Editor: I am still combing through my hundreds of e-mails to find the testimony you sent to the US State Department in response to the DOS request for public comment on the “size and scope” of the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program for FY2017.
The day before the deadline for submission of testimony I noticed (maybe you were all ahead of me and noticed!) that the dates were wrong in the Federal Register. I happened to see a comment sent by lawyers to the DOS asking that the comment period be re-opened because citizens, who might like to have testified, didn’t think the notice was for a comment period this year, but for last year. See here.
From Paul who says when the federal government demonstrates such incompetence in so many areas, how could we expect any competent fix for the complicated UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program:
To Whom It Should Concern:
The United States exists to benefit our own citizens, and public policy should be made with that concept foremost in mind, not based upon uninformed sentiment and emotion. In the current instance, this means ending the refugee resettlement program, for many irrefutable reasons.
First, going back decades and even ignoring the obvious concerns about terrorists embedded in “refugee” influxes, U.S. asylum programs have been fraud-ridden (which is the reason that quotation marks should usually enclose the word “refugee”). A notable example was the discovery in 2008, via DNA testing, that many “refugee” “families” from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Guinea, and Ghana weren’t families at all, just unrelated people who’d spotted an opportunity to move to the U.S.
Then there’s the matter of costs. In the experience of many small cities around the country (e.g. Amarillo, Texas; Springfield, Massachusetts; Manchester, New Hampshire), the resulting local impacts can be daunting and onerous. After a spell, they find their schools and social-services agencies begging for relief from the influx.
Consider, for example, the ordeal of Lynn, Massachusetts, a city of 90,000 just north of Boston with a school district serving 15,000 students. Lynn’s schools took in about 500 students from Central America between 2011 and 2014. One might think such an increase in school population of “only” 3.5 percent wouldn’t be a big deal, but that’s not how it’s worked out for the city.
As Lynn’s Mayor Judith Kennedy told an audience at the National Press Club in August 2014, her health department had to curtail inspection services to afford the surge in immunizations needed by the schools’ new arrivals. She had to end an effective, gang-suppressing community-policing program to free up resources for the schools. With many of the arrivals illiterate in any language, the schools needed many more classroom aides along with interpreters. (The school district’s website broadcasts the availability of translation services in Arabic, Creole, Khmer and Spanish.) Altogether, Mayor Kennedy had to shrink every other department’s 2015 budget by 2 to 5 percent from its 2014 level to accommodate a 9.3 percent increase in school funding.
(Yes, Lynn’s influx includes—besides “refugees”—illegal aliens and ordinary immigrants, but all three categories of arrivals from third-world countries impose comparable burdens on taxpayers.)
Such costs for translators and interpreters are an unfunded mandate the national government levies on states and localities, applicable to court proceedings, too. The requirement is open-ended. For example, in 2014 Manchester, New Hampshire, got in trouble with federal bureaucrats in a school-expulsion case by failing to provide an interpreter for Dinka, the language of South Sudan.
Finally, beyond the specific matter of refugee resettlement, our national government demonstrates seemingly universal incompetence, from Transportation Security Administration airport screeners’ 95 percent failure rate at intercepting test contraband to the slack immigration vetting of San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik to the Environmental Protection Agency’s flooding Colorado’s Animas River with orange, toxic mine waste. So who believes that, with hard-to-investigate “refugees,” suddenly the feds will perform?
In short, it’s time to end it, not try to mend it, as mending anything complicated is manifestly beyond the capabilities of the ever more feckless federal bureaucracy.
This is the sixteenth testimony in our series leading up to the deadline for comments to the Dept. of State on May 19th. Go here for where they are archived to see what your fellow citizens have said.
I intend to keep posting testimonies, a few a day, until I have exhausted my long list! I had no idea so many of you would respond to my offer! But, thank you for your hard work!
P.S. I should have mentioned it, but I have been adding photos and other images just to jazz up the plain text, I hope you all don’t mind!