See my post over at ‘Frauds and Crooks’ today:
This is big and it is buried many column inches into a story at Business Insider entitled:
Biden said the US was committed to accepting more refugees. So where are they?
As longtime readers know, the US Refugee Admissions Program has traditionally paid its nine contractors*** on a per refugee client basis.
So, naturally during the Trump years, when refugee arrivals were low, the contractors were not raking in the federal bucks (your tax dollars) at the rate they did when Obama, for instance, was President.
They whined and complained about having to cut staff and close offices and now they want to get up and running before the promised 125,000 begin arriving in October.
They are getting ready in Idaho! where a controversial resettlement agency there had its budget (waaahh!) halved by Trump.
Although a good bit of the Business Insider article is a rehash of the recent Biden flip, flop, flipping on the refugee ceiling for this fiscal year, the article is nevertheless chockfull of useful information.
For the sake of time, which I am running out of this morning, here are just a few snips:
A spokesperson for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an arm of the Health and Human Services Department, said the Trump administration’s cuts to refugee admissions had hit the country’s humanitarian infrastructure hard.
“[H]umanitarian infrastructure” is code for government contractors’ budgets.
“The steady decrease in arrivals during the previous four years has resulted in decreased resettlement capacity at the local level,” they said. Between 2017 and 2021, “approximately one-third of the network had to close.”
That has raised the question: Can the US actually resettle as many refugees as Biden would like?
Officials at US refugee agencies said they would be able to meet the needs of any refugees sent their way. Rebuilding their capacity to do so is a hassle, but it has already begun. New staff are being hired, and new offices will soon be opened — the when and where hinging on support from local communities. [They are out scouting for fresh territory!—ed]
Okay, here it is for all of you refugee policy wonks! As I said, this is big!
Wrenn, of the resettlement agency HIAS, said her group would soon be receiving from the State Department “capacity building funds so that we can actually start to hire up and train people for arrivals.”
LOL! “agency partners!” They try so hard to avoid using the word contractors!
For the first time, the government will also be paying its agency partners and their partners on the local level ahead of time and more consistently.
“It has historically always been a per capita system,” she said. Before, “as arrivals fell, staff volume fell, because that’s the way it worked.” Now the plan is to provide a separate budget for the staff — social workers, language and cultural experts, educators — that will not be based, after the fact, on the exact number of refugees that agency ended up serving.
Read on for more information.
And, a shout-out to a refugee policy wonk I know who predicted that this was what they are doing during this time when refugee arrivals are still low.
Can you imagine the competition going on among the nine as they scramble for the Biden bucks no longer tethered to the number of refugees each contractor can manage.
***In case you are new to RRW, here are all of the nine contractors that have monopolized all refugee distribution in the US for decades.
They worked to ‘elect’ Biden/Harris and lobby for open borders. As taxpayers you pay them millions annually to change America by changing the people.
Two of the contractors, the USCCB and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service are also paid to find locations for the Unaccompanied Alien Children.
At this very moment they are all out scouting for new, fresh territory in which to place their refugee clients. See Winchester, VA.
Foreigners First! is their motto!
Here I go again, another post on the incredibly amusing muddle the Biden Administration has gotten itself into in regards to the flip-flop-flipping on his decision to aim to admit a certain number of refugees into the US this fiscal year.
Since I last wrote here on Wednesday, I posted a piece at Frauds and Crooks on the topic, because I am so fascinated by how the Biden White House has made such an enormous political blunder and that the corporate media has reported on the blowback Biden has received from the liberal wing of his party.
The Frauds and Crooks post focused on how quickly the refugee lobby went into action to slap Biden around on his unforgiveable waffling and announcement that he would leave the refugee ceiling/cap at the Trump level for the remainder of the fiscal year sending HIAS and other refugee pushers ballistic as heads exploded throughout the refugee industry.
See it here:
There are so many things I could have written about today, but instead, I just spent part of an hour listening to a podcast at something called Skullduggery where HIAS (formerly Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) CEO Mark Hetfield gives Michael Isikoff some inside skinny on what went down last week in the White House implosion over the refugee cap for the year.
Additionally Hetfield reveals a few other nuggets of information that you may find illuminating. I did.
Hey, and if you think that somehow I pick on Mark Hetfield and HIAS, I don’t.
It just happens that Hetfield appears to be the most political of the refugee contractor CEOs and is out and about talking to the media and organizing protests. (See all contractors*** below.)
He also was the leader of the pack suing the Trump administration every time Trump attempted to reform the Refugee Admissions Program.
Calling all refugee policy wonks! This podcast is worth listening to as Hetfield describes the situation with the White House as “bizarre.”
