My alerts are filled to the brim day after day with stories from around the US featuring a sob story for some refugee who won’t be able to reunite with a family member because there is a meany in the White House.
Inevitably a sad tale anchors a story which tells readers in a state—in this case Idaho—about how bad the Trump Administration’s proposed refugee ceiling of 18,000 is going to be on the refugee resettlement industry that derives most of its funding from the taxpayer—from you and me.
At least this story does mention the fact that federal funding is tied to the number of refugees admitted. But, I got a laugh when I saw that the report from Idaho Press uses the International Rescue Committee as the example of an agency singing the budgetary blues.
Heck! The IRC’s head honcho makes nearly a $1 million a year salary—a figure that has jumped at least a quarter of a million since Trump took office!
They simply can’t be that bad off!
The IRC’s Idaho representative Julianne Tzul told the Idaho Press:
Much of IRC’s funding comes from federal grants based on the number of refugees it serves, and Tzul expects to have “a wild ride to plan a budget when you don’t know if a major (funding) component is zero or is healthy.”
Still, Tzul said the agency has “no intention of going away.”
But, that isn’t the part that I want to tell you about. It is the part about their featured Iraqi refugee sob story.
(Virtually every article I’ve read in recent days features some family that has been separated. Instructions must have gone out to every resettlement office in America to find a family separation story to feed to the local press!).
Here is the headline of this one from Idaho:
What new refugee limit could mean for the Treasure Valley
BOISE — Under the Trump’s administration’s latest cap on refugee resettlement, Idaho refugees who have been separated from their families will likely have to wait longer to be reunited, and local resettlement agencies are expecting a dip in federal funding.
“We are going to see fewer refugees make it to Boise,” said Julianne Tzul, director of International Rescue Committee’s Boise office. “When total national numbers contract, they contract everywhere.”
The Trump administration last week announced an 18,000 cap on the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. this fiscal year, which started Tuesday. Trump’s final decision on the cap must include consultation with Congress, which could push for a higher total, according to the Associated Press.
The historically low cap would affect people like Ali Al Abboodi, a 28-year-old from Baghdad who was separated from his family in 2014 while they were traveling to Boise to be resettled. His family has worked with U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, in trying to secure his entry into the U.S.
After seven years in Syria, the family moved back to Iraq to await permission to become refugees in the United States. They received refugee status and flew to Boise in January 2014. Ali Al Abboodi’s case was separated from the rest of his family, but the plan was he would follow the family to Boise a few days later.
I want to know why wasn’t he with the family as they were shuffling around between Syria and Iraq? Why was his case separated as the family left for Boise?
And then this: Are we really expected to believe that someone just dying to be reunited with his family in the US missed TWO scheduled flights that would take him to America?
Idaho Press continues….
Ali Al Abboodi missed his first flight because of traffic and missed his second because of a car wreck, according to the family. After that, his case for refugee status was closed.
In 2017, Trump restricted travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq, further hindering Ali Al Abboodi’s ability to travel to the U.S.
Ahmed Al Abboodi did not let the travel bans stop him from trying to get his son to Boise. He met with Crapo with his caseworker, and urged the senator to help his family. Crapo helped reopen Ali Al Abboodi’s case for refugee status.
What do you think? I’m thinking there is more to this story than we are being told!
See my ever-expanding archive on ‘welcoming’ Idaho by clicking here.