Refugee Program in Disarray, Resettlement Contractors Reportedly Furious with Biden

“I haven’t felt the commitment and the attention I was expecting.” [From the Biden Administration]

Angie Plummer, Ohio resettlement contractor

Hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving with your friends and family.  No promises, but I will try to post from time to time so I won’t have too big a gap in my now nearly 15 year running catalog of ills surrounding the US Refugee Admissions Program.

Reminder: there are over 9,000 posts archived here at RRW and the search function works pretty well.  Choose a few key words and see what is here.

You surely know by now that the tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees are being treated like legitimate refugees and have swamped the refugee program causing complaints to surface from other ethnic groups and from contractors*** who do not want the Afghans to completely wipe out the chances of others, like the Somali starring in this Columbus Dispatch report, getting their extended family members into the US.

Biden’s pause on refugee resettlement worries agencies, advocates in Greater Columbus

Aden Hassan wants his mother here.  He blamed Trump for not moving faster and now he blames Biden.

Biden has paused the regular resettlement program in order to accommodate the Afghans, many of whom have not been vetted and likely will never be legal refugees.

Columbus is a top Somali resettlement target city

 

Angie Plummer, executive director of local refugee resettlement agency Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) [CRIS is a subcontractor of Church World Service—ed], which resettled Hassan, said there’s no reason why Afghans and refugees from other countries can’t be helped simultaneously.

“When we were asked do we want to pause (refugee) arrivals, I said no because it’s apples and oranges,” Plummer said. “We don’t think that it’s necessary. It’s not a competition for resources to have these folks come.”

[….]

“I fear there’s only so much bandwidth and that it’s shifted to focusing on Afghans, and we can’t take our eyes off these other crises that are happening,” Plummer said. “We want to serve the Afghans well, but we also feel committed to serving those people whose cases we started and who got the shaft under Trump.”

Angie Plummer https://www.osu.edu/alumni/news/ohio-state-alumni-magazine/issues/may-june-2017/open-arms-helping-hands.html

In light of the pause, refugee resettlement advocates are lamenting the fact that Biden did not prioritize rebuilding the refugee resettlement program as soon as he was inaugurated in January.

Plummer said she is concerned because the program’s capacity is still being rebuilt after Trump’s administration decimated its infrastructure.

“Any stopping and starting creates pains,” Plummer said. “I worry about that. Even if their intentions are to try to exempt out certain groups, we should be trying to ramp it back up and help this machinery work again.”

[….]

“I haven’t felt the commitment and the attention I was expecting,” Plummer said. “I really thought some wrongs would be righted and they haven’t been, and it feels like they’ve been shuffled down the road.”

Meredith Owen, Church World Service

The fact that the administration hasn’t prioritized restoring resettlement capacity sooner makes Meredith Owen, director of policy and advocacy at the national refugee resettlement agency Church World Service (CWS), furious.

“The problem is you never want to undermine or harm one refugee population in the name of another,” Owen said.

But, that is exactly what is happening.  Muslim Afghans are apparently Biden’s priority.  There is much more, visit the Columbus Dispatch for additional details.

*** For new readers, these are the nine major federal resettlement agencies which have contracts with the US State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement to place refugees (find housing!) and get them signed up for their welfare benefits, their medical care and get the refugee kids in school.

If you have an agency working near you and it doesn’t have the same name as one of the nine below, check its website carefully and you will most likely find it is a subcontractor of one of the nine (like CRIS is a CWS subcontractor).

Poor mouthing….

Know that when they “got the shaft” under the Trump Administration they were fundraising on their plight something they can’t do now that their guy is in charge of the taxpayer portion of their money stream.

US Refugee Program a Chaotic Mess as Afghans Flood the Zone

So good ol’ Joe isn’t going to be able to reach his 125,000 refugee admissions ceiling the way things are going.  (Most of the arriving Afghans are not legitimate refugees.)

A couple of weeks ago I checked the numbers at the severely limited Refugee Processing Center data base and noted that in the first month of the new fiscal year (October), Biden had admitted only 400 refugees from parts of the world other than Afghanistan.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not crying about that paltry number, but I am really amazed by the dearth of criticism from the contractors and their leftist media chorus.  Oh, they are critical, but the tone of their criticism is muted apparently to protect their man in the White House, you know, the guy who got 81 million votes!

