More Iraqi asylum seekers arriving in Australia

The word has gotten out that the Rudd Administration has made it easier for refugees arriving by boat to be granted asylum in Australia, so now, not surprisingly, the numbers are on the rise.  From the Jakarta Post:

A boatload of suspected Iraqi asylum seekers skirted border patrols and landed Wednesday on a remote Australian island, officials said, becoming the third group of people to reach the country’s territorial waters in a month.

The opposition Liberal Party says the increase in boat arrivals is a result of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s relaxation of the country’s refugee policy last July.

When I first saw this story, I though how on earth were Iraqis getting to Australia on boats, but we learn that they first fly to Indonesia.

Australia has long been a destination for people from poor, often war-ravaged countries hoping to start a new life. Most of the asylum seekers in recent years have come from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. They typically fly to Indonesia before continuing to Australia aboard cramped, barely seaworthy boats.

Indefinite detention on remote islands by the Howard government  previously kept the numbers of asylum seekers low.

The number of boats had dwindled after the previous government imposed unlimited detention for illegal immigrants and made it difficult to get refugee visas. But since Rudd’s government relaxed some of those policies last July, 11 boats carrying more than 340 people have entered Australian waters, three of them in the last month.


Rudd’s government has limited detention to 12 months and gives accepted refugees permanent visas instead of the three-year visas provided by the previous Liberal government.

The article doesn’t mention if these are Muslim Iraqis or Christians.

Ho hum, another jobless refugee story, taxpayers send more money!

I didn’t plan it this way, but it’s convenient that this post follows my previous post in which Roy Beck of NumbersUSA points out that illegal aliens occupy millions of jobs in the US.

From the Catholic News Service, this news release begins with the usual sad story of an unemployed refugee, a Liberian, who lost her job and now is in distress.

“Right now it’s not easy,” she told Catholic News Service in thickly accented English. “I just applied for unemployment again. It’s very hard for me right now. Now my landlord is after me.”

Togba has not given up looking for work, but she said she is not sure where else to turn after months of searching.

“Do us a favor by telling the government we’re refugees in this country,” Togba said. “Some of us do not even know where to go. We lived in the refugee camp and we were suffering and they brought us here for safety, for times to be better for us. But right now things are really out of hand. We cannot even control it any more.”

Togba’s situation illustrates the plight facing thousands of resettled refugees nationwide.

But despite the dire circumstances these refugees are in, the US State Department is still hauling them in this fiscal year.

The economic slump has caused diocesan MRS staffers to scramble to find work for the thousands of refugees lining up at the border. The State Department is planning to bring about 80,000 refugees into the country in the fiscal year ending September 30.

 The economy is nothing like we have ever seen before!

“I don’t think we’ve ever had quite the scenario we’ve had as we do right now,” said Kathy Cooper, director of the Virginia Office of Newcomer Services in Richmond, a position she has held since 1991. “It’s just really bad. It’s an economy none of us have experienced before in terms of finding jobs for refugees.

“It’s not about finding a good, full-time job with good health benefits. It’s not even about finding a good job. It’s about finding a job,” she said.

We are trying to help even if it isn’t in our contract!

Once the refugees are resettled, there’s not much else local resettlement agencies are able to do contractually. Under State Department contracts, local resettlement agencies provide assistance for up to 90 days.

But that doesn’t mean the agencies stop helping, according to Richard Hogan, associate director for diocesan development for Migration and Refugee Services at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“So what they’ve been doing is asking for support from the community, from parishes, seeking donations of all sorts, and using that money to pay for rent,” Hogan explained.

What!!!   Mr. Hogan, you are supposed to be helping even if it isn’t in your contract!   This is a public-private partnership, right?     You know this is what happens when originally charitable groups, even church groups, start being paid by the taxpayer to do their good works, they get complacent and then EXPECT government to do it all.   

These refugees would not be hurting so badly now if each family had its own sponsor (a church, a civic group, or even an American well-established family), something we have advocated at RRW until we are blue in the face.

The solution according to this Catholic group, get more taxpayer money!  How about slowing the flow of refugees during the recession?  Not a chance.

Because the economy has taken such a toll on refugees, national resettlement agencies have turned to the State Department to seek emergency assistance for newcomers who have lost jobs and are in danger of losing their homes. Recognizing the growing need, State Department officials have authorized a one-time expenditure of $5 million for rental assistance.

The USCCB and other national organizations involved with resettling newcomers also are hopeful that Congress will approve legislation adding $30 million for refugee housing programs. The amount would be in addition to the $60 million already in the federal budget.

Another partial solution, form immigrant groups to ask for more money too!

“If the government helps, everything will be fine to us,” Dweh explained.

