Update March 19: Wyoming had 5 refugees in FY2012, so someone is selling the Governor a bill of goods! Not exactly a flood moving to the state!
He says they are already coming, so they need a plan or another government program. Mead:
With or without a program, the issue is real -– this is already evident in some of our Wyoming communities as refugees find their way to our state.
Let me say at the outset that I don’t fault the governor for not understanding how refugee resettlement works, heck it has taken me and other critics years to understand even a small portion of it because of the profound secrecy with which the federal government agencies (US State Department and US Dept. of Health and Human Services) with their quasi-government contractors operate, and because of the complexity of the program itself.
The governor in his op-ed published in the Star Tribune yesterday said they need a plan for Wyoming because the refugees are already coming.
What the governor doesn’t get is that if they are coming already they are secondary migrants NOT newly resettled refugees. They are just like anyone else who might move to Wyoming because this is America and they can. Wyoming doesn’t need a federal contractor for immigrant in-migration anymore than they would for an American moving over from Colorado. Their poster boy, Bertine Bahige, is a secondary migrant.
Secondary migrants are not under the care of a resettlement contractor like the secretive Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains that would like to be the federal contractor bringing NEW refugees to Wyoming via the US State Department. The “refugee,” now a secondary migrant, has already gotten his introduction (his package of goodies) to America in some other state.
If secondary migrants are coming in any large numbers to Wyoming they are either coming there because there is some industry luring them (like BIG MEAT in some other western states), or Wyoming has generous welfare benefits like Minnesota and Maine.
There have been recent discussions about refugees coming to Wyoming. It is an important issue as refugees are coming now and have been coming to Wyoming with our state having no plan or say on the matter. Questions of what, if any, resources are being used and how they are used remain unanswered. We are the only state in the country without a plan or process.
So it is clear … refugees are people who are in the United States legally after being vetted by the Office of Homeland Security and others. The program started following World War II to address a number of Europeans who were displaced by the war. Sadly, conditions exist in places around the globe where people are faced with hardships so severe that they must flee their homes in order to be safe. These men, women and children are fleeing persecution, torture, violence and war. There is understandable sympathy for these people. The United States has set standards to evaluate the conditions that qualify a person for refugee status.
As refugees have been coming to Wyoming –without a plan or program – I felt it important to learn more about what is done in Wyoming. The United States accommodates a relatively small number of people from around the world when refuge is needed. Most refugees choose to stay in our nation’s larger cities. A small number are choosing a rural state like Wyoming. It is a responsibility to our taxpayers to know, as refugees come to Wyoming, what is the impact.
Again, the governor confuses secondary migrants with newly resettled refugees who are under the care and control of a contractor for only 3-6 months, then they are free to strike out on their own and move elsewhere (presumably without any hand-holding from government agencies).
Although, one caveat, is that the contractors are now expanding their “services” in order to get more federal grants for such things as “healthy marriage programs” (where the contractor gets the taxpayer $$$, not the state), but the contractor needs a large “refugee” population in a specific community to get those.
If he would like to know more about such migrants, check out St. Cloud, MN, Lewiston, ME, or Ft. Morgan, CO. I doubt there will be a great migration of them to Wyoming any time soon. However, if he sets up a “program” with Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, he will indeed start the flow to Wyoming because LFSRM will, after resettling the ‘seed community’ then apply for all the family members to follow (they are paid by the head for those too!).
They (the feds and the contractors) need Wyoming because they are running out of “welcoming” communities elsewhere!
All of our coverage of the Governor’s appeal to bring in the federal government to help determine the demographic future of Wyoming may be found by clicking here.
Photo: my reference to Norquist is because Norquist and pal Suhail Khan recently got up a letter pushing for more refugee resettlement.