Report: Millions in Food Stamp Dollars Flowed to Terrorists
Millions of taxpayers dollars trafficked through food stamp fraud went to terrorists who funded their activities at home and abroad, according to an explosive report from the Government Accountability Institute (GAI).
The report from GAI, where Breitbart NewsSenior-Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer serves as president, highlighted several instances where money obtained through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits fraud went to fund acts of terrorism, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.
“Hawalas” used to launder money
The U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) identified that many terrorists would get away with funding their illicit activities by using businesses known as “hawalas” to launder money.
A “hawala”— which is an Arabic term defined in English as transfer (or trust)— is a method of transferring money through informal agents from international networks, and many Muslim immigrants settled in western countries use the “hawala” method to transfer funds to family members.
GAI, citing a U.S. Treasury report, found that more than $7 billion flows into Pakistan alone through hawalas every year.
Investigators say it is very difficult to track the money moved around through hawalas, even though the federal government has known about the use of hawalas and their alleged role in financing terrorism for years.
But as federal investigators became more familiar with the welfare fraud mechanisms used to fund terrorist activities after the September 11 attacks, investigators have cracked down on a number of instances where terrorists have used the benefit fraud for such purposes.
By the way, even if your tax dollars don’t make it into the hands of terrorists, the billions of US dollars sent out of the country via remittances to ‘home’ countries have a huge impact on the US as it is money that is not available to our economy.
…..there must be an error in this report, but I am posting it just to see if we can get the truth shaken loose.
When I first started writing this blog in 2007 there were ten federal resettlement contractors that monopolized all refugee placement in the US, but the number dropped to nine and has remained there ever since. The nine are listed below.***
Earlier we learned that Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) was as much as 99.5% funded by you (taxpayers!) for their charitable good works for refugees. So it would be no surprise to learn that they would be one of the federal resettlement contractors dropped by the US State Department as the Trump administration slows the flow of paying clients to the US.
By the way, when the present Refugee Admissions Program was set up, it was supposed to be a public-private partnership, but over the years the private funds dwindled as they became more dependent on public money (aka taxpayer dollars).
The headline for the story which is mostly about Episcopal Church business is this:
Executive Council passes budget, grants diocesan waivers, praises work of Episcopal Migration Ministries
Members of Executive Council also received briefings from church officers and staff members during the week, including a bleak assessment of the future of the church’s refugee resettlement work from the Rev. Charles Robertson, the presiding bishop’s canon for ministry beyond the Episcopal Church.
Episcopal Migration Ministries, one of nine agencies with federal contracts to resettle refugees in the United States, expects to learn in the coming weeks if its contract will be renewed, at a time when the Trump administration has dramatically reduced the number of refugees being resettled. The odds are not in Episcopal Migration Ministries’ favor, Robertson told Executive Council’s Ministry Beyond the Episcopal Church Committee.
Could seven be given the boot?
“If we were going to bet on it, we’d bet we’re not going to make the cut,” Robertson said. He predicted only two of the nine would receive contracts. Though unlikely, he said it is still possible Episcopal Migration Ministries will be one of the two.
I’m thinking that the reporter got that wrong and meant to say that ‘seven of the nine would receive contracts.’ If it is true that seven would be cut, that would be earth-shaking news.
Later that afternoon, Robertson gave a sobering outlook on Episcopal Migration Ministries’ future to the committee on Ministry Beyond the Episcopal Church.
“We are prepared for the worst,” Robertson said – the worst being the end of Episcopal Migration Ministries’ contract to continue the resettlement work it has done for the federal government since the 1980s.
The U.S. Department of State announced Sept. 17 that it would lower the ceiling to just 30,000 refugees for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, down from a ceiling of 85,000 just two years ago. And that 30,000 is just the upper limit, Robertson stressed. The actual number of refugees to be welcomed into the United States likely will be much lower.
Episcopal Migration Ministries once oversaw 31 resettlement affiliates in 26 dioceses, but that number has dwindled to 14 affiliates in 12 dioceses. With even fewer refugees to resettle, the federal government isn’t expected to keep all nine of its contracted agencies, Robertson said, and Episcopal Migration Ministries, though well equipped to do that work, is one of the smaller of the nine.
