US State Department: public invited to comment on FY2015 refugee admissions

Update April 30th:  There will be no opportunity to testify in person this year, here.

Here we go again!  The US State Department is inviting public comment on how many refugees/from where should be resettled in the US in the next fiscal year which begins October 1, 2014.

Your testimony will be addressed to Anne C.Richard, Asst. Secretary of State for PRM shown here with Hillary.

Longtime followers of RRW know that in the past couple of years we have flooded the State Department with critical testimony, while the majority of the give-us-more-refugees crowd was comprised almost exclusively of the contractors who gain financially from each refugee resettled (they are paid by the head).

Here are the pertinent facts about the upcoming opportunity to comment:

Federal Resister Notice 8690

Inviting Public Comment on the size and scope of the refugee admissions program.

Comments to be submitted by 5 p.m. May 29th by e-mail to or fax to 202-453-9393

Don’t hesitate to contact Ms. Spruell if you have a question.

In the past, some of us attended the ‘hearing’ at the State Department.  I’ll check and see if that opportunity is available this year and when it is.

We will also plan to re-post some of the good testimony from the last couple of years in the coming days.  If you are eager to find out what critics said in previous years, note we have two categories in the left-hand side bar.  One is entitled Testimony for 5/1/2012 and the other Testimony for 5/15/2013.  Note that not all posts are the actual testimony but might just include my references to someone’s testimony.

Just now, we have created a new category for all posts referencing the 2014 State Dept. invitation to comment.

For those who say this is a hopeless exercise, that the testimony goes into a black hole, you can make your testimony goes farther by sending it to your Senators, Members of Congress, Governors, Mayors etc.  and ask them for a response to your concerns.  Even consider using it as a press opportunity for a local group.


CIS to hold panel discussion on asylum fraud

If you are in the DC area, this looks like a great opportunity to get some facts on asylum fraud in America!


PANEL: A Generous Asylum System Riddled with Fraud
A Blueprint for Reform

WASHINGTON, DC (April 28, 2014) — The Center for Immigration Studies will host a panel discussion to explore fraud and abuse in the asylum system. The erosion of controls designed to prevent fraud, and the resulting increase in approvals, have led to a 600 percent increase in applications since 2007.

This has serious implications for ordinary immigration control, as seen in South Texas, where there is a surge of Central Americans crossing illegally many of whom are claiming asylum. It also has national security implications; not only were the Boston Marathon Bombers granted asylum, but the Obama administration announced earlier this year that it was loosening restrictions on asylum seekers with ties to terrorism.

Panelists will also discuss the potential impact of the Senate immigration reform bill on the asylum system as well as feasible reform proposals.

Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

Location: National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC


Dan Cadman, Former INS / ICE official with 29 years of experience as an agent, supervisor, and manager and author of a new CIS report, “Asylum in the United States: How a finely tuned system of checks and balances has been effectively dismantled”

Michael Knowles, President, USCIS Local 1924 of the American Federation of Government Employees

Jan Ting, Former INS executive overseeing asylum; currently Temple University Beasley law professor and CIS board member

Moderator: Mark Krikorian, Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies

View the new CIS asylum report at:

Contact: Marguerite Telford




Wyoming newspaper, too lazy to find facts, calls names

“Haters” and “bigots” that is what mainstream media publications call anyone searching for the FACTS involving anything to do with immigration in America these days.

So it is no surprise to see this editorial (not a letter to the editor mind you!) from the educated and erudite and oh-so-sophisticated making up the editorial staff of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

The message is you are a “bigot,” “bigot,” “hater,” “hater,” “racist,” “xenophobe,” (LOL! the more powerful if they say the words many times!)  if you have any questions about a federal or state government program involving immigration and your tax dollars, so shut up.  It is pathetic really.

Here is how they begin, but you can read it all yourself!  And, it is this sort of journalism that is at the very root of why Refugee Resettlement Watch exists to this day!

Tribune Eagle (Hat tip: Joanne):

The debate over Wyoming setting up a program to accommodate refugees from foreign lands is similar to the debate over decriminalizing pot in The Cowboy State. Some think that as long as it is illegal to possess marijuana in Wyoming, there will be no pot here.

That same ignorance is behind the opposition to creating a refugee program here: If there’s no system in place, refugees won’t come to Wyoming.

That’s just wrong, Gov. Matt Mead has pointed out, because refugees are already living here. Having no plan in place to ease them into the system n no, there will be no “refugee camp,” despite claims from the conspiracy theory crowd n simply gives the state no control and few options to provide help to the refugees who do come calling on Wyoming to make it their home.

