Longtime readers know that the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is required by lawto produce an annual report to Congress about the status of the Refugee Resettlement Program within three months of the close of the previous fiscal year. ORR is chronically late—over two years in this case. The report should have been made available to Congress by January 31, 2011.
The last we checked for an annual report was back in March. I’m not sure exactly when the 2010 was submitted to Congress because they don’t put dates on them. Dates disappeared back in the Clinton Administration, here. Prior to the reign of Lavinia Limon as director of ORR, the reports were done on time.
These annual reports are a treasure-trove of information on the entire program. Although bear in mind when you look at stats on welfare use by refugees etc., remember that they haven’t a completely accurate way of getting that data because they hire someone to call refugees and ask them what social services they receive and one has to wonder if they get completely truthful answers in the small sampling they do.
More in our on-going reporting on food stamp fraud…..
Fox News reported yesterday that Congress will consider measures to attempt to get the fraud out of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that has grown enormously in recent years—both the program and the fraud!
Our interest is in the food stamp trafficking that we see almost daily in news reports from around the country. Today we have another Mohammed and a Tofeek. You might look at trafficking as a kind of redistribution of wealth—instead of buying food with the EBT card a patron is given cash usually at 50 cents on the dollar and the store owner turns the full dollar into the government for repayment by you—the taxpayer!
As House and Senate negotiators meet Wednesday for the first joint talks on a bill that includes sharp cuts to food-stamp funding, an open question is whether lawmakers will get serious about targeting fraud in the massive program.
A recent inspector general audit suggests a full-blown crackdown on fraud could save $222 million a year.
The projected potential savings from fraud-cutting is detailed in the inspector general report, which found $3.7 million in questionable monthly payouts across 10 states.
Much of the fraud involves the owners and/or employees of smaller, so-called convenience stores exchanging or trafficking SNAP benefits for cash, cigarettes, drugs and guns.
They try to make it look like the fraud is tiny compared to the whole program, but I think if card-holders can no longer redeem their food allowance for cash, it will slow the growth of the entire program. It is illegal to ‘sell’ one’s card so clamping down on the sellers with legal action might cool the enthusiasm for the program!
Fraud busts continue—Mohammad in Lexington, KY and Tafeek in Lackawanna, NY. Are these some of the highly touted immigrant entrepreneurs the Open Borders gang is always trotting out?
Lexington Police say they have begun to break up an elaborate welfare fraud ring operating out of gas stations in two counties.
It’s a program designed to help those who have trouble making ends meet, but it’s often abused. And for the past year, Lexington Police have been on to two brothers who spell their last names differently, but are up to the same tricks, detectives say.
But police say, the Ryyal brothers have been sweetening the deal. Here’s how it works: say a person’s EBT card has a monthly food allowance of $300. Police say Mohammad Ryyal would ring up just a few items, tell the cash register the total was $300, and kick back $150 cash to the person wishing to sell it.
Maybe the seller is using the cash to buy drugs or liquor, or maybe something less sinister like paying rent. But police say regardless, it’s illegal.
And the Ryyal brothers were profiting nicely, pocketing some of the money and using the rest to stock inventory in Thayer Ryyal‘s BP store on Four Mile Road in Richmond.
Tofeek ringing up food stamp benefits at a clothing store in Lackawanna, NY. From7thspace.com:
BUFFALO, NY—United States Attorney William J Hochul, Jr announced today that Tofeek Albanna, 37, of Lackawanna, New York, who was convicted of food stamp fraud, was sentenced to 15 months in prison by United States District Court Judge Richard J Arcara. The defendant was also ordered to pay $73,400 in restitution to the United States Department of Agriculture, which administers the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as the Food Stamp Program. Assistant United States Attorneys Robert C Moscati and John E Rogowski, who handled the prosecution of this case, stated that Albanna owned and operated LA Fashions on Holland Avenue in Lackawanna. Albanna primarily stocked clothing items, along with a few food items in the store.
The SNAP program requires that those receiving benefits purchase certain approved food items. Despite selling mostly clothing items, between February 2009 and April 2010, the defendant redeemed more than $100,000 in SNAP benefits.
In Tofeek Albanna’s case, ICE was called in, so there must be an immigration angle but as usual the convicted man’s immigration status is not mentioned. Nor is there any mention of deporting these crooks. And, did you ever wonder how he will repay $73,400 running a legitimate store when he gets out?
By the way, if you think I’m cherry-picking fraud cases with Middle Eastern names, I’m not. It is a rare day that I see a case where the perp is a Smith, Jones or Baker……
We’ve written on many previous occasions about Tyson Foods meatpacking town of Garden City, KS (here is our archive).
One of my all time favorites is this post about Somalis in Garden City asking for a separate cemetery for their people (so even in death they needn’t assimilate). And, this postfrom January 2011 was pretty good too—Somali clans squabble in Garden City.
This recent story caught my eye, but at first I figured it was going to be one of those stories about how everything is copacetic after the initial stresses and strains in a town whose population has doubled mostly due to a meatpacking company’s need for cheap immigrant laborers (whose lives, by the way, are subsidized by the taxpayer as you will read below).
