Leadership Battle Within American Jewish Groups Exposes HIAS Dirty Linen

In a perverse way, it is a good thing that the leadership of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has chosen the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)‘s Dianne Lob as its future Chairman of the Board because it energized investigators to look into HIAS many activities that for our purposes mostly center around its role as one of nine federal refugee resettlement agencies milking the US taxpayers as it seeks to expand immigration of all sorts to your American towns and cities.

Here Caroline Glick gives us a thorough laundry list of why picking someone so closely tied to HIAS signals a wrong and dangerous direction for American Jewish groups.

American Jewry’s Organizational Crack-Up

Last week an event occurred will be remembered as a key moment in the disintegration of organized American Jewish support for Israel and American Jewish organizational life itself.

Global business leader, Dianne Lob, has been affiliated with HIAS for a decade. https://www.hias.org/global-business-leader-take-helm-hias-board

Last Friday, the leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations announced that the Conference’s nominating committee had selected Dianne Lob, the immediate past president of HIAS to run unopposed for the position of Chairman of the Conference’s Executive Board. Her election is scheduled to take place on April 28.

The Conference of Presidents – an umbrella group that comprises 53 Jewish American organizations — is widely viewed as the most important Jewish organization in the United States.

Why is Lob’s selection important? On the face of things, it was unremarkable.

People who have known Lob for decades describe her as a garden variety New York Jewish liberal whose views on Israel are in keeping with the views of the vast majority of American Jews.

Members of the Conference of President for their part claim not to know her at all. During her term as Chairman of HIAS from 2016-2019, she didn’t participate in major Conference events like its trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Lob’s selection is an earthquake in American Jewish organizational life is not because of anything she has said or done, but because of her organizational affiliation to HIAS.

[….]

As the Zionist Organization of America documented in a letter*** to the heads of the Conference of Presidents following Lob’s selection, in a declaration before a U.S. federal court, HIAS attested that the refugees they serve today come from “Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Ukraine, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burundi, South Sudan, Uganda, Russia, Belarus, and Burma, among other countries. Many of these clients are Muslim.”

Lob herself attested that 90 percent of the Syrians and 60 percent of the Iraqis that HIAS brings to the U.S. are Muslim.

HIAS’s contribution to Muslim immigration to the U.S. is significant for two key reasons. First it is indisputable that many of the Muslims immigrating to the U.S. are anti-Semitic. As ZOA noted, “according to the ADL Global 100 Antisemitism Index, in 16 Muslim majority Middle Eastern countries, 74% to 93% of the population is antisemitic.”

So by bringing Muslims from Syria and Iraq to the U.S., HIAS is in all likelihood bringing anti-Semites to America.

29 groups make up the Refugee Council USA, the lobbying arm of the refugee industry. They all work with Islamic Relief USA. https://rcusa.org/members/

The second reason HIAS’s efforts to bring Muslims to America is significant is because in its work in this arena HIAS has collaborated with Islamic groups associated with Islamic terrorist organizations. For instance, HIAS has worked with Islamic Relief.

Islamic Relief is a branch of Islamic Relief Worldwide, (IRW). As the ZOA noted, Israel outlawed IRW because of its terrorist activities, including financing of Hamas terror. HIAS has also worked with the Council on American Islamic Relations, (CAIR) which was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holyland Foundation trial where the Holyland Foundation was found guilty of funding Hamas.

[….]

In Israel, HIAS works with other leftist extremist groups to prevent the deportation of illegal aliens from Sudan and Eritrea. This week they launched a protest with the Anti-Defamation League in Israel demanding that Israel expand the rights of illegal aliens who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Continue here, there is much more.

If you are a member of one of the groups that make up the Conference of Presidents, time is running out to let them know what you think!

*** The ZOA letter is here, keep it for future reference if you need information on HIAS!

I have a huge archive on HIAS because of its longtime role as a US resettlement contractor and more recently because it is an unabashed Trump-hating political activist group, see it here.

Refugee Contractor Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Grows During Trump Administration

“He (CEO Hetfield) expects HIAS to spend $80 million this year, its largest budget to date.”

 

I recently showed you, here, that indeed the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (one of nine federal refugee resettlement contractors***) is doing better under the Trump administration than it did previously for most of the Obama years.

Now here is news where HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield tells us why that is.

They are expanding their offices into Central and South America, and elsewhere.

So why the wailing about the Trump administration’s reduction in numbers? HIAS can certainly do its ‘religious charitable work’ elsewhere and stop pushing more migrants to America, right?

From The Jewish Standard:

Refugee crisis continues to grow, HIAS director says

When we spoke earlier this week, Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, was traveling through Central and South America, visiting some of the organization’s many offices in the region. The number of those offices continues to grow.

