Will Refugee Resettlement Resume Tomorrow as Was Expected? News from Idaho

Tomorrow is the previously stated date for refugees to begin arriving again in large numbers.  They have been trickling in, probably a couple of hundred in the last two months since refugee travel was halted by the United Nations, but the US Refugee Program is largely shut down.

Special Immigrant Visas do continue to arrive from Afghanistan by the hundreds, but I’ll leave that discussion for another day.

Meanwhile the only news coming out of the mainstream media about refugees in America are sob stories about how they are struggling, out of work, fearful of being evicted, and trying to cope with COVID (like all of America!).

Some are working in essential services like meatpacking (Yogurt making?), others like those in the hospitality industry are out of work in large numbers.

Here is one such story from Twin Falls, Idaho where controversy over refugee resettlement has been muted after years of public protests about how the program was changing Idaho.

(I have a huge archive on Idaho, see it here.)

The third world moving to Twin Falls, Idaho. Map from the heyday of the Obama years. https://www.eastidahonews.com/2016/12/starting-over-a-young-african-father-of-six-seeks-a-new-life-refuge-in-idaho/

 

From MagicValley.com:

‘It’s like we’re living a half life’ — For refugees, COVID-19 impacts depend on where they live

The star of this story, a refugee from the DR Congo, says he is more worried about his brother in a refugee camp in Africa.

However, so far, the Chinese Virus has made no significant impact on refugee camps (although as I have reported it isn’t for the media’s lack of interest, they expect catastrophe momentarily).

The article mostly discusses how challenging it is for refugees to live here in America these days (especially as many can’t speak English) and how the refugee agencies are short of funding and also cannot help refugees in person. (Why not? Where are their masks?)

They really aren’t short of funding as I pointed out here.  The nine major contractors that send money down to subcontractors are getting nearly as much as they did during the Obama years (some are getting more!) when thousands upon thousands arrived every month!

The motherships must be holding on to the cash in order to pay salaries of their top execs.  Besides, letting the low level staffers go makes for a better media story anyway!

Here is one little snip from this publication (these Idaho papers are prickly, they once sent me a letter telling me I couldn’t snip their stories).

Director Zeze Rwasama College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center in Twin Falls, Idaho. CSI is a subcontractor of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

The federal government pushed the date resettlements would restart from May 1 to May 15, but resettlement centers anticipate it will be pushed again.

“For that to happen involves the coordination of many government agencies to allow a refugee to travel,” Rwasama said.

“Many of those agencies are working with limited staff. I don’t see how we can receive refugees during this time.”

Coping with reduced budgets:

Now that refugee resettlement is halted in the wake of COVID-19, federal funding coming to resettlement programs will be drastically reduced…

You can read it all here.

Then there is an AP story  circulating mostly about Arizona Afghans you can read yourself entitled:

New refugees struggle to find footing in US during pandemic

Coping with reduced budgets! Not!

The College of Southern Idaho Refugee Program is a subcontractor of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants which is almost 100% funded by taxpayers.  Its chief executive officer makes at least a quarter of a million a year in salary (last we checked) that YOU are paying.

Here is how they are doing financially from USA Spending….

The $90 million in the left hand corner is the amount of federal funding they have received in the last 12 months!

 

 

The International Rescue Committee, also mentioned in the Twin Falls sob story, has seen little change in its financial position from the Obama years.  Its CEO, David Miliband, is pulling down a salary approaching a million dollars annually.

How about if they pony-up some of their federal funding to directly feed and house refugees they have distributed around America for years.

Why should taxpayers first pay for the resettlement and now pay for refugee care during the virus crisis?

$215 Million in the last twelve months!

 

This is no time to resume admitting more poverty to America!

Ten Years Ago this Month at RRW

I’m working on a lengthier project, but I am alive and well and wanted to give you something to read.

So I went back to my archives from May of 2010 to find some posts (I posted 60 times that month) that might be of interest.

Here are a dozen memorable ones (it’s a good thing I snipped significant portions of some news articles because the original stories are gone).

 

(Click on the headline)

 

Was Somali murder in Ft. Morgan an honor killing?

UN setting the stage for increased Somali resettlement to the West

 

St. Cloud update: What did the report really say?

