Former Career State Department Employee Says Fraud is Rampant in US Resettlement Program

Recently we reported on the news from Reuters that a massive fraud investigation is underway involving the admission of Iraqi so-called ‘refugees’ to the US.

State Department Admits Massive Fraud in Iraqi Refugee Program

Now a former State Department officer comes forward with a first hand account of the Iraqi fraud and charges that the entire program involving refugees from many continents is riddled with fraud.

Mary Doetsch at the Washington Examiner (emphasis is mine):

The Iraqi refugee fraud is just one of many scandals

The State Department’s recent admission that thousands of Iraqis likely filed fraudulent refugee applications for resettlement in the United States is not a surprise. Instead, the actual shock is that the State Department is finally admitting to what has long been known.

Disturbingly, in terms of the fraud-laden U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, history is simply repeating itself — as it appears that the massive deception inherent in the Iraqi resettlement program can no longer be willfully ignored. According to the Reuters report, U.S. authorities are pursuing what they termed a “sweeping fraud investigation” of potentially more than 100,000 Iraqis. At least 500 Iraqis have already entered the U.S. as “refugees,” while tens of thousands of others are pending resettlement.

The inquiry, although being called one of the “biggest fraud investigations in recent history,” is only one in a long line of resettlement scandals. As early as the 1990s, fraudulent refugee claims were commonplace in the in-country refugee program in Cuba, which ultimately resettled more than 90,000 Cubans, and among the over 36,000 Somalis who entered the U.S. in the early 2000s under false identities. Similarly, as many as 1,700 individuals who posed as Burmese “refugees” gained fraudulent entry into our country a decade later by falsifying their own data or using the personal information of other persons. To date, at least for the Somalis, it appears that none of these fraudsters have been prosecuted or deported despite violating federal law and swindling the refugee program.

These are but a few of the scandals that have plagued the USRAP since its inception more than 40 years ago. Sadly, the refugee resettlement industry, which morphed into a numbers-driven, financially motivated business, grew blindly at the expense of the public and our national security. During my eight years as a State Department refugee admissions coordinator who served throughout the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and Cuba, I saw firsthand the flagrant abuses and scams that permeated the resettlement program. I witnessed widespread exploitation and misuse from identity fraud and marriage and family relation scams to private individuals profiting from their involvement in USRAP and the distortion of the actual refugee definition to ensure greater numbers of people who were simply migrants were admitted as refugees.

Is Hetfield saying that the ends justify the means?

Far too often, both the governmental and semiprivate power brokers within the industry consistently found ways to ignore, and at times cover up, the fraud and abuse.

Commenting on the Iraqi investigation, Mark Hetfield, the president of HIAS, one of the nine federally funded refugee contractors that implement refugee resettlement, called resettlement a scarce and valuable commodity.

“People … are going to do anything they can to access it,” he said to Reuters.

There is more, but please visit the Washington Examiner and help drive their numbers. 

One of my astute readers pointed out the failure in logic of this line from the June Reuters story:

A State Department spokesperson declined to comment on the scope of the investigation and internal government deliberations, but said the fraud scheme did not affect security vetting of refugees.

If they are finding that the Iraqi refugee wannabes are liars, then how do they know if “security vetting” is not affected.  Hmmmm!

See Doetsch’s earliest attempt (in a letter to the Chicago Tribune) to reveal the extent of the fraud she witnessed.  And, as far as I know, no one in authority in Congress or even in the Trump White House in 2017 had asked to debrief her.

Retired Dept. of State worker fully supports President Trump's efforts to rein-in refugee program

Heritage Foundation’s Refugee Expert Testifies in House

Thanks to a reader for bringing the Heritage Foundation’s testimony in the House Judiciary Committee in late February to my attention.

Information on the Hearing is here.

Heritage expert Lora Ries makes some good points about vetting and the lack of assimilation by some refugees.

Rep. Ilhan Omar went ‘home’ to Somalia in 2016 and perhaps other times as well.

I especially liked her point about how refugees who go ‘home’ to visit the country they claimed was persecuting them should be flagged.

But, no mention of the enormous cost to taxpayers for the program or the fact that citizens have no say about whether their community will be a drop-zone for new refugees.

