Refugee Resettlement Watch

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    Ann Corcoran
    P.O. Box 55
    Fairplay, MD 21733

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Posts Tagged ‘Special Immigrant Visas’

Afghan special immigrant visa (SIV) holders and families enter US in high numbers

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 12, 2018

Maryland and Virginia are in the top five welcoming states…

state depart. seal

I’ve been told that the flow of these ‘special’ immigrants are helping to keep federal money flowing to the resettlement contractors*** as they are treated as refugees (but not counted as part of the 45,000 ceiling set by the President last September) and as such, the contractors are paid by the head for their work in resettling them.

Just now I checked Wrapsnet to see what those numbers looked like. I’ve written other posts on the topic before, here, so this is an update.

Prior to FY14 we admitted small numbers of the people that supposedly helped us in some capacity in Afghanistan, but the number began to skyrocket in FY14.

The top year so far, 16,866 Afghan SIV arrivals, was in President Trump’s first year in office.

Top states for Afghan resettlement (regular refugees and SIVs) from FY07 to the present were California (20,171), Texas (8,229), Virginia (7763), Washington (2,898) and Maryland (2,745).

Here are some partial screen shots. The whole graph obviously doesn’t fit on the page.

Top of graph:

Screenshot (509)

Note that the first column in white is the number of normal refugees we admitted and the second is the SIVs and their family members.

 

Bottom of graph:

Screenshot (510)

Unfortunately, you can’t see the far left with the names of the states.  The number in the dark column is the total number of refugees plus SIVs that went to each state.

 

 

The total number of Afghans admitted to the US, 60,623, above is from FY07 to the present. Less than 10,000 were determined to be refugees.

 

*** Here are the nine federal refugee contractors. They have been complaining as their regular paying client numbers (refugees) have declined, but it seems they have some taxpayer supplied funds coming in with this huge push to bring in Afghan ‘interpreters’ and their families.

The original Refugee Act of 1980, that set up this monstrosity, envisioned a public-private partnership that over the years has almost completely morphed in to a federal program.

The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees (SIVs too) and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare)!  From most recent accounting, here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, Trump, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

Under Trump, Muslim refugees from Burma (Rohingya) are numero uno

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 3, 2018

I told you the other day that we had a slight increase in the number of refugees entering the US in the month of May.  The number is still way below what the refugee contractors*** need to assure that their federally funded budgets are flush with your involuntary contributions via Washington.

Today I checked Wrapsnet (FY18 data) for the Muslim refugee numbers and learned this:

The percentage of Muslims entering as refugees is way down compared to Bush and Obama years.  It now stands at 15% when it was approaching 50% under Barack Hussein Obama.

(Total admissions so far 14,321 and 2,184 are listed as Muslims of some sect or another.)

But….

 

Rohingya refugees mostly women

See my Rohingya Reports category with 224 previous posts:   https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/category/rohingya-reports/

 

…much to my surprise I see that Burmese Muslims (Rohingya) top the list!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Rohingya Reports, Trump, Where to find information, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Press Release: International Rescue Committee (again) on low Trump refugee admission numbers

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 12, 2018

In a press release dated yesterday, the Manhattan-based International Rescue Committee (IRC) asks its followers to contact members of Congress and Senators to pressure the Prez to fulfill the 45,000 refugee CEILING set by Trump last fall.

brexit-news-tony-blair-1072435

From his perch in Manhattan, Miliband pulls down a nearly $700,000 annual salary (doing well by doing good!) while he dabbles in UK politics, specifically the Brexit controversy.   https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/856974/Brexit-news-Tony-Blair-EU-latest-news-Concordia-summit-David-Miliband

At the present rate the Trump State Department will admit about half that number and the resettlement contractors*** are shaking in their boots.

Each refugee admitted represents money, your money, to their budgets and reports are that at least one of the nine that have monopolized all resettlement to the US for a decade might not survive.

That is not true for the IRC, it is rolling in money….

Which reminds me (as I read this press release)—where is “moneybags” Miliband? Why is he not quoted? Too busy mucking around back home in the UK?

