“There’s over 30 languages spoken among the families in our schools,” said Winooski School Superintendent Sean McMannon.
“The only challenge we have here was the weather, and we compared that between cold weather and the other violence in other cities, then we chose to be here,” Abdi said. [He is talking about violent American cities, not those in Africa!—ed]
Mr. Abdi hopes his voice will speak for those who can’t, in a Winooski community that sees more and more refugees move here every year.
“In the Winooski school district about 38 percent of our students qualify for English language learning services,” Superintendent McMannon said.
Readers, I am so backed up with news that I really need to share before I go away. I am going to just put up a bunch of posts and not say much (you probably are cheering that news!).
Here is a story from the Portland Press Heraldwith the subheading:
Few organizations offer the types of financing allowed by Islamic law, discouraging many eager immigrant entrepreneurs.
That is what the Somali (Lewiston is the Somali capital of New England!) and other Muslim immigrant boom has brought to Maine. See our EXTENSIVE Maine archive by clicking here. Governor LePage is trying to hold back the tide in a state whose famous welfare generosity caused a rush on Maine, here, a few years ago.
The Mayor of Manchester, NH has been battling the federal government and a refugee contractor for years in an attempt to slow the flow on the refugee-overloaded city. See our extensive Manchester archive by clicking here (be sure to see Manchester in trouble for no Dinka interpreter!).
I first heard that the feds called Manchester a “pocket of resistance” at the same meeting I heard about the immigrants as seedlings being planted in your community’s soil.
There is no possibility of ‘assimilation’ when the numbers of ‘new Americans’ are so high.
LOL! of course this article refers to ‘integration’ not ‘assimilation’ and it sure sounds like the reporter is already getting with the Obama word gameby helping make the case that integration=availability of services (aka welfare).
MANCHESTER – While many immigrants enter the U.S. with dreams for a brighter future, city officials say it’s their aim to help with services needed by new arrivals to achieve their goals.
“I think at last check we had something like 82 languages represented at Central High School,” said Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas. “I asked a few years ago for a waiver from the federal government to exempt immigrant and refugee children from testing. I’m still waiting on that one.”
The U.S. has accepted refugees since the early 1980s. New Hampshire welcomes between 250 and 550 legal immigrants each year. Most take up residence in communities along Interstate 93 from Nashua on up to Concord, with some showing up in Laconia.
Gatsas has had a frosty relationship with the International Institute of New England, headquartered in Boston, which has settled several thousand refugees in Manchester, more than it has in any other community in the state.
Cities and towns cannot block refugee resettlement, just as they are prohibited from restricting people of any race or ethnicity from moving into town. [Maybe they can’t block it, but any elected officials better darn well ask a lot of questions in advance!—ed]
Gatsas has charged in the past that the institute has been uncommunicative and unresponsive to his concerns, disregarding the struggles they are facing in the city.
According to Gatsas, the city has received between 60 and 70 refugees since October.
“We want to give them every opportunity to succeed here,” said Gatsas. “We try to provide services to help with that goal, and we ask the feds for something like a waiver for students from testing, and we’re still waiting. I guess they turn a deaf ear to something like that.”
If only every town knew what we know now! (See here for Ten Things your town should know!)
Contemplating “welcoming” refugees? Call Mayor Gatsas and ask his opinion. Here is a linkto the Mayor’s office.
As we have been writing ad nauseam lately, the Obama Administration is now out of the shadows with its plan to “seed” towns and cities across America with diversity.
‘Seed’ is their word! Your community is the soil into which the migrants of all sorts (legal and illegal) are being planted according to Obama’s Task Force on New Americans. It begs the questions: Are we being colonized? Do they plan to replace us some day? Sound far-fetched? Knowing Obama, are you willing to gamble on that?
We have long maintained a ‘fact sheet’ about how the UN/US State Department’s Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Program works, click here to learn more.
But, I realized yesterday, while thinking about the newest proposed seed community*** in Rep. Trey Gowdy’s backyard in Spartanburg, SC, that we needed a quick primer on what elected officials and citizens should know if they are being pressured to ‘welcome the stranger‘ (this guilt-tripping language is one way they pressure your town!).
So here are my Ten Things you need to know!
1) In most cases, the United Nations is choosing our refugees. Topping the list right now are Iraqis, Burmese, Congolese, Somalis and Bhutanese. The UN is pressuring the US to take a large number, 10,000 or so, Syrians. We are bringing in refugees from countries which hate us. Your town does not get to choose who you get! You will receive racially, culturally and religiously diverse people, usually very different from your local population and very different from each other. That old ‘melting pot’ concept is dead because the numbers are too high.
2) Often the US State Department’s chosen resettlement contractor for your town, sounds like a church group, or other benign-sounding non-profit. They may have a religious-sounding name, but know that they are being paid by the head from the federal treasury to bring refugees to your town. It is not the case that they are passing a plate on Sunday morning to pay for this very expensive program. Here are the nine major contractors which have 350 subcontractors working for them (headquartered in over 180 cities so far).
3) The contractor’s job is to get the refugee family their “services.” That means they hold the refugees’ hands until they are settled usually in tax-payer subsidized housing, get them signed up for most forms of welfare including food stamps and other cash assistance, sign them up for health care and enroll the kids in school. This special class of legal immigrant is entitled to welfare! The contractor is also paid with your tax dollars to give refugees job counseling and training. The contractor may also be working closely with some big business (and the Chamber of Commerce) nearby which is looking for cheap labor.
4) The contractor’s job ends in 3-6 months at which point they move on to bringing in the next fresh group of “clients,” often the relatives of the first group. Earlier, and still struggling, refugees are left in the care of your social services department. At this point the contractors are entrenched in your town and will call you racists, rednecks and xenophobes if your citizens want to slow the flow.
5) Your town will never get out of the program once the contractor has an office set up and staff to pay. Many cities are trying to get out now and can’t: Manchester, NH, Springfield and Lynn, Mass, Amarillo, TX come to mind. Because there have developed “pockets of resistance” (their words), the State Department is desperately out scouting for fresh territory.
6) The greatest impact on your local social and economic welfare will be felt first in the school system, followed usually by the shortage of government subsidized housing. Your school system may end up with 50 or more languages represented in the student population. The number-one language of refugees entering the US right now is Arabic, Somali is number four.
7) Refugees are permitted entry into the US with HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis among other medical problems. Physical and mental health challenges will most likely overburden your local health department.
8) Your local government is responsible (Clinton-era Executive Order) for providing costly interpretersfor the myriad languages being spoken in the school system, the health system and the criminal justice system should problems arise.
9) Refugees who do find work, work at entry level jobs and minimum wageso they will still be able to benefit from many welfare programs open to low-income Americans. Elder refugees are eligible for SSI. The refugees are Legal Permanent Residents and can begin the citizenship process quickly.
10) If they say they are coming to your town with the first group of refugees, there is only one thing you can do! ASK QUESTIONS IN PUBLIC. Demand that your elected officials get involved. Demand that a community meeting be held, for the US State Department, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (in HHS), your state refugee office (if there is one) and their contractors, to answer questions from the citizens of the town or city. Get your Member of Congress and US Senators involved too! Don’t forget your state legislators! The State Department and its contractors HATE to answer questions! Tell your local elected officials you want a public hearing! Tell your elected officials that you want the federal government and its contractors to provide a plan!
You want them to answer questions such as these below.
Remember you have every right to know what is being planned for your town. They will bully you, call you names and say you can’t stop them anyway, but refuse to be bullied!
Demand answers (in public)!
Who is coming? From where and how many?
Will they stop the resettlement if the town is becoming economically or socially stressed?
What security and health screening have the refugees undergone?
How many will come each year?
Who is paying for their health care?
Who is paying to educate the children who don’t speak English and may never have attended school?
Does your town have an adequate supply of government-supported housing? Will demands for housing crowd out American elderly, poor or disabled citizens?
Where will they work? Do we have high unemployment already?
I’m sure you can think of others. After getting answers (good luck!) and having a vigorous public discussion, then your town can decide based on all the facts whether you will eagerly “welcome” New Americans to your community, or not.
Endnote: There are other refugee experts in the country, so let me know if I’m missing anything here and I’ll add it!
Update!!! Call this #11: an experienced researcher just reminded me that concerned citizens must form a citizens’ groupto research the structure of the program in your state to obtain the FISCAL and legal facts about the program as the structure can vary from state to state.
*** This post (on Spartanburg) brought in the highest number of readers we have ever had for one post over a brief two days! P.S. I will be in South Carolina this coming weekend, here.
An afterthought: If you should get a public meeting/hearing be sure to educate yourselves on the Delphi Technique, a strategy often used by government agencies wishing to control the outcome of a meeting. Go hereto see what Judy said about it in advance of the public meeting held in Hagerstown, MD in September 2007.