Refugee overload in “Little Baghdad,” El Cajon, CA; summit attempts to find new model

Editors note added March 21, 2013:  For all of the readers arriving here this week, please see our entire archive on El Cajon and problems with refugees there.

Here is one more story about refugee overload, this time from the San Diego area.  A refugee summit held November 6th sought to find answers about what to do about the flood of refugees arriving and suggestions were made for a new “national model.’

From East County Magazine:

November 12, 2009 (El Cajon) – Impacts of the Iraq War are hitting home in East County, where so many Iraqi refugees have settled that El Cajon’s mayor has dubbed a section of his community “Little Baghdad.” Last year, the U.S. admitted over 60,000 refugees—including 8,500 from Iraq. Since October 2008, San Diego has been taking in 400 refugee families a month. Nearly 85% are from Iraq. Almost 75% of all area refugees have settled in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD), straining resources beyond capacity in social services, education, and healthcare.

“Social Services predicts that 200 to 300 new families will be entering East County each month for the next two or three years,” Mike Lewis, PhD, assistant superintendent of education for the Grossmont Union High School District said at a November 6 summit at Cuyamaca College titled Spotlight on Refugee Education and Employment. Some have spent weeks or even years in refugee camps. Many don’t speak English and have not been able to receive an education. Many refugees are also physically maimed by war or suffer post-traumatic stress. Often they receive misinformation and find steep barriers to getting the help that they need.

I’m all for a new national model, but I bet the entrenched resettlement agencies aren’t interested in any model that doesn’t involve more taxpayer funding!

Below are a few random comments from participants (there are more, so check out the article).  Come to think of it, I’m not sure this article has any suggestion from anyone actually resettling the refugees as a government contractor.

A former Iraqi immigrant and state legislator said the following sensible thing:

“We have immigrants coming here who have been thrown out of their homes. They are scared to death,” said Deddeh, who formerly taught English under an immersion program in Monterey. He called for immersion programs in English to help new refugees and asylees. “Otherwise we are dancing around the issue. Without English, they cannot get jobs…English, that is the hope, that is the dream, that is the future” for refugee families and their children, he concluded.

This proposal sounds like just more bureaucratic talking when the problem is too many refugees for too few jobs:

The most ambitious vision at the summit, which was attended by over 150 people, came from Sunny Cooke, president of Grossmont College. Noting that the assimilation period for refugees has been shortened by the federal government from two years to eight months since the Iraq War began, she called for creation of a “transformation model of how this country greets and services its refugees.” Under her plan, a coalition of community leaders would examine what other countries do around the world.

Here is the typical leftwing new model, refugees make me feel good so lets get more taxpayer money for them.  Watch out for that word ’empower’ it always alerts us to more hits on the taxpayer:

A representative from Assemblyman Joel Anderson’s office urged refugees to write to elected officials about “wonderful effects the refugees have had on our communities” to empower politicians to obtain more funding for refugee programs.

Here is someone speaking truth to power, a welfare model is a faulty model!

A Sudanese man who said he spent four years in a refugee camp called local efforts “a faulty model. It’s a welfare model. These are new citizens. They need training—a model to create new citizens.”

Then this suggestion is in our opinion the only real hope of reform, REFUGEES MUST BE SPONSORED!

Janet Casteños said her La Mesa-Sunrise Rotary Club has adopted a refugee family. “It’s a fantastic way to understand the culture,” she said, urging other groups to do the same.

It is also a “fantastic way” for the refugee family to learn our culture (English too) and take the burden off the taxpayer and place it back where it belongs as the role of private charity!

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