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Imported Muslims arriving now in these U.S. cities


waving flagPosted By Leo Hohmann On 06/17/2015

Article printed from WND: http://www.wnd.com

URL to article: http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/syrian-muslims-arriving-now-in-these-u-s-cities

Cheering Syrian rebels. The rebel groups are made up of various Sunni factions all vying to replace the Shiite-led government of Bashar al-Assad. The overwhelming majority of "refugees" coming from Syria are also Sunni Muslim.

A few congressmen are fighting to block the planned importation of thousands of Syrian refugees into American cities and towns, arguing that they present a grave security risk because many Syrians have ties to the Sunni rebel groups ISIS and al-Nusra Front.

But the fact is, as President Obama ignores the concerns of U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and others on the House Homeland Security Committee, the Syrians have already started to arrive stateside.

Since January, more than 70 U.S. cities have been on the receiving end of a Syrian visitation.

WND has compiled a complete list of cities (see chart below) that received Syrian refugees since Jan. 1. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres has as many as 11,000 Syrians in a pipeline waiting for admission into the U.S., which is responsible for screening them for criminal and terrorist activity.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, wrote President Obama warning that the Syrian refugee program could become a 'back door for jihadists" to enter the U.S.

And therein lies the problem.

McCaul has tried to block the arrival of the Syrians based on testimony from FBI counter-terrorism experts. As chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, he held a hearing on the national security risks of the Syrian refugee program in February and has scheduled a second hearing for June 24. He’s also sent two letters to Obama, urging him not to let the U.N. refugee program become a “jihadist pipeline” into the United States.

The Syrian civil war, now more than four years old, has chased more than 3.8 million Syrians from their homes, according to the U.N., which has about 130,000 it wants to resettle permanently in outside countries. Some of the top destination points in the past few months have been in;

  • Texas, where the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston have each received more than 20 Syrians since January.
  • Chicago has received 42 Syrians so far this year, more than any other city,
  • while San Diego has taken in 25
  • and Phoenix 20.
  • The troubled city of Baltimore has not been left out. It has received 19 Syrians
  • while Louisville, Kentucky, has taken in 21.

“Baltimore is already suffering with all of the black crime violence (in the wake of the Freddie Gray shooting) and now we’re going to plunk down 19 Syrians,” said Ann Corcoran, who runs the watchdog blog Refugee Resettlement Watch. “It doesn’t make sense.”Picture3 Alinsky affect

WND reported earlier this week that 93 percent of the 922 Syrian refugees resettled into the U.S. since the civil war started in 2011 have been Muslim. The vast majority, 86 percent, have been Sunni Muslims, which means some could have ties to the Sunni rebel groups fighting to bring down the government of President Bashar al-Assad, a Shiite Alowite.

Assad protected the Christian minorities who have now come under brutal attack from ISIS and al-Nusra. Yet, only 4.9 percent of the 922 Syrians brought to the U.S. so far as refugees have been Christians.Why

Syria is home to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities. It was in Antioch, Syria, where followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians,” yet their churches have been destroyed and their families decimated by ISIS and al-Nusra terrorists. Many have watched family members beheaded or shot in front of their eyes. “Syria represents the single largest convergence of Islamic terrorists in history,” McCaul wrote in his June 11 letter to Obama. It also represents the largest refugee crisis.

The United States takes in more U.N.-designated refugees than the rest of the world combined. Of the 130,000 Syrians the U.N wants to permanently resettle, the U.S. is being asked to take half, or about 65,000, by the end of Obama’s term in office. The State Department insists they are “intensely screened” even as the FBI has admitted they are impossible to screen because the U.S. has no “boots on the ground in Syria” and Syria is a “failed state” with no reliable law-enforcement data, said Michael Steinbach, deputy director of the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit, in his Feb. 11 testimony before McCaul’s committee.

Growing ‘pockets of resistance’

The State Department, working through nine private contractors and 350 subcontractors, resettles U.N.-certified refugees into more than 190 cities and towns across America. The refugee program has operated in its current form since Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980.

Some cities in recent years have begun to push back against the arrival of refugees in their communities, saying they have become a burden on social services and aren’t finding jobs that will support themselves without government assistance. Elected leaders in Clarkston, Georgia, for instance, complained in 2011 to Gov. Nathan Deal, who was able to strike a deal in which no new refugees would be sent to the town other than family members of existing refugees.

The mayors of Lynn and Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as Manchester, New Hampshire, and Athens, Georgia, have also questioned why they can’t have more information and influence over how many refugees get sent to their towns. These have been dubbed “pockets of resistance” by the resettlement agencies working for the federal government. A manual was written by one contractor on how to deal with local grassroots activists who push back against the arrival of refugees.

WND last month uncovered a document authored by one of the federal government’s main resettlement contractors that detailed plans to counter the growing “backlash” that is occurring in many cities that would like to shut the refugee spigot off, or at least slow it down. The report recommended monitoring blogs by activists and turning in some to the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center which could then brand them as “anti-Muslim” or guilty of “Islamophobia.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

The most recent uprising has been in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in the district of Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

Gowdy has tried to gather facts on exactly how the program works so he can answer the questions being asked of him by an organized resistance to World Relief’s plans to resettle 60 refugees from Congo, Syria and other countries over the next year.

So far, no Syrians have arrived in Spartanburg, but they have arrived and will continue to arrive in ever larger numbers in many other cities and towns. The chart below logs the numbers who have arrived just in the past five months.

Some of the questions Gowdy has pressed the State Department to answer are:

  • Who makes the ultimate decision as to which cities get refugees from what countries?
  • What variables are taken into consideration when distributing these refugees? Is it done, for instance, according to population density, geography, job and housing availability or availability of welfare benefits?
  • What local officials are brought into the decision-making process and at what point?
  • How are the other “stakeholders” chosen in the receiving communities?
  • How are the financial and economic impacts of the refugees to taxpayer-funded budgets being measured in the various cities where they are sent?

Hiding behind ‘public-private partnerships’

As Gowdy discovered, the State Department dodged most of the questions that concerned Americans have been asking for years.

After Secretary of State John Kerry provided an initial response that Gowdy called vague and “wholly inadequate,” the State Department followed up by saying any further information would have to come from the resettlement agency. In the case of Spartanburg, that would be World Relief, an evangelical agency that contracts with the government on resettlement work. Because it is a private agency, World Relief considers its reports on individual cities to be “proprietary information.” The public is not invited to the quarterly meetings in the receiving communities nor, typically, is the local media.

Approximately 70 percent of World Relief’s revenues last year came from government grants totaling $41.2 million, according to its IRS returns. It also receives funding from foundations such as the Vanguard Charitable Foundation, Mustard Seed Foundation, Soros Fund Charitable Foundation, Pfizer Foundation and Global Impact.

Besides World Relief, the other eight resettlement agencies that contract with the government are the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Church World Service, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the International Rescue Committee, Episcopal Migration Ministries, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and the Ethiopian Community Development Council. These nine agencies present themselves to local communities as “charities.”

But if they are truly doing the Lord’s work, why are their budgets funded so heavily by the government, and why have they agreed to carry out their work without sharing the gospel message to their refugee clients, many activists have asked.

The nine contractors share the wealth with more than 350 subcontractors. For instance, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops subcontracts with Catholic Charities, while Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service subcontracts with Lutheran Social Services and Church World Service contracts with affiliates of the National Council of Churches.

Many of the agencies and their myriad subcontractors also accept donations from leftist foundations tied to George Soros, Bill Gates, the Tides Foundation, Walmart, Target, the Komen Foundation, the United Way and many others.

Big money flows into resettlement business

According to research in a new book by James Simpson, an independent investigative journalist, the Lutheran resettlement efforts, which have been very active in bringing Somali refugees into Minnesota among other places, are financed 92 percent by the government. This Lutheran “charity” also receives donations from George Soros’ Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, Global Impact, Fidelity Investments, Bank of America and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Simpson sums up the program in his book, “The Red-Green Axis: Refugees, Immigration and the Agenda to Erase America.” He writes:

“Hatched by the U.N. and the American Left, the resettlement agenda is dedicated to erasing our culture, traditions and laws, and creating a compliant, welfare-dependent multicultural society with no understanding of America’s constitutional framework and no interest in assimilation. The ultimate target is a voting base large enough for the Left’s long-sought ‘permanent progressive majority.’

“Most people would be shocked to know that America currently takes more refugees from the world’s ghettos than all other refugee resettlement countries in the world combined. The State Department brags about it. Furthermore, most of those refugees are referred to the United States by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The refugees (and the illegal aliens flooding the southern border from Central America) are then ‘resettled’ by taxpayer funded ‘Voluntary Agencies’ or VOLAGs as they are called.”The Lower you go

And the CEOs of these resettlement agencies get paid handsomely. According to Simpson’s research, they bring in six-figure salaries of between $300,000 and $500,000 per year. Of the nine main resettlement agencies, six are faith-based or as Simpson says, “nominally religious,” because they operate with mainly government cash and they are forbidden by their government contracts from evangelizing their clients, many of whom are Muslim. “All are in it for the money and top staff make high six figures,” Simpson writes. “Together the VOLAGs are paid close to $1 billion in taxpayer dollars to resettle refugees. Two more organizations (including Baptist Family and Children Services) who settle most of the unaccompanied alien children (UAC) brought the total to over $1.3 billion last year.”

Forty-nine of the 50 states, with Wyoming being the lone exception, have a refugee resettlement program in place with the federal government. In most states the governor appoints a refugee resettlement coordinator to handle the shipments of refugees, but in 12 states the contractors handle the refugees with little or no input from the governor’s office.


freedom combo 2

Congressman seeks to unlock secret refugee program


waving flagPosted By Leo Hohmann On 05/04/2015

Article reblogged from WND: http://www.wnd.com

URL to article: http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/congressman-seeks-to-unlock-secret-refugee-program/

The Syrian civil war has caused 3.5 million refugees, with more than 350,000 being targeted by the United Nations for resettlement outside the region.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has received a response to his letter demanding answers from Secretary of State John Kerry about the planned resettlement of dozens of foreign refugees in his state. But the answers failed to shed much light on the secrecy that surrounds the refugee program. The process by which cities and towns across the U.S. are selected to receive displaced persons from United Nations refugee camps remains largely a mystery.

As Gowdy discovered, the city of Spartanburg, South Carolina, was approved for an infusion of 60 refugees, mostly from Syria and Africa, by its own state government headed by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley.

And if the program plays out in Spartanburg as it has in communities in Minnesota, California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and other states, then the 60 refugees will blossom into hundreds and eventually thousands every year. Minnesota, for example, is now receiving more than 2,000 Muslim refugees annually, mostly from Somalia. Texas receives more than 7,000 per year, and California more than 6,000, directly from the Third World.and why

Here are the top 10 states for refugee resettlement based on fiscal 2014 figures from the State Department website:

Texas, 7,2011

California, 6,110

New York, 4,079

Michigan, 4,000

Florida, 3,519

Arizona, 2,963

Ohio, 2,812

Pennsylvania, 2,743

Georgia, 2,693

Illinois, 2,578

The United Nations and nine private resettlement agencies are pressuring the United States to accept at least 65,000 refugees from Syria by the end of President Obama’s term in office.muslim-obama

Of the 815 Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S. so far, 749, or 92 percent, have been Muslim, according to State Department data. Only 43 Syrians allowed into the U.S. have been Christians, even though the turmoil in Syria and Iraq has driven thousands of Christians from their homes under threat of death by ISIS.

The U.S. takes in more refugees than any other country, about 70,000 per year, and has absorbed 3 million since 1975. But since the early 1990s, the trend has been to accept more from Muslim countries.Picture8

Some residents of Spartanburg are upset and asking questions, not only about the security risks associated with importing refugees from a Middle East war zone but also about the numbers of refugees that will eventually end up in their county and how much it will cost to absorb them into schools, housing and health-care facilities.

Almost all refugees coming into the U.S. from war-torn countries are hand-selected by the United Nations.Picture10

The plan to send refugees from Syria and Africa to Spartanburg first surfaced in March when a story appeared in a local newspaper.

Gowdy pressed Kerry’s State Department for more information in an April 13 letter.

Kerry’s response on May 1 indicated the process of picking Spartanburg as the country’s newest refugee haven actually began back in April 2013, when World Relief, one of nine private agencies that contract with the government to provide resettlement services, was contacted by local faith groups in Spartanburg. Gowdy’s own office was notified of the plans in August 2014.

Gowdy was not happy with Kerry’s response and fired off another letter May 4 to the secretary of state.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

“To begin, it is important to clarify and correct the timeline of events for the proposal. In your response you stated there were two community meetings, one in August 2014 and one in January 2015,” Gowdy wrote to Kerry. “You also stated the proposal was submitted in July 2014 and approved in November 2014. Is this correct? If so, does this mean the resettlement agency had only one community meeting, which occurred after the proposal was submitted and before the State Department’s approval?”

At the “community meetings” no media was invited and the public was not notified, WND has learned.Picture7

Gowdy said he sent his initial letter to the State Department on April 13 because he could not answer questions asked of him by constituents regarding plans for refugees in Spartanburg.