From KBIA.org (skipping many paragraphs into the blah, blah, blah). The emphasis is mine:
Despite all the services the local social network provides, there are problems endemic to any place with lots of workers who make low wages. The starting pay at the Tyson plant in nearby Holcomb, Kan., is $13.50 an hour – better than a job at say, Walmart, for $7 an hour. But if a parent with three children takes home roughly $25,000 annually, that’s still below the federal poverty line for a family of five.
The Tyson plant employs 3,400 people, with the top wage $20 an hour for maintenance workers, said Gary Mickelson, a Tyson spokesman. Help wanted ads in the local paper promise medical, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation and holidays and a 401(k) plan.
A majority of “team members,” as Tyson calls them, are Hispanic, followed by Asian and blacks, Mickelson said.
In a press release from August, proclaiming “chicken surges to record earnings and beef rebounds,” Tyson reported record sales of $8.7 billion for the third quarter of this year.
When asked if Tyson provides assistance to the community, Mickelson responded via email that the company and its employees pledged $220,000 to the Finney County United Way last year.
Feeding the hungry here often falls to the Garden City Unified School District 457, where three-quarters of the students get free or reduced-price lunch. The district provides two meals a day and sends supplies home in backpacks for use on the weekend, with help provided by the Kansas Food Bank, said Janie Perkins, the district’s coordinator of supplemental services.
Assistance is also needed away from school, as requests for food stamps in Finney County are up 230 percent in the last five years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The school district, designated as “minority majority” status because 76.8 percent of the students are minorities, have kids who are Hispanic, Burmese, Somali, Ethiopian or are from another ten countries.Documents are printed in several languages and signs at the district offices are printed in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Newcomer classes operate in the elementary, middle and high schools, which separate the children from the rest of their school temporarily so they can assimilate into their new lives. Since most of the Somali and Burmese children were born in refugee camps, they’ve never seen basic plumbing, let alone a pencil, Perkins said. Parents often come to school and express confusion at items in their new life, like a washer and dryer, she said.
In teacher Kay Thompson’s newcomer class at Florence Wilson Elementary School, 14 kids speak four languages – Spanish, Somali, Burmese and Vietnamese. Thompson said she starts each year with the basic school terms.
“Simple directions that they will need in a classroom: How to put away a book. What is the pencil? What is the notebook?” she said. “I’ll say, ‘go to the door.’ They don’t know what the door is.”
A housing challenge (indeed!)
The city, which first experienced a large refugee population when the Vietnamese moved here in the early 1980s to work in the plants, is now seeing a surge of Burmese refugees.
Velia Mendoza, coordinator of the Garden City Community Refugee Program, had about 150 Burmese clients when she started there in 2009. Now, she helps approximately 400 refugees with cash, food, medical, language skills and job assistance.
Still, one of the services in short supply is housing, thanks to the attraction of the city’s plentiful jobs. Thome said it is her top challenge, and she keeps a running tab on the many mobile home parks and run-down motels on the outskirts of the city, some near the dusty cattle feedlots that supply animals to Tyson.
The school district identified 341 homeless students last year – more than 4 percent of the student body and up from 43 in 2007.Those kids often land with a family member, where two families can be bunched up together in an apartment. Thome has delivered used mattresses that are pushed up against the walls for space during daytime hours.
Seeing so many people sleeping in riverbeds and roadside shelters, struggling for housing and food in a new country, galvanized the local ministerial alliance, she said.
The article makes it abundantly clear that Tyson Foods does little to help solve the problems its need for cheap LEGAL immigrant labor has created. Readers have reported to me that there was a time when meatpackers actually paid a decent wage that did attract American workers, but apparently this business model works better for them—cheaper wages for captive labor (refugees cannot easily go home) and the workers are subsidized by you for their other needs.
Remember back in June, Senator Jeff Sessions called out the meatpacking industry as one of the lobbying groups pushing S.744—the Gang of Eight bill that passed the Senate—which of course will bring them an ever increasing supply of labor.
Read about the creation of the city’s new logo, here. After reading the above you almost have to wonder if it’s a joke (the logo that is!).
Here is the news from Oman Daily Observertoday. Those identified in at least a half a dozen boats are Africans and Middle Easterners:
Rome — Italy and Malta were facing a new influx of migrant arrivals yesterday, as over 400 people were rescued from the Strait of Sicily and more boats carrying would-be refugees were spotted in the Mediterranean Sea.
Last week European Union leaders pledged “determined action” to prevent more migrant deaths at sea, after two sinkings off Italy and Malta in early October left more than 400 dead.
Two days ago Fjordman (if you don’t follow him you should) has an essay postedat Gates of Vienna (if you don’t follow them you should) about the invasion of Europe entitled: “The Camp of the Saints and the Golden Dawn.” If you have not read “The Camp of the Saints”you should! I continue to be amazed that author, Jean Raspail, saw this all coming 40 years ago! Fjordman begins with this (emphasis is mine):
The Camp of the Saints is a dystopian novel written by the French author Jean Raspail. Although it was first published as long ago as 1973, the author is still alive today. Now 88 years old, his brain remains remarkably sharp for a man his age.
