Michigan: Pakistani Hotel Owner Alleges City Picked on Him for Housing Syrian Refugees

The point you should take away from this story is that in addition to new refugees being illegally housed (newly arriving refugees are required to be placed in their own apartments or homes upon arrival, not placed in hotel rooms) is that the Michigan Lutheran refugee resettlement agency was working with the Muslim hotel owner who the city says was already in violation of fire and other safety codes. 

Formerly Lutheran Social Services of Michigan

The Lutheran resettlement agency, Samaritas, is a subcontractor to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service I wrote about yesterday. Check out that post and see the salaries you pay!

For newcomers to RRW, there are nine federal resettlement agencies largely funded by you, the taxpayers, who work for the US State Department.

Each of those has many subcontractors.  Your money flows through the nine down to hundreds of smaller organizations (like this Michigan subcontractor) making it very confusing for concerned citizens to know who it is that is changing their communities and it makes it almost impossible to follow the money.

(See LIRS other subcontractors below.)

From Detroit Free Press:

(emphasis below is mine)

Sterling Heights hotel in dispute with city alleges anti-Muslim, anti-refugee bias

The owner of a Sterling Heights hotel who is Muslim and of Pakistani descent alleges in a lawsuit filed Monday that city officials targeted and drove him out of business because of his faith and ethnicity and because he had housed about 200 Syrian refugees.

But on the same day, a Macomb County judge ruled against the hotel in a separate lawsuit that had been filed by city against the hotel, agreeing with the city that the hotel had failed to meet safety regulations.

Asad Malik, the owner of Wyndham Garden on 15 Mile and Van Dyke and president of the Pakistani Association of America, says in a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Detroit that after he started housing Syrian refugees in 2016, the city started to slap him with citations for violations of fire codes that he said other hotels with similar problems were not receiving. The hotel closed in September.

Malik purchased the hotel in 2014. He is an active member of the Muslim community in metro Detroit as a leader with the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in Rochester Hills and meets with elected officials who have visited the mosque over the years.

The hotel was “opening her arms to refugees escaping from their war torn country,” his attorney Shereef Akeel, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sterling Hotels, told the Free Press. “The last thing you would think is then one of our own cites shutting the door on them. And now, my client has had to pay dearly for their act of generosity.”

The hotel started taking in Syrian refugees in November 2016 [during the big Obama flood of refugees—ed] working with Samaritas, formerly known as Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, which helps resettle refugees.

Malik said he then received an email from the Sterling Heights city manager asking him: “Are there any Syrian refugees being housed at the Wyndham? A resident is alleging such at our council meeting.”

The targeted harassment started after that….

Keep reading to learn more about the complaint.  The fallback position for a certain group of people is to cry DISCRIMINATION!

So where else is LIRS working to change America by changing the people?

This is something I need to do every time I write about a resettlement agency funded by you, in this case Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (the mothership) that passes its case loads to subcontractors like Samaritis.

Here is where you can find out if a refugee agency in your city is affiliated with LIRS.

Below is a screenshot of the full list of subcontractors.  Note how some have dropped the word “Lutheran” from their names.

Sixteen Republican Representatives Tell President they Want More than 18,000 Refugees

The letter to the President was spearheaded by Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga and was clearly written with the aid of refugee industry lobbyists*** because it contains the language I see everywhere coming out of places like the Refugee Council USA and the federal resettlement contractors who depend on federal dollars for their supposed charitable work.

Republican Rep Bill Huizenga’s letter is boilerplate refugee industry lingo!

Claiming they fear we aren’t protecting enough people experiencing religious persecution they list wholly Muslim countries like Somalia and Afghanistan whose nationals they say we must admit.

But, there is not one word about persecuted Christians, which might have made their appeal to the President understandable at least.

Any day now the President will decide if the number for FY2020 will be 18,000, see here.

Below is Huizenga’s press release and the letter in its entirety.

Is your Republican member of Congress pressing the President for MORE third worlders for your Congressional District?

