Refugee industry converging in Michigan for conference

The reason for the conference slated to begin at Michigan State University tomorrow is to bring together lots of levels of the refugee industry to discuss how to get refugees working; and in the case cited, recertified to work in certain professions in the US.

However, I’m wondering if the PR people couldn’t have found a better example of a suffering refugee.  The Associated Press story begins with Salah Hashem’s case:

DETROIT – When Salah Hashem slipped out of Iraq and into Turkey in 2006, he carried with him a host of papers, diplomas and official documents proving he had graduated from Baghdad University and had completed his medical residency.

When he arrived in the Worcester, Mass., area a year later, he put those papers to work, beginning a process of professional recertification in an attempt to resume his career in medicine.

But it was not to be.

The organization charged with validating foreign medical credentials told Hashem the name on his diploma wasn’t his.

The story sounds a tad bit shaky to me, but apparently not to the reporter who launches into this next paragraph without skipping a beat:

A stagnant economy, bureaucratic hurdles and difficulty adapting to a new professional scene are presenting refugees like Hashem and the organizations that serve them with a thorny problem: How to get highly skilled refugees in the U.S. back into their professional field.

Well, I guess you might call a name that doesn’t match on a medical document a bureaucratic hurdle, but it sounds to me that Mr. Hashem’s problems go beyond a stagnant economy and too much bureaucracy.  But, here is how it is all explained away.

In Hashem’s case, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates raised questions stemming from an Iraqi custom — adding the names of several generations of one’s forefathers on formal documents.

“They rejected my application at that time. They said, `We need a paper from your medical school saying that you are a graduate,”‘ Hashem said. [Very reasonable request wouldn’t you say!]   Iraqi universities “make it difficult to get you your papers if you are in a foreign country. They don’t really want to help anybody that fled the country.”

The commission’s associate vice president of operations, Bill Kelly, said while the group is sensitive to cultural differences, the burden is on the candidate to prove the diploma is his or her own.   [Does that sound like too much bureaucracy to you? Sounds like the right kind of bureaucracy to me!]

“We have a responsibility to ensure that the diploma that someone gives us belongs to them. We tell them, ‘We need official legal documentation that both the names belong to you,”‘ said Kelly. “It may inconvenience them some but our feeling is that the integrity of our process must be protected.”  [Your integrity and the health of Mr. Hashem’s future patients!]

He barely failed!  When is the last time you heard that phrase.  We are accustomed to hearing “barely passed,” but “barely failed?’  

After retrieving the papers, Hashem registered for the first of four licensing exams. He barely failed his first attempt. Now, his brother has fled Baghdad after threats on his life and is unable to get the documentation a second time.

Barely failed!   Maybe more paperwork isn’t necessary afterall.

Environmentalism and Immigration, what do they have in common?

The logical first response is one that jumps right out at you—too many immigrants will degrade the environment because there will be a need for more houses, more roads, more schools, more water, and the list goes on.  Groups, like the Center for Immigration Studies, have one report after another showing that nexus.

Then why aren’t the major environmental groups (Sierra Club, etc.) taking on the issue of population growth coming now in the US almost exclusively from immigration?  

I have said previously, I was an environmentalist in my naive youth (a lobbyists no less!)  However, I woke up very quickly to what environmentalism was all about when the preservationists working with the National Park Service tried to take my family’s farm—mine and my neighbors.   I couldn’t understand why the government needed our well-cared-for land and why we would be the villains for owning property.

After helping people, small farmers and landowners, across the country fight back against government (preservationist-backed) takings, the full import of what it all meant has only recently sunk in.   Reading Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” was an eye-opener and I suspect that when I read Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” more will become clear.   The elitist environmentalists/preservationists backed by big foundation money  just want to control us, to take our liberty.    They don’t care if I’m taking good care of my bit of the land, only that more private land come under government control (really their elitist control).   Those people behind the environmental groups today, the big funders, want control and understand that environmental regulation is a way to get it.

So how does my mind then link open borders and more refugees and immigrants to that?   The very same big players behind the environmental movement are behind the open borders movement as well, contrary to what one would think is the logic in my opening paragraph above.  They are following Alinsky’s playbook.  To bring about “change” one needs to produce “crisis” and “chaos” by fueling the war of the “have-nots” against the “haves.”    In America our “have-nots” were becoming fewer and fewer as they attained the middle class and became complacent.   No change and no revolution will occur if people are basically content with their lives.

So, as I said before, we now import the poor and angry.   The same big players behind the environmental movement are encouraging the creation of ethnic groups demanding their piece of the American pie and keeping people in constant turmoil.  Chaos (crisis) brings about change!   Change, as Obama and the big players mean it, is to take this country toward Socialism.  Although I need to throw in this caveat, Alinsky, an atheist, seemed to promote the idea that “change” was creativity itself, that it had intrinsic value to the “community organizer” even if it didn’t have a specific goal.

Enter the Tides Foundation.

Remember I told you about the Tides Foundation.  Glenn Beck has been unraveling their involvement with ACORN and the SEIU which I have written about on several previous occasions and how they are organizing immigrants.   Well, the Tides Foundation has been a huge funder of the environmentalists as well as pro-open borders and refugee groups, along with most other Leftwing causes.   Just go to their Form 990 I linked in the post above if you don’t believe me.

Someone the other day sent me the IRC report—the one we have been writing about—that says the Iraqi refugees are in crisis and the government needs to shell out more of our money for the refugees and the agencies that resettle them.  No one ever suggests slowing the flow of refugees.  The goal is to keep them poor and angry and in crisis.

On the opening page of that IRC report, I saw the connection.  There, among those on the IRC’s elite Iraqi crisis committee, was Drummond Pike— the king of the Liberal fascist funders, the money-launderer-in-chief.

