This month the dailycaller.com features Ann Corcoran, the person behind the website Refugee Resettlement Watch. Interviewed by Ginni Thomas, Corcoran explains how U.S. resettlement programs have grown over the years, transforming the face of communities across the nation – not always for the better. From the dailycaller.com:
In this 22 minute video interview, Corcoran discusses what might surprise most citizens about this federal program. Specifically, she discusses how church groups are being paid lucratively — by refugee — to do charitable work, the U.N.’s dominant role in our refugee program and the lack of substantive consultation with states and cities about these immigrants.
With all the persecution of Christians going on in the world today, you would think the largest Christian contractor would ask the government to only allow Christians for a time period. Yet, Corcoran says she was “shocked to hear the representative for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops testify at the State Department for more Burmese Muslims next year.”
Last month we mentioned Refugee Resettlement Watch in our report, Resettlement: an Islamist path to the west?. One of the issues we highlighted: since the Obama administration took office (2008), the number of refugees coming from predominately Muslim countries have increased to over 50% of the total admissions per year. In hard numbers that is 35,000+ out of a total target number of 70,000 . This increase is projected to be even higher in the coming years, due primarily to the unrest and fighting in the Middle East.
RELATED: the Vermont bacon ad controversy and the Muslim refugee population in Chittenden County, VT.
… in 2007 Muslim countries accounted for about 20% of U.S. refugee admissions. In 2008 there was a marked increase with well over 50% (35,000+) of refugee admissions coming from predominately Muslim countries. This repeated in 2009-2013 …
Refugee Resettlement Watch recently reported on a letter written in a New Hampshire newspaper warning of a planned resettlement of Congolese refugees to Dover, ME. The letter referenced issues involving resettlement of Somali refugees to Lewiston, ME.
North of Portand, Lewiston is the second largest city in Maine and has a population of roughly 36,500 people. Since 2001, Somali refugees have been settling in Lewiston (and the surrounding town of Auburn) with numbers estimated at over 4,000 living in the Lewiston-Auburn area. A small percentage originated as direct placements through Federal refugee programs. The rest are part of secondary migration from other areas in the United States, primarily from Atlanta, GA. The main attraction appears to be Maine’s generous welfare system.
Welfare fraud seems to be a common occurrence where Somali refugees are concentrated.
Some media reports would leave readers to believe that all is well. A 2009 Newsweek article claims that Somali immigrants actually saved Lewiston. This may not be the case. Federal officials have had to address the concerns of Lewiston officials, as well as other cities, over the social impact and financial drains posed by the refugees.
Somalis are but a portion of Muslim refugees resettling in the United States. According to U.S.Department of State refugee statistics, in 2007 Muslim countries accounted for about 20% of U.S. refugee admissions. In 2008 there was a marked increase with well over 50% (35,000+) of refugee admissions coming from predominately Muslim countries. This repeated in 2009-2013 and the 2014 allocations authorize the increased level. For 2015, 12,000-15,000 Syrians alone, are projected for admission.
Europe has been facing serious cultural clashes involving Islamists and we’ve reported on a number of issues facing the U.K.. The United States is far from immune. With the increased threats posed by the ISIS/IS Caliphate. the logic in increasing Middle East refugee allotments seems almost self-destructive.
Documentary producer Ami Horowitz interviews members of the Somali community in Minneapolis and finds support for Islamic law (Sharia) over American law and restrictions on freedom of speech.
COMMENT: The Somalis constitute a sizable ethnic group in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Some estimates are that 1 out of every 3 people with Somali ancestry in the U.S. live in Minnesota – a 2010 survey estimated the Somali community to be at 85,700 in the United States. The largest growth influx occurred as a result of refugee program efforts in response to the Somali civil war escalation in the 1990s.
The Minneapolis area has been experiencing a number of incidents involving ISIS recruitment. A February 2015 NPR article notes:
In the discussions at the White House this week, one city has focused minds: Minneapolis-St Paul. It had been ground zero for terrorist recruiters in the past, and is fast becoming the center of ISIS’ recruitment effort in the United States.
