We reported the other day that a public meeting to discuss the possibility of Dover, NH, and surrounding towns, becoming new refugee resettlement sites had been called off. (Such public meetings are rare! So, we were not surprised that once the word got out it was cancelled.)
BTW, the news from New Hampshire was our top post of the entire week.
Here is a longer article from Foster’s Daily Democrat with more details of the abrupt cancellation with a declaration by ORIS (the non-profit resettlement agency wannabe) that Dover (the Tri-city area) was no longer under consideration due to “lack of support.”
There is much to digest in this revealing story, please read it. The Mayors expect a lot of good questions to be answered! But, clearly ORIS can’t or won’t answer them.
One thing that jumped out at me was ORIS’s statement that they weren’t yet a resettlement agency, but seemed to be out scouting locations nonetheless. I’m wondering now, do the feds require fledgling would-be resettlement contractors (that is where the federal bucks are!) to demonstrate that they have scouted-out “welcoming” communities?
DOVER — Information has been lost in translation between local city officials and directors of the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success, a group who has canceled a presentation planned for Aug. 13 due to perceived backlash from the Tri-City area.
Executive Director of ORIS Mukhtar Idhow said there is no longer interest in helping refugees resettle in the area after reading an article printed Saturday in Foster’s Daily Democrat with the headline, “Congolese refugees to resettle in region: Mayor says cities have no say in the matter.”
Though ORIS officials say they are not a resettlement agency and that there are many steps to be taken to gain that status through the federal government and learn answers to those questions, the purpose of meeting with Dover was to see how receptive the community would be if in the future they became one, Idhow said.
“This was a preliminary conversation with city officials,” Idhow said. “We are not interested now in moving forward with this process. [Of course not! They can’t or won’t answer questions about the economic and social impact that large numbers of refugees have on resettlement towns and cities.—ed]
This article was published on Tuesday and I expect there is more up-to-date news which I hope to get to over the weekend.