Omeish resigns from Virginia Immigration Commission

Dr. Esam Omeish’s  tenure on a Virginia commission to address immigration problems in that state was shortlived when tapes of past statements supporting Jihad came to light.    Omeish is President of the Muslim America Society (MAS) an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Go to the Center for Vigilant Freedom here for the full story.

For readers in Washington County, Esam Omeish was on the front page of the Herald Mail on January 1 of this year speaking at a religious event at the Islamic Society of Western Maryland. 

Over 200,000 Muslim refugees have entered the US since the State Department began tracking their numbers in 1988.

A follow-up thought this morning (the 28th):  Note that the Herald Mail doesn’t identify Esam Omeish as the President of a national Islamic organization.  Where is the journalistic curiosity?

Is big business driving immigration?

Yes, it is.  We all know that the quest for cheap labor is fueling the push for stepped up immigration to America.  Even President Bush freely admits that.  It is in the news daily.  But, is it also driving Refugee Resettlement? 

One of the things I’ve been pondering, and this will sound pretty inflamatory is:  Is Refugee Resettlement a modern form of slavery?   Are “human resource” managers and volag workers scouring camps around the world looking for bright laborers?  When companies hire refugees for $8 an hour, who for all intents and purposes can’t really go home (well they can, they just have to pay their own way), does that help keep wages low in America?  We then further subsidize big business by supporting the refugee family with welfare.  

In addition, businesses which hire refugees who are on welfare can receive a federal tax credit through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.   The refugee need only stay on the job for 400 hours (a couple of months!) for the business to reap our federal tax dollars.

Yesterday someone sent me this article from the Wall Street Journal, that although meant to tell us how wonderful the immigrant situation is in Louisville, KY, made me wonder further if Refugee Resettlement is really a big business venture covered by do-gooder ‘white hats.’

You really need to read the article, there is so much in it.  Here are some excerpts:

“It’s an economic imperative to attract immigrants at all levels, from factory workers to software engineers,” says Omar Ayyash, a Palestinian from Jordan who runs the city’s Office of International Affairs.


Louisville’s approach has changed the composition of a 700,000-person city, which was once mainly white and African American. From 1990 to 2004, the city’s foreign-born population jumped 388% — far above the 73% increase in the national average — as it absorbed thousands of Asians, Eastern Europeans, Africans fleeing persecution and Latin Americans in search of opportunity. Some 80 languages are spoken in its schools, and one apartment complex — “Americana” — houses families from 42 countries.


All of the immigrant groups pose challenges, and perhaps none more than the Somali Bantu. While the overwhelming majority of Bantu men have jobs, their large families, illiteracy and limited skills can make self-sufficiency an elusive goal.


The first couple hundred Bantu arrived in Louisville in 2003 and 2004. But since then, the city has attracted hundreds more of the preliterate Muslim minority who were originally assigned to other U.S. cities. “People are nice, the rent is cheap and you don’t need English to get a job,” says Nahiyo Osman, a Bantu woman whose family moved to Louisville from Chicago six months ago.


Charnley Conway, a vice president of human resources at UPS, which plans to add 5,000 jobs at its Louisville hub over the next three years, says investing in immigrants like the Bantu is vital.


Despite everyone’s efforts, the immigrant population is sometimes a financial burden on the city. A year ago, Mr. Issack moved into public housing because he couldn’t afford a bigger apartment after his fourth child was born.


But Tim Barry, the director of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority, says he isn’t concerned. “This is the sacrificial generation,” says Mr. Barry, who is convinced the next Bantu generation will be better off.

I wonder if Mr. Barry who speculates that the next generation will be better off,  knows about the Kurdish gangs in Nashville (here also) and the disenfranchised youth in Utica, NY.   Will the cheap labor really be worth it in the end? 

P.S.  To Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, I’m taking bets that Louisville is one of the 30 cities Imam Hendi has in mind when he speaks of 30 Mulsim mayors by 2015.

Why do we need volags?

Your tax dollars: 

Last week at the forum in Hagerstown on Refugee Resettlement the first question may have been the most important.  Louise Dawson, a lifelong resident of Hagerstown, asked why can’t Refugee Resettlement be run completely by the government and the churches could just volunteer to help?   Here is the Herald-Mail’s coverage of what she said:

“I think the concern in our community is financial,” said Louise Dawson, who suggested that refugees be sponsored and resettled by volunteers within churches instead of through taxpayer funds.

The public doesn’t understand the importance of this line of questioning because most people do not know that the church groups (the volags) are paid by the taxpayer to do this work.  The federal government even pays for the entire Washington DC offices of the volags.    In addition, local volunteer hours can be translated into taxpayer funds to the volags via the Match Grant Program (among other ways of pulling in the taxpayer dollars).

The response from the State Department representatives was a weak comment about how this was a Public-Private Partnership, in other words, by just uttering that phrase it was deemed an adequate explanation.   Hum….could the government officials be afraid of the volags?

The Public-Private Partnership sure failed the public side of that partnership in the outrageous case of the volag, African Community Resource Center, Judy reported on a couple of days ago.  Is it the tip of an iceberg?

It’s time to revisit the Refugee Act of 1980.   We need a Congressional investigation, perhaps a General Accounting Office (GAO) study of the cozy arrangement the volags enjoy. 

 Louise Dawson’s first brushed-aside question needs to be answered.

Family Reunification–opportunity for fraud?

Did you know that refugees can apply to bring family members to America and the refugee becomes the sponsor for more refugees?  The volags (non-profit groups funded by you) take the applications for the extended family members and then are paid by the head for the additional refugees they resettle.

Anecdotal stories abound about how easy it is to defraud the government (and us).  I heard that one woman “found” ten adult children over the course of several years.  Apparently there is some truth to the stories.

At the September Forum last week in Hagerstown , I asked the US State Department Reps about a June 2007 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress which referred to fraud in the family reunification program of refugee resettlement.   This report was sent to me privately and I can’t find it on-line yet, but here is what it says:

During the late 1990’s the State Department found that a large number of Priority 3 (family reunification) applications were received from persons who did not qualify for refugee status and that there was significant amount of fraud associated with those applications.

The report goes on to discuss the fact that certain nationalities are ineligible from participation in the family reunification program because of rampant fraud. 

My question to the State Department ladies was three-fold:  What was the nature of the fraud?  Answer:  It happened a long time ago (the late ’90’s was a long time ago) and people were applying who were not eligible.

What nationalities have been barred from the program?   Answer:  there was no answer.

Was anyone admitted to the country fraudulently and then deported?   Answer:  Homeland Security has more important deportations than these.

When Judy posted the Los Angeles fraud arrest a couple of days ago.  I checked out the African Community Resource Center and found it to be a subcontractor of Ethiopean Community Development Council (one of the 10 major volags with State Department contracts).     Note that the African Community Center prominantly promotes its role in helping bring family members to America.  I just wonder, if someone is allegedly willing to steal from refugees and cheat the taxpayers, might they be tempted as well to find lots of missing children, brothers, sisters and long-lost cousins to bring to America as well?

We need to reform family reunification.  Only spouses and minor children should be permitted.

Inviting Perspectives

If you were at the Refugee Resettlement Forum in Hagerstown on September 19, and if you have some knowledge or insight you would like to share about the issues that were discussed or anything else about the Forum, please send your comments to us. We will publish short posts — no more than three paragraphs — in a new feature called Perspectives on the September Forum. If you were not heard at the Forum, or have not been able to get your letters or phone calls on the refugee issue into the Herald-Mail, this is an opportunity for your voice to be heard.

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