Idaho refugees get federal grants to start businesses

Your tax dollars!

First, it is well-established that Idaho has a refugee overload problem.  We most recently told you about it here.

Then in what seems to be a pattern, what I call fluffy-puffy (refugees see first snow!) stories about refugees and their previous hard lives from which they had to “flee” (popular word in refugee writing 101) appear in local papers.  Just like this story about a well-educated Congolese man who had to flee Africa and found his way to Idaho—as if he chose Idaho.  No, it doesn’t work that way.  Refugees don’t initially choose where they will live—a refugee agency (a contractor) picked Idaho.   These are stories to soften up potential critics.   But, that isn’t what I want to tell you about today.

What was most interesting to me was the side bar to the story in the Idaho Statesman that says this:

Some refugees who worked as educators in their home countries and others interested in the field are in the process of opening their own child-care businesses. They’re enrolled in the New Investment New Opportunities program through the local nonprofit Micro Enterprise Training and Assistance.

NINO, which began in October, provides small federal grants from the national office of refugee resettlement to help refugees kickstart their businesses.

About 20 men and women have signed up in Boise, said Terry McDonald, who heads up the program. Participants are in various stages, from still working on their child-care licensing to preparing to open their doors.

Grants not loans?

Let me understand this.  The federal government is giving GRANTS not LOANS to refugees to open child-care businesses.  Are there no out-of-work Americans in Idaho who would like to run child-care programs and are they getting GRANTS?   I wish we had enough people following the federal government’s spending to research just how these GRANTS are being used. How much is siphoned off for salaries and offices at each step?  And, does anyone audit these programs?

We need someone to please follow the money through the labyrinth of groups sucking on the federal tax payer.  I tried to find a Form 990 for the group Micro-Enterprise Training Assistance (META) and couldn’t find one.  Here we see that META is an affiliate of Mountain States Group and got a start in 2002 with a grant from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.

If you go here at the META website you can see a list of funders and you might think—well there are all sorts of private funders listed, right?  However, if those private businesses are giving, it isn’t much because when you then check out the Form 990 here for Mountain States Group (p.9), you see a different picture.   This is simply one more ‘quasi-government’ group that is taking taxpayer money (your money) and laundering it through a series of non-profit groups which are in turn spending it to fund businesses for refugees that will compete with you!

In that most recent Form 990 (linked above) Mountain States Group had a total revenue stream of $10.7 million and $9.8 million came from taxpayers—from federal (and probably state) funds.

Now, have a look at USA Spending.gov and you will see that Mountain States Group received $52 million in 177 different grants from mostly the Office of Refugee Resettlement.   Scroll down here at the Office of Refugee Resettlement for some recent grants to Mountain States.

It has been my contention since I started writing this blog in 2007 that if the federal government wishes to be involved in immigrant business, immigrant social services, immigrant this and immigrant that, then this should be done through offices and agencies of government and not through unaccountable non-profits.   I am sure these grants are not thoroughly audited, but most importantly a citizen wanting to complain has little recourse.

If this money was being disbursed  directly by an agency of government (rather than being laundered through layers of non-profit groups) at least one could go to one’s elected officials and complain—and vote those officials out of office if they aren’t responsive.   

Readers, the political Left is changing this country bit by bit through these non-profits and, adding insult to injury, using your money to do it!

Endnote:  This is one more post in my new category entitled ‘legal immigration and jobs.’

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