Big news! Kansas watching Tennessee on refugee lawsuit, but bigger still, so is Texas!

Big news! That’s for sure!  Texas? Maybe Maine and Florida?
From Michael Patrick Leahy writing at Breitbart a few hours ago!

Gov. Sam Brownback’s recent decision to withdraw the state of Kansas from the federal refugee resettlement program may be just the first step in a full-fledged battle with the Obama administration over state sovereignty issues.

Obama depressed
If more governors opt out, thus throwing the program into bureaucratic chaos, Obama might not get his Syrian Muslim quota. Boo hoo!

“We are aware of the legal argument and watching for developments,” Gov. Brownback’s spokesperson Eileen Hawley tells Breitbart News about the lawsuit the Tennessee General Assembly has declared it will file on Tenth Amendment grounds against the federal refugee resettlement program.

Hawley’s comment is just the latest indication of growing state resistance to the Obama administration’s efforts to increase the resettlement of Syrian refugees, even in states that have made clear they do not want them.


Several states currently participating in the program may be considering withdrawing as well.

“Our contract is up in one month and we are currently evaluating our options,” a spokesperson for Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas tells Breitbart News.

The spokesperson was referring to the contracts*** between the State of Texas and local resettlement agencies, or VOLAGs, for the operation of the federal refugee resettlement program in the state.

“The Governor in conjunction with the refugee coordinator ” were identified by the spokesperson as the responsible parties evaluating current options. [One option is to opt-out!—ed]


Sources tell Breitbart News that Maine and Florida are two additional states that may be considering withdrawal from the federal refugee resettlement program.

Remember readers, the feds argue that if states opt-out as provided for in the original 1980 Act, the feds can simply assign a non-profit group to run the program in the state.  The Thomas More Law Center claims that such action is not constitutional according to the Tenth Amendment.  Additionally, it appears to critics that the Wilson-Fish* amendments do not contain the authority for the federal government to pass on to an unelected, non-governmental entity the right to make decisions which expend state and local tax dollars.
This is a two step process and in order to possibly succeed, the state must withdraw, become a so-called Wilson-Fish state, and then file a lawsuit described in the Breitbart story, continue reading here.
Maybe if the whole system is thrown into legal chaos, Obama won’t get all of his Syrians in by September 30th.
Our coverage of Kansas and New Jersey is here.  And, the most recent post on Tennessee is here.

*Is yours a Wilson Fish state: Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont.

*** This makes me laugh, I’m told that Anne Richard, the Asst. Sec. of State for Population, Refugees and Migration claims they don’t have contracts with the non-profit groups.

Guest post: A report from someone on the inside (information you should know!)

Editor: This is an anonymous submission to RRW from someone who has experience working for a refugee resettlement agency. Increasingly we are hearing from people with firsthand knowledge of what is involved with resettling refugees in America.  These are people who feel compassion for many of the refugees they have worked with, but also know that the UN/US State Department Refugee Admission Program is flawed and needs extensive reform.  We applaud their bravery in speaking out.
From ‘anonymous’…

After working for several years for a refugee resettlement VOLAG***,  I was dismayed to see the following areas of irresponsibility. Before I begin, it should be noted that all of my co-workers, many former refugees, themselves, went beyond what the job calls for in assisting their refugee clients. They remained “on call” to their clients and served more hours than they were paid for. I can’t fault them on the quality of their service.

Somali family Indiana
Elderly and disabled refugees like this Somali man in Indiana receive 7 years of SSI benefits just like any other American (although he never paid in to the system). However, refugees must apply to become US citizens in that time frame. In searching around (into the regulatory weeds) I learned that there is also a 3 year extension available. More on extensions here:

What I DO fault them, and all the staff at the VOLAG, for is what I view as continually enabling refugee clients to remain dependent on social services and welfare handouts. While all staff certainly encouraged their clients to get jobs and keep them, when the clients quit their jobs (quit, not laid off!) the caseworkers were quick to ask the Director to pay rent and utilities for these clients. The Director was pretty quick to do so, when there were funds available.