Huizenga: The Trump Administration Should Reconsider its Position on Refugee Resettlement

On Friday, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) sent a letter, with 16 of his Republican colleagues, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the need for the United States to continue to open its doors to refugees displaced by conflict and facing religious persecution. The letter is in response to the Trump Administration recently announcing its plan to reduce the number of refugees admitted to the United States to a record-low level of 18,000 people.

“America cannot lead from behind on the issue of religious persecution and refugee resettlement,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga. “West Michigan has a long standing tradition of opening its doors to those facing persecution as well as welcoming individuals who have been displaced because of armed conflict. Whether it is our faith-based institutions, non-profit organizations, or individuals within the community, West Michigan continues to set an example Washington could learn from. The Trump Administration should reconsider its position.”

The letter is available below.

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

Since our nation’s founding, the United States has served as a beacon of hope to those suffering from oppression and conflict across the globe. The Statute of Liberty perfectly encapsulates our outstretched hand, accepting the world’s huddled masses who yearn to be free. As the world continues to face an overwhelming refugee crisis, we respectfully urge you to uphold our nation’s commitment to assist individuals who have been displaced by violence and strife.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are approximately 20 million refugees worldwide with more than 50 percent being children. Among those, roughly eight million refugees are from Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Additionally, another 37,000 people are forced to flee their homes every day due to conflict and persecution in their home countries.

Continued U.S. leadership is critical in addressing ongoing humanitarian crises caused by civil war and persecution and in assisting displaced persons. One area where America can lead is by creating and protecting de-escalation zones near war-torn countries and providing humanitarian assistance to people in need. We must also continue to accept and care for refugees here in America.

In our communities throughout the country, there is a long history of opening doors to assist refugees. Local leaders, faith groups, and businesses have come together to create an environment where refugees are welcomed and receive the services necessary to learn English, find employment, and become part of the fabric of their new communities.

As such, we urge you to maintain the United States’ longstanding commitment to assist refugees with a special focus on assisting individuals hailing from nations facing the worst conditions possible. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Representatives who signed the letter led by Ken Buck (CO) include: Fred Upton (MI), Susan W. Brooks (IN), John Curtis (UT), Scott Tipton (CO), Doug Lamborn (CO), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Steve Stivers (OH), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), John Katko (NY), Dan Newhouse (WA), Rob Woodall (GA), Chris Stewart (UT), and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL).

In July, Congressman Huizenga spoke out against eliminating the refugee resettlement program when reports circulated that the Trump Administration was considering such a proposal.

If you live in the district of one of those members and disagree with their pressuring the President, you need to let your representative know.

When they sign letters like this they assume it is a freebie for them.  They will get brownie points from Open Borders Inc. and suffer no down side.

It is your job to be sure they know there is a downside.  You could write a letter to your local paper critical of their stance on refugees.  Be sure to attend town halls when they are home campaigning so you can ask them in public to defend their position on refugees.

Maybe ask them why you, the taxpayers, are paying for it all but have no say in where they will be placed, and most importantly ask why we aren’t taking care of our own vulnerable Americans first!

*** A final comment on the subject of lobbyists.  The refugee industry has lobbyists galore.  Not just the Refugee Council USA but every one of the nine contractors has either formal lobbyists (Catholic Bishops and Lutherans for example) and informal lobbyists who help identify soft touches on the refugee program.

Some one, or several, draft a letter like this, and it is the lobbyist working with their principle author, in this case Huzienga staffers, who run around Capitol Hill with the draft letter to get co-signers.  It might require reaching back to the district to get some influential church group, interfaith group, Chamber of Commerce types who then also call the member to encourage their support for the letter.

Those of us who want to see the US Refugee Admissions program slowed, reformed or dumped outright have no lobbyist on the Hill!

 

 

Flash! Michigan Has Run Out of Poor Americans! Lutherans Building Special Housing for Refugees

“Samaritas is incredibly excited to be partnering with Wayne County and Wayne Metro for this important project that will create opportunities for affordable transitional housing for the New Americans families in our care.”

(Samaritas CEO Sam Beals)

 

This must be Michigan day for me.  Earlier at ‘Frauds and Crooks’ I wrote about all of the ‘new American’ doctors going to prison there for ripping off taxpayers and fueling the Opioid Crisis!

