The December 7, 2015 New Yorker has a couple of articles that could be useful to young people planning a career in the Refugee Nation that we’re building here in the middle of North America.
“Resettled” describes the screening process for Syrian refugees:
M. and his family were repeatedly fingerprinted. In interviews, they were asked the same biographical questions again and again. The boy summarized the process in two questions: “Do you want to go to America?” “Did you engage in terrorist activities?”
I.e., if you can take fingerprints or ask a potential terrorist “Did you used to be a terrorist?” you can get a government paycheck.
“The Refugee Dilemma” describes a fifteen-year-old from Sierra Leone:
The family had applied [circa 2000] for refugee status in the United States, and a year after they arrived at the camp the application was accepted. They left for Minnesota, where there are roughly a hundred thousand refugees, many attracted by the state’s social services and high rate of immigrant employment.
He was on track to enroll at Yale (one of whose employees later figures in this saga):
It was the first time that Kargbo had ever been surrounded by white people, and he thought that they had “a bad vibe about black people.” Students made fun of his accent, and he would sometimes respond by grabbing or pushing them.
He and a young friend generated some work for family court judges, child support enforcement officers, etc.:
He enrolled in Job Corps, hoping to become a nurse’s assistant, and began dating Sarah Hemmingson, a white eighteen-year-old whom he met through his friends. She liked that he was understated and funny and didn’t try to impress her. “He wore clothes that were too small and wrong for the weather and made him look homeless,” she told me. … Not long after they began dating, Hemmingson became pregnant. They named their daughter Destanee.
He generated work for Americans in the criminal justice industry:
Kargbo continued to smoke marijuana and drink heavily. He was arrested for a series of misdemeanors, serving no more than a few days in jail for each crime: disorderly conduct, being a public nuisance, fleeing a peace officer, shoplifting, and possession of burglary tools—he’d acted as a lookout, according to the police, while a friend tried to break into a store.
After eight years, he gets a W-2 job:
When Kargbo describes his life in America, it falls into two halves: before and after the Fords. At twenty-three, he fell in love with Marquette Ford, one of the few black people who lived in his neighborhood, and eventually moved into her mother’s home in Woodbury, a suburb of St. Paul. “His group of friends were horrible, and I took him right out of that house where he was living and introduced him to a different type of family,” Marquette told me. He dropped the rapping dream and took a job at a company that manufactured banners and signs.
He and his new young friend generate more work for Americans in the family court and criminal justice systems:
Marquette and Kargbo had three children in four years and moved into a house across the street from Renee. Most people from his village had large families, and it felt natural and comforting to do the same. He stopped socializing, unless his friends came to his house, where he was always watching the children. He worked night shifts, taking care of them during the day. “He chose to be Mr. Mom,” Renee said. “He did the cooking, because Marquette doesn’t cook, and he did the cleaning, because Marquette doesn’t like to clean.” Destanee visited on the weekends, and Kargbo took all four children to the library and taught the older ones to play soccer.
In August, 2013, when Kargbo was twenty-eight and his younger son was a year old, Marquette stayed out past the children’s bedtime without telling him where she was. When Kargbo called her cell phone, it was answered by a man he didn’t know. When she returned home, they got into a physical fight. Marquette’s friend, who dropped her off, called the police and Kargbo was arrested for misdemeanor domestic assault.
The rest of the article describes two additional years in which attorneys, psychologists, doctors, nurses, judges, federal immigration bureaucrats, and prison industry employees all draw paychecks from the taxpayers. Where does Yale cash in?
Ayana Jordan, a psychiatry fellow at Yale who studies mental health in Sierra Leone, told the judge that if Kargbo were deported he would likely have another psychotic episode. “He’d be highly stigmatized, seen as abnormal, feared, shunned, chased out of town,” she said. Jordan said that during her visits to Sierra Leone people told her that mental illness could be “caught” when a cool breeze entered the room while someone was sleeping, through witchcraft and bad dreams, and by bathing at the wrong hour.
Mr. Kargbo earns his freedom after a little more than two years due to the perception of one government worker (a judge) that other government workers (at DHS) were unproductive and/or lazy:
Kargbo’s lawyers filed another habeas petition, arguing that his ongoing detention had come to seem punitive, since it was improbable that he would be deported anywhere. On October 2nd, two months after the hearing, a magistrate judge recommended that the petition be granted, noting that there was no evidence that the D.H.S. had made any attempts to find a new country that would accept Kargbo.
Perhaps the typical refugee immigrant cannot generate this kind of growth in employment for various government-funded sectors of the economy, but even a handful of guys like Mr. Kargbo should result in a lot of hiring.