Michigan’s economy, refugees, and special deals

I was searching for something else when I happened to look at the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) State profiles.  Mind you, this was during all the Presidential campaign hoopla last week about the terrible economic situation Michigan is in.     Check out these stats on refugee cases in Michigan. 





Caseload 1,799   1,766  
Entered Employment 995 55% 700 40%
Terminations 242 69% 156 47%
Reductions 59 17% 115 34%
Average Wage $ 7.92   $ 7.72  
Retentions 833 76% 842 53%
Health Benefits 460 59% 236 49%

The refugee caseload for Michigan in 2006 was 1766 but only 700 (40%)  of those found employment at the average hourly rate of $7.72 an hour.    That is down 20 cents an hour from the previous year.   Also, note that those receiving health benefits had declined by 10 %.    Yet we continue to resettle refugees in Michigan.

You will notice too that the state of Michigan received almost $8 million in federal grants (2006) for additional welfare assistance (that is in addition to other government services such as food stamps).   Michigan has been the resettlement site of over 44,000 (as of 2005) refugees since the Refugee Act of 1980 went into effect.

But, here is a little nugget at the bottom of this State page at ORR.   In 2007 an organization called the Arab Community Center for Social and Economic Services in Dearborn received a $475,000 federal grant.   So, I went to Guidestar to see just what this is all about, and discovered that grant is a drop in the bucket.   The taxpayers are funding this specialized Arab-American group to the tune of nearly $8 million a year in a $14 million dollar budget!   This group does “Advocacy” on immigration and civil rights issues, has assets of $25 million, and employees 200.   It’s just a wild guess but I bet those employees make more than $7.72 an hour.

No wonder the taxpayer hasn’t a prayer.