Raspail has published many books, but the one for which he will be chiefly remembered is ironically his most atypical one. Over forty years ago, The Camp of the Saints predicted a Third World mass invasion of Europe, causing the downfall of Western civilization. This process was compressed in time so that what might take fifty years in real life took fifty days in the book. Also, the main bulk of illegal immigrants in the novel came from India. Today, while immigration to Europe comes from every corner of the planet, much of it comes from the Islamic world and Africa.
Apart from that, the novel was remarkably prescient in describing the dysfunctional mindset of the modern Western world. We have become so wedded to unsustainable humanitarian ideals that we are mentally incapable of defending our own continued national existence. When faced with millions of people coming from the global South, we simply raise a white flag and say that they are welcome to colonize our countries.
Or at least, that’s what our leaders and mass media do. Some of the natives are finally and belatedly starting to get restless about their state-approved ethnic displacement. Is this European awakening coming too late, or does it happen at the very last moment? Only time will tell. Jean Raspail was pessimistic on behalf of his native France in a new interview with himmade in 2013.
Now be sure to go to the recent interview the 88-year-old Raspail gave to French magazine Valeurs Actuelles, posted at ‘Islam versus Europe.’ He has much to say about what the Left and multiculturalism have done to France and Western Civilization generally. Here (below) are just a couple of bits that hit home with me.
Regular readers know we write often about South Africa (the Rainbow Nation!)* as the prime example of a country set up with the idea that Socialism (with something for everyone who wants to come to the country) is somehow the model for the world, but is failing miserably!
All peoples are fascinating but when you mix them too much, it is much more animosity that develops than sympathy. Métissage is never peaceful. It is a dangerous utopia. Look at South Africa!
I don’t believe for an instant that the supporters of immigration are more charitable than me: there probably isn’t a single one of them who intends to welcome one of these unfortunates into his home… all of that’s just an emotional pretence, an irresponsible maelstrom that will engulf us.
Longtime readers know we follow food stamp fraud busts as a side interest here at RRW—specifically busts involving convenience stores run by immigrants (which is most of them!).
Here is an indictment from last week in Illinois, but surprisingly this US Attorney’s Office press release is devoid of one of the major items we normally see—-by how much did this threesome (apparently Middle Easterners) rip-off the US taxpayer? And, of course virtually never mentioned is the immigration status of the accused.
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today that Alaa K. Jaber (a/k/a “Ace”), 27, of Hazelwood, Missouri, Rami M. Abou Amra (a/k/a “Lucky”), 35, of Troy, Illinois, and Albraa K. Sabrah (a/k/a “Roy”), 25, of Bridgeton Missouri, were each indicted by the federal grand jury on charges that they stole Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or “SNAP” (f/k/a Food Stamp) benefits while working at quick shop stores in East St. Louis, Illinois.
The three indictments allege that during varying times from 2010 through 2012, the defendants illegally paid customers cash in exchange for SNAP benefits. Jaber was charged in five counts; Abou Amra and Sabrah were each charged in three counts. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and up to 3 years of supervised release.
Hurray for the Sioux Falls, SD Argus Leader which has sued the US Dept. of Agriculture for failing to release certain data under the Freedom of Information Act involving how much taxpayer money is going to what stores.
By the way, one of the ways the feds investigate allegations of food stamp fraud is to note a record over several years of how much a store redeems in food stamps. For example, maybe a store a few years ago redeemed a couple of thousand in a month then all of a sudden the same store jumps to $100,000 a month (I’ve made up these figures, but you get the idea).
ST. PAUL — A three-judge panel will decide whether the payments businesses receive for participating in the federal food stamp program should remain secret.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday heard a case brought by the Argus Leader against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The Argus Leader sued the department in 2011 after it refused a Freedom of Information Act request to supply the yearly amounts that taxpayers have paid grocers, gas stations and other businesses each year that participate in SNAP.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Bengford, who represented USDA, argued that Congress specifically exempted the release of SNAP payments to businesses when it authorized the 2008 Farm Bill. A provision in the law requires the department to keep confidential income and sales tax information that it collects from businesses when they apply to participate in SNAP.
But Argus Leader lawyer Jon Arneson said the information collected from businesses when they apply does not include the tax-supported payments they ultimately receive through SNAP. Arneson added that USDA wouldn’t ask retailers to provide information on applications that USDA already possesses.
The number of businesses qualified to accept food stamps has increased dramaticallyin what is now an $80 billion a year program. There were more than 246,000 businesses in SNAP at the end of last year, an increase of almost 100,000 since 2005, according to USDA.
The lawsuit comes amid growing concern that smaller grocers and convenience stores are responsible for the majority of food stamp fraud. A report released in August by USDA estimated that $858 million annually between 2009 and 2011 was lost through fraud. The report noted that smaller grocers and convenience stores accounted for 15 percent of all food stamp transactions but 85 percent of fraud cases.
Now what I want to know is what are the names and the immigration status of those who have been found guilty of food stamp fraud—but I won’t hold my breath!
Go herefor our extensive archive on food stamp fraud.