More from the Office or Refugee Resettlement’s year in review

Did you know that we pay for day care centers offering “appropriate cultural competency!”  What happened to the idea that refugee kids should assimilate into our culture?

A week ago I reported that the Director (Eskinder Negash) of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services had sent out a 5-page e-mail report on how the ORR fared in 2012.  Here is more from that letter.

Do you have day care centers in your town?  You know! the small entrepreneurial ones run by a stay-at-home mom or maybe an older woman whose kids are grown.  Wouldn’t putting immigrant kids in those day care programs help integrate the kids into American culture?

And, do you think those small American home-based day care centers get FEDERAL GRANTS AND MICRO-LOANS to get started?  I doubt it!

According to Director Negash, refugee women do get federal (your!) money and support to set up their businesses.  This is from his year-in-review e-mail:

At the inception of the Microenterprise Development – Home-Based Child Care program in FY 2011, ORR awarded 13 grantees in 13 states grants totaling $2.225 million per year for two years. The primary goal of the program was to assist women refugees to become economically self-sufficient and integrated into the mainstream. A secondary goal was to expand home-based child care business options for other refugees, to enable them enter the workforce with confidence that their children are being cared for by individuals possessing appropriate cultural competency. ORR is pleased to see the overwhelming successes achieved by this new program thus far, encouraging continued support and expansion of the grant: in FY2012, ORR increased funding to the program, raising it from $2.225 million to $5,752 million, and offering grants to a total of 34 agencies.
During the first year of the project, the original 13 grantees have collectively:

* Enrolled 879 refugee women in the program;

* Trained 745 refugees;

* Helped 172 refugees obtain business licenses;

* Assisted 160 refugees to start home-based child care programs

* Created 1,061 childcare slots for children;

* Paid $249,000 in grants to partially cover business startup costs, and assisted the home-based child care owners to obtain an additional $208,000 in subsidies;

* Helped 207 refugees find and secure jobs, and

* Taken 79 refugees off public assistance.

Wow!  We trained hundreds, paid out millions of dollars and got 79 refugees off public assistance all the while assuring the kids were cared for by appropriate culturally competent caregivers.

Refugee Resettlement Watch’s year in review

Happy New Year to one and all! 

I can’t believe RRW will be six years old this year!  Time flies when you are having fun!  I don’t know that much has changed with the refugee program/legal immigration (from our point of view!) in the last five years, but you surely are more informed.   I’m looking forward to many more years ahead as a blogger (assuming our free speech isn’t killed in the next four years) and might even write a book about why this program needs to be reformed or completely abolished.

WordPress kindly sent us a review for 2012 (it is the first time I’ve seen this) and here are some facts they reported about RRW:

~ We had about a quarter of a million visitors this year.  The largest numbers were referred to us by facebook. (But, sorry folks I haven’t figured out how to use our facebook page effectively.  Others of you must be kindly putting our links on facebook—thanks!).

We had visitors from 193 countries.  The largest numbers (since Feb. 2012 when wordpress began keeping these stats) were, of course, from the US, Canada and the UK.  But rounding out the top ten were Australia, India, Sweden, Malaysia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Germany (in that order).

~  We posted 458 new posts and increased our overall number of posts to 4,417.

Here are the top posts of all time (NO!  this is not Somali Watch, but it sure looks like it based on which posts are the most viewed!):

1. Although not a post per se, our fact sheets were number one!  (26,240 views).  We need to update this for you!

2. How did we get so many Somali refugees—the numbers are telling  September 2008 (23,602 views)

3. Asylum seekers head for Israel    January 2009 (12,693 views)

4. Muslim immigration killing Sweden  March 2009 (10,967 views)

5. Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis?  January 2011  (10,959 views)

6.  Somali Migration to Maine: it’s the welfare magnet, stupid   November 2009 (7,185 views)

7. State Department:  Possibly tens of thousands of Somalis in the US illegally   November 2008 (5,394 views)

8. Holy Cow! Now 40 young Somalis are missing in Minnesota  November 2008  (5,149 views)

9. How many refugees and from what countries  May 2008 (4,760 views)

10. Canada refugee problems and programs March 2008  (3,790 views)

You also might want to keep an eye on the TOP POSTS (see right hand sidebar) every day.  It is very interesting to see what readers find most interesting on a daily basis.

We still have work to do!  In addition to updating our fact sheet, our blog roll needs review and updating, and some of the pages need to be deleted or kept up, but I must admit it is much more fun simply to bring you the news almost every day while that ‘housekeeping’ type of work is so boring!

Thanks for reading Refugee Resettlement Watch, don’t get discouraged, keep sending us story ideas, and have a Happy New Year!