Claiming strangers as relatives for $10,000 a head

The belated story of the State Department’s (and Homeland Security’s?) decision to suspend the P-3 family reunification program is now seeping into the print media.   We told you the other day about the Shelbyville Times Gazette article and now here is one from St. Paul, MN.   Minneapolis-St. Paul is the Somali capital of America.

It begins with a sob story about a Somali woman who last saw her mother in 1991 (when she was 3 years old) and has recently learned she is alive.   So naturally she wants to bring long lost Mom to America.  Things were moving along in the process when the big bad government decided to do a little DNA testing on prospective new Americans coming from this particular region of Africa.  What did they find?  Rampant fraud!  Yes, can you believe it!  Now ‘Mom’ and ‘daughter’ are in limbo.

A recent decision by the U.S. State Department may keep Hassan and her mother waiting for the foreseeable future.

Hassan’s mother would be eligible to come into the country under a P3 visa, part of a family-reunification program. Since the late 1970s, when it was created to help Vietnamese refugees bring family members to the United States, the P3 visa has reconnected thousands of families. The program allows an “anchor relative”—a family member already legally living in the United States—to apply to have nuclear family members join them, with the hope of maintaining bonds between parents and children, brothers and sisters.

Since 2003, the main beneficiaries of the P3 visa have been Africans, 35,000 of whom have gained entrance with the visa. Not all of them, it turns out, were legal. Last spring, a State Department investigation discovered widespread fraud within the program: People were claiming strangers as relatives for up to $10,000 a head.

In response, the State Department cracked down, adding a DNA test requirement to prove that family members are related.

DNA tests!   Apparently Catholic Charities would like to see DNA testing dispensed with, afterall, the enlightened position of the culturally aware is to go with the definition of family found in whatever part of the world the the refugee is coming from—just keep the refugee spigot open! 

No refugees means no AORs (Affidavits of Relationship) to process which means no money coming in from the taxpayer to Catholic Charities bureaucracy.

For resettlement organizations like Catholic Charities, the DNA test requirement has created a whole new set of problems. For one, there is a cultural difference to overcome: In many African countries, the notion of family is more elastic, and many refugees may be caring for children orphaned by war.

Did you ever wonder where these impoverished Somalis were getting the $10,000?   Maybe now we know why they need those oil tankers!

Robert Spencer on Stealth Jihad at David Horowitz’s Excellent Weekend

I had a treat over the weekend — I got to go to Palm Beach and see a lot of people I admire and hear their views on the political scene, at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend. I won’t go into the political talks by Dick Morris, Karl Rove and others, but I want to tell you a little about the speakers who covered topics we’re interested in here at RRW.

First I’ll tell you about the indispensable Robert Spencer, master of Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch, regular writer for FrontPage Magazine, and author of numerous books. His most recent, which I’ve begun reading, is Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs. The stealth jihad is what we’ve been documenting here, especially the activities of Somalis.  When we began looking into the refugee issue we had no idea that sneaking Islam into American society was such a big part of it. Now we know. Here are a few highlights from Robert’s talk:

There is a contradiction between two legal principles that the Islamists are bringing to the fore. They use the decree of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that “reasonable accommodation must be given to religious activities” to push their demands, such as footbaths at colleges or their refusal to take passengers  carrying alcohol at the Minneapolis airport. We know this is pushing because Muslims have lived without footbaths until very recently, and Robert said he has bought alcohol from Muslims all over the country; it was a new fatwah by the Muslim Brotherhood that Muslims cannot transport alcohol that created the issue.

So colleges and airport authorities and the like are inclined to give in, because they don’t want the EEOC investigating them and punishing them for violating religious rights. But Muslims aren’t just asking to practice their religion; they want employers and colleges to spend money accommodating them, and they want to inconvenience other people. They don’t have to do that. Here’s the relevant paragraph from the EEOC’s page on religious discrimination:

An employer is not required to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs and practices if doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employers’ legitimate business interests. An employer can show undue hardship if accommodating an employee’s religious practices requires more than ordinary administrative costs, diminishes efficiency in other jobs, infringes on other employees’ job rights or benefits, impairs workplace safety, causes co-workers to carry the accommodated employee’s share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work, or if the proposed accommodation conflicts with another law or regulation.

But the Muslims push. And when employers give in to their demands, often they are discriminating against non-Muslims, which is also illegal. This was what happened at the Swift plant in Greeley, Colorado, and the non-Muslims fought back. As Robert pointed out, the meaning of the “reasonable accommodation” principle needs to be decided in court.

The general stance of Muslims is “All we want are our rights.” This is used by the Muslim Student Association’s Muslim Accommodations Task Force to push for separate gym facilities, dorms, prayer rooms, etc., as well as by other Muslim groups to push, push, push. We know Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol. This rule has grown in to refusals to handle alcohol, which we know about. But did you know this? In Britain, Muslims are picketing Tesco stores, a supermarket chain, to get them to stop selling alcoholic beverages. That’s where this is leading. Muslim rights include their right to impose their rules — Sharia law — over the entire societies where they live.

Robert said a lot more, on some other subjects. I’ll post this now, and cover more in a later post.

Christian missionaries in London reach out to Somali refugees

I don’t have a commentary on this news, but thought it was important for readers to know.  From the Baptist Press:

LONDON (BP)–Patrick and Sarah Sims*, International Mission Board team leaders for London, believe in practicing what they preach.

“Our job is to engage the unengaged,” Sims says. “We can’t ask our team members to do something we’re not modeling ourselves.”

The question, during their transition to a new strategy, was this: “In the mind-boggling ethnic kaleidoscope of London, which unengaged community should we approach?”

They had been working to reach south Asians in a Sikh-dominated area of west London. Sarah was teaching English as a Second Language when she was asked to take over a class for Somali women. More than 150,000 Somalis have streamed into London as refugees and asylum seekers since civil war began tearing apart their homeland in the early 1990s. Proud, clan-oriented, wary of outsiders, strongly Muslim, they have a reputation as one of the most self-contained groups in the city.

Read on.