Jewish Vocational Services (again): Questions about compassion for refugees and for the communities into which they are placed

That’s a question I’ve been wondering about for the last six years.

Do federal refugee resettlement contractors love (really love!) the people they are bringing to your cities and towns or is it just a job?  Or, perhaps it’s the case that they are more in love with the idea of helping third-worlders come to America and are set back by the reality of the actual refugees who oftentimes complain to the agency, don’t do what they are instructed, want ever-more stuff, and don’t exhibit sufficient gratitude.

Steve Weitcamp, JVS Director of Refugee Services at his desk. Photo: Emily Henson

And, never mind the troublesome Americans who have certain expectations of the agency and their new neighbors.

Those are all the things this story about Jewish Vocational Services, coincidentally from Missouri (multicultural St. Louis has dominated our news in the last few days), brought to mind.  From Kansas City’s Northeast News back in February, thanks to a reader (emphasis mine):

February 20, 2013

Recently here at the House of News we’ve been having issues with people illegally dumping their trash bags on our property next to our dumpster. Last week, we caught the culprit in the act, an African woman who was recently settled in the house behind us by the folks at Jewish Vocational Services. We advised the woman that she had free trash service, allowing up to two bags weekly at her curb. The language barrier barred any two-way communication, however, until another member of the household stepped out and we were able to communicate the necessary information regarding their scheduled trash day.

We then contacted JVS and spoke with Director of Refugee Programs Steve Weitkamp in regard to the acclimation training JVS says they give all of their settled refugees. When this feisty newshound asked Weitkamp if trash day was part of their refugee training, his initial response indicated his tacit endorsement of his client illegally dumping trash on someone else’s property. When queried again about whether anyone at JVS tells their re-settled refugees about proper trash disposal, his insensitive and completely callous response was, and we quote: “We don’t tell them to go out in the streets and light themselves on fire, but they do anyway.”

We’ll just let that sink in for a moment. This is the director of Refugee Programs throwing the re-settled refugee community wholly under the bus with his cynical and uncaring response to a genuine concern about the behavior of someone JVS re-settled and failed to educate properly on how trash is disposed of in Kansas City.

This news-pooch isn’t exactly sure what prompted such a callous response from the person charged with overseeing programs administered to and for refugees, but we think it speaks volumes as to his elitist and condescending attitude toward the very refugee clients he allegedly serves through JVS.

Mr. Weitkamp, if you think so little of the refugees your agency is literally dumping in Northeast, this newshound thinks maybe it’s time you found another line of work.

Jewish Vocational Services of Kansas City has had problems going back for several years as we note in our archive on the troubled contractor.

I assume from this list of funders that JVS is still a subcontractor of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

Photo is from this 2010 story.

Cabbie: St. Louis feels like Somalia

Here is another story on the Somali murders in St. Louis from yesterday.  Hat tip:  Jim

If anyone sees a story with a report on what triggered the shooting spree, let me know.

From AP via the Detroit News:

 St. Louis has long struggled with urban violence, but the last week has seen a troublesome uptick in bloodshed. Police scrambled late Monday and early Tuesday to respond to five different shootings on the city’s north side that left 15 people wounded.

Elmi (Abdi Salam Elmi) said as a cab driver he sees too much violence in the city, and he compared St. Louis’ struggles to what he left behind in his war-torn African country.

“I feel the same as I did when I left Somalia,” he said.

Here is what I am wondering, is there some point where one could say a city, or a state, has an adequate supply of diversity?

Minnesota Somalis protest Somali murder in South Africa

The South African xenophobia has further upset American Somalis who are protesting in solidarity with their Somali kinfolk in S. Africa First a protest in Columbus, Ohio and now one in Minneapolis.

They need to tell Obama to put pressure on the Socialist Rainbow Nation he admires so much when he visits later this month.  The struggling new government of Somalia doesn’t have much power.

Imam Hassan Mohamud wants the new Somali government to do something.

From the Chronicle:

GIN) – Hundreds of Somali-Americans rallied in Minnesota this week to protest the murder of a Somali shop owner in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The Somali man was killed during a week of riots that targeted Somalis and other African foreigners.


At the demonstration in St. Paul, Hali Mahmoud, the dead man’s sister, addressed a crowd of hundreds of Somali-Americans. Speaking amidst tears, she said her 27 year old brother had died a painful death.

The recent outbreak of “hate crime” brought back memories of May 2008 when an explosion of xenophobia or racism against foreign nationals left 62 dead and several hundred injured. It also caused the voluntary deportation of immigrants to their home countries and the destruction of immigrant-owned property.

Analysts link the anti-foreigner anger to high unemployment, a shortage of good jobs, housing and other basic necessities. But thinking this is “poor-on-poor” violence is not sustained by facts, argued David Cote of South Africa’s Lawyers for Human Rights.  [Well then what is it Mr. Cote??? These “human rights” types can’t bring themselves to say that blacks could possibly harbor xenophobic tendencies toward other blacks something everyone knows is reserved only to whites. —-ed]

There is a deep mistrust of law enforcement to protect local resident and solve crimes,” wrote Khadija Patel in the Daily Maverick newspaper of South Africa.

“Citizens have little faith in formal institutions and are resorting to violence,” said the director of the Cape Town office for the Institute for Security Studies. “It is very possible that some of the victims may well be innocent.”

Corruption and bad management on the part of the ruling government in S.A.!

“Corruption, bad management and an unclear policy has taken its toll… Daily reports of police officers tearing up refugee papers on the street and making cash demands from shop owners during searches of their businesses lend to the perception that there is no protection for foreigners against violence and persecution.

On Friday in Cape Town, a march of about 200 people was held to protest attacks on foreigners.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, more than 250 leaders, community leaders and Muslim religious representatives assembled at the State Capitol to remember Abdi Nasir Mahmoud and condemn his murder and the murders of other Somalis in South Africa. Hassan Mohamud, imam of Da’wah Islamic Center in St. Paul pleaded with the Somali government to secure safety and justice for the Somalis abroad.

Forget the new Somali government, just tell Obama to work his magic on the African National Congress—the black ruling party of S.A.!

Photo:  The photo of the Imam is from this 2008 story about violence in Minneapolis and the murder of Somali youths by other Somalis.

Census Bureau: Whites will be a minority in US by 2043

It’s “baked into the cake!”

From Bloomberg:

The U.S. continued its transformation into a majority-minority nation last year, with Census Bureau data showing non-Hispanic whites making up the lowest percentage of the population in American history.

The estimates released today capture several milestones in the country’s demographic makeup. For the first time in more than a century, deaths outpaced births among white Americans. Almost half, 49.9 percent, of the nation’s children younger than 5 were minorities as of July 1. And the nation’s total minority population grew 21 times faster than whites.


“A natural decrease and eventual loss in the white population is baked into the cake of our older white population,” William H. Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based policy research group, said in an e-mail. “It’s the younger, rapidly growing minority population that will be driving economic and demographic growth this century.”

Minorities younger than 18 are expected to overtake the number of white children by 2019, the Census Bureau said last year. The U.S. is projected to become a majority-minority nation by 2043.

There is more, read it all.

Shall we look to South Africa (the Rainbow Nation) as a model for how things will be?