed refugees in to unsuspecting towns and cities. 

A move of the program from one federal agency to another won’t be enough, but it might be a good start.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Trump | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Politico: Sec. of State Tillerson arguing with White House’s Miller over refugees?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 3, 2017

A word of caution! All of these reports being leaked out about conversations between the White House and the State Department must be viewed with a skeptical eye.

That said, this story sounds plausible because we know that Stephen Miller, a longtime Trump aide and expert on immigration and refugees, is a key White House strategist on the subject.

The 31-year-old Miller has been at Trump’s side since the earliest days of the Trump campaign.

We also have gotten previous suggestions that Tillerson aide Brian Hook (a Bushie) is soft on the refugee program, see hereCould Hook be the source for the discord story?

Now that the Supreme Court has added a new wrinkle by doing away with the whole concept of a Presidentially-designated CEILING that is a cornerstone of the Refugee Act of 1980, we can imagine that disagreements are surfacing between the White House immigration hardliners and the DOS which is largely being run by career bureaucrats who loved Obama and Hillary.

I suspect it is the ‘careers’ who put together the bragging graphic, here. Ten Pittsburghs is going to sell the USRAP? Did the Secretary’s office ever eyeball it before it was posted?

Here is what Politico is reporting:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argued with senior White House aide Stephen Miller over immigration issues last week in a second recent clash with the White House.

Miller pushed Tillerson and the State Department to be tougher on immigration and make changes to the programs they control, according to four people familiar with the conversation in the West Wing. John Kelly, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, was also present.

It is pretty outrageous to attribute the news of  discord to “four people familiar with the conversation.”  One person might have leaked it back to the DOS and three career bureaucrats are then “familiar with the conversation” and presto! Politico has a story with four sources!

The lead Politico reporter, Josh Dawsey, quoting “four people familiar with the conversation” says on his twitter page that he is a “cigar & bourbon” kind of guy (what is that on his shirt?). Politico welcomed him in December with this comment: “We are very excited to welcome Josh to the newsroom on December 12, and to turn him loose on Washington and the incoming Trump administration.” http://talkingbiznews.com/1/wsj-reporter-dawsey-hired-by-politico-to-cover-white-house/

[….]

Miller has been holding meetings to address how to further curb the entry of refugees into the United States, per two administration officials, and has closely worked with senators on legislative proposals to sharply cut other forms of legal immigration. [ I sure hope to learn that reform of the US Refugee Admissions Program is on the Administration’s list of legislative proposals! If it isn’t than we will never see any real reform!–ed]

[….]

This week, CNN reported that the White House has proposed moving the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs to the Department of Homeland Security, along with its bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. [See my post here.—ed]

Those are among the State Department’s biggest functions and are among the government’s largest immigration arms. They control refugee vetting and releasing passports, among other issues.

[….]

Tillerson has grown increasingly frustrated at the White House and chafed at taking direction from younger Trump aides and not being able to implement State Department policies and offices like he would like, people familiar with his thinking say. [Who the heck are “people familiar with his thinking?” Dawsey could be making up this whole story!—ed]

Tillerson has grown especially agitated that less experienced figures like Miller – who previously worked on the Hill for attorney general and former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions – have been giving him commands.

The former ExxonMobil CEO was promised autonomy by Trump and is fond of reminding others of that.

More here.

Politico reporter Dawsey has a lot of nerve reporting that Miller is somehow less experienced than Tillerson about immigration and immigration law!

Endnote:  I think it’s time for all of us in the blogosphere to start highlighting especially young reporters (Dawsey is only 5 years out of Journalism school!) who act like kingmakers (or destroyers) and report stories based on ‘sources familiar with someone’s thinking!’

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Refugee Resettlement Program, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Did Sec. of State Tillerson’s right hand man, Brian Hook, set a major policy shift on refugees?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 25, 2017

“…..if he hires Brian Hook, he will be opening his arms to a member of the very establishment he campaigned against.”

