There is a good discussion going on in yesterday’s “comment worth noting” which was originally about federal refugee contractors lining up private sponsors for each refugee family, something they do not do now to any large degree. It further evolved into a discussion of how refugees are free to move anywhere after their original resettlement.
I then contended that the Refugee Resettlement Program is run secretively. Frequent critic of RRW, Iamevloved, responded that it wasn’t secretive if you were willing to do a little work researching it. This is my response and a reform idea I have been advocating for some time.
Come to think of it, in this era of transparancy, maybe the Obama Administration might like my idea!
Iamevloved, I guess you wouldn’t object then to one of my reform suggestions. That is, when a city is being considered as a refugee receiving city or when a city is to receive additional refugees from the point of passage of my reform legislation, there would be a federal requirement for a Social and Economic Impact Study completed for that city or county.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that any major federal action (including spending money) impacting the human environment triggers an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). As part of that EIS process and my recommended process for a Social and Economic Impact Study there would be (and is for the EIS) a requirement for public hearings.
I propose public hearings in each refugee-receiving city. The hearings would help determine such things as housing availability, job availability, social compatibility of the refugees to the area and so forth. Most city and even state officials have no clue how the refugee program works now, and citizens as we learned here where I live have even less of an understanding.
If the program is a good one, it will stand on its merits. I stand by my original statement that this is all done in a sneaky and secretive fashion for new cities that are targeted to receive refugees.
And, damn it! It is not the responsibility of average citizens to spend years trying to figure out what is going on in their communities with a federal program slipped in and administered by contractors!
Can we find someone in Congress to draft my bill?