It is as simple as this: HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) wants to continue to call the shots from Washington, DC about where refugees will be placed in America.
You, who live in cities large and small are expected to shut up and let the professionals and experts determine which third world refugees will be resettled in which communities.
Never mind that as we pointed out here, the President’s Executive Order really doesn’t do much and never mind that there are yet no published guidelines from the federal government about how the Executive Order would be carried out, HIAS is nevertheless getting a jump on it by beating their anti-Trump drums and filing a lawsuit.
Clearly they have no interest in listening to what citizens have to say about their community being forever changed by federal contractors working for the US State Department.
I suspect this new lawsuit is all about raising more money from an outraged constituency and I’ll tell you why I think that after you see what HIAS said yesterday.
Here is Mark Hetfield, HIAS CEO in an e-mail announcing the lawsuit:
In September, President Trump issued an executive order (EO) purporting to give state and local governments the authority to block refugee resettlement in their jurisdictions. This state-by-state, city-by-city refugee ban not only violates federal law, but also keeps refugees apart from their families, and prevents willing and able American communities like yours from welcoming people in need of safety. [Cry me a river!—ed]
This morning, HIAS, joined by two other refugee agencies, filed suit to stop this latest attempt to shut down refugee resettlement.
Now here is just some of their press announcement:
Today HIAS, together with two other refugee resettlement agencies, took President Trump to court over his recent executive order giving state and local officials authority to block refugee resettlement in their jurisdictions.
HIAS, Church World Service (CWS), and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) are suing the administration because it is attempting to enact a state-by-state, city-by-city refugee ban.
The president’s order, signed on September 26, would require resettlement agencies, including HIAS, CWS, and LIRS, to obtain written consent from all localities and states in which they plan to resettle refugees. If written consent cannot be obtained, it could prevent resettlement agencies from maintaining local affiliate offices that provide essential services to refugees already in the area.
According to the complaint, filed this morning in U.S. District Court in Maryland, the executive order violates federal law, which requires federal agencies to make decisions about where refugees are to be placed within the United States according to a detailed list of factors, leaving no room for state and local governments to veto such decisions.
What factors? What are the detailed list of factors on which the feds (with their contractors) base their placement decisions? Shouldn’t we be given that information? We are the ones paying for it in more ways than one!
HIAS sued the Trump administration in 2017, when the president’s executive order called for halting refugee resettlement and banning people from seven majority Muslim countries with an exception for non-Muslim religious minorities.
HIAS, CWS, and LIRS, are represented by the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).
Melissa Keaney, Senior Litigation Staff Attorney for IRAP called the order “a back-door attempt to decimate the refugee resettlement program.” and noted that a single local politician should not be able to stop Americans who have been waiting years to reunite with family members. [Their willingness to flat out lie is disgusting! A single local politician could not stop resettlement!—ed]
“Trump’s War on Refugees” as they call it, has been very lucrative for HIAS!
I suspected that HIAS, and maybe some of the other contractors, was financially hurting as the Trump Administration has severely cut back on the number of paying clients (aka refugees) that the contractors are paid to ‘care for’ for a brief time, but I was wrong.
HIAS is better off financially today than it was at the pinnacle of the Obama Administration when refugees were pouring in by the tens of thousands.
We are getting into the weeds here, but hang in there.
I went back to the last four years of HIAS’s IRS Form 990s and guess what I confirmed? HIAS is richer today than when Obama’s refugee spigot was wide open.
Their federal dollars have fallen only slightly while their private fundraising has mushroomed with the addition of over $10 million to their income between 2015 and 2018.
They are making money hand over fist because Donald Trump is in the White House!
In addition they are paying out more in salaries and giving less to other organizations.
Let me be clear. If HIAS was a truly charitable organization that was not partially funded by taxpayers, I wouldn’t care about where their money came from, where they spent it, or how large their salaries are, but we, the taxpayers of America, are involuntarily paying for their overtly political activities and thus have a right to know how our money is being spent.
Here is a summary of some key data points on their IRS forms (I’m rounding numbers to make it easier to follow the money!):
2015 (Obama year)
$20.4 million from government grants
$15.2 million from other sources of income
Total income: $40.6 million (other smaller sources of income included)(Conservatively 50% federally funded because some of their other smaller amounts of income are from taxpayers too.)
$8.5 million passed through to other organizations
$12.2 million paid in salaries (salaries do not include other payroll expenses)
$375,000 CEO (Hetfield) compensation (includes other related compensation)
2016 (Obama’s top refugee ‘welcoming’ year)
$24.5 million from government grants
$17.4 million from other sources of income
Total income: $45.3 million (54% federally funded)
$12.2 million passed through to other organizations
$13.9 million paid in salaries
$344,000 CEO total compensation
2017 (Trump takes over)
$20.7 million from government grants
$19.9 million from other sources of income
Total income: $48.4 million (43% federally funded)
$8.9 million passed through to other organizations
$15.9 million paid in salaries
$322,000 CEO total compensation (took a little pay cut)
$19.1 million from government grants (just about what they were raking in during Obama’s 2015!)
$27.4 million from other sources of income
Total income: $50 million (38% federally funded)
$6.6 million passed through to other organizations
$14.9 million paid in salaries
$330,000 CEO total compensation
Bottomline: HIAS is wealthier today ($10 million wealthier) than they were four years ago and I suspect they are fully aware of how the President, and their campaign against him, has enormously helped their fundraising operations.
The lawsuit will likely bring in gobs more money for them!
And, just so you know, I’ll be looking at the Form 990s of the other ‘religious charity’ partners in this lawsuit.