This press release wouldn’t be worth mentioning except for one nugget I found interesting (and for the fact that I love writing about this super rich Manhattan-based taxpayer-funded organization making decisions for small city/town America.).

Here is some of it:

New York, NY, April 11, 2018 — Midway through the 2018 fiscal year, which ends September 30, just 10,584 refugees have been resettled to the United States. By contrast, 39,098 refugees were welcomed to the U.S. in the first half of the 2017 fiscal year—even with the slowdown on admissions due to the Trump Administration’s refugee bans. This decline in refugee admissions represents a stark 73 percent year-over-year drop. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) projects that a series of excessive red-tape vetting and processing changes will result in no more than 23,000 refugees being resettled in FY18, barely achieving 50 percent of the ceiling.

[They are so deceptive, the reason the number is so high, 39,098, for the first half of FY17 is because Obama presided over October, November, December and most of January and his outgoing State Department was pouring them in as fast as they could before Trump was inaugurated.—ed]

Now this next bit is rich!

Here we have Hans (most likely still a Dutch national) who works for a British national (David Miliband) lecturing us about “core American values.”

Said Hans Van de Weerd, Vice President, US Programs, International Rescue Committee:

“Halfway through FY18, the U.S. is establishing a record on resettlement that runs counter to core American values of freedom and welcome and strategic interests abroad.

I can’t believe that they think they can still sell this silly notion, that somehow by curtailing immigration to the US from Muslim countries, we make Islamic terrorists angry (angrier?) with us.

Hans bald

Hans Van de Weerd lectures us on “core American values!”

“Drastically diminished refugee arrivals have detrimental consequences for U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, including fueling the anti-American narratives of the very terrorist organizations we aim to defeat. The Trump Administration must change course in the second half of FY18 and meet its commitment to admit 45,000 refugees.” [For the umpteenth time, the 45,000 is a CEILING, a cap, NOT a target!—ed]

Now, here comes the part that interested me most. 

We know that the contractors have been dependent on the large number of SIVs entering the US (Iraqi and Afghans who supposedly gave us support at some point) to help feed their budgets (see my recent post here).  However, apparently even those numbers are dropping (eeeek!).

Shocking drop in March in admissions of those who assisted U.S. missions

Without explanation, only 510 Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients arrived during the month of March, a more than 68 percent drop compared to average monthly arrivals in FY17.

Total SIV arrivals overall in the first half of FY18 have declined by 28 percent compared to the same time period in FY17.

I wonder (if there is a slowdown), if it is because they are running out of places to put them.  Supposedly most go to San Diego or Northern Virginia where there is an overload of  SIVs and as we reported here, they aren’t finding work.

U.S.-affiliated Iraqis (P-2s) left behind

These are supposed ‘beneficiaries’ and their family members. They always say they are translators, but they could have been taking out the garbage.  See here.

U.S.-affiliated Iraqis are individuals who provided critical services, like translation, to U.S. missions abroad and now face persecution as a result.

Conservative estimates suggest that there are approximately 50,000 Iraqis with close affiliations with the U.S. government waiting for interviews to have their cases for resettlement processed.

Yet, only 36 U.S.-affiliated Iraqis have arrived in FY18.

Then here is Hans’ wrap-up:

It’s time to pressure the Administration to pick up the pace on refugee resettlement. Take action now.

Click here to see what they want their groupies to tell Congress.

You should tell your member of Congress and US Senators what you think too, but honestly I have little hope they will get off their duffs and do anything, so right now, it is best to Contact the White House and tell the Prez to hang tough!

And, for fun, ask him why we pay David Miliband over a half a million a year so he can do his anti-Brexit political agitation work in his home country.

See my David Miliband archive here.  Waaahhh! What will I do when he finally goes home!

 

*** I post the contractor list almost every day because I want new readers to know exactly who is responsible for driving the US Refugee Admissions Program (in addition to the UN!).

The number in parenthesis is the percentage of the nine VOLAGs’ income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees, line them up with (low paying) jobs in food production and cleaning hotel rooms, and get them signed up for their services!  From most recent accounting, here.

