2006 Annual Report to Congress tells you everything you need to know about refugee program

Each year the Office of Refugee Resettlement prepares an Annual Report to Congress about the refugee program for that fiscal year.  The most recent report available is for FY2006.   It is a gold mine of information about the program:  who came, where they went, what grants and programs were available, and much more.

So, just as I said about that report I posted earlier today, this document will give you many hours of informative reading.

A couple of things that caught my eye on a quick skim of the 124 pages was a $1 million grant to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to do a “marriage education” program.  There was over $7 million awarded that year divided among 45 multicultural groups to “enhance ethnic community organizing”  (see page 34).

And then one of my favorite charts is the one on Welfare Usage on page 75.  For the 5 years prior to 2006 all forms of welfare usage have increased dramatically.   The four categories of usage include any type of cash assistance, Medicaid, Food Stamps and Public Housing.    For Food Stamps, 54.9% of refugees were using food stamps in 2006 while 35.8% were using them in 2001.   You can just imagine what the number must be now!

And with more food stamps available comes more opportunity for Food Stamp Fraud.

Hamas members flooding into U.S.? Maybe even terrorist prisoners! (Or not.)

Since my post of February 11, stating that contrary to some reports, Hamas members are NOT flooding into the U.S. from Gaza, I’ve seen quite a number of articles either repeating the assertion that they are coming here or agreeing with our opinion that this is not what the presidential order is about. Today I came across a long, involved article at the Family Security Matters website:  Determining the Intent of the Presidential Determination, by Frank Salvato. He seems to think there is a good chance the government intends to bring Hamas members here.

I’ll get to the really interesting part of the article in a minute, but I want to set out my criticism first.

Salvato’s argument is too long  and rambling to reproduce here. But one thing he does is reprehensible. He slides from his argument about the president directive into a long discussion about the corruption of UNRWA (the UN agency in charge of the Palestinian “refugees”), and into another discussion about media bias, and back again, implying that anyone who disagrees with him about Hamas operatives coming to the U.S. is ignorant of the corruption in UNRWA and similar to the biased media. The connection is that most of the aid given through the president’s directive goes to UNRWA, and that the media have not done their job reporting accurately on UNRWA and on many other things in the Middle East.

Here is his conclusion. 

Are the ramifications of President Obama’s Presidential Determination 2009-15 clear? No, nothing in the political arena, even in the United States…especially in the United States today, is ever clear. But an honest assessment of all the components related to the Presidential Determination, when considered in unison, present, not only the reality that there exists an opportunity for Hamas operatives to immigrate/re-settle to the West and United States, but the stark reality that the West – and the taxpayers of the United States in particular – are providing financial aid to an organization that supports the efforts of Hamas. To deny these realities and the possibilities that they conjure is to be perilously naïve.

So after all those words, he admits there is no compelling proof that Hamas operatives are settling here, only that it is unclear, but you have to believe they are coming because if you deny it you’re as much of an idiot as those who don’t realize UNRWA is joined at the hip to Hamas.

We’ve written extensively about UNRWA’s connections to Hamas; our search results for “UNRWA” are here. We’re not naive about UNRWA’s support of terrorism. But I’m not convinced the presidential directive was meant to open the floodgates to Hamas. 

But here’s Part Two.

My eye was caught by a name I know being quoted in the article. As Salvat0 describes him:

Howard Linett, a member of the Suicide/Homicide Bomber Tactical Analysis Focus Group of the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute & the Technical Support Working Group of the US Department of Homeland Security, a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a Sergeant-Major and sniper instructor in the Israeli Police Civil Guard, in writing from his home in Jerusalem, Israel….

Howard is an old friend of our family, and as credible and knowledgeable as can be. His first quote is about Hamas’s stealing humanitarian aid, which we know about.  I like his description: “the anti-Robin Hoods, stealing from the poor to give to political supporters.”

But it’s his next quote that took me aback. He connects the possibility of Hamas supporters coming to the U.S. with the current push by the Israeli government to get Hamas to release Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit through a prisoner swap. The number of terrorists to be released is said to be between 400 and 1,000.

