NH House passes refugee moratorium bill

Last I heard it had been killed in committee.  But, apparently the moratorium measure lives!  (For background search RRW for “Manchester.”)

And, Lavinia Limon is not happy!

From New Hampshire Public Radio:

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted today to pass a bill that would allow the city of Manchester to ask for a moratorium on refugee resettlement.

The bill is a seen as a victory for Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who has been calling for a moratorium since last July.

Manchester Representative Phil Greazzo, a Republican, says the resettlement agency is not doing a good job helping refugees integrate, and the city’s social services are overwhelmed.

“All those problems that the resettlement agency doesn’t necessarily follow up on, the cities are responsible to follow up on and the taxpayers have to wind up footing that bill,” Greazzo says.

Under the bill New Hampshire towns could ask for a one-year moratorium on new refugee resettlements, which opponents say the state doesn’t have the authority to do.

The head of the national organization in charge of resettling refugees expressed its disappointment with vote shortly afterward.

Lavinia  Limon, the President and CEO of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), says the organization met with Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas in October and agreed to resettle only refugees who have family in there.

Lavinia “whoop-de-do” Limon long time readers know was Bill Clinton’s head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement and went out the revolving door and ended up as President of federal contractor USCRI.  The former VP of USCRI, Eskinder Negash, is now head of the ORR—the agency that doles out most of the money for this program.

We gave Ms. Limon the nickname “whoop-de-do” when in a fit of anger over charges that her agency neglected Burmese refugees in Waterbury, CT, here, in 2008 she blamed it on the lack of money for refugee resettlement.   Of course, our rejoinder is that if we can’t afford to resettle refugees we don’t do it rather then to simply place them in substandard living conditions.  The State Department ultimately yanked their contract in Waterbury.  But, who knows maybe they are back in business by now.

USCRI has had problems in other cities among them, Kansas City, MO, Bowling Green, KY and Albany, NY.

USCRI is now a leading advocate for giving Syrians Temporary Protected Status, here, as well.

Shock! Auditors blast UNHCR for mismanagement of millions of your dollars

Your tax dollars!

It’s not really so shocking, but what is shocking is that this news has been made public at all.

Here is the story from Fox News and reporter George Russell.   I wanted to copy the whole article because every line of it is informative, but you will have to follow the link for more details.    Remember as you read this that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is also choosing most of the refugees coming to your cities and towns.  (emphasis below is mine)

EXCLUSIVE: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, two years ago was sitting on a stockpile of $437 million in unspent cash, even as a U.N. auditing agency warned that its sloppy handling of funds imperiled future contributions from U.N. member nations.

The report, issued last year but only introduced for member-state review in the U.N. General Assembly, cites UNHCR for sloppy bookkeeping, poor financial oversight, managerial disarray, and a lack of tools to judge how well it was doing its job of helping tens of millions of the world’s displaced people.

The U.N.’s independent Board of Auditors used remarkably straight-forward language to lambaste the refugee agency, whose largest donor, the United States, contributed $712 million to UNHCR in 2010, according to the State Department. The auditors noted that the relief agency, which is financed largely by voluntary contributions, spent about $1.9 billion in 2010; its budget two years earlier was about $1.1 billion.

The auditors pointed out that there were “strong indicators of significant shortcomings in financial management” at the agency, headed since 2005 by Antonio Guterres, a former Socialist prime minister of Portugal. “This is a major risk for UNHCR,” the auditors warned, “given the increasing pressures on donors to justify why they provide public funds to international aid organizations.”

Moreover, the inspectors did not seem optimistic that the situation would change soon, even though UNHCR’s management now says that it is working hard on a wide variety of fronts to change the disturbing situation.

The Board of Auditors report, written last year but only recently published, amounted to the first major external assessment of UNHCR’s behavior after its spending began to balloon dramatically in 2008 in line with a new strategy known as the Global Needs Assessment, a novel way to encourage donors to come up with more cash.