Obama’s Auntie Zeituni granted asylum

 

Iowa editor admits it: we want refugee labor in our state

 

Courtroom outburst in Utah refugee murder case halts proceedings

 

Senators Leahy and Sessions scuffle over refugee program expansion bill

 

Feds issue terror watch for Somalis coming across the border—too little too late

 

Former Congressman issues another call for moratorium on immigration across the board

 

Teachers in Lewiston school to be moved out because test scores are below average

 

Utah case indicates Somali family reunification is moving forward

 

Alleged Al Shabaab recruiter may soon be extradicted to the US

 

 

 

 

Memory Lane: Meatpackers Work Directly with ‘Religious’ Refugee Contractors

Because it is all over the news these days, I figured this might be a good time to repost some stories that you might not have seen or have long since forgotten.  Like this one from 2017 (sure is good we were able to recover RRW when it was removed from the web last summer!):

Foreign-owned Big Meat hires Lutherans to help them find and retain refugee labor

That is the crux of this story and not in my wildest dreams did I think that money was directly changing hands between the meat industry and a federal refugee contractor, in this case Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service headquartered in Baltimore, MD.

Don’t miss my post about LIRS just a few days ago. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.org/2020/04/29/refugee-advocates-join-forces-with-major-national-wildlife-protection-group/

I always assumed it was an informal relationship where the largely federally-funded ‘religious’ charity (LIRS is 96% funded by you and not via the collection plate) just happened to be bringing immigrant workers to small town America.

Now we learn that there is a formal (secret!), contractual arrangement planned for pilot projects in four states with JBS USA a Brazilian-owned company. And, it makes me wonder if this isn’t new and whether similar arrangements are being made with others of the nine federal refugee contractors.***

For those of you in places like St. Cloud, MN frustrated that you can’t get local elected officials to listen to you, remember their seemingly illogical resistance to slowing the flow of refugees has nothing to do with humanitarianism and everything to do with changing America for the almighty dollar!

From Leo Hohmann at World Net Daily:

Global meatpacking giant goes all in for refugee labor

A Lutheran resettlement agency that places United Nations refugees into dozens of U.S. cities and towns is working with the world’s largest meatpacking conglomerate to train refugees for work in four American states while also softening up the local natives to be more “welcoming.”

JBS Headquarters in Greeley, CO Photo credit: me

The secretive pilot program between Baltimore-based Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the U.S. subsidiary of JBS Swift aims to pump more refugees into Georgia, Texas, Iowa and Michigan to work in the company’s meat plants. If successful, the pilot program could be renewed for a second year and replicated at JBS meat plants across the U.S., WND has learned.

JBS Swift, the Brazilian-based global meat-processing giant, has agreed to pay Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, or LIRS, $155,000 to implement the pilot program over the next year in the four states, according to a draft of the partnership agreement obtained by WND from a person with inside knowledge of the deal.

“The shock here is to find out that a religious agency is being paid by a foreign global corporation to train refugees and ultimately transform the demographics of small towns in America’s heartland,” said Ann Corcoran, an expert on the international movement of refugees and the nine volunteer agencies that resettle them for the U.S.

The deal between the global meat producer JBS and the Lutheran agency has been dubbed “Rebuilding Dreams,” and is described in the draft document as a “grant and collaboration agreement” between JBS USA and LIRS in the four states.

“The primary goal of this agreement is to improve the capacity of JBS USA and local resettlement agencies to support and improve the hiring and retention of refugee employees at four pilot sites in Michigan, Texas, Iowa, and Georgia,” according to the document.

The following are the cities in those states where JBS has meatpacking plants:

Iowa – Council Bluffs, Marshalltown and Ottumwa, mostly pork production
Michigan – Plainwell, mostly beef
Georgia – Elberton, Douglas, Athens, Ellijay, Canton and Carrollton, mostly chicken
Texas – Waco, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Pittsburg and Mount Pleasant, mostly chicken

“Rebuilding Dreams will achieve this goal by creating customized trainings and resources for key stakeholders, building stronger relationships through communications and technology platforms, enhancing the collection and evaluation of data, and improving the overall quality and culture of the workplace experience for refugee employees,” the agreement states.

The agreement also calls for improving the local “welcoming culture” in the cities where the refugees will be placed.

Part of United Nations agenda for sustainability

JBS is a transnational, global corporation that beats the United Nations “sustainability” drum on its website, and it also cashes in on the globalized “labor mobility” concept pushed by the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Read more here. The story is a detailed must-read about how a global corporation and a supposedly religious charity are changing America by changing the people.

And as a side reading project, see this 2006 article from the Greeley Tribune involving Swift (JBS bought Swift) explaining how the meat industry went from being a desirable place for Americans to work to their model today that is increasingly reliant on the global movement of labor—-middle America be damned!

Don’t miss Bloomberg: Big Meat worried about Trump’s reduced refugee flow, here.

For Republicans it’s about money!

We know the Dems are pushing refugee resettlement in order to boost the number of Democrat voters, and if you are wondering why the Republicans aren’t doing enough to get the program controlled—look to the Chamber of Commerce and GLOBAL Corporations that have convinced the Republican leadership that the free flow of cheap and captive (uncomplaining) labor across borders is the future.

