Former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman Brags about Role in Creating Refugee Act 40 Years Ago

I’m posting this opinion piece by the former Democrat Representative from New York merely to continue to give ‘credit’ where credit is due to those who helped create the dysfunctional Refugee Admissions Program that turned forty last Tuesday.

Holtzman came out of the woodwork and used the occasion of the anniversary to pen yet another hit piece on the President with this, posted at CNN:

The Refugee Act reminds us to not forget our humanity — especially now

(CNN) As the global Covid-19 pandemic unfolds, it puts into sharp focus how the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies may lead to (yet another) humanitarian crisis — this time along the US-Mexico border, where thousands of asylum seekers are living in overcrowded makeshift encampments, many without running water. If there were a coronavirus outbreak in one of these encampments — which are already short on medical supplies — the results could be catastrophic.

Elizabeth Holtzman says she and Teddy Kennedy created the Refugee Program 40 years ago.

Meanwhile, the President is describing Covid-19 as a “Chinese virus” on Twitter and in news conferences, stoking xenophobia and fear — and continuing to undermine the United States’ global leadership.

It wasn’t always this way. Forty years ago this week, when Sen. Ted Kennedy and I co-authored the Refugee Act of 1980, the United States was a different country. It largely welcomed asylum seekers and refugees, and the Refugee Act reflected that humane view. In the act, our country made a permanent commitment to admitting refugees, based on the international non-discriminatory standard of fleeing persecution, and established an asylum procedure inside the United States.

The Refugee Act was not controversial. It sailed through the Senate unanimously and won overwhelming approval in the House before President Jimmy Carter signed it into law on March 17, 1980.

Apparently it was controversial because here we learn that 62% of Americans did not want to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees to America.

If Carter had a Twitter account at that time, I imagine he would have pointed to the United States’ proud tradition of welcoming the most vulnerable: the 360,000 people who fled Fidel Castro’s takeover in Cuba in the mid 1960s, the tens of thousands of Jewish refugees who fled the Soviet Union beginning in the 1970s, and the more than 400,000 refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos who arrived here by 1980.

Holtzman then describes how her family came to America as refugees escaping Communism with the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (aka HIAS).

I see now how they got their inside track to the federal treasury money spigot.***

From 1980 to January 2017 — for 37 years and under six presidents — the Refugee Act worked well. More than 3 million refugees were admitted and overwhelmingly became productive participants in our country, just as my family did.  [I can play that game too! For every successful refugee I can find you one who is a criminal, terrorist, murderer or just a plain old mooch!—ed]

Yet every year since Trump took office in 2017, he has slashed the number of refugees admitted under the Refugee Act. For this year, it is 18,000, a historic low, reflecting his ongoing battle against admitting new refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers.

More here.

The US State Department has said that refugee arrivals will resume on April 6th.  How many of you think the virus crisis will be abating by then.  Show of hands!

*** For fun I went back to the first Annual Report to Congress in 1980 to see which resettlement contractors were operational (being paid by taxpayers to place refugees in your towns and cities) and found this list.

I’ve marked those that are still, 40 years later, receiving millions of your tax dollars. Six of nine have been in on the deal for those 4 decades. No wonder they are furious at the President for breaking their rice bowls.

 

 

Go here to the Office of Refugee Resettlement and see all of the Annual Reports to Congress.  They are very informative and you might have a little extra time these days for reading ‘pleasure.’

UN Says the Refugee Flow has Stopped, Yet US Admits 182 Since Monday!

What the heck!  We have been admitting 400-500 a week recently and so it seems we are right on schedule if 182 arrived in the last three days.

***Update March 20*** Total since Monday is now 214, presume that is it until April 6th when they expect to resume the movement of third worlders to America. We will keep an eye on it!

See my post here  yesterday.

COVID-19 News: UN Suspends Refugee Travel; However, 69 New Refugees Arrived in US Since Monday

When I checked the Refugee Processing Center this morning I expected to see the number of new refugee arrivals stalled at 69, not more than doubled!

Of the 182 ‘new Americans’ arriving just this week, 124 are from the DR Congo.

Top ‘welcoming’ states are Texas, Massachusetts, Idaho, Tennessee and Georgia.