Daniel DePetris

 

Update July 31, 2017: More on Hook and the Romney/Bushies, here.

Last night I told you that twitter phenom Mike Cernovich immediately fingered Tillerson’s chief policy advisor, Brian Hook, as the State Department official who okayed the release of an e-mail last month to their refugee industry partners around the world announcing a huge jump in weekly refugee admissions.

(So far we have not seen the bump-up from 900 to 1,500 a week that was  announced as Trump and Tillerson were wrapping up a world tour. That is not to say it isn’t still coming.)

A jump to 1,500 a week for the remaining weeks of the fiscal year would push Trump’s numbers up above 2—56,424 and 58,238—and perhaps as many as 5 of Barack Obama’s years! (Here).

When the New York Times announced the stunning news (we wrote about it here), I and many others following the issue closely, were completely flummoxed—-how could Trump go so far from his campaign promises, and did he think no one was watching?

 ***Update*** Just checked the numbers and there is no sign of any bump-up. We admitted 2,244 in the last 3 weeks (June 2-June 23) which represents an average of 748 refugees a week.

We don’t know if Cernovich is correct, but when you learn more about Hook, it makes sense.

Here is what you need to know about who Rex Tillerson relies on for policy decisions in a State Department being run almost completely by career bureaucrats who frankly hate Donald Trump.

And, incidentally, it easily could have been Hook (Tillerson’s chief policy strategist) who was the leader of the pack stomping on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban while shilling for GEORGE SOROS here last week.

Here is Brian Hook’s bio.

Here is what Alex Pfeiffer (Daily Caller) said about him and his appointment in March:

Brian Hook, a Trump critic and former Bush administration official, is currently serving as the State Department’s director of policy planning, The Daily Caller has learned.

Brian Hook is not only a Bushie, but a Romney advisor and cheerleader. When Trump did not choose Romney for Sec. of State, was Hook the bone Trump threw to the Bush/Romney interests. Was Tillerson required to take Hook?

Foreign Policy magazine previously reported that Hook was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s favorite for the role and a department spokeswoman confirmed to TheDC Thursday that Hook got the job. The director of policy planning is a key position responsible for running the department’s internal think tank, which is home to the secretary of state’s speechwriters.

Hook previously served in the Bush administration in several roles, including as assistant secretary of state for international organizations, and later served as a foreign policy adviser for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.

The State Department official also co-founded the John Hay Initiative, a neoconservative group that organized a letter of over 100 Republican foreign policy experts who would refuse to back Trump. Eliot Cohen, another co-founder of the John Hay Initiative, has been a strong critic of the Trump administration.

During the Presidential campaign, Hook disagreed with every one of Trump’s positions, so clearly he is opposed to slowing the flow of refugees to America.

The John Hay Initiative*** advocated for a foreign policy that Trump rejected during the presidential campaign. It called for a tougher stance against Russia and more involvement overseas. Hook told Politico in May, “Even if you say you support him as the nominee, you go down the list of [Trump’s] positions and you see you disagree on every one.”

After Foreign Policy reported that Hook might land a State Department role, Daniel DePetris, a National Interest contributor, wrote, “Trump should know what he’s getting himself into: if he hires Brian Hook, he will be opening his arms to a member of the very establishment he campaigned against.”

More here.

Then we learn even more from a huge article at Politico.  Of course Politico is writing in support of the State Department bureaucrats who, first and foremost, hate Donald Trump and are working daily to undermine his White House (at least on the issue we care the most about, see here).

Politico tells us that because the Tillerson State Department has hired so few people loyal to the President, foreign governments are going directly to Hook or, Jared Kushner!

In theory, the Policy Planning office is a kind of in-house think thank that develops long-range strategy, but in practice it often feeds the secretary of state with views about day-to-day problems. The lack of Trump appointees at the State Department’s regional desks and embassies, and the sidelining of many career diplomats, has added pressure on Hook’s office to develop policy for Tillerson.

