The Refugee Racket

Thomas Jackson, American Renaissance, October 25, 2013

Another sorry tale of betrayal.

“Refugee Racket,” The Social Contract, Summer 2013, free of charge on Internet, hard copies can be ordered here.

There are many ways for a foreigner to get into the United States, and one of the most corrupt ways of doing it legally is to be admitted as a “refugee.” Since 1975, more than 3 million refugees have been resettled in the United States, and one of the best introductions to how they got here is in the latest issue of The Social Contract, a quarterly magazine published in Petoskey, Michigan. This issue, titled “The Refugee Racket,” is a 60-page compilation of articles that expose a little-known web of scams.

America first started admitting displaced persons in 1948 after the Second World War. Some of them actually met the State Department’s definition of a refugee: a person who is “in imminent danger of loss of life and for whom there appears to be no alternative to resettlement in the United States.” Virtually all refugees were Europeans, and once they were here they had to make it on their own. If there was a sponsoring agency it paid for the costs of resettlement.

America continued to accept refugees during the Cold War, but after the Vietnam War the system changed completely. The Refugee Act, passed in 1980, did two important things: It redefined a refuge as “a person who is unwilling or unable to return to his country . . . because of persecution or a well founded fear of persecution . . . ,” and made tax money available for resettlement.

Anyone who has left his own country and doesn’t want to go home is therefore a potential refugee. Until the 1990s, the United States decided whom we should let in, but now a UN agency called the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) chooses about 95 percent of our refugees. The President and Congress still decide how many will come—usually 60,000 to 80,000 a year—but we have farmed out the selection process to people who are not even Americans.

We are very cozy with UNHCR, giving the agency $700 million a year—far more than they get from any other country—and we take about 75 percent of everyone they resettle. In fact, the United States accepts far more refugees than every other country combined, and accepts more on a per capita basis than all but two countries: Australia and Canada. Needless to say, the top ten most generous receiving countries are all white, at least for the time being.


Most Americans would be surprised to learn who UNHCR sends us. As the table shows, the top two sources of refugees in fiscal 2012 were Bhutan and Burma (which now calls itself Myanmar). Bhutan? These people were actually ethnic Nepalese who had moved, uninvited, into Bhutan, which kicked them out. They were living in refugee camps in what is actually their own country—Nepal—but the Nepalese didn’t want them either, so UNHCR decided we needed them. As one of the authors in “Refugee Racket” notes:

The United States has become the dumping ground for people inconveniently located in places where majority populations don’t want them, such as Nepalis in Bhutan, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and Somalis in Kenya.

The “Somalis,” whom this author mentions, are not really Somali. They are the “Somali Bantu,” who got a certain amount of incredulous press when UNHCR started sending them to us in 2003. They were originally from what is now Tanzania and Mozambique, but were captured in the 19th century by slave traders who sold them to Somalis. They are now nominally free, but Somalis still consider them subhuman. They were moldering in Kenyan refugee camps when UN bureaucrats decided they would make good Americans.

Many had never seen an electric switch or indoor plumbing, so they had a bit of adjusting to do. Most were illiterate in their own language, spoke no English, and had no profession, so their career prospects were dim. We now have 13,000 of them, and since they like to have babies, we can look forward to many more.

The other big change that came with the 1980 law was an instant refugee resettlement industry; groups materialized in order to take the government money that was suddenly available. Known as “volunteer agencies” or Volags, most are church related, and have names such as Church World Service, Episcopal Migration Ministries, and Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. They get $1,875 in government money per head of refugee they manage to put somewhere in the country. They spend $1,100 on the refugee and keep $750 for themselves, so Volags like a high-volume business. All told, they get about $40 million a year of your and my money, some of which they use to lobby Congress to keep the flow going. The largest Volags have essentially no other source of income.

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) was set up to get Russian Jews out of the Soviet Union back when there was no public money in it. All the Jews who want to leave have left, so the HIAS shifted into a new specialty of bringing Sudanese, Kenyans, and Ugandans to America. Volags pick up their clients from UNHCR, so the entire merry-go-round is paid for by tax money.

UNHCR is supposed to choose only the worthiest sufferers for resettlement in America, but it is hardly immune to bribery. Also, most of its charges come from countries in which there is no such thing as a background check, and UNHCR may not even know their real names. That means there is no way to weed out jihadis, criminals, and psychopaths. UNHCR no longer even pretends to test for AIDS or tuberculosis, so we are guaranteed a colorful crew.

Compared to other immigrants, refugees go first class. As soon as they touch down, they are eligible for every handout available to US citizens. The Volag that collared them finds them a place to stay and shows them how to get welfare, but after a couple of months its responsibility is over, and it heads back to UNHCR for another batch it can resettle at $1,875 each. The local community—which may never have been consulted before Bhutanese or Bantu jackpot-winners were landed on them—must feed, clothe, house, and try to educate these Americans-to-be.

In 2009, a survey of refugees by the federal government found that 70 percent were on food stamps, 58 percent on Medicaid (only 9 percent had medical insurance through an employer), 38 percent were getting cash assistance, and 32 percent were in public housing. No doubt, some were getting all these things. Dependency rates continue to rise.

Most Volags claim that 65 percent or more of their charges are “self sufficient” after four months, but this is a joke. For Volags, “self sufficient” includes everything refugees can get their hands on, and they are “self sufficient” if they can live on the welfare, food stamps, public housing, etc. they are getting. They are not considered “self sufficient” only if they still need money after their handouts (and earnings, if they actually have a job). The official annual outlay on resettlement is said to be about $1 billion, but that is just the direct costs. If you include public assistance, it comes to over $10 billion.

