Update September 2:Vermont Diggertells us the original story was taken down and that there is no truth to any of it. Rutland is still a target site.
There is breaking news in Vermont that the controversial resettlementof 100 Syrian Muslims to Rutland has stalled in Washington.
But, local reports say that US State Department grants (contracts?) for resettlement have stopped nationwide. We are trying to track down that assertion. The only thing that makes any sense to me is that they have run out of funds for the final weeks of this fiscal year. If that is the case, it makes my point that money matters. No money=no refugees.
Remember that Obama signaled last fall that he was shooting for 100,000 refugees for FY17 (it will be his last year to make a Presidential ‘determination’ under the Refugee Act of 1980).
These non-governmental organizations, part of yet another umbrella, this one called InterAction (a united global voice for change), include some of the nine major federal resettlement contractors we always talk about. They need money—your money—to build their offices, their staff and their political power base! Resettling refugees takes a lot of money!
Sorry to keep repeating this but I want you all, and especially new readers who arrive here every day, to understand what the game plan is—to change America by changing its people—and Obama has one more shot at it. He will do his PR stuntat the UN on September 20th and then go to Congress with his final plan for 2017 before October 1 (the 2017 fiscal year begins October 1, a little over 4 weeks from now).
However, Congress will have the final say as Congress holds the purse strings. Congress can limit (or cut out completely!) funding for refugee resettlement into your towns.
So please, please, focus your energy on Congress right now and through the fall (in addition to making sure Hillary loses). It will be Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell deciding your town’s future not Obama (or these progressive NGOs)!
In a letter dated last Thursday here is what the 41 non-profits affiliated with InterAction are telling Obama to do. BTW that fizzled rally on the mall on Sunday is all part of this same propaganda push where they are trying to create the illusionthat everyone in America is behind this.
Expanding and facilitating resettlement in the U.S.:
Over 80% of refugees are hosted in developing countries. Resettlement gives wealthier nations an important opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to global responsibility sharing. We urge the administration to commit to 200,000 refugee and humanitarian admissions in FY2017, including at least 140,000 through traditional refugee resettlement and 60,000 through other creative solutions such as expansions of family-based, employment, and student visas.
This 100% increase in resettlement and alternative admissions pathways would demonstrate that the United States, the world’s largest recipient for refugee resettlement, is willing to be as ambitious as it is asking others to be. [Maybe it’s time for all those other countries to step up first and offer PERMANENT resettlement for a change!—ed]
Read the whole letter here.
And, here are the signators (federal resettlement contractors in red, 4 of nine are here). What about America’s own poor people?
Alliance for Peacebuilding
American Refugee Committee
Better World Campaign
Center for Women Policy Studies
ChildFund International Church World Service
Concern Worldwide US
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund Episcopal Relief & Development
Global Campaign For Education-US
Heart to Heart International
Helen Keller International HIAS, Global Jewish Organization for Refugees
International Catholic Migration Commission
International Medical Corps International Rescue Committee
Jesuit Refugee Service USA
Keystone Human Services International
Lutheran World Relief
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
Mercy-USA for Aid and Development
Save the Children
Stop Hunger Now
Syria Relief and Development U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
United Nations Association of the USA
Women Thrive Worldwide
Women’s Refugee Commission
World Hope International
Zakat Foundation of America
Addendum: I learned about this letter here at the International Catholic Migration Commission (a signator of the letter).
Invasion of Europe news…..
As Donald Trump continues to flesh out his immigration policies (I assume today he will focus on illegal immigration), I think a little sweetener to nudge people to return home could save America a heck of a lot of money since most migrants, legal and illegal! are figuring out how to tap into our welfare system.
Sweden is offering a cash payment to asylum seekers if they withdraw their application for asylum and go home. Along with longer wait times and living conditions in shelters in the cold north, the plan appears to be working.
Of course, going home for a price is a sure indicator that the migrants were never really ‘refugees’ in the first place, but economic migrants looking for work and/or welfare.
Here is the news from theIndependentfrom late last week:
A record 4,542 asylum seekers withdrew their applications and left Sweden in the first eight months of 2016 as a result of long processing times, strict new rules on family reunion, and payouts to migrants who voluntarily returned to their country of origin.
There were also less than half as many new claims made between January and August 2016, as in the same period of 2015.
Sweden used to be one of Europe’s most popular destinations for migrants, with the number of asylum applications doubling between 2014 and 2015 to more than 160,000.
