This is direct confirmation from a resettlement contractor in Rochester, NY that indeed the pipeline of refugees headed to America is packed to overflowing and that local resettlement agencies are struggling to cope with the numbers.
Of course this means that refugees will suffer as will local communities, governments/school systems that must adjust to rapid cultural and demographic change (in addition to shelling-out for taxpayer-funded expenses for schooling etc.).
On January 20th, Donald Trump could simply turn off the spigot, and if he does there will be howls of rage by contractors who say he is mean and hateful as he cuts off the flow of not only refugees, but the MONEY that comes with them from Washington!
This article at the Democrat and Chronicle (hat tip: Jim, LOL! Not the Jim quoted in the story!) tells us that the local resettlement contractor is in a tough spot because they can’t cope with the uncertainty.
They can’t go out and hire staff to take care of the huge, unexpected influx!
Nearly 1,200 people arrived in Rochester as refugees in 2016, a huge spike from 2015 that has put serious strain on the local agencies through which they pass.
The influx a 56 percent increase over last year’s total mirrors a nationwide increase and reflects Rochester’s role as a major center for refugees like Haidar Al-Hasooni, a 16-year-old from Iraq.
Like most newly arriving children, he attends the Rochester International Academy (RIA), which has nearly doubled its enrollment since the start of the school year. [For more on this part of the story, be sure to click here.—ed]
The increase in refugee arrivals coincides with President Barack Obama’s decision to raise the total national number from 70,000 to 85,000 for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which ended in September.
That includes Syrians, 80 of whom settled in Rochester in 2016. There were also significant increases in arrivals from Somalia (231, up from 103); Cuba (179, up from 119); Iraq (105, up from 54); and the Republic of the Congo (99, up from 39).
Rochester welcomed 756 refugees in 2015. This year, it was 1,176, and the pace has remained frenetic into the winter.
“This is usually a very slow time for us, but this year it’s the opposite because there are so many people in the pipeline,” said Jim Morris, associate vice president for family services at Catholic Family Center.
Even when refugee arrival trends are apparent, it is difficult for local agencies to plan very far in advance. Numbers can fluctuate in response to a variety of domestic and international factors, with the election of Donald Trump as president foremost at the moment.