You know America can’t win. First, we were a bad bad country for not bringing Iraqi refugees to the US by the tens of thousands and now we are a bad bad country because the ones getting here are not happy. From Arab News:
WASHINGTON: With the third-largest Arab population in the US, Michigan became a popular resettlement location for Iraqi refugees. Now, many refugees who arrived here say they were unable to navigate the system, and make this country their home. It is one of many unintended consequences of the Iraq War, now in its sixth year.
Lobbyists for the refugee industry, like this guy Jake Kurtzer and the AP reporter Matthew Lee, who has done the bidding of that industry for over a year, have used the refugees as a club to beat the Bush Administration around the head over the war. I have seen nothing from them to suggest they are working for the best interests of the displaced Iraqis.
“They (the Bush administration) have basically tried to do as little as possible,” said Jake Kurtzer, congressional advocate [LOBBYIST] for Refugees International, a Washington-based advocacy [LOBBYING] organization. Two years ago, only 202 Iraqi refugees were allowed into the country. This year, that number is almost 14,000 — and most refugees have gravitated to Detroit, home to America’s largest Arab population as well as a sizable Iraqi Christian or Chaldean community. But now officials say they’re swamped. For Iraqi refugees who make it to the US, the American dream is often not what they hoped.
While it’s meant safety and often better pay for low-income refugees, it has proven to be unacceptable for many well-paid Iraqis, at least so far. Language barriers and a job market seemingly limited to menial jobs are major frustrations.
A disappointing welcome for those who dreamed that coming to American would end their nightmares.
All of the lobbyists could have put their heads together and come up with plans to return these formerly “well-paid” Muslim Iraqis to Iraq to help rebuild the free Muslim country we gave them. There could have been ‘Marshall plan’ like efforts (in conjunction with the Iraqi government) on a large scale to get new homes built, perhaps even with security perimeters for now. In the meantime they should have been lobbying for the best and brightest to be cared for in whatever country they were displaced to until they return HOME. Instead, these refugee industry lobbyists have promoted bringing them to the US, for what? Jobs cleaning motels!
And, who gave these Iraqis high expectations of life in America? Is someone or some agency abroad trying to coerce them to get on the plane? Why?
Once in the US, for example, refugees must over time reimburse the US government for the cost of their plane ticket, usually well in excess of $1,000*. Though some are given small stipends, they lament that they start life in the US already in debt. In the US, many new arrivals say life hasn’t improved much. Many subsist on food stamps, housing supplied by refugee services, and get whatever medical care they need from Medicaid. “As they move to this country, sometimes expectations may not exactly match the reality here,” says Joseph Roberson, director of Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program. And that’s the officials’ main worry. The immediate resettlement – finding a house, giving three months’ worth of cash assistance – is the easy part.
The hard part [no kidding!] comes afterward, when the money has run out, the economy is still bad and affordable housing is hard to come by.
Honest to God, I don’t think these professional resettlement contractors (“church” people) really like the human beings they bring to America. It is all about politics and taxpayer money to keep their operations going.
If you go to our Iraqi refugee category (260 posts to date!) you will see one story after another in recent months about the unhappy Iraqi refugees resettled here, not just in impoverished Michigan, but throughout the US.
* On this repayment of airfare, these volags (non-profit federal contractors) act as collection agents and get a cut of every airfare dollar they collect from the struggling refugee, thus they receive additional taxpayer dollars on top of their per-head payment for each refugee. You know what a State Dept. official told me once? We would need to hire a collection agency to get our airfare loan money back anyway, so we might as well pay the volags the going rate for collection services. It is a racket!