This is a comment from a reader named John. It was sent to us a week ago in response to this post in which I said the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) had been having various problems with its subcontractors. This is what I said:
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.
John commented with the following. I was hoping to hear more from John to get further clarification and substantiation of these serious charges. I haven’t heard from him. However, I have heard similar allegations elsewhere in the US for each of John’s complaints, so they do ring true.
“Please add another USCRI site to the list of incompetent and corrupt agency offices. The Vermont Refugee Resettlement Agency – VRRP – is a USCRI satellite office. They have totally failed to engage volunteers and volunteer groups such as local, independent, non-profit, service agencies like churches, housing advocacy organizations, child care and school programs, job training opportunities, health care providers, technical and professional skills training institutes, serious English language training academies, etc. etc….
The VRRP has provided almost NO support to refugees who need and are seeking jobs. The staff at VRRP are untrained, unskilled and lack any serious professional knowledge themselves! The VRRP tries to operate in a vacumn in the community and tries to remain invisible! What are they afraid of?
One thing the VRRP is good at: They are quick and efficient at reporting and demanding bills from the refugees. They demand immediate payment from refugees that have don’t even have jobs or any English skills! How about this? >> They want payment from a family of 8 – for the $13,000 airfare it supposedly took the USCRI to fly them from Nepal to the USA! Mind you, this was in the winter when the round-trip price was only $800/each. Since the USCRI ships thousands each year from Nepal, what was their actual price for these off-season one-way tickets? Did you every refugee pays about $1600 each to the USCRI – after 6 months? USCRI gets reimbursed by the refugee for spending US tax dollars, however USCRI doesn’t return the money to the US treasury! They use these millions to fund their “slush” fund.
The VRRP has no one on staff who understands the Bhutanese culture or language. They have one Nepali speaking staff person (from northern Nepal)that is in business with the same slumlord that VRRP uses to house many refugees! This same staff person also receives loan and grant money from the VRRP to fund her family’s food and catering company! This staff person was never a refugee!!
Please either John or other of our readers help us figure out what is going on in Vermont. We did previously post on unhappy Iraqis who had been resettled by this same agency, here. Readers we are looking for help confirming OR denying the claims presented by John.
Reminder! We think there should be an open and vigorous debate about how many refugees come to America and from where, but once they are here those agencies contracted to care for them are responsible to the taxpayer (and one would think their own conscience) for the refugees’ (quality!) care and assimilation into American society.