Watch her testimony and see also that there are some pretty good comments by viewers.

You might add yours.



See my criticism of the Heritage Foundation here in 2017 on this issue.  They were pretty squishy!


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!

Impeachment Leader Rep Zoe Lofgren Longtime Proponent of More Refugees for America

Lofgren (72) has served 13 terms in the House of Representatives serving a district near Fresno, California—a district that is now 58% Hispanic. For as long as I’ve been writing RRW, a dozen years, she has been an outspoken proponent of more third world migration to the US.

When I saw her droning away on the floor of the Senate last night I was reminded to tell you that she has been a leading advocate for more refugee resettlement for decades.

In fact, late last year, she, along with Senator Leahy of Vermont, introduced the ‘Refugee Protection Act of 2019’   which among other things seeks to set a minimum number of refugees that a President must admit to the US each year.

Lofgren, Leahy and a whole host of Democrat lawmakers want the ‘Refugee Act of 1980’ changed to REQUIRE a President to set the annual cap at 95,000 or higher.  Presently there is no floor and a President could set the level at zero if he wished.

A level of a minimum of 95,000 a year would keep the nine federal refugee contractors*** rolling in federal dough with not a worry about a year like this one where the President set the level at 18,000 thus straining their budgets that in many cases depend entirely on federal funding.

You can read about other changes the Democrats want to see, here.

I must say again that this is why the Leftists are successful—they push and they push and they push—while those of us who want to see immigration brought under control must always play defense.

Trump changed that dynamic and that is why they want him gone.

Personally I think it is Trump’s America First! immigration policies that are driving the Dems to a state of insane frenzy.  They are comfortable with Chamber of Commerce Republicans who quietly go along with ever-increasing numbers of cheap labor coming into the country…

...but, a Republican on the offensive is something new and frightening.

From the Leahy/Lofgren November press statement:

The Senate bill is cosponsored by 16 Senators: Senators Leahy, Harris, Booker, Hirono, Markey, Shaheen, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, Cardin, Wyden, Murray, Sanders, Reed, Merkley, Warren, and Klobuchar.

The House bill is cosponsored by 31 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives: Representatives Lofgren, Nadler, Jayapal, Neguse, Castro, Crow, Dean, DeLauro, DeSaulnier, Engel, Escobar, Espaillat, Garcia, Grijalva, Higgins, Johnson, Khanna, Lowenthal, McGovern, Napolitano, Norton, Pallone, Panetta, Quigley, Raskin, Sires, Smith, Swalwell, Watson Coleman, Welch, and Tlaib.

The Refugee Protection Act of 2019 is endorsed by a wide range of refugee, asylum, immigration, and faith-based organizations. A short outline of the bill can be found here, and a sectional analysis can be found here. Text of the legislation can be found here.


*** 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.

Don’t miss the endorsement list for the Leahy/Lofgren bill. See that Church World Service (above) is on it, as is CAIR.

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 plan to say this once a day from now on!)

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.


House of Representatives “Bipartisan” Pro-Refugee Caucus Organized by Non-Profit Group

Not a surprise that Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar would be a member of the Refugee Caucus.

When I told you in my previous post about “grass top” organizer, Anne Richard, and some of the goals the refugee industry activists are working on, I noticed the reference to a House of Representatives “bipartisan” caucus organized to promote more refugee resettlement.

Hmmm?  Who are they?

Before I get to who they are, I need to tell you about Leftwing ‘non-profit’ groups (501(c)3 organizations) and how they influence Congress.

They give themselves a warm and fuzzy sounding name, create a special logo and everyone thinks it is one more ‘humanitarian’ group when they are all just the same open borders activists recycled.

The organizer of the House Refugee Caucus is something called ‘We are all America’ which is an offshoot of the ‘National Partnership for New Americans,’  not to be confused with Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s ‘New American Economy.

NPNA, a consortium of Open Borders groups (I have never figured out where they get their money!), has created a spin-off—We are all America’ —which helps confuse casual observers, a standard operating procedure for the Left.

