Freed American hiker, Sarah Shourd, worked for agency helping “refugees” get into American colleges

Admittedly, I have paid not one moments attention to the three American hikers who accidentally stumbled across the Iraq-Iran border and subsequently spent more than a year in an Iranian prison (two are still in prison).  The one female in the threesome made international news when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ‘benevolently’ released her (coincidentally just before he arrived in New York recently) after receiving payment of $500,000 from a mysterious donor.

I had just assumed the three were naive American tourists (heck, that is what the mainstream media led us to believe) and thus the story didn’t interest me until today when I learned that Sarah Shourd had been working in Syria to help “refugees” get into US colleges.  This from an interview at far Left Democracy Now:

Shourd told interviewer Amy Goodman:

I gave him [Ahmadinejad] evidence that—the evidence that he requested about Shane and Josh and I about some of our—about what we were doing before our arrest, about why Shane and I were living in Damascus, Syria for over a year. You know, I was teaching English to Iraqi and Palestinian refugees, as well as Syrian nationals, in part of a program to help Iraqi refugees apply to college in the United States. And Shane was doing a little journalism. Shane has long been a courageous international journalist focusing on the Middle East.


So I talked a lot about our politics, about who we are.

What Ms. Shourd surely told Ahmadinejad is that she and her hiking companions are in sympathy with his cause.  They are in the Middle East as Leftwing journalists and anti-Israel political activists (here is an example of Sarah’s work).  

While I was not paying attention, others were.   Here Debbie Schlussel last year said—let them rot in jail.  Earlier this week Jane Jamison, Uncoverage, said this in her post “Sarah Shourd: Shameless Shill for a Dictator.”

The first hypocrisy is the “release” from Iranian jail of anti-American, pro-Palestinian “hiker” Sarah Shourd. She, her “fiancé,” and friend were living in Syria, a notorious terrorism incubator. They had embraced Islam and had written papers critical of the U.S. government and supporting attacks on Israel. Oddly enough, when they were captured last year “accidentally hiking over the border” into Iran, it was the U.S. government and military to whom they whined for help. Funny how that works.

So who employed Sarah Shourd in her “refugee” work—that is what I wanted to know.   The State Department? One of the volags? 

Turns out after much googling I learned that her employer is a little known (and only a couple of years old) organization called the Iraqi Student Project.  A look at the their only public Form 990 reveals that they don’t have much funding and it’s not clear if the little they have comes from government sources or private grants.

475 Riverside Dr. New York, NY

Then I noticed the address on the Form 990.  It is 475 Riverside Dr. New York, NY.  Why do I recognize that address?   Well, its the address for one of the Top Ten federal Refugee Resettlement contractors—Church World Service.   A little more research tells me that address is the home of a large number of the religious leftwing organizations that are a driving force behind the American (Marxist/Socialist) left.  In addition to Church World Service (and you thought they just did those nice crop walks in your town), others located there are  the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches and I see that Pamela Geller, earlier this month, discussed the NY Society of Muslim Advancement also at that address.

I wonder who owns 475 Riverside Dr. and what else goes on there—- questions for another day.

Do you think anyone there has learned a lesson from the “hikers'” imprisonment about repressive regimes in the Middle East—- Syria and Iran?  I doubt it. 

Jane Jamison thinks not and colorfully concludes—no more sympathy than for a fly on a cowpie:

All Sarah Shourd cares about are her two flea-bag friends who hated America so much they chose to live in one of the most repressive regimes in the world. You’ll excuse me, but I have more sympathy for a fly on a cowpie.

Deportations up under Obama

Hmmmm…this is an interesting report from the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday [emphasis mine]:

After he was convicted of assaulting a Philadelphia man in 1998, Cambodian refugee Mout Iv knew he was in the United States on borrowed time.

As it turned out, quite a lot of borrowed time.

He was freed from a Pennsylvania prison after four years, but paperwork snafus prevented his immediate return to Cambodia, as required by law. So immigration agents put Iv on “supervised release,” allowing him to open a barber shop in Olney

The government kept tabs on him with scheduled interviews, random phone calls, and unannounced visits.

