Taxpayer support of refugees will expand if experimental program succeeds

Your tax dollars:

Salt Lake City, Utah is one of the US cities that has had problems with refugees in recent years.  You only need to use or search function for ‘Salt Lake City’ and you will see what I mean.   Now comes news that the volags (federal contractors that do most refugee resettlement in the US) operating in Utah will receive $2 million extra federal dollars to try to get the program under control.

The refugee resettlement program as it has been administered for some time only took care of refugees for about 6 months (time varied somewhat depending on how thorough the agency did its job).    The experimental program in Utah expands that time to 2 years.

The family[Somali family discussed in this article] benefitted from special long-term case management, which starting this month, all new refugees will receive. Thanks to federal dollars, Utah’s resettlement organizations were able to hire a large number of new staff, who will guide and supervise refugees during their first two years in America. The goal is to foster independence and ensure families aren’t overlooked.

This is a massive shift in a system that critics say has previously left many refugees feeling abandoned and neglected. Minimal funding meant staffers were overwhelmed and unable to provide more than basic help.

All three groups [International Rescue Committee, Catholic Community Services and the Asian Association] have expanded staff thanks to about $2 million per year in federal welfare and social service dollars for the two-year experimental program.

It was only a matter of time before these federal contractors asked for and received more taxpayer money.   We have recommended that a greater effort should be made to find private charity to supplement the federal and state funds used for resettling refugees, but alas if the federal printing presses run for AIG of course they would be expected to run for the IRC.

Patrick Poulin (IRC), believes this is the direction refugee programs “need to go.”

Holyoke, MA: Refugees growing vegetables, that’s nice

To our critics, you see we can occasionally post a refugee story that has some positive aspects.  Here is a Boston Globe article from Holyoke, MA about how refugees are growing produce for themselves and for the market. 

I’ll admit I’m soft on farming, so the story appeals to me.   As a matter of fact, the way Obama is taking our economy we should all be growing vegetables.  I just got in from planting spinach, lettuce and kale myself.

It’s good also to see refugees doing work they know something about instead of  jobs the volags normally find them like cutting meat at Tyson Foods, working in Sealy mattress factories, or cleaning hotels or washing dishes at high-end resorts.

These days, homegrown produce in Massachusetts means a lot more than cranberries and McIntosh apples. Flourishing ethnic crops and immigrant farmers have helped fuel a larger trend that increased the number of farms in the state by 27 percent from 2002 to 2007, surging to a level not seen since the 1960s, according to a census released last month by the US Department of Agriculture.


Agencies that work with immigrants, such as Lutheran Social Services of New England, have added agricultural programs that help form business plans. The state Office for Refugees and Immigrants launched a farming program two years ago when it saw a flood of asylum seekers with agrarian backgrounds. For all new small farmers, the state offers a business training program that has been so popular that classes have been expanded.


A newer arrival to local agriculture is Lutfi Azizov, 39, a Meskhetian Turk who moved with his extended family to West Springfield in 2006

“My father farmed,” Azizov said recently in Russian through a translator, recalling his own 15 acres in Krasnodar, near the north shore of the Black Sea. “My grandfather farmed. My great-grandfather farmed. Now I bring my kids to the farm to teach them.”

It does appear that  Holyoke got worn down in its opposition to refugees.   Or, at least certain refugees.  Eight years ago the city was a hotbed of opposition to a plan to settle Somali Bantu there.   For more on that controversy, see this VDARE story by Thomas Allen.

Another immigrant nailed for food stamp fraud

As I said yesterday, scams are in the air.   This is the story that first brought my attention to the rampant food stamp scams perpetrated by a certain group of immigrants.   I first told you about  Mohammad T. Khan in December of 2007, here.  The wheels of justice turn slowly, don’t they.

From the Hagerstown Herald Mail yesterday:

HAGERSTOWN — The man who owned Nadia’s Convenience Store at 200 W. Franklin St. in Hagerstown was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for food stamp fraud, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.

Mohammad T. Khan, 40, of Hagerstown, also was ordered to pay restitution of $319,000 and serve three years of supervised probation upon his release, Marcy Murphy, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said in the release.

From at least Jan. 1, 2005, through Sept. 30, 2007, Khan and employees of Nadia’s routinely exchanged cash for electronic benefits card (EBT) benefits in violation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food stamp program, Murphy said.


Khan’s business was credited with more than $319,000 in EBT deposits for food sales that never occurred, Murphy said.

That he will be punished is good news, but what really interests me is how did so many immigrants, members of the Religion of Peace, get into the US with seed money to start these enterprises.  

I followed Khan’s money trail through public records from his incorporation of the Nadia store in a seedy section of Baltimore to his ownership of the store, the ownership of an expensive house in Hagerstown and his purchase of a gas station all in under five years.  How did he get to the US and where did his original financing come from?  No one ever seems to go that far in these cases.

I’m wondering if these Pakistanis get into the country as E-2 Treaty Investors.  If you have money to invest it appears it’s pretty easy to get into the US from certain countries.  Pakistan is one such country. 

Here is my archive on Food Stamp Fraud posts.  This is one of my favorite stories.  An Arabic publication wonders why there are so many Arabic names involved with food stamp scams and a US Attorney likens it to crimes committed by biker gangs, huh?