Ho Ho! This Inverted Santa Clause Wants Your Money (In Any Language)


Refugee Industry
has many ways of demanding
taxpayer money. Recently, it has acquired the
right to do so in foreign languages.

Descendants of recent immigrants
often have funny stories about how their parents or
grandparents used 3 x 5 cards to convey simple messages
whenever language failed. Things have changed. Today,
for instance, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee
Service (LIRS),
a refugee resettlement contractor, advises the refugees
it brings over to confront hospitals, clinics, public
housing offices and welfare providers with a 3×5 card
that basically says "Speak to me in my language or I
will sue you".

Think I`m exaggerating? Consider
the Winter 2002 LIRS publication (paid for with federal
tax dollars) which

 [PDF] that refugee case workers equip their
charges with this card:

name is ———. I have limited English skills and
require qualified language assistance in ——–. Title
VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that your
office provide a qualified interpreter for me to have
equal access to your services. It is a violation of the
law for you to require me to bring my own interpreter in
order to receive services. If you have any questions
about how to comply with these legal requirements, call
the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division at

As if to bring home the point, the
LIRS Refugee Works bulletin points to "growing
litigation relative to language access…"
and warns

communication between doctor and patient results in
misdiagnosis and possible malpractice charges. The
courts have decided that a language barrier does not
exonerate a healthcare provider from blame."

"These administrators must hear
it in terms they understand: the bottom line,"

comments one refugee worker on agencies that are not up
to speed on "language access" law. 

In 1997 courts in Massachusetts had
7,209 requests for interpreters. By 2001 those requests
were running at 57,000 per year (Boston Globe,

). Obviously, "Language access" litigation
is going to be the next big thing for the Civil Rights

One professional litigator, Kathy
Poulos-Minott [send her

] left the refugee industry to found the

National Limited English Proficiency Task Force
Portland, Maine. She boasts a nationwide network of 300
affiliates ready to enforce language law based on

Clinton executive order E.O. 13166
, the executive
rule requiring any entity which receives federal funds
to provide free interpreting services. Her organization
sells certificates of compliance to those who comply
with language law—and sues those who don`t, including
her former employer, Catholic Charities. Recently she
has set about imposing her vision of a taxpayer-funded
tower of Babel on the

public schools.

Presumably refugee resettlement
agencies like LIRS could pay to send its clients to a
clinic with a translator, offer English-language
training and so on. But the refugee contractors have
steadfastly refused to shoulder any responsibility for
the refugees they fight so hard to bring over.

Instead, the U.S. taxpayer pays
LIRS to bring the refugee to America. LIRS can put the
refugee on welfare 30 days after arrival. Next, using
taxpayer money, LIRS encourages the refugee to sue…
well, the U.S. taxpayer.

LIRS`s meager responsibilities end
6 months after the refugee arrives—3 months after
arrival if the refugee is joining a relative, which is
the case for about 40% of recent refugee arrivals.

When its contractual
responsibilities end, LIRS does not even have to keep
track of the place of residence of the refugees it

In one shocking case a 2 year-old
Sudanese refugee died of lead poisoning in Manchester,
N.H. less than 2 months after arriving in the U.S. and
moving into a

Section 8 house
with her mother. The Manchester
Union Leader
reported (Dec 20, 2001) that the child
was malnourished and

"habitually ate non-food items"
Given the short
period of time in the house, the toddler must have been
eating lead paint chips steadily. This must have been
obvious. Even the most cursory follow-up on the part of
the refugee`s "sponsors" should have raised alerts. The
Section 8 apartment manager, part of a group that
normally supports the refugee influx because of the
business it brings, received 15 months in a federal
prison for failing to warn tenants of the lead risk. It
is quite possible that, even if he had handed out
English-language brochures with the warning, he would
still be in jail today because the warning was not in
the language of his tenant.

This case should raise as many
questions about the responsibility of the refugee
contractor as it does about the landlord. But instead of
addressing its responsibility for the tragedy, the
contractor, the

International Institute of New Hampshire,
a local
affiliate of

Immigration and Refugee Services of America,
in a lawyer who is mounting a reported $1.2 million
lawsuit against the Section 8 apartment manager and

Refugee agencies typically have all
D.C. headquarters expenses and overhead paid out of the
U.S. State Department budget. But there are many ways
the agencies can make money from Washington. A director
of a Catholic Charities affiliate described to me the
process of assisting refugees fill out paperwork to
bring in relatives on the refugee program. As long as
the refugee sits in the affiliate`s office, the
affiliate pays the refugee an hourly wage to fill out
the sponsorship forms. But for every dollar the
affiliate pays out, it gets $1.40 from the federal
government from the misnamed Federal Match Grant

Under the same federal program,
donated furniture is assigned a dollar value by the
contractor and a bill is presented to the government
representing 140% of the value of the donated items. It
is `win-win` arrangements like these that make the
refugee industry go around.

Among the more lucrative agency
functions is acting as a collection agent for the U.S.
government. An interest-free loan is made to the refugee
for transportation to the U.S. through an international
bureaucracy. Ultimately it is the U.S. taxpayer which
makes these loans, but if a refugee agency collects from
the refugee it pockets 25% of the loan amount! (No
matter the incentive, however, many refugees still do
not repay transportation loans. As of today, about 43%
of the amount due for these loans is unpaid, leaving a
balance of $436.5 million. 64% of the loans from the
80`s are unpaid. Nominally discounted, the outstanding
balance is probably over a billion given the age of some
of the unpaid loans.)

The media invariably refers to the
refugee agencies as `charities` and `private` concerns.
But take a typical refugee agency, Immigration and
Refugee Services of America (IRSA). According to its
financial summary, 90% of its income comes from
government sources in the form of government contracts,
grants and commissions for collecting transportation
loans made to refugees. The remaining 10% comes mostly
from institutional donors such as The Ford Foundation,
the American Federation of Teachers, The Pew Charitable
Trust, American Jewish World Service, etc. Many of these
institutions themselves are recipients of government

It is perfectly legal for refugee
agencies to use government funds to get the word out
about how to sue over "language access". After all,
prior to 9/11 even the allegedly “conservative” John
Ashcroft had increased the Department of Justice budget
for this sort of thing, but not the budget for
counter-terrorism. The Bush administration has made no
comment about E.O. 13166, though it could eliminate it
with the stroke of a pen.

The nexus between mass immigration
and welfare bureaucrats, industrial


immigration lawyers
and all manner of other
"dependent on DC" types is well-established. Part of the
staying power of the refugee industry is the result of
the government money it brings to so many both inside
and outside the industry. Some of this money is returned
to the political system, ensuring that the
merry-go-round will not end on its own.

Wait till
trial lawyers
and civil rights lawyers join the
company of immigration profiteers!

December 11, 2002