Comment worth noting: reader questions the numbers in Lutheran report

A couple of days ago, reader Mark, sent the comment below (to this post) questioning the numbers the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services(LIRS) included in a report that outlined their need for more of your tax dollars to resettle all the refugees they agreed to take.   I just now, in my previous post, pointed to LIRS most recent annual report and noted that almost all of their income is from the government (presumably federal government).  Mark says it’s 92% which is on par with many of the other so-called non-profits in the refugee business.

 So, where is their private contribution? This is supposed to be a public-private partnership!

Here is reader Mark, someone please explain the discrepancy he has pointed out.

It’s interesting that the task force [this is the federal task force headed by Samantha Power at the White House that just announced the pay raise for these agencies including Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services] recommended $1800 per refugee (for the first 90 days, via State Dept’s R&P program) just as the volags requested. Apparently no questions asked.

See LIR’s cost analysis of refugee resettlement ‘The Real Cost of Welcome, A financial analysis of local refugee reception’, see:

This analysis claimed that LIRS and their resettlement agency affiliates were paying 61% of the costs to resettle refugees ($3228 out of the $5,291 for the true cost of each refugee resettled, up to their 90th day in the US), and the State Dept was only paying 16% ($850 per capita for refugees for FY2008 out of $5,291 per refugee), and some other mysterious federal funds paying 23%, thus the feds paying 16% + 23% = 39%.

So where did LIRS and their resettlement agencies get the money to supposedly pay 61% of the costs of refugee resettlement in the first 90 days – the so-called highly valuable “private“ contribution? The LIRS 2008 annual report shows that they got 92% of their money from the US government. If we look at one of their affiliate refugee resettlement agencies that participated in the cost analysis study, e.g. Lutheran Family Services of Colorado (LFS), we see that LFS also got 92% of it’s money from the US government in 2008. In other words, the resettlement agencies didn’t have the private funds to supposedly pay 61% of the costs of resettlement. The cost-analysis is bogus.

Other problems with the cost analysis report — LIRS did not use a random sample; their affiliates were able to hand-select the refugee cases they wanted to report on. Also, costs for refugees who out-migrated to other cities and states were left out. Were they out-migrating due to some lack of support from the resettlement agencies? If so, the costs per refugee were skewed in favor of refugees that the agencies spent more money on. Also, the resettlement agencies included in costs such things as free, donated labor of volunteers (the “cost” assigned was $17.50 per hour). Free, donated stuff from community members was also listed as a “cost”. Also, costs for services included such things as helping refugees open banks accounts (this is rarely if ever done) and time for taking refugees to shop for clothes (they don‘t; they just give them a few donated used clothes, and not even the few minimum-required clothes required by the State Dept. contracts).

So the NSC’s ‘interagency task force’ just seems to have rubber-stamped the private refugee resettlement agencies’ increased public funding requests. They just got a cool extra $72 million a year with no questions asked. The government’s checks and balances that are supposed to review this funding were completely ignored. The question is, will refugees continue to be neglected by the resettlement agencies, and what excuses will the agencies use when they get caught now that they got this yet additional windfall from the taxpayers?

By the way, not included in any of this cost analysis was the largest part of the federal contribution for refugee resettlement — the money from HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) for the refugees first eight months. Whoops! Nor was all the other government contributions – ongoing welfare payments – food stamps, TANF, other cash assistance, section 8, WIC, energy assistance, etc.

Resettlement Agencies jumping for joy at news of more taxpayer money coming their way

Here is the press statement today from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), one of ten volags that will benefit from the Obama bailout,  applauding the State Department for opening the spigot on federal money to help them beef up their offices.  Of course this is all couched in such warm and fuzzy words like compassion and justice and vulnerable people and welcoming them to America, but keep in mind this agency and others have been leaving refugees high and dry throughout the US (unemployed in lousy apartments fearing eviction) while blaming it on the government (you!) for not giving them enough money.

Frankly, the public-private partnership business is a joke, most of these so-called non-profits and church groups are largely funded by the taxpayer as we have chronicled many times on these pages. 

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services apparently does not file a federal Form 990 because none is available at Guidestar.  However, visit their 2008 annual report here and note that almost all of the funding they receive is from the government (the taxpayer). Only a small amount comes from compassionate Lutherans. 

The program needs a major overhaul, and more money shouldn’t have been offered until the reforms are made.

It is still not clear to me where the State Department is getting an extra $50-75 million for this year.

This is LIRS response today:

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) January 26, 2010 — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) applauds a recent U.S. State Department decision to increase the reception and placement grant for newly resettled refugees from $900 to $1,800 per capita. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Eric Schwartz informed LIRS Vice President for Protection and Programs Susan Krehbiel of the change in a January 22 letter. The change is retroactive to January 1, 2010.

When refugees who cannot return to their home countries due to persecution or violence are admitted to the United States, they are resettled by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and other national organizations working through local programs to provide 30 to 90 days of reception services for newly arrived refugees. These services include meeting immediate needs such as housing, furnishings, clothing and food as well as assisting with access to social security cards, school enrollment, health care, employment services and English language instruction. In 2009 the United States admitted just under 80,000 refugees, of whom nearly 11,000 were welcomed by LIRS and its network of 24 affiliates serving in 46 communities across the country.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service drew attention to the need for increased funding for basic initial services in a 2009 report, The Real Cost of Welcome: A Financial Analysis of Local Refugee Reception.* The report detailed the challenges faced by organizations that carry out the work of welcoming newly arrived refugees. “LIRS believes that private participation is an essential aspect of refugee resettlement,” the report stated, but noted “troubling strains on this public-private partnership due to the growing imbalance between federal resources and expectations and the increasing reliance upon our local partners to raise support.”   [Readers please note they are supposed to be raising private money! But, when you examine that annual report I’ve linked above almost all their money is from government, what gives?]