But for many asylum seekers who arrived during the influx last year, Sweden has proved less of a utopia than they hoped. Many faced a long, cold winter in political limbo, camped out in makeshift accomodation while the state struggled to cope with the large number of new claims. Less than 500 of the 160,000 arrivals have managed to secure jobs.
Concerned about the strain placed on the economy of the country, which was expected to spend about one per cent of its GDP on asylum seekers in 2016, the Swedish Migration Agency, a government department responsible for processing claims, introduced tougher rules at the start of 2016, designed to deter and keep out asylum seekers.
The Swedish public also appear to be have become more hostile to migrants.
A survey released in February showed immigration was the main concern for 40 per cent of Swedes, above worries about failing schools, joblessness and welfare. The change was the biggest opinion swing in the poll’s history.
Continue reading hereand learn about the payment strategy.
We have previously proposed a repatriation fundfor unhappy migrants (not just refugees but others) to get them a plane ticket home, we could always add a little sweetener to the pot. Surely the Dems in Congress would not oppose such a fund to help unhappy people get back home.
I’m guessing, we have fifty or more posts on Sweden at RRW. I have long predicted it would be the first European country to fall as the demographic change (and high welfare rate) would push it over the edge. However, maybe there is a glimmer of hope for them after all. Go here for our Sweden archive. See our ‘Invasion of Europe’ archive here.
Update: Be sure to see the even juicier story from Buffalo. Muslim convenience store owner charged with ripping us off to the tune of $2 million and his wife and daughter flip the bird to news camera (to America)! You can’t make this up! Click here.
I haven’t written about food stamp fraud in awhile, but darn it I wish someone would!
If you don’t know how trafficking in EBT benefits works, I’m going to send you to dozens and dozens of posts I’ve written on the subject over the years, click here.
Thanks to my friend Diana for bringing this gigantic one to my attention.
From CBS Baltimore: 14 arrests and $16 MILLION fraudulently obtained by trafficking in food stamps. Are these stores part of Mayor Rawlings-Blake’shighly touted immigrant entrepreneur project?
Here are the names of those arrested (see a pattern?):
Walayat Khan, 36, of Reisterstown
Barbara Ann Duke, 50, of Owings Mills
Shaheen Tasewar Hussain, 60, of Ellicott City
Kelym Novas Perez, 34, of Baltimore
Jose Remedio Gonzalez Reyes, 50, of Baltimore
Mulazam Hussain, 54, of Windsor Mill
Mahmood Hussain Shah, 57, of Catonsville
Muhammad Rafiq, 58, of Reisterstown
Mohammad Shafiq, 50, of Gwynn Oak, Maryland; and his daughter,
Alia Shaheen, 24, of Baltimore
Mohammad Irfan, 59, of Nottingham
Muhammad Sarmad, 40, of Nottingham
Rizwan Pervez, 38, of Essex
Kassem Mohammad Hafeed, a/k/a Kassam Mohammad Hafeed, 51, of Baltimore
I swear this is connected to the Investor visa program and it makes me wonder if they have training programs abroad in how to buy convenience stores in the US and rip off the dumb (infidel) Americans!
How much do you want to bet some of your $16 million left the country!
Editor: As regular readers know, Rutland, VT citizens are not taking kindly to a plan to resettle 100 Syrians in their town—a plan the mayor made in secrecy with a federal resettlement contractor. For background, please click here for our Rutland archive. And, for future reference, this post is filed in our ‘Comments worth noting/Guest posts‘ category.
With grateful appreciation to Ann Corcoran and Refugee Resettlement Watch, it is with pride and pleasure that I attempt, here, to provide you all with the saga of RUTLAND VERMONT, a struggling, proud community facing the importation of even more needy refugees when our welfare overload is choking us even now.
STRAIGHT TALK—–with Don Chioffi
VERMONT’S AREA 51—THE SECRET RESETTLEMENT PROJECT
The proud, struggling city of Rutland, Vermont has been fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds to even get public information about the secret Refugee Resettlement Program since late April. Here it is now in late August and we have no more information than in April, despite numerous FOIA requests. The arrogance, impudence, and outright defiance by the USCRI, the secular agency responsible for this Refugee resettlement Program, with the compliant secret help of Mayor Chris Louras and his crony President of the Board of Aldermen, William Notte, would be more appropriately associated with some third world country, in fact it is headed by a woman that is, in fact, from one of those countries. Amila Merdzandovic, one of Lavinia Limon’s dutiful henchman, has stonewalled, lied outright, and threatened even those in our own state government for releasing even the most pitiful of information to the citizens of our state and of Rutland, and our mayor vowed to reject a lawful petition submitted by his own citizens requesting a moratorium on this program until facts were forthcoming.
