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.

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