Here are a few takeaways (some nuggets we already know, but confirmed by Hetfield):
~ The refugee admissions controversy was the first blowback Biden received from the liberal wing of the party. By May 15th a new refugee ceiling will be announced by the capitulating White House.
~ We learn that Secretary of State Blinken wants the increase, but some unknown players in the White House are politically “spooked on immigration.” That tells us that we must, for all its worth, keep talking about immigration and the southern border as a “crisis.”
~ With the refugee program it is the Muslim refugees that most scare the public. There was a few minutes of discussion about the 2015 governors’ revolt when 31 governors told Obama they refused to admit Syrian refugees to their states. Even presidential candidates such as moderates on immigration, Bush and Rubio, became “xenophobic” in their rhetoric. That really freaked-out Hetfield.
~Hetfield claims the public is mostly positive about bringing in more refugees, but apparently some unnamed advisors in the White House are looking at polling that does not confirm Hetfield’s optimistic view.
~Hetfield is “infuriated” by all of the focus on vetting refugees that delays their arrival in America. He says that no refugee has committed a lethal terror attack on US soil, but doesn’t mention that many have been stopped and apprehended before they could carry out a planned attack! And, he doesn’t mention the killers and rapists who have gotten past the screening.
~Isikoff finds Tucker Carlson’s great “replacement” theory “vile.” And then asks if Hetfield watches Carlson. This is the funny part: Hetfield says he “made the mistake” of going on Tucker’s show a few years ago.
By the way, that did not go well for Hetfield. If you missed it, here it is:
~ Hetfield called the replacement concept “beyond offensive.” He and the podcasters are concerned about whether this “strain of thinking” by the likes of Carlson, Donald Trump and Stephen Miller is “ascendant.” Hint to you: Keep it going.
~Hetfield called the administration’s border crisis a “lose-lose” situation for the President.
~As for the ceiling/cap, he wonders how the Biden team got so muddled over it as he said “set the damn cap” and set it higher than Trump’s cap. It doesn’t matter exactly what it is because it is a cap, a ceiling. He just wants to get the program moving and then Biden should fulfil his promise for FY2022 which begins on October 1, 2021 to admit 125,000 refugees from the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia.
For those of you new to the Refugee program there was some useful basic information about how the program works.
Listen to the whole interview entitled ‘Biden’s Refugee Problem.’
***If you are new to RRW, here are all of the federal refugee resettlement contractors.
The border crisis is damaging refugee resettlement!
The contractors worked to ‘elect’ Biden/Harris and they lobby for open borders.
From the earliest days of writing this blog it has perplexed me because if they truly cared about the refugees they legally help, they would not encourage leniency toward lawbreakers at our borders because the general public makes no distinctions.
To the average American it is all the same—too many people having too many needs for Americans to pay for.
Americans Last! is their motto!
Holy cow! This story at the New York Times yesterday was revealing and that was because, first and foremost, it says to me that there is discord, and there are leakers willing to leak about that discord, inside the Biden/Harris administration!
The entire issue of refugee resettlement had gone into sleep-mode in recent months, so I’m surprised that the topic is now front and center, not so much because of refugee numbers per se, but because it is giving us a window into an extremely dysfunctional (back stabbing) administration.
Don’t get me wrong. I am happy with the foot-dragging and flip-flopping, and I am happy to see so many Open borders pushers with their undies in a wad, but it is disquieting to see such an erratic decision-making process.
Not to mention, if Biden’s rationale is that he doesn’t want to piss-off more voters (or members of Congress) on immigration issues before the mid-term elections, that ship has sailed.
Everyone already knows he has unleashed the invasion.
We are being overrun by illegal aliens and the average American isn’t sitting out there saying, well, we can cut him some slack because at least he isn’t bringing in tens of thousands of legal refugees from across the entire globe.
See my post yesterday about how the border and the refugee admissions program have long ago been “conflated” in peoples’ minds.
Here is a bit of what the New York Times is saying in what is likely the first, hopefully not the last, reporting on the bloom-off-the-rose for Biden. It is long, and likely only the wonkiest of refugee wonks will read it all.
Forgive me for my fixation on this, but I have never seen anything quite like this mess in all the years I’ve been writing about the US Refugee Program, and I especially love to see the Lefties at each others’ throats!
An Early Promise Broken: Inside Biden’s Reversal on Refugees
What had been an easy promise on the campaign trail — to reverse what Democrats called President Donald J. Trump’s “racist” limits on accepting refugees — has become a test of what is truly important to President Biden.
(If Biden brings in fewer refugees than Trump did in a year, will they call Biden a “racist?” Just wondering!)
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken was in the Oval Office, pleading with President Biden.