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Trump, What you can do | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Parents arrested in teen abuse case; father was an Iraqi interpreter for US

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 27, 2018

There are dozens of reports in publications around the world about the case of a missing San Antonio teen, Maarib al-Hishmawi, now found alive and well in the care of an unnamed organization that protected her.

She went into hiding because she didn’t want to go through with an arranged marriage (this is the United States!) and she reported she suffered physical abuse by her parents because of her refusal to essentially be sold to a man she didn’t know for $20,000. (Did I mention that this is the United States!).

 

Maarib screenshot

Photo from:  http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2018/03/26/Iraqi-girl-tortured-with-Hot-Oil-in-US-for-refusing-forced-marriage.html

 

I read several stories on the case and note that some, including the Washington Post, skirted the subject of just how this family came to live in the US in the first place.

At other reports, including here at the Daily Caller, we learn that Maarib’s father was an interpreter and thus is likely to have been admitted on a Special Immigrant Visa.

Faithful reader know that I have been writing about the huge number of Afghans and Iraqis (with extended families) which have been arriving in the US for the last ten years and the pace has actually been increasing, especially from Afghanistan, during the Trump Administration. (This family obviously arrived during the Obama Admin.)

See my recent posts on SIVs here and here.

Here is the Daily Caller, but if you simply search for ‘Maarib al-Hishmawi’ you will see the story has gone viral.

Authorities arrested a Muslim couple from Iraq March 23 in San Antonio, Texas, for beating and torturing their daughter after she refused a forced marriage.

Sixteen-year-old Maarib Al Hishmawi ran away from Taft High School at the end of January and remained missing until authorities announced they found her as of March 24, according to the San Antonio Express-News. When authorities finally located Maarib, she told them she fled because her parents beat her with broomsticks, poured hot cooking oil on her, and choked her “almost to the point of unconsciousness.” These actions were due to Maarib’s refusal of consent to a forced marriage with an older man.

Iraqi girl parents

Parents arrested last Friday

“This young lady … was subjected to some pretty bad abuse because she didn’t want to be married to this person,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told The Washington Post.

Maarib’s parents, Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi and Hamdiyah Sabah Al Hishmawi, arranged in mid-2017 to marry their daughter to an older man once he agreed to pay the family $20,000, investigators said.

[….]

Abdulah became increasingly agitated during the investigation, blaming a lack of police effort for his daughter’s continued disappearance and even suggested she was kidnapped and taken back to the Middle East. Authorities found Maarib, however, in mid-March in another city. They declined to name the group who sheltered her during that time.

[….]

Abdulah immigrated to the U.S. in 2016 from Iraq with his six children after having worked for the U.S. forces as an interpreter, he said. Maarib’s family held two year visas for the U.S. but did not go into detail about what kind of visas they were, Officials told San Antonio Express-News.  [I don’t know what the reference to two years is, perhaps they have to renew it at that time.  I’ll see if I can find out.—ed]

More here.

I should mention that SIV families come under the care of the usual gang of US State Department resettlement contractors and are treated as refugees. So, assuming they were resettled in San Antonio, resettlement agencies headquartered there would know them. I guess these parents missed the cultural orientation sessions they were supposedly given.

I expect to see women’s rights activists and the NOW gang out in force condemning arranged marriages!

Find resettlement agencies working where you live by clicking here.  They can place refugees within a hundred miles of those offices.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Iraqi refugees, Muslim refugees, Resettlement cities, Stealth Jihad, women's issues | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

GAO: Huge numbers of Special Immigrant Visa holders not finding work

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 23, 2018

But a big problem, says the Government Accountability Office , is that neither the US State Department or the Office of Refugee Resettlement in HHS are doing much to track the outcomes of those admitted to the US from Iraq and Afghanistan who supposedly worked for us as interpreters.

GAO logo 2

I told you here recently that the number admitted to the US from those two violent countries is pushing 70,000 in the last ten years.

As Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders they are treated as full-fledged refugees with all the welfare benefits other refugees receive.

We have been told that the resettlement contractors*** are relying on these paying clients to keep federal dollars flowing to their budgets as the refugee flow they hoped for is not materializing.

Some members of Congress must have requested this GAO study because problems are obviously brewing with this portion of our ‘welcome’ to Middle Eastern Muslims.  I did not read the whole report, here, but it seems that there are some pretty disillusioned SIVs who thought they would have good jobs and decent housing when they got here.

Here are a few snips from the summary:

Not exactly a bombshell title:

AFGHAN AND IRAQI SPECIAL IMMIGRANTS: More Information on Their Resettlement Outcomes Would Be Beneficial

 

What GAO Found

Since fiscal year 2011, about [about?—ed] 13,000 Afghan and Iraqi nationals (excluding family members) have resettled in the United States under special immigrant visas (SIV), but limited data on their outcomes are available from the Department of State (State) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). State collects data on SIV holders’ resettlement outcomes once—90 days after they arrive. GAO’s analysis of State’s data from October 2010 through December 2016 showed that the majority of principal SIV holders—those who worked for the U.S. government—were unemployed at 90 days, including those reporting high levels of education and spoken English.

 

Screenshot (313)

Very high unemployment rate at 90 days. Why is 90 days important? That is when their resettlement contractor is done with them and has moved on to the next batch of paying clients (aka refugees).  By 90 days the SIV is expected to be self-sufficient.  BTW, don’t you wonder who the 1,760 “interpreters” without “good spoken English” are?

 

GAO continues…

Stakeholders [must be referring to the resettlement contractors—ed] GAO interviewed reported several resettlement challenges, including capacity issues in handling large numbers of SIV holders, difficulties finding skilled employment, and SIV holders’ high expectations.

Officials from local resettlement agencies in Northern Virginia reported capacity challenges for their agencies and the community due to the large increase of SIV holders. In almost all of GAO’s focus groups with principal SIV holders, participants expressed frustration at the need to take low-skilled jobs because they expected that their education and prior work experience would lead to skilled work. [You can bet they aren’t going to the slaughterhouse jobs where contractors like to place those in their care.—-ed]

State and HHS have taken steps to address some resettlement challenges. For example, in 2017 State placed restrictions on where SIV holders could resettle and HHS announced a new grant to support career development programs for SIV holders, refugees, and others.

In addition, State provides information to prospective SIV holders about resettlement. However, the information is general, and lacks detail on key issues such as housing affordability, employment, and available government assistance. Providing such specifics could lead to more informed decisions by SIV holders on where to resettle and help them more quickly adapt to potential challenges once in the United States.  [I don’t think that GAO knows that the SIVs original resettlement location is not chosen by the refugees, but by the State Department in conjunction with contractors*** as they bid for bodies (aka paying clients).—ed]

In light of so many disillusioned and unemployed SIVs, I sure hope that someone is reporting that news to others in the pipeline on their way to America!

Why the discrepancy in the numbers?

I wondered if GAO is downplaying the numbers on purpose…. were they as shocked as we are to find these enormous numbers?

In the summary, GAO talks about 13,000 SIVs since 2011, excluding family members, but in the full report they describe the real numbers we have placed in your towns and cities.

And, rather than saying “over 60,000”, they could have said closer to 70,000!  As I reported early this month, using data readily available at the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center (Wrapsnet), we admitted from FY2008-right up to my post on March 8th, the numbers as follows:

Iraq: 18,084

Afghanistan:  49,358

Total to March 8th: 67,442

When I went to the full report they say this (below) on Page 1, but once again use the word “about.”  They do clarify one point:  “about 20,000” are the people who worked for us or on behalf of us, the remaining, over 40,000! are their family members.

Afghan and Iraqi nationals who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan or Iraq and have experienced ongoing serious threats as a consequence of such employment, or who worked directly with the U.S. Armed Forces or under chief of mission authority as a translator or interpreter, may apply for a special immigrant visa (SIV) to the United States.

