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  1. #1
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    Refugee Resettlement Under Review

    Refugee Resettlement Under Review

    By Bryan Griffith, May 13, 2010

    A non-profit nation of hundreds of taxpayer funded 501(c)(3)s has grown up around refugee resettlement in the U.S. A recent government-sponsored study finds "U.S. resettlement communities are awash with ECBOs that exist in name only but provide little meaningful assistance." ("Practitioner Lessons from Ethnic Community Self-Help Programs," ISED Solutions, August 2009) Some of the ECBOs (Ethnic Community Based Organizations) apparently exist only to bring in grants and contracts for themselves.

    But this will not be mentioned in the flurry of meetings, memoranda, and recommendations around an initiative to "help restore the capacity of the US Refugee Program to serve increased numbers of refugees with increasingly diverse needs, without overwhelming the resources of local receiving communities." (The quote is from a memo to Scott Busby, Director for Human Rights for the national Security Council, from State Coordinators of Refugee Resettlement, August 26, 2009.) ... theNSC.pdf

    The initiative, a review of refugee resettlement, involves the 10 refugee contractors such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB ), the departments of HHS, State, and Homeland Security, as well as the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC), the National Security Council (NSC), and the OMB. The UNHCR is also making its recommendations. In recent years up to 95 percent of the refugees coming to the U.S. were referred by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or were the relatives of UN-picked refugees. Until the late 90s the U.S. picked the large majority of refugees for resettlement in the U.S.

    Not to be left out of the review, the 50 state offices known as State Refugee Coordinators are also participating. In fact, the states have been complaining about the program for a while – particularly initial refugee placement without local consultation and the unplanned costs which result when refugees move in after they have been initially placed in another state. According to the Coordinators' memo to Busby, "Currently the secondary population represents an unfunded mandate upon states and results in increased issues surrounding quality of services (both social services and health) as we are forced to serve a population exponentially larger than is acknowledged via the formula allocations."

    Few remember that the Clinton administration State Department actually attempted to "manage the numbers down" for the resettlement program. It takes a lot to knock a program like this even a little off track and only 9/11 caused an appreciable slowdown.

    But there are a lot of constituencies to keep happy and those constituencies proved their mettle by successfully opposing even a temporary "re-programming" of funds from domestic resettlement to overseas refugee assistance immediately after 9/11. Indeed, 9/11 brought improved, as it turns out, permanent funding advantages when the U.S. agreed to cover resettlement overhead costs in refugee contractor headquarters partially because refugee per-capita program payments were temporarily down.

    Well, the count of the per capitas is back up. At 85,000, this year's refugee quota will be the highest number since 9/11. When asylees and so-called "Cuban-Haitian entrants" are included – all per capitas on the books of the contractors for many contracts and grants – the program is running at or slightly over the average seen from all these sources in total from 1980 to 2000. (Refugee numbers are still lower than the historical average, but asylee numbers are much higher than anything seen earlier.) As it has for years, the U.S. this year took in approximately three times as many refugees as the rest of the industrialized world combined.

    The first act of the NSC-led review, the full report of which has yet to be released, was to double the initial placement grant per refugee to the contractors from $950 to $1,900. This is just one of many grants for services offered by the contracting agencies. Contractual responsibilities end just four months after their refugee clients arrive, an absurdly short period of time given the program's stated goals of integrating refugees into American life.

    The NGOs, the states, and the UNHCR have been asking for more money from the federal government for years. That is what this review is about – along with a further retreat from responsibility and commitment on the part of the contracting agencies who at one time made up the second part of a "public/private" partnership.

    Refugees are eligible for all welfare 30 days after arrival. In some cities there are waiting lists for public housing. This is too much for the "sponsoring" agencies, who demand in the memo that the federal government provide "dedicated funding to ensure that refugees have affordable housing while they wait for approval for public housing, Section 8, or other tenant based rental assistance." $200 from the contractor refugee agency for its share of the misnamed Match Grant program for each refugee? That is too much, even though they receive $2,200 in return, after creative accounting with used furniture, cars, and volunteer hours.

    Refugee resettlement is very profitable for the non-profits and the once-independent faith-based and civic organizations have suffered their own "magnet effect" causing a shift of efforts away from traditional good works towards the more profitable refugee program with its host of international operatives.

    The industry is counting on the no-questions-asked public support usually found in editorial pages, academia, and in government. But the program is melting down on the local pages and in citizen websites. (See, for instance, here and here.) There is now a nearly constant stream of bad news about refugees dropped off in slums with no meaningful support from "sponsors," corruption, radicalized Muslim youth, and "receiving communities" left in the lurch.

    The transformation of the original civic organization- and religion-based refugee resettlement program into a fraud-prone federal contracting business has given birth to a global refugee industry and set off wildly escalating expectations around the world about opportunities for coming to America, bringing in its train more legal and illegal immigration. With much of the program looking like ACORN globalized, its intrusion in cities around the U.S. is raising its profile to the point where it can no longer be ignored.

    Eric P. Schwartz, Assistant Secretary in charge of the State Department refugee bureau, recently stated there is "little interest in supporting partners who see themselves as contractors." But it is clear the "partners" will do nothing unless they get paid – except lobby for more business. This round of review will result in little more than expanded public expenditures for the program and provide further evidence that refugee resettlement is run by the contractors who are profiting from it. Yet a little more of the program needs to be exposed before a genuine and much-needed review is undertaken.

    The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Between refugee resettlement, birth tourism, foreign born SSI recipients, visa fraud, student overstays, marriage fraud,and illegal aliens----is there anything left for US citizens?
    "Men of low degree are vanity, Men of high degree are a lie. " David
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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