The back story on the Somali sex trafficking case

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a great article on how the Somali sex trafficking case (first reported here) was pursued over several years and in several states by a pair of dogged investigators.   Here is the lead in:

A feisty prosecutor and passionate cop go after Minnesota-Somali gangs. It took a never-give-up attitude to build the case of a Somali runaway into a massive human trafficking prosecution.

The article begins:

NASHVILLE – “British” and “Moe D” sulked at a table inside courtroom A859. Each wore jail coveralls, their legs shackled.

A St. Paul vice cop faced them in silence while an intense Nashville prosecutor presented rapid-fire reasons why the men should stay locked up pending trial.

They made for something of an odd couple. Investigator Heather Weyker with her long blond hair and passion for this work. Assistant U.S. Attorney Van Vincent with his military-style buzz cut and Tennessee twang.

Nashville, too, seemed an unlikely place to charge mostly Minnesota gang members of Somali descent with selling Minnesota girls for sex. But to those who have worked this complex human-trafficking case that crosses state lines and involves 29 defendants and at least four young victims, Weyker and Vincent are the reason this is a case at all.

“From my perspective, Van and Heather are the heroes of this case,” said Ed Yarbrough, former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. “Minneapolis dropped the ball.”

Despite a decision by the U.S. attorney in Minnesota two years ago to not prosecute, Yarbrough said, Weyker never gave up her fight to rescue young girls investigators say were coerced into prostitution and passed around like playthings. Vincent, he said, is a bulldog who plowed through obstacles to build a conspiracy case that could result in life sentences for people who allegedly sold girls for as little as a bottle of brandy.

Read it all, it is fascinating.

For new readers: We have admitted well over 100,000 Somali refugees to the US.   To check out the numbers visit this post, one of our most widely read posts over the last few years.   In FY2010 which ended September 30th the US State Department resettled 4,884 Somalis (here) to towns near you.

Also, after being closed for nearly two years, the US State Department is on the verge of resuming the fraud-ridden family reunification program that admitted as many as 36,000 Somalis fraudulently to the US between 2003 and 2008.  See the latest on new regulations, here.  The State Department is on the verge of re-opening the program.

Israel too trying to stem the flow of African migrants

Here is an article critical, (surprise! not!) from NPR, of Israel for trying to slow the flow of economic migrants (illegal immigrants) into their tiny country.

Israeli officials have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of African asylum seekers and migrant workers into Israel. With numbers reaching into the tens of thousands, Israeli officials are pressed to find a policy to combat the ever-increasing flow of people.

Israeli construction workers are battling against the blustery wind and sandstorms to build a fence across one stretch of desert.

The $270 million fence will cover 87 miles of Israel’s southern border with Egypt. African refugees are smuggled through this area almost daily. They travel thousands of miles and often spend their life savings to try to reach Israel, a country they see as their doorstep to the West.

Israel, however, is far from laying down the welcome mat.

And, why should they?  A properous, successful country can only take so many needy people before the life boat sinks.  Many of those crossing into Israel are not even refugees inspite of NPR’s efforts to purposefully(?) mix illegal aliens, economic migrants and true refugees and asylees into one giant hash so no one knows the difference.  Many also are probably Muslims who would surely like to help their Palestinian brothers wipe out Israel if they could.

Check out this blog ( where I first saw the story.  The author makes some good points.

Go North young African man (or woman)….

…..where they give “good house, good money, good life and good education!”

This is another story mostly about Malta and African illegal immigrants flowing out of Africa, and across the Mediteranean in a desperate effort to get into Europe.  They’ve found that Italy stinks, so they make their way to Malta in hopes of jumping off to northern Europe or the US.

From The World:

Back on Malta, Herta Troponi, who runs a residence for African families that is translated as the Rainbow House, said migrants lately have their sights on other countries that they believe to be more hospitable to people with dark skin.

“Northern Europe. Sweden. Norway all those countries in the north. They know there are problems even in Italy. So the further they can go north the better.”

One twenty-four year old Somali resident, who first arrived in Malta in 2004, is ready to leave again. She first slipped out of Malta illegally one year after she arrived here, after being denied EU asylum. She settled in Switzerland and one of her three children was born there [reader, don’t you want to know where hubby is?]. However, in 2008, after being fingerprinted, her illegal status was discovered and she was deported back to Malta. Now she wants to return to Switzerland, and seems unaware that the country today is led by a vehemently anti-immigrant party. What matters to her is the life she led in that West European nation.

“When I stayed In Switzerland they gave good house, and good life, good money and good education. Malta is small, they can’t.”

Not as desireable as the welfare states of northern Europe, the US is also a destination. We have written dozens of posts since 2007 about the US Ambassador to Malta setting in motion a plan to transform these wandering Africans into legitimate refugees and send them off to your town.  Use our search function for Malta and you will see what I mean!

Though less popular than Europe, according to migrant surveys and the United Agency responsible for refugees, the UNHCR, the U.S. is also a much-desired destination for the accidental tourists* in Malta.”

“The idea is to recognize that Malta is doing a humanitarian service for the world. I was with a government official and he said ‘we can’t accommodate them all because we’re a small country, so we’re very grateful to the United States for taking a good portion of those that they can. The United States provided resettlement opportunities for about 200, and we have taken that most recently to 340.”

Denver doesn’t suit—guess I’ll just move along, says Daoud Ali Mohammed (late of Malta and a half a dozen other countries)!

The US is the eighth country that Daoud has lived in since 1992and suggests this may not be his last.
“I really don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to settle in one place and say this is the place, this is home.

My life story seems to say that I keep moving and that never leaves me alone. I would like to settle one day and have a home. But God knows how long it’s going to take.”

Sadly, Daoud Ali Mohammed’s long journey may not be over. He recently lost his job driving a cab, he’s behind on the rent, his heater is broken and he’s barely eking out an existence in wintry Denver. Now, he said he’s thinking about moving on.

Maybe Daoud could petition our ambassador to Malta (Douglas Kmiec, Republicans for Obama) to take him back there and get him something better in Northern Europe!

*LOL!  Accidental tourists!  That is a  new one!  Lately open borders advocates in the US have been pushing the media to stop using the words “illegal immigrant” or “illegal alien.”   In Maryland the governor calls them “new Americans.”  Gee, “accidental tourist,” I can’t wait for that to catch on!

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a good new year ahead.

It is hard to believe that Refugee Resettlement Watch will be four years old during 2011.  To date, we have posted 3,415 posts and had 851,000 visitors—not a huge number by big blog standards, but for such a narrow issue it’s quite a lot I think.  We are satisfied with what we’ve accomplished as a charitable project that we work on in our spare time.

If you are arriving here for the first time, we welcome you.  Our search function is a good one and I think you will find something on whatever refugee/immigrant issue you are looking for.  You might also want to visit the categories in our left hand sidebar.

We screen our comments and so if you don’t see yours posted right away, we may be away from the computer or in some cases we have decided not to post your comment.   No comments with profanity are posted.  And, although you can say generically that something is stupid, you can’t directly say to another commenter, “You are _____, ____ or _____.”    Although you can call us names (sans profanity) because when you do it’s a good indicator to us that we have made our point!

Happy New Year again from Ann and Judy!