The Republican-American in Waterbury, CT has an update on the situation there regarding complaints by Burmese Karen refugees that they have not received decent treatment from the International Institute of CT. Yesterday we reported on a critical report from the US State Department from a year earlier. It is that document that the Republican-American reports on now. This is how it begins:
WATERBURY — A year before the International Institute of Connecticut placed Burmese refugees in squalid Waterbury apartments, the U.S. State Department “expressed serious concern regarding substandard housing” for refugees the institute had resettled in Bridgeport.
The word about Waterbury is spreading and reporter Brian Mosely picked up the story in Shelbyville, TN. You will recall that Mr. Mosely came under fire for his lengthy and often critical series in the Times-Gazette regarding Somali refugees brought to that southern city by employer Tysons Food.
As many of you well know, I took a lot of heat for my opinions about how the refugee resettlement program has handled the introduction of Somalis into our society, and particularly, the lack of help these folks get once they are deposited in this country.
Read the whole blog article here and don’t skip the comments. I’m amused to see how loquacious those southerners are; almost no one comments in Waterbury!
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is one of the top 10 Volags selected each year by the US State Department to resettle refugees. Yesterday I wanted to have a look at their Federal Form 990 tax return. That’s the form that all non-profit groups have to file with the IRS. But, guess what? Churches are exempt and this volag has filed as a church, so no Form 990 is required.
Now, here is the funny part (not!) according to its own Financial report it is primarily funded by you–the taxpayer. Its income side of the ledger for 2006 was $20,925,000 with $18,678,000 coming from the US Government—that is a whopping 89.3% of their budget.
They receive $810,000 from churches (3.9%) and yet they can file as a church. When you can’t see a Form 990, you can’t see how the money is spent—how much is going to salaries for instance?
If I were at another of the Top 10 volags, like Church World Service which does a Form 990 even though a larger percentage of its funds come from private people and churches, I’d be a little annoyed. But, I suspect those Top 10’ers protect each other.
Where is the ACLU when you need them, shouldn’t this be a separation of church and state issue?
P.S. When you look at the financial statement, the loan servicing fees are also government funds involved with refugee travel loans.
According to this brief press announcement there will be a public meeting in Tucson on March 18th.
The “public consultation” is to help the Department of Economic Security Community Services Administration “address the current state of refugee resettlement and to plan and coordinate services to refugees resettling in Arizona,” according to a news release from the state of Arizona.
Sounds to me like there might be a little problem brewing in Arizona or they wouldn’t be putting any of this before the public. We’ve written before about Iraqi refugees among others going to Arizona here.
Also, check out this database. As of 2005 there were over 36,000 refugee resettled in Arizona, the number must be over 40,000 by now.
This is the address in the Office of Refugee Resettlement database for the Arizona refugee agency:
Mr. Charles Shipman, Division of Aging & Adult Services Department of Economic Security, P.O. Box 6123, Site Code 086Z, Phoenix, AZ 85005, 602-542-6614 (P) 602-542-6400 (F) firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live near Tucson, you should consider attending the meeting. Send me a firsthand report if you go! Send to Ann@vigilantfreedom.com .