Dover, NH update: No refugees coming (yet!), but mayor wants a plan and federal legislation…

…..that would give local communities more say in the matter, assure financial help!

This is an update of the hot story we reported last summer about the possibility of the US State Department granting authority to a wannabe refugee resettlement agency to begin resettling refugees into the Tri-cities area of New Hampshire.  The nascent plan was killed when it appeared that a planned public meeting would be explosive.

Sensible Dover Mayor Karen Weston wants a plan! Bio here:

Backpedaling now, the resettlement agencies in the state say there are no plans in the immediate future for Dover and surrounding towns.  However that isn’t the most important thing about this article!  First we learned some new bits of information and secondly, and most astoundingly, the Mayor of Dover wants to seek federal legislation to give communities a greater say in resettlement plans for American cities.  Wow!

She needs to call for a meeting of  bipartisan(!) mayors from “pockets of resistance” including mayors of Athens, GA, Amarillo, TX, Springfield, MA, Lynn, MA, Manchester, NH and Lewiston, ME for a start!

From Foster’s Daily Democrat:

DOVER — There are no plans to resettle African immigrants in the Tri-Cities, according to state officials and two refugee relocation groups.

The refugee issue emerged last summer when representatives from the Manchester-based Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success, or ORIS, approached Dover officials about becoming a resettlement community. The group appeared to back away from the plan amid concern from residents and local officials.

Barbara Seebart, the state refugee coordinator for the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, said she’s not aware of any plans for refugee resettlement in the Tri-Cities.

This is the first we have heard that there is a certain time period for wannabe refugee contractors to get approval:

ORIS is a social service agency not authorized by the federal government to resettle refugees and therefore it cannot place people in Dover, according to Seebart. That federal authorization process could take 18 to 24 months.

Dover mayor wants a plan in advance!  (Just like the mayor of Athens, GA)  And, she wants federal legislation!   Me too! And, I have ideas on how it should be crafted.

Mayor Karen Weston doesn’t oppose refugee resettlement but believes host communities should have more control in determining how many can arrive each year. She also believes the federal government should offer funding to offset the effects on city and school budgets.

“There are no plans today, but it can happen any day,” Weston said. “That is why we want to be proactive and (pursue) possible legislation with the federal government.”


She hopes to arrange a conference call with Rochester Mayor T.J. Jean, Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard and members of the state’s congressional issue to address those immigration law changes. Weston expects that call won’t happen until next year.

The U.S. has been accepting refugees since the early 1980s. New Hampshire currently receives between 250 and 550 of these legal immigrants each year, Seebart said. Most live along the Interstate 93 corridor from Nashua to Concord, although some have been placed in Laconia.  [Note to the mayor, be sure to arrange for at least those New England mayors asking for a moratorium to join your call!–ed]

This next line may be factually correct, but certainly local elected officials should be part of any plan coming down from the feds especially as it will involve high costs for local taxpayers for everything from health care, to subsidized housing (see Seattle!), to education for the kids and, not to be forgotten,the criminal justice system!

Cities and towns cannot block refugee resettlement, the same way they cannot restrict people of any race or ethnic group from moving in.

Then get this!  Seebart says there is “extensive collaboration” before refugees are resettled.

“Extensive collaboration” my foot!  They may have a meeting with “stakeholders,” but the general public is not invited!  Heck, they have already demonstrated reluctance to hold a public meeting (where contractors and the State Dept would stand before the public and answer questions) as everyone who followed the controversy this summer noticed. 

Regardless, refugees don’t just show up in host cities overnight. There is a well-established federal system for refugee resettlement that includes extensive collaboration with local communities, Seebart said.


“If a new resettlement site is being nurtured,” she [Amy Marchildon a resettlement contractor in NH] said, “there would be a long process of engaging city government and community social support services and the community.”

I’ll bet we have 50 posts on New Hampshire over the years due to the many refugee controversies happening there.  Click here to learn more.

Sudanese refugee, with long record of run-ins with the law, murdered in Portland, Maine

His former lawyer anguishes over belief that the system fails refugee children.  This may be the first Portland murder this year, but it sure isn’t the first crime involving refugees in Maine in recent years.  A quick look at our archives (five minutes!) and I see several cases we reported on of crimes involving youthful refugees in Maine.

The “system” has had plenty of opportunities to learn from run-ins with refugees and crime.  Surely you lawyers aren’t proposing special treatment for them?

Somali ‘youths’ randomly attacking and robbing people in Lewiston, ME

Maine: Somali accused of rape says birthdate is wrong, he is only a minor mommy says

No experience with refugee youth trauma in Portland? Have we forgotten Muktar? And, what about the victim’s trauma?

Another diversity is strength alert from Portland, Maine

24 immigrant gang members arrested in Maine

Congolese refugee murdered in Portland, ME

Maine: Sudanese refugee pulls out gun and is killed by police

Violence against Sudanese refugees in Maine is growing

Maine: Somali youth sentenced to 8 years for raping woman; no prospect for rehabilitation says judge

Now to the latest, the murder of a Sudanese refugee in Portland.  From Central Maine  (hat tip: ‘Pungentpeppers’ crime researcher extraordinaire):

It’s America’s fault…

Richard Lobor’s family fled Sudan when he was a boy to escape the violence of civil war and the threat of execution.