Upon securing a visa, the principal SIV holder and his or her eligible dependents may resettle in the United States and are granted lawful permanent resident status upon admission into the United States. Since fiscal year 2008, over 60,000 individuals—about 20,000 principal SIV holders and their families—have been admitted under SIVs and received federal resettlement assistance upon arrival.

SIV holders are authorized to receive resettlement assistance from the Departments of State (State) and Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as federal public benefits, to the same extent and for the same periods of time as refugees.

 

***These are the nine federal contractors working with the US State Department to place the SIVs and their families. Although GAO seems to have been fixated on how poorly the State Department and ORR are keeping track of the SIVs and their progress toward assimilation, it seems to me that the contractors should come in for more blame if their charges are doing so poorly.

The number in parenthesis is the percentage of the nine VOLAGs’ income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees, line them up with jobs, and get them signed up for their services!  From most recent accounting, here.

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Legal immigration and jobs, Other refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Where to find information | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans help refugee contractors stay afloat

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 8, 2018

I heard recently that the refugee resettlement agencies (the big nine)*** which the State Department contracts to place refugees in your towns and cities were busy resettling ‘interpreters’ from Afghanistan and those federal payments were helping keep them financially afloat.

So…I checked some numbers at Wrapsnet and was amazed by what I saw.  Sure enough we are bringing in Afghans at an astounding rate.

From FY08 to FY18 we have admitted 49,358 ‘interpreters’ from Afghanistan and that number does not include their spouses and children. Holy cow!

Were there really nearly 50,000 people doing translation work for us? (And, more to come!) 

I know I can hear it now—-shouldn’t we take care of those who helped us in Iraq and Afghanistan (while we were helping their countries!), but really, 50,000 and more!  (I think you can also surmise from this flood of supposedly friendlies out of Afghanistan that we are done there, but that is a story for another blog.)

Know that our usual bunch of federal contractors are paid to place those ‘refugees’ as well.

jasim-ramadon

Poster boy for Iraqis who helped Americans! Jasim Ramadon doing 28 years to life for brutal rape.   https://townhall.com/columnists/dianawest/2014/01/24/from-us-helpers-in-iraq-to-sex-criminals-in-colorado-n1783901

I early on wrote about the Special Immigrant Visa program for Iraqis that ol’ Ted Kennedy got placed in a Defense Authorization bill in the dark of night in 2006, but have never followed it closely. (Numbers of slots available were low. For comparison, we admitted 18,084 ‘interpreters’ from Iraq during the same time period we have admitted nearly 50,000 Afghans!).

However, I see this morning that Donald Trump, when signing the Defense Authorization bill for FY18, also signed in to law a new Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program which permits the entrance to the US of thousands more Afghans in that category.

Read all about it here, and note that the ‘interpreters’ don’t even have to have been employed directly by the US government! They could have been working for allies and presumably NGOs too!  

(I have something else I have to do today, so this is just your intro. to this under-the-radar push for more Middle Easterners to be distributed around the US.)

Here are screenshots of a few pieces of the data at Wrapsnet.

Below is the top of the data sheet on our Afghan admissions.

Circled in red is the column for Special Immigrant Visas compared to the number of regular refugees from that country.  On the fourth line down, that is California which is obviously being flooded.

 

Screenshot (253)_LI

This is the bottom half of the same data chart:

Screenshot (255)_LI

Refugee numbers (column one) are relatively low for Afghanistan, but the SIV numbers (column two) are huge!

 

 

See that in Trump’s first (partial) year in office (FY17) we admitted an astounding 16,866 ‘interpreters’ and in this fiscal year (2018) to March 5th we have already admitted 7,017! Again those numbers do not include spouses and children.

To conclude, although the regular refugee numbers are way down as we reported here.

8,583 refugees have been admitted in 5 months.

You can add to that another 7,017 paying SIV clients (and their families!) for the VOLAGs (resettlement contractors) to place in your towns.  (There are also ‘interpreters’ still coming in from Iraq, but numbers are much lower now.)