Last week, at an ostensibly routine appointment, Iv, 33, was fingerprinted, photographed, and arrested. He’s now in prison being readied for deportation. [We learn later in the story that Iv came as a 7-year-old refugee—ed]

It “was always in the back of my mind,” said his fiancée, CJ Vonglaha, 26. “But I didn’t think in my wildest dreams it would be like this.”

Nor did many of the thousands of other noncitizen refugees being rounded up nationwide because of crimes largely committed years ago. In Philadelphia this month, the heat has been on the Cambodian community, which has protested deportation proceedings against at least six of its members.

Behind the rash of detentions and expulsions is the Obama administration, which is attempting to win public and congressional support for immigration reform.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is on track to deport 400,000 people this year – a 10 percent increase over expulsions in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, and more than double the number in 2005.

Read the rest of the story.

Update on Iraqi refugees: conditions no better

Iraq: The Ignored Victims is the title of a September 14 article by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in the New York Review of Books. He visited Iraq and surrounding countries to see the situation for himself. What he found seems little changed from previous reports.

The humanitarian consequences of this seven-year war on Iraqi civilians are too often unreported. Since 2003, 2.5 million Iraqis have fled the country, mainly to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, while another two million have been dislocated inside Iraq, many of whom are now living in makeshift camps on the outskirts of Baghdad and other cities. Neighboring countries have by and large been willing to allow in fleeing Iraqis, though often without offering them any legal status; and this influx has created severe strains on their own populations and resources. To be fair, the international community, led by the United States, has provided basic assistance to these Iraqis and a small number have been resettled in third countries, including in the US and Europe, but a long-term solution to this mass displacement has been elusive.

At one point a couple of years ago the Iraqi government was making attempts to get refugees back and to settle the property disputes that prevented many of them from returning. I haven’t heard anything about that for a long time, and since a government hasn’t been able to form since the elections months ago, it’s doubtful anybody is thinking about refugees at all.

The Cardinal reports briefly on the situation for Christians:

Moreover, Iraqi Christians continue to be targets of systematic violence, especially in Mosul and Ninevah. These Christians belong to ancient communities that once grew and thrived in Iraq but now face potential disappearance there. Christians in Iraq told me of threats they had received to abandon their faith or risk death. Others described how their homes or churches had been attacked.

On August 25, at the time of the US troop withdrawal, Iraqi soldiers reportedly filled the streets of Mosul, anticipating a resurgence in sectarian violence. If there is not an increase in security in Christian neighborhoods, any chance for Christians to return to Iraq in the near future and reestablish their communities is not bright.

This too sounds just like what was being reported a couple of years ago. Since numbers are hard to come by, the reports at that time let me to expect that the Christian communities were pretty well on their way out. It sounds like they’re hanging on, but we still have no idea of what that means in terms of actual numbers.

I doubt the future is bright for any of these refugees. We have some responsibility for the situation, but I doubt there is the will to put forth the effort to create a law-abiding society, to figure out how to get the refugees back safely, or to protect the threatened Christians. Perhaps it’s not possible to do this at all.

Catholic “leaders” push Dream Act and you pay for it

Your tax dollars

This is a topic I’ve discussed before, but it bears repeating (again and again!).  

US taxpayers are paying for the lobbying work of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.   And, I’m betting the average Catholic parishoner has no clue, nor would many approve of the Church taking government money to lobby for amnesty, or taking government money for anything!

This is from the Catholic News Service yesterday:

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although the U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation that would have helped children of undocumented immigrants work toward legal status and get a college education, an official of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed confidence Sept. 24 that the idea “is gaining more support on the merits.”

“These issues take some time to pass, even if the American public is ahead of their elected officials,” said Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy and public affairs for the USCCB Office of Migration and Refugee Services. He was commenting on the Senate’s 56-43 vote Sept. 21 against a defense authorization bill that included the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act as an amendment.


The DREAM Act, introduced in Congress in various forms since 2003, has been supported by Catholic leaders and those in Catholic higher education.