In the meeting, on March 3, Mr. Blinken implored the president to end Trump-era restrictions on immigration and to allow tens of thousands of desperate refugees fleeing war, poverty and natural disasters into the United States, according to several people familiar with the exchange.
But Mr. Biden, already under intense political pressure because of the surge of migrant children at the border with Mexico, was unmoved. The attitude of the president during the meeting, according to one person to whom the conversation was later described, was, essentially: Why are you bothering me with this?
What had been an easy promise on the campaign trail — to reverse what Democrats called President Donald J. Trump’s “racist” limits on accepting refugees — has become a test of what is truly important to the new occupant of the White House, according to an account of his decision making from more than a dozen Biden administration officials, refugee resettlement officials and others.
Mr. Biden was eager for the praise that would come from vastly increasing Mr. Trump’s record-low limit, people familiar with his thinking said, and he decided to increase the cap even earlier than the usual start of the fiscal year, Oct. 1.
But only weeks into Mr. Biden’s presidency, immigration and the border had already become major distractions from his efforts to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and to persuade Congress to invest trillions of dollars into the economy — issues championed by aides like Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff, as more central to his presidency.
The exchange on March 3 took place shortly after Mr. Biden had dispatched Mr. Blinken and two other cabinet secretaries to formally tell Congress that he would increase refugee admissions during the next six months to 62,500 people from the annual 15,000-person limit set by Mr. Trump.
Instead, the president undercut his emissaries and left hundreds of refugees in limbo for weeks.
For the next month and a half, Mr. Biden’s aides stalled, repeatedly telling reporters and refugee advocacy groups that the president still intended to follow through.
On Feb. 12, the president delivered on the specific commitment to Congress, pledging to resettle 62,500 refugees fleeing war and persecution at home. Mr. Blinken delivered the message to lawmakers along with Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, and Norris Cochran, the acting health secretary at the time.
“They went there and presented a really thoughtful plan, and we were so thrilled,” said Mark J. Hetfield, the chief executive of Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a resettlement agency.
“And then,” Mr. Hetfield said, “it just evaporated overnight.”
As the weeks stretched into months, it became clear that Mr. Biden’s presidency would not be the panacea some had thought.
The biggest knife-cut of all! Biden wanted to stick with Stephen Miller‘s cap!
Instead of making good on his promise to significantly expand refugee entry into the United States, Mr. Biden was sticking to the cap engineered by Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policies.
“This reflects Team Biden’s awareness that the border flood will cause record midterm losses,” Mr. Miller tweeted, adding that if it were still up to him, “Refugee cap should be reduced to ZERO.”
The idea that Mr. Miller and Mr. Biden were in agreement about anything was anathema to most of the president’s supporters, many of whom flew into a rage.
By Friday evening, the White House was in full damage-control mode.
Jon Finer, the deputy national security adviser, held an emergency conference call with refugee advocates at 7:30 p.m., emphasizing that the administration would work to welcome in the refugees with haste.
That is enough to show you what a hash the administration has made of the refugee admissions program and immigration in general!
Continue reading here.
Is Biden a closet racist?
I’ve wondered for over a decade why Biden’s Delaware never welcomed refugees in any numbers.
Only a handful have ever been placed there and no one seems to know why. It isn’t because it is a small state, because Rhode Island is smaller and has welcomed thousands more than Biden’s home state.
See my post from January 2020.
According to the US State Department data base at the Refugee Processing Center, Delaware has only ‘welcomed’ 171 refugees since the beginning of fiscal year 2003. (Data before 2003 is not easy to access.)
Well it is a small state you say!
It is twice the size of Rhode Island which took in 3,122 poor third worlders in the same time period.
Update April 18th: Biden himself commits to increasing the number of refugees to be admitted; references the border saying we couldn’t do two things at once, but now we can (oh really! so what changed?).
“This is a breathtaking betrayal of the plan to ‘build back better.’”
(Matthew Soerens World Relief, a refugee contractor)
Don’t get me wrong. I am just fine with it. In fact, I find it hilarious.
However, Biden/Harris have now so screwed-up the US Refugee Admissions Program (which I know a little about) with their ham-handed incompetence that it makes me ask how badly are they screwing-up elsewhere—-like handling the pandemic or dealing with Russia and China?
We know they are creating a catastrophe and angering most Americans with their policy, or lack of a policy, at the southern border!
And, that is not so funny.
Now, by not going forward with his promise to reset the annual refugee cap to 62,500 for what remains of the 2021 fiscal year, RRW readers know that Biden has been pissing-off his friends in the NO Borders community.
Leading the pack of the pissed-off are the refugee contractors*** whose business it is to place third world clients in your towns and cities while being paid by you, the taxpayer, to do it.
