Germany to take 2,500 Iraqi Christians

A while back Germany was talking about taking in 30,000 Iraqi Iraqi refugees. Now Deutsche-Welle reports on plans to accept up to 2,500 of them “in the framework of a European Union agreement.”

We posted several times on Germany’s plans, beginning last March. The churches began by pushing for 30,000. Naturally, some people thought it was unfair to specify Christians. We thought it was sensible, since that’s who is the most persecuted, Germany is (or was) a Christian country, and why shouldn’t churches ask for Christians? Chancellor Angela Merkel seemed to approve.

Then Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki visited Merkel and told her he wants the refugees back in Iraq. We’re all for resettling the refugees back home. But Maliki has not been straightforward about the Christians, or he has been living in a fantasy. The Christian communities are being utterly destroyed, unless something has happened since I last read about the situation. But Merkel seemed to be rethinking taking a lot of refugees.

Also, the UN is involved.

[The plan for 2,500 refugees] comes on the same day as the UN’s Special Commissioner for Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, expressed his concern about the situation of Iraqi Christians in Iraq in talks with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. De Mistura said a further exodus had to be stopped and called upon Germany and other EU countries to urge Baghdad to give more protection to the minority grouping.

Urge, shmurge. Baghdad hasn’t done anything for the Christians and doesn’t know what to do. Unless they get their own militias and training, they’ll all be killed off or driven out. Urging Baghdad to do something is about as effective as urging Ahmadinejad to give up his nukes. (I’d love to be proven wrong.)

The article is interesting for something else — how differently Germany treats refugees from the way we treat them. First of all, they have to get acculturated.

Hessen’s Interior Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) stressed that the process foresaw long-term resettlement of the refugees and that they would be expected to take part in a three-month integration course, which would also involve language teaching.

Then, unlike refugees here, who are permanent residents once they arrive,

Berlin’s Interior Minister Ehrhart Koerting (SPD) said the refugees would initially be given three-year residence permits. These could be renewed and lead eventually to German citizenship. 

Why don’t we do that? Kind of probationary residence. If they don’t behave and start to become Americans, out they go. Think of the trouble that would prevent.

At the end of the article is something that’s new to me. (I admit I haven’t been following the Iraqi refugee issue as closely as I should have.) The last I heard the UN was talking as if millions of Iraqi refugees needed resettlement. Now:

Stefan Teloeken, a spokesman for UNHCR Germany, said a small fraction of the two million refugees sheltering in countries neighboring Iraq were neither able to return home nor to integrate into their host countries.

“For these people we have to find third countries,” he said on Thursday. “There is a program set up to this end and we hope that many countries will join this program.

I guess I missed the part where the UN realized Iraq really is being pacified and most of the refugees will be able to go home. Well, hallelujah.

A reader knowledgeable about the State Department’s P-3 program speaks up

By now, regular readers of Refugee Resettlement Watch are familiar with the bombshell news a week ago about the suspension of the so-called P-3 family reunification program of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in the US State Department.    DNA testing of prospective new immigrants revealed widespread fraud in certain parts of Africa.   You might wish to first return to our original post on the subject here before reading this response.

Subsequently, when the State Department modified its original statement (fact sheet) on the suspension, I raised several questions about what might be going on (here).

Now, in response to my questions, we have received the following letter of clarification from a person with firsthand knowledge of the P-3 program (posted here in its entirety).

To the editors at Refugee Resettlement Watch,

The suspension of the P3 program has generated some comments that I’d like to address. I should start by saying that I believe all of the comments, particularly those from Mars and Tennresident [Ed: those comments can be seen in the first link noted above], who clearly know what they’re talking about.

The problem is that the comments as a whole don’t seem to capture the big picture. I work for one of the overseas contractors implementing the program, and our view from over here is a little different.

For one thing, it’s not clear how anyone could have predicted the 80% fraud rate that shut down the program. To me, saying “we always knew” is incorrect, and is applying hindsight.

