Congress throws more money at Refugee Resettlement program

Your tax dollars!

Sure enough, the whining has paid off for the resettlement contractors, Congress is going to send more of your money their way! The excuse this time is that the poor contractors now have 26,000 illegal alien kids to care for—the unaccompanied minors we have been hearing about.

Make no mistake, this is not money going to the “refugees” this is money to keep the small and large contractor fiefdoms going—for staff, for offices, for travel, for lobbying even! There is one bright spot in this article—a Duke University professor, who works with refugees, is calling these numbers into question!

From the Duke Chronicle.  Hat tip: Joanne:

Duke professor Suzanne Shanahan: “…the math is extremely wrong.”

Despite budget increases, experts fear for the future of refugee services.

Congress has largely increased funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement to $1.489 billion from last year’s $1.12 billion, said Jen Smyers, associate director for immigration and refugee policy at Church World Service—a group that works with refugees in Durham and across the country. ORR estimated it would need $1.6 billion to serve all the populations in its care this year—a half billion increase from last year’s budget—and is looking for ways to meet the more than $100 million shortfall, Smyers added.

“We never thought [the funding] was going to get cut from last year’s level,” Smyers said. “Our fear was that they would not get anywhere near [ORR’s] needs. Due to some really great advocacy and last minute phone calls, we were able to get the number to $1.489 billion, which is a substantial increase, but there still is a gap between that number and the number ORR projected.”

Projected costs for this fiscal year increased by nearly half a billion dollars to cover an estimated 26,000 unaccompanied alien children coming to the United States from Mexico and Central America this year, Smyers said. This is an increase of approximately 10,000 unaccompanied children from the number of children in the 2012 fiscal year.

Suzanne Shanahan speaks up!

Suzanne Shanahan, associate director of ethics at the Kenan Institute and associate research professor in sociology, was critical of the calculations used to reach the increase in ORR’s budget requirements. She said that taking care of 10,000 extra children should not require a 30 percent increase in funds.

“The U.S. resettles 60,000 refugees a year, and the 60,000 refugees cost $1.12 billion [last year],” Shanahan said. “To say that a half billion dollars is what it takes to increase that by 10,000, the math is extremely wrong.”

With regard to the $100 million shortfall, Shanahan said this is only between a 6 and 7 percent total shortfall, which is not “extraordinary.”

“Even if refugees had to bear the entire cost of this, it’s not clear that [the burden] would be that dramatic,” Shanahan said.

It is unclear how the shortfall will affect refugees. Smyers said Congress appropriates an agency to their funds, and the agency decides how those funds are used. Currently, the ORR provides refugees with eight months of assistance. If, however, the shortfall cannot be remedied, the ORR may reduce the duration of assistance they are able to provide. ORR will likely prioritize unaccompanied children over longer-term refugee assistance.

The article goes on to discuss how surprising it is that refugee allocations should be increased in light of the fact that refugees have little clout in Congress.  Refugees may not, but you can be absolutely sure the contractors, including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, have a huge amount of clout on The Hill!  Not to mention the hard Left open-borders lobby (which overlaps with the contractors).

By the way, the USCCB and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services have federal contracts to take care of the illegal alien kids (dreamers or schemers?).

See my previous post—if we can’t afford them why bring so many refugees?

Professor: War on poverty should include refugees

But, but, but….we are told that refugees are self-sufficient very quickly—that they are not costing federal, state and local taxpayers much! In fact, we are told repeatedly that they are actually adding to the local economy!

Although it’s an overt pitch for more taxpayer dollars for refugee resettlement, there are a couple of points worth making about this opinion piece by Dr. Jill Koyama at The Huffington Post.

Dr. Jill Koyama: “…refugees funneled into pipelines of poverty.”

First, for long time readers, you know that the Resettlement contractors are always bragging about how quickly refugees become self-sufficient and get off welfare.  You know it can’t be true or why would this author and others suggest refugee programs need more money from the US taxpayer.  The contractors can’t have it both ways!  Either refugees are in poverty or they are quickly self-sufficient.  Which is it?

If they need more money from the taxpayer to survive, then we are led to two obvious questions:  WHY ARE WE IMPORTING POVERTY?  And, if we can’t afford them, why not lower the numbers being admitted to the US each year?

Dr. Koyama, in her op-ed, is pushing for more English language training and says of the system now:  “…refugees are funneled into pipelines of poverty, with little hope of upward mobility.”

