Joe Biden’s Delaware to Finally Get Refugees; Biden Cosponsored 1980 Refugee Act

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

November 10, 2016

In September, The Washington Times published my Op-Ed that noted an amazing coincidence. Despite the D.C. elite’s refugee resettlement enthusiasm, only a tiny handful of refugees – nine at last count – had been placed in upscale Northern Virginia.

Although President Obama likes to insist that the compassion shown by resettling Middle Eastern refugees reflects “who we are,” the elite aren’t required to participate in the kindness.

From my column:

“But if mass resettlement represents ‘who we are,’ how can Mr. Obama explain that, according to government data first reported by the Daily Caller, almost all of Virginia’s refugees since October have been placed in towns with low incomes and high poverty rates, far away from Washington D.C.’s well-manicured suburbs.

“Of 121 refugees, 112 were placed in communities at least 100 miles from the nation’s capital, while suburban Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties, among the nation’s wealthiest neighborhoods and home to the D.C. elite, have received only nine.”

Biden defends refugee resettlement, falsely claims ISIS wins
if America “changes its values.”

No refugees have been placed in Martha’s Vineyard where the Obama family likes to vacation, and no refugees have been sent to Chappaqua, New York, where Hillary and Bill Clinton own a $1.3 million, 5,200 square foot home. And few if any Middle Eastern refugees live in Delaware, Vice President Joe Biden’s home state. The almost total lack of refugees in Delaware is odd because when Biden was a U.S. Senator he was one of the original 1980 Refugee Act’s cosponsors. Thirty-six years is a long time to pass with only an annual average of 34 refugees placed in Delaware. Critics claim that the “not in my backyard” policy has guided Biden for the last three and a half decades. In fiscal year 2016, Delaware resettled no refugees.

The day’s big news is that, according to Delaware Public Media, the Hebrew Immigrant Aide Society hopes to place 50 Syrians families, or as many as 200 refugees, in Delaware by December or January. HIAS Senior Director of Communications Bill Swersey said that this will be the first time Syrian refugees are being placed in Delaware, and he’s eager to get started immediately. He stated he wants to assist in getting their kids registered in school, as well as with obtaining for the refugees driver's licenses, Social Security cards and benefits for which they’re eligible. One important benefit that Swersey conveniently didn’t mention was employment authorization documents which are issued effectively immediately upon the refugees’ arrival in the U.S.

President Obama established a White House Task Force on New Americans to establish what more the federal government and business leaders can do for refugees. Unfortunately, average Americans – meaning those that resist resettling mostly unvetted refugees – are not invited to participate in the task force.

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