Muslim Afghans crowd out other refugees

However, I suspect there is one group of Americans who are jumping for joy and that would be CAIR members and other Islamists because the refugee program is not admitting a wide variety of ‘persecuted’ other religions, namely Christians, as the Afghans (demanding stuff) are virtually all Muslims.

(See the Center for Immigration Studies 2021 Refugee Resettlement Roundup and note that we are no longer permitted to see data on the religions of refugees.  We can’t entirely blame Biden for that since it was the Trump administration that closed much of the data base to the public.)

So, I didn’t get around to writing my post on the Biden refugee slowdown, but Vox did and I am posting it here because I doubt many of you bother reading Vox.  I don’t either, but it appeared in my alerts, so here it is below.

First, however, you might be amused to see what Vox said about me in 2017:

For a good laugh! Vox calls my 2015 Youtube video a "bizarro rant" and makes my day

Why Biden is struggling to revive the US refugee program

After the US refugee program hit historic lows during Donald Trump’s administration, President Joe Biden attempted to revive the program by raising the annual cap on admissions to 125,000.

Despite these efforts, the US is still not taking in more refugees.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have arrived in the US since the American withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. The urgent need — and the lasting damage done by the Trump administration — has overtaxed a refugee program that has slowed to a crawl in recent months.

In fiscal year 2021, which ended in September, the US resettled the lowest number of refugees in the history of its refugee program. Recently, the State Department reported the US resettled just 401 refugees in October, down from 3,774 the month before, one month after Biden’s new cap went into effect.

A State Department spokesperson told Vox that the agency had temporarily halted refugee admissions as of October 29 through January 11, 2022, with some exceptions.

At the current pace, the US won’t come within striking distance of the 125,000 cap by the end of the fiscal year — and, given the State Department’s new refugee guidance, it’s unlikely that refugee agencies will be able to expand capacity to ramp up that pace soon.

There are legitimate reasons why the recent resettlement numbers are so low. The US government and refugee agencies have been primarily focused on resettling Afghans who fled their home country amid the US withdrawal. And the entire refugee apparatus — from the federal officials who assess refugee claims to the agencies that help with resettlement — shrank significantly during the Trump administration due to severe funding cuts.  [Nah!  I told you here that they all didn’t take a financial “beating.” —ed]

About 70,000 Afghans have been admitted to the US on “parole,” a temporary form of humanitarian relief that allows them to apply for work permits and shields them from deportation for a period of two years.  [Then what???—ed]

Keep reading and look around at news stories (my inbox is full of them) on the refugee program and how the Afghan flood has created chaos especially as housing is limited, jobs are limited and welfare is limited and the contractors are scrambling to cope with the chaos Biden (their man) has handed them.

For new readers, here are the contractors that monopolize all refugee resettlement in America:

Refugee Resettlement Contractor: We took a “beating” under Trump!

Darn! It is comments like that which will force me out of semi-retirement because no one in the media ever calls them on this crap!

Thanks to a reader for sending me this news from CNN that appeared in a few media outlets around the country, here at CBS 58 in Milwaukee.

But, before I give you the money quote, pay attention to this story.  The refugee contractors have long wanted to see a private refugee sponsorship program set up as a way to increase the numbers of ‘refugees’ admitted to the US.

The private sponsors would be in addition to their paid work as government resettlement contractors.

The massive number of Biden’s Afghans cannot be accommodated under the present system so this trial run at finding private sponsors for thousands of families outside the present system could be just the ticket they have long hankered for.

HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield

Note too that Afghans could be placed anywhere, and that the long understood one hundred mile radius of an approved refugee resettlement site will no longer apply.

Anyway, here is what Mark Hetfield  of HIAS, Inc (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) says and continues to say about how the Trump administration decimated the contractor system.

It just is not true!

 

But after four years of historic low arrivals under the Trump administration, agencies had to close some of their offices around the country, limiting where refugees can be relocated — a significant hurdle at a time when housing options are already hard to come by.