Our three state senators from Rutland county, Peg Flory, Kevin Mullin, and Brian Collamore (all Republicans) have even tried to gain information from the State Health and Human Services department and were met with the response that even HHS was not provided with the complete Application and Abstract, a document that is supposed to have the coordination and cooperation of state and local government bodies and the public prior to even being sent to the US State Department. Our state senators were not even informed that this program was being instituted at the state level by our ultra liberal governor, Peter (lame duck) Shumlin. They were also rebuffed by US Sen. Patrick Leahy, who, to date, has also refused to produce the documents. It sure looks like all the Democrats at every level are closing ranks to protect the secrecy of these documents.
The Application has all the back-up information concerning Rutland’s ability to sustain the number of refugees intended for resettlement during 2016 and forward. Information on housing availability, law enforcement, medical capacity, social service capacity, the burgeoning drug problem in our community, the availability or lack of jobs in our community, and the severe drop in population over the last 15 years are all supposed to be in that document—-yet no one, I repeat, no one, has been able to see what has been put into that document as justification for hundreds and hundreds of refugees from a war torn country infested with terrorists being planted like seeds in our community.
Indeed, USCRI (US Committee for Refugees and immigrants) AND VRRP (Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program) have treated the refugees like a commodity, at around $4,000 each, that will sustain their own taxpayer funded VOLAG (90% government funding), while adamantly refusing to release Rutland’s own application data, which we the people cannot even therefore verify as being accurate and appropriate as justification for the settlement of hundreds of needy individuals into an already impoverished region with a staggering welfare load and severe unemployment or under employment problem.
We, the people, constituted as RUTLAND FIRST, have been struggling on our own to do the research necessary to answer questions and develop information relative to this invasion of our community in the guise of “welcoming humanitarianism”. We have been battling for four months now against the “welcome wagon” which has literally shut its eyes to the costs, the security challenges, and the lack of quality jobs in our region, while at the same time labeling us as racists, islamophobes, or any other vile descriptive adjective in their lexicon of “Global Worldspeak” that they can conjure up, including un-American. This, in spite of the fact that our group boasts several retired and active service personnel who have fought for their country, professional leaders in the community, and active government personnel in both elective and appointed office in our community.
So, yesterday, August 29th, RUTLAND FIRST conducted a forum to attempt to inform our local legislators, state senators, candidates for higher office, and also the general public. Attended by well over a hundred people, the dynamic presentation was riveting in its focus on facts. That alone put it in great contrast to the so called forums presented by the Mayor and the settlement agencies, which characteristically were devoid of anything but emotional statements of support. Today the Rutland Herald had not one word on the dramatic presentation—but managed yet another full column welcoming editorial.
Rutland City Treasurer, Wendy Wilton presented some pretty startling financial impact data, including the most shocking prediction based on present and future costs associated with these programs. When she told the crowd there that based on her calculations, within five years City property taxpayers would be facing an increase of 35%, there were visible signs of multiple jaw dropping in the audience. With a steadily declining population base in the City, the remaining property taxpayers have been facing the high tax burden with no signs of a break and an ever increasing unmet Pension Benefit obligation. Recent comparative studies done by the city have shown that based on its population the number of city employees far exceeds other cities in Vermont. The very dramatic decrease in population has not, however, been met with anywhere near such a proportional drop in personnel.
Gary Shattuck, a local lawyer and a former prosecutor and investigator who worked for the US Department of Justice in Kosovo and Iraq as a legal advisor, presented a pretty bleak picture of any prospect that Syrian Refugees could be properly vetted, citing many qualified opinions by high level US officials specifically stating that there is no empirical data base left in Syria with which to compare any biometric, historical, or verifiable sociometric information. In other words, no matter what name they give the fact checkers, there is no data left in Syria to even check that name, let alone relatives, friends, operatives, or terrorists who may or may not have been associated with the applicant. Shattuck spent substantial time and expertise setting up a system for vetting Iraq’s 850 judges and prosecutors following the breakdown of order in that country to determine if they were, in fact, friend or foe.
David O’Brien, former VT Public Service Commissioner former director of the Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC) and presently a consultant in the Energy industry, presented some economic data relevant to the job prospects for refugees, and it was not a pretty picture. Dave cited the dramatic loss of manufacturing jobs in the entire Rutland Region and the tremendous shift from quality long term employment to a model featuring under-employment and service oriented jobs exclusively.
