Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From Parts Unknown to Streets Paved with Gold, by John Q. Publius - The Unz Review (Killing America - one place at a time!)

“We have been overwhelmed and have responded valiantly. Now we need breathing room. Our city is maxed out financially, physically, and emotionally.” – Former Lewiston Mayor Larry Raymond
Several weeks ago I drew attention to the plight of the highly-unusual African migrant destination of Portland, Maine on The Third Rail podcast. It seems I wasn’t the only one whose suspicions were raised by what has rapidly turned into a crisis, with the city totally ill-equipped to deal with an influx of hundreds of Africans bussed-in by Catholic Charities from San Antonio, Texas. Someone who I can only assume is a local going under the name Concerned Citizen recently published a brilliant piece on Medium entitled “Such a Disgrace: How Ethan Strimling Betrayed the People of Portland” describing the trainwreck in Vacationland’s largest city. I highly recommend it as a primer on the situation, but of particular importance to us here are some pertinent questions raised by the author:
As a matter of course, refugees are typically less concerned with plotting a perfect 12,000-mile journey with an indeterminate source of funds than with escaping persecution alive…In surely one of the most peculiar quirks of modern mass migration, these Angolans and Congolese had taken the circuitous route from central Africa to Brazil to Ecuador to Mexico to San Antonio, Texas and finally Portland, Maine. This amounts to a bare minimum of 11,264 miles traveled “as the crow flies,” and as much of the route was by land, it was surely much more. As ostensible refugees, this naturally begs a couple of questions, namely: how can they afford to travel such distances with no income and just the clothes on their backs? How are they able to plan such a logistically-demanding trip? Why do they have international media and legal contacts?[1]
I took it upon myself to attempt to answer these questions, and have discovered in an almost-perfect analogue with what’s happening in Europe an existing support system and network that appears to be funneling migrants to particular pre-determined locales for reasons that will be discussed in the forthcoming pieces. The primary actors and organizations, and their connections to what at first blush appears to be an isolated incident but is anything but, will be revealed. Any treatment of the conflagration of aliens spreading across the whole of the United States must first start with a border so porous it might as well be non-existent, though. As Adam Shaw reports:
The U.S. Border Patrol chief testified Thursday that migrants from 52 countries have illegally crossed the border this year as she described an agency “overwhelmed on a daily basis” by the escalating crisis.“While smugglers primarily target the Northern Triangle, family units from 52 countries have illegally crossed the southern border so far this year,” U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost told the House Homeland Security Border Security, Facilitation and Operations Subcommittee…“In just two weeks, more than 740 individuals from African nations—primarily family units—have been apprehended in Del Rio sector alone, compared to only 108 who crossed the southern border in the first eight months of the fiscal year,” she said… Earlier in her remarks, Provost said that she has had to move 40-60 percent of manpower away from the border to process and care for nearly 435,000 families and children who have traveled across the border this year.[2]
Senior FBI counter-terrorism official Michael Steinbach testified before the House that the U.S. presently lacks the capability to properly screen out terrorists from the ranks of the U.N. refugee program—to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of illegals flooding across the southern border. Perhaps an even graver biological threat looms as well; as Brian Lonergan writes:
What would happen if we encouraged and accepted seemingly infinite numbers of asylum seekers into our communities? The results are coming in, and they’re not pretty…The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently suffering through an Ebola epidemic so bad that the World Health Organization is considering declaring an international emergency there (my note: they did in fact end up declaring it an international emergency). Normally, asylum seekers are subject to a health check and quarantine if necessary before entering the U.S. However, Acting Homeland Security Director Kevin McAleenan recently admitted that, because of the overflow at the border, thousands of border crossers and illegal immigrants are being released into the country every week without undergoing tests for diseases. Given these factors, a potentially deadly outbreak of Ebola in the United States seems almost inevitable.[3]
None of these issues are treated with any concern by the ruling class, however. Old, white Maine needs migrants. Ostensibly driven by Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling’s siren song and with bus fare paid for by Catholic Charities, hundreds of Angolans and Congolese wound their way north to an already over-burdened Portland and its ample social services and benefits. This isn’t some aberration or accident, some one-off or outlier. For starters, Randy Billings reports that:
Some of the migrants have said that word had spread on the long and dangerous trail through Latin America of a welcoming attitude in Maine’s largest city, along with available social services and an existing African community.[4]
Indeed, immigrants accounted for three-fourths of Portland’s recent population growth, the vast majority of whom hailed from sub-Saharan Africa, though some came from the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In 2013, Portland had the largest concentration of immigrants in the state— nearly 10,000 or 15% of the population representing 80 nationalities.[5] That number has risen dramatically in just six short years. Currently, 42% of Portland’s and 40% of nearby Lewiston’s public school students are non-White, as are almost half of both cities’ children under the age five. Lewiston’s neighbor, Auburn, experienced a 400% growth in their English Language Learner student population between 2000-2010. Lewiston’s immigrant and refugee population has grown by over 330% since 2004.