Now comes news that Wayne County (of course!) is building housing to accommodate impoverished refugees in partnership with Samaritas. What! All low income Americans in Wayne County have homes!

And, it won’t cost the county a dime because the money is coming via Washington, DC’s famous money tree—-you and me!

Hamtramck’s federally funded Freedom Village will be right here!

From The Detroit News:

Freedom Village, a safe haven for refugees, planned in Hamtramck

Hamtramck — Wayne County is working to aid refugees fleeing their war-torn countries for new lives in Michigan with a safe haven they are calling Freedom Village, officials announced Monday.

The county is partnering with Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, Samaritas and the city of Hamtramck to create the resettlement designed to provide refugees and immigrants with transitional affordable housing.

Construction of three two-family homes to house six families on Faber in Hamtramck is underway and is expected to be completed by summer 2020, county officials said.

The program was created to provide a better life to low-income refugees and immigrants by surrounding them with resources to eventually pursue permanent homeownership opportunities, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said.

“We are a welcoming county that derives its strength from the diversity of its residents, and this project epitomizes that core value,” Evans said in a statement.

The Hamtramck project will develop newly constructed, affordable houses on Wayne County Land Bank-owned parcels in the city.

After the parcels are cleared, Wayne County will assemble the properties for the Hamtramck Refugee Resettlement project.

Under the agreement, the new construction will be at no cost to the city of Hamtramck. It will increase the taxable value of the vacant lots, bringing them back onto the tax rolls and contributing revenue to the city, officials said.

Wayne County Metropolitan Community Action Agency will serve as the property developer and owner, and Samaritas, a resettlement agency, will place refugees and provide further services.

Those darn Lutherans in the housing business (again)!  You need to know that Lutheran Social Services of Michigan rebranded and became Samaritas in 2016.  See my post:

Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, rebrands, no longer wants to be tagged as Lutheran

Earlier LSS got into some housing hanky-panky here.

CEO Beals is doing well by doing good. See Samaritas IRS Form 990. Beals is making over $300,000 a year working for the Lutheran ‘charity.’ https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2017/381/360/2017-381360553-0fe410b2-9.pdf

Back to the Detroit News,

CEO Sam Beals said Samaritas, which has helped resettle families in Michigan for 70 years, couldn’t be more excited for the unique partnership.

“Samaritas is incredibly excited to be partnering with Wayne County and Wayne Metro for this important project that will create opportunities for affordable transitional housing for the New Americans families in our care,” Beals said. “Having beautiful builds like this one, appropriately called Freedom Village, in Hamtramck is much needed and a great location for this project as a welcoming city in metro Detroit.”

[….]

More than 600,000 foreign-born individuals live in Michigan, and of that, more than 70% live in southeast Michigan, according to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

[….]

County officials did not disclose the cost of the program but said it’s being funded with federal housing dollars through Wayne County HOME Investment Partnerships Program, a federal grant program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Development.

Samaritas is a $100 Million a year operation and received over $30 million in taxpayer funded grants in one recent year. Now they are in the federal housing business.  Hmmmm!

Michigan story about refugee slowdown reveals what citizens really think

Today when I saw one more story about some gathering somewhere meant to tell the public how bad the Trump administration is as it slows the flow of third worlders to unsuspecting middle America towns, my first thought was: blah! blah! blah!

However, for a change I had a good look at the comments to the story at Michigan Live, and I am glad I did!

‘America looks terrible’ with record-low refugee admissions, panelist says

ANN ARBOR, MI – The U.S. accepted a record low number of refugees in 2018, and now Michigan resettlement agencies are questioning their future.

 

Hetfield at NY protest
This is Mark Hetfield of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society protesting the Trump presidency at a rally in New York shortly after Trump was inaugurated in early 2017.  Last I checked he was pulling down a salary and benefits package of nearly $350,000 a year as HIAS CEO.  Good work if you can get it!  https://refugeeresettlementwatch.org/2018/06/27/hebrew-immigrant-aid-society-urges-followers-to-take-to-the-streets-in-wake-of-supreme-court-decision/

 

 

Right now America looks terrible because we are no longer out there defending the most vulnerable people in the world,” said Mark Hetfield, CEO of HIAS, the world’s oldest refugee resettlement agency, based in Maryland. “That’s something that we have done consistently across Republican and Democratic administrations, and we have stopped doing that and thrown refugee protection into reverse.”

