Maybe refugees are involved in food stamp fraud after all

I’ve been posting on Food Stamp Fraud ever since a convenience store in our county was raided due to allegations of fraud.  I always put a disclaimer on those posts saying that as far as I knew refugees weren’t involved, just other immigrants who happened to also be members of the religion of peace.

Today this post was on one of my google alerts.  It’s from something called the Ohio Attorney Lawyer.  You can go here and see it.   It’s so garbled and the English is so horrible I wondered how anything called Attorney Lawyer would get any business with such awful writing skills.   So, I searched around with some words in that garbled post and came up with a story about Somalis being arrested a few years back for food stamp fraud.

This is from the article, 6 years old now, that began with the same story that the garbled post reported today.    Read the whole article about how Somali asylees (just refugees who got here on their own steam and asked for asylum) have scammed the taxpayer.   But here is an even more serious part of the scam:

Food stamp fraud has taken on more sinister dimensions within the last year and a half. Last autumn, the FBI determined that the Somali asylee community in Seattle, set with food stamps and other forms of public assistance, was targeted by the Al-Barakaat Wire Transfer company, a wire transfer and hawala banking outfit with known connections to Al Qaeda. Al-Barakaat set up a storefront in Seattle and immediately went to work selling Qat, a mild narcotic popular with Somalis, and converting food stamps to money for Somalis to send back to their relatives in Somalia. The FBI believes Al-Barakaat skimmed tens of millions of dollars off of the proceeds of these two activities, and funneled it directly to Al Qaeda.

Do you think the immigration lawyers who help these people get asylum ever feel guilty later when they learn their clients are crooks and possibly terrorists?

Then here is another Somali food stamp scam bust, in Ohio no less, and more recent (January of this year):

Eight men who ran four area food markets are accused of abusing federal food programs for the needy at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1.5 million, newly unsealed charges allege.

Federal officials announced the indictments and arrests yesterday, though six of the eight men were indicted on Jan. 10 and arrested Friday.

The indictments say that the owners and managers of two stores on the North Side and two on the West Side allowed their customers to use food stamps and WIC vouchers illegally. They permitted, authorities say, the exchange of the stamps and vouchers for cash and allowed people to use them to buy prepaid international phone cards and to pay off personal loans.

In some cases, the money also was laundered through U.S. bank accounts and wasn’t disclosed on tax returns, said IRS spokesman Craig Casserly.

All eight of the men indicted are Somali immigrants who were in the country legally but are not U.S. citizens.

I wonder where those eight are now.  Prison? Deported? or loose in a city near you?

More news on Iraqi IDP’s, government announces incentives to return

On July 16th the Iraqi government announced incentives for IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) to return home.   Judy reported on this in an earlier post here, and now we are hearing some of the details.

NGO’s* and their reporter friends have been saying we broke it (Iraq) and now we need to fix it by bringing thousands of Iraqis to the US.   So it is welcome news to see that the Iraqi government is taking steps to resettle its own people.     Note in this story that there are incentives not only for internally displaced but for displaced people who have left Iraq to return as well.

BAGHDAD, 20 July 2008 (IRIN) – The Iraqi government has adopted a number of measures aimed at encouraging the return of over four million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to their homes, a government statement has said.

The most significant measure is the one-off payment of 1.8 million Iraqi dinars (about US$1,500) to families who are illegally occupying the houses of other displaced families from a different sect and who want to return to their homes, the statement said on 16 July.

The aim is to help those families to rent other places, the statement said.
All IDPs or refugees willing to return to their houses will be paid one million Iraqi dinars (about $840), it said.

Another measure stipulates an additional monthly payment of 150,000 Iraqi dinars (about $145) to each internally displaced family which has not yet returned to its home. The payment will be for three months while the family is still displaced.

Other measures include helping Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries with free airline tickets if they choose to return home, the free shipment of their belongings, and compensation for damaged property.

“These decisions are designed to facilitate and expedite the return of displaced families to their houses to boost the peaceful coexistence among Iraq’s different components in mixed areas,” the statement said.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), over 4.2 million Iraqis have fled their homes since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Of these, about 2.2 million are living as refugees in neighbouring countries – mostly Syria and Jordan – while the remainder are IDPs.

* NGO’s (volags) need refugee numbers entering the US because that is how they are paid, by the head.  And, since this is also an opportunity to whack the Bush Administration over the war, the issue is a ‘twofer’ for them.

Readers help needed!  If you see this story reported by the Associated Press, send the link to us.

Some Iraqi IDP’s are not legit

IDP’s are Internally Displaced Persons in the vernacular of the refugee resettlement industry folks.  The mainstream media tells us that a couple of million are displaced within Iraq and we must begin resettling these so-called refugees to the US.    The normal definition of “refugee” specifies that the person must have left his or her own country due to persecution or the fear of persecution; economic migrants don’t count.   We, at RRW, are trying to get to the bottom of this issue.  

Here is an article from Relief Web that gives us a bit more information:

BAGHDAD, 27 July 2008 (IRIN) – A provincial investigative committee in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf is to go check the files of more than 200 displaced families living in a camp outside the city to determine who are genuinely displaced and who are not, an official said on 26 July.

Mashkour al-Mousawi, director of the Ministry of Displacement and Migration’s Najaf province branch, added that the committee will expel from the camp those families claiming to be displaced and will encourage the return of some genuine internally displaced persons (IDPs) to areas now deemed safer for them to return to.

“We have reports that there are some families from remote areas pretending to be displaced who have joined other displaced families in al-Manathira camp to benefit from financial, food and non-food assistance,” said al-Mousawi.

We are glad to learn that the Iraqi government is working to sort this out and look forward to reports from reporters in the US media telling the American public the whole story and not simply regurgitating press releases from NGO’s.