Federal refugee contractors, like the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program operate in secrecy making every effort to get resettlement programs up and running in unsuspecting communities before the general public gets wind of it!
See our earlier post on Rutland, here. There is also another story on the uproar, here, which I never got time to post.
Now this! Good for MyChamplainValley.com . They actually filed a public information request and got this incredible admission! (emphasis is mine)
New information on how the City of Rutland came to be the future home of 100 Syrian refugees. Mayor Chris Louras made the announcement a few weeks ago, and many were shocked at the speed of the process.
While the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP) held meetings as far back as January 14th, the general public was never informed. The initial meeting included members of the VRRP, Mayor Louras, President of the Rutland City Alderman William Notte, State Refugee Coordinators, and a member of the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link group.
Through a public records request filed with the City of Rutland, we learned a public meeting was considered, but didn’t happen.
“This is just the beginning, it’s a historic moment for us as the Refugee Program and I think it’s a historic moment in Vermont,” stated Amila Merdzanovic, Director of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. She hopes Rutland is the first of many communities to consider welcoming refugees.
While the City’s Mayor and many others are excited about the process, other elected officials and members of the public say they felt blindsided. “My initial reaction was I wanted more information,” said City Alderman Ed Larson in an April 28th interview. He didn’t learn of the plan until a day before the Mayor’s announcement.
Of course they want no public meeting!
They know they must get the program in place before anyone knows what is happening! Readers, look for this happening where you live. They are desperate for more cities and towns. Obama has made promises and there aren’t enough locations to accommodate all of the refugees he wants.
According to records we obtained from the City of Rutland, a public discussion was considered, but never took place. In an April 14th email to Mayor Louras, Merdzanovic wrote “if we open it up to anybody and everybody, all sorts of people will come out of the woodwork, anti-immigrant… anti-anything.”
The email went on to suggest that if a meeting were to be held, it should be controlled, and include groups like the United Way and Area Churches. But both United way and Rutland area church leaders told us they welcome the refugees, but were not contacted to be part of a discussion during the planning process.
Too bad local citizens! the UN/US State Department is going to seed your towns whether you like it or not!
Merdzanovic points out that resettlement has been happening in Chittenden County for 30 years, and people are used to it. She understand it will take time in Rutland, and adds no matter what, things are moving forward, “Our government invites refugees to come into the United States and to come to Vermont. we don’t control it, we don’t vote on it luckily.”
Continue reading here and be sure to watch the news clip—watch and listen to Merdzanovic.
BTW, Merdzanovic’s boss is Lavinia Limon who ran the Office of Refugee Resettlement for Bill Clinton.
Vermont is a Wilson-Fish state which means the contractor and the federal government run the program there with no input from elected state representatives. There is zero chance that the present governor would ever stand up for States’ Rights.
Click here for all of our previous posts on, as one of our readers once called it, the Green Card State! And, be sure to visit or revisit, Ten things your town needs to know! by clicking here. See especially #10—demand a public meeting!