Two resettlement agencies in Iowa to close doors

One of the two is the only State run resettlement agency*—Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services—the other is a Lutheran agency.  They are closing because they no longer have sufficient funding although just a couple of days ago the State Department said more federal taxpayer funds are on the way.  Too late for these two I guess.

We were just discussing Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, here, yesterday.  (I’m assuming it is the parent organization to the one in Iowa.)

The story is below (Hat tip: Ellen).   They discuss how nice Iowa is/was to bring refugees but it is never mentioned that the Clinton Administration sent Iowa the Bosnians for the big meatpackers after they got caught hiring cheap illegal alien labor.  Clinton supplied his friends with cheap refugee labor instead!  Political junkies might remember Hillary’s Tysons Meat connections as well.

Two agencies that bring the bulk of international refugees to Iowa will cease resettling refugees this year, putting the brakes on a groundswell of Iowa humanitarianism that began when former Gov. Robert D. Ray first opened the state’s doors to a group of 600 Southeast Asian refugees in 1975.

More limited finances are forcing the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services and the nonprofit Lutheran Services in Iowa to stop resettling people who flee from war-torn countries, natural disasters, political oppression or religious persecution.

Catholic Charities – the only other agency that resettles refugees in Iowa – is also having financial difficulties.

The Bureau of Refugee Services is the only federally funded, state-run refugee resettlement program in the country. It has an annual budget of about $2 million but lost some key federal funds this year that kept refugee resettlement operations afloat. The bureau plans to stop taking new refugees June 30.

Lutheran Services in Iowa plans to stop taking new refugees this month. Agency officials say it now costs more than they can afford – an estimated $3,000 or more – to resettle just one refugee and move that person toward self-sufficiency. Until this month, the federal refugee resettlement program funded less than $1,000 per refugee.

Last week, the State Department raised the federal stipend to $1,800 per refugee. Even so, Lutheran Services officials estimated that the agency would have a funding gap of $300,000 or more if it continued to resettle several hundred refugees annually.

Catholic Charities, part of the Diocese of Des Moines, will continue to resettle refugees, although that agency, too, is worried about finances. It has resettled 129 refugees in the past month.

*This Iowa state agency was one of the Top Ten Volag federal contractors, so I guess only nine will now split the federal funding pie.

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