Update: See Breitbart’s story about the withdrawal out just this afternoon, here.
Maine’s Governor Paul LePage deserves praise for at least rocking the boat in Maine regarding the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program, but as he withdraws the state, the federal government will simply assign a non-profit federal contractor (probably Catholic Charities) to run the program.
Maine will thus become a so-called Wilson-Fish state. If the governor then sues the feds, as Tennessee is doing, then he has a fighting chance for a real showdown over states’ rights.
Here is the news from WMTW (ABC)yesterday:
Gov. Paul LePage wrote to President Barack Obama on Friday, saying Maine is pulling out of the federal refugee resettlement program.
“I have lost confidence in the federal government’s ability to safely and responsibly run the refugee program and no longer want the State of Maine associated with that shortcoming,” his office said LePage wrote. “The federal government has proven to be an unwilling partner with states in ensuring that refugee resettlement does not unduly put American lives at risk.”
Maine joins Kansas, New Jersey and Texas in pulling out of the program, LePage’s office said.
It is a beautiful day and I’m going outside. For new readers I’ve written about Wilson-Fish so often over the years and have no energy to talk about it one more time. Use our search window, type in ‘Wilson Fish’ and enjoy….
For a HUGE archive on Maine, click here.
What a difference 9 years makes!
In 2007, I started writing Refugee Resettlement Watch because my local newspaper editor wouldn’t send a reporter out to find the answers and explain to the public how it was that a Virginia-based ‘church’ group could choose our county seat in Maryland in which to place impoverished people. I assumed, and I think correctly, that most local papers back then wouldn’t discuss the program in any way other than to report on fluffy-puffy stories about refugees seeing their first snow.
See my 2007 postand the questions I thought the Hagerstown Herald Mail should answer for the public. By the way, Church World Service (setting up shop in Poughkeepsie) was the major contractor where I live too. Virginia Council of Churches was the immediate subcontractor in charge.
I thus chuckled when I saw this reportat the Poughkeepsie Journal this morning. The paper is at least making some effort to educate the public. I would like to add more facts and quibble with some of it, but because of a shortage of time, here are just a couple of reporter Jordan Fenster’s points I want to mention. He lists five things your city needs to know, I have Ten Things,see here.
For new readers see our previous three posts on Poughkeepsie, here, here and here. Poughkeepsie Journal:
Plans to settle 80 refugees in Poughkeepsie have caused much discussion: Can the Church World Service Network set up shop and resettle refugees wherever it wants? Who has authority over the resettlement process?
Here are five things to know about the process of refugee resettlement:
2. Federal law requires the use of outside contractors
The Refugee Act of 1980 asks the director of the ORR to cut costs whenever possible, and specifically requests the use of outside contractors.
In 2014, the ORR paid out $606,805,703 to state, resettlement and nonprofit agencies, $29,422,396 of which went to programs in New York.
The Church World Service Network is considered an effective agency by the ORR, which tracks refugees’ path to self-sufficiency. In 2014, 83 percent of the organizations refugee clients were deemed “self-sufficient,” more than any other agency contracted by the ORR.
I’m glad to see that the reporter tells readers about the enormous federal TAXPAYER outlay! The Refugee Act of 1980 set up the system of so-called public-private partnerships, but the understanding was that it would be a 50-50 deal, not a 90-10 (or worse deal where taxpayers shell out 90% of the costs, sometimes more). This last bit about self-sufficiency is bogus because a refugee can be on medicaid, food stamps and live in public housing and still be labelled “self-sufficient.”
But, the most interesting thing about #2 above is the use of the word CONTRACTOR. They were not identified (accurately!) as such much before 2007 that I know of. They are federal contractors just like Haliburton is a federal contractor.
Jumping to Poughkeepsie Journal’s point #4 where the reporter made a good choice in choosing Amarillo as an example of a ‘pocket of resistance’ to highlight.One of our posts on Amarillois near the top of our all-time most read posts.
4. Amarillo argued for more state and local control
Amarillo Mayor Paul Harpole went to the Texas state house in April to argue against what he said was an inordinately large number of refugees coming into his city, as the Amarillo Globe-News reported.
Harpole testified that his city receives about 500 refugees a year, “more refugees per 100,000 population than any city in the world.”
The problem, according to Harpole, is that he, state leaders and even federal representatives have no say in how many refugees are resettled in a specific location.
“What the Senators are talking about is why the federal government gives the state no control over this and no insight,” he said.
At this point in time, state officials may have little or no say, but it is one of the major areas of reform needed if there is going to be a refugee program going forward.
But, I don’t want readers to assume that whatever Obama (or God forbid Hillary) want with the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program will happen as if no one has any power to push back. Even Senators Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden and Pres. Jimmy Carter (creators of the 1980 Act) knew that there is a way to rein-in this program any time it wanted and that is for CONGRESS USE OF THE POWER OF THE PURSE!
Unfortunately, Congress has shirked its duty for decades!
See one of many of my recent posts on DEFUNDINGthe program in the upcoming Lame Duck session of Congress.
If Hillary is elected on Tuesday and Sean Patrick Maloney is returned to Congress, without a doubt, there will be no hope for Poughkeepsie……
Many of you may know Church World Service as the ‘church’ charity that does the annual ‘Crop Walk’ where they raise funds in your towns for their migration activities among other things. A list of affiliated churches is below.
They are also a part of the ‘religious left’ as a member of the National Council of Churches.
My figures, based on their most recent Form 990, indicate that they are 67% funded by taxpayer dollars. A pie chart on their website puts it at 64%.
This is the latest in my updates on how much each of the nine federal resettlement contractorsreceive from you:
Church World Service is attempting to get an office up and running in Poughkeepsie, NYso that news reminded me to check into their finances. If these contractors were true non-profit groups raising private money for private charity their finances would not be of interest to me, but as a quasi-government agency largely funded with our tax dollars, their financial position (salaries etc) is our business.
Here is a list of all the refugee resettlement officesthey have in the US already (they are adding Poughkeepsie to the list).
This is what I learned from their most recent Form 990, here, on page 9:
They had a total income of $77,756,307.
$50,116,190 comes from federal grants (that is you)
$1,730,678 is from Refugee Services Program and likely includes the airfare loan money they pocketed (your money).
And, they have an additional income of $623,006 from something called ‘Development, Emergency, Refugee’ (assuming this is coming from taxpayers too!).
The total income from taxpayers is then $52,469,874. The Crop Walk accounts for about half of the legitimate charitable income in their budget.
Not as bad as the three contractors we’ve already reported on above, but CWS has that Crop Walk to fall back on for extra bucks. I’m calculating this as 67% (they say 64%) of their budget which means that either way they would die if you weren’t ‘contributing’ your tax dollars to their coffers. Go here for our complete archive on Church World Service.
Is your church affiliated with Church World Service?