House Judiciary Chairman makes it clear he has no interest in reviewing refugee program

As we reported here yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing this past week on asylum fraud, but in his opening remarks, Chairman Bob Goodlatte signals that he is pretty happy with the Refugee program we have now.

Rep Bob Goodlatte (R-VA): “robust” refugee program to continue!

Earlier this year I made some trips to Capitol Hill to discuss with staffers the problems (as well as cost) with the program and to emphasize the need for oversight hearings and was met with a wall of resistance.  Bottomline is that even if asylum fraud is open to investigation, no one on the Hill wants to get near the Refugee program with a ten foot pole.

Clearly fearing that they will be called mean “racists” and “xenophobes” for even suggesting there could be problems with the structure of the 1980 law that basically turned refugee resettlement over to unaccountable contractors, no oversight is planned (even though there were staffers who were very aware of the failings).

In fact, S.744, the Senate’s “comprehensive immigration reform” bill will expand the program and the funding for the contractors.

Here are the opening remarks by Chairman Goodlatte (I’m told he was a former immigration lawyer):

Chairman Goodlatte:  The United States of America is extremely hospitable to immigrants, asylees, and refugees.  Our nation’s record of generosity and compassion to people in need of protection from war, anarchy, natural disaster, and persecution is exemplary and easily the best in the world.

We have maintained a robust refugee resettlement system, taking in more United Nations designated refugees* than all other countries combined. We grant asylum to tens of thousands of asylum seekers each year. We expect to continue this track record in protecting those who arrive here in order to escape persecution.

As far as I know, the Refugee Act of 1980 has never been reviewed by any oversight committee of Congress.  Such a review is long overdue!

*See my previous post about the UN picking which refugees we take.

UNHCR to increase number of refugees they send out of Ethiopia to the West

Especially the “vulnerable” women who have suffered female genital mutilation.

Countries of origin for the refugees are Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, and you-guessed-it Somalia.  Some from Kenya too.  What is up with that, Kenya is a safe country, right?

They will be going to Norway, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and the US.

From the Sudan Tribune:

December 13, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – The United Nations*** refugee agency said on Friday that it is planning to resettle over 3,800 refugees in Ethiopia to a third country.

This follows record submissions for resettlement at the Tongo, Barahle and Bokolmanyo refugee camps, where resettlement has not not been previously conducted.

“Notable this year was the first emergency resettlement to Sweden of a child-at-risk from Dollo Ado, as well as submissions of several highly vulnerable women and girls out of Barahle and Sherkole camps, including victims of female genital mutilation and other forms of sexual and gender based violence”, said Julia Zajkowski, the resettlement officer at UNHCR’s Ethiopia office.

The plan to resettle 3,800 refugees exceeds the UN refugee agency’s 2013 resettlement target by over 20%.


The third-country resettlement operation for refugees in Ethiopia particularly for Eritreans was begun by the Ethiopian government in 2006 in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR.


According to UNHCR report, Ethiopia received over 5,000 new refugees over the last two months, bringing the total number of refugees in the Horn of Africa nation to over 427,000.

The new arrivals came from Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.

Currently there are 240,000 Somalis, 81,000 Eritreans and 70,000 South Sudanese in Ethiopia. The remaining over 36,000 are from Kenya, Sudan and other east African countries.

***Just a reminder it is the UN High Commissioner for Refugees choosing who comes to the West.