The resettlement agency workers who were submitting the AORs (e.g. the invitation letters) may have seen a high level of fraud, but that was never clear to those of us overseas. The State Department initially brought in the DNA testing as a formality, a test run, and an experiment. The managers of the programs welcomed it. The families that underwent it were all volunteers who were extensively counseled on what was going on, and who could have opted out. In other words, the process was supposed to be the end result, and the DNA tests were not supposed to be meaningful. Those of us implementing the program always suspect fraud in all refugee programs, but our surprise was genuine.

Two, it’s almost certain that LESS than 80% of those who are in the States already are fraudulent. The “80%” figure comes from a sample of undeparted cases that are still in East Africa. Cases currently in the U.S. almost certainly have a lower rate. The majority of them were either “P1” cases, individual referrals, or “P2” groups. No volags, AORs, or US anchor relatives were directly involved. Also, the fraud rate of refugee programs almost always begin at zero and creeps up with time. Nobody knows the fraud rate among those who have already arrived, but it’s almost certainly less than those who are at the tail end of the beneficiary chain.

I’ll admit that I might be giving too much benefit of the doubt to my co-workers. None of us are in the refugee business for the money, that’s for sure–we work with refugees because we think we’re doing good. And with this P3 scandal, we’ve actually done harm. The program is stuck with an enormous scandal that discredits everything, and an awful lot of people are looking at us suspiciously, wondering why nobody took action sooner, or if there’s more that we know about but aren’t telling. It’s devastating.

I’d also like to answer some of this blog’s earlier questions:

* Was the first [P3] fact sheet put out with a factual error (benign reason for the discrepancy)?

Yes. The P3 program was suspended worldwide several months before the recent announcement on the web site. The initial online announcement confused us when it mentioned that non-African programs were continuing as before. We knew that was not true.

* Has this problem become so thorny that some good people felt they had to do something before the waning days of the present administration?

No. The issues with the P3 program pre-date the election by about a year. DNA testing has been discussed for at least a year, if not more. The delay in getting the announcement might have been related to getting a political appointee’s signature approving the suspension, but it was implemented long before then. It’s pertinent to note that the actual decision was made by permanent civil servants, i.e. individuals who are not affected (in theory) by the politics of any given administration. The signature from the political appointee was truly a formality.

* And, why then halt the processing for refugees from countries that have not demonstrated fraud? Or, is this more of an equal rights issue? If we are going to cut off Muslims from Africa, we gotta be fair and cut off those Burmese Christians too? Did CAIR call the State Department? (politcally correct explanation)

It’s an equal rights issue, but it has nothing to do with political correctness. Other countries’ P3 beneficiaries were suspended for two reasons. One, there are very few of them. It’s not a big deal in a program of several thousand to put another hundred or two on hold. Two, DHS says the other countries haven’t demonstrated fraud, but they haven’t proved themselves as non-fraudulent either. It’s not a big deal, but both arguments seem to be spurious. Telling someone they’re irrelevant in numbers, and possible fraudulent because other groups are, is unfair . One of the underlying aspects of our work is that we work with people, and every person matters. Two, some countries document relationships well, and credible birth certificates should be available. Claiming the refugees haven’t proved themselves as non-fraudulent is ignoring the facts.

* Or, is this just such a can of worms that the remnants of the Bush Administration are simply washing their hands of it and leaving (the crisis!) for the Obama Administration to sort out? (sneaky explanation)

Incorrect. The high fraud rate took everyone by surprise, and the general course of action was pretty obvious.

* Has Homeland Security found a serious possible threat from the thousands of now unknown Somalis (they couldn’t have been screened, if they aren’t who they say they are) living in the US and decided it all should be shut down until more safeguards are in place? (serious security threat)

It’s correct to point to DHS, but the concern is different. The individual DHS staff do not want to be held responsible, so it’s easier to make no decision at all. DHS feels that mistakes should be prosecuted. In the few years after 9/11, that included prosecution of the individual staffer who made the decision; that “zero tolerance” memo was lifted a few years ago, but the paranoia among the staff persists, and it still has the power to paralyze the Department.