It’s also led foreign governments to seek out other avenues of communication. Trump has nominated only a handful of U.S. ambassadors, and some countries have responded simply by reaching out directly to Hook or to other White House officials, including Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Politico tells us that career bureaucrats went bonkers over Trump White House decision on refugees.

Others say asking senior aides who were deeply and visibly supportive of an array of Obama-era foreign policy initiatives — including the Iran deal — to reverse, modify, or unwind those initiatives, is difficult if not impossible. Even before Tillerson’s confirmation, the State Department’s dissent channel — an internal venue for career officials to register concerns with the trajectory of American policy — lit up with protests over the administration’s temporary ban on refugees.

So, did Hook (Politico calls him Tillerson’s “policy brain”) agree to the announcement of a stepped-up refugee admissions schedule to appease the swamp monsters—the long-time bureaucrats who almost unanimously donated to Hillary’s presidential campaign?

And, one more thing.  We have been pointing out for many weeks that the US Refugee Admissions Program is being run by long-time bureaucrats and that there has been no move to find a Trump loyalist to fill the Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) position.

Politico confirms that Trump/Tillerson have made no move to get their own people in place.

LOL! Politico suggests that the ‘career civil servants’ want some leadership, but, at least for PRM, I’m betting they are pretty happy to have no Trump-appointee holding the reins so that they can simply run the show and persuade Hook/Tillerson that opening the spigot to 1,500 refugees a week will go unnoticed.

Politico continues…..

About four months after Tillerson’s confirmation, Hook has told associates that his boss is in no rush to fill the several hundred senior-level posts that require political appointments. Trump has yet to nominate a single assistant secretary, leaving the department’s top posts for regions like Europe, Asia and the Middle East vacant. Instead, career civil servants — “acting” assistant secretaries — are filling the jobs until their replacements are nominated, a move that is eliciting criticism from department veterans.

By the way, it will be a battle-royal in the Senate over the PRM job, but there is no reason that Tillerson can’t (right now!) get an advisor who knows something about the USRAP, and such an advisor/consultant does not require Senate confirmation.  Indeed it should be noted that George W. Bush had to get his Asst. Sec for PRM (Ellen Sauerbrey) in place by using a recess-appointment.

Much more here at Politico.

*** More on Hook at the John Hay Initiative.

Posted in 2016 Presidential campaign, Changing the way we live, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Trump crosses 40,000 refugees mark! Over 900 in past week! Syrians lead the pack in last 4 weeks

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 13, 2017

It has been 4 weeks since President Trump announced his 120-day “moratorium” on refugee resettlement as part of the court-halted Executive Order.  And, for the umpteenth time, I repeat that the President did not have to even announce any “moratorium” or put it in an Executive Order!  He has the power to simply stop the processing!

GW Bush loved refugees, yet at this rate Trump will bring in more refugees than Bush. Bush’s average is about 58,000. At the rate of admission for this past week, Trump will surpass that number. Trump has already passed Bush’s lowest year (2003) of 39,554. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/trump-watch-is-rumored-refugee-cap-reduction-to-50000-that-significant/

Then on March 30th we were stunned to learn that they were aiming to bring in 900 refugees a week through the remainder of the fiscal year that ends on September 30th.

If he and Tillerson keep that pace they will admit around 60,000 this year which is near the average number we have admitted since 9/11.

Do they think we are not watching?

George Bush loved refugees and he averaged under 60,000!

Sure enough, according to Wrapsnet in the last week, from April 6th to today (April 13th) they have admitted 977 refugees in ONE WEEK!

It was yesterday that I noticed Trump had passed the 40,000 mark (it was 40,180 this time yesterday morning).  Today it is 40,602 (you might get slightly different numbers depending on the time of day you check the data, I try to check around the same time every day.)

That is an increase just since this time yesterday of 402!  (See my right hand sidebar where I am tracking the numbers every few days).

Going back to the date that the “moratorium” was supposed to begin on March 16th the Trump State Department has admitted 2,496 refugees.

