Yesterday it was St. Cloud, MN and today it is Rutland, VT!
Getting the monkey off their backs!
Mayors and Councils across America, when confronted by citizens with questions and concerns about the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program, brush off citizens with the usual garbage line—it is a federal program and they have no role in it.
Yes, they do! The Refugee Act of 1980 did give local governments a role.
And, repeatedly the State Department has said they don’t send refugees to places where they are not wanted. Mayors and councils could go on record with their opinions, but at minimum they should be attending QUARTERLY STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS. And, they should be involved in preparing the annual R & P ABSTRACT (see post yesterday).
Here we have news from Rutland, VT where the previous mayor was ousted by voters for working secretly with a refugee contractor and the new mayor depends on getting his news from a state bureaucrat. Does he attend their meetings? I bet he is not even aware of the plan the contractor in Vermont sent to the US State Department not too long ago, let alone have seen it.
Shame on any mayors who are not intimately involved in preparing the plans submitted to the State Department each year for the city or town he/she is responsible for!
From the Vermont Digger
RUTLAND – Rutland has recently received word that the number of refugees an agency plans to resettle in the city in this fiscal year has been reduced from 100 to 75.
Rutland Mayor David Allaire said Thursday that litigation and court action nationally associated with the president’s immigration orders raises uncertainty over just how many refugees will actually be resettled in the city this year.
In the prior fiscal year, three families, totaling 14 refugees, resettled in Rutland. The plan had called for up to 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees to resettle in the city by Sept. 30, about a year after the city had been designated a resettlement site by the U.S. Department of State.
Why weren’t the mayor and aldermen in on the planning process? Do they even have a copy of the final R & P Abstract? Denise should give it to them! Or, do they have it and aren’t sharing it with the public. Either way it is not good!
Denise Lamoureux, state refugee coordinator, recently sent an email Monday to leaders of community organizations in Rutland discussing the change.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration “has approved a preliminary revised plan with an objective of 75 rather than 100 refugees for Rutland for federal fiscal year 2018 (10/1/17 to 9/30/18),” the email stated.
The issue of refugee resettlement had been a hot-button topic in Rutland during the mayoral election in March that saw Allaire win the job over longtime incumbent Christopher Louras.
The former mayor had been a strong supporter of the refugee resettlement program, while Allaire, then a veteran member of the city’s Board of Aldermen, had opposed it, citing a lack of transparency in the process. [Where is the transparency now?—ed]
For the past several months there has been little, if any, debate or discussion about refugee resettlement at city meetings.
“My feeling about this right along has been if indeed there are more families that are coming into Rutland, refugee resettlement families, I would welcome them as I would anyone else,” Allaire said Thursday. “This is a federal program, the Rutland government has no control over the numbers or anything else.”
See my Rutland archive, here. The major federal contractor operating in Vermont is USCRI. You will see a lot about them when you visit previous Rutland posts. Of all the arrogant contractors, they are near the top of my list!
And, don’t miss: Swamp not being drained so local citizen action required!