Buffalo refugee overload: Is the need for “culturally-engaged health care” coming to a town near you?

Originally posted on Refugee Resettlement Watch:

It is, if you allow your town or city to become the next ‘welcoming’ community for thousands of third world refugees in desperate need of healthcare.

Buffalo, NY (Erie County) is one of the federal government’s “preferred communities” for refugee resettlement and is, according to this meeting announcement, the largest resettlement site in New York State.  NY is among the top five resettlement states in the US.

Go here for our extensive archive on problems with refugees in Buffalo.  See especially this 2012 post where we learned that the Christian and Jewish population is declining and the Muslim population increasing in and around Buffalo (thanks to Christian and Jewish resettlement contractors listed below!).

When they say “culturally-engaged” healthcare, do they mean that refugees have health issues that are related to the cultural practices they bring to America, like ‘female genital mutilation?’ I see NY is one of the top states…

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The Crossroads of America

April 02, 2015 – Thursday

The Crossroads of America Crossed on Freedom

On the eve of Good Friday, big business leaders jingled some silver in front of Indiana’s elected leaders to entice them away from defending religious freedom and sadly they took the silver. After huddling with CEOs and LGBT groups, the legislative leadership unveiled a new law that not only guts the state’s newly enacted Religious Freedom Restoration Act but imposes punishing fines on people who follow their beliefs about marriage. While most were expecting some kind of ‘clarification,’ few expected the proposed law that outrageously contemplates criminal prosecution for business owners who decline to be a party to a same-sex ceremony. The proposal doesn’t directly create criminal punishment, but for the first time establishes that if the legislature were ever to adopt criminal penalties in the future, a religious freedom claim would provide NO DEFENSE against imprisonment. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty describes the proposed language as making “specific allowances for criminal prosecution.”

But the intolerant left isn’t waiting on lawmakers and the governor to sort out what punishments might be imposed. They have turned their fury on Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana all because a co-owner of the restaurant told a reporter, who was asking local small businesses if they would service same-sex weddings, that she would not cater a same-sex ‘wedding.’ The restaurant temporarily closed its doors yesterday “due to the volume of calls and threats it had received.”

You may be wondering why legislators, who just last week overwhelmingly voted to protect religious liberty, would now introduce a new law that would use the government as a weapon against people who simply follow their beliefs on marriage. It isn’t because the American people are clamoring for it. In fact, a new Rasmussen survey released just yesterday finds that 70 percent of Americans supports the right of a Christian wedding photographer to decline a same-sex ceremony. The answer is Big Business.

Big corporations like Apple, Angie’s List and Walmart are now putting religious freedom in a worse place than before RFRA was signed into law. Under this gutting law, even nonprofits deemed “not religious enough” face government discrimination for declining to facilitate same-sex wedding ceremonies. If the government punishes people for living their faith, there are no limits to what government can control.

Meanwhile there was a better outcome in Arkansas in the tussle over their Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This afternoon the legislature approved and Governor Asa Hutchinson immediately held a ceremony where he signed into law an amended RFRA that mirrors the 1993 federal RFRA. “I think it’s sending the right signal,” said Governor Hutchinson.

Earlier this week things really heated up when two-thirds of the legislature voted to send HB 1228 — the original Religious Freedom Restoration Act — to the Governor, which he promised would receive his signature. However, after reportedly hearing from Walmart executives, he shocked everyone when he responded with a press conference calling on the legislature to go back to the drawing board and send him a bill that would “more closely mirror the federal RFRA.”

Arkansas Family Council President Jerry Cox had it right this afternoon when he said, “If the Arkansas General Assembly passes Senate Bill 975, most of what we were trying to accomplish will have been done. The original religious freedom bill, H.B. 1228, was the Rolls Royce of religious freedom laws. S.B. 975, the replacement bill, is a Cadillac.”

American Genocide

Originally posted on just another day in paradise:

We have all heard the rumors.  With the immigration in the shape its in and the economical downslope of the country, there were wild rumors sweeping the nation.  How will this country survive taking on millions and millions of people who have no jobs, no housing, no food, no healthcare?  Obama has told us he has a plan to take care of all that.  The immigrants would be tax paying people and contribute to the economy and funding the federal government so he could take care of us all.  Except, what jobs?  The ones that don’t exist even for our own people?  The jobs Americans don’t want?  Like what job?  Our economy is in terrible shape.  Sales are down and the stock market is plunging up and down.  Most of our jobs are low paying for lowly skilled people.  Minimum wage.  Could one of these reasons be the Political Correctness of our government? …

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The Agony

GOD GUTS GLORY and AMMO:

diffidently not common core

Originally posted on Oyia Brown:

A Cheating husband decided to write this letter to his wife:

My Dear Wife,

You will surely understand that I have certain needs that you, being 54years of age, can no longer satisfy.