Even in the worst-case scenario, however, Episcopal Migration Ministries will remain an important part of the Episcopal Church’s outreach efforts. If the resettlement work ends, the agency may find other ways to support refugees and, possibly, other immigrants, Robertson said. He estimated it would take about a year to fully realize that new vision for the agency.
I wonder what the loss of millions of federal dollars will do to the church. I once had a reader, knowledgeable about the budget of the Episcopal Church, tell me that some of the refugee dollars went to other programs, however we were never able to confirm that.
By the way, there likely won’t be any tears shed by the remaining contractors since the nine have been competitors as they ‘bid for bodies!’
***Below are the nine federal refugee resettlement contractors.
I realize I haven’t posted this list for twelve whole days!
The present US Refugee Admissions Program will never be reformed if the system of paying the contractors by the head stays in place and the contractors are permitted to act as Leftwing political agitation groups, community organizers and lobbyists paid on our dime!
And, to add insult to injury they pretend it is all about ‘humanitarianism.’
The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees into your towns and cities and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare)! And, get them registered to vote eventually!
Jewish lobby in far-right German party denounced for anti-Muslim views
PARIS (RNS) — A small group of German Jews has launched a lobby group within the far-right Alternative for Germany party, prompting a swift rejection from the country’s established Jewish organizations and accusations that the move was an anti-Muslim ploy.
The founding of the 24-member “Jews in the AfD” group on Oct. 7 seems like a contradiction given the party’s staunch nationalist views that include playing down Germany’s Nazi past, including the Holocaust, and the close ties some members have to anti-Semitic movements. [Notice how the reporter here is throwing in bias to set the readers mind right in the opening paragraphs!—ed]
But it highlights one of the party’s main policies — opposition to accepting mostly Muslim immigrants in Germany — through its accusation that the newcomers are deeply anti-Jewish. A wave of about a million new immigrants in 2015, many of them from Islamic countries, has been decisive in boosting support for the AfD.
The AfD, founded in 2013 as an anti-European Union protest party, won 12.6 percent of the national election a year ago. It is now the largest opposition party in the Bundestag (parliament). The party has used this platform to challenge many of the country’s postwar taboos.
The JSUD was one of 17 Jewish organizations, including the influential Central Committee of Jews in Germany and the country’s General Rabbinical Conference, that issued a joint statement denouncing the new AfD lobby.
Other Jewish groups, including the World Jewish Congress, have added their support to the statement, bringing the total of signatories to 42.
“The AfD openly agitates against Muslims and other minorities in Germany … trying to present Muslims as enemies of the West and of the Jews,” said the statement, titled “No Alternative for Jews.”
“Muslims are not the enemies of the Jews!” the statement says. The enemies of all democrats in this country are extremists, regardless of whether they have extreme right, radical left or radical Muslim views.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to the waves of migrants marching across Europe in 2015 changed the country’s political landscape and sapped support for her Christian Democratic party and its Social Democratic coalition partners.
The AfD and the Bavarian-based Christian Social Union, a Merkel ally that has moved strongly to the right to counter the AfD’s challenge to its voter base, have used fear of Islam, a few sex crimes committed by migrants and concern about the cost of caring for the newcomers to stoke mistrust of Muslims.
The Trump administration has missed the end-of-fiscal-year deadline to set the maximum number of refugees that will be allowed in the United States in the next 12 months.
“Consultations and the subsequent Presidential Determination (PD) normally take place by Oct. 1. However, on some occasions, the consultations and subsequent PD have been completed later,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement to VOA. “We do not expect this will have any operational impact on the Refugee Admissions Program.”
The agency declined a request from VOA to provide a timeline for the consultations.
Last month, the administration proposed a record-low refugee ceiling for the 2019 fiscal year of 30,000 refugees. By law, Congress must be consulted about the cap before a final number can be issued.
“We are extraordinarily disappointed that the administration has failed to honor the spirit and the letter of the law when it comes to consultations,” said Mary Giovagnoli. executive director of Refugee Council USA. “For two years in a row now, the administration has just failed to take it seriously.”
President Donald Trump has dramatically cut refugee arrivals to the United States since taking office.
Francis Cissna, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), said at a conference Monday that new vetting measures have increased processing times for refugee admissions.
He added that the suggested ceiling of 30,000 for FY2019 takes into account the “operational realities” of those measures for “national security and public safety.”
