Comment worth noting: refugee agencies to get more federal funding

Update January 24th:  Would freeze on discretionary spending affect the money flow to this plan?

In the first week of January we posted on one more of those stories about refugees not making it in the present rotten economy—the story was from Kansas City.  In the news article we posted there was this intriguing line:

Last summer, the National Security Council appointed an interagency task force to come up with recommendations, due in February, on how to revamp the resettlement system.

I was optimistic that maybe, just maybe, some real reform would come out of this.  Maybe it still will, but we have just learned from commenter Iamevolved that the R & P money that the US State Department gives to resettlement agencies to take care of refugees in the first 30 days will be doubled!   Here is Iamevolved commenting at the Houston post, a post that incidentally created a lot of discussion.

Effective 1/1/2010 the per capita funding for the refugee resettlement program was raised from $900 to $1,800.

So, what does that mean?   Up until now, refugee resettlement agencies got $900 per head for each refugee they resettle and they split it roughly in half with the refugee.  The agency could keep its half for its office overhead and staff funding.  Now, the Obama Administration is going to magically double it (don’t they need Congressional action, or is this from Obama’s private “stash?”)   So, what else is new!  I thought that maybe since the National Security Council was involved there might be some other issues addressed.  I sure hope it isn’t just one more Obama bailout —of the refugee contractors this time.

Nesting services!   For new readers here is a little information at an older annual report on exactly what R & P means.

Most of the persons eligible for ORR’s refugee program benefits and services are refugees resettled through the Department of State’s refugee allocation system under the annual ceiling for refugee admissions. Upon arrival, refugees are provided initial services through a program of grants, called reception and placement cooperative agreements, made by the Department of State to qualifying agencies  [‘qualifying agencies’ are the The Top Ten federal contractors here].

These grantee agencies are responsible for providing initial “nesting” services covering basic food, clothing, shelter, orientation, and referral for the first 30 days.

So what happens after 30 days?  More importantly what happens after eight months and the refugee still has no job?

If we learn more we will keep you posted.  Don’t hold your breath though that they might slow the flow of refugees during this recession.

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