I am very happy with you and I value you as a good wife, however, after reading this letter I hope you will notwrongly interpret the fact that I will be spending the evening with my 18 year old secretary at the Comfort Inn Hotel.

Please don’t be upset, I shall be back before midnight.”

When the man came home late that night he found a reply of his letter on the dining room table:

My Dear Husband,

I received your letter and thank you for your honesty about my being 54 years old. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are also 54 years old.

As you know, I…

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Why Won’t The Benghazi Committee Compel Hillary To Testify?

Originally posted on PA Pundits - International:

McCarthyBy Andrew C McCarthy ~

As one who was very pleased by the selection of Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) to chair the Benghazi Select Committee, I hate to seem like I’m haranguing him (see, e.g., here and here; but see also here). His investigative decisions, however, continue to be baffling.

AA - HillaryThe latest development in the Hillary Clinton e-mail saga is the disclosure by her private attorney, David Kendall, that she has deleted all e-mail from the private server on which she improperly conducted government business while she was secretary of state. (See Shannen Coffin’s latest legal analysis regarding laws potentially broken by Mrs. Clinton here.) In light of the obvious ramifications this has for the Benghazi investigation, Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren asked Chairman Gowdy what he intended to do about it. Gowdy responded:

We’re going to have a conversation with Secretary Clinton. I would hope that it…

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EVERY DAY MORE STUPIDITY, TREACHERY, and CHANGE THEY VOTED FOR

FROM: JUDICIAL WATCH

DHS Launches “Family Reunification,” Refugee Program for Central Americans

APRIL 01, 2015

To facilitate the often treacherous process of entering the United States illegally through the southern border, the Obama administration is offering free transportation from three Central American countries and a special refugee/parole program with “resettlement assistance” and permanent residency.

Under the new initiative the administration has rebranded the official name it originally assigned to the droves of illegal immigrant minors who continue sneaking into the U.S. They’re no longer known as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), a term that evidently was offensive and not politically correct enough for the powerful open borders movement. The new arrivals will be officially known as Central American Minors (CAM) and they will be eligible for a special refugee/parole that offers a free one-way flight to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The project is a joint venture between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department.

Specifically, the “program provides certain children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are undertaking to the United States,” according to a DHS memo obtained by JW this week. The document goes on to say that the CAM program has started accepting applications from “qualifying parents” to bring their offspring under the age of 21 from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The candidates will then be granted a special refugee parole, which includes many taxpayer-funded perks and benefits. Among them is a free education, food stamps, medical care and living expenses.

During a special teleconference this week officials from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the State Department explained how CAM will work. Only “friendly” groups and individuals invited by the government were allowed to participate and the event was not open to the media. Judicial Watch attended as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with interest in the matter. Obama administration officials offered an overview of the new CAM initiative and confirmed that the U.S. has deployed staff to the region to handle the influx of applicants. A State Department official promoted CAM as a “family reunification” program that will be completely funded by American taxpayers, though the official claimed to have no idea what the cost will be.

A U.S.-based parent will initiate the application to bring his or her child in from any of the three Central American countries. To qualify they must be a permanent resident, a parolee or a beneficiary of Obama’s recent amnesty or deferred action. Many have probably lived illegally in the U.S. for years. The only out-of-pocket cost is for a DNA test to assure the child belongs to the applicant but Uncle Sam will reimburse the money if the result is positive. A U.S. official will interview the child, then a medical exam and “cultural orientation” will be conducted before the minor flies to the U.S. Once in the U.S. the illegal alien will get “resettlement assistance,” the State Department official confirmed during the teleconference.

If the applicant doesn’t qualify for the more desirable refugee status he or she can be considered for parole, a USCIS official explained in the teleconference, which was attended mostly by immigrant rights groups known for advocating on behalf of illegal aliens. Refugee status is a form of protection offered to those who are deemed of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Parole allows individuals who may be otherwise inadmissible to come to the U.S. on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. The State Department official assured that applicants need not express or document a credible fear to qualify under CAM because “we want to make sure this program is open to as many people as possible.”                            p.s  Don’t forget we have 2000 Syrian s coming .

WHAT PART OF THIS DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

Despite the frenzied protests of critics, Indiana’s recent Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not the imposition of Jim Crow and is not going to lead to a kind of Selma for the gay rights movement.

Indiana has simply passed a law that enshrines the First Amendment values that we hold dear and have taken for granted for more than two centuries.

