Tag Archives: State Department

Taxpayers paying millions for airfare for illegal immigrants

Corruption. The State Department and other federal agencies have been providing millions in unsecured loans to illegal immigrants to pay their airfare into the United States.

The program is operated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an intergovernmental group that assists refugees worldwide with hundreds of millions of dollars from Uncle Sam. The money is channeled through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). In fiscal year 2016 the State Department gave IOM $477,257,564, according to the agency’s report on contributions to international organizations. That doesn’t even include millions more that the State Department gives the IOM for special refugee resettlement “platforms” that pop up throughout the year.

…In a federal court document responding to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, the State Department writes that its “search did not retrieve any records reflecting the number of refugee travel loans furnished per year using U.S. Government funds, the number of such travel loans defaulted on annually, nor the amount of money written off per defaulted loan.” In a footnote the agency writes that it did retrieve some records reflecting IOM’s “general reporting” on refugee travel loans, but none of it contained the “specific information sought” by Judicial Watch. This is outrageous because it suggests that the State Department can’t account for money American taxpayers are lending to foreigners to fly here to declare themselves refugees. A source with inside knowledge of the matter confirmed to Judicial Watch that the records exist and years ago a State Department insider provided figures that show only about half of the travel loans have been repaid since the program was launched in the 1950s, representing a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars to American taxpayers. Judicial Watch viewed the records, which span from 1952 to 2002 and reveal that the IOM issued $1,020,803,910 in “transportation” loans and recovered only $584, 219,453.

This does not include a Health & Human Services program that gives illegals special loans up to $15,000, without keeping track on whether the loans are repaid or not.

Let’s make this very clear: Federal agencies have been providing money to illegal immigrants to make it easier for them to fly into the United States illegally. The program, set up in the 1950s, was likely created to aid refugees escaping from the Soviet bloc. Now it is used to encourage illegal immigration, against the interests of the United States and its citizens.

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Trump administration plans 9% staffing cuts at State Department

It’s a start: The Trump administration is looking to eliminate about 9% of the workforce in the State Department.

The majority of the job cuts, about 1,700, will come through attrition, while the remaining 600 will be done via buyouts, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced. William Inglee, a former Lockheed Martin Corp. official and policy adviser in Congress, is overseeing the budget cuts and briefed senior managers on the plan Wednesday, the people said.

The personnel cuts, which may be phased in over two years, represent the most concrete step taken by Tillerson as he seeks to reverse the expansion the department saw under former President Barack Obama’s administration and meet President Donald Trump’s demand — outlined in an executive order signed last month — to cut spending across federal agencies. A draft budget outline released in March for the year that begins Oct. 1 seeks a 28.5 percent reduction in State Department spending from fiscal 2016.

I am not fully cognizant of the history of State Department staffing, but I am willing to bet that these cuts will not reduce the staffing to levels seen prior to the Obama administration. Still, we can’t gain control of the federal government if we don’t start somewhere, and at least the Trump administration is making an effort, something neither Bush administration did.

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Tilleson starts State Department purge

Cleaning house: The Trump administration carried out major lay-offs in the staffing at high levels of the State Department on Thursday.

Much of seventh-floor staff, who work for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices, were told today that their services were no longer needed. These staffers in particular are often the conduit between the secretary’s office to the country bureaus, where the regional expertise is centered. Inside the State Department, some officials fear that this is a politically-minded purge that cuts out much-needed expertise from the policy-making, rather than simply reorganizing the bureaucracy.

In addition, it appears that the new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also pulling the fangs from many other State Department managers, many of whom have indicated a partisan hostility to the Trump administration.

There are clear signals being sent that many key foreign policy portfolios will be controlled directly by the White House, rather than through the professional diplomats. Not a single State Department official was included in the White House meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week.

Good. It is important that federal employees of all stripes learn that a new administration has been elected by the American people, and it is there job to do what that administration wants, not what they want.

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Trump does a clean sweep of all politically appointed ambassadors

A very good sign: The Trump transition team has issued a blanket order requiring all politically appointed ambassadors “without exception” to resign their posts by inauguration day.

This order, which breaks with past precedent which allowed ambassadors to stick around until a new person was named, is actually a very good sign. It indicates that Trump really does intend to clean house. His track record in the private sector is to fire people if they are not producing. It appears he is going to bring that experience to the executive branch, an approach that the federal government has lacked for decades.

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“If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”

A new set of Hillary Clinton emails just released by the State Department includes one in which she is clearly ordering a subordinate to violate the law on how classified material should be transmitted.

Has the State Department released a smoking gun in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal? In a thread from June 2011, Hillary exchanges e-mails with Jake Sullivan, then her deputy chief of staff and now her campaign foreign-policy adviser, in which she impatiently waits for a set of talking points. When Sullivan tells her that the source is having trouble with the secure fax, Hillary then orders Sullivan to have the data stripped of its markings and sent through a non-secure channel.

Her exact written words are the title of this post.

More here. To me, it really doesn’t matter whether Hillary Clinton is ever indicted for what are clear violations of the law in how she handled classified material while she was Secretary of State. What matters is that we, as voters, have clear evidence now that she has contempt for the law, that she willingly and nonchalantly lies about it to the public, and that she is simply not a trustworthy individual. And this story is only one of many others about Hillary Clinton that all demonstrate the same things about her.

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The murder of four Americans in Libya, including the ambassador, appears to have been the result of failed security.

Focused like a laser: The murder of four Americans in Libya, including the ambassador, appears to have been the result of failed security.

Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the “safe house” in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed “safe”. Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts.

According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and “lockdown”, under which movement is severely restricted.

This is a disaster, and suggests incompetence at all levels of the State Department and the White House.

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The White House has disavowed the apology to the Muslim protesters issued by its embassy in Egypt.

The White House has disavowed the apology to the Muslim protesters issued by its embassy in Egypt earlier today.

“The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” an administration official told POLITICO.

In other words, the Obama State Department isn’t cowardly, it’s simply incompetent. What a relief!

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“inadequate oversight, lax bookkeeping, sloppy paperwork, haphazard performance agreements and missing financial documentation.”

An inspector general’s report of the State Department’s climate change office has uncovered “inadequate oversight, lax bookkeeping, sloppy paperwork, haphazard performance agreements and missing financial documentation.”

Other than that, the Obama administration’s management of its climate research budget is just fine.

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