Unfortunately, this issue has drawn the haters out from under their rocks since Mr. Mead announced a few months ago that his office was exploring the issue. (Wyoming is the only state without some kind of refugee settlement plan.)

The McCraken family owns this newspaper and Mike McCraken is the publisher.  They own the Casper Star Tribune too (this paper and the Star-Tribune have the widest circulation in the state), so it looks like they control the news in Wyoming.

History lesson from the archives of Refugee Resettlement Watch

We, a couple of women, began RRW in 2007 when our local newspaper, the Hagerstown Herald Mail, refused to do any investigation into how the first group of newly arrived refugees ‘found their way’ to our rural Maryland county (dropped off by the Virginia Council of Churches).  Many problems ensued that mostly revolved around the refugees not being adequately cared for by the VCoC.  Citizens wanted answers.

Curious too about how the government program works, I asked the Herald-Mail to please do some small amount of investigating about how the program works—how did a church group from Virginia get to drop off hundreds of mostly Meskhetians (Turkish Russians) and no one knew about it, or few knew about it.

Naively, at the time, I asked the paper to find some answers to the following questions.  I thought if the public understood the program there would be less anxiety in the community.

This is from the text of an e-mail I sent to a reporter in 2007:

Here are some (maybe more than you were looking for!) questions:

1)  Under what authority can a private religious group choose to bring refugees into a community?  Why Hagerstown?

2)  Are assessments done of the community and its ability to absorb more people who will, at least initially, live below the poverty line?   Do we know how many people in Wash. Co. live below the poverty line?  How many in Hagerstown?

3) Is there any accounting done of the cost to the community?   For instance, is there high demand now for low income apartments in the Hagerstown area?  Will more immigrants push up the cost of housing for all low income people in the county?

4)  Are elected officials consulted before and during the process?  Is there any legal authority that requires such consultation?    Was there any outreach to Commissioners and City Council prior to the establishment of Virginia Council of Churches program here?

5)  Who pays for the immigrants housing, food, medical until they are fully established? 

6) Is there a saturation point determined, or can this program just go on indefinitely?  Who determines saturation point?

7)  Since these refugees will have low skilled work, is health insurance available to them, or must they depend on public health care?   Is there any accounting of how many in the first group are now covered by medical insurance?  What has been the response of public health services?

8)  Are schools in Washington County overcrowded?  Maybe the initial 200 refugees have not put a burden on the schools, does anyone know?   Will the next 200 put a burden or the 200 after that?

9)  Have there been any crimes committed or use of police services during the first wave of immigrants?

10)  How well has the original group of refugees learned English?  Did all adults attend ESL classes regularly enough to learn?

11)  What programs are in place to encourage other assimilation to living in America?

12)  Who were the volunteer groups and churches in Washington County that helped support the first wave?  Are they still helping with the newcomers?  What sort of support did they give to the immigrants?   Are there such people lined up to help with the next wave?

13)  Are there regular meetings in Washington County to assess the problems/progress of the first group?

Do elected officials attend?  Does the public attend?

14) Is it a normal practice for a group such as Virginia Council of Churches to go to elected officials and ask for funds ($15,000 in this case)?  

15) Why did VCoC leave Carroll County?  Why are they not locating these people in Virginia?  Have those cities in Virginia been saturated?

16)  Does VCoC get government funds for its overhead?  If so, how much? 

The paper refused to even try to answer these straightforward questions and began the editorial name-calling.  If I recall correctly they weren’t even so crass, or so mean, as to call those of us with questions “bigots,” “racists” or “xenophobes,” but we were called “unwelcoming” and “kitten kickers.”

That did it!  If the news media could not be counted on to find facts on how refugee resettlement works, the average citizen (paying for the program) had to have another source for information—RRW was born!

Bottomline!  You have a right to know every detail about how your tax dollars are being spent and how your community will be changed!  Don’t let their name-calling silence you!

I just went back and re-read the Wyoming Tribune Eagle editorial  and note, at the end, that they have the audacity to advise the Governor to cut any citizens with questions out of the process when getting input on the plan—unbelievable!  Is Wyoming now Moscow?

Shame on you Tribune Eagle, if this program cannot survive full and open scrutiny and public discussion, should it be secretly put in place?

New Readers!  To catch up on the Wyoming controversy, click here for all of our previous posts.

Comment worth noting: About that Syrian Occupy Movement in France

Editors note:  When we receive a comment to a post that we don’t want to lose buried in the comments section, we highlight it as a special post.  Here, reader ‘pungentpeppers’ responds to yesterday’s post in our ‘Invasion of Europe’ series about Syrians camping (occupying!) in a Paris park.