Here she makes a point we often make on these pages—a driving force behind refugee resettlement, for all its talk of helping the world’s downtrodden, is driven to a large degree by employers wanting cheap reliable laborers.  Once the first refugees move upward, employers need to import more at the lower rungs.

My two-year anthropological study, ending last March, of the educational and employment networks of 100 refugees in upstate New York confirms that a lack of English proficiency pigeon-holes refugees into low-wage service and shift work with limited possibilities of promotion. In fact, one fourth of the 12 employers interviewed preferred to hire refugees with “just enough” English skills who were, as one employer stated, “less likely to leave when they landed better paying jobs with more English.” According to the director of a refugee resettlement agency in the area, the focus on getting a job quickly leads many refugees to accept positions below their abilities, especially because refusing any job can jeopardize the receipt of benefits used to support their families, especially their children. This has multi-generational effects on educational outcomes and livelihoods for refugee children and children born in the U.S. to refugees.

A reminder to readers, the Refugee Act of 1980 also foresaw a public-private partnership where the contractors were supposed to use some of their own resources and not use the federal taxpayer as a piggy bank.  I am fully convinced that contractors could, if they worked at it, find enough people willing to do charitable work to teach refugees English without further dipping into the US Treasury.

UK: Politicians may be moving toward accepting Syrian refugees, but British public still says NO

Syrian asylum seekers block the port of Calais, demand entry into the UK.

A new poll shows that most Brits want to either “keep the door firmly shut” against Syrian “asylum seekers,” or don’t know, as British politicians are warming to the idea under withering pressure from the humanitarian industrial complex.

From the Mirror:

YouGov asked:

“Some European countries are agreeing to each admit a few hundred of the people in the Syrian refugee camps. Do you think the United Kingdom should or should not also agree to admit a few hundred refugees from Syria to settle here?”

The answer? The British public are a lot less keen than some of our political leaders.

Just 39% of us think we’ve got room for a few hundred displaced Syrians. 47% think we should refuse to admit them, and 14% don’t know. Supporters of Ukip were more inclined to say no – 71% did – and over half of the Tory voters polled also said we should keep the door firmly shut.

Those demonstrators at Calais, France last fall sure didn’t help the cause of Syrian “refugees.”

Someone should do a poll in America!  Should the US take thousands of Syrians this year?  I think the results would be very similar to those found in the UK.

Mental illness: new ticket to America?

Searching around the world wide web one can find much being done in Tanzania and Africa generally in the mental health field.

An appeals court in Richmond, Virginia has granted asylum to a man who says his treatment for mental health problems in Tanzania amounted to persecution.   The general understanding of what constitutes a legitimate claim for asylum usually contains these elements:

The refugee/asylum seeker must demonstrate a “well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”

No doubt the applicant in this case was fearful, but his complaint does not fit the definition.  There is, however, an ambitious movement afoot by immigration lawyers to expand the definition beyond its original intent.  One could conclude from this case that anyone treated badly for myriad reasons in their home country was eligible for asylum if they could get themselves into the US in order to apply.

One thing that struck me in this news is that the man was denied in lower courts and the Court of Appeals split, so one of the judges wasn’t buying the story and there must be much more to this case then we are being told.

From UPI.  (Hat tip: Pungentpeppers)

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 22 (UPI) — A federal appellate court panel has ruled a bipolar man who said he was repeatedly tortured in Tanzania should qualify for asylum in the United States.

The Homeland Security Department tried to deport Tumaini Temu back to Tanzania in 2010, four years after his temporary visa expired.  [For what reason did we originally grant him a temporary visa to get into the US?—ed]

Temu applied for asylum and claimed he was persecuted in his home country due to his mental illness, which is considered demon possession in Tanzania, Courthouse News Service reported.

An immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals denied his application, but a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., reversed the decision on a split vote.


Temu came to the United States after his family rejected him, and he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Get ready for a parade of crazy asylum-seeking Tanzanians in need of meds through Obamacare!  And, just a reminder, once granted asylum these new “refugees” are given access to all of the social services (welfare programs) available to refugees.

Endnote:  I just now searched around for more on the treatment of mental health problems in Tanzania and in Africa generally and note that there is much happening there, and throughout Africa, to help those with mental illnesses.  We don’t need to be moving them to America!

See our Health issues category (here) for more on refugee mental health problems.