So says an advocate working to raise money for their needs.
Regular readers may remember that in 2016 Barack Obama (as he was wrapping up his 8 years as President) cut a deal with the then Australian Prime Minister to allow more than a thousand of Australia’s illegal aliens, who tried to break into the country by boat, to be brought to the US as legitimate refugees.
Donald Trump knew instinctively that it was a dumb ‘deal,’ but went along with it anyway. You could hardly call it a deal because a deal implies we get something in exchange. News reports are mysteriously silent about what we got for taking the mostly Muslim men into our country.
If you want to catch up on the details, see my extensive file Australia Dumb Deal.
Here is an update of their arrivals in the US written by a journalist/advocate who leads a non-profit group to help take care of their needs through private charity—admirable if it is all private money.*** However, they are clearly advocates for more US taxpayer spending for so-called refugees that have nothing to do with Americans.
He fingers US refugee resettlement contractors for not doing their jobs!
As you read his story, remember that these ‘refugees’ tried to break into Australia by boat, were caught and detained under Australian law. They chose to try to illegally enter Australia. They should not have been our problem!
Ben Winsor (of Ads-Up) writing at The Guardian:
It’s hard to imagine how the US-Australia refugee deal could have been handled worse
Four years ago then Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull struck a deal with then US president Barack Obama to transfer up to 1,250 of Australia’s unwanted refugees to the United States.
The deal outlives both men’s leadership.
As we enter 2021 – despite US president Donald Trump’s condemnation of “this dumb deal” and a pandemic which has crippled the US resettlement system – the transfers continue. About 870 have arrived so far with more slated shortly.
After more than seven years in limbo, refugees will arrive with barely more than the clothes on their backs and they will be plunged into a collapsed economy, a rampant pandemic and a threadbare support system.
The US refugee resettlement contractors are still rolling in large amounts of federal dollars, there should be no excuse for any lack of care for these ‘refugees.’
After touching down in Los Angeles, refugees are separated from each other and shuttled on to flights to cities from Phoenix to Philadelphia, San Antonio to Salt Lake City. Each will be handed a debt notice for their transfer flights – an absurdity that can total more than $11,000 for families with children.
US refugee policy does require the repayment of airfare ‘loans,’ but large amounts are never repaid. The State Department does not want to publicly reveal how bad the repayment rate is.
The new arrivals are offered just 90 days of accommodation and basic support. Then they’re on their own.
Abandoned by refugee resettlement contractors!
In theory, resettlement agencies are supposed to help with job applications, work authorisation and medical assistance in this period. But in reality, many refugees tell us they’re all but abandoned.
All of it is forced on refugees by the Australian government’s seven-year failure to resolve a crisis of its own making.
Almost all these refugees arrived in the days and months after the government’s sudden 2013 announcement that refugees arriving by boat would be barred from resettling in Australia – a deterrent which appears to have succeeded but has left thousands in limbo.
More than 40% of refugees tell Ads-Up they need assistance with medical care; another 40% request help with dental treatment. Inadequate healthcare on the islands means some arrive with easily treatable infections which have been left to fester undiagnosed.
Despite everything, most arrivals bear no ill will towards Australians.
They recall those who befriended them via Facebook when they were stranded, or who held vigils and protests. They are grateful to America, and even Trump, for giving them the chance to restart their lives.
*** I could not find a Form990 for Ads-Up. They say that Ads-Up (USA) is a recognised not-for-profit charity under the umbrella of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs network. Hmmmm!