If Trump is Reelected Refugee Contractors Expect a Zero Determination for FY2021

I haven’t seen anything official yet from the bigwigs in the refugee industry other than their campaign I told you about here to pressure Congress into pressuring Trump to make a determination this month that would increase refugee admissions to 95,000 for fiscal year 2021 which begins in three weeks.

But, I ran across a paper written by a student (published in May of this year) in which she interviews underlings at several of the nine major federal resettlement contractors.  I’ve snipped just this section of an interview with Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) staff, but the whole paper has some informative nuggets for refugee policy wonks.

I was mostly interested in discussions of the upcoming Presidential Determination, so didn’t spend a lot of time on all of the gory details about what Trump is doing to them.

(See a recent post on ECDC here.)

The staffers in the Chicago office (the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago is a subcontractor of ECDC) say they fully expect zero refugees in FY2021 if Trump is reelected.  They say they are financially strapped, but when I checked USA Spending I found that they were still getting millions of your tax dollars. For what, I want to know?

From a University of Mississippi Honors Thesis by Savannah Day entitled:

“[Don’t] Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor…” a Study on the Trump Administration’s Unprecedented Reforms to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and their Implications

Rebecca Zellelew and Aklilu Adeye: ECDC – Chicago, IL
(Personal interview, 02/21/2020)
Rebecca Zellelew and Aklilu Adeye serve as a case manager and the executive director of the Ethiopian Community Development Council in Chicago, respectively.

This interview was conducted with both of them engaging in answering the questions simultaneously.

Zellelew and Adeye said for the FY 2020 PD, the administration is shifting its priorities and focusing mainly on religious minorities such as Ukrainians.

Aklilu Adeye

Because of this administration’s differing priorities and continuous cuts to the USRAP, the ECDC Chicago office has shrunk in staffing since 2017, they said.

They did not specify how many staffers had left or been laid off. Adeye said the office is having to shift to be a different kind of nonprofit offering different services, and also are not able to afford to refill positions of those who decide to leave or who are laid off. Adeye called this season a process of “soul searching” for his office, in order to rebuild from the damages the Trump administration’s cuts caused.

Adeye mentioned focusing on “revenue makers” several times as the office is shifting to focus on other programs that serve the already resettled communities in Chicago that can pay for ECDC extra services such as continued language classes, job training, after school and children’s programs, etc. Adeye said especially in the context of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, he is going to give refugee resettlement “one more year” before they decide to make any big decisions regarding changing the office’s services.

Adeye and Zellelew explained together why they think the cuts are being made, and that it is largely due to “othering rhetoric becoming
mainstream” and “identity politics.”

Looking for a picture of Zellelew I came across this one and assume it is the same person interviewed in this paper. It appears that Zellelew was arrested a few years back as a “diversity warrior” (arrested for disorderly conduct). I don’t see her on the staff roster now, so maybe she has gone back to street action. http://mu-warrior.blogspot.com/2015/06/self-righteous-marquette-diversity.html

Zellelew said President Trump is a “mouthpiece” to address the group that has made immigration an “ideological” issue and “easy target.”

She said President Trump will do “whatever will get him the most votes” and “momentum.” Zellelew said Trump is able to make politically uninformed groups go vote based on his energized nationalism.

Adeye called these cuts a “difficult wound,” and that the administration uses refugee resettlement as a “flashpoint” for conversation, “just like abortion and healthcare.”He backed this up by saying he’s observed this as new because the refugee program wasn’t demonized until recently, not “even after 9/11,” when American fear of outsiders was at an all-time high.  [Where has he been, yes, it has been criticized long before Trump came along, to that I can attest.—ed]

Zellelew said the underlying factor of all of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, refugee resettlement cuts included, is “racially motivated.

She said that his administration “shows a history of racist policies” and she takes this into account since refugees are often people of color, not
Anglo-Saxon European like a stereotypical looking ‘American.’

Regarding the future, Adeye said it matters who wins the election in November, but that it will take at least two years to rebuild the capacity of the program since all of these cuts have occurred. If Trump wins, Zellelew said, a zeroing policy for FY 2021 is “inevitable,” and the program infrastructure will completely collapse.

On a positive note, Adeye said there has been a big “awakening in society” and that there will be “lots of future policy change” after we “get over this rut we’re in.”

More here if you are interested in what the refugee contractor staffers have to say about the President and his policies.  One of the resettlement agency staffers in Arkansas says that Republican governors and other “conservatives” are supportive of refugee resettlement, but keep quiet about it.




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3 thoughts on “If Trump is Reelected Refugee Contractors Expect a Zero Determination for FY2021

  1. Although, not often spoken of, nor is it common knowledge by both most educated and under educated citizens, but the honest truth on immigration in 2020 is this:

    i.) America needed immigrants to build out our nation and their arrival was in service to the common good of our nation. This was true for several centuries. This is why we had countless homesteading land giveaways and such. IN recognition of this long standing policy other nations sent us monuments like the “Statue of Liberty” and it was then inscribed with wonderful lament of: “Send me Your tired, Poor . . .” and etc.!

    ii.) The last homestead and land give a way ended over 100 years ago. The USA eventually ran out of land and open spaces to give away and this occurred many decades ago. There has not been the opportunity for U.S. expansionism for even a longer period of time. We have over population in our cities and most incorporated towns, over population in our schools, and not enough jobs for the people willing to work (direct cause of low wages). Our nation has many serious pollution issues. Plastic was invented and developed to allow for the masses, to reduce consumption cost for the masses, and to reduce consumption of other natural resources. Collectively, it has become the direct cause of our oceans and waterways being saturated to toxic levels.

    iii.) Our nation lost control of smart self governance due to the overwhelming toxic influence from foreign powers directly due to lobbying both legal and illegal. All of which was against the common good of the citizens of America. These abuses are never more obvious and clear then that which Communist China is responsible for. Our colleges and universities have become cesspools for corrupted learning which sow the early seeds for Socialism, allowing for the current and future theft of Intellectual property to be somehow justified. These acts against the interest of America are coming from many Chinese, highly intelligent, former U.S. college graduate students and PhD’s and U.S citizens selling their job positions and souls for the almighty dollar.

    Therefore, there are numerous reasons why it is no longer sustainable, nor in the best interest of this nation, to allow illegal immigration to continue in any form, or manner, other than that of many other stabilized nations. Specifically, nations which allow for only legal and appropriate immigration. A good example of legal and appropriate immigration would be that of Australia where each year an inventory is undertaken to determine how many doctors, teachers, or engineers (as an honest observation) and etc., their nation needs to serve one, and only one purpose, which is to make their nation stronger and to serve the specific interests and needs of their legal resident citizens.

    1. I would argue that much of the legal immigration we permit is too much, including the refugee admissions program.

  2. I’d like to know when refugees/immigrants are going to be deported. America
    is full-up and has been for a long time.

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