Trying to make Lancaster, PA a model for refugee resettlement?

That appears to be the goal of a new consortium of resettlement agencies and ‘stakeholders’ who have been roundly criticized in the past for “dumping refugees on Lancaster.”

Before you read the latest news from the overloaded city, be sure to check out this detailed post from last May which centered on testimony sent to the US State Department by a resident of Lancaster who charged that Church World Service (one of the top nine federal refugee contractors) was dumping refugees there.

They wouldn’t need to build this coalition or have a pow-wow if everything was peachy in Lancaster.  From Lancaster Online:

With a significant number of refugees coming to Lancaster County in recent years — including 560 in the 11 months from October 2011 to August 2012 — a Lancaster County Refugee Coalition has been formed to better coordinate services and support.

Susan Dicklitch, director of The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement at Franklin & Marshall College, said the coalition grew out of a conference hosted by F&M last March.

Sponsored by The Ware Institute, Church World Service of Lancaster and a student organization at Franklin & Marshall, the conference brought together more than 200 providers, employers, landlords and others who work with refugees, in such areas as health care or English literacy, she said.

“The idea was to provide a forum for those who interact with resettled refugees,” Dicklitch said.

Church World Service and Lutheran Refugee Services are the two agencies that resettle refugees in Lancaster County. Most of the recent arrivals have been from Bhutan, Myanmar (Burma), Iraq and Cuba. Refugees in the past have also come from Russia, Turkey, Sudan and Somalia.

During the conference, participants analyzed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of how the county is resettling refugees, she said.

“We got a real sense of how to move forward” by doing that, Dicklitch said.

Previously, there hasn’t been enough communication among agencies and providers, or a centralized effort to streamline the resettlement process, she said.

By agreement with the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, resettlement agencies have 90 days to provide core services to refugees, such as finding housing, Dicklitch said.

The goal of the Lancaster County Refugee Coalition — with The Ware Institute and CWS as the main partners —is to optimize the resettlement experience during that 90 days and beyond, she said, with an aim toward making this area “a national example” of how to integrate refugees.

Why Lancaster?  Because (we are told) that big manufacturing businesses need cheap/captive labor (they don’t say it that way but I do), there is apparently a good supply of welfare and healthcare and supposedly they have adequate affordable housing (or so we are told).

Today, refugee resettlement agencies view the county as an ideal spot for several reasons, Dicklitch said.

There’s a sizable manufacturing base here that allows for lower-skilled jobs, she said, and the cost of housing is relatively affordable.

Also, public transportation and health care resources are available, Dickitch said.

Not enough churches to help!

Then here is the one line in this lengthy warm and fuzzy story that made me laugh—they can’t find enough churches to help!

In addition, there traditionally have been a large number of co-sponsors (such as churches) for refugee families, although that number has been shrinking, she said.

Why shrinking!  How could that be?   It’s because when a church discovers the huge and overwhelming time commitment involved with dealing with excessive numbers of third worlders who don’t speak English, have very little education, don’t know how to live in modern countries, have enormous health care and transportation needs, the church “volunteers” burn out!

We saw that happen in Hagerstown, MD  in 2007 when this very same Church World Service and its subcontractor Virginia Council of Churches suddenly brought a couple hundred needy refugees (over-flows from Lancaster, PA btw) to the city.  A few churches and the local mosque immediately jumped on the opportunity only to mostly burn-out a few months into the project—the “charitable” work was going to be foisted off on to the county if the whole resettlement program hadn’t been abandoned.

So, how do you find an optimum number of refugees for a community—each refugee family should be sponsored and taken care of by a church or some other charitable organization on that organization’s dime.    In that way, the carrying capacity of a city will quickly be determined.  And, frankly, the refugees might then have a shot at assimilating into American life.

For more on Pennsylvania refugees and stats, go here.  Also, type ‘Lancaster’ into our search function here at RRW, we’ve got a lot.  You might especially like this post about the woman responsible for ‘transforming’ Lancaster.

Muslim countries treat Palestinians like c***

Where have we heard this before, oh yeh, here at RRW.   As Israel is beaten over the head continually for its supposed poor treatment of Palestinians, neighboring Muslim countries don’t want them either, but the mainstream media rarely mentions that little-known fact.

So, I was surprised to see it mentioned at the Washington Post albeit only in an opinion piece, but none-the-less uttered in print.

This reminds me of the outrageous UN report a few years ago where the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that the world’s tradition of protecting refugees and asylum seekers comes not from a Christian charity heritage but from Islamic Shariah Law.   I can’t resist repeating what that Socialist Antonio Guterres said in 2009 (here):

New York, 23 June (AKI) – The 1,400-year-old Islamic custom of welcoming people fleeing persecution has had more influence on modern international refugee law than any other traditional source, according to a new study sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

High Commissioner Antonio Guterres said that more than any other historical source, Islamic law and tradition underpin the modern-day legal framework on which UNHCR bases its global activities on behalf of the tens of millions of people forced from their homes around the world.

This includes the right of everyone to seek asylum as well as prohibitions against sending those needing protection back into danger, Guterres said in the foreword to “The Right to Asylum between Islamic Sharia and International Refugee Law: A Comparative Study.”

In the study, Professor Abu Al-Wafa, Dean of the Law Faculty at Cairo University, describes how Islamic law and tradition respects refugees, including non-Muslims; forbids forcing them to change their beliefs; avoids compromising their rights; seeks to reunite families; and guarantees the protection of their lives and property.

I went on in my post in 2009  (UN High Commissioner for Refugees lies) to list all of the MUSLIM countries that were treating refugees like crap (and in virtually all cases the refugees are Muslims themselves!).  So the only surprising thing about this opinion piece in the Washington Post is that this topic is mentioned in the Washington Post.

Here is the piece by Olga Khazan:

The news media have reported frequently on Israel’s settlement building in the West Bank and its blockade of the Gaza Strip, but the experience of Palestinians in surrounding Arab countries is less well-known.


The news media have reported frequently on Israel’s settlement building in the West Bank and its blockade of the Gaza Strip, but the experience of Palestinians in surrounding Arab countries is less well-known.

Khazan goes on to report about the poor treatment of Palestinians in Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq.   Read it, it further confirms what we have written here for years that the concept of Muslim charity is a myth!  Type ‘UN Muslim Charity’ into our search function for many posts on the subject.

LOL!  I remember discussing the issue of Muslim refugees coming to my county with my Congressman back in 2007.  (That’s about when I figured RRW needed to be written).   He was shocked to learn that the Virginia Council of Churches was doing such a thing in Maryland, dropping off impoverished Muslims, and he wondered aloud—‘Why isn’t wealthy Saudi Arabia taking these poor Muslims in?‘   Why indeed?  The truth is, that the rich Muslim country—Saudi Arabia—doesn’t TAKE ANY REFUGEES!  Also, back in 2007 we reported that Saudi Arabia was building a state-of-the-art border fence, here.   Surprise!  They want to keep Saudi Arabia for their own kind!  None of those Somali, Palestinian or Rohingya riff-raff for them!