Sam Brownback and the Somali Bantu
Coming soon to a town near you: some of a
projected influx of 12,000 Somali Bantu. Unless
you live in Kansas—thanks to the hidden
hypocrisy of its arch-immigration enthusiast
Senator, Sam Brownback.
You have to admire the sense of humor of the folk in the
refugee industry. Their current bright idea: to resettle
part of a
polygamous tribe that practices female
genital mutilation in Holyoke, Massachusetts–next
door to the first
women`s college in America.
Even by the standards of the
refugee industry – and God knows etc.–the story of
Somali Bantu is wild. They are not ethnic Somalis,
the group who have just notoriously discovered
Lewiston, Maine, doubling its welfare budget in two
years. (At 3 percent of the Lewiston`s population,
Somalis now receive 46 percent of its welfare payments).
Instead, the Somali Bantu are the descendants of slaves
brought to Somalia from further south as much as two
hundred years ago. They remain distinct and are
allegedly despised by their former masters–themselves,
it should be noted, black Africans.
Under a 1997 agreement with the
United Nations, which operates Somali Bantu refugee
camps in Kenya, the Somali Bantu were to resettle in
Mozambique, their ancestral homeland. But Mozambique
backed out at the eleventh hour, citing a change in
government and a lack of resources.
So the Somali Bantu are coming
Of course, for a fraction of the
money the U.S. will spend to move this tribe to America,
Mozambique could have been persuaded to carry through on
its promises. But the U.S. refugee industry needs
clients! So that option was never considered.
The cost to the taxpayer of resettling this tribe in the
U.S. could run into the billions.
For example, the usual HIV bar to U.S. entry
does not apply in the case of refugees. Of the
Somali Bantu who have been processed for resettlement so
far, slightly less than 1% have the
HIV virus. That`s low compared to most HIV
prevalence rates in Africa—but it`s about 3 times the
rate in the U.S.
Additionally, the American Public Health Association
says “other factors indicate that the country and
particularly immigrants from Somalia are at significant
risk” from HIV. APHA cites screening failures and
new undetectable strains of the disease now emerging in
APHA adds cheerfully:
variety of parasitic diseases are common in Somalia,
including schistosomiasis, roundworms, tapeworms….
Parasitic diseases are sometimes difficult to readily
diagnosis because many HCPs [Health Care Providers]
in the U.S. are unfamiliar with the symptoms and
appropriate screening tests. This is understandable
since these diseases are not endemic to the U.S.”
Many more of the approximately
900,000 Bantu who are still in Somalia could well end up
here too. The resettlement from the Kenyan U.N. camps
does not explicitly guarantee those left in Somalia a
place in America. But it will detonate the usual
explosion of family
chain migration, asylum seekers and illegal
The federal Office of Refugee
Resettlement wants to keep together the Somali Bantu
because of the special needs they face integrating into
a modern society. These needs were recently graphically
summed up by International Organization for
Migration bureaucrat Shasha Chanoff: "Do not assume
they can open a door just because it has a doorknob."
By settling large numbers in the same general location,
the federal government can concentrate and efficiently
distribute the services needed to support the tribe.
Immense pressure has been put on
Holyoke. It has been assured its quota will be only 300
refugees. (Of course, refugees settled elsewhere can
move to Holyoke, as
Lewiston has discovered.) A million in federal grant
money is being dangled plus the promise of an ongoing
stream of federal welfare dollars, pumping $1-2 million
annually into the local economy.
spite of the prospect of becoming a Klondike of
handouts, the benighted Holyoke council still passed a
symbolic resolution rejecting the resettlement—even with
the proffered package. Of course, this was merely
symbolic. The resettlement is federally mandated. But
it`s significant, because enough local opposition
probably could deter Washington.
Unsurprisingly, the protests of
Holyoke and Lewiston brought the entire national media
apparat down on their heads.
But the national media was
strangely silent when another community resisted Somali
refugees—successfully. Thus late last year, the New
York Times coyly reported “refugee experts
say that one United States community, which they did not
name, has expressed misgivings about taking in the
Somali Bantu“. [Somali
Bantu, Trapped in Kenya, Seek a Home, December
9, 2001,By Marc Lacey ]
Whoa! That`s the same group that
is now being imposed on Holyoke. And the resistance was
led, not by bigoted local peasants, but by a pillar in
the politico-immigration complex.