***Here are the nine federal refugee contractors. They have been complaining as their regular paying client numbers (refugees) have declined, but it seems they have some taxpayer supplied funds coming in with this huge push to bring in Afghan ‘interpreters’ and their families.

The original Refugee Act of 1980, that set up this monstrosity, envisioned a public-private partnership that over the years has almost completely morphed in to a federal program.

The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare)!  From most recent accounting, here.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, Trump, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

Iraqi interpreters given refugee status, not pure as the driven snow

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 16, 2015

I often hear people say, that although they have problems with the refugee resettlement program, they do think we should be admitting the Iraqi interpreters and others who “helped us in Iraq.”   But, guess what, some of them lie.

Jasim Ramadon

Poster boy for Iraqis who helped Americans! Jasim Ramadon doing 28 years to life for brutal rape. Why didn’t we just deport him to Iraq and save ourselves what probably will amount to hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to keep him incarcerated.

Here is a case just brought to our attention by Creeping Sharia—former interpreter who was living the ‘good life’ in Texas was found to be connected to ISIS.  You can read the whole sorry tale here at Creeping Sharia.

You can read about Special Immigrant Visas here (it was another contribution to America by the now dead Senator Ted Kennedy who added it in the dark of night to a Defense Authorization bill in 2008).

Colorado rape case:

I’m reminded of the Colorado rape case which Diana West so thoroughly discussed here and which I always bring to the attention of listeners when I speak or do skype presentations.  This man who “helped” Americans (before brutally raping a Colorado woman) was even featured on the Oprah Winfrey show (see here)!

Ramadon, Hendrex (the Sargent who helped Ramadon get in to the US)  and other members of Dragon Company appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in September 2004. While there, Ramadon met John Travolta, one of his heroes.

Ramadon was ultimately convicted and sentenced (in 2014) to 28 years to life, here for a rape described as one of the most brutal in Colorado history. Lucky taxpayers—you get to pay for his prison term.

In a quick look at our archives I see we posted on an Afghan interpreter admitted to the US as a SIV holder who allegedly ripped off our generous welfare system, here.

My job is to balance the news!  For every warm and fuzzy refugee-contributes-to-America story, I’ll find you a Ramadon or an Abood (the TX ISIS lover), or a Hayatullah.  The lesson is that we don’t, and can’t, screen them thoroughly.

Posted in Crimes, diversity's dark side, Immigration fraud, Iraqi refugees, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: | 10 Comments »

Afghan SIV applicants say US government dragging its feet on visas

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 10, 2014

Special Immigrant Visa program was Sen. Ted Kennedy’s dark-of-night addition to Defense Authorization bill. Kennedy was also the power behind the Refugee Act of 1980.

The Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) is a program passed by Congress in the the dark of night in 2007 spearheaded by Senator Ted Kennedy, here is a document explaining how those who supposedly helped the US in the Iraq war, and their families, can get into the US where they will reap all the benefits refugees receive (welfare etc.).  Here is a description of the Afghan SIV program.

You might want to see our previous post about one Afghan interpreter and his family arrested in New York.

From the Seattle Times (hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’):

Thousands of Afghans who have served as U.S. military interpreters and who now fear for their lives are waiting in limbo to hear about their applications to move to the U.S. Though Congress authorized 8,750 visas for Afghan interpreters, only 1,982 had been issued through Dec. 10.

Stars of the Seattle Times story say they have already proven their loyalty to America and now want the US to “return the favor.”

For Nazari, who has worked for the U.S. military since 2006, years of waiting have left him confused and demoralized — and at risk of retaliation from insurgents who he says know what he does.

“We’re living in the 21st century,” Nazari said, speaking flawless English while sipping tea at a Kabul guesthouse. “If the State Department wants to find out if I’m a bad guy or a terrorist, just check their computer databases. It should take five minutes, not five years.”

Sardar Khan, 26, who has translated for the U.S. military since 2007, said he has waited nearly two years for a decision on his SIV application. He jokes that he and other applicants have “SIV syndrome” from constantly checking a State Department website for updates on their cases.