Dweh is President of a new organization to fight for stuff for Liberians called United Tchien Association. I’ll bet you a buck it is set up with taxpayer funded grants.  I told you some time ago about Ethnic Community Based Organizations, this is surely one of those and a prime example of community organizing ala Obama.

Roy Beck at NumbersUSA calls talk of amnesty this year an Obama “trial balloon”

This is a follow-up to my post of a few days ago about a New York Times article which reported that the Obama Administration is going to push amnesty for millions of illegals this year—in the midst of a recession!

Roy Beck, CEO of the grassroots NumbersUSA, says the article is a way for Open Borders advocates to send up a trial balloon to see if those of us supporting strict enforcement of immigration laws now on the books are paying attention. 

Beck said that his phone rang off the hook for comment on the story.  Here is one of the points he made to one and all:

In all my interviews today, I talked about two numbers that illustrate starkly the irrationality — and callousness — of any move toward an amnesty this year.

6 million — That is the estimate of illegal aliens who are holding down non-agricultural jobs in the U.S. Most of them are working in manufacturing, service and construction jobs that require no more than a high school education.

Nearly 7 million — That is the number of Americans with no more than a high school education who are looking for jobs (primarily in manufacturing, service and construction) but can’t find one.

The legal immigrants, still entering the US by the thousands, are also having a difficult (impossible?) time finding jobs as they too compete with illegal aliens and less-educated Americans.

Ridgefield attorney acted quickly in the wake of Binghamton tragedy

That is the headline of a story in the News-Times of Danbury, CT this past week.   And, I’m puzzled why this is news.  One would expect that the government contractor, the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) would naturally send some people to comfort their subcontractor’s (American Civic Association) staff and refugees they were responsible for resettling.  Did USCRI put out some news release?

RIDGEFIELD — Ridgefield attorney Tom Belote has been able to move beyond the helplessness so many feel in the wake of the mass shootings at an immigrant aid center in Binghamton, N.Y.

Belote is chairman of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a national organization with its headquarters in Arlington, Va. In his official capacity, Belote was able to act quickly on Friday when he received word of a gunman opening fire at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, killing 13 people.

Belote contacted the executive director and the chief executive officer of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and had three of the organization’s senior staffers sent to Binghamton to make sure the surviving victims receive the support they need.

Why did it take their LAWYER chairman of the board to “act quickly?”  Wouldn’t the CEO of USCRI, Lavinia Limon, know to send ‘comforters’ to Binghamton.   Again, so our critics understand, I am not criticizing an act of compassion, just wondering why this is so prominantly newsworthy.  Surely, there couldn’t be any legal liability for USCRI.

“As chairman of the board, I have an obligation to assure our organization acts quickly on a tragedy such as this,” Belote said Monday. “We had to act on a same-day basis. The care of resettled refugees is very delicate. They have special needs and when a partner agency is disabled, we have to act.”

O.K. we got that, but were they not going to act quickly if their LAWYER chairman of the Board didn’t tell them to?

Normally Lavinia Limon is quoted in stories about USCRI, where was she?  Or her family member, Peter Limon, director of field offices?

Eskinder Negash, vice president and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, said Monday the victims of Friday’s shooting were like family to the members of his organization.

“Three of our senior staffers were immediately dispatched to Binghamton,” Negash said. “They will visit every refugee that has been settled in the area since 2005. They will provide counseling and work with a local mental health agency, making home visits.”


He commended Belote for his quick action in the face of the Binghamton tragedy, saying Belote not only saw to it that the senior staffers were immediately sent to the scene, but also contacted New York senators Charles Shumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and the mayor of Binghamton, Matthew T. Ryan.

Now that last line strikes me as critically important—Not!   What the heck does it matter if USCRI contacts the US Senators and Congressman?

We did learn in this article that USCRI resettled the Iraqi woman killed in the shooting, whose funeral is reported in the New York Times, here.   Since we have heard so much about unhappy Iraqi refugees elsewhere in the US, I wonder where she had been previously.

Layla Khali, 57, the Iraqi woman killed in the shootings Friday, had been relocated to Binghamton just eight months before by Belote’s organization.

We told you last week that USCRI is the parent organization, the federal contractor, that in turn subcontracts resettlement work to agencies such as the American Civic Association.

We have reported problems USCRI has had with other subcontractors in Albany, NY, Erie, PA, Waterbury, CT, Manchester, NH and Akron, OH.    These were problems related to those subcontractors either having too many refugees and some not adequately caring for them, or in the case of Erie there was some funny-money business going on.  

Critics take note, I am not saying this shooting had anything to do with USCRI, this tragedy obviously was way out of their control.  It just struck me as odd that there would be anything newsworthy about their chairman of board telling senior staff to get to Binghamton.