Burmese refugees in Oakland have a 63% unemployment rate

Is anyone surprised?

That statistic comes to us from a report put together by a professor and his students at San Francisco State University.

Of course their solution to the problem is NOT to urge a slowdown of the flow of refugees to Oakland (or to Manchester, NH for example) or anywhere in the US,  but is to spend more taxpayer money teaching English and send more “refugee cash” from Washington, DC to California when there are NO jobs!

From Medical Xpress:

Refugees who have fled Burma to live in Oakland, Calif., are at risk of becoming a permanent, poverty-stricken underclass warns a new report released today by researchers at San Francisco State University and the Burma Refugee Family Network (BRFN). The report found that almost 60 percent of Oakland’s refugees from Burma are living in extreme poverty.

Since 2007, thousands of refugees from war-torn Burma have been resettled by the U.S. federal government and an estimated 400 individuals have been resettled in Oakland.

They have trouble getting jobs, applying for health care and government bennies because they can’t speak English.

“These recent refugees from Burma are facing dire circumstances,” said Russell Jeung, associate professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. “The recession and government cuts in adult English classes mean that even though they want to work, these refugees have no opportunity to learn English or workplace skills in order to adapt to life in the U.S.”

Jeung and his students, together with BRFN and other community-based organizations, surveyed 194 refugees from Burma to assess the community’s needs. The researchers found that in addition to high poverty rates, these refugees face barriers to accessing employment, health care and government benefits caused by their lack of English. These barriers have been exacerbated by recent cuts in the provision of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and a lack of appropriate interpretation services.

Impoverished refugees help drive statistics about US poverty rates rising.

The report found that among Oakland’s refugee population from Burma:

*63 percent are unemployed. Those that are employed have sporadic, low-wage jobs.

*57 percent live below the federal threshold for extreme poverty, earning less than $1,000 per month for an average household size of five. Most of the remainder live below the federal poverty line.

*38 percent speak no English at all. Another 28 percent speak English poorly.

*74 percent report that lack of English is their biggest barrier to accessing health care.

*47 percent report that English classes are the most-needed service in their community.

How about if Professor Jeung and his students get busy teaching the illiterate refugees to read and write English without, of course, being paid for their charitable work.

The overall numbers of refugees resettled is down for FY2011 which ended September 30th, but apparently still not down enough.  Here are the numbers.  We resettled just over 56,000 refugees (the goal for the year was a completely unrealistic 80,000).  Burmese refugees topped the list with a whopping 16,972 people with little English and no real marketable skills, Bhutanese (Nepalese) came in second with 14,999 and Iraq was way down with 9,328 (we resettled double that number in FY2010)*.    Guess those federal contractors who are paid by the head to resettle refugees are hurting in their bottomlines.

*LOL!  So where is Matthew Lee the AP reporter who squawked every month during the final year of the Bush Administration about how we weren’t helping the Iraqis by bringing enough of them to the US.  Where is the Obama bashing now that he isn’t helping enough?

To new readers

If you are new to Refugee Resettlement Watch (we had a big jump in readers yesterday from google searches), you might want to use our search function (top of the upper left hand column) to learn more about the problems with the Refugee Resettlement program of the US State Department, other issues relating to legal immigration, and more about refugee/asylee issues generally around the world.

We have written 3,922 posts since July 2007 and even I need to periodically search for things I’ve written (and forgotten!) that tie in with new issues that come up.

You might also be able to find information using our categories.  I find the one called ‘where to find information’ the most useful.  It’s full of reports, data, and website sources.

And, you might want to check from time to time to see what are the most read posts in the last week or so—see ‘top posts’ in the lower right hand column.

Welcome if you are a new reader, and welcome back to previous visitors!

Immigration to be major issue in Russian elections….

…ethnic Russians want to keep their culture (what a surprise!).

From Monsters & Critics (emphasis mine):

Moscow – A warning by Russia’s top health official against employing migrant workers from Tajikistan because they have tuberculosis or AIDS has exposed rising political tensions over the country’s large migrant population.

The remarks by Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennadiy Onishchenko drew instant protest from human rights groups, who responded with data showing that the diseases were more widespread in Russia than in Tajikistan.

But Russian nationalists, who are becoming more vocal in their criticism of what they say is the government’s lax policy toward migrants, welcomed Onishchenko’s remarks.

The immigration debate is likely to be a major issue in the December election for Russia’s lower house, which is known as the Duma.

Some parties are running on a platform of restoring Russian national pride and vows to secure the future of the Slavic race. Critics say the far-right is venting its frustration with Russia’s social and economic problems on immigrants.

Russian President Dimitry Medvedev has called more than once for an election campaign free of xenophobia.

