St. Louis: International Institute surprisingly truthful about its federal funding

Senior VP says shutdown will sully our reputation around the world!

Not surprisingly the shutdown of the US government, that will soon be two weeks old, is causing havoc for contractors including those nine big federal refugee resettlement contractors who frankly could not survive without your tax dollars.

LeLaurin: We get most of our funding from the federal government!

Here is a new boo-hoo story, this time from Voice of America.  Previously we heard a similar tale of woe (here) also from St. Louis.

As is the case with most formulaic refugee stories, it begins with a some sad refugees, but part way through we have a spokeswoman from the International Institute of St. Louis (a subcontractor of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants), giving us a frank recitation of their problem.

From VOA (emphasis is mine):

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — The U.S. government shutdown has temporarily frozen resettlement of refugees in some parts of the United States. Dozens from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East who hoped to arrive in the Midwest state of Missouri in October are in limbo abroad. Family members anxiously awaiting their arrival fear the longer the shutdown goes on, the less likely they will reach their destination.

Read about the unhappy refugees, then here is Suzanne LeLaurin:

“This is not healthy for our country,” said Suzanne LeLaurin, senior vice president at the International Institute, the non-profit group providing the travel funds for Subba’s parents and 34 more refugees – from Iraq, Somalia, Cuba, Burma, and Eritrea. Now, all are in limbo. “It’s not healthy for our reputation around the world, and I think that all of us would wish that Republicans and Democrats alike would sit down and come to an agreement and get the government back in business.”

“We get most of our funding from the federal government, maybe 60 to 70 percent, mostly because of our refugee resettlement services,” said LeLaurin.

She said more is at stake than just resettlement. The support system that helps refugees once they arrive in the U.S. also depends on federal funds. Everything from rent, utilities, and food to staffing the International Institute is at risk as the shutdown continues.

I can’t resist checking these “non-profit” groups’ Form 990s which they file with the IRS.  The most recent one available for the International Institute of St. Louis is here.  When you go to page nine, note that they took in $4.3 million that year (rounded number) and a whopping $3.7 million came from “government grants.”  In fact that is 86% from taxpayers!  It is possible that all of their government grants are not federal; perhaps there is some state and local dollars in the mix which would maybe make LeLaurin’s estimate of 60-70% accurate.

And when she says staffing will be affected if the slowdown continues, you bet it will with over $2 million of their budget going to salaries and benefits!

At what point is an organization no longer a private non-profit and is instead a government agency subject to scrutiny by elected officials and citizens?  That is what I would like to know!

For new readers, you might want to check our St. Louis archive and be ready to be shocked about all the problems there with refugee issues.

Government shut-down slowing the flow of refugees to the US

There are a spate of stories like this one in my alerts today.   Obviously the US State Department has put out the word, for media consumption, that there are many boo-hoo stories of families not being reunited thanks to those evil Congressional Republicans.  [The Administration has apparently worn out the National Park Service closure hardship theme and moved on to other sob stories like the refugee hardship story line!]

Lawrence Bartlett, testifying before Congress in 2012 about terrorists potentially using refugee resettlement to get into US, has sent out a letter telling contractors that the refugee spigot was closing for now.

Here is one from the St. Louis Post Dispatch (emphasis is mine). I bet most readers of RRW don’t even know that we are still resettling Cubans*** to America (they don’t have to get on a boat for a dangerous journey, just sign up to come)!

Today, Santos Landazury was to be reunited with his wife and their young son.

But as the Cuban refugee to St. Louis puts it, the “political problem” in Washington is preventing him from enjoying the land of freedom and democracy.

“The situation makes us feel like the government has let us down,” Landazury, 47, said Monday through an interpreter. “This is a government in which I put my trust …”

Because of the federal government shutdown, the U.S. refugee resettlement program has been suspended, leaving 34 people from six countries who were to arrive in St. Louis this month in limbo, including Landazury’s wife, Elizabeth, and their son, Ernesto, 9.

Other refugees whose arrival has been delayed include Burmese, Bhutanese, Iraqis, Eritreans and a Somali.

Landazury arrived here June 28 with his daughter, Rosmeri, 20. His wife and their son stayed behind so Elizabeth could care for her ailing mother. The plan was to arrive in St. Louis today.

But when the government shut down on Oct. 1, so did the resettlement program run by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Resettlement agencies throughout the country including the International Institute of St. Louis get federal funds to help the new arrivals get acclimated to their new home. The money is used to pay for a few months of rent, utilities and food.

[Of course the resettlement agencies could use their own money during the shut-down, right!—ed]

Lawrence Bartlett, the director of refugee admissions for the bureau, said in a letter to resettlement agencies that because of the shutdown, “it is unclear whether certain federally funded services and benefits will be available to arriving refugees.”

Read it all, the article goes on to blame Congress for not giving money to Obama so that he can give it to the contractors. And, it tells us that some security clearances may expire and thus subject the refugee to yet another security check.

***How many Cubans?  3,801 Cuban “refugees” have arrived in the US in the first 11 months of FY2013 (see those numbers here).

For new readers, we have a lot of stories on refugee problems, especially crime stories, in our St. Louis archive, here.

What is the death rate of refugees in St. Louis?

Karrar Abudarb

Here is a story about an Iraqi refugee who died in St. Louis a few years ago when he and a group of other immigrants brought their own soccer goal to a public park, didn’t secure it and he died when he tried to do pull-ups on it.

His family sued the city and just this week received $40,000 in a settlement.  It wasn’t more because the jury decided his death was mostly his fault.

