ORR Annual Reports to Congress are very useful

Someone asked me today where to find the number of refugees who were resettled in each state in the US over the years and it reminded me that we have many many new readers every day who are just beginning to try to get a handle on how the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program works.

Annual Report to Congress
Most recent Annual Report to Congress

Very useful documents are the Office of Refugee Resettlement Annual Reports to Congress*** which are full of all sorts of data, not just the statistics on how many refugees were resettled in your state, but they include data on welfare use, employment, housing, and medical assistance, among other things.
They also include reports from the VOLAGs (the federal contractors) and discussions of special problems that some refugee populations encounter here. And, of course there is information about the myriad grants these contractors receive each year.
I can’t say it enough, but knowledge is power.  If you want to begin to understand what is happening in your towns and cities, start by looking at one of these documents.
Click here for a list of available reports.
By the way, the Refugee Act of 1980 specifies that this report should be completed and sent to Congress by the end of January following the close of the fiscal year.  Thus, the 2015 Annual Report should be available, but they are behind in producing it.
So what else is new! At one point a few years ago, they were three years behind!
For new readers we have a category entitled ‘where to find information,’ and you might want to have a look at it from time to time.
P.S.  I just spent a few minutes examining Table 1 (of the Appendix) in the FY2009 Annual Report where it cataloged how many refugees and from what countries were resettled in each state between 1983 and 2009. Wow! Amazing!
***This is not to be confused with another report to Congress that accompanies the President’s proposal for the upcoming fiscal year.  That report also has much useful data but is not as comprehensive as the reports found here.

Top language of refugees entering the US since 2008 is still Arabic

We previously reported on data regarding top languages of refugees here in April of last year.
This is the latest from the US State Department’s Refugee Processing Center, here.  This is data for the period from 2008 up until April 30, 2016.
Remember, these are only the languages spoken by refugees, this does not include those spoken by other categories of legal immigrants or of illegal immigrants.
Screenshot (36)
[If the above isn’t clear enough, this is the list: Arabic, Nepali, Somali, Sgaw Karen, Spanish, Chaldean, Burmese, Armenian, Kiswahili, other.]
We notice that since we reported a year ago, Somali has moved up to number three.  Also Kayah (a language from Burma) is off the list and Kiswahili (African language) replaces it at number 9.  I’m guessing that is because the State Department is moving ahead quickly with its proposed resettlement to your towns of 50,000 from the DR Congo.

Pay attention new refugee resettlement towns and cities!

When contemplating becoming a “welcoming” refugee community, remember you, state and local taxpayers are responsible for providing interpreters (Bill Clinton Executive Order!) for just about anything from medical treatment, problems in the school system and in the criminal justice system, etc. etc. etc.

Two days left to send testimony to the US State Department

You have until 5 p.m. on Thursday to send testimony to the US State Department about what you think the “size and scope” of the US Refugee Admissions Program should be in FY2017.

Simon henshaw 2
Simon Henshaw is the right hand man of Anne Richard. Tell him you want transparency! All testimony should be made public!

‘Size and scope’ means how many should we admit (Obama has already said he wants 100,000) and where should they come from.  See here.
My apologies……
I realized from some ‘testimony’ I have received that I was not clear in this post and some of you thought I would submit your testimony to the State Department.  I can’t do that.  I was only offering to re-produce (post) your testimony on these pages because we know the State Department has in the past refused to make any of it public.
They use the privacy excuse, but what I really want to see is what the federal resettlement contractors (the big nine) are telling the State Dept., and those should be made public because they are essentially government agencies operating mostly on taxpayer dollars.
Please send in testimony.  I have reproduced below the Federal Register Notice.  Then you can send your testimony to me at refugeewatcher@gmail.com (with the word ‘testimony’ in the subject line). (I am still plowing through the testimonies I have received.)
However, please be polite, after reviewing carefully some I have gotten, I apologize but I can’t publish a few (no threats please!).
Click here to read what I have posted so far.
And, last but not least, send your testimony to all of your elected officials, especially your two US Senators and your Congressman! Tell them you want all testimony made public.  Heck, they write the laws, not the State Department! 

Federal Register Notice:

The United States actively supports efforts to provide protection, assistance, and durable solutions for refugees. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is a critical component of the United States’ overall refugee protection efforts around the globe. In Fiscal Year 2016, the President established the ceiling for refugee admissions into the United States at 85,000 refugees.

As we begin to prepare the FY 2017 U.S. Refugee Admission Program, we welcome the public’s input. Information about the Program can be found at http://www.state.gov/g/prm/. Persons wishing to submit written comments on the appropriate size and scope of the FY 2016 U.S. Refugee Admissions Program should submit them by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2015 via email to PRM-Comments@state.gov or fax (202) 453-9393.Show citation box

If you have questions about submitting written comments, please contact Delicia Spruell, PRM/Admissions Program Officer atspruellda@state.gov.


Simon Henshaw,

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Department of State.

[FR Doc. 2016-09267 Filed 4-20-16; 8:45 am]