Burmese refugees living with rats and roaches —-again!

I really couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this news story from Akron, Ohio.   The International Institute of Akron is being accused of not properly caring for the Burmese Karen refugees in its charge.   Gee, I wonder where I heard that story before?  Oh yeh!  Waterbury, CT, just last week.

While his [Teddy, a Karen refugee] life may be better than the refugee camp, the living conditions are anything but home sweet home for Akron.


Many of the apartments are overcrowded and have serious problems with roaches and rats. Eight people, including a newborn live in a two-room apartment on the fourth floor. During the day, two mattresses are stood upright so the family has room to walk around. At night, the mattresses are laid on the floor so the family members and the baby have somewhere to sleep.


Some of the Karen refugees have been placed in houses adjacent to the apartment building. Fifteen immigrants live in one of the homes.


“I would open up the refrigerator and it would not be working,” Miller [local church volunteer] said. “The ovens, we would find rats in the bottom of the ovens. The cockroaches were just amazing. I would open up a cupboard and there might be 50 of them jumping out at me.”

What does the agency representative say—we are only responsible for them for six months.    This demonstrates AGAIN that one of the major reforms needed in refugee resettlement is to require that each refugee family has a sponsor, a church or other such group to look out for them for as long as it takes to assimilate to America.   These volags apparently just take the money, pat themselves on the back and walk away!

BTW, this is another of the subcontractors of USCRI.

As we said before, cultural orientation is lacking

Just the other day I posted on a cultural orientation program being taught to refugees in Thailand—refugees on their way to America.  At least their training was several days long.   Now Brenda Walker over at VDARE sends me this Los Angeles Daily News article about a group of Iranians who didn’t get their lessons until they were here and then only for an hour or so.

You can’t smoke in most places. Bribes are a no-no. Car seats and kids’ bicycle helmets are the law.


And beating your wife will land you in jail – not to mention get you deported.


Several times a year, immigrants – primarily from the Middle East and Africa – who have won refuge in the United States undergo orientations just days after stepping off planes at Los Angeles International Airport.


The brief orientation lecture, typically three days after refugees arrive, also explains day-to-day life in the United States. These new residents learn their adopted nation’s dress, how to get health care, how to pay bills and get credit, and when to call 911.

Read the whole article here with more on not beating your wife or bribing a police officer.  The article is a stark reminder of the huge cultural gap that exists between America and the Middle East.

It reminded me that I’ve seen these rules before.  When our refugee issue reared its head in Hagerstown, MD, the Maryland Office for New Americans passed out a booklet that was intended for refugees (but in English!) with all these same rules. 

I don’t know if I can find it now, but I remember very clearly it also said something to the effect, “men and women both wear shorts in America.”  I suspect that is to forewarn strict Muslims that in America you might see more than a wrist or ankle.

See Brenda Walker’s take on this at the VDARE blog here.