Hetfield (left) protesting with Church World Service against the Trump administration (and suing the Prez). https://um-insight.net/in-the-world/advocating-justice/faith-groups-sue-trump-administration-over-refugee-resettlem/

[….]

We’ve long had programs in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama for refugees from Colombia,” Mr. Hetfield said. But now, with the refugee crisis in Venezuela, the organization has had to create new centers to handle the situation. And while thousands of refugees are streaming out of Venezuela, others continue to come in.

Only one year ago, HIAS had 45 offices across the world; today it has 71.

Most are in Central and South America and Mexico. “Our office in Ecuador has 250 staff members, with 16 offices across the country,” Mr. Hetfield said. He noted that in the United States, Venezuelans comprise the number one asylum-seeking group, “but nobody seems to be noticing this crisis.”

HIAS also has offices in Africa, Israel, and the United States. “We aspire to be where there is a refugee crisis,” Mr. Hetfield said.

Here is my favorite bit of news from this story!

They don’t want to reform the US Refugee Admissions Program because they fear they would lose in a fight in Congress because they know the American people are not on their side!

Unfortunately, he noted, “All international and domestic law is basically responding to the problems of World War II. It hasn’t been updated to reflect realities. And people are afraid to revisit it because of the fear that if we reopen it, it will be contracted rather than expanded.”

More here.

See my post yesterday about a Catholic publication pushing the BIG LIE that the Refugee Act of 1980, which is 40 years old this month and needs to be repealed or reformed, was signed into law by Ronald Reagan.  It was not! Our peanut farmer President was responsible for creating the dysfunctional program that set up the taxpayer-funded money stream to these nine contractors.

***For new readers these (below) are the nine federally-funded refugee contractors that operate as a huge conveyor belt monopolizing all refugee placement in America.

A ‘religious’ message from CWS one of three federally funded contractors suing to stop the President’s effort to reform the UN-driven Refugee Admissions Program.

And, they do not limit their advocacy toward only legal immigration programs, but are heavily involved in supporting the lawlessness at our borders.

The question isn’t as much about refugees per se, but about who is running federal immigration policy now and into the future?  

I continue to argue that these nine contractors are the heart of America’s Open Borders movement and thus there can never be long-lasting reform of US immigration policy when these nine un-elected phony non-profits are paid by the taxpayers to work as community organizers pushing an open borders agenda.

Note to PayPal donors!  I want to thank all of you who send me donations for my work via PayPal. I very much appreciate your thoughtfulness. However, PayPal is making changes to their terms of service and I’ve decided to opt-out beginning on March 10, 2020.

Refugee Resettlement Used as a [Expletive] Bargaining Chip! Do I Smell a Quid Pro Quo?

“It’s a bargaining tool: We’ll take a certain number of refugees. These are the things you will do for us.”

(Melanie Nezer, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)

This is just a quick post as I am researching WTH Secretary of State Pompeo was doing when he had a little chit-chat about refugees with the now under- fire Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in October.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Before I get to the little nugget I discovered in a 2018 Politico article about Pompeo, I want to remind long time readers, and inform new readers, that way back seven years ago (and long before that) the US State Department annually invited comment on the coming years refugee plans.

However, when those so-called scoping meetings began to be dominated by those of us who want the refugee program dumped or reformed, they stopped having the annual (albeit phony) ‘hearings.’

The Trump State Department has had no such opportunity for public input.

I regularly sent in testimony demanding a moratorium on the program and listed ten reasons, most are still applicable today.  See them here.

Here is my Number 7:

7)   Congress needs to specifically disallow the use of the refugee program for other purposes of the US Government,especially using certain refugee populations to address unrelated foreign policy objectives—Uzbeks, Kosovars, Meshketians and Bhutanese (Nepalese) people come to mind.

Now check this out at Politico in August of 2018.

Refugees as pawns and your community be damned!

“Pompeo is the critical stakeholder,” one refugee advocate said.

Melanie Nezer of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. (One of nine federal refugee resettlement contractors.)

Now that he’s served both as CIA director and secretary of state, activists hope that Pompeo has earned an appreciation for the diplomatic leverage having a robust refugee program can give the U.S. in negotiations with other countries.

“It’s a bargaining tool: We’ll take a certain number of refugees. These are the things you will do for us,” explained Melanie Nezer, a top official with HIAS, one of several organizations that helps refugees.

It is time to shut up about the humanitarian BS!  A refugee should be someone who is in legitimate need of protection, not a chip in a foreign policy poker game.

Think about that!  Your community will be changed forever (while you pay for it with your tax dollars) because refugees being admitted to the US are pawns in US foreign policy wheeling and dealing!