Hetfield participated in a panel discussion on present and future challenges related to refugee resettlement on Monday, Oct. 22, at the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School.

The panel was part of a two-day “Keeping Our Door Open” symposium in Ann Arbor coordinated by UM’s School of Social Work, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County.

Needless to say  the panelists go on to complain about how the refugee program is being diminished by this president.  See more here.

If readers simply look at the title and read a bit of the story one would think that the propagandists might actually be reaching people.

That is, until one looks at the comments.

Get a load of these (and this is just a sampling!):

 

  • Space Ace
  • 5 minutes ago
Don’t we have our own poor people to be concerned about? Since when is it our moral imperative to alleviate all the suffering of the world? Homelessness is up 50%, FIFTY PERCENT, in many parts of the country from 15 years ago. How about we deal with that first, then maybe consider importing more poor people?
  • Xchips
  • 8 minutes ago
“Right now America looks terrible because we are no longer out there defending the most vulnerable people in the world,” said Mark Hetfield, CEO of HIAS who’s nearly $350,000 compensation package is nearly wholey paid for by taxpayers.

So here’s a guy getting taxpayer dollars to help other people get taxpayer dollars. Nice racket.

  • Tom
  • 1 hour ago
Refugee (noun): a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

How many of these “refugees” are actually falling into one of these categories? How many are coming here because they just don’t like where they live and they heard you can get in by claiming refugee status.

According to the article – “Refugees are entitled to government assistance coordinating travel plans to get to the U.S. and then resettlement services that can include assistance with transportation, housing, English language classes, health care, food, education, employment and citizenship services.”

So if I lived in a very poor country – that sounds like a good deal to me.

So maybe consider those actual refugees are being turned around because they actually aren’t refugees.

  • E
  • 1 hour ago
I’d say the lovely citizens of Ann Arbor sponsor refugees and house/feed/guarantee non-reliance on government programs to show their support.
  • Freedom Lover
  • 1 hour ago
Have you noticed that most of the immigrants in the horde coming from Guatemala and Honduras are males in the 20 to 30 age group. They carry their country’s flag but refuse to stay in their country and make it better. I’m sure glad the colonialists were not like them. They stayed and fought to make a better country. Also many who are interviewed say they are coming to the USA for a job. A job is not a reason to seek asylum.
  • Shawn Letwin
  • updated 1 hour ago
Yep, you are at risk of losing your jobs and no longer living off the trough of the taxpayers…”Que Sera, Sera”
  • Rbg1
  • updated 1 hour ago
Did these opportunist mouthpieces disclose the taxpayer-funded profits (BILLIONS) involved with resettling and wrap-around assistance? This isn’t compassion, it’s greed. Everyone involved is making money off the scam. Except, of course, middle class taxpayers.

This is an encouraging example of how educated citizens are becoming about the US Refugee Admissions Program.

All of you should take the opportunity every chance you get to comment to news stories in your communities.

And, then go vote!

Michigan: refugee contractors and employers boo-hooing; not enough cheap labor coming in

Ten years ago they hid the fact that those poor third worlders coming in to the US as refugees were providing a steady supply of cheap labor for big business, now they are admitting it right up front and trashing Trump because he has cut their supply.
Do you humanitarians out there really understand that the US Refugee Admissions Program is first and foremost for the pleasure of the Chamber of Commerce and businesses large and small which want to keep wages low? Why do you think the Republicans in Congress have made no serious move to reform the program?
samaritas
And, secondly it is about giant ‘non-profits’ like Samaritas (formerly Lutheran Social Services Michigan) keeping their government funding flowing.
By the way Samaritas is a made-up word and why they dropped “Lutheran” is a mystery. (It is like HIAS dropping the “Hebrew” from its name!)
As I said here recently, if we have a labor shortage, let’s debate that, but then shut up about this being all about saving the downtrodden of the world and trying to silence those of us questioning the business model (cheap immigrant labor brought to the US and supported with welfare by THE TAXPAYERS!).
One of the things I’ve wondered for years is: do the refugees coming in understand that low wage, often very dirty and difficult, jobs await them?
The wailing has become deafening as the refugee flow to America has slowed in the last year.
Here is Crain’s Detroit Business with this headline:

Refugee clampdown hits local nonprofits

The subheadline should be:  Businesses aren’t getting their steady supply of taxpayer-supported laborers!
Here is a bit of the story:

Nonprofit services to help refugees fleeing war or persecution resettle in Southeast Michigan are a shell of what they were a year ago.