“We have already proved our honesty and loyalty to the United States,” Khan said. “All we ask now is for the United States to return the favor.”

Convicted Iraqi refugee terrorists got through old screening system and yet Obama now makes it even easier to get through!

US State Department says they are speeding things up, but are apparently still haunted by those Iraqi refugee terrorists convicted in Kentucky.

Jarrett Blanc, deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the State Department improved its processing times last year and has issued more Afghan interpreter visas during the latest fiscal year than in any previous year, a tenfold increase over 2012. In the last three months of the fiscal year that ended Oct. 1, he said, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued more interpreter visas than in the previous four years.

The department has also begun an appeals process for interpreters turned down at the embassy level, sped up the visa process for approved applicants and is doing more to spread word about the SIV program.

“We are committed to helping those who — at great personal risk — have helped us,” Blanc said.

Officials are concerned that Afghans with ties to insurgents or terrorists will slip through the vetting process. The 2011 arrests of two Iraqi refugees in Kentucky on terrorism charges slowed the visa process, though neither had been an interpreter.  [Of course, now we can expect the vetting process to be relaxed!—ed]

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project calls the SIV process “prohibitively complicated, bureaucratic and opaque.” The group, which also assists Afghans, says more than 5,000 Afghan applicants are backlogged. It says only 6,675 of the 25,000 visas authorized for Iraqi interpreters have been issued.

In December, Congress extended the Iraq SIV program through Sept. 30, but failed to extend the Afghan program, which expires Sept. 30.

To readers:  The next time you hear someone say I oppose illegal immigration, but legal immigration is a good thing, know that they don’t know what they are talking about!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Crimes, diversity's dark side, Immigration fraud, Iraqi refugees, Muslim refugees, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Hey Mike, those darn Lutherans are busy lobbying again

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 15, 2013

Editors note:  Mike is a reader (mikefromlongisland) who commented extensively, here, in the last few days about why and how the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (a 501(c)3 charitable organization) could be lobbying on bills before Congress.  (Imagine your local Tea Party doing such a thing with a 501(c)3 designation—but oops!  Tea Parties aren’t being granted any type of tax-deductible status).

Do all of you Lutherans out there agree with what is being done in the name of your faith?

These are hardcore open borders advocates pushing for more Afghans and Iraqis to be admitted to the US.   This disingenuous article in the Army Times quotes ADVOCATES (aka LOBBYISTS) for two federal refugee resettlement contractors lobbying hard for passage of S.744—Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  (Our archive on the legislative train wreck is here)

Nevermind that they will financially benefit greatly from passage of the Gang of Eight plus Grover bill should it become law.  Their beef this time is that Special Immigrant Visas will be in jeopardy if this bill isn’t passed pronto.

Meeting with Advocates for Immigrants
Pictured in the photo surrounding Congresswoman Roybal-Allard who is seated, from left to right: Brittney Nystrom (Director of Policy and Legal Affairs, National Immigration Forum), now a lobbyist for LIRS.

Remember, the Special Immigrant Visas law for those who “helped” America in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was inserted into a Defense Authorization bill in the dark of night.  Now, it is up for renewal and its extension was slipped into S. 744 (once again no hearings on it).

Maybe before you read the Lutherans view of the Special Immigrant Visa provision in S.744, check out a different view at World Net Daily by Aaron Klein.

Here then is the Army Times (reprinted from Medill News Service).  First they seek to scare readers that some poor translator is going to be beheaded in Iraq or Afghanistan if this program goes away (keep in mind they have had since 2008 to apply):

A law providing special visas to Iraqi and Afghan nationals in danger for helping the U.S. military suffered a blow when the House rejected the Senate’s immigration reform bill Wednesday.

Many of the refugees and their families face grave threats in their homelands as a result of their U.S. government affiliation, and thousands have been killed by their own countrymen, advocacy groups say.

In 2008, Congress passed legislation providing Iraqi and Afghan refugees who assisted the U.S. with special immigrant visas. This included contractors, translators and guides. The 5,000 visas allotted annually to Iraqis are set to expire at the end of September, while the 1,500 visas allotted annually to Afghans will expire in September 2014. The immigration bill would make the visas available until September 2018.

