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.

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