Maine: Gee, no jobs for educated refugees, what a surprise!

Nor are there jobs for your college graduate kids!

Just now as I turned off the TV, President Obama was being interviewed about how to create more jobs and yesterday the Republicans were announcing their plan to flood the job market with both uneducated and educated immigrants for their big business donor friends, yet here is a story from Maine boo-hooing about no jobs for educated refugees!

University of Southern Maine audience listens to plight of refugees who can’t find work!

From Maine Public Broadcasting Network.  (Hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’)  An Iraqi with a college degree from Iraq took part in panel discussion on jobs hosted by Catholic Charities of Maine among others.  I guess there are no more struggling job-seekers among the Americans in Maine!

Portland resident Sarah Mahdi came to the U.S. with a college degree, but, like many immigrants, has had trouble getting it recognized in the U.S. It’s not an unusual problem. Maine educators and other service providers are now looking for ways to make it easier for educated immigrants to find suitable jobs or further their educational opportunities.


“When I first came to the States I just wanted to study,” said Mahdi, who was among a handful of immigrant students sharing their experiences Wednesday night at a panel discussion in Portland. The panel was organized by the University of Southern Maine’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, and Catholic Charities Maine.

New Mainers Resource Center uses tax dollars to help immigrants prove they actually have a legitimate college degree.

One place immigrants can turn to is the newly-established New Mainers Resource Center, one of the several service providers on hand at Wednesday night’s event to offer advice. The center’s program co-ordinator, Sally Sutton, is talking to George Dakonsa, who arrived here from the Democratic Republic of Congo seeking asylum four months ago.

“I have a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance,” he says. “I’d like it if they can help me to evaluate.”

The center was recently opened by Portland Adult Education with the aim of specifically helping college-educated immigrants in their search for suitable employment or further education. Co-ordinator Sutton says with immigrants like Dakonsa come an opportunity to breathe new economic life into the state.  [Would someone please explain exactly how they are breathing new economic life into the state!—ed]

That bad ‘ol Maine governor is at it again—-how dare he try to balance the state budget!

The New Mainers Resource Center, however, may end up being a short-lived venture. It’s meant to be a two-year pilot project funded at $75,000 a year.

But the program could be eliminated after its first year – just one small part of the nearly $34 million in spending cuts being recommended in a report commissioned by the LePage administration, looking for ways to balance the two-year budget.

Governor LePage needs to continue working on something else!  Maine has become a go-to state for asylum seekers.

Check out this article from The Free Press from earlier this month:

Maine has become known to many central African asylum seekers as a place where they can find community support as well as temporary financial assistance while they have their visas and work permits approved. Often they arrive on tourist or business visas, sometimes with forged documents. While many asylum seekers are well educated and come from financial means, the money doesn’t last long and many end up in homeless shelters while their applications are being processed.

Maine happens to be one of a handful of states that does not require proof of citizenship. All asylum seekers must show is that they are applying for asylum. Unlike official refugees, such as many in the Somali and Sudanese populations who are resettled in Maine by the U.S. State Department [and Catholic Charities—ed], asylum seekers do not qualify for any other state or federal benefits while they are applying for asylum. The whole asylum approval process can take from one to two years and it typically takes at least 150 days for asylum seekers to be eligible to legally work once approved for asylum.

See also, Maine the welfare magnet one of our top posts of all time.

One more thing….so much for the importance of educated refugees!

Reader ‘tomasrose’ sent us this comment to our earlier post about Bhutanese low-skilled laborers and the US State Department (as headhunters) bringing them in for businesses:

I spoke with a refugee from the middle east just last week and he confirmed, of course, refugees are coached in what to say to improve their chances at coming to the U.S.. One of the things he said is they hide any education they might have. If the U.S. thinks you are educated your chances of moving to the U.S. are lower. He cited an M.D. from Baghdad who told refugee officials he was a menial laborer and, presumably, would be happy to work the same jobs in the U.S.. Had he advertised his credentials as a doctor, he would have a better chance at going to one of the Scandinavian countries, but to get the U.S. he had to really dumb his resume down.

Who tried to set fire to Seattle gay night club?

Update February 2:  Police arrest Musab Mohamed Masmari on the way to the airport, here.

That’s what friends of ‘Neighbors’ want to know.  The incident is described here, note how the 700 plus patrons in the club on New Year’s Eve were likely saved by the swift action of a US Army Sargent who described the arson attempt as a “terrorist act.”   Hat tip:  ‘pungentpeppers’

US Army Staff Sgt Christopher Bostick

From NewNowNext:

We reported on the fire that threatened to blaze through Neighbours, a legendary Seattle gay nightclub, on New Year’s Eve. But now two heroes have emerged from the tragedy, and their bravery and skill saved the lives of the 750 people in the club from an arsonist’s murderous plot.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Bostick was in the club shortly after midnight when he noticed the flames.“It was like the Carrie movie,” he told KTVU. “You see just fire everywhere. And that’s all you can see and for a second, that’s all you’re focused on.”