Lobbyists for NPNA then do the legwork on the Hill. First they find a few friendly members who agree to help form a ‘caucus,’ but it is the lobbyist(s) for NPNA who runs around the Hill, and talks to staff to find more of their ideological ilk to join the seed group.

In case you are wondering, those of us who want to see the Refugee Act of 1980  repealed (I don’t believe it is salvageable) have no such lobbyists.

Hang in there, I’m getting to the Republicans who are part of this Pro-More-Refugees-For-Your-Town gang.  (Hint!  See photo below right!)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington 5th District) is obviously opposing the President on the refugee issue!

Here is what ‘We are all America’ says about the mission of the “Bipartisan” Refugee Caucus NPNA created:

The Bipartisan Congressional Refugee Caucus is critical to affirming the need for the United States to demonstrate leadership both in terms of refugee resettlement and overseas refugee protection.

This has never been more important, given the global refugee crisis and the Trump Administration’s attacks against the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. The decisions made by the Administration and Congress in regard to refugee protection and resettlement will continue to have profound impacts on refugees’ lives, on the American communities that welcome them and thrive because of them, and on the ability of the United States to serve as a beacon of hope to refugees in the future. The Caucus will bring together Members of Congress who care about refugees, refugee protection and refugee resettlement and will provide opportunities for collaboration around this important population and the policy issues impacting them.

Overall Refugee Caucus Goals

~Demonstrate bipartisan support for refugee resettlement

~Affirm the importance of refugee resettlement in terms of foreign policy and diplomacy

~Assert Congressional oversight to ensure the resettlement program is being implemented as stipulated by the 1980 Refugee Act

~Coordinate caucus members in actions that elevate refugee issues in Congress, media outlets, and the public narrative

~Educate and engage other Members of Congress around refugee protection and resettlement

~Support adequate funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) within the State Department

If you are interested in joining the caucus, please contact Stephanie D. Stephens at  [Notice Ms. Stephens works for the Partnership for New Americans, clearly as a lobbyist.—ed]

Go here to see the members of Congress who are opposing the President on refugee resettlement.

Seven Republicans joined 50 (hard Left!) Democrats so they can say a bipartisan group of legislators is fighting the President on a key 2016 campaign promise.

Is your Republican member in this group?  Time for a primary challenge?

Diaz-Balart (Co-Chair GOP) R-FL-25
Smith (Co-Chair Smith) R-NJ-04
Katko R-NY-24
McMorris Rogers R-WA-05
Stewart R-UT-02
Stivers R-OH-15
Upton R-MI-06

More on the President’s 18,000 Refugees for FY2020 Decision

Editor:  First, see my quickie post last night.  Also, note that I am now able (at this newly reconstructed RRW) to accept comments and I suspect more than a few of you might not like my analysis. So I will say at the outset, my hesitation to give a full blessing to the Presidential Determination in no way diminishes my support for the President. 

As the Leftists know so well, in order to move the needle on any political issue there has to be someone staking out a position who is willing to say it is not enough!  Heck, all of the groups included in the Refugee Industry were demanding 95,000 refugees knowing that was NEVER going to happen. They didn’t come in with anything that would appear reasonable—say 35,000-40,000—they went for the extreme.

However, I’m not saying that I wanted zero this year purely as a political ploy, but I am saying that simply reducing numbers and tinkering around the edges of an extremely flawed program designed in 1979 and 1980 by Senator Ted Kennedy and President Jimmy Carter is not going to fix how we admit refugees in the decades ahead.

Setting the level at zero would likely have forced a major national debate and Trump could have said to Congress—you don’t like it, then dump the Refugee Act of 1980 and reform the entire process by which we admit refugees.

And, yes, this is only the beginning you might argue, but only if Donald Trump is reelected in 2020!

As predicted, those organizations with a vested interest in admitting more refugees both as future Democrat voters and because they are paid to place refugees are furious.

Here is what the Refugee Council USA (an Open Borders lobbying consortium in Washington, DC) said last night.

Washington, DC – The Administration announced that it is proposing to set the Presidential Determination (PD) for annual refugee admissions for FY 2020 at 18,000. This decision is unprecedented, cruel, and contrary to American humanitarian values and strategic interests.


