Local Refugee Offices Closing as Trump Administration Keeps Refugee Numbers Low

March 30, 2019 ~ Ann Corcoran

Of course there isn’t much to cheer about as you know tens of thousands of migrants are streaming across our southern border, most claiming they are refugees seeking asylum.

Refugee admission numbers pale in comparison to the numbers coming across our border and claiming refugee status.

The flow that has definitely slowed is the US Refugee Admissions Program refugees that are selected initially by the United Nations, followed by US State Department approval and resettlement by one of nine federal resettlement contractors who distribute them to most states. (One of many posts on the contractors at RRW is here.)

The work of the contractors is almost completely funded by you.

Office closures reported this week are the result of the federal slowdown in admissions (slowdown in money to the contractors) and because these resettlement offices could not find enough local financial support to keep their doors open, a fact that demonstrates one vital point:
There is not enough support by the public generally for refugee resettlement!

Before I get to the two office closures I heard about this week, one in Ohio, the other in Virginia, here is a bit of information about where we are at the 6-month-mark for FY19.

(Fiscal year 2019 runs from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.)
Remember that the President set the cap (or ceiling) for this fiscal year at 30,000.

On Monday we will be at the 6-month-mark and as of today we admitted 12,151 refugees to your towns and cities.

UNHCR asked the Obama Administration to take 50,000 DR Congolese and the Trump Administration honored the commitment. We are at about 50,000 now!

About a quarter of those are from the African country the DR Congo, followed by Burma and then the Ukraine as the top three sending countries.

Over a third of those from Burma are Rohingya Muslims.

Not included in the 12,151 number is over 3,000 Afghans who received Special Immigrant Visas for supposedly helping us in Afghanistan. (The total number of Afghans admitted under this special refugee category is over 65,000 now!)
The top five ‘welcoming’ states are:

Texas, New York, Washington, California, and North Carolina

(Turning Texas blue seems to be going on according to plan!)

The next five states are:

Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania

Now to the closed offices….

The story is here at NPR,
After Decades Resettling Refugees, Church World Service Richmond Office Is Closing

I’m going to encourage you to read this story yourself. The takeaways for me are that there are still two other contractors working (bidding for bodies!) in Richmond.

And, this comment below is something for all of you to consider.

If the program is not reformed during this President’s tenure in the White House, know that the contractors are looking ahead to a time when the program goes back to high numbers in a future administration.

There are still two other resettlement agencies in Richmond: Commonwealth Catholic Charities and the International Rescue Committee. Baumann [Virginia program director] says these offices will likely see an influx in new arrival cases, even with the low admittance numbers. His primary concern though is the impact of the office closure on Richmond’s future ability to resettle refugees if national policies change with a new administration. “When an office closes, you can’t just in two years decide to reopen,” said Baumann. [Believe me, they will be open in a heartbeat!—ed]
Continue reading here.

This Church World Service office was originally called the Virginia Council of Churches and if you were a reader of Refugee Resettlement Watch, you will know that the VCoC ‘inspired’ me to write about the Refugee Program beginning in 2007.

This article demonstrates once again that there is just not enough local financial support for refugees. Americans are not willing to support the program with their wallets, thus….
The Refugee Admissions Program cannot survive without millions of your tax dollars propping it up!

Akron to lose one of its two refugee resettlement agencies after federal cutback in admissions

Here are a few snips from the story at the Akron Beacon Journal that interested me and make my point,
World Relief, based in Baltimore, is one of the primary agencies in the United States that resettle those who have fled persecution in their homelands.

It receives grant money from the U.S. State Department per refugee and raises money from church congregations. [Not much money!—ed]

Kara Ulmer, Director World Relief Akron [….]

[Kara] Ulmer said the closing of the agency is a blow to the network of area churches and individual volunteers who have worked with World Relief to help settle refugees.

“It’s a significant loss for a community,” Ulmer said, one of three still employed in the Akron office. “We’ve worked with 50 churches as partners. We have more than 500 volunteers work with us and the refugees in a highly relational way,” helping them learn English, find work, set up doctors’ appointments, celebrate birthdays and holidays and more.


Kara Ulmer, director of the Akron World Relief office, said the agency was slated to resettle only 46 refugees this fiscal year. Staff already had been cut back, and World Relief’s national administrators determined they cannot afford to keep an office open that handles such a relatively small number of refugee arrivals.

“We have been working so hard to build a private, local funding base,” Ulmer said, but there was not enough time to generate the necessary funds.

Maybe this Christian ‘charity’ and its Christian volunteers could find some poor Americans in Akron in need of help!

More here.
As I have said on many previous occasions, you can love this President and still tell him what he needs to improve. Tell him he must legally reform the US Refugee Admissions Program during his tenure or nothing will change in years to come. But more pressing at the moment is the southern border invasion. He keeps talking about closing the border, but all we see is more dreadful news about thousands coming across every week (or is it every day!).

This post is filed in my ‘Charity fraud’ category, here.