“We have provided State’s response so the public can read it. But some of the answers are inadequate and fail to provide specificity on who was consulted at the city and county level, within the public school system, and law enforcement, and if they provided input,” Gowdy said in a statement.

Gowdy is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration and border security, which has oversight responsibility for the refugee program. He sent a staff member, Josh Dix, to the secret meeting in August but Dix did not raise any concerns about the resettlement plans, according to Kerry’s response to Gowdy’s letter. Gowdy’s press secretary denied WND’s request for an interview with the congressman Monday and would not answer any questions.

Baptists working to resettle refugees in S.C.

World Relief, a nonprofit evangelical organization that works to resettle refugees nationwide, opened an office earlier this year in Spartanburg. A group of 40 churches and other faith-based groups has signed on to help World Relief resettle the refugees, according to Kerry’s letter to Gowdy. One of the lead agencies working with World Relief is the Spartanburg County Baptist Network. But the plan to place refugees in Spartanburg has been brewing for more than a year, long before any local residents caught wind of it.

Kerry’s letter provides a rare window into how a small group of people in the federal government, local church groups, a federal contractor and a Governor’s state refugee coordinator conspire to plant “seedlings” of refugees into communities across the U.S.Tyranney Alert

These refugees are seen by the White House and its network of pro-immigration and refugee partners – groups like National Council for La Raza, Welcoming America, the National Partnership for New Americans and the Chamber of Commerce – as potential “new Americans.” The refugees are set up with a full plate of government benefits, placed on a fast track to citizenship and full voting rights.Picture11

The White House is also pushing to have the thousands of Central Americans who crossed the southern border last year afforded asylum status, which qualifies them for various welfare benefits and a direct track toward citizenship.

So while Spartanburg residents found out about the plan for their town in March and April, others in key leadership positions have known about it for more than a year. No public hearings have been held before the city council or local school board. Gowdy is still trying to find out exactly who in Spartanburg was made privy to the plans and who provided input.

“The initial interest in resettling refugees in Spartanburg emerged in April 2013 when World Relief was approached by Spartanburg County Baptist Network,” Kerry’s letter states. “The group, along with 25 other individuals and church organizations, expressed their support for a World Relief resettlement program in their city.”Liberalism a mental disorder 2

Kerry said the State Department requires the national resettlement agency, in this case World Relief, to “thoroughly assess the local resettlement capacity and environment of any new proposed resettlement sites before determining whether to proceed with resettling refugees in that location.” The staffer Gowdy had present at the meeting in August did not raise any concerns about the program, according to Kerry’s letter.

Two community meetings (August 2014 and January 2015) were convened to discuss refugee resettlement in the area,” Kerry wrote to Gowdy. “The August meeting, convened by World Relief, was attended by 54 members of the community including Josh Dix from your office, members of local churches, the Immigration Forum, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau for Spartanburg. Mr. Dix did not offer any concerns during the meeting or in follow-up afterward.”Picture15

George Soros involved

The National Immigration Forum, which was present at the meeting, receives funding from billionaire George Soros. It is the driving force behind the so-called “Evangelical Immigration Table,” or EIT. Breitbart called it “a front group for players on the institutional left including billionaire George Soros and the Ford Foundation.”

The Immigration Forum and EIT were involved in an advertising campaign promoting the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill in 2013, a bill seen by many right-leaning lawmakers as “amnesty.” One of the Gang of Eight members was Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Kerry said in his response to Gowdy that Graham was also invited to attend the August meeting on refugees but no one from his staff showed up.

The South Carolina state refugee coordinator, who works for Gov. Nikki Haley, gave her approval in November for the resettlement program to move forward. Christina Jeffrey, a political science instructor at Wofford College in Spartanburg and former historian for the U.S. House of Representatives, said Kerry’s response shows the refugee program is ingrained not only in the federal bureaucracy but in state governments as well.

“It’s another grant program; it isn’t just the feds cramming this down our throats. It’s government corruption at all levels,” she said, “with a lot of money at stake flowing to these contractors.”squeeze into mold

World Relief, as the main contractor in Spartanburg, will be awarded a grant from the State Department of $1,975 for every refugee it resettles. Federal rules require $1,125 of that to be used in providing services directly to the refugee such as cash stipends, rents for housing or other material needs during the first 30 to 90 days of the refugee’s arrival. The remaining $850 may be used for staffing and administrative costs.

