Your tax dollars!
This is no great loss to any of you who have concerns about refugee resettlement and the ability of your city or state to afford more refugees on public assistance, because you don’t get invited to the big annual party anyway. You are NOT a stakeholder!
Eskinder Negash, formerly a Vice President of federal contractor US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, now head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (which hands out grants), has sent a letter to “stakeholders” (stakeholders do not include you!) telling them that (boo-hoo) no “consultation” this year.
Here is Negash yesterday:
To all ORR Stakeholders:
One of the key priorities of the Office of Refugee Resettlement has been to increase ORR’s communications and outreach to refugees, service providers, partners and other stakeholders. Only by creating a platform for refugee voices to be heard can we ensure that we support refugees’ best interests, and meet the needs of those we welcome to the United States under this exemplary humanitarian program.
The ORR National Consultation is one way in which this office has traditionally sponsored such discussions [Read: US taxpayers sponsored the feel-good event–ed]. This annual event, however, does not come without cost; therefore, given the current challenges we are facing with regard to budget, coupled with our commitment to maintaining current programs as a top priority, we have made the decision not to hold a National Consultation this year.
Read it all here, if you feel like it.
Waste of money anyway!
Christopher Coen writing at Friends of Refugees, here, in 2010 tells us that the annual event is nothing more than a huge lobbying project where contractors bring in their best examples of successful happy refugees (you pay their travel expenses!) and parade them around the Hill to ask Congress for more ‘moolah’ for the contractors. Refugees critical of the contractors’ care of refugees are persona non grata!
Here is Coen in 2010:
Is this the type of conference marking the 30th anniversary of the refugee resettlement program that will really benefit the refugees, the average citizen, and the nation? Or is this whole thing a set up to help the refugee resettlement contractors and their revolving door friends in government?
For new readers: See my Sequestration savings suggestions for ORR, here.