Shelbyville, TN in the news again

Earlier this winter all hell broke loose in Shelbyville, TN when reporter Brian Mosely of the Times-Gazette broke his story about the Somali refugees lured to Shelbyville by employment at a Tyson’s meat packing plant and how their behavior was troubling to local residents.    Things have been kind of quiet, but today I see that Shelbyville’s Somali controversy has not gone quietly into the night. 

Mr. Mosely reported yesterday on a meeting last week to discuss how the Somali’s might become a part of the community.  Read two stories here and here on the meeting.

Then today he posted his blog comments here.   Note he mentions also the growing resentment in the Quad Cities that we reported on earlier.   Read his whole blog.   This is a portion that caught my eye.

….. then there was the other call I got yesterday that gave me pause. It was from a lady that lives in the apartment complex with the Somalis and she was terrified. Sobbing, she told me how all her tires had been slashed and that she was afraid for her safety, the safety of her sister and their pet. Her various tales about life there were nearly identical to what one of our regular readers related about his experiences at the apartment complex in question. She claimed that she had reported the vandalism to the authorities, but since they saw nothing, no charges could be pressed. She was not satisfied with the response of law enforcement, to say the least …


“Where are my rights?” is what she asked me repeatedly. “They’ve got more rights than me and I was born and raised in this country!” I had no answer for her, but passed along some phone numbers she requested so hopefully, she will get the answers she seeks.


I hope that the folks at the Somali Community Center of Nashville takes note of these types of reports and addresses them at once. This type of behavior, which has been continuously going on at the complex, will undermine any efforts they may have underway to bring the refugee community and the locals together. They must also take into account the feelings and concerns of those who have lived here all their lives, not simply the rights and cultural differences of the refugees.

The highlights in the quote are mine.  I think this is one of the most critical failures of the Refugee Resettlement program as it is now administered.  We see it over and over again—a complete disregard for the citizens of a community.   For the most part, refugees are quietly slipped into communities and citizens who notice are fearful of speaking up or asking questions.   I believe this fear is because we have been so indoctrinated by the leftwing in the non-profit resettlement groups, government and media, that any question would be answered with a charge of racism. 

That is why Mr. Mosely’s groundbreaking series in the Times-Gazette caused such a furor when it was first published.  No one dares speak of such things!   Papers and reporters in other areas of the country would do a great service for citizens and refugees if they brought the subject into the light of day for full public discussion.

We have covered Shelbyville for months, please use our search function at the left to see why Shelbyville and the Times-Gazette is important in the movement to reform Refugee Resettlement.

Liberian refugees: State Dept. makes position clear

Here is the entire US Embassy statement today on the situation in Ghana.

Following recent public order offences by Liberian refugees in Ghana, the U.S. Embassy in Accra issued the following statement last weekend.


The U.S. Government continues to support repatriation and reintegration in Liberia for those who had to flee during Liberia’s troubled times but who are now returning home to rebuild their lives and communities. The U.S. Government is also supporting UNHCR’s efforts to secure local integration as a durable solution for Liberian refugees in countries where they have had asylum.


Large group resettlement of Liberian refugees to the United States has ended and is not being re-opened. Unless you have a parent, spouse, or child already in the United States, you should have no expectation of being resettled to the United States.


On September 30, 2006, the U.S. government stopped accepting new P-3 (family reunification) applications. Only P-3 cases filed in the United States before this deadline will be processed. To qualify you must be the parent, spouse or unmarried child (under age 21) of a Liberian already in the U.S.


You must also remain outside Liberia and demonstrate that you have a valid refugee claim. We understand that there are some people purporting to be agents registering people for resettlement in the United States. You should be aware that these people are frauds.


Source: Press Attaché Public Affairs Section US Embassy, Accra

We have resettled 27, 465 refugees from Liberia through 2005.  That is still a lot of family connections that could produce many more refugees arriving in the US from camps in Africa.  See our previous story here.

Quad-Cities refugee story touches a nerve

When I first read this story, my reaction was ho-hum, another template story.   Refugee work is wonderful at World Relief in the Quad-Cities area.    I did have to look up Quad-City which turns out to be 5 cities in the so-called ‘rust belt’ and includes Davenport, Iowa and Moline, Illinois.

Here is how this politically correct reporter begins the standard template story:

America is often called the land of opportunity. Refugees who are resettled here, though, often are just looking for the basics of life.


“Generally, they are looking for safety, to regain control of their lives and to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Ann Grove, affiliate director of World Relief in Moline.


World Relief is just one of several international agencies helping in the resettlement of refugees. Since it was established in 1999, more than 525 people have received help through the Moline office.

But the comments that follow are anything but ho-hum.   There must be something not going as well as described in the article.   A nerve has been touched.  A commenter named “Gabriel” sets the tone with this:

If these people were provided for by charitable organizations until they become self supporting, then that would be a good thing. All too often , an organization hauls them to the Quad Cities, and then dumps them on the taxpayers via welfare programs etc. No one should get stuck with someone else’s bill. If you bring them here, then you should be held responsible for supporting them, NOT the taxpayers. I have seen World Relief haul them to local welfare offices for handouts at taxpayer expense-yet they are supposed to be self supporting ! Note that the article says they are to be working within 6 months- What about those that have little or no skills, or those that still become a burden on the taxpayers during those first 6 months. World Relief should be required to pay for their “failures” rather than taking money from the taxpayers pockets.

Another commenter, Amy, says this: 

Maybe we should post this story, and Gabriel’s response, at every tax preparation service in the Quad Cities so taxpayers would be reminded of what World Relief is doing. I especially like Gabriel’s response above. He should have been the one writing this article!

Maybe the commenters could have written a more balanced article than the reporter!

I did a little checking on World Relief and left this comment:

Just now I did a little research on World Relief (your Moline office is a subcontractor of the national group). World Relief is a $50 million dollar a year business and approx. $25 million of their income comes directly from you—the tax payer. They pay out over $20 million in salaries alone to their staff.


The CEO makes about $175,000 in salary and compensation and they have a bunch of employees making over $100,000 a year salaries.


Refugee resettlement was once a labor of love by individual churches and has now become big business with government grants and contracts fueling the pipeline.

It’s the same story everywhere.  Nice puff-piece about Refugee Resettlement, but when news of it eventually gets out in a community, citizens have no information on how it works and how they are paying for it, and when they do get  bits and pieces of information many are furious.  

I blame the US State Department and the volags for this.  We had the same lack of information inflame our city, Hagerstown, MD,  last year.    Refugees were quietly being resettled and until the program became public knowledge through a couple of unfortunate incidents that caused the citizens to call the newspaper and the county commissioners in numbers greater than just about any other issue, no public discussion had occured. 

The whole refugee issue may not reach the level of anger that it does, if citizens are informed in advance and have some say in the decision to make one’s city a Refugee Resettlement site, instead the secrecy makes people feel tricked somehow.