There’s a situation that’s approaching crisis status here in central Minnesota. The federal refugee resettlement program is out of control because local governments are saying that it’s beyond their control because it’s funded by appropriations from the U.S. State Department. Meanwhile, the State Department is able to say that their funding of the program is limited to 6 months, which means that cities and counties have their budgets exhausted faster by what essentially is a massive unfunded mandate from the federal government.

Bob Enos has taken quite an interest in this program. He’s done tons of research into the subject. He’s attended meetings. He’s spoken out about how cities, counties and school districts have been negatively affected by this State Department program. His ‘thanks’ for that time and leg-work has been criticism.

Enos has focused like a laser on the financial impact these refugees have had on cities, counties and school districts. Recently he addressed the Willmar City Council. This videotape is of his presentation:

Here’s part of what Mr. Enos said:

We’ve been working on an issue that’s become pretty important to us which has to do with the subject of the resettlement of political refugees around the world and how that affects our counties particularly. I don’t know if you’ve had any briefings on this matter but back in November, the coordinator for the refugee resettlement program for the state of Minnesota in St. Paul requested the director of Family Services here at the County to organize a meeting that took place over a couple of days. Twenty people attended from 3 county agencies, the Willmar School District as well as city hall. The Mayor-elect was there. A couple of vice presidents from Jenny O were there. The subject of the meeting had to do with migration of refugees to Kandiyohi County. We’re used to thinking of the refugee issue in terms of those that are leaving the refugee camps in east Africa and winding up on our shores and going out to the cities and the counties.

The big issue lately that we can’t seem to get a handle on very easily, particularly from a financial planning standpoint, and that has to do with the secondary relocation of refugees from other states around the country. The most recent data that we’re seeing now from the State of Minnesota, specifically from the Department of Health, now tells us that of every city and town, the city that is attracting the most refugees is Minneapolis. The city that’s attracting the second-most refugees is Willmar, not St. Paul, not Bloomington, not St. Cloud, Mankato, Worthington. Willmar.

We suspect that, for the most part, most of this has to do with family re-unification but, best guess, there’s a number of factors contributing to this. What we’re seeing is the Somali community, in particular, is such a size and critical mass, that that critical mass is, in and of itself, the primary magnet for refugees coming here from Atlanta, California and Texas. The last time we knew, we were looking at a number roughly of 2,000 or roughly 10% of our population. We know that’s quite conservative.

I’ve been to 2 other meetings subsequent to the meeting held in November. One was held out in St. Cloud and was sponsored by Lutheran Social Services organization, which in Minnesota, is called the # 1 volunteer agency or VOLAG, which is a private contractor with the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services from the federal government to aid in that relocation within the first 6 months that they’re here. That meeting, interestingly enough, had about 35 stakeholders, people that have some part, some incentive, some exposure to the program. There was not a single elected official there from the City of St. Cloud or the county. There were no representatives of the School District and these are the places where we’re seeing the most impact, and, of course, the schools.

The federal contracts that the VOLAGs have, though they’re hardly volunteers, requires that they quarterly have meetings with stakeholders. Those stakeholders are supposed to include members of the community. I would take that a member of the community to be an elected representative and I have not been to a meeting where I’ve seen a city councilman, a county commissioner or anyone of an elected status.

What’s particularly disturbing is that nobody from the St. Cloud City Council, the school district or the Stearns County commissioners attended the meeting hosted by the St. Cloud chapter of Lutheran Social Services. Were they unaware of the meeting? Were they simply disinterested in the meeting? Or didn’t they attend it for a different reason?

That’s just what’s happening now. Minnesota’s U.S. senators Klobuchar and Franken “are advocating that the U.S. participate, along with the UN High Commissioner of Refugees in the relocation next year of 130,000 Syrian Muslim refugees.” Enos then said that “the director of the intelligence division of the FBI testified 2 months ago before Congress that the problem with bringing in refugees from failed states like Somalia and Syria is that there’s no infrastructure for our government to vet those people coming from overseas. There’s no record. There’s no office. There’s no way of knowing what we’re getting when they show up other than the good word and the good faith of the U.N.”

This is unprecedented. It isn’t that the U.S. hasn’t accepted refugees before. It’s that the U.S. hasn’t accepted political refugees from failed nations with substantial populations of terrorists before. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. If ever there was a situation when additional caution is required, this is that situation.

What’s required is a slowdown for multiple reasons. It’s totally justifiable for taxpayers to know the financial impact this ‘federal’ program is having on their property taxes and state government programs. It’s also justified for the federal government to put in place a verification system that doesn’t bring ISIS terrorists to the United States on our dime.

Until these issues are satisfactorily resolved, skepticism will be justified.

4 Responses to “Minnesota’s silent crisis?”

  • Gretchen Leisen says:

    This is another side of the coin from what the southwestern border states have been experiencing for about 30 years.

    In Arizona the sheer numbers of illegal aliens pouring into that state has bankrupted the counties along the border. Some of these counties no longer have any public hospital facilities because they were forced to accept all illegals into the public health system and they no longer could afford it. So, the local taxpaying citizens do not have local health services now.

    The aggravating thing is that this is all a political decision, designed to bribe new citizens into voting for Democrats.

Leave a Reply