So what puzzled me 20 years ago—why small private landowners were not encouraged and praised for their stewardship of land, or today why these refugee agencies and open borders groups are bringing so many people to America only to live in poverty—is clear.  It isn’t about care of the environment or the plight of the downtrodden, both are just pawns in the bigger game of changing our form of government and bringing us all under control of a few elitists who think only they have the brains to manage the rest of us—–the riff-raff!  It is aptly called liberal fascism.

Later clarification:  When I talk about environmentalism, I’m talking about radical top-down-control political and corporate environmentalism.   I am not referring to the average American who might consider him or herself an environmentalist cleaning up a local stream, enjoying feeding backyard birds, or otherwise wanting to protect their local environment.  The Tides Foundation is funding corporate/political environmentalism.

Refugee Resettlement Reform: Let the debate begin

I’m happy to report that after nearly two years of slogging along alone on the issue of Refugee Resettlement Reform we now have company in the debate.*  First, check out Refugee Resettlement Reform blog in which the anonymous author (probably Transitionland, also anonymous)  takes RRW, and specifically me, to task for suggesting that we get rid of the Top Ten (volag) Government Contractor middlemen which I believe siphon off the lion’s share of the funding for refugees.  CEO’s with $400,000 salary and benefits packages, come on!

I look forward to these anonymous folks getting some gumption and stepping forward with their ideas (that don’t involve throwing more taxpayer money at the problem!).  From Refugee Resettlement Reform blog:

I’ve never met a resettlement agency employee who did not think that the entire system needs to be overhauled. Resettlement workers, the people on the ground, working day in and day out within the system have plenty of ideas for how to reform it in ways that will benefit the people all of this is about –refugees. That is why I started this blog; I wanted to get my own reform ideas out in the public domain and inspire others to share theirs.

And, last night this blog came to my attention, peterhuston.blogspot, and I assume the author is Peter Huston.  

As mentioned, the local refugee office [Albany] has several problems. Its staff is under trained, overwhelmed and exhibits high turnover. Many essential services are performed by short term, unpaid interns who leave about the time they become proficient at their job. The office has no control over when the national office sends it refugees or how many they choose to receive. The result is a constant stream of things that are poorly done or sometimes not done at all.

One’s opinion on the refugee center depends on whether you view it as an overwhelmed charity or whether you view it as an under-monitored government contractor. In fact, it is both, as although a not for profit supplemented by donations and volunteers, it receives the bulk of its funding from the government.

Which begs the question of “Just what sort of tabs do the governmental agencies keep on the refugee center?”

Good question, Peter!

Welcome all!  If anyone knows of other blogs discussing reform of refugee resettlement, please let us know!

* I don’t mean to leave out a couple of reform advocates who have been working for reform for years and have been extremely helpful to me and deserve enormous credit for their work, but am focusing my comments here on bloggers.

Defense of CAIR by Somali writer demonstrates split in the “community”

I told you (here) how surprised I was a week or so ago to learn that some Somali Muslims had the guts to protest against the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the actions it has undertaken that some claim undermine FBI investigations into the Somali missing youths.  My estimation of Omar Jamal had actually gone up a bit!   A Somali political activist, Farheen Hakeem now informs us that anti-CAIR protesters were not really representing the Somali “community.”

Omar Jamal, Executive Director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, is the go-to guy for media coverage of Somalis in Minnesota. But does he really speak for Minnesota’s Somali community?

Last week, Jamal participated in a protest accusing Minnesota’s only Muslim civil rights organization, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) of impeding an investigation into the missing Somali youth. The protest was organized by Abdirizak Bihi, Jamal’s colleague and an uncle of Burhan Hassan, one of the missing Somali young men.

I, unfortunately, know Bihi all too well. When I ran for Mayor* of Minneapolis, I caught Bihi, who was working for McLaughlin’s campaign, running around the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood telling Somalis not to vote for me because “she is a lesbian.” This didn’t damage my campaign because I actually received more votes. It did however completely kill my romantic life (don’t get me started). I know who I am so I could care less of others’ opinion of my sexuality, but I was appalled that Bihi would use hate toward the GLBT community to gain political power.

Hakeem:  Jamal and Bihi run amok when accusing the mosque of involvement in the case.

Not surprisingly, Bihi’s irresponsible tactics against the Somali community have also found their way into the media. In a WCCO interview, Bihi said, “They [Abuubakar Islamic Center] curse us [Burhan’s family]. Call us infidels, because simply we spoke up for our son…Now we can say yes, that they do have something to do with it because they’re always acting out in a sinister way.”

Faheen says in no way does the protest against CAIR represent the “community.”  Darn, I had high hopes for the “community” when they did protest CAIR!

Bihi and Jamal definitely have a right to speak for themselves, but speaking for the thousands of Somalis in Minnesota will warrant questioning of their intent, credibility and integrity. They must be held accountable to their statements. The protest against the civil rights group received media coverage. The Star Tribune’s headline read, “Somalis take to the street to protest group’s actions.” Did the protest really represent the Somali community?

According to a press conference the following Saturday, organized by over a dozen local Somali organizations, it did not.


United Somali Movement Vice President Aman Obsiye said, “All [CAIR] is saying is that Somali-Americans are equal to all other Americans. We have the same civil rights as other Americans have…These attacks on CAIR are not from the Somali community.”

Well, that is a bummer.

*Mayor of Minneapolis?  Hummm! Hoping to be one of the 30 Muslim Mayors of American cities that Yahya Hendi told the Saudis about here.  See also my recent post on Somali community centers and the stealth jihad, here.

For new readers, the US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.