Nearly 70 percent of World Relief’s budget is covered by government grants. Others among the nine contractors, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, have upward of 90 percent of their refugee work covered by government grants.

Seeking a moratorium on refugees

Jeffrey said she’s happy that Gowdy has taken an interest in the program, but she believes his responsibility goes beyond fact finding. “I can do my own information gathering. I’m not looking to Trey Gowdy for that. I’m looking for him to do his job and provide oversight on whether this is a good use of taxpayers’ money,” Jeffrey told WND.

The refugee program costs the federal government about $1 billion a year, and that does not include the welfare benefits that many refugees receive. The Congressional Research Office recently put out a study that showed 74.2 percent of refugees receive food stamps.

“Rather than just gathering information on the Spartanburg resettlement, how about let’s put the whole program on hold until Congress has a chance to investigate it?” Jeffrey said.

Jeffrey and others have also voiced concerns about national security. Dozens of people from Muslim countries have come to America as refugees only to be charged with providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations, according to FBI reports. At least another 48 cases have been confirmed of Muslim immigrants leaving the U.S. to fight for ISIS in Syria and al-Shabab in Somalia.

The refugee program has flown under the radar for more than 30 years, but controversy flared in February when a top FBI counter-terrorism official, Michael Steinbach, testified before the House Homeland Security committee and said the U.S. has no way to vet the Syrian refugees for possible connections to ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

As WND reported, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, sent a letter to the White House Jan. 28 citing “serious national security concerns” about the Syrian refugee program and imploring Obama to not let it become a “back door for jihadists.”

Transforming cities, one at a time

muslim-obamaJeffrey believes the Obama administration is using the refugee program, along with its broader immigration policies, for political purposes.

“Their intention is to identify, recruit, transport, whatever you have to do to get 9 million ‘new Americans’ naturalized as citizens and to the polls in November 2016 and beyond,” she said. “I’ve never seen a more blatant ballot-stuffing program in my life.”

Gowdy said in the statement on his website that Kerry’s suggestion that Gowdy had a supportive role in the assignment of refugees to Spartanburg was “patently false.”

“[T]o correct the record, the State Department’s characterization that our office was ‘critical in the process’ of establishing the refugee resettlement is patently false. Our office sent one staff member to one meeting almost one year ago, as State’s own answers to our questions indicate,” the statement said. “We were provided no follow up information on the proposal or implementation of the plan, nor did we at any point provide approval of the plan. The South Carolina Department of Social Services, not a Member of Congress, is responsible for approving proposals of this type.

“Finally, government transparency and accountability to the public is paramount. While our office does not have a role under the law in the implementation of such a plan, we are interested in providing the community with answers. To that end, we will be following up with the State Department with additional questions regarding local input.”

Gowdy posted the full State Department’s response online.

The response reads in part that Spartanburg would play “an integral role in ensuring that former refugees find a community which they can call home and which they in turn can enrich through their contributions. Key stakeholders such as the local churches in Spartanburg, which provided the impetus to establish this site, are a wonderful example of the support and spirit of the community.”Bull

According to Jason Lee, director of World Relief Spartanburg, a letter signed by about 40 ministry leaders who support resettling refugees here was hand delivered to Gowdy’s district office in Greenville.

“We felt like we were able to enlighten his staff when we met on April 21st,” Lee told the Herald-Journal of Spartanburg.

“You can be a Bible-believing Christian and have one perspective. But as an elected official, you have an obligation to the people who you work for who have legitimate questions about how things will be paid for. They have legitimate questions about access to health care, security questions, educational opportunity questions,” Gowdy told the newspaper.

He said the state approves the resettlement plan, and the U.S. State Department interacts with the contractor agencies.

“Congress has no role whatsoever, but as the member of Congress, it is my job to get answers to questions,” Gowdy told the Herald-Journal.

Jeffrey hopes Gowdy will see his role as providing more than just information, but actual oversight.

“Alexander Hamilton once said that if ever two branches of government should gang up against the American people, the Republic is over,” she said.

The full text of Gowdy’s May 4 follow-up letter to Kerry is reprinted below in full:

Congressman Gowdy | May 4, 2015

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry,

Thank you for your response to my April 13, 2015, letter. This issue continues to be important to my constituents, and as their representative in Congress, it remains my job to get complete answers to the legitimate questions raised.

Toward that end, parts of your Agency’s response lacked sufficient specificity. In an ongoing effort to better understand the process and public impact of the proposed resettlement of refugees in Spartanburg pursuant to the resettlement agency’s proposal, several follow-up questions are listed below. I appreciate your prompt, substantive, and specific responses.