HIAS Not Telling the Whole Truth as they Sue the President; Raise Money

Further confirmation that the latest legal gambit by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and its fellow federal refugee contractors Church World Service and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service***  is about making money!

Over the last few days I told you here, here  and here about the lawsuit filed this week by the three federal refugee contractors and now I see there is a follow-up appeal by HIAS for guess what—money.

There is one important point you need to know about refugee resettlement, and one that was addressed here by David James, that the contractors don’t explain to their groupies….

Refugees can move!

HIAS CEO Hetfield received Islamic Relief USA’s “Courage” award in 2017. https://www.hias.org/blog/hias-receives-courage-award-islamic-relief-usa-tireless-work-assisting-refugees

They are not required to remain even for a day in the place they are resettled.

Of course if they stay for a few months they get a lot of help from the local sub-contractor to get signed-up for their services (aka welfare, etc), but they are not required to stay where placed.

The contractor’s duties generally end in just a few months after arrival anyway, and the refugees become the responsibility of your local/state services for the poor.

Additionally, the US State Department permits contractors to place refugees anywhere within a hundred mile radius of their nearest office.

In HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield’s e-mail appeal for money on Friday he makes it sound like refugees will not be reunited with their family members who came before them if Trump succeeds in his dastardly plan. That just isn’t so.

***Update*** I have been informed that the EO specifically says it does not apply to family reunification placements.

Also, The US does not block anyone from moving! 

It has happened time and again that refugees simply pack up and move to another city or state at will. (Which is why, although well-intended, the Trump EO really won’t accomplish what I think the designers hoped it would.)

And, as Mr. James reported, the feds can override the wishes of a state or local government.

But, if scaring donations out of people is the goal, then telling their supporters that Trump will block refugees from joining family members is a pretty good talking point.

Here is a bit of Hetfield’s plea for donations:

Here’s why our lawsuit is so important: The administration’s unprecedented action could prevent refugees from joining their U.S.-based families – even though many have waited for years to reunite. It could block communities from welcoming refugees, even if they have long-standing and successful resettlement programs. And it could prevent resettlement agencies from maintaining local affiliate offices that provide essential services to refugees during their first critical years in our country.

So, send us money!

Click here to make a gift of $18 or more right now to stand with HIAS and fight the Trump administration’s unprecedented attempt to close America’s door to thousands of refugees.

For more than a hundred years, our shared Jewish and American values have guided our work helping refugees build new lives of safety and freedom in the United States. It is these values that compel us not to look away from this intolerance – and to take a stand on behalf of those in need of our assistance.

President Trump’s executive action is an insult to the values upon which this nation was founded, and we’re calling on you to stand with us as we fight in court for refugees seeking safe havens in American communities. Please, we’re counting on you to step up at this crucial moment:

Did we mention?  Send money!

Make a gift of $18 or more now – the need has never been more urgent – to support refugees and asylum seekers in their quest for safety and freedom.

HIAS has figured out that Trump is good for their bottom line!

*** In case you think I’m picking on HIAS, I wrote about Church World Service yesterday and I’ll shortly have a post on LIRS!  Those two ‘Christian charities’  are even more heavily dependent on you (taxpayers of America) to keep their refugee businesses flush with cash than is HIAS!

 

HIAS Sues Trump Again, Contractor Does Not Want Local Citizens to have a Say in Placement Decisions

It is as simple as this:  HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) wants to continue to call the shots from Washington, DC about where refugees will be placed in America.

HIAS has been protesting Trump from the moment he was elected. Here CEO Mark Hetfield led a February 2017 anti-Trump rally that featured then Rep. Keith Ellison.  https://refugeeresettlementwatch.org/2017/02/14/breitbart-federally-funded-refugee-resettlement-contractor-hias-organized-ny-rally-against-trump/

You, who live in cities large and small are expected to shut up and let the professionals and experts determine which third world refugees will be resettled in which communities.

Never mind that as we pointed out here, the President’s Executive Order really doesn’t do much and never mind that there are yet no published guidelines from the federal government about how the Executive Order would be carried out, HIAS is nevertheless getting a jump on it by beating their anti-Trump drums and filing a lawsuit.

Clearly they have no interest in listening to what citizens have to say about their community being forever changed by federal contractors working for the US State Department. 

I suspect this new lawsuit is all about raising more money from an outraged constituency and I’ll tell you why I think that after you see what HIAS said yesterday.

Here is Mark Hetfield, HIAS CEO in an e-mail announcing the lawsuit:

Dear Friend,

In September, President Trump issued an executive order (EO) purporting to give state and local governments the authority to block refugee resettlement in their jurisdictions. This state-by-state, city-by-city refugee ban not only violates federal law, but also keeps refugees apart from their families, and prevents willing and able American communities like yours from welcoming people in need of safety. [Cry me a river!—ed]

This morning, HIAS, joined by two other refugee agencies, filed suit to stop this latest attempt to shut down refugee resettlement.

