Refugee resettlement contractors “whipsawed” says New York Times, by Ann Corcoran 3/18/17
Of course, the New York Times could be expected to help the US Refugee Resettlement contractors wail about their loss of paying ‘clients’ (aka refugees).
As I have said (more than seven times), the contractors have only themselves to blame if they can’t maintain staff and offices during a pause in refugees entering the US. They have gotten fat (with big salaries!) on the US Treasury teat and long ago stopped doing any serious private charitable fundraising.
Here is the NYT: Last month, in anticipation of the Trump administration shutting down the flow of refugees entering the United States, Church World Service, one of the groups that handles resettlement, took drastic measures. It laid off all but 40 of the 600 employees at its African center that prepared refugees for travel.
My first question is WTH! did CWS need 600 employees in Africa for? And, since many were probably low-paid jobs for Africans, did the Reverend McCullough take a pay cut to keep some of those poor people employed?
Doing well by doing good! The President and CEO of CWS pulls down a cool $316,714 in annual compensation. Will he and other top execs take a pay cut to maintain some of their staff? BTW, I wouldn’t care what they paid their CEOs if they weren’t largely funded by taxpayer dollars.
Then on Wednesday night, a federal judge in Hawaii temporarily stayed the executive order that would have, among other things, halted refugee resettlement for 120 days and cut the total number of refugees admitted in the 2017 fiscal year by more than half, to 50,000.
First, Church World Service and the other organizations that resettle refugees cheered the news. Then they wondered, what now? “We just simply do not know,” said Erol Kekic, the executive director of the immigration and refugee program for the agency. “There’s no guarantee that this, well, hold, will hold between now and Sept. 30,” he added, referring to the end of the fiscal year. [See our previous post which indicates that they better get used to a lower paying client flow—ed]
But one thing was clear, he said: “You can’t just play games with people. You can’t just lay off 500 people and then hire them back and lay them off again. We’re going to need some answers from the federal government.”
The judge’s decision was just the latest dramatic twist in six weeks of whipsaw changes faced by refugees and the agencies that work with them.
More than 60,000 refugees were already in various stages of approval before Mr. Trump’s first order went into effect on Jan. 27. The State Department, realizing that the new cap meant that there was only room for about another 17,000 refugees, slowed down the machinery to space out arrivals to 400 per week.
But the slowdown meant the agencies faced budget cuts. The State Department pays each refugee agency $950 per person to cover administrative costs, with another $1,125 going directly to the refugee or to cover expenses like rent. [But they are paid, much much more! See below—ed]
Readers who are researching the refugee program where you live might see slightly different numbers involving the split of the $2,075 per head payment. Some of the contractors keep a larger chunk of the State Department’s per head payment which represents a perverse incentive to never stop the flow no matter how over-loaded a community becomes.
Also, I repeat! This is not the only funding the contractors get from you. They get myriad grants totaling in the millions of dollars for such things as building community gardens for refugees, training refugees to do ‘culturally appropriate’ daycare, handing out micro-enterprise loans to refugees, and teaching them English (something I have maintained could be done at local community colleges). And, in the case of CWS, running programs in Africa. Continue reading here for more of the wailing at the NYT!
Can’t these lazy biased reporters ever take a few minutes and get all the facts! Look at how much CWS is getting from you! This is one page at USA Spending. In the last 8 years they are approaching a half a billion $$$ from the US Treasury! If anyone sees a report about the top execs at the nine contractors taking a voluntary pay cut, let me know and we will give them credit!
The nine contractors that monopolize refugee resettlement in America:
· Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
· International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
· US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
Arizona Refugee Agency may Close
Tucson area resettlement agency may close; Memory lane! Iraqis unhappy there in 2007, by Ann Corcoran 3/21/17
They say they may close if the number of refugees admitted to the US falls as a result of Trump’s 120-day pause on the program.
Somehow they seem to think that the flow will pick up because of the Hawaiian judge’s misguided restraining order. As we have said repeatedly, Trump didn’t need the Executive Order to reduce numbers being admitted to the US. (We are monitoring the numbers coming in every few days, see refugee admissions in right hand side bar.)
After I give you the latest news, I want to tell you about Tucson, Arizona and unhappy Iraqis there ten years ago.
