Athens, GA: ‘Religious Left’ attempting to re-open refugee resettlement issue for city

For those of you who have heard me speak over the last week, in St. Louis and in Washington, DC, this is an update of what I told you was happening to Athens, Georgia where one of the big nine federal resettlement contractors is attempting to set up a new resettlement site!

IRC contractor J.D. McCrary: If we had been able to keep the resettlement secret from Athens citizens, we would have had it by now! Un[expletive]believable!
The Leftwing churches have invited the International Rescue Committee (the federal contractor) in to discuss how to open Athens to resettlement and get around the Mayor’s request that the federal government come back with a PLAN describing how the resettlement would work.

I can’t impress upon readers enough that this mayor has hit on one of the most important points about resettlement going on in America—local communities are expected to just ‘welcome’ in hundreds (it will be hundreds, thousands eventually!) of third world refugees who are impoverished and often illiterate with no plan or discussion about a city’s ability to absorb more poverty!

The US State Department and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) do not want to have to prepare any plans which might involve public input when they open a new resettlement site!

Every reader, especially readers in Georgia should contact Mayor Denson and help her stand up to the federal government, the giant contractor (the IRC), and the churches representing the ‘religious left’ in Athens.  See all of our previous coverage of Athens, GA by clicking here.

Here is the latest news which I am snipping extensively because it is so informative.

From Online Athens:

Less than four months after the U.S. State Department rejected a plan from a nonprofit refugee resettlement group to set up a program in Athens, a small group of Athens area clergy have begun work aimed at convincing the federal agency to reconsider.

Those clergy and others met for 90 minutes Wednesday at Athens’ Covenant Presbyterian Church with J.D. McCrary, executive director of the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta. McCrary, who had spearheaded the IRC’s unsuccessful effort to have a resettlement program designed to serve 150 refugees — people fleeing persecution and atrocities, as opposed to people simply wanting to come into the United States — established in Athens, was invited back to the community by some of those ministers.

The local churches represented at Wednesday’s meeting, in addition to Covenant Presbyterian, were Oconee Street United Methodist, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, Christ Community Church, Commerce Presbyterian, Colbert United Methodist and Comer United Methodist.

McCrary told the group the IRC effort in Athens was rejected by the State Department as a result of what the department saw as significant local political opposition to the proposal.

Much of that opposition was expressed in an August letter from Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson to the refugee coordinator in the Georgia Department of Human Services. In the letter, the mayor wrote, in part, “Serving refugees will add a burden to local charitable and other public resources, including safety net services. Refugee students may also place an inordinate service burden on the school district due to limited English proficiency by the children and their parents.”

The letter did not entirely close the door on the refugee resettlement proposal, suggesting instead that IRC “should delay implementation of their plan for this fiscal year (which will end June 30) and present a formal refugee integration plan to local elected officials and community stakeholders in the future.”  [The contractors and their federal handlers do not want to open this door to presenting plans—ed]

McCrary told the slightly more than one dozen people gathered at Covenant Presbyterian that the agency has no current plans to submit another proposal for State Department review. If, however, some evidence of community support were to surface, the IRC might consider making another proposal next year, McCrary said, or it could come back to the community following the next election cycle if it appeared that political opposition might have softened.

In a Friday interview, Denson said her position on the IRC proposal hadn’t changed.

“My responsibility is to take care of the people who are already here,” she said.

It’s purely a capacity issue,” Denson added, noting that Athens is already dealing with “panhandlers and people sleeping outside.”

On this issue being raised by McCrary (below) that refugees have moved in from Atlanta, that is likely true and not something we would want to control.  This is America and people can move!  However, when a resettlement office is opened NEW REFUGEES ARE BROUGHT IN FROM THE THIRD WORLD DIRECTLY TO THE CITY OR TOWN and they are most in need of “services.”

In beginning to make his case for reconsideration of establishing a refugee resettlement program in Athens, McCrary told the group gathered Wednesday that Athens is already hosting refugees, some of whom moved into the community after receiving resettlement help through IRC in Atlanta, and some of whom commute from metropolitan Atlanta into Athens each day to work.

“They’re already here,” he said.


Regarding last year’s effort in Athens, which got significant media coverage, McCrary said, “If it hadn’t played out so publicly, no one would even have noticed that it had happened.”

There is much more, read it all!

By the way, the IRC is headed by British leftwing politician (former foreign secretary) David Miliband who is surely pulling down an over $400,000 salary as did his predecessor (I doubt he crossed the pond to take a lower salary than the former CEO).  Search RRW for ‘David Miliband.’

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