This is big and it is buried many column inches into a story at Business Insider entitled:
Biden said the US was committed to accepting more refugees. So where are they?
As longtime readers know, the US Refugee Admissions Program has traditionally paid its nine contractors*** on a per refugee client basis.
So, naturally during the Trump years, when refugee arrivals were low, the contractors were not raking in the federal bucks (your tax dollars) at the rate they did when Obama, for instance, was President.
They whined and complained about having to cut staff and close offices and now they want to get up and running before the promised 125,000 begin arriving in October.
They are getting ready in Idaho! where a controversial resettlement agency there had its budget (waaahh!) halved by Trump.
Although a good bit of the Business Insider article is a rehash of the recent Biden flip, flop, flipping on the refugee ceiling for this fiscal year, the article is nevertheless chockfull of useful information.
For the sake of time, which I am running out of this morning, here are just a few snips:
A spokesperson for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an arm of the Health and Human Services Department, said the Trump administration’s cuts to refugee admissions had hit the country’s humanitarian infrastructure hard.
“[H]umanitarian infrastructure” is code for government contractors’ budgets.
“The steady decrease in arrivals during the previous four years has resulted in decreased resettlement capacity at the local level,” they said. Between 2017 and 2021, “approximately one-third of the network had to close.”
That has raised the question: Can the US actually resettle as many refugees as Biden would like?
Officials at US refugee agencies said they would be able to meet the needs of any refugees sent their way. Rebuilding their capacity to do so is a hassle, but it has already begun. New staff are being hired, and new offices will soon be opened — the when and where hinging on support from local communities. [They are out scouting for fresh territory!—ed]
Okay, here it is for all of you refugee policy wonks! As I said, this is big!
Wrenn, of the resettlement agency HIAS, said her group would soon be receiving from the State Department “capacity building funds so that we can actually start to hire up and train people for arrivals.”
LOL! “agency partners!” They try so hard to avoid using the word contractors!
For the first time, the government will also be paying its agency partners and their partners on the local level ahead of time and more consistently.
“It has historically always been a per capita system,” she said. Before, “as arrivals fell, staff volume fell, because that’s the way it worked.” Now the plan is to provide a separate budget for the staff — social workers, language and cultural experts, educators — that will not be based, after the fact, on the exact number of refugees that agency ended up serving.
Read on for more information.
And, a shout-out to a refugee policy wonk I know who predicted that this was what they are doing during this time when refugee arrivals are still low.
Can you imagine the competition going on among the nine as they scramble for the Biden bucks no longer tethered to the number of refugees each contractor can manage.
***In case you are new to RRW, here are all of the nine contractors that have monopolized all refugee distribution in the US for decades.
They worked to ‘elect’ Biden/Harris and lobby for open borders. As taxpayers you pay them millions annually to change America by changing the people.
Two of the contractors, the USCCB and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service are also paid to find locations for the Unaccompanied Alien Children.
At this very moment they are all out scouting for new, fresh territory in which to place their refugee clients. See Winchester, VA.
Foreigners First! is their motto!