See this post from the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog regarding April 2015 terror arrests in the area along with information on the US government contractors involved in the refugee resettlement program.
Moon’s article points out two important issues: terror networks have a presence in cities across America and many are centered around Islamic centers
In a recent Breitbart article, Michelle Moons brings additional attention to the San Diego area and its repeated ties to jihadi terror activites. She writes:
Recent discovery of terrorist ISIS fighter Douglas McAuthur McCain’s body in Syria has spurred investigation into the radicalization of Muslims within the United States.
San Diego is fourth on a list of five cities with the most “known or suspected terrorists,” according to recently leaked classified government documents. Following the 9/11 attacks, investigations in San Diego uncovered terrorists and their links to terrorist organizations al Qaeda, al-Shabaab, and ISIS, among others.
Classified government documents obtained by The Intercept include statistics on watch-listed individuals in the U.S. The 2013 document, prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), lists the top five cities with the highest number of known or suspected terrorists (KST) in the U.S. (in order): New York, New York; Dearborn, Michigan; Houston, Texas; San Diego, California, and Chicago, Illinois.
NCTC reports have noted the high level of terrorist activity in Somalia, as terrorist group al-Shabaab has intermittently controlled various key regions of Somalia. A Center for Disease Control and Prevention document cites Office of Refugee Resettlement statistics that list Minnesota, California, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. as locations where the majority of Somalis have settled in the U.S. Thousands have come to the U.S. as refugees under the banner of fleeing war and persecution in their home country. Current population estimates of Somali-born individuals living in the U.S. range from 35,760 to 150,000.
In fiscal year 2014 so far, October 1-July 20, 290 Somalis either turned themselves in or were caught trying to sneak into the U.S. undetected through official ports of entry, according to a leaked U.S. Customs and Border Protection report obtained by Breitbart Texas. In 2010, KPBS reported on circuitous routes taken by Somalis looking to cross into the U.S. over the southwest border. Those routes would take Somalis through locations including Cuba and Tijuana, Mexico before crossing into the U.S.
The full article can be found here.
Last week, we reported on how San Diego plays prominently with U.S. terror concerns. Much of the news media has been slow to grasp this, rather focusing on the Twin City area.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: Besides highlighting activity in the San Diego area, Moon’s article points out two important issues: terror networks have a presence in cities across America and many are centered around Islamic centers. These facts have been proven repeatedly yet Islamic groups such as CAIR and MPAC continue efforts to hinder investigations concerning suspicious activities and terror links to mosques nationwide. As we pointed out, their motives are suspect at best.
The “bacon story” will probably not be the last report of a cultural clash in this area of New England.
We indicated in our original report that a quick search did not disclose a mosque/masjid or Islamic center in the town of Winooski. A 2010 census indicated the city population was 7,267. Several days later, Peter Wilson wrote in the American Thinker:
Unfortunately, Winooski is home to a number of Muslims whose religion teaches them that pigs are filthy animals. Like Jules in “Pulp Fiction,” they do not dig on swine.
Winooski’s Muslim population is mainly Somali Bantus, originally black Africans from southeast Africa, brought north by Arab slave traders (but that’s another story). Many Bantus fled to Kenya during the Black Hawk Down period of anarchy in the early 1990s, and in 1999, the United States admitted 12,000 as refugees.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program resettled the majority of Somali refugees in Winooski, which has “a large number of relatively inexpensive rental units near jobs and public transit.” In 2009, “About a third of the students in the Winooski public-school system [were] English language learners… up from about 20 percent of the student population four years ago.” Note that ten years after their arrival, the refugees’ children remain “English language learners.”
A more detailed search on our end disclosed the following:
Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont, Inc.
325 Main Street, Suite 8
Winooski, VT 05404
Islamic Society of Vermont
Suite 1, 182 Hegeman Ave
Colchester, VT 05446
Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
462 Hegeman Ave, Suite 101
Colchester, VT 05446
While Wilson’s article focuses on Somali refugees, the area’s Muslim population is more diverse. The town of Colchester is about 5 miles north of Winooski, VT and is the location of the Islamic Society of Vermont and the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. According to a 2014 news report, there are about 3,200 Muslims living in Vermont, many being refugees from Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia and Syria. Most arrived under U.S. resettlement programs and reside in Chittenden County, VT. This county includes the cities of Colchester, Winooski, as well as Burlington – the state’s largest city.