There were letters at the event to be signed by citizens and presented to the State Department, and a local attorney, Judy Barone, Esq. and Don Chioffi, as Rutland First committee members, presented a stinging letter*** to the local and state legislators demanding that they get answers to all the questions posed at the forum. Those present left with plenty of finally answered questions and the clear impression, if not a mandate, that this program should be stopped right now, in its tracks, until and as when the cloak of secrecy is removed and Rutland’s ability to assimilate hundreds of refugees is fully justified.
RUTLAND FIRST—-is—-RUTLAND STRONG!
For those of you in ‘pockets of resistance,’ Rutland citizens’ work should serve as a model for you to use to craft strategies where you live. If you have questions, you can reach Mr. Chioffi at this e-mail address: email@example.com
***Here is the letter sent today to local and state lawmakers demanding they get answers and express their opposition to a plan created in secrecy! Your local and state elected officials may be telling you they can’t stop the federal government and its NGO contractor, but they sure can add their voices in demanding their constituents be given all the facts and that the federal government follows the law!
Mr. Don Chioffi of Rutland Town has worked with me to compose this letter and address you as our State Legislators, understanding your responsibility for representing the people of Rutland City and surrounding communities on matters affecting State Government.
We herein seek your attention and ask for your help to ensure that the Application for Resettlement of Refugees in Rutland is opposed by the State of Vermont for the reason that the Application is flawed.
Mayor Louras’ ‘letter of support’ submitted with the Application was without legal authority from the Rutland Board of Alderman, the governing entity. The Mayor misrepresented himself as having authority to act for the City as the City’s governing entity when nothing was further from the truth. The planning, information about Rutland and ‘letter of support’ signed by the Mayor alone, was done behind the backs of the City’s governing entity (the Board of Aldermen), secretively. The Mayor was not authorized to provide his ‘letter of support’ misrepresenting that the ‘City’ had a cooperative relationship with the Resettlement applicants, which relationship did not exist.
It is important that each of you act quickly on your oath to uphold the law and insure the Mayor’s unauthorized misrepresentations are not relied upon by the State due to lack of your complaint.
A collaborative effort between federal, state and local authorities is required for successful refugee resettlement and the governing entity’s cooperation is required to insure ongoing support. It is the responsibility of the Vermont Agency of Human Services (AHS) (Ms. Lamoureux), to ensure coordination of public and private resources in refugee resettlement in the State of Vermont. (See; U.S. Code, Title 8 and State Plan forVermont Refugee Resettlement, AHS Refugee Office, AHS Refugee Office, AUGUST 12, 2017). You may not be aware, but access to Ms. Lamoureax has not been possible on this issue and it needs to be made clear that the State of Vermont will not support the flawed application, and the secretive process under which it was orchestrated, planned and submitted.
We ask that each of you make clear to the Governor and Ms. Lamoureax and the State’s Agency of Human Services (AHS) AND our U.S. Senators that no resettlement can or should be approved for Rutland on the pending flawed Application being there is no support or cooperation of the Rutland City’s governing entity. The Board of Aldermen has been denied information it has sought including a copy of the FULL Application to examine and vet the facts represented about Rutland (apparently provided by some people in Dorset Vermont) upon which the Application will be judged.
Failing your intervention under the power of your offices, the Application, as flawed as it is, could be funded anytime in September even where it fundamentally fails to meet the requirements of Federal law and the Vermont Plan for Refugee Resettlement. Your surveillance and intervention is urgent and important to assure nothing is funded and the State is not called upon if the Application has not met the required standards in the law.
Failure on your part to intervene could well be interpreted as your support for the flawed Application and the secretive process that has left Rutland City and the City’s government in disorder and confusion. There is division, fear and mistrust in the City’s government and in our community concerning how government has acted.
Should you have information different than we herein represent, we ask that each of you please contact me or Don Chioffi and explain. On behalf of the people we write soliciting each of you to help us protect our government under the rule of law and afford the cities in our state the process instrumental to good governance .
Kindly copy me with any correspondence you have with AHS and the Governor, U.S. Senators, and others on this request made of you.
Thank you for your anticipated quick attention to this matter as it is urgent before the Application is decided on facts not vetted for accuracy about Rutland. If you can obtain the full Application, we ask that you send that to us, too.
We anxiously await your work, your questions and your replies.