And, see here that the final straw for those who helped Biden steal the White House was when a contractor, the International Rescue Committee, published a report saying Biden was ‘welcoming’ fewer refugees than President Trump.
If that wasn’t bad enough, yesterday all hell broke loose when the White House announced it would leave TRUMP’S CAP of 15,000 (or fewer) refugees to be admitted by September 30th in place.
The “faith groups” (aka contractors) were “outraged.”
Nothing Trump did should ever be left in place!
A few hours later Biden/Harris backtracked and said they would set a new higher cap/ceiling in mid-May.
Keep in mind that while running for the presidency Biden promised his 80 million (ha! ha!) voters that he would admit 125,000 annually.
There is a lot of coverage of the “betrayal.” Here is one account at Religion News Service:
Biden reverses course on refugee cap after faith groups express outrage
WASHINGTON (RNS) — President Joe Biden’s administration has reversed a decision to keep in place a historically low cap on refugee admissions left by Donald Trump, saying it will raise the ceiling next month after faith-based groups initially decried the move as an “abandonment of our ideals.”
Biden signed a memorandum Friday (April 16) aimed at speeding up refugee admissions this year — but that memorandum does not increase the so-called refugee ceiling, something the president has pledged to do when speaking to religious audiences.
Although the memorandum leaves open the possibility of raising that number should the United States resettle the maximum 15,000 refugees this year, news that the ceiling will at least temporarily remain at that historic low was met with disappointment by many religious communities, including the faith-based groups that partner with the federal government to resettle refugees.
By Friday afternoon, The Associated Press and CNN reported the Biden administration has reversed course, announcing plans to lift the Trump-era refugee cap next month in the wake of widespread pushback from allies.
The White House confirmed to Religion News Service on Friday that officials intend to revisit the refugee ceiling sometime in the coming days, saying in a statement, “We expect the President to set a final, increased refugee cap for the remainder of this fiscal year by May 15.”
Keep reading here to see what the other Christian contractors, in addition to Soerens, had to say about their man Joe yesterday.
In a more tempered response, see what the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is saying about the flip-flopping from the White House.
‘Relieved but disappointed’: How America’s Jewish refugee aid agency is doing 3 months under Biden
“We’re relieved but disappointed,” said HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield following Friday’s initial announcement that the cap, also known as the refugee ceiling, would not be raised.
Following the second statement, Hetfield added, “There’s no reason to delay raising the refugee ceiling. It’s just a ceiling, it’s not a floor. They should be focused on what’s the goal and how are you going to reach it?”
It is all Trump’s fault!
The fight over the refugee cap encapsulates a dilemma confronting HIAS as the agency moves from Trump to Biden. On one hand, HIAS leaders are glad that the United States no longer has a president who opposes refugees, separates families at the border and fires up his base with anti-immigrant rhetoric.
On the other hand, they say that Trump did so much harm, and made immigration so heated an issue, that it will be a challenge just to bring the immigration and refugee systems back to where they were before Trump.
Returning to a point in which the U.S. allows hundreds of thousands of refugees a year, and passing immigration reform through Congress, these leaders say, feels even more daunting. [HIAS was heavily involved in lobbying for failed Comprehensive Immigration Reform some years ago.–ed]
“It’s just a relief to have that administration in the rearview mirror,” said Melanie Nezer, vice president for public affairs at HIAS. She dubbed the Trump era “the fire swamp.”
But Nezer is cognizant as well of “the sheer amount of time, effort and creativity it’s going to take for the new administration and those of us who work on these issues to unravel and fix it.”
“The prior administration really decimated our infrastructure, our systems, our staffing,” she said. “It’s stunning to think about the damage that was done.”
Trump’s actions on immigration, beginning with the travel ban, spurred a flood of donations to HIAS. Since Trump’s term, the agency more than doubled its annual budget to $90 million. But resettling refugees — how the organization had once spent the majority of donations — became unprecedentedly controversial and difficult.
With its windfall, HIAS sued the Trump administration over its travel ban, increased its advocacy work and shifted its weight outside the U.S.
For refugee resettlement nerds there is a lot of useful information in this article, so keep reading.
Here is the data from the State Department showing the paltry number of refugees admitted in the first half of the fiscal year.
This is what has the contractors hopping mad.
Notice (sorry the screenshot isn’t clear, but take it from me) that although we are admitting hundreds of thousands of illegal border jumpers from Central America, more are being admitted as refugees through this legal avenue.
***In case you are new to RRW, here are all of the unhappy contractors.
They worked to ‘elect’ Biden/Harris and lobby for open borders. As taxpayers you pay them millions annually to change America by changing the people.
Americans Last! is their motto!