Reporter Julie Zauzmer does the stereotypical report on a Syrian family in fear of Assad who have just managed to be in the first batch of Syrians “welcomed” to America.
You can read the lengthy early paragraphs about the family’s long ordeal until they were rescued by America (through the UN), by the US State Department and by the State Department’s resettlement contractor Catholic Charities all geared to get your mind right before we get to the all important question—how are these people going to make it in America without enormous taxpayer support? He was a journalist who can’t speak English, she a hairdresser who can’t speak English.
Washington Post (emphasis is mine):
The State Department has promised that the United States will take in 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next two years. [Seems to me she said 10,000 annually here—so what is the truth?—ed]
The United States takes in a set number of refugees — 70,000 a year — no matter what troubled part of the world they come from.
The UN picks our refugees!
Candidates for resettlement are nominated by the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, then interviewed by State Department officials. The rigorous process involves a background check, review of any documents the refugees can provide to prove their lives are at risk and numerous interviews to make sure the refugees’ accounts of their hardships remain consistent.
“Their stories have to hold water. They can’t be dishonest or criminals or would-be terrorists,” said Anne Richard, the assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration. [She assumes they never lie, but she knows better. We have admitted terrorists through the refugee program.—ed]
One reason they got in, the teenage daughters were candidates for sexual assault (in a Muslim country, but they never say that).
In the Smaisems’ case, State Department spokesman Daniel Langenkamp said that the specific threat against Khaled, as well as the fact that the family had two teenage daughters in an environment known for its sexual-assault hazard, may have contributed to moving them up the list.
Richard said that 105 Syrians were resettled in the United States in fiscal 2014. In fiscal 2015, which began on Oct. 1, 112 have arrived.
If she now says it’s going to be 9,000 over two years she is going to really tick-off the contractors who want 15,000 per year!
As of mid-December, 9,972 Syrians had been nominated by the U.N. office and begun the process of applying for U.S. resettlement, Richard said. She said nearly all likely will be accepted within the next two years.
Once refugees arrive, they are assigned to a private organization that partners with the State Department to get the families settled. In the case of the Smaisems, it was Catholic Charities, the largest such group. [Partners! They are contractors and why can’t these reporters for the mainstream media ever say that! Or, don’t they even know!—ed]
Refugees receive U.S. government stipends for up to three months, and federal grant programs help states support them for longer. But the money quickly tapers off. [Federal grant money goes to the contractors who then launder it through their offices.—ed]
“This is not a luxurious program. This is very challenging,” Richard said. “It’s kind of run on a shoestring budget.”
Shoestring budget! It is over $1 billion just to get 70,000 in the door! That does not include most of the social services they will live on for years and years!
Khaled is keenly aware of that. His family’s initial cash aid has ended. According to Derek Maxfield, the associate director of Catholic Charities of D.C., the family is receiving food stamps, which will end after they have been in the country for eight months; local government cash assistance that amounts to $200 to $300 per month; and $1,000 monthly per family member through a Catholic Charities program. [There is no reason the food stamps will end! And, haven’t we been told many times that refugee resettlement doesn’t cost local taxpayer dollars?—ed]
The large Catholic Charities stipend is not charitable Catholic money—it is federal taxpayer money! Come on reporters, stop being lazy, or is this to mislead?
That large Catholic Charities stipend, which will end after about four months, is predicated on the family’s efforts to become self-sufficient. Smaisem has been looking for work, though he says that his lack of English hampers him.
After you’ve read the long mushy (superficial) story, tell me—any chance this family is going to be “self-sufficient” any time soon?
Isn’t it about time that publications like the Washington Post and the New York Times begin to do some serious and careful reporting? I know, I know, stop laughing!