Funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars, a Tampa-based Jewish group is resettling Syrian refugees in Broward County. Gulf Coast Jewish Family And Community Services (GCJFCS) was picked by the U.S. Department of State to resettle refugees in Broward. GCJFCS is one of hundreds of private voluntary organizations (VOLAGS) which receive public funding to provide a myriad of social services to immigrants.
In 2014, GCJFCS stated some of its funding came from the Broward Behaviorial Health Coalition and the Childrens Services Council of Broward County CSC. The U.S. Office For Refugee Resettlement lists funding for programs from the Broward County Commission, Broward College and South Florida Workforce Board.
GCJFCS claims the Refugee Resettlement & Placement program helps “resettle refugees from around the world who have been persecuted based on ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, or membership in a social group.” GCJFCS said it helped “refugees primarily from Iraq, Cuba and Congo find a better life for their families in Pinellas and Broward County.” Last month, The Tampa Tribune reported a big jump in Syrian refugees.
Last year, The Miami Herald reported Broward was becoming a “safe haven” for Syrian refugees. “’I feel safe with the kids because we are no longer living the terror and hearing the scary sounds from the war,’ said Chikh Omar, 37, sitting on a futon in a bare-walled apartment in Lauderhill, a temporary home courtesy of the local Syrian community.” The Herald claimed there were 3,000 Syrians in South Florida.
Thanks to the growing crisis in Europe, South Florida may see a big jump in the number of Syrian refugees.
Today, Dr. Doured Daghistani, board member of the Syrian American Council of South Florida, told WLRN the numbers could grow by 2,000 or more. “Last month, President Obama said his administration is preparing to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming budget year. Daghistani said he expects 10-20% of the refugees to relocate to Florida and at least 10% to South Florida.”
GCJFCS states its refugee program is funded by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). Founded in the late 1880s to help resettle Russian Jews in the United States, HIAS is at the forefront of Syrian refugee resettlement in America. According to its website, “Refugee resettlement lies at the heart of HIAS’ work in the U.S., and we are the only Jewish organization designated by the federal government to undertake this humanitarian work.”
HIAS is working hard to label those who question their methods as “haters.” A watchdog group posted an email sent by HIAS to supporters which stated, “Even in the face of one of the worst refugee crises in recent history, there are people in our own country who are spreading fear and hatred. And unfortunately, that rhetoric is reaching policy-makers on both local and national levels.” In June, HIAS stated the U.S. may have to admit 200,000 refugees. This is double the number stated by President Obama.
Nobody wants refugees fleeing war zones to suffer. However, taxpayer dollars are being used by private groups to fund programs. It benefits these private groups to claim a problem they can solve is growing.
Can Broward County handle 2,000 or 3,000 refugees?
Is anybody even asking this question?