When refugees were initially being placed in the county where I live (now more than 10 years ago), our community’s first impression was that the ‘Christian’ resettlement agency—the Virginia Council of Churches—was basically dropping off a couple hundred refugees, placing them in deplorable housing, and then not providing them with some of their basic needs.
I wanted to know what sort of program was this. Did the government allow this? But, of course as we know now, nine major federal resettlement contractors (including World Relief)*** are federal government contractors who oversee a network of over 300 subcontractors. The nine sign agreements with the US State Department laying out what services they will provide refugees in their care. Indeed the contractor is paid by the head for each refugee it is assigned.
Over the years, we have reported on many cases like this one being made in Tennessee that the contractor is not fulfilling its end of the bargain.
From The Tennessee Star:
During the March “Murfreesboro Muslim Youth” (MMY) meeting soliciting help for refugees brought to Rutherford County by federal resettlement contractor World Relief, it was disclosed that goods and services that the government paid for were not provided to the new refugees.
According to Abdou Kattih, founder and president of MMY, were it not for his organization, special emergency needs such as getting medical care for the refugee who arrived with a broken jaw or simply providing household essentials and even clothing, would not have been addressed, explaining they had taken care of “someone that does not have literally anything but the clothes they had off of last month.”
Melissa Sohrabi, who merged her group “Roots for Refugees” with MMY, was more direct in detailing the deficiencies of the government contractor in this talk she delivered in March:
“There is an expectation of what should happen and there’s reality of what really does happen. . . Why didn’t World Relief give them a table and chairs? Why didn’t they bring them a couch? What’s going on? . . . Not only did it not happen but if it did happen, those families are charged for every belonging, every item that is donated to World Relief, the family is then charged for, for having it delivered to them.”
World Relief (WR), based in Baltimore, is one of nine national refugee resettlement organizations that sign a “Cooperative Agreement” with the U.S. State Department to receive federal funding to resettle refugees. This is taxpayer money allocated for each refugee brought to a community; the funds are split between the refugee and the agency. In addition, the resettlement agency is required to provide the goods and services as detailed in the signed agreement.
Between fiscal years 2016 -17, WR was paid over $40 million by the federal government to resettle refugees in communities where they operate local offices which also receive federal funding through grants administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Continue reading here.
One of several things that came to mind when I read this, is something I have been wondering about for some time. Five of the nine resettlement contractors are ‘Christian charities’, one is Jewish and three are secular.
They all eagerly resettle Muslim refugees, but I have wondered when will some Muslim charity demand to get in on the federal gravy train? Laying the groundwork in this story?
***Here are the nine federal contractors that monopolize the US Refugee Admissions Program:
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)