Increase in funding from US has come in Obama years.  Redistribution of wealth?

The Obama administration has apparently found the Global Needs approach convincing. U.S. contributions to the relief agency increased by about 40 percent between 2008 and 2010.

Besides its high overhead for salaries and offices, the UNHCR was busy doling out a large chunk of your money to NGOs with little competition and oversight of how they used the money.

….roughly one-third of UNHCR’s spending ($667 million) went to “implementing partners,” meaning non-government organizations and others who carried out relief operations. Who they all were, and how well they functioned, was not at all clear. The process of selecting those partners, the auditors noted, “lacks rigor and transparency, increasing the risk of fraud, corruption, inefficiency and poor partner performance.”

All of you who are disgusted with this waste of your tax dollars should write to your US Senators and Representatives and tell them what you think!  You might also contact Obama’s Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on whose watch all this is happening.

And, if you need any more fuel in your fire, see this story yesterday about another UN agency that is going to investigate the US over Voter ID laws and determine whether they are racist!   I am not kidding!

Stop funding the UN!

Iraqis who fled to Syria now have no where to go

As Iraq deteriorated into chaos over the last decade or more, Iraqis fled to Syria not just because the US had gone to war against Saddam Hussein, but even earlier than that to escape Hussein’s regime itself (although NGOs like to blame the US for the exodus from Iraq).

Then, as some stability returned to Iraq, an undetermined number of “refugees” returned (we can’t really know the numbers because as this article points out, many did not register as “refugees.” )  Now, that the US is no longer in Iraq to help keep the warring factions apart, the country is sliding back into chaos.  So is Syria.   And, no one can blame the US for the Shia/Sunni civil war in Syria and across the Middle East.   In fact,  Andrew McCarthy makes a good point, here, when he suggests we let them fight it out themselves (Afghanistan shows we can’t bring western-style peace to feuds a millennium old).

So here is the story from Syria about Iraqis with no place to go, from al-akhbar.  Pay attention to the fact that the “bad” Assad regime let the Iraqis work and educated their kids.

Starting in 2003, thousands of Iraqis started to flee their homes in search of refuge in neighboring countries, mainly Syria and Jordan. As violence and targeted killings, in particular of the Iraqi middle class, came to a head in 2006 and 2007, the number of refugees in Syria exploded to over one million, according to Syrian regime and Iraqi estimates. At more than twice the number of Palestinian refugees in Syria, the Iraqi community became the largest refugee community in the country.

But the majority of Iraqi refugees in Syria did not register with the UN. According to Souad al-Azzawi, an Iraqi environmental engineer, human rights activist, and herself a refugee, many of those who failed to register chose to lie low because they “sensed danger in handing over their personal information to the UNHCR. Some had been illegally detained by US occupation forces, or kidnapped, or feared assassination” by pro-Iran militias infiltrating the Iraqi-Syrian border, she said.  [By the way, the Kentucky Iraqi terrorists passed through Syria and didn’t mind giving over their papers in which they lied to the UN—ed]


With reported death tolls in the thousands since the uprising began in March last year, Iraqis in Syria have generally not been turned into targets of violence as such, according to UNHCR spokesperson in Damascus Helene Daubelcour.


Though it is impossible to estimate the total number of people that have voluntary returned home, a worsening security situation in Iraq in recent months has only given refugees new reasons to stay away from their country.


The majority’s lack of better options has made Iraqis like Ibrahim face the future with a sad mixture of solidarity, pure resilience, and fatalism. She believes that, although things were somewhat better for Iraqis refugees just over a year ago, the deterioration of conditions of life for people in Syria as a whole “might just show the direction in which the whole Arab world is heading. We are worried about Syria. As for us, wherever we go, things won’t be much better. So we choose to stay,” she said.

I’m with McCarthy on this.  We need to open up our own energy options in North America, help our ally Israel, but generally let the Arabs settle their own internal squabbles.  If they want to live in the seventh century, so be it.