Last week I told you about an organization called Partnership for a New American Economy teaming up with another organization called Welcoming America that awarded Fargo and 19 other cities across our great nation an award called the Gateway for Growth Challenge award.
After that segment, you flooded me with emails, voice mails, tweets, and you asked me to dig into this and find out more information for you. In fact, here is an excerpt from just one of the many emails I received from a person right here in the Valley. It says:
"Dear Mr. Berg,
Thank you for your recent information regarding this award. After being sent a link, I have done some further research and must say I am appalled and quite honestly, scared.
Is there a way we can pull together as a community and not stand for this? Who should we be contacting? Why has the mayor not said, "thanks but no thanks, we do not accept this award." We don't have to take the grant. We should not take the grant. And if our leaders are not doing anything about this then we need to elect new ones!
Who is Partnership for a New American Economy? To give you an idea, it was a prime lobby group for one of the biggest open borders pushes in American history. Remember Rubio's Gang of Eight bill? They were part of that.
The organization is run by top CEOs such as Michael Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch, and others who are supporters of immigration reform.
To give you an idea of how some of some of these founding members view immigration reform, back in June of 2014, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal titled "Immigration Reform Can't Wait." It is an interesting piece and I would encourage you to read it.
Part of his op-ed said:
"Next, we need to do away with the cap on H-1B visas, which is arbitrary and results in U.S. companies struggling to find the high-skill workers they need to continue growing. We already know that most of the applications for these visas are for computer programmers and engineers, where there is a shortage of qualified American candidates."
I would invite you to do your homework on the H-1B visa program. There are pluses and minuses to all programs and some experts refer to this one as an indentured servitude program, just to give you an idea.
As I mentioned earlier, Partnership for a New American Economy is partnering with a group called Welcoming America. "Who is Welcoming America?" you migh ask. All you really need to know is that they are partially funded by George Soros, a big time open border advocate.
Many of you have asked me, what is this Gateway for Growth Challenge award, how did Fargo win it, and if this award is so great for the citizens of Fargo, why are our leaders not shouting from the rooftops about it?
Let's answer the last question first. The biggest reason they are not shouting from the rooftops about it is because they had never heard of it until I talked about it last week here on the show. I spoke with Mayor Mahoney yesterday. He said he was going to speak with Dan Mahli to find out more about it. Dan Mahli is Fargo's Community Development Administrator, and you will hear more from Mr. Mahli in the video above. I also called City Commissioner Tony Gehrig, as well as Dave Piepkorn. Both of them told me they had never even heard of the program before. And last Wednesday, we had Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams on the show. I asked him about it and he said the same thing.
Four of our elected leaders had no idea we won this award? How in the world does that happen? Remember this point because I will talk more about it in a moment.
Now let's look at what this award is and how Fargo was chosen for it. Basically, cities can apply for matching grants that help with research and technical assistance to support the development and implementation of a strategic plan for welcoming and integrating new Americans. They basically say hey, let's help you look at data in your community when it comes to the economic impact new Americans and immigrants are having on your community.
Let me share with you some specific examples of what sort of metrics they will look at, and this comes right from one of their documents. They are going to look at specifically, and please note the wording here, "how much more likely immigrants are than the native-born to be employed in various industries; the number of manufacturing jobs that were created or preserved from 2000 to 2010 in individual counties as a direct result of the presence of immigrants; how much housing values increased at a county level between 2000-2010 due to the influx of foreign-born residents."
So basically, they look at different economic indicators of immigrants and new Americans and then spit out a pretty hand out to tell you how great new Americans and immigrants are for your community. The challenge is, pun intended, that you do not dictate what metrics they measure. From what I have been told, they tell you what they are going to measure. So it is sort of like asking the NRA to come into your community and have them tell you if more guns in a community would be a good thing for your community.
What's interesting, as least, as far as I can tell, they don't ask questions about new Americans and the impact they have on our kids' education, or crime rates or welfare costs for that matter. Fortunately, the Office of Refugee Resettlement creates an annual report that they present to Congress.
Here is just some of the information from a report they released in June of 2015. This is just for Middle Eastern refugees that lived in America from 2008 to 2013, and you can see that 91.4% are on food stamps, 73.1% are on Medicaid, 68.3% are on some type of cash assistance, you get the idea. The question is will the Gateway for Growth Challenge measure these kind of metrics as well? I don't know for sure, hopefully we will find out.
So how did Fargo find out about this award and how did we get it?
Basically the city of Fargo and the New American Consortium for Wellness and Empowerment teamed up and submitted something similar to a grant application. I wonder if Fargo would team up with pro life or pro gun group to measure their positive impacts on our community?
I want to read to you some excerpts from this application and also show you who signed off on it to sign us up for this award.
On the second page the application it reads:
"Making immigrants and new Americans a part of our community is essential for both their well being and the benefit of our community. Currently, immigrants are the only growing population of young homeowners in North Dakota and their voice are lacking at every level of community involvement. "
Immigrants are the only growing population of young homeowners in North Dakota? Not sure if that is true, and Mayor Mahoney, Commissioner Gehrig and Dave Piepkorn said that is not accurate.
Then it goes on to say, and I want you to listen to this carefully, I am not going to add any color to this quote and you tell me what you feel this statement says to you about our community. It says:
"When resettling new Americans into our community, we invest in them and our mutual success. If they leave, our investment leaves and unfortunately, attitudes and presumptions of a predominantly and historically white community have minimized the value of immigrants and what they have to offer our community."
i have read that quote to several people here in the office and each time they said what you probably saying to yourself at home...They said to me that it makes it sound like we are bunch of white racist bigots that live here.
I want to read you one more excerpt from the application, and please remember, I just told you that our mayor and three city commissioners had never even heard of this program until I brought it to their attention last week. This application was submitted on February 5th, more than 2 months ago, and it goes on to say:
"The City of Fargo has agreed to provide their full support and dedication to this project. Including the time and knowledge of staff from the planning and community development departments, the city is arranging for city commissioners and other local government representatives to be involved in the planning and implementation of a strategy that unifies visions and goals for welcoming immigrants to our community."
When I read that piece to some of our city commissioners they were not happy that someone, in writing, wrote that the city of Fargo has agreed to provide its full support and dedication to a project they had never even heard of until a week ago.
Here is where someone needs to answer some questions. Let me show you who signed this application document stating that the city of Fargo fully supports this project.
Her name is Kristina Kaupa. She is an intern in Fargo's Community Development office. I am going to assume, for Kristina's benefit, that she is not signing documents without someone telling her to sign them. So the question is who told her to sign it and what is going on in Fargo that an intern can sign off on a document that, again, states in writing, that the city of Fargo has agreed to provide their full support and dedication to a project that our city leaders don't even know about? Someone needs to answer this question.