Ho hum, here we go again. Fort Wayne, Indiana facing an overload of refugees. Apparently Allen County has been there, done that before. Does anyone care? Schools are overcrowded and a health crisis looms. But, like so many outside the Washington Beltway they seem to be like sheep, whatever Washington wants, Washington gets?
Allen County may receive up to 800 refugees next year, more than four times the usual number. This year has also seen a dramatic increase with more than 700 refugees.
Estimated at more than 3,000, Fort Wayne’s Burmese population is already one of the largest in the United States.
The majority of the incoming refugees are family reunification cases. Catholic Charities, as one of the many organizations nationwide used by the federal government to aid in resettlement, can’t turn any refugees away.
Catholic Charities can’t turn refugees away because they have a federal contract to resettle them somewhere. But, the citizens of Ft. Wayne and Allen County can insist that the federal government cover the costs of the refugees’ schooling, welfare and health care. These costs of a federal program should not be borne by the local community. Or, Ft. Wayne could join other cities and just say NO!
Oh, and speaking of health care, Allen County is still boo-hooing over the health problems they face. We heard about this back in September, but it would appear that no one has bothered to complain to their federal elected officials.
About half the refugees are infected with latent tuberculosis, and treating the infection has strained the health department’s resources.
But it must be done: About 10 percent of people carrying the non-contagious infection develop active, contagious tuberculosis if they are not treated with antibiotics, McMahan said.
About 10 percent of the refugees also have chronic active hepatitis B, she said.
One more thing, Ft. Wayne, if you continue to jump when Washington tells you, you might want to at least insist that Catholic Charities does its job and finds enough volunteers to care for the refugees’ needs.