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“What’s That You Say, Mr. Robinson?” A State Department Bureaucrat’s Public and Private Views On The Refugee Racket
Almost 10 years ago, I wrote on VDARE.com
“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.”
Well, the Refugee Industry is still in the saddle—owing to the general uselessness of Congress; and to the Main Stream Media’s systematic failure to report the issue. (Antidote: read VDARE.com and, specifically, Resettlement Watch!)
But the Refugee Industry is clearly having an increasingly hard time.
Of course, it can count on the support of the interest groups profiting from the refugee trade—both the government-addicted “charity” refugee contractors like the Episcopalian Migration Ministries,, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and Catholic Charities. (And also the cheap-labor addicted Slave Power. )But there is clearly concern in government circles that the refugee business is not faring as well among those who are forced to pay for it.
As part of a Spring PR offensive, accordingly, the Obama Administration’s then-Acting Assistant Secretary of State, David M Robinson wrote a puff piece for Huffpo: Three Million: Changing Lives One Refugee at a Time, February 24, 2012.
(Robinson’s propaganda is particularly problematic given that current law prohibits the U.S. government from propagandizing American audiences. A recent bill before Congress would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda produced by the State Department and the Pentagon, but it has not passed—yet. Voice of America, and more, might someday be beamed at Americans. But right now, it’s illegal—or supposed to be.) [Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban, By Amy Sly, BuzzFeed,May 18, 2012]
At an April press conference at New York’s Foreign Press Center in April, Robinson and Larry Bartlett, Director of the Office of Refugee Admissions, were asked by a reporter about the mayor of Manchester NH’s appeal (“please halt the program; we cannot take any more”). [Refugee Resettlement and the U.S. State Department's Role in the U.S. Refugee Admission Program, Transcript, April 11, 2012]
The State Department officials conceded that these concerns were not isolated—and that the Feds recently had to send officials to Tennessee and Georgia, which had “expressed concerns about resettlement”.
But Robinson insisted arrogantly:
“[T]his remains a federal program. It’s not limited by the activity of an individual mayor…we have reduced the number of refugees being settled in Manchester, in part because of the mayor’s concerns. But we are still resettling refugees there.” [Emphasis added].
Tennessee, which, thanks in part to the refugee influx now has a Muslim Advisory Council shadowing its legislative and executive branch, went as far as to pass a state law allowing localities to request a moratorium on refugee resettlement if local social services are shown to be overly burdened.
Even liberal New Hampshire considered a similar bill, but has apparently dropped it for now.
Needless to say, had the State Department been forced to respond to concerns voiced by cities and towns, instead of waiting for those concerns to percolate up to the state level, it would be visiting cities nation-wide and year-round.
How has the Refugee Industry managed to avoid national exposure for so long?
As it turns out, the April press conference provides an answer.
All the usual bromides were paraded out, with little resistance from the assembled journalists.
Thus Robinson claimed:
“We do not bring refugees in and put them on lifelong welfare…we try to facilitate their self-sufficiency as quickly as we can”.
Bunk. The money-making refugee contractors see their end game as getting the refugees into welfare programs as soon as possible. In fact, welfare is a selling point when they try to convince refugees to make the move to the U.S.
As for “lifelong welfare,” refugees are easily 3-5 times more likely to be on SSI than the rest of the population. SSI/Medicaid tends to be a lifelong entitlement. By U.S. government definition, one can be using every public assistance program out there except for cash programs and be considered officially “self-sufficient”.
Also: “We don’t have criteria for accepting refugees other than need.”
This is a laughable assertion for many reasons:
- the program’s background of politicization;
- the years when a mere claim of family relationship to prior arrivals accounted for the largest single group of arrivals;
- group designation of refugee status regardless of “need”;
- foreign policy objectives;
- corruption at the U.N. refugee agency;
- the “needs” of the money-making contractors;
- The codependence and revolving door between the contractors and government agencies are among the reasons the U.S. accepts refugees.
Of course, Robinson knows all this perfectly well. When addressing an audience possessed of more than child-like credulity displayed by the journalists at his April news conference, he gets right to the point.