With some 12.5 million migrants, Russia is home to the world’s second largest migrant population after the United States, according to United Nations figures.

Russia purely for Russians!

In November, thousands of right-wing extremists demonstrated under the slogan ‘Russia purely for Russians’. They called on the ruling party to stop subsidizing the largely Muslim Northern Caucasus region with billions of dollars annually.

Too little too late?  In my opinion it’s bye-bye Russia.   Russians are dying young and are not producing enough children (they have an extremely high abortion rate) and most of the immigrants are Muslims who produce babies at a higher rate.  So what is your guess about the future of the Russian people?

Thomas Sowell on Gingrich and immigration

This is cross-posted from Potomac Tea Party Report, my other blog, here.

The brilliant Thomas Sowell has a good column today at Real Clear Politics in which he riffs off of Gingrich’s use of the word “humane” in suggesting a form of amnesty for those illegal immigrants who have been here for twenty five years at last week’s national security debate.   (Hat tip: Paul)

Read the whole column for more on Gingrich, but I was interested in his discussion of our potential loss of culture (and the security threat) as we continue to import immigrants (legal and illegal) some of whom have no interest in becoming Americans in the fullest sense of the word.

Sowell (emphasis mine):

Let’s go back to square one. The purpose of American immigration laws and policies is not to be either humane or inhumane to illegal immigrants. The purpose of immigration laws and policies is to serve the national interest of this country.

There is no inherent right to come live in the United States, in disregard of whether the American people want you here. Nor does the passage of time confer any such right retroactively.

The American people have a right to decide it they want unlimited imports of cultures.

The more doctrinaire libertarians see the benefits of free international trade in goods, and extend the same reasoning to free international movement of people. But goods do not bring a culture with them. Nor do they give birth to other goods to perpetuate that culture.

Why do people want to come to America in the first place? Because America offers them something that their native countries do not. This country has a culture which has produced a higher standard of living and a freer life than in many other countries.

When you import people, you import cultures, including cultures that have been far less successful in providing decent lives and decent livelihoods. The American people have a right to decide for themselves whether they want unlimited imports of cultures from other countries.

At one time, immigrants came to America to become Americans. Today, the apostles of multiculturalism and grievance-mongering have done their best to keep foreigners foreign and, if possible, feeling aggrieved. Our own schools and colleges teach grievances.

European countries have learned the hard way how massive imports of a foreign culture can undermine your own culture, polarize your population and create internal dangers that are irreversible.

What about those dangers?  See my post yesterday about Michelle Bachmann the Presidential candidate with the guts to bring up the Somalis in her home state of Minnesota and their connections to Al-shabaab.

NY Times acts like it’s the first time any refugee agency was asked to stop bringing refugees and dropping them off

Have you seen that commercial for an insurance company where two agents are making pronouncements as their pants are in flames—you know—liar, liar pants on fire!  That is exactly what I thought as I read through this piece in the New York Times  last Friday on Manchester, New Hampshire’s refugee problems.

This article is also an example of one of the primary reason that I had to take a break from writing this blog for awhile—I could spend hours and hours taking each paragraph and expounding on it with facts the NYT doesn’t know (and likely doesn’t want to know) and I simply don’t want to do that.

Just read the article yourself and know that Manchester leaders have been asking for years to give them a break on resettling refugees—any city or town can only take so many destitute people when there is no work and no decent affordable housing.

Also, know that Manchester is not the first in the Nation to scream—stop!  The NYT does mention Ft. Wayne (IN) and that is because that city and Detroit (MI) have gone beyond any capacity to absorb more poverty.  In the case of Ft. Wayne, the health department in Allen County became swamped with cases of HIV and TB.   Then there was Waterbury, CT where another International Institute was shut down because of the poor care refugees were getting.  Then there is Greensboro, NC—same story.  Fredericksburg, VA ditto.  The whole state of Tennessee was so frustrated with the refugee overload that they passed a law that seeks to give some control back to the state in determining how many refugees WILL BE DROPPED OFF BY FEDERAL CONTRACTORS for local taxpayers to care for!

Where I live in Maryland the program shut down almost before it got started in 2007 because the contractor couldn’t say how the refugees would live and find jobs in a rural city in Western Maryland.  All I can say now is thank goodness it didn’t get a foothold here because those industries that supposedly were going to employ them were closed or are closing.

Bottomline, this article makes me tired — maybe I need to take a break again!

Note to New York Times!  Instead of going up to New Hampshire for a story why not stay right at home in New York State and visit the refugee resettlement office run by the same federal contractor that runs the Manchester office.  Visit Peter Huston’s blog post about USCRI-Albany and see if you can spot a similar pattern.

See also our archive on Manchester, here.