Instinctively, Bostick rushed to grab a fire extinguisher from behind the bar, and then he and Mike Casey, a friend in the Air Force, attacked the flames until the sprinkler system kicked in.

“If that fire did what the arsonist intended, there’s no telling how many people could have died,” said Bostick. “If we hadn’t reacted to it, it would have taken too long for someone to react, and that fire would have become unmanageable in another 30 seconds.’’ Police haven’t arrested any suspects in the blaze, set in a stairwell leading to the second floor, but are searching surveillance tapes for clues.

Bostick, who tracks terrorists for the Army, says the incident has the earmarks of a terrorist act: “This was a planned attack on a large quantity of people in order to affect an entire community—to me, that’s terrorism.” He believes the arsonist walked up the stairs to the second floor with the can, then poured out gasoline as he walked down again.

Why are we writing about this?  Because, although no arrest has yet been made, many are pointing a finger at Musab Mohamed Masmari, described in some news reports as a Libyan from Benghazi.   And, we are mentioning the story because we previously reported on arson as a weapon of choice for Middle Easterners/Africans with grudges to settle.  You know they do bring their ‘cultural practices’ with them!

And, by the way, so far! (if you are wondering) we’ve only taken one or two refugees from Libya, so it is unclear how Masmari came to be living in Seattle or what his immigration status is.

There is one more reason I’m posting this story and that is to use it to tell you about a new facebook page entitled ‘Diversity’s Dark Side’ where news accounts like this one will find a home!  We’ve long complained that there is no central place for US immigrant (legal and illegal alien) crime or cultural clash stories to be posted.  Now there is!   If you are on facebook, click here, and ‘like’ Diversity’s Dark Side! which was created by a loyal reader of RRW.

Obviously, we will continue to post stories here at RRW that involve refugees who commit crimes, but others involving illegal aliens and others with legal immigration status of some sort will be posted at DDS.   If you are not on facebook and have crime/cultural clash stories for Diversity’s Dark Side, please send them to me and I will post them to facebook.

LOL!  We need to provide a little balanced reporting to counter those, who, like parrots, tell us that ‘diversity brings strength’ when promoting open borders and more immigration!

Bhutanese refugees, depressed, accuse UN of separating families

We have written a lot lately about Bhutanese refugees in America with a very high rate of suicide. Here is one story I’ve had kicking around from New Hampshire that I never got around to posting.

But, this was a big surprise to me.  It seems that refugees left behind in camps in Nepal are also depressed and are developing serious mental illnesses.   This is just a reminder to the do-gooders who think bringing refugees to the West and dropping them off in troubled city neighborhoods to work as cheap laborers is always an act of kindness, consider this news:

From (emphasis is mine):

 Though third-country resettlement of Bhutanese refugees has provided relief to many, the initiative has been the cause of pain for some.

Durga Devi Odari, who was once a lively, happy person, has been on medication for the past three years. Odari went into a state of depression when her parents were flown to the USA and her brother to New Zealand. Her dreams of settling abroad, for which she even divorced her husband, were shattered.

She can’t find her parents!

“I am not sure about finding my parents and I do not know if I will ever be able to find my loved ones,” said Durga.

Durga’s case is not an isolated one: many refugees awaiting resettlement are battling with depression. As the number of people in the camps decreases, depression is becoming a serious issue for those remaining.

Though the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation (TPO) has not officially confirmed the numbers of those with depression, mental disorders, and drug dependency inside the camps, the increase in activity of the TPO, which specialises in providing counselling services, has fuelled speculation that the number of those facing depression is increasing.

Refugees claim UN has separated families!

While the UNHCR has made assurances that they would not separate families without parental consent, some refugees claim that the UNHCR’s actions demonstrate otherwise.

The UNHCR has been working with TPO since 2008, two years after the initiation of the resettlement process.

According to Sanchahang Subba, Secretary of the Beldangi Camp, he receives hundreds of letters per day by those seeking the whereabouts of their loved ones.

How did we come to bring 70,000 Bhutanese to America?    

In 2007: Ms Sauerbrey blamed the refugee leaders in the camps in Nepal for the “intimidation”.

We’ve been writing about this subject since 2007 when then Asst. Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey (a Bush appointee) announced the decision to help the UN clean out its camps for Bhutanese/Nepalese in Nepal.  Here is one re-cap.   Keep in mind the UN and our State Department were never in a hurry to clean out the Palestinian “refugee” camps.

Just now I was looking around further on the history of all of this and was reminded that camp leaders were furious when the third country resettlement began and I suspect the woman in our story above, who divorced her husband to try and be resettled with her parents, was probably married to a camp political leader.  The leaders wanted to keep the pressure on Bhutan to take them back until we stepped in and brought tens of thousands of them to the US to work in meatpacking and other menial labor jobs.

Other than our need for cheap labor (and the contractors’ needs for refugee numbers because they are paid by the head!), what was our national interest in getting involved in a dispute involving Nepal and Bhutan?

Here is another writer a year ago on the same topic.

The photo is from this BBC story where Sauerbrey said sending the Bhutanese to western countries (the US took the lion’s share) was all done for “humanitarian” reasons.