Ft. Wayne, IN as the “world’s front door”

 Your tax dollars

As I’ve said before, thar’s gold in them thar refugees.  If you think this is all about taking in the world’s poor and downtrodden, forget it!   We’ve seen it with big businesses like Tyson’s Food that need labor and we see it here.  Ft. Wayne business-types are talking about setting up a kind of one-stop shopping bizarre/social services headquarters for all the immigrants in Ft. Wayne and all the tourist types who might like to come to experience the diversity at the “world’s front door.”   

[As an aside,  I saw this type of thinking years ago when preservationist types were turning the Amish of Lancaster, PA into tourist attractions.] 

With thousands of refugees and other recent immigrants already here and many more on the way, local government and civic leaders hope to consolidate many of the services and businesses they need in one place.


Next week they’ll meet with officials of the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. to explore use of a now-closed grocery store at 324 E. State Blvd. But even if a deal can’t be reached on that 41,450-square-foot building – it’s listed for sale at $1.7 million – Marilyn Moran-Townsend said she’s convinced the center will happen sometime, somewhere.


“It would allow us to welcome new income and leverage our assets to become the world’s ‘melting pot,’” said Moran-Townsend, a board member with Invent Tomorrow, a private group that promotes downtown revitalization and other civic projects.


In addition to offering immigrants information about and access to various services, the center would also allow various immigrant groups to showcase their culture, crafts, foods, businesses, entertainment and other unique aspects largely unknown to most Fort Wayne residents.

This might all just be fine if that is what the citizens of Ft. Wayne want, but I suggest they be let in on the plans.   It is flat-out wrong when ‘smart people’ in non-profit groups team up with government to make plans behind taxpayers’ backs.

Ft. Wayne, IN columnist suggests public forum

Columnist, Kevin Leininger,  writing last week in the Ft. Wayne, IN News-Sentinel has suggested a public forum on refugee resettlement might bring some resolution to the growing tension over how services there will be stretched as more and more refugees pour into the city.   Citing public meetings in Hagerstown, MD and Emporia, KS as the type of opportunity for public discussion that was needed in Ft. Wayne, he said.

No such public discussion has occurred in Fort Wayne, however – despite the presence of as many as 3,500 refugees from Burma and thousands more from Bosnia and Africa. With another 1,000 Burmese refugees expected to settle here in 2008 on top of 700 arrivals this year, it’s long past time to correct that shameful oversight. Public education and participation is more than justified – it’s essential.

Local US Representative Mark Souder agreed that such a discussion should occur.   One of the things I don’t get though is that the ball seems to be tossed back to city and state officials, but this is a federal program and the Congressman has much more power to change things then he lets on.   Here he seems to be resigned to more refugees coming.  Granted there isn’t much to be done about secondary migration but he could stop new resettlements for a time if he was of a mind to.

“If the discussion is about whether more refugees should be allowed to come to Fort Wayne, it would be counterproductive. They’re here, and more will come, even if unofficially,” said Souder, R-3rd. “The U.S. has already committed to take a certain number. A forum could discuss such questions as, ‘When churches sponsor refugees, what is the impact on a community?’ But we don’t want an ‘anti-immigrant’ forum.”

Maybe the US has committed to more, but Ft. Wayne hasn’t.  Is the Congressman dancing to the tune of the volags, like Catholic Charities?     

Reform needed!

We have been advocating reform of the Refugee Act of 1980 by requiring a Social and Economic Impact Statement for a locale in advance of refugees arriving.   This could be patterned after the National Environmental Policy Act which mandates an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) when a federal project will affect the quality of the human environment.   As part of the EIS process, public hearings are required.  Why not a Social and Economic Impact study to ascertain the ability of a city or town to handle a large number of immigrants who will be on the welfare rolls.   I also propose this be renewed every few years to allow a local government to take a breather from the increased burden on local services if needed.

We’ve written a lot about the public meeting in Hagerstown, see our category ‘September Forum’ for the whole story.  And, for more on the Emporia public forum  see the category ‘Emporia, KS controversy.’

Nashville, TN—Muslim Mayor by 2015?

My first thought when I read Rebecca Bynum and Elizabeth Noble’s expose in New English Review on the Muslim immigrants in Nashville, TN was, well this must be one of the target cities Imam Yahya Hendi told the Saudis about last summer.    See our 30 Muslim Mayors by 2015 post here.    Entitled, “Muslim organization in Nashville, Tennessee, an overview,”  you will see in Bynum’s article the blueprint for how a city will devolve;  its institutions, its business, and its government inexorably moving toward Islamic control.    As Hendi said last summer in the Washington Times.

……U.S. Muslims were working on “nationalizing” Islam as part of the fabric of U.S. society….

Did you know that there are Muslim Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops?   And, Country Western fans this will break your heart.   Read all about it in  Bynum and Noble’s shocking story about how far gone this city famous for its Grand ol’ Opry is.    More on this later.