Archive for the ‘Christian’ Category
Posted by Christopher Coen on October 24, 2012
A priest in Alberta exploited refugee workers in a scheme that involved charging high rates for the workers while paying the refugees low wages under threat of deportation. An article at Notes From the Underground has the details:
It appears that a certain…priest in Alberta whose business was involved in exploiting refugees and immigrant workers may soon be returning to active clerical duty.
Fr John Lipinski, a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Ecumenical Patriarchate, through his Alberta firm, Kihew, advertised and searched in Polish papers for immigrants and refugees for available electrical positions. The firm would then charge high rates while paying the immigrants low wages under threat of deportation…
Court was told Kihew made about one million dollars through the scheme.The court found that Kihew contracted out the foreign workers to several businesses at a high hourly rate of pay but the workers themselves made very little... Read more here
Posted in Canadian refugee resettlement pgrm, Christian, employment/jobs for refugees, human trafficking, scams | Tagged: Canada, exploitation, priest, refugees, resettlement, workers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on September 16, 2012
Catholic Charities in Allentown has decided to shutter its refugee resettlement program in Allentown, Penn. The agency is apparently claiming the reason is due to federal refugee resettlement cuts. The article points to “decline in federal funds”, although only citing a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations committee recommendation for 2013. Except, there hasn’t been any cut to ORR funds. Its true that in the previous two years the Republican dominated House made similar proposed cuts, but the Senate then voted those down. An article in The Morning Call examines Catholic Charities’ refugee resettlement program closing in Allentown:
…[There have been] 1,400 [refugees resettled] since Catholic Charities [in the Diocese of Allentown] started its refugee resettlement program in 1975 to aid Vietnamese fleeing their homeland after the fall of Saigon.
But the program has quietly ended. So has the agency’s venerable foster care program, which found stable families for hundreds of children displaced from their homes by domestic troubles.
In the first case, federal funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement — part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — has been a target of deep cuts in recent years and continues to face the knife. The appropriation recommended for 2013 by a House budget subcommittee is $658 million, about $112 million less than the current year.
The decline in federal funds has meant fewer clients for the public and private agencies that partner with the government in resettlement. Catholic Charities Executive Director Pam Russo said the agency placed 137 refugees in the 2010 fiscal year, 69 the following year and 43 through the middle of this year.
At that point, the agency decided to get out of the resettlement business… Read more here
Posted in Catholic, funding, ORR account, Pennsylvania | Tagged: Allentown, catholic charities, federal funding, Office of Refugee Resettlement, ORR, refugees, resettlement | 1 Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on August 29, 2012
According to a blurb in the Catholic Culture publication in 2011 The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB) received 92.5% of its budget from federal grants and contracts. Apparently the person writing the piece does not understand that the refugee travel loan fees also derive from the federal government, meaning that USSCB actually gets 97.7% of its budget from the federal government (refugee resettlement contractors may keep 25% of the travel loan money that the US government requires refugees to pay back for their travel to the US). The USSCB is the largest refugee resettlement contractor in the US and resettled 14,285 people–25% of refugees entering the United States in 2011. Strangely, the highly touted “private sector” contribution factor of the “public-private cooperation” management style of the resettlement program derives mainly from federal government oversight agencies such as the US Department of State. Catholic Culture has the numbers:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services has published its 2011 annual report.
According to the report, over 92.5% of Migration and Refugee Services’ $72.1 million budget came from federal grants and contracts, while under $25,000 came from private donations.
Nearly 80% of expenses were allotted to diocesan programs and direct assistance to refugees and other clients. In 2011, Migration and Refugee Services resettled 14,285 people–25% of refugees entering the United States… Read more here
source: Migration and Refugee Services: 2011 annual report (USCCB)
Posted in Catholic, faith-based, funding, public/private partnership, State Department, Travel Loan Program, USCCB | Tagged: federal contracts, federal grants, Migration and Refugee Services, refugees, resettlement, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB | 2 Comments »
Posted by Christopher Coen on August 26, 2012
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada’s refugee medical screenings do not appear to conform to federal standards by having community health nurses conduct the screenings. ORR guidelines state that the refugee medical “screenings should be performed by a qualified licensed health care professional.” ORR requires either a physician, a physician’s assistant, or a nurse practitioner. An a article at the Nevada Policy Research Institute examines the issue:
LAS VEGAS — Refugees from around the world come to Southern Nevada, often from countries with diseases not commonly seen in the native U.S.-born population.
How sound is the medical screening refugees receive? Are they getting adequate medical care?…
Because the refugees often come “from regions of the world with high rates of certain diseases,” notes the federal agency, “refugees face special health challenges.” They thus must first undergo medical screening overseas to ensure they are medically eligible for the U.S. Refugee Program. Then, after arriving in the U.S., they are directed to undergo more in-depth medical examination.
One purpose of the U.S.-based screening, says ORR, is to protect the public health of U.S. citizens. A second purpose is to “provide refugees with a level of health and well-being required for and supportive of successful resettlement in the U.S.”