Those same media sources report that Israel is demanding that the terrorists to be exchanged for Gilad Shalit not be allowed to return to either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. Nor does Israel want to release the terrorists into the custody of some country that will warmly embrace them, anoint them heroes and allow them to return to their terrorist ways.

So what is to be done? Well…

 $20.3 million for ‘Urgent Refugee Relief and Migration Needs related to Gaza’ thrown at the thorny problem might provide for a ‘temporary solution,’ and allow a new American Administration to claim it is administering defibrillation to a moribund peace process.

Not just Hamas operatives, but terrorists from Israeli prisons?  I called up Howard Linett in Jerusalem to ask him if he really thought this is what the presidential directive is about. He told me, “If I didn’t think there was some possibility I wouldn’t have said it.” It would give the Obama administration great credibility to solve the problem of how to get Gilad Shalit released. They could claim credit for re-starting the “peace process.”

But is it likely? “No.”

What’s interesting to me is how easy it is to believe the most far-out things about Obama and his administration. That’s why the story of Obama opening the floodgates to Hamas has circulated so widely. It’s credible. We don’t know his motives at all. His real beliefs have always been hidden, and they remain so. I got an email a couple of weeks ago about Obama’s having changed the oath of the armed services to pledge loyalty to him personally. It was a satire someone had written. But credible to many people, because we have no evidence he wouldn’t do that.

So if you want to say Obama could use the directive to bring in Hamas operatives, well, theoretically he could. Though I don’t know why he’d need to use this particular fund for it; there’s plenty of other government money floating around, and if Obama uses the fund to bring in terrorists, he won’t get credit for sending humanitarian aid to Gaza.  Further, he was apparently taken aback by the strong public reaction to his order to close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo; we don’t want released terrorist prisoners wandering around America, whether al-Qaeda or Hamas, so it wouldn’t be easy to sneak them in without an outcry.

Until I see more solid evidence than I’ve seen so far, I’ll spend my hysteria quota on other things Obama is doing, like causing the economy to collapse around us.

Senator Chuck Schumer to head Senate Immigration subcommittee

I came across this information just now in a publication called  The Pakistani Newspaper.    It’s a statement by Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum welcoming Schumer as the new chairman of the important Senate subcommittee on immigration.   Check out both the Forum and Noorani to see where this organization stands on immigration issues; I think you can already guess.

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, it was reported that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would take over as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration. He replaces Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in that role. The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan pro-immigrant advocacy group in Washington.


No human could possibly fill the shoes of Senator Ted Kennedy when it comes to his stewardship of the immigration issue across decades of shifting political winds and economic ebbs and flows, but we have high expectations for Senator Schumer nonetheless.

Schumer’s subcommittee includes all the issues that interest us.

The Immigration Subcommittee has a wide portfolio, including oversight of Department of Homeland Security’s immigration-related entities (ICE ,CBP, USCIS), and Department of Justice immigration functions, and the U.S. refugee program.

For those of us working in the grassroots to secure our borders and reform legal immigration programs like the Refugee Resettlement Program, take a look at this list of directors of the National Immigration Forum that is working to bring amnesty to millions of illegal aliens:  US Chamber of Commerce, National Restaurant Assoc, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, American Nursery and Lanscape Assoc. and the list goes on.

Fun with numbers! See the 2007 Yearbook of Immigrant Statistics

If you are interested in who came to the US (legally) and why (for decades) and you love to pore over numbers, this is the place for you to spend many a joy-filled hour—“2007 Yearbook of Immigrant Statistics.”   Published in September 2008 by the Department of Homeland Security, this is a must-have document for anyone interested in immigration generally.

For example, on page 18, I learned that in 2007, 54,942 refugees became legal permanent residents.   81,183 asylees (definition) became legal permanent residents and 42, 127 diversity visa lottery winners hit the jackpot.

To new readers:   We have a ‘Where to find information’ category, those of you new to the refugee resettlement program might wish to visit from time to time.