Nashville may get new wave of refugees

 Update 2/18/08:  See the letter here from Chris Coen of Friends of Refugees adding more to this story.

That’s the title anyway of another refugee puff piece story in the Tennessean today.    I’ve seen so many of these articles I know just what they will say before I even read them.    The reporter, Janell Ross, has bought the template story hook, line and sinker.    It starts out all kind of warm and glowing with a refugee success story (they all do!)   In reference to Nashville’s multiculturalism, one refugee gushes:

“When people come out here from California, they can’t believe it.”

(Translation)  Oh, we in Nashville are so cosmopolitan, so California.

Then she gives us the usual statistics.

The State Department says it plans to admit up to 70,000 refugees this year. And refugee resettlement agencies working in Nashville have been asked to prepare to resettle a small number [wait, what happened the “wave” in the headline to this article].


Nashville already is home to an estimated 3,000 Somalis, 4,000 Sudanese and 5,000 to 7,000 Kurds.


A trip along some of south Nashville’s major streets reveals stores that sell African garments, and Southeast Asian beauty products, as well as grocery stores where indoor and outdoor signs are written in Arabic. Nashville is also home to four mosques.


In the area of southeast Nashville some call “Little Kurdistan,” it’s not uncommon for people to speak Kurdish, for women to wear traditional Kurdish garments and for 3,000 people to attend a single Kurd’s funeral.

She does throw in a little of the dark side, but it’s all about the bad things those white racist rednecks are doing.  Or, how the refugees just aren’t getting all the taxpayer benefits they deserve.

But, one wonders if these lazy reporters know how to google anything.  Did she not know about the Kurdish gangs in Nashville or the Somali Center director being arrested, or all that controversy in nearby Shelbyville?

Lookout Nashville, TN,  Muslim mayor by 2015 in the heart of the Bible belt?

International Institute of Connecticut continued

 Your tax dollars:

Yesterday I reported on public criticism of the International Institute of Connecticut where refugees assigned to this volag (voluntary agency) in Waterbury, CT, charge that the agency is not doing its job.   So, now I’ve taken a look at that agency’s Form 990 for 2005 (the most recent available).

We’ve previously written about the International Institute’s mothership the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants here. (Note that USCRI is headed by a former head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, the major dispenser of grants and contract money).

For new readers there are basically 10 volag motherships that receive grants and contracts from the federal government and then disperse some of that funding downward to hundreds of smaller volags.

Now, back to the International Institute of Connecticut.     According to the organizations Form 990 on file with the IRS, they had a total revenue of $1,214,408 and of that $556,339 was direct government grants.   Another $589,441 was from program services (govt. fees and contracts).  So that means that the organization is 94% funded by you, the taxpayer.  

The Form 990 requires that salaries of  top employees and board members be listed.  This form only lists Myra Oliver’s salary, the woman quoted in this article, at $100,016.   However, it lists $849,471 total for additional salaries, other employee benefits, and payroll taxes.  So, who are all those people whose salaries make up the largest part of the entire organization.   Can’t whoever all those people are take care of getting refugees to their medical appointments?

The International Institute also spent nearly $23,000 in travel and over $4000 on conferences.  Rent (occupancy) was $45,729.   They spent a whole whopping 9% ($112,035) of their annual revenue on “specific assistance to individuals.”    It’s no surprise I suppose to see that little money goes to those in need and most goes to funding the organization itself.

Reform needed:  We have maintained from the beginning of writing this blog that if we are to bring refugees into the country, each family unit must have an individual church or group sponsor/advocates for a year or two to assure that the refugees are assimilated into American society.   These volags are not doing their jobs! 

Our tax dollars are going to big salaries, travel, and conferences like the one we wrote about here yesterday.

Look for more soon on another of USCRI’s subcontractors, The International Institute of Erie, PA.