Rhode Island: rare mention of food stamp fraudster’s immigration status

Until I read to the bottom of this story at NBC I hadn’t planned to mention this immigrant-run convenience store food stamp fraud sentencing.  I’ll bet we have at least 50 stories on food stamp fraud here at RRW (a side interest), and it’s a rare news account that mentions immigration status of the perps.  This one does! Or, at least questions it! (No Mohammad’s here however!).

Cristina Ramirez’s market in Providence. Next time you see the owner of a store like this with a nice car and home, consider how they might have been obtained!

From NBC10 (emphasis mine):

A woman who pleaded guilty to bilking the federal government out of nearly $400,000 through food stamp fraud has been sentenced to prison.

Defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP, commonly known as the food stamp program — is a national problem. The government estimates that one out of every 20 food stamp transaction is fraudulent.

U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Peter Neronha said Cristina Ramirez will spend one year and one day in a federal prison, along with three years of supervised release. The first eight months of the supervised release requires Ramirez to be electronically monitored in home confinement.

She was also ordered to pay $399,000 in restitution.  [Good luck getting that money—ed]

Ramirez was the owner of Cristina’s market on Smith Street in Providence. She was one of 10 defendants in a sweeping crackdown on food stamp fraud that came to a conclusion last September.

Ramirez’s business allowed for dozens of food stamp recipients to defraud the federal food stamp program.

She was a clever crook, be sure to read the whole story.

In the case of Ramirez, she caused the government, over a three-year period, to deposit more than $1 million in her business account for food stamp reimbursement.

She made illegal withdrawals of nearly $400,000.


The prosecutor said Ramirez committed the crime to enhance her lifestyle, buying a home and new car.

Illegal aliens worked in the store.  And get this!

Two of Ramirez’s employees at her store were undocumented immigrants.


Ramirez has also been ordered to cooperate with immigration officials to help determine her status.

I don’t know what it will take to get a real investigative reporter to look into the connection between immigrant-run convenience stores and food stamp fraud.   I have alerts set for food stamp fraud and it’s rare to see a typical American name associated with this type of fraud.

If you suspect food stamp fraud in your neighborhood, go here for information on how to report it.  Most of these cases are uncovered when a citizen sees something and says something!

African migrant protests continue in Israel

Netanyahu: They can either go to the new facility or go back to their home countries.

We reported on one of the protests here on Saturday.

Now The Times of Israel tells us that protests have continued.  There were many arrests.  The protestors don’t like the new law in Israel that requires that the migrants be detained in a facility each night until their asylum claims are processed, but are free to go wander around and protest during the day.  Emphasis below is mine.

Hundreds of African migrants, mostly Sudanese and Eritreans, and human rights activists marched in Tel Aviv on Saturday night shouting “freedom” and “no more prison,” in protest of the implementation of the Israeli government’s policy to detain illegal migrants.

The protesters demanded they not be sent to detention facilities in the Negev and that they be granted full refugee status.

According to some reports, the number of demonstrators reached over 1,500.


The demonstration came days after migrants staged marches, on two separate occasions, in protest of their detention at the newly established Holot facility in the south.

On Thursday, close to 130 migrants protested the arrests of their fellows, who were apprehended by police during a gathering in front of the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday.


Since last Thursday, 480 African migrants, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, were transferred to Holot, which is located in the Negev desert and can hold as many as 3,000.

On Sunday, 250 migrants fled Holot for a sit-in in Jerusalem to demonstrate against rules keeping them in the detention center. Hundreds of migrants were arrested during the sit-in.

I’ll wager that all this protesting is not winning over the average Israeli.

The fact that the migrants are not happy with the new facility with small dining areas and recreation areas, a bed, food, freedom in the daytime, etc. says to me that they aren’t that destitute and are being egged-on by Leftists—members of the ‘human rights industrial complex’—which are eager to break down borders the world over.  Breaking down Israel’s borders would be a real feather in their caps.