[Lewiston] became a secondary migration destination for Somalis after social service agencies relocated a few families there in February 2001. Between 1982 and 2000, resettlement agencies placed refugees, including 315 Somalis, in the Portland, Maine area. High rates of rental housing occupancy in Portland led to the first relocations to Lewiston. Somalis have a history of nomadism and maintain contact, often via cell phone, with a large network of extended family, clan members, and friends. More Somalis learned about Lewiston and were attracted by the quality of life there, the low housing costs, good schools, safety and greater social control of their children in the smaller town. Between February 2001 and August 2002 over 1,000 Somalis moved to Lewiston. Most of these early secondary migrants came from Clarkston, Georgia, a suburb just outside Atlanta. By 2007, Somalis were 6.5% of the population of Lewiston and had come to the city from all over the United States and at least three other countries.[6]
One-in-six Lewiston residents are now Somali and the consequences have been predictably disastrous, just as they have been in other formerly high-trust cities across the country. As Brian Lonergan writes:
How has the Minnesota experiment fared? In the Minneapolis neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside, dubbed “Little Mogadishu,” violent crimes increased by more than 50 percent in 2018. Law enforcement attributed the spike to Somali gang activity there. This is just one of many unpleasant statistics of growing criminal activity in the Minneapolis area. The Somali community in Minneapolis has also become a hotbed of terrorist recruitment in the U.S. The FBI reported that 45 Somalis left Minnesota to join al-Shabab or ISIS, both Islamic terrorist groups. In 2018 a dozen more were arrested attempting to join ISIS. The experiments in [Maine and Minnesota] not only have produced uninspiring results, they violate the “without risk to the rest of the country” component of Justice Brandeis’ theory. Bad immigration policies cannot be contained within a city or state’s boundaries. Their effects can touch all of us, as the noxious “sanctuary” trend demonstrates.[7]
Remember: there is no connection between increased crime in Lewiston and Somalis, the media reminds us. In addition to the violence, foreign-born residents account for most of Lewiston’s welfare costs.[8] FAIR expands:
City officials said the influx strained social services such as welfare, job training, and language classes. Somalis make up a third of all tenants at the city’s largest public housing complex. More than a quarter of the families on the waiting list for public housing are Somali…The city has doubled its general assistance budget (which provides food, housing, utilities, and medicine), has earmarked about one percent of its budget for services for the Somalis, and has cobbled together federal and state grants. Lewiston’s assistant city administrator said that the property tax rate has now grown so high that every dollar spent must receive careful scrutiny. Some recent press coverage has taken a more positive stance toward the influx of Somali immigrants that is not justified by economic data. Most notable is a Newsweek article that highlights the dramatic increase in English language learners and the emergence of Somali-oriented businesses as evidence that immigration had “saved” the town. A broader look at Lewiston’s economic situation demonstrates that this is clearly not the case. In April 2008, the Maine Department of Labor issued a report finding that less than 10 percent of Somali immigrants to the town had stable employment, and that most earned extremely low wages. About 30 percent find part-time employment, leaving the majority without any type of job. The massive influx of cheap, unutilized workers creates a golden opportunity for corporations that thirst for opportunities to lower wages and exploit cheap labor, something that Newsweek failed to mention in highlighting a business-oriented magazine’s designation of Lewiston as a good place to do business. The drain on public coffers by Somali immigrants in Lewiston is not a new issue in the state. Indeed, a study conducted at Bates College reports that the influx of Somalis arriving in Lewiston started because “Portland’s public housing…could not meet demand from the newcomers.” Even by 2003, before the largest influxes, Somali immigrants made up two-thirds of the Hillview public housing complex, Lewiston’s largest. Somali immigration peaked in 2005, when Somali Bantu immigrants who tend to be even less educated than their predecessors began settling in Lewiston.[9]
