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.

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