Thus in 2000, he explained with astonishing and devastating frankness, in a paper entitled “How Public Opinion Shaped Refugee Policy in Kosovo” [David M. Robinson / Class Of 2000, Course 5603, Seminar L PDF] presented to the National Defense University, that one of the main reasons for resettling Kosovo refugees to the U.S. was the decline in “refugees” from the former Soviet Union and Southeast Asia:
“The largest admissions programs contracted to [refugee resettlement agencies] were being either closed or downsized. The Orderly Departure Program for Vietnamese refugees had run its course after more than two decades and the State Department planned to terminate it at the end of the fiscal year. At the same time, in-country processing of Jews and evangelical Christians from the former Soviet Union was shrinking rapidly. In other words, a major portion of the CMRA [the Committee on Migration and Refugee Affairs, the Refugee Industry’s lobbying umbrella] membership's budget was in peril.”
The industry, Robinson said,
“needed the National Security Council to mandate new contracts for refugee processing and an overall increase in the number of refugees admitted to the United States to compensate for lost business…The decision to initiate resettlement processing was almost automatic.”
Robinson’s paper describes lobbyist manipulation of “public opinion.” Apparently there were common-sense concerns that the program
“…would attract migrants from around the Balkans, including within Macedonia itself, claiming to be refugees in order to emigrate for economic reasons. Bona fides for refugees were difficult enough to ascertain. Establishing a transit mechanism to the world's most attractive emigration points would complicate the matter.”
But no matter:
“Saying ‘no’ to the CMRA is tantamount to defacing the Statue of Liberty. It lobbies the Hill effectively to increase the number of refugees admitted for permanent resettlement each year and at the same time provides overseas processing for admissions under contract to the State Department. In fact, the federal government provides about ninety percent of its collective budget. If there is a conflict of interest, it is never mentioned.”
The lobbying umbrella, in Robinson’s words,
“wields enormous influence over the Administration's refugee admissions policy….The solution its members offer to every refugee crisis is simplistic and the same: increase the number of admissions to the United States without regard to budgets…”
Robinson’s amazing conclusion:
"The Kosovar resettlement program was a winning domestic public relations campaign. Humanitarian assistance supported broader, more complicated strategic interests that garnered only ambivalent interest from a skeptical electorate. It was not cost free, however, in terms of foreign policy leadership. By inserting itself into a relief effort where it was not wanted, the United States undermined its longer-term interest in sharing the burden of humanitarian response. As new refugee crises emerge in Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Colombia and elsewhere, American leadership will be suspect. Allies who already believe their interests are best served by closing their borders—like Germany and Turkey—will be only too happy to defer all action to the ever-eager Americans. "
And so the show goes on.
Today, Robinson says refugee resettlement “really is a public-private partnership”. (See press conference transcript.)
Really? When “the federal government provides about ninety percent of its collective budget”? The “private” partners only do what the public partner pays them to do and nothing more.
Today, Robinson promises:
“We’re going to get the numbers back up to where they ought to be”.
Last year “only” 55,000 “refugees” arrived—far less than planned because two refugee arrivals were discovered to have set off IEDs in Iraq. The program was slowed while security screening was re-worked.
But at 55,000, the program still exceeds the 50,000 anticipated by the 1980 Refugee Act.
And it is nearly three times the number of UN refugees accepted for resettlement by the rest of the industrialized world combined.
Cognitive dissonance seemed to momentarily break through at Robinson’s New York press conference, with his odd assurance that he speaks
“without any guile, this has been part of our national culture and history since before we were actually a country. If you think about the way the United States developed over time, welcoming refugees has been at the core of our development from the beginning. There’s a statue in the harbor near here that sort of gets to that point.”
And the rest of Robinson’s lines could have been lifted out of a script written by the Refugee Industry. Indeed, they probably were.
Of course, it is dismaying to see the Refugee Industry tighten its already close integration with the government institutions that are supposed to be controlling it.
Now it is clearer than ever that only grass-roots political reaction from Americans can expose this particularly insidious aspect of America’s immigration disaster.
Thomas Allen (email him) describes himself as a recovering refugee worker