Here below are a few snips from a story yesterday at Arizona Public Media.
Notice that once again, they are admitting, and the media is publishing the fact, that these so-called non-profit agencies actually live off of contracts (based on per refugee head payments) with the US government.
Tucson-area nonprofits that resettle refugees are worried that they may have to cut services or close their doors under the refugee ban President Donald Trump is seeking. Refugee Focus is one of three nonprofit agencies in Tucson that resettle refugees from around the world.
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest runs Refugee Focus, and Connie Phillips oversees the nonprofit. [She participated in an ‘interfaith’ rally against Trump, here, last month.—ed]
She said Refugee Focus may have to stop operating if the Trump Administration wins the court battle for the most recent executive order and there is a 90 to 120 day pause in settling refugees.
Money to run the program comes from federal contracts for resettlement services. “There’s just a lot of uncertainty. It is just highly, highly stressful right now.”
The other two nonprofits that resettle refugees in Tucson are International Rescue Committee and Catholic Social Services. I just checked Lutheran Social Services Southwest recent Form 990 here. 92% of their funding is from you, the taxpayer. Their gross revenue in that form (2014) was $14,238,656. $9,210,621 is from government grants and $3,957,813 is listed as Medicaid contracts (What the heck is that! Why is some Lutheran non-profit managing Medicaid contracts?)
Iraqi refugees resettled in Tucson voice their unhappiness!
Back in the earliest days of RRW (2007), this news (below) from Tucson was an eye-opener for me. Iraqis complained to the Washington Post that they were unhappy and neglected.
Like the Cuban, Vietnamese, Laotian and Sudanese refugees before them, some of the Iraqis are going through a difficult adjustment period, feeling disoriented, alone and even abandoned by the social service agency that is supposed to serve them.
When the Iraqi refugees arrive in the United States, they are sent to cities where there are other Arab or Muslim populations. Social service organizations are assigned to help them resettle.
“Refugees, in general, endure a tremendous cultural shock,” said Janell Mousseau, a program director at the Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, an Arizona nonprofit organization that helped to resettle the 34 Iraqis here. “They have a lot of adjusting to do in a short time.”
LOL! Read this next paragraph! What a difference ten years makes. Back then the WaPo and most media never mentioned that the resettlement contractors were PAID for their charitable work by the US taxpayer!
The organization was asked [LOL! asked!—ed] by the State Department to find proper housing for the Iraq families, providing them basic supplies and helping them acquire Social Security numbers and food stamps. The group is paying [LOL! the group is paying!—ed] the refugees’ rent for three months. After that, the families will have to pick up the cost themselves.
Before they arrived here, the refugees said they were told by U.N. representatives that they could get jobs based on their professional qualifications. But they said they have now been told that they should work as hotel housekeepers, an occupation many of them have refused because they deem it degrading. [The hotel industry along with food processing companies have been major consumers of cheap refugee labor!—ed]
To add to their frustration, when the families arrived, they said they found their apartments missing beds, kitchen supplies, bedspreads and blankets. [Contracts with the govt. specifically list these items to be supplied as requirements of the contract—-ed]
This last line resonated with me because one of the first things that people were buzzing about in my Maryland county, when refugees were placed there beginning in 2006, was that some teachers at the local junior college were finding the refugees blankets and winter coats!
I have 727 posts in my Iraqi refugee category (see early posts where I joked about Matthew Lee a reporter carrying water for the contractors by helping to beat the drum for more Iraqi admissions).
Obama gone wild! You need to know that George W. Bush was reluctant to admit the thousands of Iraqi refugees (paying clients!) that the contractors were demanding. But, in the last year he opened the flood gates and we have now, 11 years and 5 and 1/2 months later, admitted 141,433 Iraqis!
Here at Wrapsnet you can see what happened when the Obama team took over the US Department of State in 2009: You can see how the number jumped when Obama took office. Of the 141,433 Iraqis we admitted in the last decade plus, 1,578 were placed in Tucson, AZ. Do you see that low year (2011)? That was the year two Iraqi refugee terrorists were arrested in Bowling Green, KY and all of the Iraqis had to be rescreened. Go here for more on Arizona.