According to contractual arrangements with the State Department, workers and volunteers for resettlement ‘charities’ must meet the new arrivals at airports and get them settled in their new apartments and sign them up for myriad welfare and healthcare programs available to them.

Guess those do-gooders will be out and about while the rest of us are told to stay home!

 

 

 

Ohio: Refugee Agencies Scramble to Get COVID-19 Warnings to Those Who Don’t Speak English

“Advocates for immigrants and refugees say about 200 languages are spoken in the state.”

 

There are nearly 7,000 distinct languages in the world. Lucky Ohio has only 200! https://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/how-many-languages-are-there-world

Some refugees are in America for years and never learn to speak English, and indeed many arrive in America unable to read in their own language, so now refugee resettlement agencies are scrambling to get out instructions to immigrant communities while they close their own doors to avoid face to face contact with their “clients.”

So much for diversity bringing strength!

Here is a story explaining the problem in Ohio. It is from The Columbus Dispatch:

Language a barrier in getting coronavirus information to all

Those who don’t speak English may have trouble getting updates about what coronavirus is and its spread. Local and state immigrant and refugee advocates are working to get resources to people in the language they speak and read.

As many Americans try to absorb all the information they can on the coronavirus and its spread in Ohio, some are left out of the conversation entirely.

Advocates for immigrants and refugees say about 200 languages are spoken in the state, and many of those advocates are working to make sure the individuals who speak those languages can get information about the rapidly spreading virus in ways they can understand.

[….]

Advocates aren’t the only ones trying to make sure that everyone is reached.

The Ohio Department of Health is linking to CDC resources in other languages on its website, coronavirus.ohio.gov, spokeswoman Melanie Amato said. The agency is also reaching out to local organizations for translation resources and the Ohio Hispanic Coalition is working to translate press releases.

[….]

US Together is a Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Subcontractor. https://www.ustogether.us

At US Together, a local refugee resettlement agency, staff members began being trained last week on how to prepare themselves and their clients for the virus, Emily Locke, a communications specialist with US Together, said in an email.

The training focused on what the virus is, how it spreads and which communities are vulnerable. They also addressed how to identify symptoms, prevent the virus and prepare food and supplies to deal with the outbreak.

On Monday, the resettlement agency closed its offices to the public and said its employees will work with clients by phone, email and other technology.  [So much for looking out for the newly arrived refugees!—ed]

More here.

By the way, yesterday I wondered if refugee agency volunteers were still meeting refugees at airports (new refugees were arriving up to last Thursday), but it sure looks like either the State Department has now wisely cut off the flow of new arrivals or those that do arrive are on their own!

Top Ten Languages spoken by refugees arriving in America.  

It’s been a long time since I reported on this information available at the Refugee Processing Center.  This is a good time to tell you about it.

Don’t forget!  According to a Clinton-era Executive Order your local and state governments are on the hook for the cost of interpreters.

(By the way, the growing cost of interpreter services, especially involving medical services, is something I never see calculated in any economic study of whether immigrants/refugees benefit the economy.)

 

 

Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken in East Africa.  Kinyarwanda is a Rwandan language. Sgaw Karen is a Burmese language.

For my recent posts on COVID-19 see that I have a tag for it.

 

Editor’s note:  As RRW approaches its 13th birthday, there are over 10,000 posts archived here at Refugee Resettlement Watch. Unfortunately, it is just me here with no staff and so it has become virtually impossible to answer all of the basic questions that come into my e-mail inbox or to RRW’s facebook page every day. I don’t want to appear rude—I simply haven’t enough hours in the day.

Please take time to visit RRW (don’t just read posts in your e-mail) and use the search window in the right hand sidebar and see if you can find the information you need.  Also see my series that I wrote in recent months entitled Knowledge is Power which explains some basic principles of how Refugee Resettlement is carried out in the US.

And, lastly, I don’t write that much every day, so if you made a habit of reading my posts here on a daily basis, you would eventually catch on to what is happening because I do link back to previous posts as much as possible. LOL!  Thank you for helping me not go crazy!

