San Antonio: Same old story—too many refugees, community scrambling

Update March 31st:  More on this story at Friends of Refugees, here.

I just yesterday told you about Fredericksburg, VA where church leaders there have told the US State Department to halt refugee resettlement to their immigrant overloaded city.  Now, comes the same story from San Antonio, TX.   This time it’s Burmese refugees in a case that sounds amazingly similar to the horror story we reported from Bowling Green, KY.  And, gosh, didn’t we hear the same thing from Greensboro, NC, here.  Come to think of it, there is Kansas City, MO, Denver, CO, Houston, TX, and Pittsburgh, PA, etc. etc. etc.

Looks like those “humanitarians” at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (too busy with their Washington politics?) are the federal contractors here just as they are in Fredericksburg, VA.  In the Bowling Green case it is the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) leaving refugees living in squalor and fearing eviction.  In Greensboro, the federal contractor is Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)—compassionate all! (Not!)

From Education Info.101:

Something wasn’t right with 5-year-old Taw Meh.

She threw up every morning, just before breakfast at the Head Start program she attended. It had become so frequent that her counselor, Abdul, a former interpreter for U.S. military forces in Iraq, would cover her with plastic to protect her clothes.

When he told his Family Services Association co-worker, Pam Espurvoa, about the child, she suspected her diet. she suggested they visit the Northwest Side apartment Taw Meh shared with her father, Baw Reh, 49, mother, Htwa Meh, 39, and two sisters, Pleh Meh, 15 and Mo Meh, 3.

When Espurvoa and Abdul arrived at Taw Meh’s apartment at the Auburn Creek complex off Wurzbach Road, the only food they found was rotting vegetables in the refrigerator. a chill hung through the apartment. several wires dangled from a furnace blower that didn’t work.

Taw Meh’s parents never complained about the furnace to management. It wasn’t their way.

Espurvoa learned by word of mouth that they were struggling to pay their rent and scared they’d end up on the street. Since Taw Meh was enrolled in the Head Start program, the Family Service Association signed the family to a six-month rent assistance program.

“If one of the refugees became homeless, another refugee family would take them into their home,” Espurvoa said.

Her family is part of an influx of refugees living in four Northwest Side apartment complexes who are falling into a gap with limited or no services after resettlement aid from the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program runs out. Like thousands of refugees across the country, their lives teeter on goodwill from volunteers, church groups and nonprofit organizations.

The family fled poverty, civil war and violence in Myanmar before seeking asylum in Nepal for one year. they arrived in San Antonio in March 2009. they attended English and financial aid classes, but were illiterate in their own language, Andrade said.

According to the U.S. State Department, 74,654 refugees resettled in the U.S. in fiscal year 2009. Texas ranked second among states, with 11 percent of the new refugees. Bexar County had 1,010 arrivals in the last fiscal year.

State officials estimate that 750 more refugees will arrive in Northeast San Antonio this year through the Catholic Charities program. Some aid workers said the best move would be to take care of those already here before bringing in more refugees.

Read the whole article there is much, much more!

I think Asst. Secretary of State Schwartz should be heading to San Antonio right after he visits nearby Fredericksburg.  See visiting Denver and Phoenix, here.

Frustrated and sick of this?  Complain here!   Do not forget to copy your complaints to your two US Senators and your Congressman (add in your governor and state representatives for good measure).

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