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.

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