Search
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the Refugee Resettlement Program category.

Categories

Archive for the ‘Refugee Resettlement Program’ Category

Monday night, Councilman George Hontos made a motion to spend time during the City Council’s study session talking about the economic impact refugee resettlement has had and will have on St. Cloud. Hontos, Jeff Johnson and Dave Masters voted in favor of the motion. Jeff Goerger, Steve Laraway, City Council President Carol Lewis and John Libert voted against Hontos’ motion.

After the session, Lewis said “That’s a federal issue, it may have some state implications, but we really have nothing we can say.” Tuesday night, a loyal reader of LFR sent an email to the entire city council, including Ms. Lewis. This reader’s email said (in part) “Local governments definitely have a role in the process. There is a process that seems to have been overlooked which was put in place to give local people rights/ a say, and it appears that our local governing body may be ignoring the process.”

Ms. Lewis replied (emphasis added) “As I have told others who have sent me the same law, you are once again reading the law backwards. It is the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT that needs to establish a process for us to comment. You need to talk to Tom Emmer about this, not the City of Saint Cloud.”

That’s what I’d call the Carol Lewis pass-the-buck-shuffle. First, Lewis insists that the reader can’t possibly know what the law means. Next, Lewis insists that the federal government has the ability to restrict comments on the program, essentially limiting public commentary. That’s backwards thinking. Since when do citizens have to ask the federal government’s permission to give their opinion on federal programs that hit local taxpayers’ wallets?

Finally, Ms. Lewis implied that these uppity peasants shouldn’t pester her but should bother our congressman instead. The statute clearly defines roles for the federal, state and local governments:

(2)(A) The Director and the Federal agency administering subsection (b)(1), shall consult regularly (not less often than quarterly) with State and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the States and localities before their placement in those States and localities.
(B) The Director shall develop and implement, in consultation with representatives of voluntary agencies and State and local governments, policies and strategies for the placement and resettlement of refugees within the United States.
(C) Such policies and strategies, to the extent practicable and except under such unusual circumstances as the Director may recognize, shall-
(i) insure that a refugee is not initially placed or resettled in an area highly impacted (as determined under regulations prescribed by the Director after consultation with such agencies and governments) by the presence of refugees or comparable populations unless the refugee has a spouse, parent, sibling, son, or daughter residing in that area,
(ii) provide for a mechanism whereby representatives of local affiliates of voluntary agencies regularly (not less often than quarterly) meet with representatives of State and local governments to plan and coordinate in advance of their arrival the appropriate placement of refugees among the various States and localities;

Notice that the first sentence highlighted here says that “the Federal agency administering subsection (b)(1), shall consult regularly (not less often than quarterly) with State and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the States and localities before their placement in those States and localities.” According to Dictionary.com, the definition of consult is “to seek advice or information from; ask guidance from.”

Notice that in (C)(ii), it says that the Director “shall provide for a mechanism whereby representatives of local affiliates” of NPOs “meet with representatives of state and local governments to plan and coordinate in advance of [the refugees’] arrival the appropriate placement of refugees among the various States and localities;” That sounds like local governments have a pretty substantial role to play in this process.

Finally, let’s highlight that Ms. Lewis says people should contact Congressman Emmer on these issues whereas the statute says that the federal government should work with local governments in a collaborative effort.

It’s clear that the city council hasn’t lived up to its responsibilities. Let’s hope voters remember that the next time the 4 no votes are up for re-election.

Last night, St. Cloud City Councilmember George Hontos made a motion “for a study session on refugee resettlement.” When St. Cloud City Council President Carol Lewis voted against the motion, she said that the subject was “a federal issue, it may have some state implications, but we really have nothing we can say.”

A loyal reader of LFR contacted me to correct Ms. Lewis’ information. According to this loyal reader of LFR, the federal statute that deals with the Refugee Act of 1980, which “created The Federal Refugee Resettlement Program”, is quite specific. 8 U.S.C. § 1522(a)(2)(A) states that “The Director and the Federal agency administering subsection (b)(1), shall consult regularly (not less often than quarterly) with State and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the States and localities before their placement in those States and localities.”

Further, the statute states that “The Director shall develop and implement, in consultation with representatives of voluntary agencies and State and local governments, policies and strategies for the placement and resettlement of refugees within the United States.”

In summation, the State Department is required to regularly consult with local governments prior to the resettlement of refugees. Based on what the federal government and county and city governments have shared with the public, those consultations haven’t happened.

Let’s be clear, though. It’s entirely possible that the State Department has consulted with the various NPOs about the program. That’s possible because the various levels of government have been as transparent as a brick wall.

Later in the statute, it says “Such policies and strategies, to the extent practicable and except under such unusual circumstances as the Director may recognize, shall- provide for a mechanism whereby representatives of local affiliates of voluntary agencies regularly (not less often than quarterly) meet with representatives of State and local governments to plan and coordinate in advance of their arrival the appropriate placement of refugees among the various States and localities, and
(iii) take into account-
(I) the proportion of refugees and comparable entrants in the population in the area,
(II) the availability of employment opportunities, affordable housing, and public and private resources (including educational, health care, and mental health services) for refugees in the area,”

In other words, municipal and county governments and school boards must meet with the federal government and put together a plan that doesn’t overtax “educational, health care, and mental health services.” Additionally, this plan must be in place prior to the first refugee is resettled in a city.

The city of St. Cloud hasn’t shared any information on these required plans. That’s possibly because there isn’t a plan. That’s possibly because they’re just being exceptionally secretive. At this point, we don’t have proof that a plan was ever put in place. This video (from Tennessee) seems to indicate that the federal government isn’t taking their obligations seriously:

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

Hillary Clinton’s ignorance, stupidity really, about terrorism is frightening. During a paranoid rant on the tarmac in White Plains, NY, Hillary Clinton virtually admitted that she doesn’t understand what drives ISIS, saying “There are millions of law-abiding, peaceful Muslim Americans. That is why I have been very clear. We are going after the bad guys and we are going to get them, but we are not going to go after an entire religion and give ISIS exactly what it is wanting.”

I would’ve loved it if she’d gone after the terrorists instead of letting them in via the refugee resettlement program. Mrs. Clinton, for some inexplicable reason, apparently thinks that Trump voters think that all Muslims are evil. Mrs. Clinton’s proof for that doesn’t exist. The truth is that Donald Trump simply said that we shouldn’t admit people into our country through the State Department’s refugee resettlement program if we can’t vet the refugees from that country.

That’s hardly a radical idea, especially in light of this IG report that states “The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) today released a report that found that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted U.S. citizenship to at least 858 individuals from special interest countries who had been ordered deported or removed under another name.”

Mrs. Clinton apparently hasn’t figured it out that there are multiple flaws with current refugee policy. First, we don’t know who’s already here. We’ve already seen that the federal government didn’t prevent Tashfeen Malik from getting a fiancé visa even though they knew she’d been radicalized.

Next, if we don’t know who’s here already, we certainly shouldn’t let additional terrorists in through the refugee resettlement program. Mrs. Clinton wants to let in people claiming to be Syrian refugees. Let’s stipulate for this discussion that they’re all legitimate refugees. (They aren’t but let’s stipulate that.) The Crossroads Mall terrorist entered the United States as a refugee as a 5-year-old. At some point, he got radicalized.

The point is that letting ‘refugees’ into the US is exceptionally risky. The best decision is to not let refugees from terrorist nations into the US. The primary function of the President is to protect us. That’s impossible to do when the State Department, which Mrs. Clinton ran, keeps letting potential terrorists in through the refugee resettlement program.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,