Refugees International: Tell Obama to resettle 105,500 Iraqis into US

Ken Bacon*, head of a major refugee industry lobbying group, Refugees International (RI), urged his supporters to send letters to President-elect Obama and tell him to increase the number of Iraqi refugees entering the US to 105,500 (and they aren’t promoting the truly persecuted Christians), while the Bush Administration has proposed 17,000.    Our worldwide ceiling for FY2009 is 80,000.

From a Refugees International action alert this past week:

Increase the number of Iraqis resettled into the U.S. to 105,500.

The number just keeps growing!  Everytime they put out a release the number goes up by 10,000 or so.   Here is a post back in September where groups including RI were talking 80,000-90,000, and were very displeased with the State Department’s measly 17,000.

We brought around 13,000 in FY 2008 and a large number of these refugees are very unhappy as we have reported many times recently.   Well educated and expecting work according to their educations, Iraqis entering the US in large numbers over the last few months have not been silent about their disappointment.  See one of many posts on the unhappy Iraqis here.

Are these groups like RI completely isolated  and out of touch that they don’t know this dissatisfaction is going on in city after city in the US?  How can they continue to advocate for more Iraqis when the ones we have are not being cared for?  It makes no sense!  

And, won’t these 105,500 competent Iraqis be competing for increasingly scarce jobs if the economy continues to tighten as predicted?   How is that going to sit with out-of-work Americans, after so many fellow Americans fought and died for Iraq to have its freedom? 


*Ken Bacon, if you recall, was the Pentagon spokesman in the Clinton Administration whose claim to fame was that he released Linda Tripp’s personel file which served to draw the media to Linda Tripp and away from Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.   Bet you a buck, he ends up in the State Department if Hillary is Secretary of State, afterall, in the ways of Washington—she owes him.

Refugees International is chaired by Farooq Kathwari.  You can read more about him here.

IRC hosts publicity stunt Thanksgiving dinner for refugees in NYC, elsewhere

Nothing much here to report other than the International Rescue Committee(IRC), which claims its funding is not adequate, put on what appears to be a pretty lavish Thanksgiving spread in New York City this week—obviously a publicity stunt because here is the article in USA Today :

NEW YORK — Mohamed Hashem*, a college student who studied dance as a child and worked as a model, was threatened often on the streets of Baghdad. He ran to Jordan, languished in Lebanon and hid for two years in Syria before finally making it to New York in July as a refugee.

Having fled persecution, he is a pilgrim, too. On Thursday he celebrated his first Thanksgiving.

“What keeps me going is I always remember where I was and where I am now,” says Hashem, 25, who shares a room with another Iraqi refugee in Brooklyn. “I have no job. I am lonely, but I’m in New York where I always wanted to be. I’m safe.”

Hashem and dozens of other refugees gathered Thursday night for an early celebration of the holiday that commemorates the feast shared by America’s indigenous people and refugees of a different sort centuries ago. Like Hashem, many were celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time.

The dinner was one of three organized this week by the International Rescue Committee, one of nine agencies that resettle refugees throughout the USA. Celebrations also were held in Phoenix on Thursday and Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

A ho-hum article is livened up by a comment from Chris Coen, Friends of Refugees.  Mr. Coen is the ever-present reminder that these Volags (supposedly voluntary agencies) funded with your tax dollars often times leave the refugees in their care uncared-for! 

Government inspection reports of IRC are not quite as rosy as this article. When the US State Department visited IRC refugees at their homes in New York City they found a refugee family that had not been provided with the minimal ‘minimum required’ used furnishings that are required by IRC’s government contracts. The refugee family told the government inspectors that they had asked IRC to provide an additional bed a month earlier, yet the IRC never brought it. The family also was not receiving food stamps or welfare even though they qualified for both programs. Another home visit revealed a family of five that had been placed into a crowded one-bedroom apartment. The family said that they felt unsafe in the neighborhood that IRC had placed them as they had been robbed, and a homicide had occurred in front of the building next door. This family also was not receiving food stamps even though they qualified for the program.

Christopher Coen
Friends of Refugees

See the handy graph with the article that reminds us that we are expected to resettle 80,000 more refugees into a beleagured job market in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. 

*We wrote about Hashim previously here.   He gets around doesn’t he?  Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the UN was even at this dinner.   For the diversity worshipers reading this, take note that gays are persecuted (and at times executed) in Middle Eastern countries that follow strict Islamic law.

And, check out the photo (by a USA Today  photographer so we know this was a publicity stunt set up in advance) of Hashim.  Are those adult beverages the refugees are enjoying?  Cash bar?  Or, were drinks on the IRC (the taxpayer) too?

IRC top brass make huge salaries, here.