State Department Refugee testimony submitted from Montana

Thanks so much to all of our readers who have responded and sent testimony to the US State Department for their consideration as they prepare for the FY2014 Presidential Determination that will be sent to Congress in September.  The State Department is seeking your input on the size and scope of the program for the new fiscal year—-how many and which refugees will be admitted.

If you haven’t submitted testimony and wish to, here (again) are the instructions.  You have until the Close of Business Wednesday, May 8th, but don’t cut it too close!  And, please note you are requested to fax or e-mail your comments.  If you only send a paragraph or two that will help those in a decision-making position better understand the public’s sentiment on the issue.  Up until last year, the State Department heard primarily from refugee contractors with a vested financial interest in a larger refugee population.

And, don’t forget, again go to these instructions and see the list of those you should copy on your testimony (you can mail those snail-mail after tomorrow if you wish).

Below is another testimony, this time shared by our reader Paul Nachman of Montana.  (Others we have received and published so far are archived here).  Emphasis below is RRW’s.

Federal Register Notice

To Delicia Spruell:

I’m writing, as prescribed in the link above, to comment on the FY2014 U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

What I say here is heavily informed by an encounter I had in early 2003. At a conference on immigration and assimilation hosted by the Claremont Institute and held at Chapman College in Orange, CA, I met Professor Jan Ting, then and now a law professor at Temple University and formerly the Assistant Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service under President George H. W.. Bush. Learning of his pedigree, I asked Professor Ting, “Is it true what I’ve heard, that 90% of refugee and asylum cases are fraudulent?”  He instantly replied, “95%.”

In other words, most “refugees” and “asylees” weren’t endangered in their home countries. They simply want to live in the U.S., because it’s a better deal for them economically.

This basic fact—that asylees and refugees frequently take cynical advantage of the American public’s goodwill—has finally received widespread and much needed public exposure via the bombing of the Boston Marathon.  The two young men responsible were present in the U.S. only because their parents had received LPR status as asylees.  Notably, and consistent with what Professor Ting had said, the parents have, in the meantime, returned to whence they came, strongly implying that their request for asylum had been fraudulent.

This is not an isolated case nor a new phenomenon: For example, in 1995, former State Department (U.S.I.A.) employee Don Barnett wrote in The Social Contract quarterly, “At any given time about 20,000 of the all-expenses-paid refugee visas have been awarded to former Soviets who have decided they don’t want to leave just now. The visas remain in effect indefinitely allowing the holder to leave at his or her convenience.”  People who choose to leave their domiciles ‘at their convenience’ are clearly not being persecuted and are at no hazard to life or limb!

Following are two specific comments spurred by reading and comparing several documents found online: the DoS/HHS(ORR)/DHS Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2013 [henceforth, “the three-agencies report”], the DHS Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2012 (Tables 6 and 7), and the DoS Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration’s [PRM] Summary of Refugee Admissions as of 30 April, 2013.  (I assume that the proposed-admissions document for FY2014 will be similar in scope and content to that FY2013 document.)

— Refugee numbers are grossly inconsistent among these documents.  Take FY2011 as an example.  According to both the three-agencies report (Table II) and the PRM summary, the total count was 56,224.  But the DHS yearbook gives the refugee total as 113,045 (Table 6) and 105,528 (Table 7).  Yet the DHS has also signed onto the three-agencies report!  Nor is this gross discrepancy unique to FY2011.

Therefore, Question #1: Why are the numbers of humanitarian admissions tabulated by the different departments so disparate?

— The footnote on page “i” of the three-agencies report says “Detailed discussion of the anticipated social and economic impact, including secondary migration, of the admission of refugees to the United States is being provided in the Report to the Congress of the Refugee Resettlement Program, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Department of Health and Human Services.”  [Emphasis added.]  But my careful online search failed to turn up such a document.

A footnote on page 58 of that report says “[The ‘refugee resettlement’] category … does not include costs associated with the … Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income programs,” thus reinforcing the point that major costs of refugee resettlement—indeed, probably the dominant costs—aren’t being revealed to the public.

Getting the refugee numbers correct (see my Question #1) has an obvious bearing on the costs burden.  I see from that same footnote on page 58 that the Office of Refugee Resettlement [ORR] also serves  “asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants.”  Thus even if those DHS refugee numbers are grossly high, the PRM and the three-agencies-report numbers may actually be lowball, since the combined numbers of refugees and asylees are in the same numerical territory as DHS’s refugee-only numbers.

Putting these points together leads to Question #2: Why is the taxpaying American public systematically denied  information revealing the true cost to us of the humanitarian-admissions programs?


Paul Nachman

Copies by U.S. mail to:

– Senator Max Baucus

– Senator Jon Tester

– Representative Steve Daines

– US Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security

– US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security

Readers:  Everything relating to this year’s hearing on May 15th (testimony due May 8th) is located in this special category here at RRW.

It is time to speak up!  Send even a couple of paragraphs by Wednesday and be heard!  It doesn’t need to be long or detailed, just polite!

Send your testimony to me if you would like to see it in print!  Tomorrow…North Carolina speaks up!

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