Local resettlement agencies have laid off much of their staffs and closed offices, following revenue decreases tied to a federal clampdown that has significantly reduced the number of refugees coming to the U.S., especially those from Middle Eastern and African countries that have been the mainstay of local resettlement efforts in recent years. [Revenue decreases because they are paid on a per refugee head basis!—ed]

 

Screenshot (1285)
We need immigrant laborers in Michigan (to heck if we change America by changing the people)!  Picture kind of reminds one of picking cotton (just saying!). Steve Tobocman, executive director of Global Detroit, a proponent of immigration as an economic development strategy.   http://www.modeldmedia.com/features/tobocman060610.aspx

 
Crain’s goes on….

The slowdown in acceptance of refugees and increased vetting was ordered by the Trump administration over concerns about security. It has had an impact on not just nonprofits but also employers who were relying on resettled refugees as a source of labor, local nonprofits say.

Similar cuts have played out at similar agencies in other parts of the country, said Steve Tobocman, executive director of Global Detroit, a proponent of immigration as an economic development strategy.

“Ultimately, the current state of affairs impacts the services agencies can offer to integrate new refugees,” given the loss of economies of scale that come with larger resettlement numbers, Tobocman said.

[….]

To continue providing services to refugees already here, resettlement agencies are seeking alternative funding such as grants from private funders.

And some are looking to local churches and community groups for help.

It is about time, why haven’t they been doing this (above)?  Why? Because taxpayer funding was readily available, so why bother trying to raise private charity—that is hard work!
Crain’s continues….

VickieThompson-Sandy-mug-01_i
Vickie Thompson-Sandy, president of Samaritas makes over a quarter of a $million annually, according to a recent Form 990. Will she give up some of her salary to care for refugees who are down and out now?

“When we’re closing offices in Ann Arbor, where does a refugee go? They can no longer stop by our office to get basic support,” said Vickie Thompson-Sandy, president of Samaritas, a Detroit-based social services agency that counts refugee resettlement among its services.

[….]

Some local companies are feeling the squeeze in their workforces.

Local manufacturing and retail employers that relied on new refugees as employees are calling the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Detroit on a weekly basis, said Tawfik Alazem, director of its Dearborn office. [USCRI is another of the nine federal contractors*** the US State Department hires to place refugees in your towns and cities.—ed]

Among them is Reino Linen Service, a company that launders and returns about 50 million pounds of linens to area hospitals, health clinics and doctors’ offices each year.

The company’s location in Brownstown Township, where public transportation is an issue, leads to high employee turnover, said Mary Onifer, a corporate human resources specialist for the company. [Truly a sweat shop says one commenter, here.—ed]

Reino has turned to organizations like USCRI Detroit for the past nine years to engage refugees as employees.

Once again we see federal refugee agencies are contractors (head hunters!) for businesses while they collect federal dollars for their supposed good works!
There is much more here, I’ve only snipped a tiny bit.

Don’t cry for Samaritas!

Now just to show you how Samaritas (a subcontractor of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service) is rolling in taxpayer bucks, and the head honchos are pulling down huge salaries, here are a couple of screenshots from a recent Form 990.
Here is there income page—$30 million from taxpayers!
Samaritas income
 
And here check out these huge salaries!

Samaritas salaries
Yikes! Ms. Thompson-Sandy’s salary isn’t even the largest! Doing well by doing good!

 
See more on Michigan by clicking here.
***The nine federal contractors you fund are here:
The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees, line them up with jobs, and get them signed up for their services!  From most recent accounting, here.