Sunday, November 15, 2015

About Kansas Refugees

1996-2015 Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Curtis State Office Building, 1000 SW Jackson, Topeka, Kansas 66612

Each year, the Kansas resettles approximately 350 refugees annually. The majority of refugees being resettled currently include people from three main groups. They are Iraqis, Bhutanese and Burmese. Somali refugees are coming to Kansas in secondary resettlement, primarily to work in the meatpacking industry. For the current and past fiscal year refugee admissions to the United States go to Following is cultural and historical information that may be helpful in providing services to these refugees.

The Bhutanese refugees are coming from refugee camps in Nepal. They are almost all ethnic Nepalis from Southern Bhutan who have been living in the camps for more than 16 years since being expelled from Bhutan. Despite living in Bhutan since the 1800s they retained their Nepali language, culture and religions. Nearly all speak Nepali as a first or second language and about 35% have a functional knowledge of English. Sixty percent are Hindu, 27% are Buddhists and 10% are Kirate, an indigenous religion similar to animism. The percentage of Christians varies from 1-7%. The Nepalis divide themselves into a caste system which separates people into different social levels and influence the choice of marriage and other social relationships. For more information go to

Burma, also called Myanmar, is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the World with more than 130 distinctive subgroups. The largest ethnic group is the Burmans or Bamar at about 68% of the population. They tend to be valley dwelling people who are Buddhists and mostly literate. The remaining other ethnic groups include Chin, Kachin, Karen and many others. They are mostly hill people who are largely non literate spirit worshippers or animist. . Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962 and has more than half a million refugees in their neighboring countries of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Thailand. Around 150,000 people, mostly Karen and Karenni are living in designated camps in Thailand, some for more that two decades. Another 22,000 are in camps in Bangladesh that date back to 1992. The United States is resettling Karen and Burmans from refugee camps in Thailand and Chin from Malaysia. For more information refer to  

The United States have begun to resettle refugees that the UNHCR has determined are at greatest risk for returning to Iraqi due to the Iraq War. The new Iraqi arrivals join previous groups of Iraqi refugees resettled in the Unites state after the 1991 Gulf War and the 1996 Iraqis linked to the U.S. sponsored coup attempt. Iraq includes a number of diverse ethnic groups, religions and languages. Iraq’s population is approximately 75-80% Arab, and 15-20% Kurd, with smaller numbers of Armenians, Assyrians and Turk omen. Islam is the predominant religion, practiced by 97% of the population. Of the Iraqi Muslims, 60-65% are Shi’i Arabs and 32-37% are Sunni Arabs or Kurds. A small number of Iraqis are syncretic Muslims. Christians make up 3% or the population. Arabic, the national language, is spoken with some level of proficiency by all Iraqis. For more in-depth information regarding people from Iraq go to

Somali’s population is mostly rural. Nearly 80% of people are agriculturalists or pastoralist or camels, cattle, sheep and goats. The nomadic way of life is celebrated. Most of the population is urban dwellers especially in the past few years as civil war and famine have led hundreds of thousands have poured into the cities seeking sanctuary and relief. Ethnically and cultural, Somalia is one of the most homogeneous countries in Africa, though the people Bantu from the south and Arabs from the costal cities are important minority groups. The great majority of the people is ethnic Somali and they speak dialects of the same language and practice Islam. Clans are the heart of Somali society and people often have greater allegiance to this lineage than to the nation. See For more information about Somali refugees.

City by City; Town by Town

This information is taken from Ann Corcoran’s Refugee Resettlement website. The facts are organized and to the point – and the good way to begin this blog.

From City to City, Town to Town
Top Down

The first decision to import refugees, in most cases, begins with the United Nations. Iraqis, Burmese, Congolese, Somalis and Bhutanese are being relocated to our country. The UN is pressuring the US to take a large number of Syrians. To say that these people are anti-American is an understatement. Yet, they flood into our country without our consent. These people are not only culturally different than Americans – but also from each other.