2009 USCCB annual report tells the story

Now check out the USCCB Office of Migration and Refugee Services annual report here.   Note that in an overall annual income stream of $62 million, $58 million comes from the taxpayer!   Only $1.3 million comes from collections taken up during mass.  

And, do you see that $2.2 million for the collection of travel loans?  That is mostly your money too.  Refugee airfare loans come from other taxpayer funds, but the USCCB is the collection agent for the refugees they resettle and the State Department lets them keep a cut of what they extract from refugees.  It’s their collection fee just as if they were a commercial collection agency.

Oh, and one more thing, there are millions more of your tax dollars that go directly to Catholic Charities in your cities for refugee resettlement and other services.

So whatever happened to private charity?  And, why does the ACLU turn a blind eye to this issue involving the separation of Church and state?  Could it be because the Catholic Bishops promote the same far Left political goals as the ACLU?

Somalis hijack a Kansas City election

Update October 8th:  Appeals Court ruling expected soon, here.

Jack Cashill has this stunning story on American Thinker today.

Through a combination of massive, Somali-driven voter fraud, stunning Election Board incompetence, and the willful blindness of the Kansas City Star, machine Democrat J.J. Rizzo managed to beat conservative Democrat Will Royster by one vote in a Missouri State House primary on August 3.

There is no Republican running in this heavily Democratic, multi-ethnic Kansas City district. The Democratic nominee will face only a seriously outgunned Libertarian in the November election, and truth be told, Royster may be to the right of the Libertarian.

What the Democratic machine and the Star, which endorsed Rizzo, did not count on was for the intrepid Royster to challenge the election in court. In so doing, he has provided a sneak preview on how a desperate Democratic Party will attempt to neutralize the will of the people this November, and not just in Kansas City.

The account of the court proceedings is difficult to summarize but is well worth reading if you like Monty Python or Alice in Wonderland. Some highlights:

In this primary election in which only 1,300 people voted, as many as 100 Somalis showed up to vote. Most did not speak English but claimed to be citizens. They were “helped” by fellow Somalis who directed them to vote for Rizzo. Rizzo won by one vote.

First to testify was Lindy Hobkins, a Republican supervisory election judge. As she related, a group of Somalis came into her Kansas City election site led by one Somali man.

“They were unable to communicate on the most basic levels,” said Hobkins of the Somalis. To help his voters along, the leader “left the premises, went outside to where the electioneers are out at the appropriate space allotted for them, and he brought in a sign for Mr. Rizzo.” Hobkins continued: he “held it up and pointed at it and said this one, this one, this one.”

In a disturbing little twist, David Raymond, the attorney for the Kansas City Election Board, grilled Hobkins as though she were a hostile witness. After she acknowledged that the Somalis were all somehow registered to vote, Raymond asked snidely, “Do you believe these voters should be disenfranchised?”

Thanks to the exposure of ACORN by the conservative media, it is now widely known that many people who are registered are not eligible. But if that thought ever entered the judge’s mind he kept it closely sequestered there. People who cannot speak English at even the most basic level are not eligible to become citizens. Therefore a law was broken somewhere along the line. If these Somalis were citizens, someone broke the law by giving them citizenship. If they were not citizens but were registered to vote, then their registration was fraudulent. But the judge had no interest in looking into any of this.

“How could they be registered to vote,” [Lindy Hobkins] asked Raymond, “if they did not know how to speak English on any level?” Other than Hobkins, Royster, and Royster’s attorney, no one else involved — the Democratic Party, the Star, the Election Board, the trial judge — expressed the slightest interest in the answer to this question.

And despite a lot more damning testimony, the judge ruled against Royster.  Royster is appealing. Cashill concludes:

The Kansas City Star has given this challenge only the slightest coverage. And in no article in a print edition has the word “Somali” appeared in relationship to the controversy.

In November, rest assured, the Somali vote and that of others of dubious citizenship will be turned against Republicans. There is a way for readers to fight this. Call your local Election Board today. Sign up to be a judge or a poll watcher. Ask for an inner-city precinct. And make sure you know the law better than your Democratic counterpart does. It won’t be hard