I’m reminded by this report on the San Diego refugee housing scandal at Inewsource.org.
The US State Department on some sporadic basis sends monitors out to refugee resettlement offices around the country to see if your local resettlement agency is compliant with guidelines for the care of refugees they have placed.
Years ago I spoke with Chris Coen who had a blog called ‘Friends of Refugees’ and he regularly submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department for those monitoring reports, then patiently waited YEARS to get responses. Lacking patience, I never sought them (little did I imagine that nearly 11 years later, I am still doing this!).
Now that we know that the Tillerson State Department is trying to clear its FOIA backlog, maybe some of you should try again to get the reports for contractors operating in your towns.
Clearly the reporters at Inewsource.org were able to obtain one for the International Rescue Committee in San Diego.
Here is the title and first paragraph of their latest report. The contractors are extremely vulnerable on the issue of how they care for refugees they are paid to care for (I’ve been hearing it for years), and it goes to the heart of the question about whether this is really a ‘humanitarian’ program or simply driven by money.
Federal monitors warned San Diego refugee nonprofit of problems with resettlement practices
Federal monitors raised concerns about a local refugee resettlement agency’s housing placement practices months before the organization’s employees committed additional violations, which KPBS uncovered and detailed in a series of reports last year.
Now see what a Monitoring report looks like. 2016 report for IRC in San Diego:
Here is the State Department’s FOIA guideline site.
If you need to know which resettlement agencies are working near you, go here for a directory. Pick offices that are within a hundred miles of your home.
This post is filed in my ‘What you can do’ category, see here.