Dan Wolf | Virginia Christian Alliance
The last two articles have looked at some of Islam’s ideological roots, their connection to collectivism (Making Sense of Orlando), and the fact that we are in an ideological war that we are not winning (Why We are Losing the War). In this article we’ll look at the refugee resettlement program in Virginia, from an ideological and economic perspective, and conclude with some related data at the end.
Before discussing the refugee resettlement program, we should look a little more at why it matters.
Our country’s founding principles have their roots in individualism, specifically a Biblical based philosophy in terms of morality, laws, and governance. Collectivism is simply the notion that a people exists to serve its state, and this generally breeds dependency within a people as the government grows to control many aspects of society. Individualism is its opposite. Its underlying notion is that the state exists to serve its people (whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all).
So you can look at this ideological battle as one between individual independence versus dependence. These are not only contradictory ideologies, they are incompatible – they cannot coexist whether it is progressivism, socialism, or Islam.
Our Founders could not envision a people would prefer government control and group preferences over freedom and individual liberty.
When coming to the U.S., one is committing themselves to supporting its founding ideology, you are giving yourself to an idea that allows for your children and grandchildren to have a better life than you have had if you are honest and work hard – it is grounded in the virtue of hope.
Underlying this idea are self-sacrifice, virtue, and unity. On the other hand collectivism is generally grounded in division and entitlement, in love of self and vice. It is man focused on himself instead of his Creator. Just look at all that is going on around us today, and the degree to which segments of our society have become increasingly dependent on government handouts.
The conflict between these underlying ideas is at the heart of some of this year’s election issues, and the reason for the strong primary showing by both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – although the latter supported a more extreme form of collectivism.
During WW II with fascism and the Cold War with communism, we had national discussions concerning each of these ideologies and why they were not compatible with our own. This dialogue came from our leaders, government, and media, but is missing today in regards to Islam. It is a discussion that we must have as a people, and it is my hope that this article will provide some food for thought around that discussion.
This is not an Islamophobic perspective. A phobia is irrationale, anyone making such a statement simply has no supportable basis for it as we have 1,400 years of history that contradicts that notion, in addition to statements and actions today by some who claim to represent Islam.
The preceding is an ideological argument and corresponding action for addressing the challenge that Islam poses, but there is an economic argument to be made around the refugee resettlement program.
This economic argument is in addition to the ideological argument just presented. I also want to make clear that I personally think that immigration is good. It is one of the things that has greatly contributed to our country’s success.
However, immigration must be done legally (equality under the law is one of our founding principles), and those entering our country must be willing to conform to the ideas we were founded upon. These ideas have their basis in divine teaching, though they are not religion per se. Anyone who thinks otherwise simply has no understanding of our founding principles. Without those two things, immigration’s benefits can never be realized because we will not be a single people. As many of our founding principles conflict with Islam’s tenets, it is an open question as to whether an individual can both integrate into our society and still remain true to their Islamic beliefs.
We see acts of non-conformity and violence by Islam’s followers not only being carried out in this country, but in Europe, Africa, and Asia as well, in places where Islam is in the minority. But similar actions occur in Islamic countries as well. Just recently (8/21) we saw the suicide bombing of a wedding in Turkey by what appears to have been a child. A horrendous event by Western standards, but within some parts of the Islamic world acceptable. As with other forms of collectivism, the ends are what matter – the means used to obtain them are often only of secondary importance. If your country is not Islamic enough, it is acceptable to use the same degree of violence in an attempt to force it to change as would be used in a non-Islamic country.
The Virginia Free Citizen Watch put together a very well done video that outlines the cost of refugee resettlement in Virginia. That video is provided below.
Some of the significant points from the above video include:
- Changes in the immigration process since 1980 include:
- Control over refugee selection being given to the U.N.
- Moving from private organizations and charities to public voluntary agencies (VOLAGS)
- Shifting from requiring private financial sponsors to using public programs (taxpayer funds)
- Change from assimilation of host country values to integration. This is problematic given the basis of our founding principles and their incompatibility with Islam’s tenets.
- Focus on providing refugee’s benefits and rights, some in preference to our own citizens:
- 90% of initial immigration costs covered by federal funding
- Refugees become eligible for all federal, state, and local assistance programs 30 days after arrival. This constitutes an erosion of state sovereignty and an unfunded federal mandate on state and local governments (see below).
- Inadequate medical screening being performed on refugees resulting in the recurrence of diseases which had previously been eradicated or brought under control such as TB and HIV.
- Economic impacts on Virginia taxpayers include:
- Refugees earn less than 50% of the income of average Virginians resulting in a greater use of poverty related programs.