100 Burmese Muslims admitted to US in last 4 weeks.

Of the 2,496, topping the list are 335 Syrians! 327 of those are Muslims. Other countries, where Trump’s campaign promise of “extreme vetting” was supposed to be put in place (Somalia and Iraq), come in at 283 each, and we admitted 116 Iranians in the last 4 weeks.

Most interesting to me is that we admitted 333 Burmese (that part is no a surprise because we have been admitting Burmese minorities for years and years).

The big surprise is that in just the last 4 weeks we admitted 100 Burmese Rohingya Muslims.  When I first started writing RRW in 2007, we were steering clear of bringing the devout Rohingya to America.

VOLAGs not making so much noise now!

Have you noticed that there are fewer news stories about the Refugee contractors*** screaming bloody murder about Trump (and their loss of federal bucks) in the last week or so? I have.  Has the word gone out to shut up for awhile?

The ultimate test for me will come in September when the Trump Department of State will send its “determination” to the Hill with the proposed numbers for FY2018.  Will Trump simply cave and continue the trend he has begun to bring in the average number of refugees that we have seen in the last 15 years?

Endnote:

We will also be watching to see if the Tillerson Dept. of State will go back to holding public hearings on the size and scope of the US Refugee Admissions Program.  The Obama DOS abandoned the public hearing format in 2015 after several years of hearings that had gotten contentious. See my comments last year here.

The ‘hearing’ is usually in May or possibly early June. We will be watching!

If the Trump team were smart they would hold some field hearings so that citizens impacted by the program could voice their concerns to the Administration—but, don’t hold your breath!

*** For new readers, these are the nine major contractors (VOLAGs), paid by you, to resettle refugees in your towns and cities:

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Rohingya Reports, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch!, Where to find information | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

Huffington Post: State Department says it will up refugee arrivals to 900 a WEEK!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 30, 2017

We have increased the current pace of refugee arrivals to approximately 900 individuals per week.

(State Department spokesperson)

 

Oh geez! What the heck is the Trump Administration doing?

As we have said repeatedly, Trump’s refugee admissions are not at the mercy of two rogue judges. He can bring in any number under the CEILING set either by Obama (110,000) or his reduced ceiling (50,000).

As far as we know, Sec. of State Rex Tillerson has not chosen a political appointment to head up the Population, Refugees and Migration department that runs the USRAP, thus the program is run by long-time federal employees with close ties to the contractors and to media like the HuffPo!

After resettlement contractors reduced their staffs (their federal funding depends on a per head payment for each refugee they resettle), now, if the Huffington Post is right, their numbers will go up from a previously predicted 400 per week to 900 per week and are complaining about being understaffed!

If you calculate 900 a week for the remaining (approx. 26 weeks in this fiscal year) and add that number to the number of refugees as of today (38,789) the result is approximately 62,189.

To put that number in perspective, the Bush Administration was BELOW that number in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Even Obama was below that number in 2011 and 2012! (see here).

(We told you here that as of yesterday they have not ticked-up to 900 a week, yet!)

Here is what HuffPo is reporting:

The number of refugees being resettled in the U.S. has shot up ever since a federal court struck down portions of President Donald Trump’s second executive order on immigration earlier this month.

While this has allowed many to breathe a sigh of relief, it’s placing serious strain on the organizations responsible for bringing refugees to America and helping them resettle.

“In accordance with the Court Order, and consistent with both our operational capacity and our capacity under available funding, we have increased the current pace of refugee arrivals to approximately 900 individuals per week,” a State Department spokesperson told The Huffington Post in a statement on Tuesday. “New refugee pre-screening interviews will continue to be scheduled and conducted at Resettlement Support Centers around the world.”

Trump has signed two executive orders attempting to prevent refugees from finding safe haven in the United States since entering office. Both were legally challenged amid mass protests.