But instead of finding safety in America, Lobor was shot in the head last month in the doorway of a Portland apartment, becoming the city’s only homicide victim this year.

Lobor, who was 23, was the oldest of the family’s six children and had been expected, in accordance with Sudanese tradition, to become the head of the family soon. Now his parents, Robert Lobor and Christina Marring, are asking themselves as they grieve how things went so wrong in a country they thought would lead their children to prosperity and a better future.

You can read the long discussion yourself of Lobor’s run-ins with the legal system.  Then this from his former attorney Gina Yamartino.  Honor the refugee experience she says.

The system failed him!

Although she ultimately relented and allowed him to be prosecuted as an adult, after Lobor insisted to her that’s what he wanted, she said she still feels “like the system failed him.”

“I don’t think we fully understand – and how could we? – what his experiences were before he got here. I truly believe he suffered from a fair bit of trauma, and coming here wasn’t going to fix it all,” Yamartino said. “I think we have to think long and hard about kids coming from different countries and understand what their experiences were and honor those experiences as best we can.”

Yamartino said that although Lobor’s criminal record looks bad on paper, that doesn’t tell the story of who he was.


Thibeault [Christine Thibeault, the head of the juvenile division of the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office] said those who work in juvenile justice in Maine are experienced in how to deal with childhood trauma from abuse and neglect, but have little background in treating trauma of refugee children.

Guess they better get to work then because more are coming to Maine every day.

We have a huge archive on Maine, click here to learn about many more problems Mainers are having!  See especially one of our top posts of all time—Maine as the welfare magnet.

Who brings refugees to Maine for the US State Department (and the UN):

USCCB (US Conference of Catholic Bishops)
ME-USCCB-01: Catholic Charities Maine
80 Sherman Street
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: 207-210-150

Boise: First Syrian refugee, a gay man, plans to help the Syrians who will follow him to Idaho

As we have reported on several previous occasions, one of the categories of refugees we are taking now are gay men and lesbian women (Bi’s and Trannies too) who have been persecuted by their fellow Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere.  Here is news, with no further comment, from Boise State Public Radio (emphasis mine):

The US Department of State pledged to lead the world in accepting refugees from Syria at a meeting in Geneva this month. The organization says it is currently reviewing about 9,000 UNHCR referrals from Syria and is receiving approximately a thousand new referrals each month. A Boise refugee support organization anticipates many of those people will come to Idaho.

Shadi Ismail will help the Syrians who are coming soon to Boise. Says he will tell them to go home if they don’t accept homosexuals. Photo: Jodie Martinson Boise State Public Radio

But one Syrian man has already arrived as a refugee and believes he’s uniquely positioned to help the incoming population of people from his home country — even though the reason he left Syria is different from why many people are leaving now.

Shadi Ismail fled the region about two-and-a-half-years ago because he feared his family would kill him for being gay. He says he always knew he liked boys.

“I see a friend take shirt off or something,” he explains. “It’s like ‘Oof!'”

Ismail says being gay was unacceptable in Syria, especially in his family.

What follows is a long discussion of the abuses he suffered at the hands of his family and the Muslim community.  However, another gay man suggested he apply to America as a refugee, and here he is.

After many months of waiting, Ismail was accepted as a refugee and sent on his way to Boise, Idaho.

He plans to help his fellow countrymen (and give them a message) when they start arriving real soon in Idaho:

The Syrians coming to Idaho as refugees escaping the war will have very different reasons to flee than Ismail. But Ismail is the only Syrian refugee he knows of in the Boise area. So he feels a duty to help newcomers fit into their fresh American lives. He plans to explain to them how life works, and he knows what he’ll tell them about how they should treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people.

“You have to accept me [in] America,” he said. “I left everything to be who I am. If you want to still have your mind crazy [about sexual intolerance], go back to your country. Do your thing there.”

For more on the booming resettlement state of Idaho…

Go here for a map of the US and links to federal refugee contractor offices including those in Boise.

Here (all states listed) are the resettlement contractors in the State of Idaho (a Wilson-Fish state which means the contractors and the feds run the program with no state government control):

DFMS (Episcopal Migration Ministries)
ID-DFMS-01: Agency For New Americans
1614 West Jefferson Street
Boise, ID 83701
Phone: 208-338-0033-X25

IRC (International Rescue Committee)
ID-IRC-01: International Rescue Committee
7188 W. Potomac Drive
Boise, ID 83704
Phone: 208-344-1792

WR (World Relief)
ID-WR-01: World Relief Treasure Valley
6702 Fairview Avenue
Boise, ID 83704
Phone: 208-323-4964

USCRI (US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants)
ID-USCRI-01: College Of Southern Idaho Refugee Programs
1526 Highland Ave E
Twin Falls, ID 83301
Phone: 208-736-2166