- Refugees use SNAP 6.4 X’s more than average Virginians. Virginia pays a $ .47 match for each federal dollar expended.
- Refugees use TANF (a form of temporary assistance) 17.8 X’s more than average Virginians and there is a $ .81 state match for each federal dollar.
- Refugees use Medicaid 5.4 X’s more than the average Virginian, and this program has a $1.00 state match for each federal dollar.
- There are additional demands for state and local resources in the areas of education, law enforcement, and healthcare.
- State and local officials have been kept in the dark about refugee resettlement within their jurisdictions.
So What Can We Do?
There are a number of things that each one of us can do. They include:
- Educate yourself. Our Founders believed education, faith, morality, and virtue to be the cornerstones for any successful society. The articles on the Virginia Christian Alliance and Living Rightly web-sites are intended to provide biblically based information relevant to current issues. Many other sources are also available. If you are a Virginian and want to become active in fighting refugee resettlement in your community, email [email protected].
- Pray. This is a spiritual struggle and the battle is in the heart.
- Share your concerns. Most local officials have no idea what is going on in terms of refugee resettlement. Offer to educate them, share your concerns with them, and support their efforts.
- Email Kathy Cooper, the Virginia State Coordinator for the Office of Newcomer Services. Officials for the Refugee Relocation program have stated that these meetings are open and the information is being shared with local officials.
- Demand that you and your local officials be notified of any and all meetings regarding refugee resettlement, and follow-up with your local officials to make sure someone attends.
- Demand to know if refugees have already been settled within your community, and ask for the disclosure of any and all future resettlement plans for your area.
- Demand that the voluntary agencies bringing refugees into your community attend a public meeting to explain their program and how it fits into the overall process. The number of people being brought in has an impact on local service demand, and you and your local officials have a right to know what that impact is going to be. It’s your money and your community.
Sign the Center for Security Policy’s petition to end refugee resettlement into a locality unless the locality approves the resettlement.
The remainder of this article will present some data on refugee resettlement in Virginia and the growth in Islamic organizations as most refugees are coming from Islamic countries.
Refugees in Virginia
So who are the refugees in Virginia? Where do they come from? Where have they resettled? Below are tables summarizing the Refugee Processing Centers data for refugees settling in Virginia between 2003 and 2015 by country. The percentage of Islam’s followers in the country populations comes from the 2008 CIA Handbook and 2012 Pew Research Institute. One caveat, as the data comes from public sources, any errors within this data will be propigated in the tables and graphs using that data.
This data shows that over this thirteen year period an average of 55% of refugees have come from Islamic countries – and this has trended to more than 65% since the 2012 election.
The map below shows the Virginia locations where these refugees have resettled. The shading for the counties and independent cities indicates the total number of refugees resettled in that locality, and the numbers on the map the number of different countries represented by those immigrants. The origin countries and percentage of Islamic population within that country are also included. It should be noted that this information does not include immigration data from any other source or program such as diversity immigration and student visas.
Map 1: Virginia Refugee Resettlement
The results are similar to those of the UVA’s Demographics Research Group which shows the percentage of all foreign-born population in Virginia by destination metropolitan statistical area (msa). That map is shown below, and indicates that almost 90% of the foreign-born has settled in either the Northern Virginia, Virginia Beach, or Richmond msas.
A second map on the Demographic Research Group web-site shows the foreign-born population as a percentage of the total population within these same msas. For Northern Virginia this measure is over 22%, above 8% for Charlottesville and Harrisonburg, and above 6% for Winchester, Richmond, Virginia Beach, and Blacksburg.
Islamic Organizations in Virginia
The map below shows the Islamic organizations in Virginia. This information comes from public sources, and again there are several caveats.
As the information is from public sources, any errors in the source data are also contained within the results.
There are instances of multiple organizations at the same address and different spellings for the same organizations. Where differences existed tax information was given preference, then real estate information, then Virginia business filings, and finally other sources.
Organizational Information in some instances was also not consistent the different data sources in terms of names, addresses, etc.
Some organizations have a web-site, but no other information is available. It is likely that organizations exist that are not included in this data.
Prayer places are just noted as these are generally places of business.
Muslim Student Associations (MSAs) are affiliated with specific universities, and the universities general address has been used for each MSAs location.
States located in other areas (notably Washington DC and Maryland) but registered to do business in Virginia have also been included.
The county/city shading indicates the total number of organizations within that locality. The numbers also indicate the total number of organizations and the pins indicate the type of organization.
Map 2: Virginia Islamic Organizations