Oklahoma food stamp fraud bust reminds me…

….that most of these investigations are the result of just regular folks observing what they believe is illegal activity involving food stamp scams and tipping off local authorities who then bring in the federal big guns.

This is the story in the Sequoyah County Times from Sallisaw, OK:

Two brothers were arrested and after a state and local investigation shut down their alleged food stamp trafficking and illegal drug distribution site Wednesday.

Vishal Sabharwal, 37, and Vivek Sabharwal, 43, were arrested after authorities seized documents and drugs from the Pick-N-Go convenience store on the 700 block of South Wheeler Avenue in Sallisaw.

Shaloa Edwards, Sallisaw police chief, said Sallisaw police began the investigation months ago after they received a tip regarding the illegal trafficking of food stamps and possible K2 sales.


Edwards said he believes the brothers were taking the food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar then collecting the food stamp cards full value.

The perps here, the Sabharwal brothers, are Indians or Pakistanis.   I’m guessing they got into the country and into the business of trading in food stamps through the E-2 Treaty Investor Program.   And, I do believe the enormous jump in the use of food stamps in the US, reported frequently by the mainstream media, is not just that more Americans are hungry, I just think more Americans and immigrants have figured out how to get cold hard cash out of the food stamp program—it’s kind of a backdoor redistribution of wealth from you (taxpayers) to these criminals.

Oh, and one more thing, we are seeing more frequently that those who sold their right to purchase food for the cash are now being arrested as well, see this recent story about Florida “operation easy money.”

This is one of those subjects, food stamp fraud, I wish we had made a separate category for because we have gotten so many stories on the subject.  Here is just one from October about more busts in Oklahoma.

Canadian official, Jason Kenney, zings Catholic Bishops

You go guy! The Catholic Sentinel reported two days ago on an exchange between the Canadian bishops and Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism on the issue of human smuggling.

I laughed because I cannot imagine any American politician slamming the powerful (with your taxpayer dollars) US Conference of Catholic Bishops as Kenney does here calling the bishops part of the “immigration industry!”   Alas, in Canada, and unlike the US, they are having the much needed knock-down-drag-em-out discussion on refugees and asylum seekers while we (and the media) sweep any discussion of reform under the rug.  [Note to our critics:  this is why we write this blog, to counter the glossing-over that is going on in most media circles and within our government about legal immigration problems.]

OTTAWA, Ontario — Jason Kenney, minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, has fired back at Canada’s bishops who criticized his recently introduced anti-human smuggling bill.

The views expressed by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ justice and peace commission in a Nov. 25 letter reflect a “long tradition of ideological bureaucrats who work for the bishops’ conference producing political letters signed by pastors who may not have specialized knowledge in certain areas of policy,” Kenney said in an interview.

The bishops’ intervention underscores the reason why “the church makes the detailed application of moral principles in public policy the prudential responsibility of legislators who have a technical knowledge of how to apply the principles,” he said.

The bishops warned that portions of the Preventing Human Smugglers From Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act now before the House of Commons might contravene international and Canadian law concerning the rights of refugees.

The bishops reminded Kenney that national interests and security concerns should not trump human dignity.

“We believe that human smuggling undermines human dignity,” Kenney said. “It’s an industry of profiteers who sell people an illegal service to smuggle them to countries in the most dangerous way possible.

Fake grassroots coalitions in the immigration industry!

Kenney suggested that the bishops’ conference staff members who write letters on public policy issues or the bishops themselves bring their concerns to government officials rather than “cut and paste” arguments circulating in “fake grassroots coalitions” of “special interest groups in the immigration industry.”

Kenney also said the bishops’ conference has not said anything on the 20 percent increase in the resettlement of refugees even though the program is “hugely unpopular politically.”

Readers, when envisioning human traffickers, think about groups like the US federal refugee contractor, Church World Service, having one of its subcontractors arrested taking Haitians illegally across the Canadian border, here, in 2007.

FrontPage summarizes Somali terrorism connection to U.S.

It’s good that attention is now being paid to the problem of Somali terrorists from the U.S., as in this article on FrontPage Magazine today. It begins:

For several years the Somalia-based Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabab has been diligently recruiting new members in the United States, efforts that have produced both a disturbing and growing increase in the radicalization of young Somali-Americans.

When 19 year-old Somali-born Mohamed Osman Mohamud was arrested on November 27 for his failed attempt to blow up a van full of dummy explosives at a tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, some saw the influence of Al-Shabab.

However, law enforcement officials were quick to insist Mohamud had not been directed by any foreign terrorist organization, pointing out he had been the one to initiate contact with Al Qaeda recruiters in Pakistan in an effort to join its jihadist movement.

While no connection to Al-Shabab apparently exists, it certainly wasn’t an implausible conclusion to draw, given the series of arrests this year alone of Somali-Americans from all parts of the United States.

The author, Frank Crimi, gives good information about what has gone on on in Somalia that has brought us the terrorism connection here. And he covers the refugee aspect thusly:

These Somali communities, which cover all corners of the United States, are composed primarily of refugees who have been escaping the ongoing civil wars that began in Somalia since 1991 with the ouster of then President Mohamed Siad Barre, conflicts which have gone on unabated ever since.

While most Somalis have earned a reputation as law-abiding and patriotic members of the American community, in a population that has swelled from 35,000 in 2000 to upwards of 150,000 today, there are still a number who feel culturally disconnected, making them ever susceptible to the lure of outside jihadist forces.

As Thomas Mockaitis explains, “Many of these people are in fact the children of refugees. They were probably born in Somalia or born soon after they [i.e., their mothers] came to the United States. And they are not particularly in touch with their parents. And yet, neither are they particularly attracted to or accepted by mainstream American culture. So there is this kind of double alienation that makes them particularly prone to recruitment.”

It would be helpful if he and others who write about Somalis in the U.S. were more aware of the problems in the refugee program, the longstanding problems in Somali communities here, and the fact that the terrorist connection has not reduced the numbers coming in. Ann has written volumes about the refugee program and Somalis. Here, for instance, is confirmation that the Christmas tree bomber in Oregon is a refugee. And here is the story of how we got so many Somali refugees (about 84,000 so far), and continue to bring them in as refugees despite  enormous fraud in claiming family relationships.

And here is the list of all the articles on Somalis at RRW.