The US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is built on nearly four decades of public-private partnership, bringing together nonprofits, faith groups, local communities, and the Federal and State governments for this essential community-building work. Refugees strengthen our communities and our country socially, culturally, and economically.

Public-Private Partnership mumbo-jumbo!

Of course, and as usual, there is no mention that nine of the members of RCUSA*** have a financial interest in keeping numbers high because they are paid from the US Treasury to place refugees into towns and cities of their choosing.

I continue to argue that the major flaw in the US Refugee Admissions Program is the fact that Left-leaning non-profit groups are paid for their ‘charitable’ work, so there is never any incentive to adjust the flow without those groups taking to the streets with anti-Trump placards held aloft.

Kennedy and Carter created a political structure funded by taxpayers that assures a continuous flow of third world poverty to American towns and cities. 

Those of us who object have no political organization with the financial resources of the nine resettlement contractors and their extensive networks, mostly through their church or synagogue infrastructure, to fight back. Not to mention the big bucks certain industries (meatpackers!) and the Chamber of Commerce are shelling out in order to keep a steady supply of cheap labor.

Although there was talk last year of dropping some of the nine federal contractors, that didn’t happen and all nine are still in place. But, even if this coming year’s low number forces a couple of the contractors to close their programs, it just allows the big ones like the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the International Rescue Committee to further monopolize the process.

First, get rid of the contractors!

I have said and continue to maintain that if we are to admit refugees then there is no reason that these non-profits, including the churches, can’t still do their ‘humanitarian’ work in the old fashioned way—with true private charity, and not as paid agents of the federal government.

Geographic placement of refugees

Lawrence Bartlett, as far as I know, still runs the Refugee Program at the State Department. Here he proudly displays a map of the resettlement sites chosen with very little consultation with communities by the nine resettlement contractors.

The second important issue I’ve raised here for years involves the placement of refugees which has been largely dictated by the nine federal contractors for decades.

Yes, they coordinate with the US State Department, but it’s largely a game of pin the refugee on the map. 

Only when citizens of the ‘lucky’ chosen community organize and object does anyone pay any attention to concerns about a given location (a large part of my work here for a dozen years has been to show where citizens in “pockets of resistance” have objected to the US State Department changing their community by changing the people.)

I give the President kudos for an attempt to address the problem of placement with an Executive Order signed yesterday.  Read it here. But, honestly it has not been very carefully thought through and thus strikes me as a political bone thrown to critics of the program.

Why didn’t the President’s people call in some of us who are somewhat knowledgeable about how the program works on the ground to help craft a feasible way to give decision-making power to the states and local citizens who will be most affected by the arrival of large numbers of impoverished people?

This is getting too long, but let me give a few examples of why I say the order has not been thoroughly thought out.

So, governor number one (who might only have a year or so left in his/her term) says yes, we love refugees send more, but a neighboring governor says no thanks.  What is going to keep the refugees in welcoming state number one?

In America, all of us are allowed to move without government approval and that includes refugees.

You can run that same scenario involving mayors.  One mayor says we love refugees, but a town down the road isn’t on board with the idea. Refugees placed in town number one pack up and move to town number two anyway!

Then how about ‘welcoming’ governor number one is out of office in a year and is replaced by another governor who wants to stop the refugee flow to the state, how quickly could the feds put on the brakes to stop the flow to the now ‘unwelcoming’ state?   You can see the chaos that would ensue.

I do have some ideas that I think could work in terms of revamping the whole program (assuming Americans want to continue accepting some refugees), but no one has ever contacted me to ask.

There are so many other issues involving the Presidential Determination that need to be discussed and I’ll do that in the coming days—things like: we are going to continue to take Australia’s rejected asylum seekers!  Nuts!

Let me just say once again, maybe more clearly:  We can still support President Trump and criticize some of his decisions.

It is my view that Trump’s greatest downfall as President began on day one when he did not immediately clean out the deep state actors throughout the White House and federal agencies and move his genuine (and knowledgeable) loyal supporters into his Administration.

The best thing you can do now is work hard for Trump’s reelection so that he has four more years to get it right and solve this problem.

***For new readers these are the nine federally-funded resettlement contractors: