The Federal Government allocates money to the Department of State who then works through the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security to resettle refugees. The budget is divided into three segments. Processing, Admissions and Resettlement. Each is managed by different agencies.
US Citizenship and Immigration – Processing
Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration – Admissions
Administration for Children and Families – Resettlement
These agencies work with nine different NGO’s (Non Government Organizations) that are tasked with settling and providing services. Most of these are affiliated with religious organizations. Episcopal, Hebrew, Lutheran, Catholic, etc. These nine have some 360 offices across the nation through sub-contractors. These agencies operate as VOLAGS (Voluntary Agencies) which leads us to believe they are non-profit. They are NOT!! Although, they operate as non-profit. They are paid by us (taxpayers) a certain amount per person settled. This puts them in competition with each other. They lobby for more refugees each year. Wonder why?!?
The salaries within these VOLAG’s are staggeringly high. Remember we are borrowing money to pay them! The highest I found was to the International Rescue Committee. It received 456 million in 2012 – 73% from us (taxpayers) with a top salary of $485.321.00.
Most towns, cities and states have no say in how many are accepted unless they have passed laws to address it. If this was supported by private funding, as it was initially, it would not be a problem.
Our local resettlement VOLAG is Interfaith Refugee Ministry. The costs to our community are not available. Probably can’t be calculated. To determine the number to be resettled here, New Bern’s resources are monitored and sent to the nine major contractors. This determines the availability of housing, health care and schooling, etc. it isn’t shared with us. Why not? Quarterly “placement consultation meetings” are held between the Feds and contractors to determine the number of refugees to be placed. Repeated requests for time and place have not been made available.
When refugees arrive the local VOLAG helps them find resources to support them. This includes a variety of welfare programs. They are assisted in signing up for RMA – Refugee Medical Assistance, which is basically NC Medicaid. It includes, doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription medicine, dental and eye care. This is available for up to eight months. Application is made at the County Department of Social Services. After eight months, people with children or disabilities may reapply.
Also available is TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), food stamps, public housing, WIC and education for children and adults (ESL). We have no idea the cost for Police and Fire, Criminal Justice or Interpreters. North Carolina was in the top ten states in 2012 accepting refugees. Currently VOLAG’s are in seven towns and cities in our state and at least two of our cities have seven different locations each.
This needs to be addressed because none of these facts even mention our security as a nation or as individuals.