Rutland, Vermont Mayor Christopher Louras lost a four-way race to City Councilor David Allaire. Why? Well, he wanted to bring in 100 Syrian refugees, but the citizens were tired of being rolled over. What’s even more sensational is Louras was a 6-term mayor! He thought he had it in the bag! Not so fast, because it appears the people were tired of elitist politicians who have stopped listening to the wishes of the people they represent.
Americans are waking up, in one town and city after another, to hold the people they elected accountable. Bravo! Last spring, Louras announced a plan to bring up to 100 refugees annually from Syria and Iraq to the city of about 16,500 residents. His plan divided the community among those who wanted the refugees to come and those who were worried about security threats.
Allaire was brilliant in how he had criticized the way Louras rolled out the program, announcing it last April without getting input from the public and city officials. When Allaire announced his candidacy, he said the issue was not with the city taking in refugees but with the secrecy of the program.
The small city of Rutland was chosen as the site to place refugees by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), one of the nine major federally-funded refugee resettlement contractors or voluntary agencies (volags), and its local affiliated field office or subcontractor, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP).
Makes you wonder why the Obama administration would choose such small towns, right? According to Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch, once a site is chosen for resettlement, the agency submits an annual resettlement plan to the State Department in order to receive federal funding of nearly $2,000 per refugee sponsored in addition to federal grants of up to $2,200 per refugee sponsored. Under the Obama administration, refugee resettlement has become a billion dollar industry.