Utica NY: Latest concern is refugees driving drunk

In 2005, the UN was promoting Utica as the “Town that Loves Refugees.”

Utica police and judges say the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees needs to develop a program to stem a growing problem of refugees driving under the influence.

Check out the information at the Resource Center’s website, here.  It was established by the Lutheran contractor, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

The largest number of refugees resettled there come from Bosnia and the refugee population is now 12% of the city.  In another report I saw that the refugee population is 1/4th of the “welcoming” city’s population, but that seems like a stretch to me.

Here is a list of the 31 countries represented by refugees in Utica.

From the Utica Observer-Dispatch (Hat tip:  ‘pungentpeppers’)  Emphasis is mine:

First, it was car seats.

Then, it was driving lessons.

The next expansion of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugee’s driving education program? Teaching non-native populations the dangers of driving under the influence.

“Driving while intoxicated is a foreign concept to them,” said Alban Uryniak, traffic and safety instructor for the center and former Utica Police Department sergeant.

Jean Skahan, training manager for the driving safety programs at the center, said in an email that drunk and distracted driving “is a growing problem among certain refugee groups.”

She said that Utica police and judges have requested the refugee center concentrate on this issue this year.

Most times when a refugee is involved in an arrest, Utica police Lt. Steve Hauck said alcohol is involved, though it is not always in a car.

“Sometimes, it’s driving; sometimes it’s domestic,” he said.

In an effort to combat the problem, the refugee center is pairing with the Oneida County STOP DWI Program to eventually offer workshops that would teach interpreters ways to communicate with the various refugee and immigrant populations about the subject, how to prevent it and explaining what might happen if they’re involved in an accident.

Language barriers are not the only things that could get in the way of the refugee communities that will participate in the workshops. Driving culture is just as varied as the languages people speak, Uryniak said.  [But, that diversity gives us strength—right!—ed]

We have several previous posts on Utica, here.  And, here, is one about a big food stamp fraud bust there.

Arizona: Iraqi refugee sentenced in bombing of Social Security Office

This is an update of a story we first reported in 2012.  Our two previous posts on Aldosary are here.

One more expensive legal proceeding for local and federal tax payers.

Abdullatif Ali Aldosary. “The court believes the defendant presents an extreme danger to the community.”

From the Coolidge Examiner.   Hat tip: Robin

A Coolidge man awaiting prosecution in state court for murder and attempted murder, among other charges, was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison stemming from his Sept. 20 conviction of being a felon in possession of firearms and of ammunition.

Abdullatif Ali Aldosary, 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton on Monday morning in Phoenix. The judge combined his sentences, pointing out that he faced up to 10 years in prison on the three counts. Aldosary has 14 days to appeal his federal sentence.

Additionally, Aldosary was fined $7,500 and ordered to pay a $100 court fee. He was sentenced to three years supervised probation after he’s released from federal prison, ordered to participate in a mental health program and to have no contact with any employees of the Casa Grande Social Security office.

“The court believes the defendant presents an extreme danger to the community,” Bolton said during the sentencing hearing.

Aldosary is accused of setting off a homemade bomb at the Casa Grande Social Security office on Nov. 30, 2012. His federal court convictions stem from materials police found at his home after they arrested him the day of the bombing. Besides ammunition, they found paperwork related to how to make a bomb and other materials that could be used in a bomb. Because of a 2008 conviction in Maricopa County for aggravated harassment, a felony, Aldosary is not allowed to possess weapons or ammunition.

So much for that refugee security screening process we are always hearing about.  And, so why didn’t we just deport the violent man when his green card was first denied?

Aldosary came to the United States legally in 1997 from Iraq. In 2008 his request for a green card was denied because in 1991 he fought with anti-government forces trying to overthrow former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. He sought a green card a second time, which has not been granted.

There is more, read it all.