U.S. refugee law requires that refugee resettlement
refugee “contractors”—consult with local
governments before moving in. But the “contractors“
continue to set up their operations in an expanding
number of towns without informing them.
"The Governors continue to be concerned about the lack
of adequate consultation on the part of the
voluntary agencies [VOLAGs] and their
local affiliates in the initial placement of
refugees and on the part of the federal government in
equitable distribution of refugees and entrants.
"States have continually urged the
federal government to establish a mechanism to
ensure appropriate coordination and consultation.
However, significant progress has not been made.
There should be a requirement in the State Department/VOLAG
contract to limit placement to areas conducive to
resettlement. In addition, VOLAGs and their local
affiliates should be required to have a letter of
agreement that specifies that there has been
consultation and planning for the initial placement
of refugees and sets forth the continuing process of
consultation. The requirement in the State Department/VOLAG
contract to limit placement to areas conducive to
resettlement should include concurrence by the state."
Thus in Hagerstown a refugee “contractor”,
Virginia Council of Churches (VCC), [Send them
mail]which subcontracts to Church World Services,
quietly opened an office there in 2004 and began moving
Meskhetian Turks and other refugees into the
community without discussion.
The Meskhetian Turks have unquestionably had a hard
history. Muslim inhabitants of Georgia and victims of
Stalin`s resettlement policies towards the end of
WWII, they fled from Central Asia to Russia when the
USSR fell apart. Most recently, they
were being resettled from southern Russia to
Lancaster, Pennsylvania among other cities.
For reasons as yet unclear, the resettlement to
Amish country was halted. The Meskhetian Turks were
moved to Maryland by the US government and by VCC. (Also
unclear: why VCC didn`t import then into its Virginia
VCC, which gets paid by U.S. taxpayers to conduct
"cultural orientation" for the new arrivals, in turn
palmed the new arrivals off on the
Hagerstown mosque known as
The Islamic Society of Western Maryland. Reportedly,
the mosque was teaching the new arrivals Arabic in
addition to the English lessons they were receiving.
Even the Meskhetian Turks, who generally speak Russian
and Uzbek, knew there was something not quite right
about coming to America to learn Arabic. They parted
ways with their "sponsoring" mosque.
Most Hagerstown only found out there were refugees
living in town when a team of “first responders”
descended upon an apartment building in October, 2006.
Apparently, a refugee from Africa with "morning
sickness" had sent family members who could not
speak English to seek medical help. Attempts to explain
the situation and summon help quickly turned into a
scare about a dangerous infectious outbreak in town.
do bring disease. However, in this case, it all
turned out to be a giant misunderstanding—but not before
local news cameras were broadcasting pictures of HazMat-suited
emergency crews quarantining an apartment house where
the refugees lived. Citizens were concerned that VCC
obviously had no procedures in place for handling
emergencies among the refugees.[Quarantine
of downtown Hagerstown building ends
By Erin Cunningham, Herald-Mail,
October 11, 2006 ]
Then VCC, which like all
refugee “contractors” is in the business of
extracting money from any government program in
sight, went before the County Commission to ask for
$15,000. The Commission said “No”. An AP reporter
happened to be there covering another story and the
event accidentally became national news.
The head of the VCC office in Hagerstown lost his
job—likely not because he asked the town for money, but
because his attempt to find more money brought unwanted
attention to the secretive program.
The State Department sent two officials along with state
bureaucrats and “contractors” to meet the
citizens of Hagerstown and get the program back on
track. At a
September 19 meeting, which they insisted was a
welcome chance to explain the program, officials spent
three hours dodging questions and avoiding mention of
some obvious issues. [Masses
huddle here, By Heather Keels, Herald-Mail,September
The audience seemed most focused on the
actual cost of the program and on lack of any
taxpayer representation in decisions about how the
program is funded and administered.
Asked why smaller towns are now being used for
resettlement instead of traditional gateway cities, the
State Department official explained: "Certain
locations were being impacted because social service
networks couldn`t deal with them [the refugees]".
Are refugees 65 and over or disabled going straight into
lifetime SSI/Medicaid? Yes, but "relatively few".
(Oh yeah? Go to this government report—
Annual ORR Reports to Congress—2005 — to see
percentages of refugee usage of welfare programs. For
example, SSI dependence among recent refugees is a
Are refugees admitted with HIV? "Yes, but only a
And, yes, the taxpayer starts picking up the medical
bill for the best care the West has to offer as soon as
the refugee arrives.
The State Department official explained that
some refugees are admitted because of
"domestic political interests", not because
they meet the definition of a refugee. (In other words,
She did not add that any of the dozen or so groups in
the refugee pipeline today could one day also become a
"domestic political interest"
group. All have the potential to set off
self-propagating flows of immigration in all forms.
In a comical moment, one of the church representatives
said the local churches were donating $60 for each
refugee they "sponsored". Meanwhile, of course,
the contracting arm of the national church pulls in
Panelists estimated the annual cost of the refugee
program at about $750 million, but failed to mention
that this figure does not include the cost of ongoing
welfare and other public services for the refugees.
Including all costs associated with resettlement would
result in a dollar amount at least 10 times greater than
the officially-quoted cost.
The audience was well-informed, thanks in part to
knowledge transfer over the internet. A thoughtful and
informative citizen web site,
Refugee Resettlement Watch, was set up to chronicle
the Hagerstown saga and has developed into a general
clearing house for information about the entire refugee
program. A DVD of the meeting can be obtained at this
site for the cost of handling and shipping. [Email
Refugee Resettlement Watch]
Two days after the meeting, VCC announced it will close
its Hagerstown office and halt further resettlement
there because of an "unwelcoming" atmosphere.[
By Dan Dearth, Herald-Mail, September 29, 2007]
What is the moral of this story?
Except for the occasional fact-challenged
sob story, the Mainstream Media [MSM] will not
report on the refugee resettlement program. Even the
patriotic immigration reform groups keep away from the
refugee industry for fear of being demagogued in the MSM.
So the refugee resettlement program has been able to
work behind a curtain of secrecy.
Five years ago, as the program shifted to accept ever
more diverse groups, I
predicted on VDARE.COM that "the refugee program
is bringing in ever more real refugees, from ever more
unassimilable backgrounds. Officials are forced to
spread them over ever more
American communities. The program will
lose what is left of its apple pie appeal and
finally become a political issue".
refugee racket may not be a national political
issue—yet. But, exactly as with illegal immigration,
local community activism is breaking out all over.
Federal politicians are hearing and learning about the
program from their constituents.
Thanks to the internet and outlets like VDARE.COM, local
civic groups that earlier could have been ignored and
intimidated are finding strength in numbers—and in the
experience of others who challenged the Refugee Industry
Of course, the
refugee racketeers won`t admit this. The State
Department claimed the program was halted in Manchester
lead was found in the public school playground where
the refugees were resettled.
But, according the New Hampshire state refugee
coordinator, "Manchester just got overwhelmed".
Halts Flow of Refugees, By Kathryn
Marchocki, Manchester Union Leader, December 23,
(Also, an embarrassing cottage industry of lawyers was
growing up around
lucrative lawsuits on behalf of refugees who arrived
from their home countries with
elevated lead levels, but then hit the jackpot by
blaming the problem on their new surroundings. Welcome
to the land of opportunity!)
The Refugee Industry is pushing against doors and
finding they don`t swing open so easily any more.
I suspect the State Department will not be attending any
more Hagerstown-style town meetings. But I predict such
town meetings will be ever more frequent and ever harder