Ohio GOP Chair Defends Republicans Importing Refugees to Fill U.S. Jobs

Jane Timken, a supporter and major fundraiser for President-elect Donald Trump's campaign, waits as Ohio Republican Party's central committee gathered Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, to choose a state party chair in Lewis Center, Ohio. Timken is challenging sitting chairman Matt Borges for the position. (AP Photo/Julie Smyth)
AP Photo/Julie Smyth

Chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party, Jane Timken, is defending Republican governors like Ohio’s Mike DeWine for asking the federal government to continue resettling refugees in their states.

For the fiscal year 2020, President Donald Trump will continue cutting refugee admissions by reducing former President Barack Obama’s refugee inflow by at least 80 percent. This reduction would mean a maximum of 18,000 refugees can be resettled in the U.S. between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. This is merely a numerical limit and not a goal federal officials are supposed to reach.

Coupled with the refugee reduction, Trump signed an executive order that gives localities, counties, and states veto power over whether they want to resettle refugees in their communities.

DeWine, along with 18 other Republican governors, announced he would continue allowing refugee contractors to resettle refugees in Ohio — a decision that Timken is now defending using widely circulated talking points, which Breitbart News exclusively reported.

In a statement to Ohio Republicans, Timken said she is “supportive of Governor DeWine’s decision” to bring more refugees to Ohio, declaring without evidence that the refugee vetting process has been fixed and thus previous national security concerns are no longer valid:

Accusations that the federal government is letting dangerous individuals into the country through poor vetting are no longer accurate. President Trump’s administration approves every refugee resettled into Ohio, and the process is now very stringent. We can now be confident in how the federal government is vetting refugees. [Emphasis added]

Timken also said refugees arriving in the U.S. today “are truly victims of oppression,” citing that “an example of someone who would be able to seek refugee status would be a Christian in China who is being persecuted by the Chinese government for her religious beliefs.”

That example, though, is not indicative of the refugees who are often resettled in Ohio. Since Trump’s inauguration in 2017, only 18 refugees from China have been admitted to the U.S. and none have been resettled in Ohio.

Ohio, since 2017, has resettled nearly 4,500 refugees in areas like Cleveland Heights, Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. The majority of these refugees have arrived from Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Ukraine.

Timken readily admits in her statement that American taxpayers are footing the bill for refugee resettlement, stating:

Much of the direct cost to help resettle refugees is paid by faith-based groups, such as Catholic Charities, who do the resettlement work, as well as federal programs. There are strategies designed to assimilate refugees quickly, including a requirement that they get a Green Card within one year. It is important we balance this longstanding policy of helping refugees with being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. [Emphasis added]

Indeed, refugee contractors have a vested interest in making sure as many refugees are resettled across the U.S. as possible because their annual taxpayer-funded budgets are contingent on the number of refugees they resettle. Those refugee contractors include:

Church World Service (CWS), Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), International Rescue Committee (IRC), U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and World Relief Corporation (WR).

A number of these so-called “faith-based groups,” as Timken called them, have ties to billionaire George Soros, and a handful recently successfully sued the Trump administration to temporarily stop his executive order.

Timken said refugees resettled in Ohio “are not taking jobs” from job-seeking Ohionans, though the majority of refugees do begin immediately searching for employment against working-class Americans.

“Right now, Ohio has more job opportunities than qualified job applicants,” Timken said. There are more than 154,000 jobs available on OhioMeansJobs.com. The DeWine-Husted administration is tackling this through workforce programs like Tech Cred and stronger partnerships with our local technical schools to better train workers and help fill jobs in Ohio.”

Today, there are more than 242,600 unemployed Ohioans — indicating that Ohio has the sixth-largest unemployed state population in the U.S. just behind Pennsylvania with an unemployed population of about 293,000. Likewise, Ohio’s unemployment rate of 4.2 percent remains above the national average.

Since 2005, nearly 860,000 refugees have been resettled across the U.S. — a population that is more than 80 times the size of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Effectively, for the last 15 years, nearly 60,000 refugees have been resettled in the country, equivalent to adding the population of Pensacola, Florida, to the U.S. every year.

Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to the latest research. Over the course of five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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