2-20-17: Christian Agencies Abandon Refugee Mission

QUESTION #2: What are the agencies involved in the refugee resettlement programs, how are they funded, and what’s the sticking point that raises questions as to their motives for protesting President Trump’s travel ban?

Answer:

Leo Hohmann:

“It’s the same agencies that have been used by President George W. Bush and President Clinton and President George Herbert Walker Bush and President Reagan for the most part. There are nine resettlement agencies in this country, and they have a nice, tidy, little agreement, a contract with the government that makes them a lot of money every year in which they resettle the refugees, they do the governments work for the government for a price, and they are actually paid per head for every refugee that they bring into this country.

Six of the nine resettlement agencies, also called VOLAGs, volunteer agencies, six of the nine have religious affiliations. They’re affiliated with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which works through Catholic Charities and other groups, you have Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which works through Lutheran Social Services and other myriad Lutheran groups, you have World Relief, which is an arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, you have Episcopal Migration Ministries, and you have the Hebrew Immigrant Aide Society just to name a few. There are three others that are secular in nature, such as the International Rescue Committee, but these nine groups have exclusive contracts with the government. It’s called a public-private partnership or PPP, in which we’ve heard a lot about those in other areas of our economy but not so much in refugee resettlement.

…So, let’s just take a look at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops which operates through Catholic Charities primarily. If you look at their Form 990 for 2014, which is the most recent data we can find, they brought in a total of $85 million. That was their total revenue. Seventy-nine million of that, 97%, came from government grants, and so that tells you that even though they refer to themselves as Catholic Charities they’re really not a charity at all because as you and I would think of a charity we would think of a religious organization passing the hat around the church and sort of gathering up donations from its members, at least that’s how I think of a charity, it operates through donations. This charity operates through government grants. There’s numerous ways they can bring in federal money, but basically the more refugees they bring in the more revenue they collect from government.

…I believe that when these agencies started out they probably did have a very strong Christian motivation for what they do. They still couch their programs in religious terms. They quote a lot of Bible verses to justify what they’re doing, treating the stranger with love and reaching out to the stranger in the country and welcoming the stranger, that you will just see that repeated ad nauseam in a lot of their outreach.

Over the years as they have expanded like so many, like so many let’s face it, Christian organizations, I can think of Christian universities that started out on fire for God and over the years became more distant from their original mission, I think it’s the same with these organizations including World Relief, which used to be a wonderful organization that focused on evangelizing and missionary work. That’s the other part of this program that is sinister and proves to me that it is sinister and not all lollipops and balloons like they say. They agree as part of this contract that we spoke of earlier with the government, they agree not to proselytize or evangelize the refugees, and so here you have them reaching out with one hand to accept government money and with the other hand pulling back what they used to do as far as outreach in missionary zeal refugee.”

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