Now here is just some of their press announcement:

Today HIAS, together with two other refugee resettlement agencies, took President Trump to court over his recent executive order giving state and local officials authority to block refugee resettlement in their jurisdictions.

HIAS, Church World Service (CWS), and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) are suing the administration because it is attempting to enact a state-by-state, city-by-city refugee ban.

[….]

The president’s order, signed on September 26, would require resettlement agencies, including HIAS, CWS, and LIRS, to obtain written consent from all localities and states in which they plan to resettle refugees. If written consent cannot be obtained, it could prevent resettlement agencies from maintaining local affiliate offices that provide essential services to refugees already in the area.

According to the complaint, filed this morning in U.S. District Court in Maryland, the executive order violates federal law, which  requires federal agencies to make decisions about where refugees are to be placed within the United States according to a detailed list of factors, leaving no room for state and local governments to veto such decisions.

What factors? What are the detailed list of factors on which the feds (with their contractors) base their placement decisions? Shouldn’t we be given that information? We are the ones paying for it in more ways than one!

HIAS continues…

HIAS sued the Trump administration in 2017, when the president’s executive order called for halting refugee resettlement and banning people from seven majority Muslim countries with an exception for non-Muslim religious minorities.

HIAS, CWS, and LIRS, are represented by the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).

[….]

Melissa Keaney, Senior Litigation Staff Attorney for IRAP called the order “a back-door attempt to decimate the refugee resettlement program.” and noted that a single local politician should not be able to stop Americans who have been waiting years to reunite with family members.  [Their willingness to flat out lie is disgusting!  A single local politician could not stop resettlement!—ed]

“Trump’s War on Refugees” as they call it, has been very lucrative for HIAS!

I suspected that HIAS, and maybe some of the other contractors, was financially hurting as the Trump Administration has severely cut back on the number of paying clients (aka refugees) that the contractors are paid to ‘care for’ for a brief time, but I was wrong.

HIAS is better off financially today than it was at the pinnacle of the Obama Administration when refugees were pouring in by the tens of thousands.

We are getting into the weeds here, but hang in there.

I went back to the last four years of HIAS’s IRS Form 990s and guess what I confirmed?  HIAS is richer today than when Obama’s refugee spigot was wide open.

Their federal dollars have fallen only slightly while their private fundraising has mushroomed with the addition of over $10 million to their income between 2015 and 2018.

They are making money hand over fist because Donald Trump is in the White House!

In addition they are paying out more in salaries and giving less to other organizations.

Let me be clear.  If HIAS was a truly charitable organization that was not partially funded by taxpayers, I wouldn’t care about where their money came from, where they spent it, or how large their salaries are, but we, the taxpayers of America, are involuntarily paying for their overtly political activities and thus have a right to know how our money is being spent.

Here is a summary of some key data points on their IRS forms (I’m rounding numbers to make it easier to follow the money!):

2015  (Obama year)

$20.4 million from government grants

$15.2 million from other sources of income

Total income: $40.6 million (other smaller sources of income included)(Conservatively 50% federally funded because some of their other smaller amounts of income are from taxpayers too.)

$8.5 million passed through to other organizations

$12.2 million paid in salaries (salaries do not include other payroll expenses)

$375,000 CEO (Hetfield) compensation (includes other related compensation)

2016 (Obama’s top refugee ‘welcoming’ year)

$24.5 million from government grants

$17.4 million from other sources of income

Total income: $45.3 million (54% federally funded)

$12.2 million passed through to other organizations

$13.9 million paid in salaries

$344,000 CEO total compensation

2017 (Trump takes over)

$20.7 million from government grants

$19.9 million from other sources of income

Total income: $48.4 million (43% federally funded)

$8.9 million passed through to other organizations

$15.9 million paid in salaries

$322,000 CEO total compensation (took a little pay cut)

2018 (Trump)

$19.1 million from government grants (just about what they were raking in during Obama’s 2015!)

$27.4 million from other sources of income

Total income: $50 million (38% federally funded)

$6.6 million passed through to other organizations

$14.9 million paid in salaries

$330,000 CEO total compensation

Bottomline:  HIAS is wealthier today ($10 million wealthier) than they were four years ago and I suspect they are fully aware of how the President, and their campaign against him, has enormously helped their fundraising operations.

The lawsuit will likely bring in gobs more money for them!

And, just so you know, I’ll be looking at the Form 990s of the other ‘religious charity’ partners in this lawsuit.