Vermont media coverage of the state’s growing Muslim population tends to have a positive spin, usually focusing on cultural diversity. There have been a few exceptions:
• Bosnian refugee Edin Sakoc, 54, of Burlington (a naturalized U.S. citizen) is currently facing charges of lying to immigration authorities about his involvement in war crimes as well as bribery. The Burlington Free Press reported:
A Bosnian war crimes suspect living in Burlington has been accused of trying to bribe people in his homeland who witnessed what he allegedly did, federal prosecutors in Vermont say in a new court filing.
“The government has been informed by some of its Bosnian witnesses that defendant attempted to bribe witnesses through intermediaries for testimony favorable to the defendant,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia Cowles and Matthew Singer, a senior federal trial attorney in Washington D.C. claim in a motion filed with U.S. District Court in Vermont last week.
Edin Sakoc, 54, is facing charges he lied to immigration officials by denying, when he entered the United States in 2001 as a refugee, that he committed any crimes while in Bosnia.
He also allegedly repeated the lie in 2007 when he applied to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. If found guilty, he could be deported. Sakoc has pleaded not to the charges.
According to court filings, Sakoc raped a Bosnian Serb woman in July 1992, aided in the murders of two elderly men who were under her care and set fire to their family home.
• In 2010 Ali Abdi, a Somali refugee residing in Burlington, was convicted of sexual assault on a 9-year-old girl. Of note is that part of his defense was based on having a “different cultural background”. According to www.wcax.com:
Ali Abdi was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years to life in prison for sexual assault on a 9-year-old girl, despite pleas to the judge from two of his children.
Abdi had taken off during his trial, and was captured out of state. The jury was not told he ran away. He was convicted.
Abdi’s lawyer argued that the case has to be viewed as different from others, because Abdi comes from a different cultural background– he is a Somali Bantu. His lawyer, Erik Smart, told the judge that Abdi fled Somalia and spent 13 years in a refugee camp before arriving in Burlington. Smart says the Somali Bantu community has forgiven Abdi.
“I would venture to say this community views this crime differently than our own community would,” Smart told the court.
Following an appeal, in 2012 a new trial was ordered for Adbi because the Vermont Supreme Court opined that, “a juror might have been influenced by information about Somali culture he found on the Internet.”
• A 2012 article in Seven Days Vermont reported that despite being listed as one of the “safest cities in America”, crime is increasing in the city of Burlington, VT. One of the instances cited:
In one case, a 24-year-old Somali immigrant was robbed and stabbed by his alleged accomplices over their share of the loot from a series of thefts. On August 19, Ahmed Hirmoge stumbled into the Champlain Farms at South Winooski Avenue and Main Street at 4:20 a.m., bloodied from stab wounds. He told the clerk someone had “jumped” him behind the convenience store and took his cellphone, bicycle, leather jacket and $130 in cash.
According to police, Hirmoge said he knew the guys who robbed him: They were all breaking into cars the weekend before and scattered when a Burlington police cruiser rolled by. Hirmoge told police he went to the gas station to “get a drink” and ran into his cohorts there, who collected their share of the “proceeds” by force.
Within hours, police had arrested two teenagers for assault and robbery: Connor Fitzgerald, a 17-year-old high school senior from South Burlington with a tattoo on his neck that reads “wild boy”; and Tam Mai, a 16-year-old with a criminal record that began when he was just 10.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: As we previously reported, since 2008, refugees from predominately Muslim countries have accounted for over 50 percent of refugee admissions to the U.S. each year. Emergency allocation increases are being requested based on the current situation in Syria and Iraq. It would be a safe assumption that Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program will be handling a share of the future influx of refugees, placing them in the Chittenden County, VT area. The “bacon story” will probably not be the last report of a cultural clash in this area of New England.