I was interested in this story—Nashua, NH fretting about whether it would get more refugees if Manchester gets a moratorium—anyway. But, then I note that we are quietly resettling Rohingya refugees in New Hampshire.
For years I followed the story of Rohingya Muslim refugees leaving Burma and it interested me because for years the US State Department resisted the pressure from NGOs to resettle them here. (The Rohingya are also among the illegal aliens trying to get into Thailand and Australia). But, at some point in 2010 we started resettling Rohingya in American towns and cities and so I gave up posting much on them—it was kind of hopeless.
BTW, here is one of 98 posts I’ve written on Rohingya in a special category entitled Rohingya Reports. It is a post from April 2010 about how the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) was pushing hard to add Rohingya to their collection of ethnic groups to add diversity to your town! If anyone in New Hampshire wants to know more about Rohingya, just read through those 98 posts going back to 2007.
USCRI is the federal contractor that subcontracts the International Institute of New Hampshire. operating in Manchester. Incidentally, another USCRI subcontractor was closed by the US State Department in Waterbury, CT after a real (honest to goodness) investigative reporter found the refugees living in squalor and dared to write a series of articles about it.
Lutheran Social Services is a competing contractor. If Manchester gets a moratorium, presumably Lutheran Social Services will get the job (and the per head payment!) since they must control the Nashua turf.
So that is some of the background, now here is the story from the Nashua Telegraph from last week:
As Manchester city officials attempt to put a halt on new refugees being placed in the city, it’s unknown what the impact would be on Nashua if the moratorium were granted.
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of State requesting a two-year moratorium on new refugees being resettled in the city.
The state’s largest city has been the primary resettlement location for refugees in New Hampshire. Between 2002 and 2009, Manchester received 1,807 of the state’s 2,966 new refugees, or roughly 60 percent.
By comparison, Nashua, the state’s second-largest city, received only 70 refugees during that same period, much fewer than Concord and Laconia, which received 778 and 260, respectively.
The most recent group of refugees to come to Nashua were roughly a dozen Rohingya people, seeking refuge from the Burmese government. More are expect to be resettled in Nashua in the coming year.
Amy Marchildon, who oversees refugee resettlement in New Hampshire for Lutheran Social Services, said Nashua is in line to receive another 50 to 70 Rohingya refugees over the next year, but there’s no way to know for sure whether those numbers will pan out.
I wonder why the states cower so and don’t just tell the US State Department NO! Or, at least do what Tennessee has done and start to take more local government control of refugee resettlement.