Since early February, the indefatigable Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch has been sounding the alarm that Wyoming, the only state without a refugee program, is setting itself up for all the woe that having such a program brings. Its Governor Matt Mead, [Email him] a Republican, actually contacted the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to indicate his interest in getting started.
(Reading between the lines at Wikipedia's profile of Mead, we can guess that he's a typically well-insulated and clueless member of what columnist Mark Steyn calls America's "depraved political class." The profile includes this: "In 2003, Mead and his brother and sister put their family ranch in [Grand Teton National Park] up for sale; the price was said to be $110 million.")
Wyomingites wanting to bring themselves up to speed on this threat should first read Ms. Corcoran's blogs on the subject:
A couple of weeks ago, I did a VDARE.com blog about the threat to Wyoming, urging citizens of Wyoming and others with strong connections to the state to contact Mead and express your displeasure (politely, of course). If enough people do that, the governor may catch on that pursuing this initiative won't necessarily be a controversy-free way to burnish his "compassion" credentials. If you've been meaning to do that but haven't yet gotten around to it, step right up.
This Tuesday, March 4, a letter from me appeared in the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming's largest-circulation newspaper, under the (editor-supplied) headline Refugee influx not so great. Since others might use it as a starting template for their own letters, I'll provide the full text here:
The Feb. 22 article (Former child soldier wants refugee office in Wyoming) about a possible influx of refugees to Wyoming paints the cheerful picture of a program—under careful, joint control by the federal government and national charitable organizations (e.g. Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Services; Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)—that brings in people whose diverse backgrounds enrich the lives of the locals, even as these newcomers speedily become “self sufficient.”
That scenario has almost no overlap with the actual experiences of cities across the country (e.g. Lewiston, Maine; Amarillo, Texas; Manchester, N.H.) that have been deluged with needy people—typically unaccustomed to living in a modern, self-governing society—once they agreed to accept a few refugees.
And often they didn’t even agree. Instead, the U.S. State Department, in cooperation with those national organizations, merely announced that refugees would be coming, and it was up to local governments and their taxpayers to accommodate the inflow.
One explicitly local burden is the surge of non-English-speakers into public schools (ESL teachers required) and as clients of the court system and social services agencies (translators required). Those don’t qualify for the federal support that supposedly makes the program cost-free to receiving communities.
All public benefits—federal, state, and local—are available to refugees by 30 days after their arrival in the U.S., and their use is much higher than that by native-born citizens. For example, in 2010, 49 percent of refugees who had arrived during 2005-2010 were receiving medical assistance (primarily Medicaid).
Further, what’s implied by “self-sufficiency?” This merely means that refugees aren’t collecting federally-funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). They can still be receiving food stamps, Medicaid, locally-funded general (cash) assistance, and Supplemental Security Income while being officially counted as “self sufficient."
It’s also important to recognize that those organizations that help resettle refugees are federal contractors. Instead of providing actual charity, they run their refugee operations primarily with taxpayer money.
So Wyomingites shouldn’t just leave decisions about the proposed state refugee program to such self-interested “experts.” Remember, it’s still your state.
PAUL NACHMAN, Bozeman, Mont. (Hyperlinks supplied by VDARE.com)
At this writing, there have been nine comments added by readers. The one by refugee expert and Center for Immigration Studies fellow Don Barnett is worth quoting in its entirety for the additional information it provides:
The most important feature of the refugee business is that it is just that—a business. The program is run by money-making federal contractors. They make money in a variety of ways, even going as far as pocketing 25% of the transportation loans they make to the refugees and collecting money from the feds whenever they hand over to refugees used cars and couches which they themselves obtained at no cost as a tax-advantaged donation.
As a recent GAO report stated: "local affiliate funding is based on the number of refugees they serve, so affiliates have an incentive to maintain or increase the number of refugees they resettle each year rather than allowing the number to decrease."
The main goal of the contractors is to get the refugees into social services. They only do what they are paid to do and that means they will do nothing after 90 days in most cases. That is just not enough of an engagement to ensure a smooth transition into American life.
Needless to say, the day after my letter, the Casper Star-Tribune's editors published this impervious-to-facts editorial: Editorial board: Wyoming should welcome refugees. [March 5, 2014]. (The editors think that a refugee program "would take no state money" and that refugees would become "self-sufficient, with the skills to make a difference".)
That had 14 comments, including another from Don Barnett, and one from a man who’s been a “volunteer and advocate for refugees“ in the Clarkston, Georgia area for the last 17 years and wants Wyomingites to do to their state what people like him have done to Clarkston, Georgia. (See Importing Cruelty, by Brenda Walker, March 2, 2005).
So, Wyomingites, are you going to help rescue your state from an irreversible stupidity? Besides letting your governor know your opposition –by phone or email as suggested in the blog linked above and again here—how about some serious letters to editors around the state?
The Kidon Media Link page for Wyoming shows 61 outlets around the state, including print, broadcast, and online-only. The best bets, for maximum exposure, are probably the five daily newspapers that run letters:
[The Cheyenne and Gillette papers don't list maximum lengths for letters. And it's not clear to me that the Gillette paper actually prints letters—they might only be posted online. Note that if you write a letter to the Cheyenne, Gillette, and/or Sheridan paper(s), you should save a copy of your text, since what you type into their online forms will become unavailable as soon as you hit "Submit."]
If you're going to rise to this occasion, make it count: Letters shouldn't be blowsy rants, constrained only by the word limit. Instead, they should be coolly-stated, just laying out some of the facts (such as the experiences with refugee programs in heavily-impacted states) and their implications and, perhaps, closing with some opinion that follows from those facts.
You'll find abundant material at Ms. Corcoran's site, including her two posts linked above and a much-consulted fact sheet. Plus there's the information condensed into my letter and Don Barnett's addition to it, above. And the site has given VDARE.com much ammunition.
And remember, this is about saving our country, so creative use of others' verbiage is OK.
If not you, who? If not now, when? Et cetera.
Paul Nachman [email him] is a retired physicist and immigration sanity activist in Bozeman, MT.