It was none other than Senator Sam
Brownback (R.-Kansas). He said the state of Kansas would
not take even a single Somali Bantu.
it comes to mass immigration, Sam Brownback is not just
another Senator. He played a key role in sabotaging
Republican support for the 1996 Smith-Simpson bill, the
last serious effort at immigration reduction. And when
the State Department accepted the Somali Bantu, and
discussions began about where they would go, he was
chairman of the Senate immigration subcommittee.
State Department officials say Brownback had told both
them and U.N. refugee chief Ruud Lubbers that he was “interested
in resettling more refugees in Kansas.” State began
exploring the feasibility of resettling the Bantu in
Chris Renner, Program Director of the Kansas Board
of Education, the Senator was the catalyst of the
resettlement plan and “to make a long story short, he
… lent his support to the resettlement of this
population in Kansas.”
But apparently Kansas did not like the resettlement
proposal any more than Maine and Massachusetts do. And
after 9/11, Brownback announced a
change of heart. He said on Oct 12, 2001
“I oppose any resettlement of Somali Bantu refugees
in the State of Kansas…. Our office has contacted the
Department of State asking them to not resettle any
Somali Bantus in Kansas….Simply put this should not
When asked about his support for Sudanese refugees
previously resettled in Kansas, he
said “they know English. They`re very pro-American."
The Bantu, on the other hand, "would not work
well in Kansas" according to the Senator.
(Now remember, this is the
Senator who has no problem appearing on the
same dais, spouting the same message, as La Raza.)
"I never requested 10,000
Bantu to be placed in Kansas,"
Brownback said. "That`s a huge population for a state
of our size."
Thus ended the initial attempt to
resettle the refugees. Now they will be scattered in
towns across America.
Sam Brownback`s change of heart was
chronicled in a local paper but never picked up by the
national media. In fact, according to Rob Roberts, a
reporter who worked on the story for The Johnson
County Sun, the Senator did everything to make sure
both his original welcome of the tribe and his
subsequent retraction of the invitation were forgotten.
clarifies position on refugee issue: No Bantu”
By Rob Roberts, Johnson County Sun, October 17,
Hence the New York Times
could report on a community that “refugee experts”
declined to name, leaving behind what should have been a
great story of hypocrisy in high places and—always a
favorite media theme—a
“town without pity.”
Especially in light of the media`s
treatment of Holyoke and Lewiston, it is interesting
that the newspaper of record could let another
community`s successful protest go unexamined.
But Brownback was allowed to slip
back into refugee cheerleading. Without so much as a
hint of shame, he was soon chiding Florida for not
taking more Haitian rafters. And, along with soon-to-be
Senate Majority Leader Bill
Frist, he signed a September 27, 2002
letter to the President urging the U.S. to accept at
least 100,000 refugees annually.
This letter claimed that
“members of religious minorities from the former Soviet
Union” and “refugees from Vietnam and Cuba also
continue to warrant our attention.”
As long as they don`t settle in
Sam Brownback remains the “go-to”
guy whenever the media needs a pro-immigration sound
bite from the right. In a recent New York Times
article advocating resettlement of more refugees to the
U.S., he said “I don`t think we`re providing the
example to the world we should…. We need to be willing
to step forward as an example”. (Since
Attacks, U.S. Admits Fewer Refugees, Oct 30,
2002, By Christopher Marquis).
He ought to know.
Most importantly for the refugee
industry, Brownback is sponsoring the Refugee Protection
Act along with Senator Patrick Leahy – a bill which will
unleash a tide of bogus asylum seekers in the U.S.
Parts of the Refugee Protection Act
had even been slipped into the Homeland Security
Bill—more evidence of the refugee industry`s sense of
humor. But they were removed in the final weeks before
This bill should really be called
the People Smugglers Dream Act. The New York Times
is leading the charge in support of its passage.
(See its editorial, Dec 28, 2002
“The Welcome Mat Frays”)
Perhaps this is why Senator
Brownback gets a free pass – and the mayor of Lewiston
is portrayed as an ignorant provincial.
The plain fact is that the refugee
industry and its shills are allowed to operate with
total immunity from
honest press coverage.
Except, of course, for VDARE.COM!
him) is a recovering refugee worker.