Since 1994, ORR’s partner in Nevada for refugee services has been Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada (CCSN). For fiscal year 2010-11, the nonprofit administered some $6.7 million in federal refugee funds. CCSN not only serves as ORR’s designated State Refugee Coordinator, but also operates the local refugee resettlement office.
The Southern Nevada Health District, under contract to Catholic Charities since at least 2008, conducts the federally required medical screenings for the refugees — including their health histories and physical examinations.
The refugee medical screenings conducted by SNHD over the last five years, however, do not appear to conform to federal standards.
ORR guidelines state that the refugee medical “screenings should be performed by a qualified licensed health care professional.” And by such a professional, ORR means — as demonstrated through ORR’s use of federal billing codes — either a physician, a physician’s assistant, or a nurse practitioner.
SNHD’s contracts with Catholic Charities, however, only state that the district will have “a Community Health Nurse” do “a complete history and physical” on refugees.
All of the district’s community health nurses are registered nurses (RNs), according to the Nevada State Board of Nursing, and none are nurse practitioners (NPs), also called, in Nevada, advanced nursing practitioners (ANPs).
The health district’s use of RNs for such work would also appear to violate the Nevada Administrative Code’s regulations governing nurse practice…
The difficulty with such screening by RNs, notes James D. Hook, director of healthcare consulting at the Fox Group, LLC, is that recognizing whether some patient’s condition actually is abnormal may at times require a greater level of medical expertise than even a typically competent RN would have… Read more here
Posted in Catholic, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, Cuban, Eritrean, Ethiopian, health, Iraqi, late health screenings, Nepali Bhutanese, Nevada, ORR | Tagged: Antonio Serru Paez, Bonnie Sorenson, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, CCSN, health screening, medical screenings, refugees, resettlement, Southern Nevada Health District, state refugee coordinator | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on July 15, 2012
***UPDATE*** — July 21, 2012 — San Antonio Express News readers take in refugee family
A Congolese refugee woman and her seven kids have found themselves on the precipice of eviction ten months after resettlement in San Antonio. She claims assistance from Catholic Charities, Archdioceses of San Antonio Inc. was spotty at best and didn’t address the special hurdles she faces. In the past ten months a caseworker from the agency met with her only once in person to discuss job prospects, and took her to apply for one cleaning job. Yet, recently she got a hotel housekeeping job — through a refugee friend. An article at the San Antonio Express-News has more:
[Leonia Espe] and her seven surviving children escaped [her village in east Congo]…
…Four years later, they were resettled to the United States, landing last September in a shabby, three-bedroom flat on the city’s North Side under the auspices of Catholic Charities, Archdioceses of San Antonio Inc.
As is policy, Espe received pocket cash and rental assistance for up to six months. The agency gives $1,125 per family member; smaller families get less.
She was able to pay her rent through April and is now two months in arrears. A judge decided on Thursday that the apartment can evict her and her children, in five days.
Espe, whose youngest child is 4, suffers from peptic ulcers and a heart condition and speaks little English.
She wasn’t able to find a job during the six months an agency caseworker was assigned to work one on one with her, assistance that was spotty at best and didn’t address the special hurdles she faces, she claims…
…Pamela Raines, director of development for Catholic Charities, said the record shows Espe attended five weeks of job-training classes, something the client denies. (The refugee staff was at a conference and couldn’t be contacted, said Raines.)
Espe said she did take some of the agency’s English classes but had to miss often because of sickness, her own or one of her children’s.
Raines said the agency had “consistent contact” with Espe during the six months of direct help and that she didn’t show up for several employment-related appointments, something Espe also denies.
According to Raines’ record and Espe’s memory, a caseworker met with her only once in person to discuss job prospects in late spring or early summer. Faida, 17, the eldest daughter, said the same caseworker took her to a local office building to apply for a cleaning job.
“But that was two months ago and no one has called,” she said. “It feels scary. I don’t have any hope.”
Akhahenda said he and Espe paid a visit to her case manager in early June, after she had received her second notice of past-due rent from the apartment.
“He said to me, ‘Don’t worry, we won’t let her be evicted,’” Akhahenda recalled. “He said they would find her alternative housing.”
Then he didn’t hear anything more, he said…
Recently Espe got a job through a refugee friend…A hotel housekeeping job… Read more here
Posted in Catholic, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of San Antonio Inc., children, Congolese, employment services, homelessness, housing, housing, substandard, San Antonio | Tagged: catholic charities, Congolese, employment services, eviction, refugees, resettlement, San Antonio | 3 Comments »
Posted by Christopher Coen on April 11, 2012
Catholic Family Service in Amarillo has decided to reduce new refugee resettlement numbers by half due to concerns of overload from the local school district, according to an article in the Amarillo Globe-News. Resettlement will now be limited to “family reunification cases” – refugees who are resettling to be reunified with local family members. (The article also gives various confusing numbers for the amount of money the State Department gives for initial resettlement needs (intended as seed money). As of last year the amount was $1800 per refugee, with $700 available for resettlement agency overhead, $900 minimum to each refugee, and $200 that resettlement agencies may redirect to the neediest refugees at the agency. The $1800 was supposedly increased this year, but no numbers yet available.)