The double standard evident in the condemnation of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is undeniable. Indiana’s law is almost identical to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives and overwhelmingly in the Senate by a 97 to 3 vote. In its congressional findings, Congress recognized the “free exercise of religion as an unalienable right” guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton, although his wife now conveniently condemns the Indiana version. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who was one of the chief sponsors of the federal Act, is criticizing the Indiana law and denying they are the same. But Schumer’s claim that the comparison is “completely false” is itself “completely false.”

The Difference Between the Federal Law and Indiana’s Law

The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (42 U.S.C. §2000bb-1) says that the “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless it “demonstrates that application of the burden to the person –

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

A person can assert this provision as a “claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government.”

The new Indiana law (Sen. Bill No. 568) says that “a governmental entity may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability” unless it “demonstrates that application of the burden to the person” is:

  • in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
  • the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest.

A person can assert this provision “as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.”

These two provisions are virtually identical.

The Federal Law Also Protected Companies, Not Just Individuals

Schumer now claims that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was intended to protect only individuals and he criticizes the Indiana law for protecting private companies and corporations. It is true that the word “person” is defined in the Indiana law to include “an individual, an association, a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, a church, a religious institution, an estate, a trust, a foundation, or any other legal entity.”

But the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act also uses the word “person” although it doesn’t define the term as the Indiana law does.  But then it doesn’t need to.  Under 1 U.S.C. §1, also known as the federal Dictionary Act, the word “person” when used in an “Act of Congress” includes “corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnership, societies and joint stock companies, as well as individuals.” It has been this way since the first dictionary act back in 1947.

So Schumer’s claim about the federal law only covering individuals is “completely false.” He knew what he voted for back in 1993.

It seems pretty obvious after the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, over the abortion/contraception mandate of Obamacare, that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn’t just protect the religious freedom rights of individuals. It also applies to family-owned companies. As the Supreme Court made clear, “Congress enacted RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] in 1993 in order to provide very broad protection for religious liberty.”

Why State Versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Exist

It is also important to note that the federal law was intended by Congress (and Schumer) to apply to both the federal government and the states. The bill said that the term “government” included both the federal government and the states.

The reason that 19 states passed state versions of Religious Freedom Restoration Act, with Indiana being the 20th state, is because the Supreme Court ruled in 1997 in City of Boerne v. Flores that while Congress could apply Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s protections to the federal government, it did not have the authority to extend Religious Freedom Restoration Act to state governments. Eleven other states have also interpreted their state constitutions to extend Religious Freedom Restoration Act—type protections.

Some have tried to claim that the Indiana law is different because it specifically allows its protections to be asserted as a defense in a lawsuit to which the government is not a party, but a number of federal courts of appeal, including the Second, Eighth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuits have all held that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act can be asserted in a private action.  The Sixth and Seventh Circuits have held the opposite, leading to a split in the circuits. So Indiana was simply making specific in its statute the rule already implemented by at least four federal appeals courts.

The bottom line is that there is almost no substantive difference between the Indiana law that is being unfairly condemned and the federal law passed with almost universal approval. Both of these laws simply cement in place the protections of the Religion clauses of the First Amendment.

The Left’s Double Standard on Religious Freedom Laws

The double standards implicit in the criticism of Indiana is aptly demonstrated by Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, a Democrat, who announced he was barring state travel to Indiana. He may want to bar state travel to Connecticut, too, given that his state has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act law that has a lessstrict legal standard than Indiana’s law. While Indiana and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act bar the government imposing a “substantial” burden on religious exercise, the Connecticut law (Section 52-571b) leaves out the “substantial” requirement and simply bars any “burden” imposed on religious exercise.

Has Connecticut been a hotbed of “discriminatory” activity since it passed its Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993?  Highly doubtful. Will Indiana become a hotbed of such discrimination? Also highly doubtful.

Traditionally religious Hoosiers and gay Hoosiers can patronize the same establishments, or different establishments, and life will continue as before. No, restaurants and bars will not be able to refuse service to gays because of this law.

Yes, bakers, florists, photographers and others who try to live their lives according to their religious beliefs will be able to rely upon the state Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a defense in any lawsuit brought by the government (or someone acting based on some government authority) to forcethem to participate against their will in a private same-sex marriage ceremony when doing so would violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs, at which point it would be the burden of the government (or private actor) to prove that it is seeking to vindicate a compelling interest that cannot be achieved in a less restrictive way.

But then, that has long been an accepted belief (and a protected right) in America—that is why the Supreme Court ruled in 1943 in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that school children could not be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance when it violated their religious beliefs.

Critics of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, including born-again critics who once supported the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act or Religious Freedom Restoration Acts in their own states, apparently don’t (or no longer) believe in the importance of religious liberty. They seem to have nothing but angry contempt for religious adherents of all stripes who seek to live in accordance with their fundamental beliefs and who won’t conform to their progressive vision of how all Americans should behave.