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NCSL publishes “refugee primer”

Thursday, Nov 19, 2015

* Your mandatory reading assignment today is “The US Refugee Resettlement Program: A Primer for Policymakers” published by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Click here and discuss below.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Deep South - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:18 am:

    Can someone forward this to Rauner’s office?

  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    Whoa, wait a minute, buddy.

    Actual facts on information on the subject before forming an opinion and taking action?

    Now you’ve gone too far.

  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:26 am:

    I expect many civil comments on this today.

  4. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    Stop trying to change my bias with information

  5. - Former State Employee - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    Thanks Rich, for bringing facts to light… if everyone will read before commenting.

  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:28 am:

    That didn’t take long.

    Another 30 minutes on the google and I imagine the governor’s sincere concerns on the refugee vetting process should be answered to his satisfaction.

  7. - Roamin' Numeral - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:28 am:

    Wyoming is the only state that does not participate in the program? That’s too bad. I imagine Rauner’s estate there could comfortably house 20-25 Syrian families. I hear it’s a good place to drink beer and burn a steak.

  8. - Dome Gnome - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:30 am:

    I read it. Now I’m commenting. I think someone should forward it to Las Vegas, where the fearful governors are now gathered.

  9. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:36 am:

    It doesn’t matter. We have to strip for airports and get groped by federal officers before boarding an airplane because of a one ugly nut wearing bomb shoes. Grandma gets a stranger wearing a latex glove slipping their hand under her girdle because a Saudi Arabian masochist flew a jet into the World Trade Center.

    If you are under the age of 35 and male, your auto insurance premium is jacked to the nines. If you get a pit bull puppy for Christmas, your neighbors stop letting their kids play in their own back yard.

    Facts be damned, this is a political issue and the politicians are responding to the panic while the crowds trample down the velvet ropes and putting up barbed wire.

    That’s life.

  10. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    “Refugees are subjected to the highest level of security check of any traveller to the United States.”

    Unlike the French or Belgians who can travel to the United States for business or leisure for up to 90 days without so much as a tourist visa.

    The U.S. refugee resettlement program seems sensibly designed to manage and reduce the risks involved to a reasonable level.

    – MrJM

  11. - walker - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    Rich: you’re a gem

  12. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 10:30 am:

    “That’s life”? Really?

    Actually, VanillaMan, some people do enter public life and work lesser-paying positions than equivalent private sector jobs precisely because they DON’T believe that total submission to being governed in a way that panders to the LCD is beneficial, required, or inevitable.

    THAT’s life.

    Craaaaazy, man…

  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    As the governor continues his due diligence, will he meet with the Illinois refugee assistance groups who actually have real-world experience?

    The Syrian Community Network has asked to meet with the governor and introduce him to some refugee families.

    Would there be any good reason not to do that?

  14. - Hedley Lamarr - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 10:39 am:


    They have two seasons, winter & awful.

  15. - cdog - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 10:43 am:

    Interesting facts and a worthy government program. At the human level, I sincerely hope the best for any refugee that makes it to America.

    BUT, this also hints at the unspoken–Many gulf states are not taking refugees, and this is unacceptable.

    It is also unacceptable for our government to provide cover to rich middle east regimes and allow them to continue to deny refugee status to Syrians.

    (Rand Paul is starting to stir this up, even tying it to stopping arms sales and campaign donations to certain candidates.)

  16. - cdog - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 10:51 am:

    Refugees are the wrong target of any due diligence activities.

    Any US or other country Sharia hotbeds, such as Molenbeek, where the marginalized and disenfranchised with 1st world passports can come and go as they please, are the real problem.

  17. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    LOL, AB, where do you think refugees come from? Wilmette?

    Your argument, as is the governor’s, is for refusing refugees from anywhere, not just Syria.

    You and the guv are on the same page, a lot.

  18. - Judgment Day (on the road) - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    Here’s an article that points out some of the concerns by the different states:

    Link is:

    “The US Refugee Resettlement Program: A Primer for Policymakers” is a great overview, but it’s just that. An Overview.

    For example, in the above program description, it makes clear that everything starts with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)). And that’s one point where we’ve had lots of problems in the past.

    The UNHCR hires locals to perform the vetting, oftentimes vetted/provided by host governments, who the US had absolutely no control or even influence over (past history).

    That part of the process has led to a lot of problems with refugee resettlement issues.

    And in the past, when the folks on the US side of process tried to do something about it, they basically got told to ‘Go Pound Sand’.

    Also (from the Bloomberg View link):

    “McDonough responded to Brown that there was currently no process in place to give states such information and the administration saw no reason to change the status quo. The nongovernmental organizations that help resettle the refugees would have such information.”

    So the NGO’s have the info, but not the states?

    Just as a point, IF things go sideways in a particular resettlement effort, it’s not the NGO(s) who are on the hook to deal with the issues, it’s the states and the locals.

    IMO, there are real issues here. And that concern is based upon past performance by the federal government in refugee resettlement efforts. There are holes in the process.

  19. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    ===That’s life.===

    Not for this kid. The thing is, VanillaMan, we don’t have to accept politics as usual. How can anyone see this and not be moved into action?

  20. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    cdog. The refugee screening process moves the jihadists to other ports of entry. Why go through the slow process of screening when you can get in much faster in other ways. The refugee who clears screening gains a useful certificate that can help them here.

