Asst. Secretary of State Anne Richard: we have 1,000-1,500 Syrian referrals coming in a month…

….but not to worry, the UN is identifying for us the widows and children, the elderly, and people with medical needs (all people not likely to be terrorists, just costly)!

Oh brother!  I wonder if the “widows” are those of Sunni fighters?

Asst. Sec. of State for PRM, Anne Richard (blue jacket), tours Syrian camp in Jordan. Photo by REUTERS/Ali Jarekji.

From AL Monitor (emphasis is mine):

US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard says the United States will dramatically increase the number of Syrian refugees allowed to resettle permanently in the United States from about 350 this year to close to 10,000 annually as the crisis grinds on into its fifth year.  [Previously Richard said we would be taking 9,000 this fiscal year.—ed]

While the number is minuscule given a total Syrian refugee population of 3.3 million, it reflects US recognition that the civil war in Syria is not about to end anytime soon and that, even when it does, Syria will need years for reconstruction and reconciliation. [If the war ended tomorrow, these refugees will be here forever.—ed]

In an interview with Al-Monitor Dec. 22, Richard said, “People are surprised we haven’t taken more.” She said the initial low numbers reflect the reality that “resettling refugees is never the first thing you do when people are fleeing an emerging crisis” and that other countries — in particular Germany and Sweden — have “stepped forward and offered to take a lot” of Syrian refugees.

According to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Germany has pledged to absorb 30,000 Syrians just since 2013 — nearly half of those processed for resettlement.

“We thought that was a great offer and unusually generous so we encouraged UNHCR to take advantage of that,” Richard said. [LOL!  Isn’t she magnanimous, let Germany kill itself first!—ed]

After initial vetting by UNHCR, Syrian refugees who want to resettle in the United States must be interviewed by officers of the Department of Homeland Security at US diplomatic facilities in Amman, Jordan or Istanbul, Turkey. That leaves out a million Syrians who have fled to Lebanon and large populations in Iraq and Egypt. Richard said lack of space and security concerns have kept the United States from interviewing Syrian refugees at the US Embassy in Beirut but that US officials are looking at the possibility of setting up a refugee vetting operation in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

UNHCR seeks to identify the most vulnerable candidates, Richard said. “By Dec. 15, we had 10,000 referrals from UNHCR and they are coming in at 1,000 to 1,500 a month.”  [Do the math! Sounds like more than 9,000!—ed]

Asked how many of those referred would be accepted, Richard said, “I think most” because they are likely to meet the United State’s definition of a refugee as someone fleeing persecution or threats because of race, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs or membership to a particular social group.

As we have reported many times, the UN is picking our refugees!  Since they will come from UN camps, they will be Muslims!

Refugees must also pass medical and security checks. “The last part has been tricky in the past,” Richard said, but added that it is not likely to be a major problem with the Syrians referred by UNHCR. She said she expected them to comprise mostly widows with children, the elderly and people with medical conditions. “It will be fairly clear that they are not terrorists bent on harming Americans,” she said.

There is more, read it all.  The article even mentions the fact that Richard was an executive with one of the contractors she now awards grants and contracts to!

Editor’s note:  I am coming down to the wire on the Christmas holiday crunch, but have at least six other things I want to post.  We’ll see if I can get to them….

List of ORR “preferred” communities has some additions

WTH! A preferred resettlement site? More waiters needed?

Update April 15, 2016: There is a more up-to-date list of preferred communities in the 2014 ORR report to Congress. Click here and go to page 51 for the list.

Since everyone (thousands of you) really liked the map of America with the 180 or so cities where the US State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS) are resettling refugees, I thought it might be a good idea to update the “preferred” communities list.

The ORR says these 82 (or so) preferred communities offer the best chance for refugees to find jobs and become self-sufficient, but really they are the cities with overload problems and with especially challenging and needy refugees (cases needing “intensive case management”).  So to help ameliorate the problem, the feds throw more grant money to the contractors!

Here are the contractors receiving grants now for “preferred” sites.  By the way, this program is only open to the big nine contractors that monopolize the program.  Then they funnel your money to their subcontractors (here).  See on the “affiliates” list that there are addresses in cities involved that are not on my list below, so I would look to those cities too as now in refugee overload or getting there.

This possibly incomplete list of cities is cobbled together from information in the ORR’s 2012 Annual Report to Congress, p. 47 and a previous post we wrote, here.  There may be some new “preferred” communities I’m not yet aware of.   And, note, if comparing lists, that I inadvertently left out Wichita, Kansas on my earlier list.

Recently added in red (or ones I missed in a previous review).  Again this is not a complete list of where refugees are being resettled, it merely highlights those where the contractor has over the last few years received additional money from the US Treasury in order to cope with problems there:

Arizona:  Tucson, Phoenix

California:  San Diego, Sacramento, Modesto, Walnut Creek

Colorado:  Denver, Greeley, Ft. Collins, Loveland

Connecticut:  Derby/Bridgeport, New Haven

Florida:  Orlando, Clearwater, Palm Beach

Georgia:  Atlanta, Savannah

Idaho:  Boise, Twin Falls, Treasure Valley

Illinois:  Chicago, DuPage/Aurora, Moline

Indiana:  Indianapolis

Iowa:  Des Moines

Kansas: Wichita

Kentucky:  Louisville, Lexington, Owensboro

Maryland:  Baltimore, Silver Spring

Massachusetts:  Springfield, Jamaica Plain, Worcester, Malden

Michigan:  Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Lansing

Minnesota:  Minneapolis, St. Cloud, St. Paul

Missouri:  Kansas City

Nebraska:  Omaha

Nevada:  Las Vegas

New Hampshire:  Manchester, Concord

New Jersey:  East Orange

New Mexico: Albuquerque

New York:  Syracuse, Buffalo, Utica, Albany, Manchester (this tiny town is listed on p.49, but it must be a typo, NH maybe?)

North Carolina: Raleigh, New Bern, Wilmington, Durham, High Point, Charlotte, Greensboro (lucky NC!)

Ohio: Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, Dayton

Pennsylvania:  Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie

Rhode Island:  Providence

Tennessee: Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis

Texas:  Fort Worth, Houston, Austin

Virginia:  Charlottesville, Hampton Roads

Washington:  Seattle, Richland, Tri-Cities

Wisconsin: Milwaukee, Madison