West Virginia has been near the bottom of the list of resettlement states for the last 9 years that I’ve followed the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program, but all that could change.
Resettlement contractors are running out of housing and frankly ‘welcome’ where they have overloaded cities like Lancaster, PA (do you want WV schools to have to cope with this!) and Buffalo, NY so they are casting about looking for fresh territory (populated with lots of naive do-gooders!).
A couple of years ago the folks in Wyoming were able to hold off a program there. Montana couldn’t quite manage it and now has homeless refugees in Missoula. Rutland, VT citizens are working hard to turn back the plan to bring Syrians to their city. And despite what this story from the Charleston Gazette implies, a pocket of resistance is growing in Charleston, WV.
Most eastern states have not dodged a bullet (LOL! except for Joe Biden’s Delaware). West Virginia has always been near the bottom of the list of states being targeted. Not anymore. See my earlier post on Charleston, here.
Imagine in a state where the coal mining industry has been decimated by Obama, they are now being asked to ‘welcome’ impoverished refugees from mostly the Middle East and Africa with a new resettlement office in Charleston!
Where are West Virginia’s two US Senators? Where is Rep. Alex Mooney (a Freedom Caucus member) who represents Charleston? Are they o.k. with importing more poverty for the state?
And, don’t miss the fact that WV Rep. Evan Jenkins is on the House Appropriations Committee. All three, Capito, Mooney and Jenkins could bring this plan to a screeching halt if they wanted to!
From the Charleston Gazette earlier this month:
Of the more than 10,000 Syrian refugees placed in the United States this fiscal year, just five were resettled in West Virginia, but efforts persist to make the state a haven for Syrians fleeing the carnage of civil war in their country.
Charleston is still in the running to become one of the Episcopal Migration Ministries “resettlement communities.” The resettlement agency has 30 similar communities throughout the United States where local organizations assist the refugees with translation, finding work and health care, getting to know their community and other services.
In November 2015, Catholic Charities of West Virginia, which, for 30 years, has assisted in resettlement of refugees, including Syrians, told the Gazette-Mail it had told the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that it had the capacity to help resettle 100 Syrian refugees. Catholic Charities’ Migration and Refugee Services Division typically helps resettle about 50 refugees per year, but it anticipated a greater need because of the crisis in Syria.
Patti Phillips, director of development and marketing for the nonprofit, said this week that, during the fiscal year, just a handful of Syrian refugees — a family of five — were placed in West Virginia. During the 2015-16 fiscal year, about 30 total refugees arrived in the state. Phillips said Catholic Charities only places refugees in West Virginia who have pre-existing ties to family or friends in the area.
Danna Van Brandt, public diplomacy and public affairs adviser for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, provided a statement from Barbara Day***, domestic-resettlement section chief for the same bureau. Day said the State Department’s placement plan for refugees in West Virginia in fiscal year 2016 included up to 50 refugees from around the world and was “formulated in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities of West Virginia.”
Here we are with this family-tie trick. What they will do is start seeding new refugees into Charleston and next year they will be bringing the family members of that first group! So it never ends! Be sure to see my ‘Ten things your town needs to know’ by clicking here.
The Gazette continues…..
“Refugees are placed in West Virginia when they have family or personal ties in the state,” Day said. “Being resettled in a place where a refugee has personal ties is a crucial way to ease a refugee’s transition into life in the United States.”
In May, Episcopal Migration Ministries [one of nine major federal resettlement contractors.—ed] sent an employee and consultant to Charleston to learn more about the city, in hopes of establishing the city as a resettlement community. If Charleston is selected, a local organization potentially would assist in resettling 100 to 150 refugees each year in Charleston.
The West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry, a group that started to create greater understanding of the plight of Syrian refugees and combat rising anti-Muslim sentiment, had encouraged the resettlement agency to consider the area.
See more here on the WV Interfaith Refugee Ministry and how they admit WV is poor and lacking in jobs, but what the hell, bring in the diversity anyway! Beware any ‘interfaith’ group where you live.
How many refugees has WV gotten over the years?
I just had a look at the numbers for West Virginia (Refugee Processing Center). Since Obama took office the state has resettled 176 refugees (a tiny number when you compare it to Texas’s over 7,000 a year). In 2008 only 5 refugees were placed in WV. This year there were 25 up until September 1.
In addition to the Syrians, the primary countries of origin of the refugees so far have been Iraq, Burma and Eritrea. The top resettlement city was Moorefield and a few went to Morgantown. Of course, as we said, Charleston, the capitol, got its first Syrians (99% of Syrians entering US are Muslims, we are not saving Christians!) and is now being considered for a new resettlement office to bring in up to 150 soon.
*** Day is another federal employee who rotated into her position from a refugee contracting agency. There should be a law against this! See more here.