Let me thank this blog for making very valid points about the refugee program’s negative social effects, the costs, and the level of fraud. However I still believe in it, and I think it does good. I hope its problems will be resolved, thanks not least to this blog which points out the very real problems, but I also hope it will continue for a long time to come.

Thanks so much to Venus for being so open and forthright about this recent decision and the refugee program in general.    We can get a little one-sided around here from time to time, so it is good for us and our readers to get other perspectives!  Thanks again, Venus.

IRC: your employment ‘head hunter’ service in Abilene, TX

Abilene Biz magazine published an article this past week in which the International Rescue Committee (IRC)showcases what it can do for your business by supplying immigrant (cheap!) labor.   Most refugees, even those with educations and skills, cannot get work commensurate with their training because their English is usually too weak.  So your friendly refugee resettlement agency (funded by you, the taxpayer) finds them work in menial jobs. 

They come to this country with little in the way of material possessions and most do not speak English at all or well enough to converse. Even so, they are required by law to be self-sufficient after four months in the United States.

That means many refugees take jobs that they are overqualified for simply because they don’t speak English. You might find a former lawyer working in an assembly line or a former business CEO doing housekeeping chores—and grateful for the opportunity.

Once again, ever watchful, Chris Coen of Friends of Refugees posts a comment to set the record straight. 

Refugees are not required by law to be self-sufficient after four months in the United States. The US Department of Health and Human Services provides eight months of cash assistance for refugees, which will cover rent and other basic bills. If refugees have professional or other skills then the IRC should be assisting the refugees to learn English during those eight months so that the refugees may be directed to an appropriate job in which they may use their skills.

Christopher Coen
Friends of Refugees

As a matter of fact, I wondered at this in Washington County, MD too.   The refugees were pushed very quickly into factory/warehouse jobs and were then unable to attend the English classes that had been available to them at the local junior college.  Without English they weren’t going to be rising up the employment ladder anytime soon.

I think its all about these volags (supposedly voluntary agencies) trying to unload refugees as fast as they can so they can bring more.

Back to Abilene Biz and the IRC head hunters.  Need cheap manual labor?  Refugees (except maybe the Iraqis!) don’t complain.  They probably think that if they are not working at 4 months they will be deported or something.     Contact the IRC for all your labor needs:

Contact Susanna Lubanga, employment specialist, 675-5643, ext. 10; Assistance with paperwork and translators are available. An IRC rep. is also available to give on-site presentations for interested employers. IRC office is located at 3303 N. 3rd St., Suite D.

I wonder if the IRC collects anything from employers when they supply them with labor.  Does anyone know?  Come to think of it, do the big meatpackers give some sort of kick-back to volag head hunters?

Retired intelligence officer shows how Alinsky influenced Obama

….Not just influenced, but is the underpinning of how Obama’s life and the Socialist/Marxist movement he leads has been structured.    Read this detailed and excellent discussion at the blog ” The Fundamental Option” here.  Hat tip: Janet.

Why am I posting this series on Saul Alinsky (a dead Communist) at Refugee Resettlement Watch in a category entitled “community destabilization?”     You simply cannot bring about “crisis” and “change” and ultimately a socialist form of government if the American population is basically content.  Enter the immigrants.   One must continually add “diversity” and needy people to keep the anger level up.  Frankly, the “want mores,” as Alinsky calls them, will demand more.

Of course it is couched in terms about ‘loving all sweaty humanity’ and that may be so at the lower levels of the open borders movement, but the reality, as I have shown previously, is that the Saul Alinsky leaders (Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Father Pfleger) are far from kind and gentle people, but are in fact filled with hatred.

Again, one must have the seething angry masses to destabilize communities and bring about a change in our form of government.