St. Cloud, MN update: refugees now arriving there directly from camps

We have written a lot about the problems with refugees, mostly Somalis, in St. Cloud, MN over the last year or so (use our search function for St. Cloud).  Now it appears that St. Cloud is no longer a city of secondary migration (refugees resettle elsewhere but then move to where jobs and welfare are better or where family members are located), but is now a direct resettlement site.

This is information provided to the St. Cloud Times by SASSO (St. Cloud Area Somali Salvation Organization).  SASSO is an ECBO (Ethnic Community Based Organization).  They are like little ACORNS except that they are based around ethnic groups.  ECBOs help ‘their ethnic group’ tap into welfare programs and other public services and then also serve as the political activism arm for ‘their community.’  See our ECBO category here.

I told you all about SASSO and community agitation, here, back in April of this year.

From today’s St. Cloud Times:

We [SASSO] were able to resettle about 40 primary refugees to the area. In the housing area, we provide that service for them.

It took from August to September. We provided housing and financial startup.

They were the first group that came directly from refugee camps to St. Cloud. They came from camps in Yemen, from camps in Ethiopia, from camps in Egypt. They were mostly Somalis, and they came from Iraq.

We were working together with the Lutheran Social Service of St. Cloud. They were the anchor agency that brought them here ….

Note that in my previous post this morning it was a Lutheran Social Services subcontractor that got the boot in North Carolina.

Get ready St. Cloud—more refugees on the way from camps!

There will be more refugees coming to this area. We have an estimation of 100 cases.

Readers, read the rest of the group profile at the St. Cloud Times and note who is funding SASSO, a list that includes banks.  What is up with that?    For more on SASSO be sure to read that post I wrote back in April.  I wonder does Rep. Michelle Bachmann fully understand what is going on in her district?   Visit her website, here, and note she has just been assigned a seat on the House Intelligence Committee.  Great!  She can get to work on intelligence in her St. Cloud-centered district!

North Carolina refugee overload? Just rename the boxes

When a reader, Tom, sent me this editorial from the Greensboro News-Record about a new NON-PROFIT to take the place of Lutheran Family Services which screwed up big-time last year and was closed earlier this year, here, my first thought was so where is the money coming from and is the State Department going to continue to pour refugees into the area after local churches said, please don’t!  Are they just creating a new quasi-government agency to make it look like all the problems have gone away?

Here is a portion of the editorial:

Elon University School of Law continues to make a difference in the community — this time, by helping refugees who relocate to the Triad confront legal obstacles.

The law school and a new nonprofit group, the New Arrival Institute, will work to fill the void left when Lutheran Family Services closed its refugee resettlement program here earlier this year after more than 30 years. Starting in January, Elon’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic will help new arrivals seek political asylum, residency status and citizenship.  [Refugees need help becoming citizens, but this editorial is mixing apples and oranges, political asylum and residency status are for those who came into the country illegally—ed].

The program should be mutually beneficial. While clients need assistance navigating the complex bureaucracy leading to citizenship or bringing to America families left behind, law students will get valuable experience in immigration-related matters. Their efforts will be monitored by the school’s faculty.  [Residents of the Triad area need to know that once refugees are brought to your communities, then the resettlement agency, New Arrival Institute in this case, will be busy doing family reunification applications and will be paid by the head to do so.—ed].

Please revisit our three-part series of earlier this year (part III is here and follow links back from there).  The “triad” area of North Carolina receives the largest share of refugees in the state, and I don’t see how starting a new taxpayer-funded non-profit answers the problem the community had—-too many refugees, too few jobs, not enough housing, etc.

If I lived in Greensboro, I would want to know which of the big federal refugee contractors set up New Arrival Institute?  How much money is going to this new organization?   Does this mean the refugee spigot is open again to the Greensboro area?  Are there magically more jobs and more housing in the area?   If, as the editorial says, some of the disgraced Lutheran agency’s staff is manning this new government contractor, then what has changed other than the name?  I would also like to know where the law school is getting the money for the program, a federal grant from Eric Holder’s Justice Department maybe?

North Carolina has a huge food stamp fraud problem too, hummmm! I’ve wondered, do these scammers know to set up their convenience stores where there are lots of immigrants getting food stamps?   I noticed in 2007 that there seemed to be a connection in the county in which I live—food stamp fraud convenience store (since busted) arrived about the same time as the first refugees.