Only 50 special visas are allotted annually for Iraqi and Afghan translators. But in fiscal 2007 and 2008, an amendment to the 2006 National Defense Authorization Act allotted 500 visas for translators.

From fiscal year 2008 to March 2013, 11,647 visas have been allotted to Iraqi and Afghan refugees and 1,693 to translators, according to State Department data.

Director of Advocacy=lobbyist!

Those who benefit from the visas are in immediate danger, said Brittany Nystrom, director of advocacy at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

With the immigration reform bill stalled, advocacy efforts have focused on pushing through the visa provision by other means, Nystrom said.

The provision has also been attached to the Senate and House’s National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2014.

Apparently, before taking the lobbying job for the Lutherans, Nystrom lobbied on immigration for the pro-open borders group —National Immigration Forum headed by Ali Noorani. (See photo from the Congresswoman’s website)  We told you about Grover Norquist’s special pal Ali Noorani here in February.

Lavinia Limon of USCRI (one of nine federal refugee contractors). Fox News Latino photo.

And, of course we would expect Ms. Limon to show up in this story.  Now head of a federal refugee contractor, she was Clinton’s director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (the revolving door!).  Here is one of many posts on the lobbying Limon.  And, here she says hire a refugee rather than an American!

The Army Times story continues:

The versions differ slightly in eligibility and the number of visas allotted, but the major difference in the authorization bill is that visas for Iraqis are only extended to 2014, said Lavina Limon, president and CEO of U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

She said she hopes the version on the immigration reform bill will pass because there are fewer restrictions and the visas would be extended until 2018 rather than 2014 for Iraqis, although she said she is not optimistic.

While there is general agreement that the Iraqis and Afghans, who have provided invaluable support to the U.S., deserve retribution, the program needs a lot of work, she said.

We have no lobbyist in Washington!

Those of us who want to see reform of refugee resettlement, perhaps even a halt to this whole Refugee Resettlement Program have no one in Washington pressing our interests.  Some of the big immigration restriction groups touch on refugee issues from time to time, but really there is no one to counter the huge resources of the contractors who can hire lawyer/lobbyists like Nystrom.  Adding insult to injury—you are paying Nystrom’s salary!

See ‘Don’t break our rice bowls!

 Have a look at a recent Form 990 for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, page 9. They had income in that year of $31,653,748 and, of that, you, the taxpayers of America, gave them $30,376,568.  Their CEO* makes $204,186 in salary and benefits.

96% of their funding comes from you.  No taxpayer funding=No LIRS!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Iraqi refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, The Opposition | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan interpreters to be extended

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 15, 2013

This little piece just came up in my alerts at Foreign Policy.  I don’t know if the bills were voted on yesterday to extend the program, but its one more thing to watch for.  Remember when I told you about the breakdown of who we would be bringing as “refugees” for 2013, here.  SIVs were expected to number 4,000.  Doesn’t that sound like an awful lot of people acting as interpreters?  I bet the definition gets stretched!

Foreign Policy posted this short news item:

U.S. lawmakers are set to vote on two different pieces of legislation Friday that could impact thousands of former and current Afghan interpreters who are seeking U.S. visas (Post).  The Afghan Allies Protection Act was passed in 2009 to help Afghans who were risking their lives by working for the U.S. mission, and are seen as legitimate targets by the Taliban and other militant groups, move to the United States once their work had concluded.  But only a small percentage of these visa requests -32 of more than 5,700 applications – has been approved.  A Senate bill would extend the program, set to expire next September, to 2015 and broaden coverage to include interpreters for coalition forces, media organizations, and non-governmental organizations.  A House proposal would also extend the program but would cut the number of available visas by two-thirds.

Here is an overview of the program run by the US State Department.  The SIVs are treated as refugees and are placed by a contractor in your community and are eligible for all forms of welfare, just like a refugee or asylee.

Posted in Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan interpreters to be extended

 
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