I wonder what blogger and immigration lawyer Jason Dzubow thinks of the Somali scheme (surely encouraged by Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains who resettled thousands of Somalis to CO to work in meatpacking) for “refugees” to high-tail-it to Wyoming to pick up subsidized housing vouchers to take back to Colorado (our top post for two weeks now! see also here) and thus rip-off the needy people of Wyoming.
We missed this blog post by Dzubow ten days ago (I’m not a regular visitor). But, this morning when I wanted to see what he has to say about the “unaccompanied alien children” issue, I saw this post, entitled: Wyoming, the “Equality State,” Is Anything But.
There is only one state in the Union without a refugee resettlement program–Wyoming. Late last year, the state’s Republican governor, Matt Mead, took some tepid steps toward establishing a public-private partnership to help resettle refugees in the Equality State. Predictably, those efforts were met by fierce resistance, both from inside and outside the state.
He credits Congolese refugee Bertine Bahige with getting the campaign going to bring refugees to Wyoming. Truthfully Bahige doesn’t have that much power, Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains located in Colorado was already casting around for fresh territory as Colorado is in refugee overload. (Reportedly an Idaho office was looking for fresh turf as well.)
A former refugee, and now a Wyoming resident and high school math teacher, Bertine Bahige, began a campaign to change the situation and encourage Wyoming to join the rest of the country and establish a refugee resettlement program. As a result of his efforts, in September 2013, the Governor made some preliminary inquiries with HHS about establishing a resettlement program.
But once word got out that Wyoming was considering thinking about possibly creating a resettlement program, hundreds of people called the Governor’s office to express opposition to the plan. In response, a spokesman for the Governor issued a statement, “Wyoming is not setting up a refugee camp…. This is still very preliminary.” [As I have said before, this comment about a “refugee camp” is meant to make the opponents look stupid—it is the Jonathan Gruber (voters are dumb) strategy being played out by elitists including this Republican governor.—ed]
Next, Dzubow suggests fear of fraud by the “religious charities” is of little significance.
Remember Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains wanted their efforts in Wyoming kept secret until they were further along in the process. In my view, since Lutheran Family Services is almost completely funded with tax dollars it has forfeited the right to be called a “religious charity.” It is a quasi-government agency and thus open to taxpayer scrutiny and accountability. Here is Dzubow with his “religious charity” mumbo-jumbo:
Mr. Barnett is also concerned with fraud in the refugee system. Of course, fraud and costs are legitimate concerns, but so is protecting refugees, and to me, Mr. Barnett’s throw-the-refugee-baby-out-with-the-bathwater approach mischaracterizes and unfairly distorts the life-saving work of the religious charities.
Now here comes the BIG LIE!
In the final paragraph of Dzubow’s little lecture to Wyomingites, he says a state can determine how many refugees it will take! That is a myth. In reality, once a city or state has a refugee office opened (by one of the contractors or subcontractors of the US State Department and the Dept. of Health and Human Services), it takes an enormous and sustained effort by state and local elected officials to stop the flow—and it isn’t ever stopped completely once the office has begun bringing in the refugees. The best they can do is get a brief slowdown.
Here is what happens: The resettlement contractor brings in the original “seed community” (their term) and then they proceed to bring in the family members and then use a guilt-trip on those who say—it is too many! we can’t afford more!—suggesting that the complaining citizens of the city/state are mean-spirited, “unwelcoming,” greedy, racist boobs.
The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement might even call in the dogs (contractor ‘Welcoming America’) to calm the “pocket of resistance.”
Here is Dzubow’s final little lecturing guilt-trip (including the big lie) to Wyoming. Blah! blah! blah!
In some ways, though, this is all a tempest in a tea pot. I doubt Wyoming would ever accept more than a handful of refugees (although it is a large state, it has a small population), and so in practical terms it wouldn’t mean much one way or the other. However, in symbolic terms, I think it is important. The United States has committed to protect a certain number of refugees each year. This commitment reflects our values as a nation and our position as the leader of the Free World. In fulfilling our commitment, it would be nice to see all 50 states doing their share. So come on Wyoming, we’re all waiting for you to join us. I think you will be glad you did.
Visit The Asylumist here for the whole post and contact information.
See our continually growing archive on Wyoming and Governor Matt Mead’s refugee ambitions, here.