Federal grants geared to help older refugees (and contractors!)

Your tax dollars!

You know we bring old people into the US along with young working-age refugees.  

And, for some reason every once in awhile up pops some information on federal grants for refugee contractors and in this case for some state government agencies.  Today this list of new grants for services to older refugees showed up in my in-box.  Looks like we just gave out another $3 million in federal grants so that elderly refugees would get “services.”

People ask me all the time:  What is all this costing us?  My answer is who knows!  There are myriad grants like this one with not much information on how the money is to be used, and if you look carefully, it appears the grant involves getting elderly refugees hooked up with state and county welfare programs and the cost of that is never known because no one on the local level tracks whether someone getting welfare is a refugee or not!

I wonder how much office overhead say Catholic Charities can write-off for administering this grant?  How much oversight is there?    Here is what they claim it is used for:

The Services to Older Refugees Program ensures that refugees age 60 and above have access to mainstream aging services in their community. Successful programs:

*Provide appropriate services to all older refugees who are not currently being provided in the community

*Enable older refugees to live independently as long as possible  [I guess we pay for their nursing home eventually—ed]

*Establish and/or expand a working relationship with state and local agencies to ensure refugee access to aging services

*Develop or provide access to naturalization services  [We gotta get ’em voting!—ed]

As part of the Division of Refugee Assistance (DRA), this program provides grants to states and state-alternative programs, public and private non-profit organizations. ORR partners with the U.S. Administration on Aging to identify ways in which the aging and ORR networks can work together more effectively at the state and local levels to improve elderly refugees’ access to services.

Have a look at the Administration for Children and Families executive summary of its budget for FY 2013, here (go to page 13).    It is $805 million for FY2013 (up $37 million) for refugees.  That does not include the State Department’s additional millions for bringing in 50,000 plus refugees a year.  Three million for the old people is a drop in the bucket you might say.  However, remember these “services” do not include the cost of medical care that we are surely providing, and will provide! into their ripe old age.

Endnote:  If you think any of this will change in a Republican administration that we might have in 2013—forget it!  Democrat or Republican President—doesn’t matter. The beat goes on ….. why?  (click here)