Lewiston mayor testifies in Senate: Everything is going great with Somali “energy” in Lewiston…..

…..the town benefits culturally and economically, BUT we need more federal money!  

From the Morning Sentinel:

WASHINGTON – Lewiston’s experience with an influx of Somali immigrants shows the economic energy they can bring, but also the need for the federal government to do more to help the new residents settle into their new life, says Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert.

Gilbert testified Tuesday at a Senate hearing on immigration reform, a session that mostly focused on the system for attracting and retaining high-skill foreign workers in fields such as computer sciences and engineering.

But Gilbert was one of three mayors from around the country invited to address the broader topic of the economic impact of legal immigrants on local communities.

“Fixing a broken immigration system is not just about highly skilled immigrants,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration, refugees and border security. “An immigrant comes here wanting to make a better life for his family” and in the process helps pump vitality into the U.S. economy.

About 5,000 immigrants, primarily from Somalia but also from Sudan and Djibouti, have moved since 2001 to the Lewiston-Auburn area and they are “bringing new life and energy” with them, Gilbert told the committee. Lewiston’s population in the 2010 census was 36,592, an increase of 2.5 percent since 2000, according to the U.S. Census website.

In downtown Lewiston, formerly vacant storefronts are occupied by immigrant-owned businesses, from restaurants to clothing stores to tax preparation companies. Many downtown apartments in large buildings that used to be occupied by Franco-American mill workers are now home to Somali and other immigrant families, Gilbert said. [I have to laugh over the ‘tax preparation companies’—they are learning how to get money they never put into our tax system through the Earned Income Tax Credit—ed]

“Our immigrant population is having a positive impact on the social fabric of our community and our local economy,” Gilbert said.

Which is it Mr. Mayor?  If the large African Muslim population is helping the local economy, then why do you need more federal taxpayers’ money?

But more support, some of it from the federal government, is needed to help the immigrants living in Lewiston in areas such as workforce training and learning English, Gilbert said.


The “inadequate federal funding associated with a refugee resettlement program simply does not meet the many needs of our refugee residents,” Gilbert said.

Readers, we have written dozens of posts on Lewiston, ME and its problems.  Use our search function for ‘Lewiston’ to learn more.  You might first wish to visit this post about Maine as the welfare magnet.

Norway terror attack used to distract King hearing on Somali radicalization

If you want to learn more about what happened surrounding Rep. Peter King’s hearing this week on the recruitment of US and Canadian Somali refugees by the Islamic terror group Al Shabaab, I encourage you to google around—there are tons of reports and commentary.  I’m too weary of the subject to pull it all together for you!

But, since I mentioned the hearing previously, I felt obligated to give you some report.  Here is one from WNYC radio in New York, seems the New York Times has made some equivalency between the Norway horror and King even asking questions.  And, so it is, the Left will use Norway from now until doomsday to shut people up.

From WNYC:

Rep. Peter King conducted the third in his series of hearings examining radicalization in the Muslim American community, this one focusing on the recruitment of Somali-American youth by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab. But the hearing frequently went off-track, with Democrats using the occasion to attack the very premise of the hearing and King pushing back against criticism from the media in recent days, namely The New York Times.

“I note that certain elements of the politically correct media,” said King in his opening remarks, “most egregiously the vacuous ideologues at the New York Times—are shamelessly attempting to exploit the horrific tragedy inNorway to cause me to refocus these hearings away from Muslim-American radicalization.”

“Let me make this clear to the New York Times and their acolytes in the politically correct, moral equivalency media,” he continued. “I will not back down from holding these hearings.”

The hearing featured just one Somali witness, Canadian Ahmed Hussen. He said that low employment within the Somali diaspora allowed some to become alienated “and fall victim to a narrative that turns them against Canada and the United States.”   [It’s never about the Jihad imperative, just give them jobs and it will all go away!—ed]

“This dangerous and constant anti-western narrative is fed to them by radicals in our community,” said Hussen, “who do not hesitate to use these vulnerable youth as gun fodder in their desire to establish a base for the Al Qaeda terrorist group in Somalia.”

Read on.

For new readers:  We’ve been reporting on the Somali-youths-going-to-Jihad-training story since it first broke in 2008 here.

And for your information, the US has admitted well over 100,000 Somali refugees to the US since the early 1990’s (they were trickling in in the 1980’s).   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.  The “teen” would-be bomber in Oregon was one of the refugees.

Also, after being closed for nearly two years, the US State Department is on the verge (has been on the verge for months and months!)  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.

Now, also, Somalis are coming illegally across our borders and ironically asking for asylum because of the radical Islamic Jihadists (including Americans!) in Africa.

Happy 4th birthday to us!

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been writing about refugees for 4 years this month!  I almost missed our birthday month until I noticed today that we had some time ago passed the One Million Viewers mark—we have had 1,010,143 viewers at RRW over four years!   Now, that is not much by popular blog standards, but for a blog devoted to a rather arcane subject, it’s not bad.

Also in 4 years we’ve written 3,785 posts in 48 categories.    Just a reminder to readers that our search function is really good, just enter a few key words on a subject you are searching and see if we’ve written about it.  You might also enter your city or state to see if we have something from where you live.

Thanks to all of our readers and commenters for your continuing interest in the issue of refugee resettlement and in learning more about Legal immigration in general.

Rohingya refugees being resettled in New Hampshire

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.

Furor over Australia/Malaysia immigrant swap

Australia will take 4000 processed ‘legitimate’ refugees and in exchange Malaysia will take 800 boat people.  The theory is to discourage all those asylum seekers from getting in boats and heading for Australia.  Human Rights Watch objects calling Malaysia a “dumping ground.”

From Aljazeera (be sure to see the photo of demonstrators in Malaysia):

Australia and Malaysia have signed a deal to send 800 asylum seekers in Australia to Malaysia in exchange for the resettlement of 4,000 refugees.

The 4,000 refugees are to be resettled in Australia over a four year period, with that country bearing the cost of their transfer and settlement.

Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s interior minister, and Chris Bowen, Australia’s immigration minister, formally signed the deal at a Kuala Lumpur hotel on Monday.

The 800 asylum seekers sent to Malaysia will be placed in a “holding centre” for six week before being allowed into the community, Hussein said.

From midnight on Monday, the next 800 asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat will not be processed there, but will be transferred to Malaysia, Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister said.

The government said they would receive no preferential treatment in the processing of their claims or arrangements for resettlement.

‘Dumping ground’

Ahead of the signing, Brendan O’Connor, Australian’s interior minister, said the deal represents “an historic and innovative approach” to undermining the people-smugglers’ business model.

“We want to treat people fairly,” he told ABC Television, but refused to confirm a report that those shipped to Malaysia would be allowed to work.

However, the deal has drawn criticism because Malaysia is not a signatory to the UN convention on refugees.

“Australia is using Malaysia as a dumping ground for boat people it does not want and in the process walking away from its commitments to follow the 1951 Refugees Convention,” Phil Robertson, the deputy director at the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, said.

I’ve mentioned Malaysia a bunch.  Here in 2009 we had a report on how badly this Muslim country treats its co-religionists who seek shelter there.