Governors Stop Flow Of Syrian Refugees, But They’re Still Coming To South Florida

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Update: Florida Governor Rick Scott moves to stop Syrian refugees. According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday he will oppose efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in Florida, but also wants Congress to take action to ensure refugees are denied entry to the Sunshine State.”

Following the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday, several U.S. Governors have stopped the flow of Syrian refugees to their states. While still early in the investigation, French officials believe at least one terrorist came to France masquerading as a Syrian refugee. The Governors of Arkansas, Indiana, Lousiana, Michigan and Texas asked for more information before allowing more refugees into their states. In Florida, it appears Syrian refugees still have the greenlight.

Last month, REDBROWARD revealed a well-known Jewish group was using tax dollars to move Syrian refugees into Broward county.

The Tampa-based 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.

So far this year, 41 Syrian refugees have resettled near Tampa, said Janet Blair, community liaison with Florida Department of Children and Families’ Refugee Services. Last year, there were three.

On Thursday, the day before the Paris attacks, the Miami Herald expained how tax dollars are used to help Syrian refugees.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) greeted both families, helping them with housing, furniture and other services. The families receive aid from the IRC for about 30 to 90 days, then are switched over to a federal self-sufficiency program called Matching Grants. This program, administered by the IRC, helps refugees with job placement, public transportation, education, English classes, etc. In general, families are helped for about six months.

Today, a South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial mocks the notion of Florida Governor Rick Scott stopping the Syrian refugees. Daniel Vasquez wrote, “No state other than Texas is more prepared for a small-scale gun attack than Florida. Florida is the Gunshine State. We have more people with guns than trees with oranges.”

Cute. But there are real issues involved with the refugee resettlement.

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.

As we asked last month, can Broward County handle 2,000 or 3,000 refugees?

Is anybody even asking this question?

Published by Tom Lauder

Covering South Florida Politics Since 2010...As Seen On: POLITICO, The Huffington Post, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Herald, WPLG LOCAL 10 (ABC MIAMI), The New Times

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1 Comment

  1. I am a genealogist for over 50 years and worked in by business career for American offices of Syrian n Saudi owned firms. Although the Christian communities in Egypt Lebanon n parts of Tunisia n Libya through European Consulates n Schools had some record keeping after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1919 none of the Arab Moslem states had civil registration of births deaths n marriages which were n mostly are private religious events. Only military records exist in most Arab States and although government IDs such as passports or birth certificates have become more formal since the 1970s because of emigration out of the Middle East the lack of mandatory surnames makes it possible to get multiple birth records because a man could be called equally “of this town” “of this tribe” “son of x” as a surname. Since their is not one standard translation of Arabic into English French or Italian or German or Spanish Ben Rhoades n others are mis-informed to state we can verify indentications of anybody but registered Jews or Christians from nearly every part of the Moslem World in Asia or Africa.

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