Catholic Family Service has lowered the number of new refugees it helps settle in Amarillo to help school officials better handle unique needs posed by refugee children and help the organization meet budget cuts.
Roughly 800 to 900 of the 1,100 refugee students enrolled in Amarillo schools had little to no formal schooling when they arrived in the U.S., and that has created a major learning block, said Kevin Phillips, executive director of student performance for the Palo Duro High School cluster…
…Catholic Family Service, a nonprofit organization, is one of two groups that receives federal funds to help newly arrived refugees settle in Amarillo. Executive Director Nancy Koons said the organization has decided to take in no more than 200 arrivals per year, down from 400 in previous years. Koons said the arrivals will be limited to “family reunification cases.”…
…Koons said [Amarillo Independent School District] principals and school nurses have expressed concerns about the challenges posed by refugee children.
“It seems like we were creating needs by bringing in too many refugees,” she said… Read more here
Posted in Amarillo, Catholic, Catholic Family Service, Amarillo, children, funding, R&P, schools, Somali Bantu | Tagged: Amarillo, Catholic Family Service, refugees, resettlement, schools | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on March 7, 2012
A Catholic volunteer in Kansas City seems to have found the right balance between welcoming refugees to her community without becoming overly involved. She’s found a way to connect with the refugees via her heart and mind while realizing the goal is their autonomy. An article in the Kansas City Star tells her story:
When Bernadette Coulter responded to a note in her church’s bulletin about helping in a conversational English class for refugees, she had no idea what she was getting into.
That was six years ago. On Friday, Coulter was sitting with her husband and friends in a federal courtroom watching Mamur Karabaev, an Uzbekistan refugee she calls her “adopted” son, affirm his American citizenship during a naturalization ceremony.
Karabaev is the last of a dozen refugees who escaped Uzbekistan after a massacre and found their way eventually to Coulter. She calls them her “boys.”
“I never expected to be this involved,” the Shawnee woman said. “It has been very fun and exciting and rewarding, heartbreaking and frustrating.
“I would do it again in a heartbeat.”…
…Barbara Smith, a friend and member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church with Coulter, said she has watched the story unfold from the beginning…
…Friends of Coulter, a 63-year-old retired hairdresser and mother of three, speak of her humility and willingness to help others. Becoming involved in the refugees’ lives, that’s just something Coulter would do, Smith said.
“One person can make a difference and she did it,” Smith said.
But what Coulter did may not always work so well, one person warned.
David Holsclaw, director of English as a second language at the Don Bosco Center, said relationships such as the one between Coulter and Karabaev are the exception to typical stories he’s heard about volunteers who may be over-involved.
“There are some volunteers that go nuts and become way too involved and really become problematic,” Holsclaw said…
…Developing an emotional connection can be detrimental to the resettlement process, he said.
For her part, Coulter thinks being a volunteer helped her.
“I think I had an advantage not being constrained by rules or regulations,” she said. “I was able to jump in feet first.” Read more here
Posted in Catholic, Kansas City, Uzbek, volunteers | Tagged: kansas city, refugees, resettlement, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Christopher Coen on March 5, 2012
It turns out that the State Department let a Catholic lobbyist sit in on the public refugee resettlement program’s so-called “stakeholders” meeting last month, while only giving the public a last minute notice of the meeting. Lobbyist Jennifer Murphy of the Catholic Public Policy Commission of Tennessee attended the meeting. They never told us where they met either, did they?
Posted in Catholic, moratorium / restriction / reduction, State Department, Tennessee | Tagged: catholic charities, Catholic Public Policy Commission of Tennessee., Jennifer Murphy, moratorium, refugees, resettlement, State Department | 2 Comments »
Posted by Christopher Coen on February 23, 2012
A Baptist organization is hoping to lead Nepali-Bhutanese refugees in Dallas away from their Hindu cultural roots. Segue Refugee Partners Ministries will help out the refugees as a prelude to their agenda.
Will they be honest and upfront with the refugees and tell them what the plan is?
…Matthew Johnston and Elizabeth Hall lead Segue Refugee Partners Ministries, the nonprofit organization… They have been connecting with Bhutanese refugees for more than a year…Segue’s vision is to build partnerships and relationships between these Bhutanese refugees and American Christians who are willing to relate and help out in whatever way they can. The refugees have a variety of needs, from help them deal with insurance-related issues regarding health care to finding jobs in the city. The hope is also to lead the refugees from a Hindu background into a relationship with Jesus Christ… Read more here
Posted in Baptist, converting refugees, Dallas/Fort Worth, faith-based, Hindu, Nepali Bhutanese | Tagged: bhutanese, dallas, nepalese, Nepali, refugees, religious conversion, resettlement, Segue Refugee Partners Ministries | 2 Comments »