From ‘pungentpeppers:’

About that “Syrian Occupy Movement” in France… French news reports give more insight as to what is happening.

The French are no stranger to squatter camps. In the past Roma Gypsy families arriving from Eastern Europe have set up camp for themselves on public and private land. There is just not enough available housing. Where to put these many newcomers has become a major headache for France. This latest group of park squatters in Saint-Ouen, in the Paris suburbs, are Syrian Muslims, and practically all are Sunni (like the Syrian rebels).

Local Muslims living in the area are bringing the Syrians food, raising money for hotel rooms, and allowing them to sleep at a local mosque. One Syrian at the park, Lamia al-Nassan, was interviewed by TV’s France24. She praised the local Muslims: “Fortunately the Muslims are here to feed us – otherwise, we’d be dead!”

Lamia (24) with youngest of her four children: I sold all my jewelry to get to France, to live in a park?

Unrealistic Expectations: Per the L’Express newspaper, these Syrians falsely believed that, as soon as they arrived in France, the “State of Human Rights” (as they call France) would immediately provide each family with suitable lodging and preferably asylum.

A news report by France24 features at the top a photo of Lamia, age 24. Dressed in black Islamic attire, she holds an infant – the youngest of her four children. She does not mince her words in expressing her disappointment with the French: “I thought France would protect us, that we could put the children in school. I sold all my jewelry – spent everything. Now we have nothing and have to stay here.” She laments further, “How could I have imagined that in France, they would leave us to sleep in a park?”

Costly Problem: These families, if allowed to settle, will cost the French taxpayer dearly. Their culture values huge families; their women do not work outside the home. One of the fathers, named “Mohamed” by the newspaper L’Express, looks like he is 60 years old. The father of eight children, he is shown sitting alongside a young girl of preschool age. He will not support himself, let alone a wife and eight kids.

All Those Pregnant Women: Per France24, temporary lodgings were found for the group, and the municipality has locked up the park. However, pregnant Syrian women have returned to sit on the sidewalk alongside the park’s iron fence. One of them, Sonia Ramadan, is six months pregnant and she has not seen a doctor – but she dares not pass through the doors of a French hospital because she does not speak a word of French. Zeyna al-Nasser is two months pregnant. At age 22, this frail-looking young woman already has three other children. One wonders, despite young children and pregnancy, why did these Muslim women travel with their menfolk, across many safe countries to non-Muslim lands where they do not speak the language? Were they merely on a quest for the best, or is it something else that drives them?

Their Motives: Are They Syrian Rebels or Are They Opportunists? The moment these migrants crossed the border from Syria, these migrants had reached safety. However, they kept on traveling. They journeyed through several Sunni Muslim countries to reach Morocco.

In Morocco, they paid smugglers for passage to Spanish Melilla. “Mohammed” told the L’Express reporter that he paid 1200 Euros (about $1,660) to cross the fence separating Melilla from Morocco. Once in Melilla, humanitarian groups gave them plane tickets for Barcelona. From there, they headed for France. Were they, as the L’Express journalist Karim Ben Said, who is Muslim himself, puts it – merely seeking a “normal life” with their wives and their children? Or do they have some other political motive connected to Sunni Islam?

One of the Syrians, “Jamal” told L’Express that he first went to Lebanon, but that the Shia Hezbollah does not want them there. He then moved to Jordan but left, even though most of his family remains there. He then traveled to Algeria, but had to leave because that government supports the Syrian president. Was Jamal a fighter, and therefore could not stay in Jordan or Lebanon or Algeria? (Dare France accept such asylum seekers?) Or, was he merely dissatisfied with life in those particular countries, finding spurious excuses as to why they are unsuitable?

Puzzlingly, Jamal denies that Europe was his goal: “We did not necessarily aim to reach Europe, it is the circumstances that led us here.” The stories of these many Syrians, however, discredit Jamal’s tale of accidental arrival in France. It appears they were in pursuit of their personal goal – life in the rich European country named France.

Contrary to their expectations, these Syrians might not get what they wish for. France has already disappointed them – and the rule of law states that a refugee does not have the automatic right to live in the country of his own choosing. The Syrians might not be able to force the French to settle them. If so, per L’Express, some of them have their eyes set on another target: Sweden!

To see photos and French language reporting about these Syrian better life seekers, see:

For more good comments from readers, check out our ‘comments worth noting’ category here.

And for more of our ‘Invasion of Europe’ series, click here.