Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society praises federal agencies for “responding to anti-refugee resettlement backlash”
The article states, in part:
Pockets of Resistance!
The most interesting/amusing part, at least to us at RRW, is a segment of the testimony praising the State Department (PRM) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) for “responding” to the “anti-refugee resettlement backlash”
(I assume by responding they mean that those federal agencies shoveled more of your $$$ to contractors to write reports and hire the likes of ‘Welcoming America’ to help community organizers get your minds right about the growing crush of refugees resettled to your towns and cities).
Here is what they say:
They thank PRM and ORR for “responding to the anti-refugee resettlement backlash that has emerged to threaten the long-term viability of the US Refugee Admissions Program…”
Cool! They have written a whole report about “pockets of resistance.”
It’s only natural that native people protest when they’re being replaced by outsiders – especially if those outsiders get preferential treatment by government, and if those outsiders tend to rape and murder at much higher rates than the native population. While this is not always the case, it certainly is true with Latin American migrants to the U.S. and Muslim migrants to Sweden (for example). Governments, the media and organizations such as HIAS always paint a biased picture of refugee resettlement; they’d have us believe that the host population suffers no ill effects whatsoever, and that the refugees (in the words of HIAS):
can be tremendous assets to their neighborhoods and societies, boosting local economies, and excelling at entrepreneurship. This is especially true in the U.S., where starting over offers not just safety but promise and opportunity.
HIAS has assets of almost 50 million dollars. According to its website, 88% of its donations go toward programs – and yet it appears that a few people are making a lot of money from their employment at HIAS. According to their most recent 990 form, HIAS only has 76 employees – and yet their total expenditures for salaries and other compensation is over $11 million. In other words, the average annual income, for employees of HIAS, is $144,737!
Browsing their website, one gets the impression that this organization does a lot of good in the world. I have little doubt that this is so. HIAS has been around a long time and many of their activities involve helping people where they are, without resettling them. They’ve been at it for about 130 years. It’s likely that I owe my very existence to them; they were active around the turn of the 20th century, when my own grandparents were fleeing the pogroms in Russia. For all I know, they might have helped my family come to the U.S.
Regarding HIAS’ mission and values, we read:
Guided by our Jewish values and history, we bring more than 130 years of expertise to our work with refugees…
Impassioned by our mission, we bring the lessons of HIAS’ history and Jewish ethics and experience to our commitment to serve refugees and other displaced persons of concern around the world…
If HIAS owes its mission, and values, to Jewish tradition, then we would expect it to do everything in its power to protect the Jewish people. Yet HIAS is in favor of resettling Africans in Israel. Under the heading “HIAS in Israel” (which features a black man wearing an “I Love Tel Aviv” tshirt), we read:
HIAS is using our expertise to help the country develop a humane admission system for refugees and asylum seekers that adheres to international legal standards and protects the security of the state. According to UNHCR, there are 55,000 refugees in Israel: roughly 36,000 from Eritrea, 15,000 from Sudan, and 4,000 from other African countries. HIAS works closely with both the Israeli government and UNHCR in their efforts to protect these refugees and review their claims of asylum. HIAS also provides ongoing training to personnel from the Israeli Ministry of the Interior to ensure that they can fully assume the responsibilities of Refugee Status Determination as laid out in international law.
Israel is a small country. Its leaders are right when the say that African migration poses an existential threat to the Jewish state. Surely, HIAS must realize this. One can only assume that, since it advocates for resettlement into America and Europe, it would be vulnerable to accusations of hypocrisy if it made an exception for Israel. Hence HIAS’ measured, and calculated, verbiage.
As with European countries, and the United States, HIAS fails to ask itself one simple question: At what point do our activities hurt host countries to the extent that the benefit to refugees is no longer justified? It should also ask itself if there is such a thing as too much immigration and, if so, where would we draw the line and say “no more!”
If there’s a backlash against resettlement activities, a responsible organization would ask itself why there is such a backlash. It would objectively investigate claims of increased crime, reduced ethnic cohesion among natives and lowered wages for entry level jobs.
But I suppose when you’re making $144,000 a year, such questions might be “inconvenient.”
On a positive Jewish note, today is Jonas Salk‘s birthday. Happy birthday Dr. Salk!