Rutland, Vermont refugee program officially dead (for now)

Since I’m on the subject of Vermont—see machete attacker is son of Somali refugee in my previous post.

And, since I told you about the shake-up at USCRI (the federal refugee contractor in charge of Vermont) yesterday, I figured that you might want to know the latest from Rutland where a huge public battle over a new refugee office was waged over the last couple of years.

New readers might want to see my archive on Rutland by clicking here.

From The Rutland Herald yesterday.  The tone of the article suggests the media is miffed that they weren’t informed of the meeting with USCRI’s new top dog, Eskinder Negash.  Par for the course that refugee discussions are done in secrecy and who knows it better than the citizens of Rutland!

Rutland is not expecting any more refugees during the current fiscal year, according to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.


Eskinder Negash the new CEO at USCRI.  Sure wish we knew what happened that saw Lavinia Limon “retire.”

A letter dated Jan. 4, from Eskinder Negash, acting chief executive of the refugee organization, said USCRI officials were asked by the State Department Bureau of Populations, Refugees and Migration to revise its placement plan for the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, based on “several executive orders.”

“Based on PRM’s instructions and our analysis, we regrettably write to inform you that USCRI will ‘zero out’ its refugee arrival target for Rutland, VT, until we hear further notice from PRM on the resumption of refugee arrivals,” Negash said in the letter.

Mayor David Allaire posted the news on his Facebook page Wednesday in a post that was not initially made public and was only available to Allaire’s Facebook friends. The post was updated to be made public Thursday afternoon.

Allaire, along with Alderman Chris Ettori, attended a meeting at the Community College of Vermont’s campus in downtown Rutland on Wednesday. Negash and Amila Merdzanovic, director of the USCRI program in Vermont, also attended.

The Rutland Herald learned of the meeting and developments from USCRI from someone who attended the meeting. There are no indications the media was invited to the meeting or informed in advance that it was taking place.


Republican governor Scott welcomes refugees and immigrants to the Green Mountain state (aka Green card state!). Including machete man?

Attempts to reach Negash and Merdzanovic on Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.


While the recent work by USCRI officials to bring refugees from Syria and Iraq to Rutland has been controversial, USCRI has been relocating refugees to Vermont for 30 years.

Did they resettle the Somali machete hacker family?

Rutland Herald continues…..


Negash also said USCRI leaders “greatly appreciate Gov. (Phil) Scott’s strong support for refugee resettlement.” A call to a Scott representative was not returned Thursday afternoon.

On Jan. 29, 2017, Scott issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting immigration and refugee resettlement.

“I can’t imagine what Vermont, or our country, would look like today, had we refused to allow immigrants from all reaches of the world to experience this wonderful country the way most of us have, simply because they were not born here or didn’t share our exact religious view,” the statement said.

Much more here.

See more of my posts on Vermont generally by clicking here.

The US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) is one of nine federal contractors with hundreds of subcontractors under them that monopolize all resettlement in the US. USCRI has staked out Vermont for itself.  (Numbers in parenthesis after each is the percentage of their funding you give them via your tax dollars.)


Click here to read the full article on its original website.