It is with the deepest gratitude to the citizen activists in Rutland, VT that we are bringing you a broader understanding of the process by which your town is ‘chosen’ to become a new ‘welcoming’ resettlement site.
Many of you have gotten your R & P Abstracts for FY2017 and we dissected one here last week. After having seen one for Reno that is 16 pages long and knowing most of you were getting 3-pagers, I figured they were keeping more information secret from you.
But, I did not know that they are keeping documents that are over a hundred pages from you—a document that serves as the supporting rationale that the US State Department is using to decide if your town is worthy. Holy cow!
Think about this! If you live in Missoula, MT, Charleston, WV, Ithaca, NY, Aberdeen, SD or any one of a number of new sites, there is a massive document prepared SECRETLY about your town! So, when they throw a 3-page document at you, they are throwing you only a bone to shut you up!
These documents are prepared with your tax dollars and they propose the spending of millions (billions!) of tax dollars and you aren’t allowed to see them!
RUTLAND — Some residents and elected officials in Rutland County say they’re frustrated they’ve been unable to obtain the full 126-page application for local refugee resettlement that the U.S. State Department is weighing.
Rutland County Sens. Kevin Mullin, Peg Flory and Brian Collamore will participate in a meeting Monday at the Rutland Free Library to discuss issues related to refugee resettlement, including the application.
The group hosting the meeting, Rutland First, has challenged the plan to bring refugees to Rutland and the process by which the decision was made. In a news release announcing Monday’s event, it said residents and members of the Board of Aldermen have made Freedom of Information Act requests for a copy of the application from the State Department and other agencies involved but have been rebuffed.
Mullin said he’s not opposed to refugee resettlement and doesn’t want Rutland to be perceived as unwelcoming but thinks the application should be a public document.
“It’s hard for us to get answers too,” he said. “That’s what’s frustrating.”
The application is written and submitted by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a nongovernmental organization. The committee’s Vermont affiliate is the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program.
The committee has made public a three-page section of the application known as the abstract, which provides some information on housing, employment and other resources specific to Rutland.
There is much more and every one of you working on digging out information in your states must read this!
Bidding for bodies!
Remember I told you that the nine federal contractors*** are bidding for bodies (they are paid by the head to resettle refugees), well that is what USCRI is basically admitting. The contractors say they don’t want to let out their trade secrets and new locations to the other federal contractors. This is outrageous! So who gets s******? You, the taxpaying citizen.
This is a federal program, no matter how awful your US Senators and your Congressman are, complain to them that this secrecy must stop! Tell them you want all funding stopped until Congress reviews this entire program!
***The nine federal resettlement contractors (participating in the rally Sunday) which are almost completely funded with your tax dollars:
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)