Usually the United States State Department chooses a resettlement contractor for your town. The names sound benign and often administrate under a church name. They are being paid by the federal treasury (your tax dollars) to bring refuges to your town.

The nine major contractors are listed below. They have 350 subcontractors working for them, headquartered in over 180 cities – maybe more.

· Church World Service (CWS)

· Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC)

· Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)

· Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)

· International Rescue Committee (IRC)

· US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)

· Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)

· United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

· World Relief Corporation (WR)

The contractors obtain tax payer funded services for each refugee in the form of subsidized housing, welfare, food stamps, health care, school and job training. The contractors often work closely with big business and the local Chamber of Commerce which need cheap labor.

After several months, the contractor’s job ends as a new batch of refugee/immigrants enter the community. The earlier refugees are still struggling and left in the care of social services departments.

Be warned that you will suffer the system’s own brand of hate crime (against its own citizens) if you fight this constant influx of immigrants and refugees into your town. They will call you many names and label your groups as “pockets of resistance.”

The local school system will be the first victim followed by a lack of housing. A school system may end up with 50 or more languages in the student population.

Shockingly, refugees are permitted entry into our country with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and many other medical problems. Our local health departments will be overburdened.

Due to a Clinton era Executive order, the local government is responsible for providing interpreters, health systems and criminal justice.

Even though refugees often work at minimum wage jobs, they still benefit form many welfare programs. Elder refugees are eligible for SSI. Furthermore, they can obtain citizenship quickly.

What Can We Do???
Bottom Up – The Need for Informed Citizen Groups

Kansas Resettlement 101

I began to research this topic in earnest very recently and was alarmed by the information I found. I also discovered that my state brings in thousands of immigrants and refugees yearly. Kansas is not a wealthy state to begin with. Our employment is low while our sales taxes have been raised. Though this is a Republican-leaning state, the native grass roots constituents are not being served - and I might add, by either party.

This recent news article raised so many questions, so I decided to dig deeper. I was dismayed by what I found. The objective of this blog is to put all the information in one place for other people who are interested in this issue.

Earlier this year, Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback in an attempt to balance a massive state deficit caused by his economic policy, cut nearly $45 million for public schools and higher education.

More than half of the money was be taken from funding for K-12 schools. The cut also affected Kansas colleges and universities.

Brownback spent his first term slashing taxes for the rich, promising it would lead to boom times for everyone else. Instead a higher sales tax was imposed on everyone else.

Teachers left our state and many schools were permanently closed. Still others cut their hours.

But then, about a week ago, Brownback's administration approved spending $4.2 million for school districts to cover "extraordinary needs." What kind of needs? As an example - $366,804 to help Wichita schools absorb an influx of refugee children. The State Finance Council had originally asked for $980,00 to cover the costs of refugees (additional teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors and specialized English language specialists).

Wichita is seeing more of an influx of refugees, primarily from war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East, because there are two social service agencies there that work specifically to relocate refugee populations.

The two agencies are the Episcopal Wichita Area Refugee Ministries and the International Rescue Committee in Wichita. Both received allocations and are actively relocating refugees to Wichita.

So, Kansas will receive money for refugee children and their families..... while native children and students are shunted aside? And where will all that extra sales tax money go anyway. I have lots of questions.

The first thing I learned during my research was that Sam Brownback was active in pro-immigration legislation while in the U.S. Senate. In 2005, Brownback broke with many of his Republican allies by voting for a bill that gives a path to citizenship to 11 million undocumented people living in the United States. He was one of just four Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to join Democrats in supporting the measure.

From Wikipedia: "Brownback has a voting record that has tended to support higher legal immigration levels and strong refugee protection. Brownback was cosponsor of a 2005 bill of Ted Kennedy and John McCain, which would have created a legal path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. On June 26, 2007, Brownback voted in favor of S. 1639, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act.

Curiouser and curiouser....

Read more here: