I have to laugh! The headline in the newspaper (MagicValley.com), that has so far not wanted to present all the facts about the UN/US State Department Refugee Resettlement plan for Twin Falls, titles the op-ed from Rep. Stephen Hartgen (R-Twin Falls) ‘Hartgen: Defunding Refugee Program Isn’t the Answer.‘
It could more accurately have been entitled: ‘Hartgen: concerned for security with refugee program, demands transparency of resettlement contractor.’
Hartgen is on the right track! Continue to demand transparency! In my experience the federal government and its contractors do not want you to know all the facts!
If Rep. Hartgen wants transparency, begin by asking for the FY 2016 Abstract!
At this very moment CSI Refugee Center is finishing up (or has finished) its R & P Abstract for FY2016. It is a document that should be made available to you, to everyone in Twin Falls, BEFORE it goes to Washington as part of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants’ (USCRI’s) federal funding wish list.
The Abstract will tell you how many refugees and from which parts of the world USCRI/CSI is looking to get them from in FY’16 which begins October 1, 2015, and it will tell what amenities the community in Twin Falls is offering the refugees (you might be surprised by what goodies you are providing refugees).
USCRI is the parent organization of the CSI Refugee Center. It is USCRI that sits down with the US State Department and decides which refugees are sent to Twin Falls. Jannus Inc. is included in the discussion.
Idaho is a Wilson-Fish state and as such the decisions that are made exclude Idaho elected officials such as Rep. Hartgen from the decision-making process. Jannus, Inc., another non-profit group, acts for the state of Idaho.
And, one more thing. Rep. Hartgen needs to acquire the CSI Refugee Center’s federal tax form—Form 990—which they must be hiding somewhere!
Here is a small snip of what Rep. Hartgen said (I dare not post more or the editor will sic its lawyers on me, as they did here):
Rather, I believe the CSI Board, which consists of locally-elected officials, and the college administration should go further in explaining to the community the center’s operation and in releasing documents on its various aspects and financial affairs. This would go a long way to alleviate concerns about the center and the plan to bring refugees from the Middle East to settle in southern Idaho.
….The proposed introduction of refugees from Syria has raised many concerns, and not only from Mr. Martin and his group. For one, the world today seems to be a more volatile place of war, insurrections, ideological movements and violence. The Middle East seethes with such incidents and it is not unreasonable for Americans to be concerned for our own country’s security.
Second, many people feel the U.S. government does not seem particularly competent in many tasks involving homeland security. The vetting of refugees does not seem to many to be thorough enough, and the government’s response seems to be little more than “we’re doing the best we can.” Public statements from extremist Islamic group like ISIS about how they intend to use settlement programs to infiltrate America only heighten such concerns. Attacks on American soil lead to further wariness.
Thirdly, a general suspicion of the current Obama administration’s competence and motives is now pervasive among millions of Americans, who simply no longer believe the administration has America’s best interests at heart.
Continue reading here. (MagicValley.com wants you to see its ads).
Again, Rep. Hartgen is on the right track and should be encouraged! In fact, he should be encouraged to introduce legislation to get rid of the Wilson-Fish program for Idaho that leaves state elected officials out of the decision-making process.
Incidentally, I don’t know of another resettlement agency that is intimately entwined with a college as this one is, do any of you know of another one? What is in it for the college? Are they making money off of the refugee program?
This latest round of controversy in Twin Falls began here (back in April) when CSI got all excited by the prospect of Syrian (mostly Muslim) refugees coming to town.
We have written many posts on Idaho, go here for more.
Twin Falls has developed as a ‘Pocket of Resistance’ and concerned citizens there have begun going door to door to educate their fellow citizens about the CSI Refugee Center. They (Committee to End the CSI Refugee Center) also have a very new website!