The jig is up!

Big Meat gets cheap labor, the Dems get voters, and you, the taxpayer, get to subsidize it all (including welfare for workers paid insufficient wages!). If you complain you are a hater, a racist and an Islamophobe!

LIRS  is headquartered here in Baltimore. This is their own description: The Lutheran Center (LIRS headquarters) is a six-story structure constructed in 1999 on property owned by Baltimore’s historic Christ Lutheran Church. The building is located near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood, a charming area rich with history and an eclectic array of eateries and shopping venues.


Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
 
is the lead federal contractor for the following list of subcontractors.

Making it clear! 

LIRS, in Baltimore, is not a separate group from the others on the list!

LIRS is the lead contractor that deals directly with the US State Department and divvies up incoming refugees between the agencies below—LOL! it is the ‘mothership’ to the following:

(Update: Since this post is from 2017 some of the subcontractors listed may no longer exist.  I didn’t bother checking. See if the one near you is still up and running and let me know!)

Arkansas
Canopy of Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville

Arizona
Refugee Focus, Phoenix, Tuscon

California
Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service, Los Angeles

Colorado
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, Denver, Colorado Springs, Greeley

Florida
Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida, Jacksonville
Lutheran Services Florida, Miami, Orlando, Tampa

Georgia
Lutheran Services of Georgia, Atlanta, Savannah

Illinois
RefugeeOne, Chicago

Maryland
Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, Hyattsville

Massachusetts
Ascentria Community Services, Westfield, Worcester

Michigan
Samaritas, Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Troy

Minnesota
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Minneapolis, St. Cloud

Nebraska
Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Omaha

New Hampshire
Ascentria Community Services, Concord

New Mexico
Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, Albuquerque, Santa Fe

New York
Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, Utica

North Carolina
Lutheran Services Carolinas, Raleigh

North Dakota
Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota—Center for New Americans, Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks

Oregon
Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Portland

Pennsylvania
Bethany Christian Services, Allentown, Lancaster, Philadelphia

South Carolina
Lutheran Services Carolinas, Columbia, Charleston

South Dakota
Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, Sioux Falls

Texas
Refugee Services of Texas, Dallas, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Houston

Virginia
Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, Falls Church

Washington
Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Tacoma, Vancouver

Wisconsin
Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Madison, Milwaukee

So what do you do?  Go to this post I wrote earlier this month and get to work where you live!

For more on meatpackers and cheap immigrant labor, go here.

 

*** For new readers, these are the nine major federal refugee contractors largely funded by you, the taxpayer. Refugee resettlement is not first and foremost about humanitarianism so don’t let them shut you up!

 

Refugee Advocates Join Forces with Major National Wildlife Protection Group

Why?

Presumably because global warming (they say) is producing more refugees, or, because the Left has complete control of old line traditional conservation groups, or is it simply because the CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is married to the CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

The power couple in 2016 https://www.delawareonline.com/story/life/2017/06/21/he-got-down-one-knee-and-proposed-so-did-she/412816001/

These Leftists never miss a trick!

When I saw this story with a small mention of a joint video between the Hindu CEO of LIRS and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) it got my attention.

Back in the day, the NWF, as the largest of the politically active national groups working to supposedly protect the environment, was about as far right as you could get on the Enviros spectrum of groups working in Washington.  I know, I was there.

(The Nature Conservancy was the largest financially, but NWF had a greater grassroots network of activists that were often hunters and fishermen concerned with true conservation of wildlife and who could be counted on to call their Congressmen and Senators.)

Apparently like all of the groups, starting with the Sierra Club, NWF is now thoroughly immersed in the promotion of Leftwing political goals. See what Influence Watch has to say:

The National Wildlife Federation is one of the nation’s largest and highest-profile environmentalist organizations. In recent years, along with its associated NWF Action Fund advocacy organization, it has transitioned from being a conservation organization representing the interests of hunters and outdoor recreation enthusiasts into a left-leaning pressure group focused on global warming advocacy and promoting left-wing social causes.

Like refugees!

You’ve got the picture.

Now here is the story about Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, the former Michelle Obama staffer and former gubernatorial candidate in MD, now CEO of LIRS, arguing that Trump is hurting national security with his refugee and immigration restrictions that have been tightened since the Chinese Virus ‘crisis’ arrived.

It is the usual stretch….

