10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT POLICY
We wish to acknowledge Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch for her contributions to the compilation of this list and for her ongoing efforts to inform the public on this important issue.
The U.S. takes more than twice as many refugees as all countries from the rest of the industrialized world combined. Since 1975, the U.S. has resettled over 3 million refugees, with annual admissions figures ranging from a high of 207,000 in 1980 to a low of 27,110 in 2002 (in the aftermath of 911) .
The U.N. is effectively dictating much of U.S. immigration policy. In recent years up to 95% of the refugees coming to the U.S. were referred by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or were the relatives of UN-picked refugees. The US State Department then supposedly screens these refugees. Until the late 90’s the U.S. picked the large majority of refugees for resettlement in the U.S.
Upon entry, a network of private, agencies known as VOLAGs (VOLuntary AGencies) select the communities where refugees will be resettled and live. Refugee resettlement contractors (many with religious affiliation) are paid per refugee with our tax dollars to bring refugees to our towns.
Resettlement contractors are responsible for securing welfare services for refugees, including taxpayer-subsidized housing, health care, food stamps and other cash assistance; and for making sure the children are enrolled in our local schools.
The federal government funds 90% or more of initial refugee resettlement activities through federal grants paid either directly to resettlement contractors or to state agencies for refugee resettlement through which the same grants pass to the same resettlement contractors.
Congress, for the most part, has failed to supervise, question or reform the refugee selection, screening or resettlement process. No recommendations of past Congressional investigations have been implemented.
Assimilation is no longer a goal for any agency involved in refugee resettlement – government or private contractor. The term “assimilation” is no longer a part of government lexicon and has been exclusively replaced with the concept of “integration” with a clear intent of maintaining the ethnic identity of the refugees. An additional goal of the current program is teaching refugees how to “navigate” the system, i.e., how to make sure they get all the benefits for which they are qualified.
Refugee “self-sufficiency” is an important measure of success and a basis for assigning refugees to agencies in future contracts. The definition of “self-sufficiency” has been steadily defined downward and today is virtually meaningless. Refugees and asylum seekers are eligible for ALL federal, state and local welfare programs 30 days after arrival. A refugee can be considered “self-sufficient” while using SNAP and Medicaid.
Refugees are not tested for communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis and HIV. Tuberculosis among the foreign-born now accounts for about half of the cases in America.
Medium size towns, such as Bowling Green, KY, Nashville, TN, Ft. Wayne, IN, Boise, ID, Manchester, NH, Roanoke and Harrisonburg, VA are serving as main reception centers for the refugee program.