An occasional helping-out for someone who is seriously working and trying to take care of his family is compassionate. A continual coming-to-the-rescue of clients who just can’t or won’t keep a job is crippling.

The motive for paying the rent more than a couple of times is not really compassion (in my viewpoint). I think it’s because the staff realize they need to keep a good relationship with the apartment complexes. Clients being evicted for non payment of rent is bad for the refugee resettlement business!

A number of young, single, male Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees were very transient. Three or four of them would sign a year’s lease (required by the apartment) but then they would all move around the complex as they found their friends or others they’d rather live with. They frequently broke their leases just like they frequently quit their jobs.

Interestingly, I observed that Sudanese, Bhutanese, and Burmese were, generally, as a “people group”, very hard working, saved their money, helped out others in their community.

Eritreans (mostly young, single, males, Orthodox Christians) and Iraqis (almost ALL Sunni and Shiite Muslims) seemed to have the most difficult time keeping jobs. Housekeeping was a no-no for Muslims; landscaping was too hot; meat industry was too cold. They frequently just up and quit because the job locations were too far away (two bus rides and a couple of hours). And, anyway, there were enough ethnic owned convenience stores and Middle Eastern restaurants that paid “under the table” to keep them going.

Finally, the thing that burned me up (still does!) is the fact that refugees aged 65 and over automatically qualify for SSI benefits!

This benefit was over $700 a month. They are also waived from applying for work, but are assured of getting Medicaid and food stamps! I’m getting ‘up there’ myself, been working for decades, and have paid into the system instead of being a drain on it! What’s up with that?

I never understood why the caseworkers and Director didn’t see how the financial irresponsibility on the part of so many refugees, their unwillingness to do certain jobs,their entitlement mentality, and dependence on welfare, coupled with the sheer NUMBERS coming into this country, is contributing to the eventual downfall of Judaeo-Christian society.

I recommend that RRW readers spread the word, question their local resettlement agencies, attend refugee related meetings in their states (If they’re government funded, they’re PUBLIC meetings), question their elected officials, research the impact resettlement is having on your local school systems, and, finally, get involved as volunteers and try to have an impact on the refugees coming into their communities.

When refugees first arrive they often like to have an American friend. They actually trust Americans more than their own countrymen, I found. Why not try to teach them the Judeo-Christian principles you believe in? Why not try to impress upon them the basic values we cherish, i.e., fiscal responsibility, independence from welfare, community service, being a contributor rather than a drain? They ARE going to become citizens and voters, within about five years of arrival.

While you’re trying to slow the flow (it’ll never stop), why not get involved and exert some influence? You’ve got nothing to lose and a country to save?

Thank you for speaking out!  This post is filed for future reference in our category entitled, ‘Comments worth noting/guest posts’ here.
***VOLAG is an acronym used in the refugee industry.  It stands for Voluntary Agency which I think is such a joke because most VOLAGS are largely funded by you, the US taxpayer, and are thus hardly doing this work voluntarily (implying with charitable motives). The nine major federal contractors, or VOLAGS, are here.

Lutheran pastor calls for boycott of Lutheran Social Services over preference for Muslim refugees

We are beginning to see some people of the Lutheran faith who don’t like what is going on in their name!

Jodi Harpstead
Doing well by doing good? Jodi Harpstead is making over $300,000 a year seeding St. Cloud and other Minnesota towns with Somali Muslims.

From Christian News Wire:

DODGE CITY, Kan., May 2, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Lutheran Pastor Rev. CJ Conner of Dodge City, Kansas, calls on Christians of good conscience to boycott Lutheran Social Services (LSS).

Lutheran Social Services has resettled at least 1000 Muslims in the state of Minnesota alone and recently released a booklet titled, “My Neighbor is Muslim, Exploring the Muslim Faith.”

Once an essential Lutheran Institution in American Christianity, Rev. Conner believes that LSS is unapologetically obsessed with resettling Muslim refugees to the exclusion of persecuted Christians. Their refugee programs are directed by Yusuf Abdi in Minnesota.