“The number is not final yet. The president has not signed the proclamation. Whatever that number is, it will absolutely be driven principally by the capacity of my agency and the law enforcement, security, and vetting practices,” Cissna said.
What is Monday? It is the beginning of the federal fiscal year. It is the first day of FY19. It is the day when the writing will be on the wall for many refugee resettlement offices around the country.
Why? Because in 1980 Jimmy Carter signed the Refugee Act of 1980 in to law and set up a house of cards that needs to fall now. Originally (supposedly!) designed as a public-private partnership, the federal government and ‘humanitarian’ non-profit groups were to share equally in the costs of admitting tens of thousands of refugees to the US each year.
But, over the years, because Congress has been so remiss in overseeing the program (the Rs want cheap labor!), those non-profit groups (aka federal contractors) have gotten fat and confident (like Aesop’s grasshopper) on ever larger amounts of federal funding and too lazy to raise sufficient amounts of private money to see them through if for any reason the number of paying clients/refugees declined.
(An aside: The inability to raise enough private money is also indicative of the fact that there isn’t enough interest by average Americans in financially supporting the program in the first place.)
So here we are with one story after another about what Monday will bring to dozens of resettlement contractors around the country.
From Austin, Texas we learn that a Catholic contractor—Caritas—is closing its refugee program.
EXCLUSIVE: As refugees dwindle, Caritas will end resettlement program
Since 1974, the organization has helped thousands of people fleeing war or persecution find a new life in Austin. But after 44 years, Caritas is ending its refugee resettlement program and as of Monday, it will no longer serve new refugees.
“It’s really a tragedy that this program has to go away,” said Jo Kathryn Quinn, executive director for Caritas.
For the past two years, Caritas has seen a sharp decline in the number of refugees arriving in Austin, and the development has made the program “financially unsustainable,” Quinn said. Between 2010 and 2016, Caritas resettled an average of 576 refugees each year. Since last October, Caritas has resettled 151 refugees, but the nonprofit has not received any new refugees since April.
“Having zero refugees arrive in two months was unheard of for us,” Quinn said. “It was the final alarm bell that told us that we couldn’t continue this way.”
In June, Caritas’ board of directors voted to close the program at the end of the fiscal year at the recommendation of the nonprofit’s executive leadership.
When fewer refugees arrive, less federal money comes in to support them as well. Refugees receive a one-time amount of $1,125 from federal funds for resettlement needs, including housing and food, said Adelita Winchester, Caritas’ director of integrated services. Caritas would supplement federal funds with about $1 million annually in philanthropic donations,Winchester said. [The reporter has missed an important piece of information. The refugee gets $1,125 and Caritas gets another $1,125 for themselves per refugee.—ed]
“We didn’t have any excess philanthropic dollars to shift to aid this program,” Quinn said.
Budget Cuts, Layoffs And Closures Hit Refugee-Serving Organizations
Donna Duvin is executive director at the San Diego office of the national nonprofit International Rescue Committee, or IRC, one of nine federally funded resettlement agencies in the U.S. Duvin said the local office’s VESL funding dropped by 34 percent this year forcing the agency to replace some paid instructors with volunteers and interns.
“As the numbers began to fall, the support that we had from the county that passed through dollars from the federal government, those declined as well,” Duvin said.
Duvin said in past years more than three-fourths of the agency’s budget relied on government dollars, causing a loss of millions as the office’s arrivals dipped by 85.5 percent since 2016. She said the budget changes during that time forced the agency to eliminate 15 positions.
Apparently the IRC is trying to raise private money to keep some functions going. LOL! Maybe CEO David Miliband could give up some of his nearly $700,000 in annual salary to keep some low-level staffers in a job!
The IRC is not alone.
A representative for the national resettlement agency Church World Service estimated it lost possibly hundreds of staffers when it closed 10 offices after it was forced to merge operations with other organizations in some U.S. cities. And a spokesman for World Relief said it laid off 140 employees after shutting down five offices across the U.S.
If you are looking for something to do, go to this list from last year of the resettlement agencies working in your towns and cities and call them. See if they are still in operation, or plan to close soon.
The 1980 structure of the US Refugee Admissions Program is still in place and the Trump Administration must push now for a complete reform of the program or in 2021 or 2025, it will be full steam ahead for these contractors. They will quickly staff-up and a new President could say—We must make up for the lost Trump years and quadruple the numbers of refugees coming in.