Your tax dollars:
This story is a few weeks old but I just saw it this morning at Friends of Refugees blog. A recent audit of New Hampshire’s budget has uncovered excess spending for refugees in some cases and not the correct spending in other cases.
From the Nashua Telegraph:
CONCORD – The state improperly gave refugees cash or health insurance benefits that the individuals were not entitled to but underpaid to compensate for housing costs, according to a critical audit of the state Office of Energy and Planning.
The audit, released Tuesday, blamed the problem on a lack of worker training and understanding of state law.
Two federally contracted resettlement agencies bring 300-400* (according to this article) refugees to New Hampshire each year to primarily 4 cities.
Two nonprofit groups, Lutheran Social Services of New Hampshire and the International Institute of New Hampshire, process the refugees once they arrive in New Hampshire.
Since 2002, Nashua ranks as the state’s fourth most popular home for refugees behind Manchester – the overwhelming leader – Concord and Laconia.
Nearly 1/4 of refugees were ineligible for benefits they received from the state, others didn’t get benefits they should have. By the way, I think they call this “unfunded mandates” by the federal government. The cost to New Hampshire for refugees nearly doubled last year according to the audit.
Auditors found 22 percent of recipients checked for testing purposes were ineligible for refugee benefits.
The budget called for refugee assistance last year to total $759,575 but the deep recession helped actual grants to be nearly double that amount, almost $1.3 million.
Read it all.
* Readers may be interested in the real numbers of refugees going to your states. See the Office of Refugee Resettlement statistics here.
For New Hampshire these are the real numbers (note they are receiving more refugees during a recession than when times were good):