Report from North Carolina gives us inside look at refugee resettlement there

Your tax dollars!

North Carolina is one of the country’s leading refugee resettlement states (and one of its leading illegal alien-populated states), here.

Also, in 2010, refugee contractors were criticized and shut-down by the State Department for poor handling of the large refugee load being placed there.  Here is the third of three posts in which we chronicled the problems there.

Today’s post is about Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency a subcontractor of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.  I’m guessing CRRA picked up more of the refugee load in NC after the Lutherans got the boot over in the Triad region of the state.  However, this interview gives us a little idea of how the program is operating there now (after a long introduction to help set the mood for readers).

From WFAE-Charlotte and reporter Briana Duggan (No debate about refugees! Really?):

Reporter Duggan: bipartisan support for refugees

There’s a lot of debate surrounding immigration, but there is one kind of immigration that receives bipartisan support– that of refugees. More than 2,000 refugees resettled in North Carolina last year. We often hear about what refugees have to leave behind – war and persecution – but what is waiting for refugees when they get here?

I don’t know why a radio reporter is interviewing another reporter and not the resettlement agency itself, but here is the exchange I found interesting (emphasis is mine):

Briana Duggan joined Morning Edition Host Marshall Terry to talk more about refugee resettlement.

TERRY: Briana, we just met a family of refugees the moment they arrived. What are the next steps for refugees after they land?

DUGGAN: Well, a resettlement caseworker – like Rebecca in the story – signs them up for social services. So that’s food stamps, whatever cash or medical assistance they’re eligible for, enroll any children in school. [This made me laugh, remember Rand Paul said their job was to bring’em in and sign them up for welfare and took a lot of criticism for saying it, here—ed]

And then, there’s finding a job – with help from refugee resettlement agencies. There are two in Charlotte, and they told me it takes refugees around here about three to four months to find a job.  [“Later, many refugees will find physical work, often at a poultry plant or greenhouse “(Duggan earlier in the article)—those meat packers again!—ed]

TERRY: And you said refugees get welcome money from the federal government.  What does that pay for?

DUGGAN: Yeah, so the welcome money is about a $1,000 per person. And it’s meant to cover the basics while refugees are looking for those jobs. So rent, utilities, deposits, a bit of food.  [The resettlement contractor actually gets $1850 per refugee with CRRA and HIAS taking their cuts—ed]

TERRY: A thousand dollars—for the three to four months it takes to get a job? That couldn’t cover rent alone.

DUGGAN: Right, but you have to remember that most refugees do arrive in families. So, for example- Khup Than Lun who was in my story – she came to the U.S. with a family of five, so that comes out to be $5,000. If they run out of money before they find a job, they’ll get welfare cash assistance. And it’s also important to note that many refugees come to Charlotte because they have family or close friends here. So they may live with their sponsors while they get on their feet.

TERRY: But what about those refugees that come alone?

DUGGAN: That is more complicated. It’s not all that common, but in that case, resettlement agencies have to dip into any donations or extra funds they may have. Agencies will sometimes group together single refugees from the same country to save on rent. But ultimately, it means that those single refugees will need to be quicker on their feet when they arrive to their new country.

Click here for our North Carolina archive.

Connecticut: Another convenience store food stamp fraud bust, new angle

EBT Nation!

Your tax dollars!

The scam being run by Saaid Cherkaoui at his Bridgeport, CT convenience store demonstrates a new twist in the standard immigrant-run fraud scheme.

Cherkaoui (as usual no nationality or immigration status is given, but some with that last name are Moroccan) acquired a large number of of EBT cards, used them at a wholesale store to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise he then resold in his Mom & Pop grocery.

What I don’t get about the story is why the State of Connecticut is fining him and not also turning him into the feds for criminal prosecution.

From NBC Connecticut:

The state of Connecticut is suing a Bridgeport grocery and convenience store owner accused of using hundreds of food stamp accounts to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of energy drinks, candy bars, beef jerky and other products that he sold at his store.

Saaid Cherkaoui, who runs Slim’s Deli Market, is accused of obtaining EBT cards from authorized recipients and using them at BJ’s Wholesale Club, where he bought products at a discount.

State officials said the scheme began as early as March 1, 2011 and continued until Oct. 6, 2012  He’d swipe card after card at the self-checkout to pay for the products, then resell the items at his store, according to the complaint the state filed against Cherkaoui.

Regular readers know that Food Stamp Fraud at immigrant-run convenience stores is a side interest of mine.  Dozens and dozens of posts similar to this one may be found by clicking here.

Australia: First 40 Afghan and Iranian illegal aliens sent to Papua New Guinea

Update August 5th:  Australians living in Hunter upset to hear a new detention center (for 1000) could be built in their town if the PNG strategy fails, here.

Presumably demonstrating  that they mean business, the Rudd government has sent the first batch of “asylum seekers” to PNG.  Apparently, PNG will process them and then decide whether they can stay or not.  It is not clear to me what happens to them if PNG rejects them.

We’ve been reporting on Australia’s new get-tough policy for the last couple of weeks.  Opposition leader Tony Abbott says this is just a stunt to get voters to think something is being done about the invasion of Australia by mostly Muslims from the Middle East.

Here is the latest story, from Trend:

The first asylum-seekers group which included 40 Iranian and Afghan refugees, has been sent to Papua New Guinea from Australia, according to country’s new refugee policy, IRIB News reported.

If the cases of refugees are approved by the local government, they will be allowed to stay in New Guinea.

Australian government has announced on July 19 that illegal migrants which enter Australia by boat will not be tolerated, and will be sent to Papua New Guinea or their homeland, the report said.

By the way, Iran won’t take back any that are ordered deported, surely because this is about ‘seeding’ the West with Islamists!

Lovely prospective citizens—the inmates burned down the detention facility:

According to the reports, hundreds of asylum seekers including Palestinian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Iranian and Sudanese in Nauru Island refugee camp, who protested against slow process of refugee determination and hardening of asylum laws, were attacked by police On July 20.

Some 125 asylum seekers were in police custody on Nauru after the riot ended with fire destroying most of an Australian-run detention center there.

So, do you think the average Australian citizen has had enough—Yup!

For all of our recent coverage of the on-going political controversy about boat people arriving on Australian shores, see our Australia category, here.