RRW reaches a milestone! 50,000 visits!

I know, I know.  We aren’t one of the big boys, but we are happy to report we have just a few minutes ago reached our 50,000 visitors mark.   We began this blog back in July 2007 and have to date written 524 posts as part of our mission to inform and to ultimately bring about reform of legal immigration.

Our little graph which shows daily visitors by day, week, and month is climbing steadily and we hope that is an indication that we are bringing useful information to you and that visitors are returning and telling others about us.   We also hope that by challenging your thinking, even if it makes you angry sometimes, we will one day see Refugee Resettlement changed to make life better for refugees, for the communities in which they live,  always mindful of our paramount concern for the future well-being of our country.

“Whoop-de-do” in Waterbury, CT

Here is the latest installment of the controversy we have been following in Waterbury, CT where the International Institute of CT has been criticized for not caring for Burmese refugees. 

We don’t get enough money to do a good job is the whining response from officials including the President, Lavinia Limon,  of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) the government contractor that passes funds down to its Connecticut subcontractor.

This is what Limon told the Republican-American reporter:

The government provides a one-time $850 per person stipend to resettlement agencies. Of that, half must be used for the refugees, and half for administrative costs. In 1975, that figure was $500. “Whoop-de-do,” said Lavinia Limón, president of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. “God help us if our salaries had not kept pace with inflation like that. The capacity of agencies like (the institute) has been severely curtailed. I would really criticize that.”

You can be sure these volags get more funds in addition to the half of $850 for their “administration” and just so readers aren’t mislead and think that these are poor struggling outfits, a little check of USCRI’s 2006 Form 990 reveals the following:

USCRI’s gross income was $18,352,000.   $16,905,312 was from government grants (that’s you the taxpayer) while another $675,868 included government contracts.

Total compensation of officers was $358,587 and other salaries were $2,966,521.  Other pension, payroll and employee benefits amounted to around $809,000.  Rent was $572,367.  Travel $213,680.  Conferences and meetings $168,559.  You get the picture.  You are paying for all this and they complain that it is too little to do a good job caring for refugees.

And as far as Ms. Limon’s “whoop-de-do” comment regarding salaries.  Yes indeed, she didn’t have to worry about her salary which comes out of this same government pot of cash.  In 2006 her salary and other compensation was $195,478.  That is up about $20,000 from the previous couple of years.

Oh, I almost forgot,  they also said they spent $1,000,000 for lobbying.  I guess that was for more refugees and more money.

In defense of Ms. Limon, her salary isn’t as large as another of her peers.  The President of the International Rescue Committee (another of the top ten motherships), George Rupp, received according to Guidestar in excess of $325,000 in salary and compensation in 2005.   But, of course his volag was receiving over $88,000,000 from the taxpayers.

Here is my fix!  US State Department take a smaller number of refugees and be sure each family or family unit has a church or other such group sponsoring them, caring for them, and helping them assimilate and cut these refugee industry middlemen out!

More on Congressional Hearing on Iraqi refugees

So where have you been Washington Post?   Just today (five days after RRW) the Washington Post reports on the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Iraqi refugees.   See our coverage last Wednesday here.

This is how the reporter, Walter Pincus, begins his report:

A House hearing last Tuesday led to an unusual discussion about U.S. obligations to the 4.5 million Iraqi refugees who live inside and outside that country.

What does he mean by “unusual?”    Could he possibly mean that what Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said was so unusual? 

Democrats demanded that the Bush administration take responsibility for the refugees displaced by the five-year-old war, help them survive in Jordan, Syria and elsewhere, and allow some into the United States.


But one Republican’s view is that U.S. aid might deter Iraqi refugees from going home, where those who aided the U.S. Military and could be essential to building democracy are especially needed.


……. Rohrabacher had another view: “They’re wonderful people who’d like to live here, especially the ones who have helped us, but the last thing we want to do is to have people who are friendly to democracy . . . moving here in large numbers at a time when they’re needed to build a new, thriving Iraq.”

I was tickled to see that the Congressman is a man after my own heart!  

We have written 110 posts on Iraqi refugees (since last July) and other than the very desperate Christians we have said all along Iraqis must go home and rebuild Iraq.