This evening, a pair of loyal readers of LFR sent me an email chain with a list of questions from an area resident who is worried about some things in his community. The question that caught my attention asked “What individuals have made determinations on what, when and how many refugees would be resettled to the greater St. Cloud area? What organizations do these individuals represent?” Karin Blythe replied “These two questions both strike at the federal role and responsibility in administering the Refugee Reception & Placement (Resettlement) Program. The State Department overseas the program through the Bureau of Population, Refugees & Migration, and they determine the location in which refugees are resettled. The State Department develops a Cooperative Agreement with affiliates, such as Lutheran Social Service of MN, that stipulates the services we must provide in order to maintain our contract with them. In that Cooperative Agreement, we are instructed to develop relationships with seven designated stakeholders in the community and provide information from our meetings with those stakeholders back to the State Department. They clearly detail the agenda for that meeting and then require that we provide notes and quarterly reports of the meeting. They use that information in their assessments for resettlement placement. The stakeholders required in that Cooperative Agreement are 1. State Refugee Coordinator, 2. State Refugee Health Coordinator, 3. Rep from Local Governance, 4. Rep from Local Public Health, 5. Rep from Social Services, 6. Rep from Public Safety, and 7. Rep from Education. You attended our most recent convening of that gathering.”

I’m betting that Ms. Blythe doesn’t realize that she just admitted that the State Department didn’t obey the Refugee Act of 1980. I’m betting that Ms. Blythe doesn’t know that 8 U.S. Code 1522(b) 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.”

8 U.S. Code 1522(c)(2) states “The director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement will provide for a mechanism whereby representatives of local affiliates of voluntary agencies regularly, not less than quarterly, meet with representatives of state and local governments to plan and coordinate in advance of their arrival the appropriate placement of refugees amongst various states and localities.”

First, the director being talked about in 8 U.S. Code 1522(b) is the director of the office of “the Minnesota Office of Refugee Resettlement.” Next, it’s worth noting that Ms. Blythe states unambiguously that the State Department “develops a Cooperative Agreement with affiliates, such as Lutheran Social Service of MN” and that this Cooperative Agreement “stipulates the services” Volags like LSS of Minnesota “must provide” to maintain their contract with the State Department.

In other words, Ms. Blythe thinks that the State Department dictates to the Volag what they must do and that the local government is just to be informed. She clearly isn’t informed. Other things that can be learned from Ms. Blythe’s reply are that she anticipates refugees needing to use lots of health care and that they’ll use lots of things from Social Services.

In Councilman Jeff Goerger’s resolution, Goerger insinuated that there wasn’t much of a cost to city taxpayers. Based on the stakeholders list, I’m betting that there’s a substantial cost to taxpayers.

One Response to “Refugee resettlement in their own words”

  • liz says:

    Thank you Gary for another amazing update.

    I have not shared this before, but the video in your post made me think about this: I went to a meeting, in St Cloud, that was supposed to be about stopping our area from being infiltrated by Nazis. It turned out to be a cover for an Antifa meeting and at one point Justin (see video) with GRIP/ISAIAH made the statement that they might as well just rip off the band aid and hold a communist rally.

    I am deeply troubled that none of these people will have the greater conversation with us; we need a public debate. They have no understanding of what the Welcoming resolution actually is, nor do they understand that it came from the UN, nor do they understand settlement as defined by the Muslim Brotherhood.

    This meeting in the video was a set up. At no point has the conversation that should have happened, due to Councilman Johnson’s resolution, been allowed to take place. It is in no one’s best interest to continue down this dangerous path.

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