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

ST. LOUIS   •   A St. Louis jury awarded $40,000 Thursday to the parents a young man who was crushed by a soccer goal in Wilmore Park.

Karrar Abudarb, a 19-year-old son of Iraqi refugees, had been playing a pick-up game of soccer with 11 of his friends when the fatal accident happened the night of Nov. 19, 2007. According to witnesses, Abudarb hung from the metal crossbar of a portable goal and did some pull-ups, causing it to tip over and crush his skull. City paramedics declared him dead at the scene.


The makeshift goals that Abudarb and his friends used were next to regulation sized fields and anchored goals that the city provided. But, according to court testimony, the group used the portable goals because they had a small number of players and needed a smaller field.

City Counselor Thomas McDonnell argued the city could not be held responsible for equipment that other people bring into its parks, and said Abudarb knew the goal was not anchored — he helped move it prior to the game — and he realized the risk but swung from it anyway.

Just in the last month we’ve seen Somalis, Bhutanese and Bosnian refugees killed in St. Louis.  Has anyone seen any updates on these murder cases?

Somali killing in St. Louis: Move along, nothing to see says Omar Jamal

Last week a former Somali refugee, owner of a home health care business, killed three of his employees and himself in a multi-culty neighborhood because he was mentally distraught over a divorce we are told by the ‘Somali Jesse Jackson’ Omar Jamal.   The divorce happened years earlier in Texas and the shooter, Ahmed Dirir, had since remarried, but Jamal expects us to believe this was all about a nutty guy in need of mental health treatment.  No sense looking any further.

Omar Jamal representing the new Somali government at the United Nations

Gee where have we heard that before?

Remember when the Canadian Somali died in Denver just before the Democrat National Convention in 2008.  You don’t remember? of course not!  The media was very quickly silenced when Jamal came on the scene.  The Canadian Somali died in a hotel room near the convention venue with enough cyanide to kill scores of people.  After talking to family in Canada, guess who told the media the dead man was just a nut in need of mental health services?

And, the media moved on!

Movin’ on up Somali style!

We were first introduced to Jamal in 2007 when he insisted a Somali man caught on a surveillance camera raping a woman was innocent.  We learned not long afterward that Jamal was convicted of immigration fraud in Tennessee (original court link has since been removed) in 2003 but never deported (we didn’t deport to Somalia at that time, we do now).  Since then Jamal has been involved in the Somali missing youths case in Minneapolis (he was there when our FBI brought back to America the bits of the first American Somali suicide bomber for a proper burial).

He was there when the youthful Somali pirate was brought to NYC to stand trial.  Jamal was talking with the family and the media then too.

Remember the Somali Christmas tree bomber—yup!  Jamal was there pronouncing him just a gullible kid who was innocent.

And, he put in his two-cents worth when the Somali sex trafficking trial was getting underway in Tennessee.

Just type ‘Omar Jamal’ into our search function for more such news opportunities Jamal has found over the years.

Now Jamal is with the Somali mission at the United Nations,  but he is still busy diverting the media from further investigation into questionable and criminal activities of Somalis.

Here is the story in which the AP reporter appears to have swallowed Jamal’s just-a-man-distraught-over-divorce story.

The St. Louis businessman who killed three employees before turning the gun on himself was a Somali immigrant, described by friends as an intelligent man who was quick to reach out to other new-arriving Somalis, but who had lingering anger years after the divorce from his first wife. [Men angry with former wives usually kill the wife, not his innocent employees.—ed]

Police say 59-year-old Ahmed Dirir walked into his business, AK Home Health Care LLC, on Thursday afternoon, got into a brief argument, and then shot his three employees. Killed were 44-year-old Khadra Muse of Olivette, Mo., 29-year-old Seaeed Abdulla of St. Louis, and 54-year-old Bernice Solomon-Redd of East St. Louis, Ill.

Dirir, Muse and Abdulla were all from Somalia, said Omar Jamal of the Somali mission to the U.N. Jamal, who often gets involved in issues of high interest involving Somalis in the U.S., said he spoke with several friends and relatives of Dirir and the victims, including the wives of Dirir and Abdulla.

The home health agency was headquartered in a small business incubator building in a former movie theater on Cherokee Street, a revitalizing mixed-race neighborhood about five miles south of downtown St. Louis.

Jamal:  If only he had the mental health treatment he needed!

 Police haven’t disclosed a motive, but Jamal said the relatives and friends of Dirir he spoke with described a marked change in his demeanor after he and his wife divorced in Texas years earlier. It wasn’t clear when the divorce was finalized, though friends said Dirir had remarried.

“It is sad he didn’t get attention that could have prevented all of this from happening,” Jamal said.

It’s sad that we have admitted so many insane refugees into the US too!

It just occurred to me, maybe US authorities gave Jamal a pass and let him stay in the US in exchange for his role in reporting to the authorities and stopping prying eyes (reporters) every time some fellow Somali got in trouble.

Cabbie: St. Louis feels like Somalia

Here is another story on the Somali murders in St. Louis from yesterday.  Hat tip:  Jim

If anyone sees a story with a report on what triggered the shooting spree, let me know.

From AP via the Detroit News:

 St. Louis has long struggled with urban violence, but the last week has seen a troublesome uptick in bloodshed. Police scrambled late Monday and early Tuesday to respond to five different shootings on the city’s north side that left 15 people wounded.

Elmi (Abdi Salam Elmi) said as a cab driver he sees too much violence in the city, and he compared St. Louis’ struggles to what he left behind in his war-torn African country.

“I feel the same as I did when I left Somalia,” he said.

Here is what I am wondering, is there some point where one could say a city, or a state, has an adequate supply of diversity?