Utah is feeling the strain with too many refugees for the welfare system to handle. No sympathy here because you could just say, no! Tell the US State Department to tell their NGO contractors to cut the flow until you can get caught up with the needs of your own destitute people before they send you more from all corners of the world. If you have trouble getting the State Department’s attention, then tell your Congressional delegation to get involved.
Here is what the Salt Lake Tribune says today:
The dilemma has been raised on the governor’s advisory committee examining refugee services, said Michael Gallegos, director of the Salt Lake County Division of Community Resources and Development. “The question has come up: Can we turn the faucet down a little bit so we can get prepared and deal with issues already in front of us?” he said. “We don’t have the capacity to serve the refugees we have right now.”
Upon arrival, refugees are eligible for food stamps, cash assistance programs, Medicaid and other services, some of which are available for years, some for as little as eight months.
But after receiving initial housing assistance, refugee families join thousands of other Utahns hoping to obtain a federal subsidy that can significantly discount their rent. Many in this new wave of refugees will join more than 4,000 residents already on the Salt Lake City Housing Authority waiting list. They will have to wait at least two years to get a housing discount voucher
Frankly, I don’t get this. What is everyone so afraid of? Afraid of looking “unwelcoming”? Maybe someone will call you a racist? There is nothing wrong with saying, we need a little breather here. Wyoming does not participate in refugee resettlement and I don’t see that state maligned for the decision.
Then this last line is really annoying.
Refugees often feel helpless and alone when faced with a stack of critical documents linking them to food, medical care and other services .
“We’ve had people say, ‘It was better in the camps,’ ” Brown [Utah Refugee Services Director] said.
We have from the earliest days of writing this blog advocated for the institution of a social and economic impact study of cities and states to help determine if a locale could handle new refugees. If it was regularly updated better planning would surely result.
We have an extensive archive on Utah here. Sadly Utah made the news a few months ago as the location where a little Burmese refugee girl was raped and murdered by another refugee in their housing complex.