Rev. Conner says, “Jodi Harpstead, Executive Director of LSS Minnesota, lauds the booklet, ‘My Neighbor is a Muslim.’ She partnered with Hassan Ali Mohamud– the founder, Imam, and director of the Minnesota Da’wah Institute. All we hear about is their work with Muslims.”


“We need a national boycott of Lutheran Social Services. We need to stop giving money to Christian organizations who don’t care about Christians being murdered by Muslims for their faith”

More here.
By the way, we are starting to see some of the state and local Lutheran federal refugee contractors drop the ‘Lutheran’ from their names (click here).  Gee, I wonder why?

RRW Monthly Roundup for the month of April 2016

RRW logoOh well, a few days late….
For new readers, every month (we previously reported every week which was too much), I post a roundup of the top posts for the previous month and the top ten countries from which readers hail.
Another thing I do every month (because there are so many new readers and navigating here could be confusing) is tell you generally what I do and where to find information. (My usual boiler-plate is below)
I’ve noticed again recently that readers first arriving at RRW must think that this is some giant organization with staff and interns etc. It isn’t!  This is a blog, a single topic blog, a news outlet focused primarily on the subject of the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program and more generally on the issue of refugee movement around the world.  It is just me here with occasional guest writers. So, I ask your patience if you post a comment and it’s a day later before I post it.  Or, if you send me something and I don’t acknowledge it.
Normally I blog from my home in Maryland, but am hoping to write from the road this summer, so watch for further information in the coming month or so.

Top Three Posts for April 2016 (daily top posts are in the right hand side bar):

1)Are you within a 100-mile radius of a resettlement site? If so, you are in the (ever-expanding) target range

2)Surprise! Missoula, Montana expected to get mostly Muslim refugees after all

3)Announcement from US Embassy in Jordan: Syrian refugee surge to America is now underway

These are the Top Ten Countries from which readers arrived here (excluding the US and in descending order):






South Africa



New Zealand


For New Readers (or longtime readers who have forgotten!)

I’ve started a new blog so that I can write about Election 2016, immigration (the only issue that matters!) and any fun thing I feel like posting.  Go to American Resistance 2016! and subscribe.
We have over 7,500 posts archived at RRW extending back to the summer of 2007.  Use the search window with a few key words to look for information (LOL! before you send an e-mail asking me to find things for you!).
Also, see our Frequently Asked Questions and our fact sheet (out of date but still useful) in the header.
I’ve been tweeting a lot and sometimes if I can’t write about a story you send, I tweet it.  See our twitter feed in the right-hand side bar. Even if you aren’t on twitter, you should be able to open the links to the news embedded in the tweet.  I am@RefugeeWatcher.
Likewise you might want to ‘like’ and follow RRW’s facebook page, here.  See it also in the left-hand side bar.
If you are looking for fellow grassroots activists in ‘pockets of resistance’ see the Refugee Resisters facebook page here (Jim Simpson).
All previous round-ups and this one are archived in a category simply called ‘blogging.’
My video about how the refugee program works is here (over 2.4 million views as of this writing).
All comments you submit are screened and we don’t post threats of violence, most foul language, or ad hominem attacks on other commenters.  Sometimes I am away from the computer for many hours, so you may not see your comment posted quickly.  And, lately I’ve noticed a delay by wordpress in sending me your comments.
As much as I would love to see you all in your hometowns, I hate speaking. I think I am more useful right here researching and writing.  However, I am thinking of a project for this summer that might take me to other states, but that is still in the ‘planning’ stage. I’ll know more next month.
Refugee Resettlement Watch is an entirely volunteer project by me—I haven’t raised funds or advertised. I am a free agent! No one pays me (in case my critics think I work for some monstrous evil outfit).  Therefore, I have no staff, no help, and so if I don’t answer the hundreds of e-mails I get every day, you know why!  And, I do apologize!
P.S.  There is so much happening on this subject that I would welcome (I encourage!) others to start blogs on the topic, either to cover your local and state issues or even to pick up more of the load nationally!  It does your community no good if you research, find important information (perhaps damning information) and then don’t share it widely!