 

No Slowdown in Refugee Arrivals as Borders Close and Travel Bans Grow Worldwide

I’ve been mentioning in recent posts*** that I have seen no news about curtailing refugee arrivals as travel bans grow world wide, so I just checked the arrival data at the Refugee Processing Center and sure enough there is no slowing of refugee arrivals.

***Update*** UN suspends refugee travel for at least a few weeks so as not to expose refugees to coronavirus.

 

Here (below) is a map of where 1,768 refugees who arrived in the US were placed between February 15th and yesterday.

Thinking maybe a slowdown was evident if I checked the numbers for the last week, I found that we ‘welcomed’ 488 refugees to your towns and cities in the last seven days. No slowdown.  All traveled through airports in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Of the 1,768 ‘new Americans’ who arrived in the last month, the largest numbers came from the DR Congo (728) followed by Ukraine (278), Burma(136), Iraq (130) and Pakistan (50).

Top welcoming states were:  California, Washington, Texas, New York, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Georgia.

 

 

If you want to research the data at the Refugee Processing Center yourself, I gave instructions on how to do that in Knowledge is Power IV.

***See my tag for COVID-19 to find other posts on the subject here at RRW.

 

Editor’s note:  As RRW approaches its 13th birthday, there are over 10,000 posts archived here at Refugee Resettlement Watch. Unfortunately, it is just me here with no staff and so it has become virtually impossible to answer all of the basic questions that come into my e-mail inbox or to RRW’s facebook page every day. I don’t want to appear rude—I simply haven’t enough hours in the day.

Please take time to visit RRW (don’t just read posts in your e-mail) and use the search window in the right hand sidebar and see if you can find the information you need.  Also see my series that I wrote in recent months entitled Knowledge is Power which explains some basic principles of how Refugee Resettlement is carried out in the US.

And, lastly, I don’t write that much every day, so if you made a habit of reading my posts here on a daily basis, you would eventually catch on to what is happening because I do link back to previous posts as much as possible. LOL!  Thank you for helping me not go crazy!

Ukraine: Top Refugee Processing Country to Close Borders on Tuesday

COVID-19 News…..

From time to time over the years, I’ve told you about “processing countries” which are locations around the world where refugees are gathered and as the word says, are processed into the US.  It doesn’t mean that all those processed are the nationality of the country that is doing the processing.

Indeed when you look at the map of processing locations from the Refugee Processing Center (below), you will see Malaysia, Thailand and Turkey are high on the list, but in those cases they are locations where refugees of various nationalities are being selected for movement to your towns and cities.

 

https://www.wrapsnet.org/documents/Arrivals%20by%20Processing%20Country%20and%20Nationality%20-%20Map%202-29-20.pdf

 

However, in the case of Ukraine, they are mostly (if not all) Ukrainians.  Don’t ask me what the deal is and why we are moving supposedly persecuted Ukrainians to America, but we are.

Every day I look for any news about whether the US State Department is taking any action to either delay refugee arrivals or at least to test refugees for coronavirus exposure and am not seeing it.

That said, I did see that the Ukrainian government has announced that as of March 17th, Ukraine’s borders (both in and out) will close even as the country only has a handful of cases so far, so presumably that will bring refugee arrivals from Ukraine (presently among the largest numbers we are getting) to a halt.

By the way, the largest number of Ukrainian refugees arriving in the US are going to Washington, California and New York states with more cases of COVID-19 than the whole country of Ukraine.

Keep an eye out!  If you see news about delays in refugee arrivals due to the virus crisis let me know!

 

Editor’s note:  As RRW approaches its 13th birthday, there are over 10,000 posts archived here at Refugee Resettlement Watch. Unfortunately, it is just me here with no staff and so it has become virtually impossible to answer all of the basic questions that come into my e-mail inbox or to RRW’s facebook page every day. I don’t want to appear rude—I simply haven’t enough hours in the day.

Please take time to visit RRW (don’t just read posts in your e-mail) and use the search window in the right hand sidebar and see if you can find the information you need.  Also see my series that I wrote in recent months entitled Knowledge is Power which explains some basic principles of how Refugee Resettlement is carried out in the US.

And, lastly, I don’t write that much every day, so if you made a habit of reading my posts here on a daily basis, you would eventually catch on to what is happening because I do link back to previous posts as much as possible. LOL!  Thank you for helping me not go crazy!