From The National Interest:

How Blocking Immigration Hurts U.S. National Security

President Donald Trump’s new executive order barring broad categories of immigrants from entering the country may bring real harm to U.S. national security.

https://refugeeresettlementwatch.org/2020/04/22/lutheran-refugee-agency-blasts-trump-again-over-proposed-immigration-ban/

“The pandemic has highlighted for us that national security also involves the assets that we can harness and put against an invisible enemy,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah during an interview with Ploughshares Fund podcast, Press The Button. “And that includes the health care providers, the nurses, the doctors, the aides who are serving in assisted living facilities. So many of them are made up by refugees and other immigrants.”

Vignarajah is the president and CEO of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, one of nine resettlement agencies working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide advocacy and support for immigrants and refugees. She argued that the central justification for the immigration clampdown – the Trump administration’s claim that a faltering US economy cannot absorb any more foreign workers – is based on a myth.

“Saying this order is needed to protect American workers plays into the patently flawed idea that American prosperity is a zero-sum game,” said Vignarajah. “We see consistently that immigrants are essential workers. They’re entrepreneurial, they’re tax paying, they’re job creating members of society.”

Far from being a threat to the United States in its fight against COVID-19, immigrants are providing vital national services, explained Vignarajah, particularly in a time when experts are redefining traditional notions of national security.

Funny no mention that her big ‘get’ in making a joint video with the NWF is most likely because her hubby is the CEO of the NWF. https://www.nwf.org/Home/Magazines/National-Wildlife/2014/AugSept/Conservation/NWF-President-Collin-OMara

[….]

Vignarajah is advocating for a pro-immigration united front.

Last year, her organization partnered with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation “around a campaign responding to threats of mass deportations from the administration.” [LIRS is almost completely taxpayer funded!—ed]

Vignarajah is also joining with some non-traditional allies. Just last week, she recorded a video with the National Wildlife Federation on how the climate crisis is affecting immigration. “Two thirds of the migrants that we see today are actually a result of climate displacement,” said Vignarajah. “This is only going to get worse going forward.”

More here.

 

 

Doing well by doing good!

As I have said before, tell your kids to grow up to be Leftwing/Democrat non-profit CEOs!  As head of an approximately $80 million a year organization O’Mara makes just over $350,000 a year. (See recent Form 990)

The missus makes surely as much as her predecessor Linda Hartke who left under a cloud ($376,000-$400,000 a year) heading an approximately $60-70 million a year organization that is at least 85% taxpayer funded.

Changing South Dakota One Slaughterhouse at a Time

This is just a quick update on the post I wrote, here a week ago about Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods’ role in creating a massive Chinese virus hot spot in South Dakota.

Apparently the company is blaming the workers’ community culture and the workers point a finger at the company’s management of the plant. Thanks to reader John for bringing my attention to the story.

Buzzfeed News:

Smithfield Foods Is Blaming “Living Circumstances In Certain Cultures” For One Of America’s Largest COVID-19 Clusters

Was there any way to prevent the Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in South Dakota from becoming one of the country’s largest known coronavirus clusters, with more than 700 workers infected? It’s hard to know “what could have been done differently,” a Smithfield spokesperson said, given what she referred to as the plant’s “large immigrant population.”

“Living circumstances in certain cultures are different than they are with your traditional American family,” she explained.

The spokesperson and a second corporate representative pointed to an April 13 Fox News interview in which the governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, said that “99%” of the spread of infections “wasn’t happening inside the facility” but inside workers’ homes, “because a lot of these folks who work at this plant live in the same community, the same buildings, sometimes in the same apartments.”

But internal company communications and interviews with nearly a dozen workers and their relatives point to a series of management missteps and half measures that contributed significantly to the spread of the virus. A BuzzFeed News investigation has uncovered new information showing the company did little to inform or protect employees during the critical two weeks after the first case at the plant surfaced. Then, with confirmed cases rising quickly, Smithfield introduced new safety protocols but applied them unevenly across the plant’s departments, leaving hundreds of workers exposed.

In late March, as word of the first confirmed case leaked, workers began seeing flyers on notice boards and doors. “If you are at work and feeling sick,” the flyers stated, “tell your Supervisor and go directly home.” But the directive was posted only in English, three employees said, even though many of the plant’s 3,700 workers have limited comprehension of English. Safety notices at the plant are usually translated into as many as five languages.

It is a long story, if you are interested in the gory details, continue here.

Someone could write a very useful book, a new version of The Jungle, by focusing on one plant like Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, SD.

Giant global corporations are changing the American heartland with the continued pressure on government to import (for them!) cheap foreign labor.

An author could hit all the key elements of greed, politicians and fake ‘religious’ charities as enablers, the suffering of American workers, the changing culture of middle America and the federal government’s complicity in the whole mess.

The opening chapter would detail the spread of the Chinese virus through the plant and the impact it is having on Sioux Falls.