    Asking other Gulf States to take refugees ignores the social fragility of those countries. Would you ask the Israelis to grant right of return to Palestinians? How about the Saudis granting right of return for Jews to return to Mecca?

    Our failure to appreciate the complexity of the region has been a large part of our problem.

  21. - cdog - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 12:22 pm:

    LBM, good discussion. But,..

    I would say that another one of our failures is to continue to allow foreign countries to treat minority populations like crap. By our silence, and making excuses for why it should be allowed to continue, we condone this mistreatment.

    This isn’t North Korea, or a similar closed regime. These are countries that are using us and our tax dollars.

    But hey, lets sell them some more fighters and bombs, so they can defend their xenophobic boundaries. And while we do that, we can probably get some fat campaign contributions. /s

    Regional resettlement camps, run by a coalition, with the hope of getting most of these people back home, should be a reasonable course.

    (not intending to get filtered, but feeling it’s a possibility…going too far on the snark-meter will do that :)

  22. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 12:29 pm:

    JD, what are those “past problems” you’re referring to?

    Why are just Syrian refugees a “problem” and not those from Iraq, Somalia and Iran for example?

    Three million refugees to the United States since the mid-70s?

    How many terrorist acts are they responsible for?

    By the way, you’re wasting your time.

    This wasn’t raised as a public safety issue, it’s a political fear-mongering tactic going into 2016.

    Have you noticed who’s been leading in the GOP presidential contest for the past six months? What’s his bread and butter?

    Politicians know a good thing when they see it.

  23. - Juice - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 12:39 pm:

    Word, not sure why you think the Governor might be willing to meet with folks who have real life experience.

    I mean, the Governor said he had questions and concerns about the process. The White House chief of staff invites the Governor to talk with him on the phone so he can discuss his questions and concerns about the safety of residents in Illinois, yet the Governor was too busy mailing high priced tuna steaks to political frenemies to be bothered with such trivial issues.

    So he staffed it out. Just like what Truman had on his desk, “the buck stops with Goldberg.”

  24. - Demoralized - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    A lot of the attackers were French citizens. French citizens can come to the US without a Visa. Don’t you think that they would simply come to the US like any normal traveler rather than schlep through the refugee process?

  25. - Demoralized - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 1:35 pm:

    And yes I understand we are talking about Syria here. My point was about citizenship ties. I just don’t think there’s a huge risk here in terms of the refugee program.

  26. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 1:38 pm:

    The NCSL document speaks for itself.

    But as always, those determined to be afraid, or to stir the fears of others, will always find compelling reasons to do so.

    – MrJM

  27. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 1:44 pm:

    The thing is, VanillaMan, we don’t have to accept politics as usual.

    My advice has always been work within the political scene as it is, not as you want it to be. You will get farther with respectful listening and commiserating, than you would by telling people they are wrong.

    You cannot turn a herd around by mocking and insulting them. They will just mow you down.

  28. - Angry Chicagoan - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    Illinois is looking a little backward on this issue next to our allegedly hayseed western neighbor, Iowa, which administers its driving test in 21 different languages.

  29. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 1:55 pm:

    But as always, those determined to be afraid, or to stir the fears of others, will always find compelling reasons to do so.

    Remember, that works for both political parties and extremes:

    “The main thing that I’ve been trying to communicate over the last several of these horrific episodes is that, contrary to popular belief, Americans are not more violent than people in other developed countries,” Mr. Obama said. “But they have more deadly weapons to act out their rage.” - President Obama, 11/17/2015

    Fear mongering is in the eyes of the beholder.

  30. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 1:58 pm:

    I say this with sincere respect for you VanillaMan, often times people are simply wrong. Segregation was wrong. Listening and commiserating wasn’t going to ensure civil rights for all Americans.

    And I’d consider it a badge of honor to be mowed down by a herd of know-nothings to stand up for what is right and just. Take another look at those photos and tell me why I should listen to people who let their fear overpower our shared values.

  31. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 2:25 pm:

    “The main thing that I’ve been trying to communicate over the last several of these horrific episodes is that, contrary to popular belief, Americans are not more violent than people in other developed countries,” Mr. Obama said. “But they have more deadly weapons to act out their rage.” - President Obama, 11/17/2015

    Fear mongering is in the eyes of the beholder.

    That bland statement passes for fear mongering these days?

    – MrJM

  32. - IL17Progressive - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 2:56 pm:

    No, VanillaMan, Fear mongering is not in eye of beholder. Fear mongering is causing others to take action against some ’source’ of which little is known. Concern is knowing that I don’t understand and am willing to gain understanding. This difference being I (with concern) while fear mongering is causing others.

  33. - Amalia - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 4:12 pm:

    all makes sense. but the passport of ANYONE coming to the US should be of concern. the fake passport biz is big. plus, put all those French and Belgian folks through extra scrutiny cause home grown is not something wonderful in this case.

  34. - Demoralized - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 4:38 pm:

    We should be vigilant, not hysterical. Every time something like this happens we all go loopy and demand that we are 100% certain nothing will ever happen to us ever.

    You want to have a pause? Fine. But it better be a short pause because otherwise the hysteria is nothing but politically driven hysteria.

  35. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 5:44 pm:

    People will calm down.
    Just give them time.
    That is, if nothing else happens.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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