Refugees placed in rough neighborhoods, not so sure it was a good idea to come to America

“I wanted to come here, have a nice house, a car, but they kill your son,” she said. “They broke my heart. They killed me, too.”

(Mother questioning why she ever came from the DR Congo to Chicago)

Stories are increasingly showing up in the media about refugees placed by federally funded resettlement agencies in to cheap housing in dangerous neighborhoods.

Darlis killed in Milwaukee
17-year-old Darlis was shot and killed in Chicago

Yesterday I posted this story from San Antonio, and reader ‘ganjagrandma’ sent another story from last week about Milwaukee, Chicago and Rockford, Illinois where not only were refugees placed in slum housing, but were targets of violence and murder in the neighborhoods where they were placed.
(I suspect those refugees in a Boise housing complex are feeling like Darlis’ mother.)
Of course, I am a little suspicious about this spate of stories because I think what it is leading to is a demand for more federal money for refugee agencies and an opportunity to blame Donald Trump yet again for being heartless.
You need to know a couple of things before I go on with this latest news on the subject.

First, this business of placing refugees in slum apartments has been going on for as long as I have followed this issue—11 years—long before Donald Trump arrived at the White House. I know that because it was one of the first things that caused me to wonder what the heck was going on with this program when refugees were placed in the worst neighborhoods in Hagerstown, MD, near where I live.
And secondly, NEVER FORGET, the Refugee Act of 1980 declared this program to be a PUBLIC-PRIVATE partnership that has morphed into a program almost completely funded by your tax dollars.  The private donations on the part of the refugee contractors*** has, over the years, dried up. And why not! The federal money flowed like water, and it is hard work to raise private money.
In fact, I have on many occasions asked why, for instance, rich Catholics (Lutherans, Episcopalians, Jews, and mainstream Protestants) aren’t putting more of their own money in to caring for the poor people brought here in many cases under false pretenses—-they thought they were coming to streets paved with gold (or at least they would have a house and car) and they get slum apartments in violent neighborhoods, and if they are lucky a job gutting chickens. (And it is called Christian/Jewish charity!)
If there isn’t enough money, it is the fault of the PRIVATE NON-PROFITS for not supplementing the refugees they are only too eager to place!
And, by the way, where is Congress? The US Refugee Admission Program (USRAP) needs to be trashed as it is!  If they want to come up with a new program, fine, let’s have that debate, but clearly the 1980 law is failing.
I’m posting this story because you need to know this is happening, but, again, beware the contractors*** will promote this as 1) We need more of your tax dollars, and 2) Donald Trump is mean.
From The Trace:

Resettled Refugees, Seeking Peace in America, Find Gun Violence Instead

Da Ku’s 12th birthday party seemed a lifetime away from the ramshackle refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Myanmar, where he was born.

Friends and family arrived at his aunt’s house in a steady stream, carrying armfuls of supplies to an increasingly crowded kitchen. The food reflected their past home (Burmese rice noodles, pork meatballs) and their new one in Wisconsin (white-frosted cake, topped with a plastic hunter stalking a toy deer).

But a conspicuous absence in the festivities served to remind Da Ku and his family that America had not proved to be the safe harbor they had hoped. Jay Ro, Da Ku’s father, wasn’t there. He had been killed two years earlier during a botched armed robbery of his family’s home.


The family was resettled in the Midtown neighborhood on Milwaukee’s northwest side, where affordable homes are in plentiful supply, but where shootings are common.


Experts, community members, and refugees themselves blame a system hobbled by a lack of funding and conflicting directives. In 2017, the State Department allotted the nonprofit agencies that work with families $2,075 per refugee for resettlement costs. Of that total, $1,125 must be used for direct support of refugees, on things like food and furnishings. The other $950 is available to the local affiliate to spend on its staff and infrastructure.

Agencies are contractually required to secure “decent, safe, and sanitary housing” — and must also take into account pre-existing refugee communities that could make integration into life in the United States easier for new arrivals. There often isn’t enough money, experts say, to finance resettlement in a safe, secure neighborhood. 


Violence is concentrated on the city’s West Side and South Side, but has also at times spilled into northern neighborhoods like Uptown and Rogers Park. That’s where many of refugees are resettled, according to RefugeeOne, the city’s largest resettlement agency.

Darlis Nkolomi, a 17-year-old, who was resettled in Chicago as a child with his mother from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was fatally shot in the head last April in Rogers Park after surviving a drive-by shooting a year earlier. The death left his mother, Chantal Mulumba, who carried Darlis in her arms as she fled war in her homeland 18 years ago, distraught and questioning why she had ever accepted placement in the United States.

“I wanted to come here, have a nice house, a car, but they kill your son,” she said. “They broke my heart. They killed me, too.”

Back to Milwaukee…

In 2011, they were assigned to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

State Department officials interviewed Jay Ro’s case worker and other officials from Catholic Charities in December 2014, before Jay Ro’s death, as part of a review of its services. The review, released last year, found the organization to be “partially compliant” with federal requirements. “Home visits indicated that refugees are not always living in safe or sanitary environments [sic],” the document said.

So typical, but at least honest!  CC spokesperson won’t comment to the media on a negative story about refugees. We only promote positive, warm and fuzzy stories!

archdioses of Milwaukee 2

In an email, Sarah Powers, a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities, said the agency only has “interest in contributing to those articles pieces which inform the public and advocate for the refugee community in a positive and productive way.” She declined to comment further.


Experts who work at resettlement agencies and researchers who have studied them say the agencies bear some responsibility for not doing more to ensure that refugee housing is safe and secure. But they say those agencies are often in an impossible situation, tasked with finding housing and employment with too little time and too little money.

Refugee worker: So why should we have to raise private money?

“We have been creative with the outside funding, but it should be coming from the government if this is the responsibility that the government is taking,” said one Chicago-based caseworker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about the challenges of resettlement. “Why do we have to get outside sources just to do the work that we should be funded to do?”

Asked about funding complaints, a State Department spokesperson said, “One of the strengths of the program is that it is a public-private partnership in which federal government resources are leveraged with state, private, nonprofit, faith-based, and community resources to support refugees.”

The State Department spokesperson is right, but didn’t go on to say:

These non-profits haven’t been holding up their end of the bargain!

Much more here.
Great American melting post myth!
One last thing… I think that many of the resettlement contractors are so naive that they think they can plunk down minority people from differing cultures around the world into American minority neighborhoods and think that love will blossom all around.
***The nine federal contractors you fund are below.
The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees, line them up with jobs, and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare, education and healthcare)!  From most recent accounting, here.
There will be no reform of the USRAP until these nine federal contractors/political activist groups are eliminated from the system.

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