One misleading statistic immigration advocates deploy is stating that immigrants are more well-educated than the native population. In the context of Maine, despite the influx of non-Western immigrants in recent decades, a large share of immigrants to Maine still come from Canada—19.6% of its foreign-born population hails from Canada. Another 24.6% come from Europe.[10] In January 2017, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Communities & Banking published a paper by Dickstein, et al. echoing the same “findings” of their Coastal Enterprises, Inc. paper from the year previous (to be discussed in an upcoming installment). The paper, entitled “Immigrants: An Important Part of Maine’s Economic Development Strategy,” concluded: “An increasingly diverse population in Maine will enhance the state’s ability to attract talent and do business with the rest of the nation and the world” because immigrants to Maine are “young, well-educated, and motivated.”[11] The numbers regarding the latter two claims contradict the authors’ assertions—non-citizens and “naturalized citizens” have a lower workforce participation rate than native Mainers, and immigrants are almost twice as likely as Mainers to have less than a high school diploma.
Immigrants to Maine, then, slot cleanly into two strata: the highly-educated Canadians and Europeans, and the cheap labor and ready votes imported from Somalia, Congo, Sudan, and elsewhere. The failure to differentiate between the two is a tried-and-true tactic employed to deliberately mislead the people. According to Rachel Desgrosseilliers, Lewiston’s Somali influx has been a good thing because—like the French-Canadians and Irish before them—they are filling an urgent labor need. This, precisely, is what we do not know, considering all the mills are closing or are closed. She then contradicts her kumbaya narrative by pointing out that, “It wasn’t easy when the French Canadians arrived and the Irish had been here first. They felt that we were coming to take their jobs and there were big battles on the Main Street bridge and they threw each other in the river.” Interesting—different ethnicities pitted in economic competition coming to blows. Who could’ve foreseen that?
Nevertheless, the state’s leadership continues to double-down on the “necessity” of importing thousands of sub-Saharan Africans for both the economy and as a reflection of “our values.” Congresswoman Chellie Pingree released the following statement in response to Governor Janet Mills’ announcement that the state will allow an influx of hundreds of African asylum-seekers who’ve flooded into Portland to apply for General Assistance (GA):
Governor Mills’ decision to expand general assistance funds statewide is pragmatic and a reflection of Maine’s values. She has shown tremendous leadership in the face of this humanitarian crisis—as have City of Portland officials and Mainers themselves. When hundreds of people fleeing conflict arrived in Portland, the community responded by opening their doors and donating thousands of dollars to support their needs. With the oldest workforce in the nation and record low unemployment, Maine cannot afford to turn away people who want to make a fresh start here.[12]
Isn’t it odd that the supposed boon to the economy these migrants represent needs such substantial funding and taxpayer largesse? Congresswoman Pingree also announced the House Appropriations Committee has released an “emergency supplemental spending package,” which includes $60 million to support communities, like Portland, which have “experienced a significant influx of asylum seekers.” Portland has been hemorrhaging money for years; as Concerned Citizen explicates:
Two-thirds of the 1,000 people receiving general assistance in Portland in January 2019 were asylum seekers. In just the month of September 2018, Portland paid over $125,000 in General Assistance aid to 273 asylum seekers. For Maine, a report published by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) estimated that the state and local governments spent $41 million on services for individuals residing in the state without legal permission. As reported in the Portland Press Herald, for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2014, Portland provided roughly $3 million in General Assistance to 522 households whose asylum applications were still pending. That figure is an increase from 312 households and $1.8 million in General Assistance expenditures in fiscal year 2013—and nearly triple fiscal year 2011. Maine taxpayers spend more than $19 million a year for ESL (English as a second language) instruction, an increase of more than 100 percent in just 10 years…The city has estimated a cost of approximately $1.4 million to provide housing vouchers and other types of support to the migrants currently in the Expo—and this is assuming no more arrive, which appears highly unlikely. At the end of June, Portland city councilors already had to re-appropriate $2.6 million in funds to provide General Assistance benefits for asylum seekers throughout the city…Asylum seekers primarily from African countries constitute 90% of the people living in city-run family and overflow shelters.[13]
