Michelle Brane of the Women’s Refugee Commission was on Tucker Carlson Tonight last night. During the interview, Ms. Brane said a couple things that were either spin or were dishonest. My first impression is that Ms. Brane’s statements were proof of her ignorance.
Carlson started the conversation by saying “I’m looking at the polling on refugee resettlement and the public cannot be described as supporting it, now or in the past, strikingly low support for resettling refugees in this country. And if you ask people ‘do you want them resettled where you live, in your neighborhood’, it’s even lower and I’m wondering why that is. I’m wondering why people don’t support it.”
Ms. Brane replied “Well, first of all, I’m not sure people don’t support it and some polls show that they don’t support it and I know that support for the programs varies. It varies over time. It varies geographically.”
Later, Ms. Brane stumbled onto something when she said “At least the Americans that I engage with, and I try and be diverse in my encounters with people, I do think that people do support it.” That’s important because it’s apparent that Ms. Brane hasn’t visited the cities with high refugee populations. People don’t support refugee resettlement because they’re a definite economic hardship on local communities.
The way that the program is set up, from what I’ve seen up close, it’s destined to fail. NPOs love the money that the State Department pays them to resettle refugees. Once they’re settled, though, the NPOs’ job is essentially finished. Because many of these refugees don’t have the skills to be employed, they either start applying for local government benefits or they’re perfect targets for radicalization.
Refugee resettlement programs are lucrative for organizations like Lutheran Social Services or Catholic Charities. The State Department pays these charities quite handsomely to find refugees a place to live. Once that’s over, however, the communities, not the charities, pick up the rest of the refugees’ tab.
Those of us that’ve dealt with the resettlement programs’ expenses know that the NPOs get the money but that the communities get the bills.