This tiny little mention in a blog today reminded me to once again try to explain why there is on-going resentment toward refugees in local communities. We saw it in our county last year and we have written about it on many occasions at RRW.
Here is the notice that inspired this post:
Cars for Refugees
LiNK is seeking cars to be used by North Korean refugees resettled here in the US. If you are able to donate and would like more information, please email info (at) linkglobal.org with the subject headline “Cars for Refugees.”
All contributions are, of course, tax-deductible!
By the way, we have guietly started taking North Korean refugees. Up until 2005 the ORR database shows no refugees from North Korea, but 2006 and 2007 indicate we are now taking a handfull. But, I guess its enough to encourage some NGO to solicit cars for them.
Refugees enter the US with all sorts of goodies including air fare (technically they are supposed to return this loan money, but many don’t), a housing stipend, medical care, food stamps and the list goes on. Also, the volags (voluntary agencies contracted to resettle refugees) can participate in a special government program (Match Grant) that returns cash to the volags for junk they collect—including used cars.
I don’t know if this particular organization (with this advertisement) is getting taxpayer cash for cars, but they are seeking donations of cars for this particular group of refugees.
So, it’s no wonder that Americans living with not much, such as those we mentioned recently in Roanoke, VA or the Quad-cities area of IL, get resentful. And, no matter where the refugees are resettled stories abound that refugees get special treatment and it makes for very bad relations in communities where citizens ask, “What about our own poor people?”