35% of students in Portland public schools speak a language other than English at home, according to the school district. Difficulties with integration and finding translators for often-obscure languages are just part of the problem. Driven primarily by African immigration, the public school system of not just Portland but those of other communities throughout the state must grapple with the ubiquitous behavioral issues of the immigrant children—a phenomenon that the ACLU of Maine, naturally, blames on racism. Nevertheless, despite Blacks comprising just 3.1 percent of all Maine public school students, they represent 6.2 percent of in-school expulsions, 6.3 percent out-of-school suspensions, 6.5 percent of referrals to law enforcement, 8 percent of expulsions under zero tolerance policies, and 18 percent of corporal punishments in school.[14] There are other costs as well, continues Concerned Citizen:
Local and state officials say that Maine will look very different by 2050. Southern Maine, according to the State Planning Office, will become so urbanized that it will essentially be an extension of Boston. 27% of the state’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and 33% of its bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. In spite of these serious issues and others such as the homelessness and opioid epidemics, Governor Mills has decided to further relax restrictions on General Assistance to allow more asylum-seekers to claim benefits from the over-burdened state and a populace which already has the third-highest tax burden in the country.[15]
Finally, regarding Portland’s metamorphosis into San Francisco East, Concerned Citizen references a 2016 Salon piece:
Portland, Maine had the second largest rise in rental rates in the U.S. Rents rose 17.4%, the median rent in Portland rising to $1582, more than much larger Philadelphia and Chicago. With many hundreds of new families relocating to the city every year, a housing shortage has worsened, and the rent increases have driven the working class out of town in droves. Portland’s vacancy rate is near zero. Meanwhile shelters for the homeless are overflowing with citizens unable to compete with newcomers who consider the $1600 rents cheap by their former standards. The city has been struggling to come up with workable options to increase affordable housing without impacting Portland’s “livability.” Meanwhile, as rents have increased 40% in the past five years, Mayor Ethan Strimling has acknowledged that there was a $500 gap between what people make in Portland and what they can afford to pay for housing.[16]
In lieu of addressing the real problems affecting the people of Portland, however, Strimling has apparently decided to exacerbate those problems by fully committing to the globalist agenda, a decision backed and aided by Governor Mills and Congresswoman Pingree and cloaked by the usual platitudes extoling diversity, appealing to “our values,” and claiming “economic necessity.” As we shall see in the forthcoming pieces, this goes much deeper than just a few state officials or the odd virtue-signaling do-gooder organization, however—there is a powerful global matrix of venture capitalists and financial institutions, corporations, NGOs, media conglomerates, politicians, academicians, law firms and assorted legal organizations and advocacy groups, foreign governments, and ethnic lobbies all collaborating to further the neo-liberal project.
The situation in Maine serves as a microcosm of the dismantling of the Western world more broadly; I could have just as easily picked any state in the country—or any other country outside the former Eastern Bloc for that matter—and uncovered the same principal actors or archetypes. This exercise will show in explicit terms, however, the mechanisms and avenues through which the globalist establishment works to undermine our sovereignty in the name of profit and racial animus.
[5] Miriam Burt, Evaluation of the Adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program in Portland Public Schools, (Center for Applied Linguistics, 2015).
[6] Mott, Tamara E. (Feb 2010). “African refugee resettlement in the US: the role and significance of voluntary agencies”. Journal of Cultural Geography27 (1): 1–31. doi:10.1080/08873631003593190 – via MasterFILE Elite. AND Nadeau, Phil (Summer 2007). “The New Mainers: State and local agencies form partnerships to help Somali immigrants”. National Civic Review96 (2): 55–57 AND Huisman, Kimberly A.; Hough, Mazie; Langellier, Kristin M.; Toner, Carol Nordstrom, eds. (2011). Somalis in Maine: Crossing Cultural Currents. Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books. pp. 23–56.
(Republished from The Occidental Observer by permission of author or representative)