His first order, signed on Jan. 27, halted the refugee resettlement program for 120 days, among other things, and slashed the number of people who could be resettled in the U.S. from 110,000 in the 2017 fiscal year to 50,000.

As a result, the number of refugees entering the country weekly had been limited to 400 people, in an effort to avoid reaching the 50,000 quota too soon (the 2017 fiscal year ends on Sept. 30). Fewer refugees means less money allocated to the agencies that resettle refugees, since they receive federal funding contingent on the number of people they take care of.

Parts of this order were struck down in federal court in February, but the quota remained unchanged. So the 400 per week figure was in effect until Trump’s revised ban was struck down in a Hawaii federal court on March 15, only hours before it was supposed to be implemented.

Continue reading here.

This is further evidence to explain why the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is “cautiously hopeful.”

Next, I need to find out what role Congress is playing—have the RINOs increased funding for the USRAP (US Refugee Admissions Program)?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , | 14 Comments »

587 refugees admitted since 120-day moratorium should have started, Syrians top list

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 29, 2017

It has been 13 days since the Trump Administration said it would begin a 120-day moratorium on admissions through an Executive Order blocked by two rogue judges.

Is it Tillerson or Trump leaving the door open a crack?

Instead of doing what the Trump Department of State is legally permitted to do, without an EO, and pause the program, we have admitted 587 additional refugees since I checked the data on the morning of March 16th (moratorium was to begin that day).

Topping the list are 116 Syrians and not far behind 107 Somalis.

Other countries sending us their supposed refugees in the last 13 days include Sudan (22), Iraq (50), Iran (36), Burma (44), DR Congo (23) and one of the most maddening is El Salvador (35).  There is no question that the El Salvadorans are NOT refugees.  Many other countries are represented by smaller numbers.

Each one of these ‘refugees’ will cost US taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars over the next 5 years.

Yesterday we learned that federal contractors are hopeful that Trump will actually aim for Obama’s dream number of 110,000 refugees for FY2017 (which ends on September 30th).

As of this morning, according to Wrapsnet, we are at 38,693!

Trump needs to get a pep talk from the Visegard 4!

By the way, as far as I know, the bureaucrats in the Dept. of State are still running the program. I haven’t seen any news about Trump and Tillerson picking an Asst. Sec. of State for Population, Refugees and Migration.  Have you?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Here we go again, refugee numbers jump, 342 since Wednesday

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 24, 2017

As we have said repeatedly, and most recently here, the Hawaiian judge did not have the power to slow the flow of refugees entering the US, nor did he have any power to set the ceiling.   That said, a week after the 120-day slowdown was  to go in to effect, the numbers entering the US picked up dramatically since we reported 38,111 as of Wednesday (for FY17).

Who is calling the shots on refugee admissions? Career bureaucrats or Sec. of State Tillerson? Either way, why the big jump in admissions over last two days? And, what is taking Trump so long to choose Asst. Sec. to oversee refugee program?

Today data at Wrapsnet indicates that another 342 refugees arrived in the US in the last 48 hours.  We are now at 38,453!

If the US Department of State had been preparing for a 120-day pause to begin on March 16th, how is it that this large number of refugees was ready to board planes?  Is there anyone in charge (other than the career people) at the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration? Are they still calling all the shots?  Or, is it possible that the White House isn’t willing to fight on this portion of the EO (assuming we wouldn’t notice)?

The top five nationalities among the 342 newly arrived are as follows:

Syria (55 and 51 of those were Muslims)

Somalia (50 and all are Muslims)

Burma (44 and a surprisingly high number of those—17—are Muslims)

Iraq (41 and 32 are Muslims)

Ukraine (32 and zero Muslims)

The top five states receiving Syrians over the last two days are: Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho and Ohio.

The top five states receiving Somalis since Wednesday are: Massachusetts, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, and New York.

This post is filed in our Trump Watch! category as well as ‘refugee statistics’ and ‘where to find information.’

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Trump Watch!, Where to find information, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

 
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