US Catholic Bishops Bemoan Loss of Federal Funding under Trump

As you should all know by now, nine federal refugee contractors including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops receive a large chunk of their income from you, the US taxpayer, based on the number of refugees they place in your towns and cities.

So it is no surprise that their revenue is dropping as the President reduces the number of refugees being ‘welcomed’ to America by the UN and the US State Department.

In a story about the Bishops upcoming budget year at the National Catholic Register  (h/t Joanne) we learn that the biggest drop in funding comes from their so-called Migration and Refugee Services Office budget.

Bishops OK 2020 budget; numbers inconclusive for 2021 assessment hike

BALTIMORE — The U.S. bishops voted to approve the budget for 2020 for their conference headquarters in Washington but did not register sufficient numbers to determine passage of a proposed 3% increase in the diocesan assessment for 2021.

Both votes took place Nov. 11, the first day of their Nov. 11-13 fall general assembly in Baltimore.

The bishops approved a budget nearing $22.69 million for next year.*** Budget approval required a majority of bishops present and voting. The vote was 211-11, with one abstention.

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati

The proposed 2020 budget projects a “marginal” surplus of $49,261, about 2% of the total, according to Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, treasurer of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The figures include increases of 3.6% for policy and advocacy, 3.5% for the administrative offices, 2.7% for the general secretariat, 1.2% for the bishops’ conference staff house in Washington, and 0.4% for pastoral ministries.

The biggest budget decreases come within the Migration and Refugee Services office, which relies on federal grants for much of its revenue.

MRS operations “continue to be impacted by the very dynamic changes in the federal immigration and refugee policies and programs,” Schnurr said in a message sent to bishops prior to the meeting.

MRS administration is being cut $6.6 million “due primarily to the reduction in refugee arrivals which directly impacts pass-through funding to the dioceses for local administration and direct assistance to clients,” Schnurr said.  [LOL! pass-through funding after a huge slice is taken out for salaries!—ed]

MRS’ resettlement services office is being scaled back by $2.6 million “largely due to the closure of the Cuban-Haitian program by the end of 2019,” he added. MRS’ executive office is cutting its budget $178,00 for 2020, and its special programs office will be down $53,000 from 2019 levels.

Overall the numbers of refugees admitted to the country who are helped by MRS “continue to track downward,” Schnurr told his fellow bishops.

Rarely do we see reports on the number of refugees any of the nine contractors resettled.

In fiscal year 2016, MRS settled about 4,200 refugees. In 2017, the number swelled to 7,800 refugees, but last year MRS resettled 6,350. And as of Sept 30 of this year, the number of refugees settled was 4,350.

Interesting that in 2016 the Bishops had a smaller share (only 5%) of the incoming refugees than they do now (14%).  It can only mean that as the overall number of refugees drop, the Bishops are getting a bigger cut.  I wonder why that is?

Or, it could mean the Catholic Bishops received a lot more federal money because they also contracted to take care of the mushrooming numbers of ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children,’ funding for which comes under the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.

“Staff remains vigilant and where possible, proactive” in pushing for higher federal intake numbers, he said.

You can bet they are proactive and lobbying for more refugee paying clients and ultimately Democrat voters!

More here.

***But, here is what I don’t get.  The Bishops reported a substantially higher income in 2018.  Yes, they had more paying clients, but did they have so many fewer last year and expect even less in the coming year that their budget dropped by half from 2018?

That would be a great headline—-Under Trump Catholic Bishops lose at least $20 million in two years!

Maybe someone with accounting experience can jump in and explain—could they have lost half of their federal money in just two years?

BTW, in 2018 93% of their Migration Program was funded by US taxpayers!

From their consolidated annual report their Migration and Refugee Services Program for calendar year 2018 shows over $48 million from the feds.  So what I want to know is if their budget for the coming year will be only $22 million (as reported above) that indicates a enormous drop in federal funding over two years.  Again, could that be true?

Only a little over $3 million was raised from private charitable giving by parishioners! page 38


Doing well by doing good!

Check out that 2018 financial report and notice that over $8 million went to SALARIES to compensate for their good works to benefit refugees. So much for ‘religious’ charities!

See my previous post this morning about the numbers of refugees admitted over the last ten years.  I needed some of that data to figure what percentage of incoming refugee clients the Bishops are getting—I’m guessing they are getting the biggest chunk of the flow into your towns and cities.

Handy Chart on Obama vs. Trump Refugee Admissions

I have a category here at RRW entitled ‘Where to find information’ and I am placing this short post there for your future reference.

I’ve become sick and tired of hearing, via uninformed media, that Obama admitted 100,000 refugees a year during his presidency.

He did not. 

According to the Refugee Processing Center:

In only one year did he set a CAP (CEILING) in excess of 100,000 and he set that in September 2016 during the waning months of his Presidency—either anticipating that Hillary was coming in to ‘welcome’ that many, or in the case of a Trump win, he was setting Trump up to look mean and unwelcoming.

Obama could have set a 100,000+ CAP in any of the previous years, why didn’t he?

Note also that Obama didn’t admit near his ceilings in several years of his time in office.

Whatever deception Obama (his State Department!) was trying to pull, please keep this chart handy because when the new numbers are recorded at the end of this month, that 2009 year will drop from the chart.

Note the ‘Ceiling’ column vs. the ‘to the US’ column which is the number that actually were admitted.


If you see a news report in a local paper about how Obama admitted 100,000 refugees a year, be sure to tell the reporter/editor to get their facts straight!