To begin, it is important to clarify and correct the timeline of events for the proposal. In your response you stated there were two community meetings, one in August 2014 and one in January 2015. You also stated the proposal was submitted in July 2014 and approved in November 2014. Is this correct? If so, does this mean the resettlement agency had only one community meeting, which occurred after the proposal was submitted and before the State Department’s approval?

1) (a) Who, with specificity, were the “25 other individuals and church representatives”who “expressed their support for the resettlement program in Spartanburg”?

(b) Who specifically was consulted as part of the community and site assessment referenced in the timeline included in the proposal. Please include names and dates of the consultations where possible.

(c) Was anyone directly consulted in the South Carolina Governor’s office other than Dorothy Addison, the State Refugee Coordinator? Who did Ms. Addison talk with as part of the community assessment in order to validate the resettlement agency’s assessment of the community’s ability to support the influx of refugees?

2) After the August 2014 meeting, who provided feedback on the proposal? Was this feedback included in the proposal although it had already been submitted? Which of South Carolina’s United States Senators was contacted and did either provide feedback? Was Congressman Mick Mulvaney, whose district includes a portion of Spartanburg County, consulted?

3) Who were the “care providers” consulted as part of the community assessment? Please provide names and dates of consultations where possible.

4) Who were the local “public school representatives” consulted as part of the community assessment? Please provide names and dates of consultations where possible.

5) With whom did the resettlement agency meet to identify potential housing locations for the refugees? Please provide names and dates of consultations where possible.

6) (a) Is the per capita grant funding from the Department of State guaranteed for as long as there are refugees present?

(b) What happens if the local resettlement agency, World Relief in this case, can no longer offer support services for the resettled refugees? Will the Department of State relocate the refugees? How much funding must the resettlement agency provide each year?

7) According to your response, there are nine refugees who may start arriving in Spartanburg in the next few months. What is the country of origin of each of these nine refugees?

8) (a) What advanced notification will be provided to the community after the “annual proposal process is conducted by PRM” to determine how many additional refugees will be resettled in the Spartanburg area in the coming years?

(b) Must the State Refugee Coordinator sign off on any additional resettlement of refugees?

(c) What individuals will be consulted for the annual proposal?

(d) Who are the stakeholders that will be included in the ongoing community consultations? Please provide names where possible.

9) (a) Who generally will be part of the “Good Neighbor Teams”?

(b) Who will oversee the refugees’ access to public welfare benefits and/or assist them in job searches?

(c) Will this be solely World Relief’s role or will the South Carolina Department of Social Services play a role?

10) (a) What school district representatives did the resettlement agency consult with regarding the effect of minor refugees on Spartanburg’s seven (7) school systems?

(b) Were the discussions with school principals or district superintendents?

(c) Did representatives of the school districts sign off on the resettlement? If so, please provide the names of the individuals.

(d) Precisely who in the Spartanburg school systems told World Relief there is “capacity for more students” in the system’s already existing English immersion programs?

11) For what crimes, if any, can an individual be convicted and still be approved for U.S. refugee status? Do any of the nine refugees you indicated are currently slated for Spartanburg resettlement (or any who have subsequently been selected for resettlement) have such convictions?

12) How exactly are background checks performed on individuals seeking refugee resettlement in the United States? How can the background of an individual who is outside his country of origin be thoroughly investigated? Does the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) have access to background check procedures in the countries of origin of each of the individuals proposed to be resettled in Spartanburg?

13) (a) How do the national resettlement agencies “assess the capacity and environment” to determine the number of refugees a city can resettle? How is a “strong refugee program” quantified?

(b) Who must be included in the community consultation plan? Who is typically consulted in other communities?

(c) Please provide any and all guidance provided to resettlement agencies by USRAP regarding the process that must be undertaken to get to the point of submitting a resettlement proposal, the ongoing process until the time of approval, and how a resettlement proposal should be conducted.

(d) Are local law enforcement officials part of the initial consultation and do they remain so once the resettled refugees are in the community? What, if any, efforts exist to track the refugees’ interactions with local law enforcement officials?

14) How do you ensure long-term accountability on the part of any resettlement agency so the taxpayer is not ultimately left paying for the costs of refugee resettlement proposal?

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter. This issue remains important to my constituents, and I will continue to work with you to get answers to all their questions.

Sincerely,

Trey Gowdy

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