Tiring of the Huddled Masses

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on November 29, 2011

The huddled masses of refugees being funneled to Manchester, N.H., have made that city tired and poorer, reports a news article in the New York Times. The mayor and city leaders are seeking a moratorium on refugee resettlement into their area.

This city has received more than 2,100 refugees over the past decade. That's "more than the city of 109,500 can assure jobs and decent housing for," Mayor Ted Gatsas said. "We're just saying, 'Let us catch our breath.'"

Not surprisingly, the tough economy has cost jobs in that region of New Hampshire, including the low-skilled types of jobs refugees might qualify for. So, there's a direct correlation between more foreign arrivals and new mouths to feed – at public expense.

Alderman Patrick Long told the Times:

"We're just starting to see more needs with the new arrivals. As the years go by we're going to be seeing a lot less federal money, a lot less state money, so what do we do? We take a proactive step now, so three, four, five years from now we're not saying, 'We've got 1,200 people who are out on the street.'"

The refugee agency that's trying to force another 300 destitute refugees on Manchester, regardless of the city's wishes, is the International Institute of New England. Like all refugee resettlement agencies, the institute receives federal payment for each refugee it "sponsors." The NGO helps those refugees for a few months, then foists further obligation for them upon the "host" city.

Like politicians who are generous with other people's money, NGOs are generous with other people's communities, quality of life, and limited public resources. The federal refugee budget amounts to a revenue stream for these NGOs.

The mayor pointed to a real attitude problem at the institute. He said "the institute had consistently refused to seek the city's advice, most recently on its plan to bring 300 more refugees to Manchester in the current fiscal year." The agency created a brouhaha in 2009 by putting a number of refugees in "squalid," bedbug-infested housing.

Thus, nice towns like Manchester end up bearing the long-term costs of refugee resettlement, the economic and cultural upheaval inflicted, and a lot of adverse impacts the well-meaning locales never saw coming. More than 60 languages now found in Manchester schools. What a mess.