Your tax dollars:
The refugee business is booming in Utah, or so it seems. According to today’s Deseret Morning News, Refugee services have been coordinated by one guy but now a whole office is needed to handle the flow of refugees to the state. The new office will be funded by the federal government but it looks like state funds will be thrown into the pot. Taxpayers of Utah need to look into this!
The state’s first director of an emerging Refugee Services Office could be in place by early next year.
“We’re moving very quickly,” DePaulis (Utah Dept. of Community and Culture) said of organizing the office, which for now will be federally funded under the Department of Workforce Services.
The refugee group also has requested that Huntsman allocate $200,000 in state funding for refugee services in the governor’s budget, which is set to be released Monday, DePaulis said.
But wait, the numbers of refugees are going down in Utah, not up!
“It’s been something I’ve wanted for a long time, recognizing that one person can’t do it all,” Nakamura (the present refugee coordinator) said. “The needs of the refugees over the last five to seven years are significantly different from the needs … when the program was created.
“In the ’80s we had a huge population coming from a handful of countries in Southeast Asia. Now, we’ve got a handful of people coming from all over the world.”
If you check the number of refugee cases handled by Nakamurra’s one-man office you will see that the number went DOWN from 2005-2006 by almost a third. But, this is interesting! The federal funds required to take care of the smaller caseload went up by about $1 million.
Note that the federal funding is coming from the Utah Department of Workforce Services. This is a handy federally funded (?) state agency. It’s one stop shopping—employment services and food stamps/medical assistance all in one place.