“We just didn’t have the capacity after the beating we took under the Trump administration,” said Mark Hetfield, the president and CEO of HIAS, a refugee resettlement agency.

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society did NOT take a beating under Trump as you can see from data at USA Spending!

In fact, Trump upped their income from early years of the Obama Administration.

 

First year under Obama:

First year under Trump:

 

Last full Trump year:

You could actually say that Trump nearly doubled the federal dole to HIAS from Obama’s early years.

But, now, they are in the money as Biden has gifted them just about $50 million of your tax dollars for their charitable (ha!) good works.

Apparently salaries did not suffer under Trump either!

From HIAS 2020 Form 990 (a Trump year!):

No Afghan Community in Wyoming, so Let’s Build One! says Episcopal Pastor

Thanks to a reader for alerting me to more news about churches in Wyoming hankering for their very own Afghans (I won’t call them refugees as they are not!) even as the governor has so far said Wyoming won’t be part of Biden’s airlift.

From the Daily Wyoming Cowboy:

Wyoming Churches Take In Afghan Refugees After The State Governor Refuses

CHURCHES in Wyoming hope to support Afghan refugees to live among them. The churches step in because their state is the only one in the United States that does not have a refugee resettlement program.

Wyoming Episcopal Bishop Rt Revd Paul-Gordon Chandler said he was greatly encouraged by the churches’ desire to “welcome the stranger.”

In a letter to the congregations last week, he said: “Some of the churches in our diocese are currently examining the possibility of accepting an Afghan refugee family or, in one way or another, supporting the resettlement of Afghan refugees in our country. For example, the sacristy of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Casper last month voted unanimously to begin investigating the process of sponsoring an Afghan family.

“Since Wyoming does not have a government-funded refugee resettlement program, it requires some creative thinking and close collaboration with the episcopal migration ministries whose mission is this sacred work.”

He said that while the office was not “lobbying” the governor’s office on the matter, it was having “encouraging talks”.  [I sure hope those of you concerned about changing Wyoming are having “talks” with the governor too!—ed]

[….]

The Rector of St. Mark’s in Casper, Wyoming, Revd Dr. Jim Shumard told ENS: “Most Afghan families want to go where there is an Afghan community. There is no community here. We pray that other local churches will support other families so that we can build a fellowship together. “

There is more.  Wyoming is just too white!

He is right, most refugees will simply up and move to be with their own kind of people.

Local church volunteers will burn out trying to supply all the needs of the newcomers who won’t have jobs for a long time, who won’t be able to drive themselves to anything, and who will expect certain culturally appropriate foods and so forth.  Eventually the ‘new Americans’ up and move to ethnic enclaves of their own kind with nary a farewell glance. I have seen it many times!

However, what their presence will bring is a resettlement contractor office such as the one mentioned in this article—Episcopal Migration Ministries—one of nine federal contractors (below for new readers)!

It bugs the heck out of them that Wyoming has resisted their “sacred work” for over 4 decades.

 

Housekeeping Items from Me….

First, I am alive and well and thanks to readers who have checked in on my welfare!  And, special thanks to those of you who sent notes to my snail mail post office box.

If you are wondering, I will post from time to time, more maybe when cold weather arrives and I am stuck in the house.  And, if I see things where I can contribute some additional information that isn’t being discussed elsewhere.

In the meantime, see John Binder at Breitbart who is staying on top of Biden’s Afghan on-going airlift of ‘new Americans’ to a town near you.  Stories like this one yesterday.

Check Borderhawk daily for links to stories about illegal aliens and refugees around the world.

Use my search window (upper right hand corner of RRW) with a few key words to access some of the thousands of posts I have written since 2007.

If you have additional questions about policy, reports and facts about immigration, be sure to ask one or all of the three major immigration control groups which have offices staffed with lots of people in the Washington, DC area:  Center for Immigration Studies, FAIR (Federation for Immigration Reform), and NumbersUSA.

Finally, I recently told you that you could reach me through the comments section at the end of each post, well, now that isn’t working as I have been flooded with so much spam mail that it has completely clogged up my comments section.  Sigh.  I think I am getting a sign that retirement might be in my near future!