Church World Service resettles nearly 5000 refugees in the last fiscal year…

Your tax dollars:

….4892 to be exact, and received about $5000 of your tax dollars per refugee! 

I was interested in this press release issued by one of the Top 10 volags that I discovered on a Burmese Chin website because Church World Service (CWS) is the ‘mothership’ to the Virginia Council of Churches (VCC) that did such a lousy job of resettling refugees where we live.   VCC and CWS are the reason Refugee Resettlement Watch was born (just a little history for our thousands of new readers).  From CWS press release:

Global humanitarian agency Church World Service resettled 4,892 refugees to the United States from October 2007 through September 2008 (FY 2008), or just over 8 percent of the total of 60,192 refugees who began new lives in the U.S. during the year.

Church World Service is one of 10 agencies that work with the U.S. Department of State to meet the needs of refugees upon their arrival to the United States and assist them as they work to attain self-sufficiency.

This statement in the press release caught my eye:

The agency’s community-based program helps newcomers make the transition to American life. Many refugee families resettled by CWS are co-sponsored by local congregations, who act as welcoming communities and assist the new arrivals with material needs like renting and furnishing apartments, job searches, school enrollment, and accessing social services.

CWS may say local congregations co-sponsor families but we did not find that adequate in Washington County, Maryland.   Sub-contractor VCC only found 3 churches and the local mosque (which quit in the middle of the resettlement) willing to help with around 200 refugees.  Those churches became overwhelmed by the work involved and complained privately to friends that it was all too much.  

Anger was directed at VCC when citizens shared stories about neglected refugees.  That is the same subject that has riled citizens in Salt Lake City recently (involving other volags also dropping the ball).  Go here to read the comment thread developing at the Salt Lake City Tribune.

One of the primary topics being debated in that comment thread is the adequacy of the supposedly only $425 per refugee government alottment that the volags claim they have to spend on each refugee’s initial resettlement. 

LOOK AT THIS!    Notice in CWS financial statement they received $25,488,124 (33% of their budget) from the US government (taxpayers) and spent $26,990,950 (34.1% of their budget) on refugee resettlement.   First, where is the public private partnership?  They spent only 1.1% of their own money on refugees.

Assuming they resettled 5000 refugees in this time frame that means they received about $5000 per resettled refugee from the US taxpayer!   So much for that crap about only having $425 per refugee to get them settled!

CWS, as a middleman, merely passes a tiny fraction of the federal money through to the refugees as it gobbles up taxpayer money for its staff, offices, etc. or the staff and offices of its large number of subcontractors.

Reform needed:  Get rid of the middlemen!  If we are going to have a refugee program, each state has a refugee office.  Just have that office locate churches and other groups (they could be secular) to sponsor each refugee family.    Only bring the number of families that have sponsors.

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