Needless to say, a whole sub industry of “service providers” has grown up around clumps of refugees. As one author in “The Refugee Racket” notes:

These “service providers” as well as many of the contractor affiliates are now run by former refugees themselves. In fact these second- and third-tier service providers are more accurately described as exclusive ethnic clubs with close ties to their former country.

Naturally, they help make sure that more people like themselves keep coming.

Refugees have another advantage over other legal immigrants. For their first two years in the US, they can bring in family members, who do not even count against the annual refugee quota. Refugees have big families, sometimes suspiciously so. DNA tests showed that up to 95 percent of the kinfolk Somalis were bringing in were not related to them at all.

A few smaller American communities refuse to be dumping grounds. They got wind that a band of illiterates was headed their way and made such a stink that the State Department told the Volag to peddle their product somewhere else. Most of the time, Volags target larger cities that cannot claim they can’t take in a few more waifs, but even easy touches can be pushed too far. Volags have therefore scattered largess in every state (except, oddly, Wyoming), and Arizona gets the most refugees per capita.

Minneapolis has been very long-suffering. By the end of 2010, it had 40 percent of the 84,000 Somalis that have been resettled in America. However, they became the nucleus of a population estimated at 125,000 if all legals and illegals are included. Somalis specialize in credit card fraud, cell phone robbery, gun-store burglaries, and prostitution of young girls. In May 2013, young Somalis started attacking people on a Minneapolis jogging trail. They didn’t even take anything; the point was to humiliate whites.

The Somali clan system thwarts American justice. If a Somali of one clan kills someone in another clan they work out a blood-money payment–often to the mother clan back in Somalia. American prosecutors can find no one to testify and known killers walk free.

More than 20 Minnesota Somalis have gone home to fight in al-Shabab terror squads, and at least one “American” has blown himself up in a suicide attack. Not even the grimmest liberals can claim Somalis have been a blessing to Minneapolis. The local blacks hate them.

The other well-known concentration of Somalis is in Maine. Enterprising Somalis went scouting for the most generous benefits, and found them in the unsuspecting town of Lewiston. The travails of this decaying, once-industrial city of 35,000 have been well reported.

Other notable refugees are the Tsarnaev family, which came in 2002 from Dagestan. They went back for a visit just a few years later, which shows how persecuted they were. The Russians told us Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a Muslim madman, but we paid no attention. Tamerlan and his brother Dzhokar went on to blow people up during the 2013 Boston Marathon.


Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev


There is a separate category of near-refugees called “asylum seekers.” They first come to the United States and then make a claim of a “well founded fear of persecution.”  Once they are on American soil, “persecution” is often the first word out of their mouths. That means they cannot be shoved back across the border.

There is no annual limit on the number of asylum seekers, and no limit to their creativity. Lately, the push has been to define entire classes of people as subject to persecution, so as to make them eligible for asylum whether they themselves ever suffered anything. For example, there are African countries in which homosexuality is a crime, so the plan is to make every homosexual in those places automatically eligible. A Congolese illegal immigrant who makes a pass at a customs agent would be on his way to a green card.

Many African countries also mutilate women’s genitals, so any woman from such a country could be a candidate. Some people claim that anyone trying to escape China’s one-child policy has a “well founded fear of persecution” and should therefore get the red carpet. Illegal immigrants have actually tried all these tricks at the border, and been released into the United States while an immigration judge wrestles with the issue.

In the summer of 2013, a group of young Mexican illegals who had been deported to Mexico walked back into the country claiming they had a “well founded fear of persecution” back in Mexico because they had lived in the United States. The “DREAM 9” as this group of activists called themselves , persuaded a judge to mull this over, and were loosed back into the US. The latest trick is for Mexicans to show up claiming that drug cartels—which certainly do barbaric things—are reason enough to claim asylum.

One famous asylum-seeker is Nafissatou Diallo, the Guinean women who accused former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her at a Manhattan hotel. Her case fell apart when prosecutors discovered what an experienced liar she is. She lied all over her asylum application too, but she is still in the US, having pocketed close to a million dollars after her lawyers took their cut from a settlement she got this year from Mr. Strauss-Kahn in a civil suit.

Sometimes people get to stay in America because nature persecuted them. They get something called Temporary Protected Status, which means their country is such a mess it would be cruel to send them home. In this case, the word “temporary” appears to have no meaning. For example, Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras in 1998 and killed an estimated 15,000 people. We decided Hondurans, no matter how illegal, could not be sent back to a wrecked country, so they got to stay. Fifteen years later, they still enjoy “temporary” protected status.

El Salvador had a nasty earthquake in 2001. As a result, one million Salvadorans—20 percent of the country’s population—are “temporarily” taking shelter in America. The El Salvador government does not want those people back. Every year, they send home $4 billion, or about 18 percent of the country’s GDP.

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti was a stroke of good luck for all Haitians here illegally. Sixty thousand are now “temporarily” sheltering in our bosom.

Not even accounting for acts of nature, Wayne Lutton, editor of The Social Contract, points out that depending on how you define persecution, about 4 billion people could be eligible for asylum. Freedom House says 34 percent of the population of the world is “not free,” and another 23 percent are only “partially free.”

Americans would be furious if they knew how the refugee and asylum systems worked. The Social Contract has done a great service by shining light into the dark corners of a rotten system that should be abolished.

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Thomas Jackson
Thomas Jackson lives in Virginia and has been writing for American Renaissance for more than 20 years.
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