The per capita grant directly benefits refugees and offsets local program costs of overseeing services to newcomers. Of the $1,800 per capita, $1,100 is designated for direct support of refugees. Of this, at least $900 must be spent on the needs of each refugee, but local agencies will have the flexibility to allocate up to $200 to augment funding more vulnerable refugees. The remaining $700 is designated for program management, and should allow local programs to increase staffing or otherwise improve the quality of their services.  [Refugees might be unemployed but no unemployment wanted in the refugee resettling industry itself!]


LIRS President-Elect Linda Hartke stated, “This is wonderful news. The increased funding for reception and placement will significantly enhance Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s ability to help refugees get started on the road to successful integration. We are thankful that the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration shares our desire to foster a spirit of welcome for newcomers in American communities.”


Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is a champion for uprooted people and is one of the nation’s leading agencies serving refugees and immigrants. LIRS helps people seeking safety from persecution in their home countries and reunites families torn apart by conflict. LIRS resettles refugees and protects vulnerable children who arrive alone in the United States. LIRS advocates for compassion and justice for all migrants. [Including Somalis!]

* The numbers are fishy, see Comment worth noting, here, from reader Mark.

Are you sitting down! UN sending 6000 more Somalis to US this year

Update January 28th:  Rumor has it that we are in fact bringing well in excess of the 10,000-11,000 Somalis that we brought in 2004, 2005 and 2006 this year. They will come from all over the world. 

Can you believe it?  We are in the worst recession since the Great Depression; refugee agencies are scrambling everywhere to take care of the refugees they have.  Just yesterday the Department of State released the news that they are doubling the per head payment (from taxpayers) for each refugee entering the US. 

On top of that, in many cities around the world, the Somali diaspora is producing jihadist fighters.  And, we are going to take 6000 Somalis from one refugee camp in Uganda?    Hat tip:  Janet.

Why this particular group?  They aren’t getting along with others in the camp!  But, don’t worry they are being screened for Al-Qaeda connections.

The story from New Vision a Uganda web publication is entitled, “USA takes in 6000 Somali from Uganda” is as follows:

THE American government is to resettle 5,800 refugees from Nakivale refugee camp in Isingiro district to the United States, Prosy Katura, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) protection officer, has revealed.

Katura said a team has already been sent to Nakivale to scrutinise the refugees to ensure they have no links with al-Qaeda, an extremist group. The American taskforce at the camp will also study files of individual refugees since they arrived in Uganda.

During a meeting with the Germany ambassador to Uganda, Reinhard Buchholz, who visited the camp on Friday, Katura said the exercise under the “expedited Somali resettlement programme” should be completed by September. “We have so far scrutinised about 2,000 Somalis out of 5,800 who are living in Nakivale.”

Explaining the reason of resettling Somalis to the US, Katura said Somali refugees have failed to integrate with other refugee groups living in Nakivale and with the local communities because of their unique language and culture.  [This is insane, they can’t get along with other African people but they are going to jump into the mythical American melting pot and come out as just good old regular Americans!]

She added that the group cannot go back to Somalia since the country is still unstable and they fear to be killed and persecuted. Nakivale has about 470,000 refugees from Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, Congo, Burundi, Kenya and Eritrea. There are other refugees in Uganda, in camps of Kyangwari, Orukinga and Kyaka.

During Buchholz’s visit, Burundian refugees also demanded to be resettled to a third country, arguing that they, too, have stayed in the camp for a long time and cannot be repatriated.The United States resettles refugees largely according to country of origin as well as the urgency of the situation.

Even though the US remains the world’s largest country of resettlement, its refugee admissions have been steadily declining over the last decade, particularly since the September 11 terrorist attacks. The number of refugees admitted went down from 132,000 in 1992 to about 28,000 in 2003.*

Resettlement patterns in American states are generally dominated by certain ethnic communities. Many Somali and Ethiopian refugees have been resettled in Minnesota.

The UNHCR is a partner in the US refugee resettlement programme and identifies those refugees most in need of urgent resettlement.

The agency has identified three “durable solutions” to refugee concerns: voluntary return to the country of origin, local integration in the host community, or resettlement to a third country.

Resettlement is most often promoted by UNHCR “when individual refugees are at risk, or when there are other reasons to help them leave the region.”

* These numbers are very deceptive. Yes, right after 9/11 our refugee numbers dropped precipitously (gee, do you think someone was scared we might be letting in Islamic extremists?) but they have steadily risen ever since.   In FY2009 we admitted 74,642.  The Obama Administration’s goal for FY2010 is 80,000!

Now, check out the numbers for Somalis since 9/11 here.  In each year 2004, 2005 and 2006 we brought in excess of 10,000 Somalis to the US.   The numbers only slowed when the State Department realized how deep the fraud was in the family reunification program that was closed in 2008 for Somalis and has yet to be reopened.

By the way, these numbers don’t reflect Somalis who have come across our borders illegally, some of whom have been granted asylum.

What should you do if you have a problem with this?   Write to Asst. Secretary of State, Eric Schwartz, let him know how you feel and be sure to copy your US Senators and Congressman.  And, come to think of it, you should send your letters to the Dept. of Homeland Security as well:

Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

Endnote:  I just last night wrote this update on the Somali murder in Ft. Morgan, CO, but use our search function for ‘Somali crime’ or ‘Somali murder’ or ‘Somali gangs’ for lots more information on how the Somalis are melting into American society.  Here is just one post about Somali refugees turned into jihadist fighters in the US.  Canada, Sweden, Denmark and the UK have all reported similar terrorist recruitment within the Somali diaspora.