Boston again, Iraqis again, evictions again, no jobs again, International Institute screws up again, commenters almost uniformly critical again!
I am truly sick to death of these stories. We’ve had Fredericksburg, VA, San Antonio, TX, Boise, ID and Chicago, IL recently reporting the same story—no jobs, refugees suffer, resettlement agencies screwing up, some refugees are sorry they came, citizens ask why we are doing this!
From the Boston Globe:
“This is the tip of the iceberg. [Iraqi] families are coming to Chelsea on a weekly basis,’’ said Rushdan. “Housing and jobs. That’s what they need.’’
According to the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants, 5,836 refugees have arrived in Massachusetts since 2007, including 1,199 from Iraq, the biggest refugee population in the state. Of those, 214 Iraqis were resettled in Greater Boston.
Unemployment and homelessness affect other refugee populations, but those who work with refugees say Iraqis are especially vulnerable.
Read the whole sorry tale.
Only two things I want to comment on. First this case involves the International Institute in Boston. We heard about them involved in a screw up with refugees in New Hampshire here last year. International Institutes are USCRI (US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants) affiliates. The former VP at USCRI now heads the whole refugee program in the Department of Health and Human Services—the revolving door in action.
Now look at this segment of the Globe story, does this sound like a woman who loves the refugees and her work? Sounds like she doesn’t like Iraqis very much at all.
Carolyn Benedict Drew, International Institute president, said she agreed that the financial assistance was inadequate but also said many of the Iraqis came from well-to-do families and had higher expectations than refugees from poorer backgrounds.
“If somebody has been in a refugee camp all of their life, and has never really used a fork and spoon, that’s a very different expectation in coming to America than somebody in Iraq who was a physician and did very well,’’ Drew said.
What the refugees and the resettlement agencies can agree on is that before the Iraqis immigrated, they were given unfounded promises about America from refugee agency workers in Iraq.
“People were sometimes promised things, or perhaps misunderstood, before coming, that a car would be waiting, that they would have a home, that they could continue their medical practice. And that’s clearly not the case,’’ said Drew.
I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve heard this complaint, that someone is telling Iraqis that everything is great in America and they will be provided for. Can’t the State Department get this rumor-garbage under control!
Then here we go again, Bob Carey of the filthy rich International Rescue Committee whining about not having enough tax payer money!
Carey, of the International Refugee Committee, said the problem lies in the formula used to calculate how much money and how much time refugees need to become independent: It was devised during better economic times.
“The program is not working because it’s reliant on people going to work, and that’s not happening in this economy,’’ said Carey, whose group shuttered its Boston office in 2008 because it felt it lacked enough money to effectively help the refugees here.
We told you about the corporate humanitarians at the IRC closing their Boston office here last spring. I’ve speculated that all of these Iraqis suffering stories are legit but fueled by an International Rescue Committee media campaign to get more federal funding for the resettlement industry. You know crisis begets change! Maybe the IRC could use some of its own millions to help refugees. I just this week came across a funder list for the filthy rich IRC—check it out here! Those millions are in addition to the nearly 100 million they get from the taxpayers of the US.
Oh, just one more thing. If the IRC felt that Boston did not have the “capacity” for more refugees last spring then why in hell is the State Department still sending refugees to Boston to another agency for more refugees to suffer this year?
P.S. Be sure to read the comments at the Globe story! And, visit Friends of Refugees where Christopher Coen posted this story yesterday.