Resettlement Agencies: Increase Middle East-South Asia Refugees in Michigan by 40 Percent, Send 100 to Flint

Breitbart News has obtained the FY 2017 refugee resettlement proposals from the five leading resettlement agencies that operate in Michigan showing they plan to jam down a 40 percent increase in refugees from the “Middle East-South Asia” region, which includes Syria, on residents of Michigan in the fiscal year that begins on October 1.

These plans in Michigan are completely consistent with the nationwide “refugee number determination” the Obama Administration presented to Congress on Tuesday: an increase of the FY 2017 ceiling by 29 percent to 110,000, up from the ceiling of 85,000 that was approved for FY 2016. The actual final number for FY 2016 is likely to reach or exceed the original ceiling number, if the run rate of the last few months continues for the final two weeks of the fiscal year.

In their FY 2016 plans, these five agencies–Lutheran Social Services (which recently changed the name of its Michigan operation to Samaritas), Church World Service, Catholic Charities, HIAS (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), and Episcopal Migration Ministries— proposed 4,060 refugees overall to be resettled in Michigan, 2,567 from the “Middle East-South Asia” region, which includes Syria. As of September 13, 3,783 total refugees, 1,217 of whom are from Syria, have been resettled in Michigan to date this fiscal year. At the accelerated run rate of the past few months, year end numbers are likely to hit or exceed the FY 2016 plan for 4,000 total refugees in Michigan, of which over 1,300 are Syrian refugees.

The FY 2017 plans, obtained through Freedom of Information Act request made to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services by a local Michigan grassroots group (as were the FY 2016 plans), show that that these five resettlement agencies have proposed a 38 percent increase in overall refugee resettlement, up to 5,606 refugees. This includes a 40 percent increase in refugees from the “Middle East-South Asia” region that includes Syria, to 3,586.

On Wednesday, taking advantage of Clinton’s absence from the campaign trail due to her own health problems after her recent diagnosis with pneumonia, Trump is visiting Flint, Michigan, site of a public health crisis arising from the city’s decision (led by a Democratic mayor) to switch its water source from Lake Michigan to the lead laden Flint River.

According to the FY 2017 plan submitted by the Samaritas resettlement agency, 100 refugees from the Middle East-South Asia region will be sent to Flint, Michigan, the first time that city in the midst of a huge public health and financial crisis has received refugees.

Trump’s arrival in Flint on Wednesday afternoon, focused on solutions to the city’s water crisis, offers a highly political juxtaposition to the Obama administration’s plan to bring refugees into the cash-strapped city.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services did not release these FY 2017 plans until this month, less than 30 days before the beginning of FY 2017 on October 1.

The federal government and the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, who are required by the federal Refugee Act of 1980 to consult with states and localities prior to the placement of refugees in those states and localities, have largely ignored the statute’s consultation requirement in every state in the country in which the program operates.

Instead of the legally required “consultation” process conducted in good faith to understand a state’s capacity to handle the economic, security, and public health burden imposed on taxpayers in that state, the federal government has conducted a series of window dressing meetings with state government representatives that fail to account for any of the state’s concerns.

Even more significantly, the federal government and the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement have ignored their legal duty to consult with–or even meet with–county and other local governments in locations where the federal government has placed huge numbers of refugees.

Oakland County, Michigan is one such ignored county government.

The affluent suburb of Detroit, population 1.2 million, has been inundated with refugees over the past several years without its consent.

As Breitbart News reported previously, over 486 refugees from Iraq were resettled in Oakland County in FY 2015, and another 408 refugees from Syria (more than forty states) and 329 refugees from Iraq have been resettled in Oakland County in FY 2016 as of September 14, with two more weeks to go in the fiscal year.

As Breitbart News reported previously, Michigan is the state with second highest number of resettled Syrian refugees in FY 2016 to date, and the highest per capita rate.

If the Obama administration and the Michigan resettlement agencies have their way, the number of refugees resettled in Oakland County. Michigan will skyrocket to 1,242 in FY 2017, up from the 920 planned for FY 2016.

That resettlement has come at an economic and public health cost to Oakland County taxpayers. As Breitbart News reported previously, a refugee from Iraq who arrived in Oakland County in FY 2015 was diagnosed with active TB this March.

In June, Oakland County executive L. Brooks Patterson told ORR director Robert Carey that he and the taxpayers in his county were tired of this continued federal over reach without their consent. In a letter to Carey, Patterson demanded and requested that ORR comply with the Refugee Act of 1980 and initiate consultations with Oakland County prior to the resettlement of any refugees there.

Carey, in essence, told Patterson in his response that neither he nor the ORR intended to comply with the Refugee Act of 1980’s requirements to consult with local county governments.

The huge influx of unwelcome refugees to Michigan and the strong grassroots opposition to the federally imposed program, is a key factor that now places the state in play in the November contest between GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Most recent polls in the Real Clear Politics average, conducted between August 22 and September 7, indicate that Clinton leads Trump in Michigan by 5 points.

However, the combination of Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” gaffe, concerns over her health and trustworthiness sparked by her diagnosis with pneumonia and collapse leaving a 9-11 memorial event on Sunday, Trump’s aggressive campaigning in Michigan, and the intensity of opposition to the flooding of the state with refugees may mean that Trump has an opportunity to win the normally blue state in November.


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