Readers, I do have news from elsewhere that needs to be posted, but the St. Cloud upcoming council vote is shaping up to be a pivotal event.
What I truly don’t understand is why Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota (a subcontractor of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service headquartered in Baltimore) is so hell bent to bring more third worlders, especially Somalis, to a town where they (Somalis AND LSS) face such a backlash.
You would almost think the Lutheran resettlement contractor is benefiting financially beyond its per head payment for the refugees they place in Minnesota communities.
Now they plan to put on a webinar in mid-November to supposedly tell the public that refugees don’t cost taxpayers a dime just when a member of the city council wants a REAL economic assessment of what resettlement is costing the community beyond the trouble in schools and neighborhoods and the general social and cultural upheaval that comes with cities being rapidly changed demographically.
When you look at their list of handpicked webinar speakers (below from the St. Cloud Times), see who is represented and who isn’t:
No one from the police department is listed
No one from the school system
No one to explain the costs for interpreters in the criminal justice system and in hospitals etc.
No one who can speak to the amount of remittances being sent out of St. Cloud and back to Africa
No one to address the issue of jobs that refugees take from low-skilled American workers….
And, how about they put a representative of the Minnesota Meatpacking industry on the panel to explain how they need the Lutherans to supply their cheap labor!
Of course they won’t do that, and they won’t do this ‘fact finding’ in a public meeting because here they can control the information, who registers and what questions are asked in this webinar format. (Ha! Ha! wouldn’t it be fun to have a counter webinar that same day and time!)
Here is the St. Cloud Times announcing the webinar:
A group hopes to distinguish between fact and myth about refugee resettlement with a public webinar in November.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota will have a webinar from 3-4:30 p.m., Nov. 14.
Panelists, including staff and state and local leaders, will talk about how resettlement works and the costs and benefits of the program in the St. Cloud area.
Yusuf Abdi, director of refugee services, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.
Karin Blythe, resettlement supervisor, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.
Teresa Bohnen, president, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.
Melissa Huberty, human services administrator, Stearns County Human Services.
Mary Zelenak, health protection and promotion supervisor, Stearns County Public Health. [Be sure to ask her about TB rates in Minnesota immigrant population!—ed]
Rachele King, state refugee coordinator, Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The discussion over the cost of refugee resettlement in St. Cloud has been reignited recently, as a St. Cloud City Council member announced a plan to temporarily stop refugees from resettling in St. Cloud.
Jeff Johnson, who represents St. Cloud’s Fourth Ward, submitted a draft resolution this week calling for a moratorium on refugee resettlement in St. Cloud.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also launched a petition Tuesday urging the St. Cloud City Council to vote no on the moratorium, which the organization called a “despicable, racist, Islamophobic, and ill-informed motion targeting refugees.”
There will be discussion at tomorrow’s council meeting and the vote on Johnson’s resolution could happen on November 6th.
For new readers, I have an archive on St. Cloud that goes back to 2008, click here to learn more.