The facility has an open-door policy in which residents are permitted to leave the site during the day but are required to return three times for a roll call. The Holot gates are locked between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. every night, during which time all residents must be behind its fences. Around a dozen migrants were to be housed in every dorm room, and each wing, with a capacity of 140 residents, has its own dining room and recreation areas.

Here is Prime Minister Netanyahu, as always, cutting to core of the issue:

“The infiltrators who were transferred to a special facility can stay there, or return to their home countries,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Tuesday.

See our special category, Israel and Refugees, for more.

Burmese refugee: All I want for Christmas is my HIV/AIDS drugs

My alerts are filled with news of charitable groups giving Christmas parties and other gift-giving events for the ‘holiday’ season.  I’m fully convinced that we have no more poor Americans remaining.  When I grew up it was all about Appalachia.  But, I guess those folks have moved on up.  Or, as fans of Nascar and Duck Dynasty, they aren’t so attractive to the do-gooder crowd.

This article from Tulsa, Oklahoma says the 5,000 Burmese who have arrived there since 2007 are living “on the fringe” which makes me wonder how we keep hearing that 80% (or more) of refugees have become self-sufficient within their first year in America.

Here is the news from Austin, Texas about the needy Aung Min family.  Hat tip: Joanne.

They want a another baby and they need to keep Dad free of HIV/AIDS long enough to conceive one!

Uka has to stay HIV-negative long enough to conceive a sibling for Okee. Nice shoes!
Photo:Ralph Barrera The Statesman

Uka Aung Min spent two days resting on the floorboards of a car, trying to be invisible. He would take little sips of water and eat only a little bit after dark. As a student protester, he was no longer safe in Burma.

The car took him from Burma, also known as Myanmar, to Thailand and then Malaysia, where he would spend 11 years in a refugee camp. There, he met his wife, Naw.

Now this makes no sense.  Because he was HIV-positive he was allowed to come to the US, but the pregnant wife was left behind?  And, if refugees are becoming self-sufficient, how on earth did he wander homeless from Alaska*** to Texas.   Was no one, no contractor, monitoring his care and his meds?  Wasn’t the whole reason he was given a ticket to America was to get his HIV drugs?  Does no curious reporter wonder how this is possible?

After Naw became pregnant with daughter Okee, Uka Aung Min, 32, learned he was HIV-positive. With no medicine available to him in the refugee camp, he was allowed to become a refugee to the United States.

First he settled in Alaska, and then he came to Austin. At times he was homeless, but eventually he was able to move his family here and meet Okee, who is now 2, for the first time.

Goodies are flowing in, but they need money for HIV/AIDS medicine! (For rent, utilities, internet etc. as well!)  Didn’t we learn that the whole reason Uka Aung Min got into the US was so he would be treated for AIDS?

Since being featured in the Statesman (Season for caring) program, the Aung Mins have received a couch and love seat, beds from Factory Mattress, dental care from Aloha Dental, an iPad and bookshelves.

They still have a lot of needs: rent and utilities assistance; a car; day care for Okee to enable Naw, 36, to attend English language classes in January; Internet service; dressers; dining room furniture; and a toy box. They also would love help paying for medicines to keep Naw HIV-negative while conceiving a brother or sister for Okee. Gift cards for clothing, groceries and gas would be appreciated. Okee loves to draw, and they would like to give her crayons and paper.  [Crayons and paper have got to be cheaper than those high-heeled shoes for a two-year-old!—ed]

So where was Catholic Social Services of Alaska when it came to monitoring Uka?

***I wondered who might be responsible for letting Uka Aung Min wander America and become homeless without AIDS drugs and it sure looks like it was Catholic Social Services of Alaska.  LOL!  They claim to have a self-sufficiency rate of 79%.  Was Uka’s AIDS so bad he couldn’t work? Is he working now?

The resettlement contractors will be quick to tell you that this is America and people are allowed to move without checking in with anyone, however, this story just reminds us that there are refugees with communicable diseases (like HIV/AIDS and TB) who are moving around with no one monitoring whether they are staying on their meds!

For more on refugee health issues, check out our category here with its 186 previous posts on the problems!