Newsletter #144 – Who’s Working in Tennessee? (Part 2 of 2)

The August 2014 Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) analysis can tell you who isn’t working in Tennessee. Their conclusion based on the same data the federal government uses to determine labor market participation shows that the jobs in Tennessee are going to legal and illegal immigrants:

 “Tennessee’s working-age immigrant population grew 176 percent from 2000 to 2014,  one of the highest of any state in the nation. Yet the number of natives working in 2014 was actually lower in 2000.”

With Chamber of Commerce support for both amnesty and refugee resettlement, this should come as no surprise.

Bridge Refugee Services is a refugee resettlement agency in Knoxville. It partners with Church World Services (CWS), one of the nine national resettlement organizations. A volunteer refugee advocacy group has posted the complaints they received about Bridge’s treatment of refugees. One post addresses four reported worksite injuries in over eight months that the refugees claimed Bridge did not help them address. The volunteer that works with the refugees opined that the “agency even sided with the temporary employment agency that placed the refugees, and is more concerned about keeping up their employment placements than they are with the refugees’ welfare.”

In the federal resettlement contracting business, employment numbers are very important, however illusory they may be, as exposed by a former Bridge Refugee Service caseworker. Despite any reported problems, Bridge continues to receive federal grant money. The last publicly available report in 2010 shows $902,445 in taxpayer funds.

“We come for the jobs”

So says Mohamed-Shukri Hassan, a Somali refugee who was resettled in Tennessee. After working for the TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) and CAIR-Hamas promoting American Center for Outreach (ACO), Hassan now works as the Program Director for the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC). All three organizations stress non-assimilation in favor of multicultural accommodations.

Shukri also served on the board of NICE (Nashville International Center for Empowerment), an organization that started out just assisting refugees with government money but which grew into a full-fledged refugee resettlement agency. NICE’s new status brought much more public money into its accounts. In 2013 it received over $800,000 in taxpayer money to fund its operations. Representatives from Dell and Toshiba also serve on NICE’s board.

And not to be left out, Will Alexander, Sen. Lamar Alexander’s son who is now the chief of staff of Gov. Haslam’s Department of Economic and Community Development, has also served on NICE’s board. Crony is as crony does.

One stream of NICE’s public money comes under the heading of the “Match Grant” program. This program allows public money to flow into resettlement agencies by matching public dollars with cash and in-kind donations for which the agency sets the dollar value of the donated goods. This particular program is supposed to offer an alternative to cash welfare.

The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement places such a high premium on shifting refugee healthcare costs to states, that its FY2013 Match Grant written guidelines advises resettlement agencies to use vouchers if necessary to avoid having weekly cash payments that make refugee clients income ineligible for food stamps and Medicaid.

Flower Foods: has Bridge Refugee Services knocked on their door?

In March, 2014, Governor Haslam and ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced the opening of Flower Foods bakery operation in Knox County. (see detailed announcement here.)


Food processing and manufacturing plants seem to be a popular source of jobs for refugees. Tysons Foods is known to be a big supporter of refugee labor. In fact, Tyson’s HR Manager was a board member of CRIT (Center for Refugees and Immigrants of TN, an organization with an “interesting” history.)


creative foods

Knoxville’s Flower Foods can look closer to home to find refugee employees. In fact, they can look in-house to John Swale, Director of Outsourced Services. Swale serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association for Refugees (IAFR) based in Minnesota. He also served for 10 years as a Field Director for Refugee and Ethnic Minority Ministries.

Companies more like Flower Foods such as Creative Snack also looks to Church World Service to “find its employees.” CWS is the same resettlement organization that partners with Bridge in Knoxville and Chattanooga.

Diane’s Desserts in Minnesota offers an instructive object lesson for Flower Foods. In 2012 resettled refugee Somali workers at Diane’s Desserts in Le Center, Minnesota, walked off the job to protest a new company policy about skirt length which was issued after a worker’s long skirt got caught in machinery. Even though the female workers could still cover their legs with pants, it was unacceptable to the Somali workers.

Predictably, CAIR-Hamas stepped in to help the workers that quit their jobs file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Accommodating religious demands like dress and prayer time are just some of the trade-offs crony capitalists have to make for cheap labor.

So, are you wondering who’s working in Tennessee?



Newsletter #143 – Who’s Working in Tennessee?

Gov. Haslam’s reelection campaign includes taking credit for bringing “170,000 new jobs to Tennessee.”

Gov. Haslam’s reelection campaign includes taking credit for bringing “170,000 new jobs to Tennessee.”

An August 2014 Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) analysis of Tennessee’s employment growth since 2000 shows that the jobs have gone to legal and illegal immigrants.

“Tennessee’s working-age immigrant population grew 176 percent from 2000 to 2014, one of the highest of any state in the nation. Yet the number of natives working in 2014 was actually lower in 2000.”

CIS used the same data the government uses to determine labor market participation.

Who are legal immigrants in Tennessee?

Refugees are legal immigrants that are brought to Tennessee by federal contractors like Catholic Charities. They come with work authorization and access to all forms of public assistance including TennCare, SSI and cash welfare, if they meet the eligibility requirements. Federal contractors like Catholic Charities always say that the federal government pays the full cost of the resettlement program. That is not true. The federal government has admitted many times that they have shifted the bulk of the program’s cost to the States.

The FY2015 “Key Indicators for Refugee Placement” is a report providing information to help the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement and its federal contractors decide where to send refugees in the coming year. In the report is information about whether a state has decided to expand its Medicaid program because this is a program with high refugee enrollment.

Federal contractor, Tennessee Office for Refugees (TOR), a department of Catholic Charities of TN, has run the refugee resettlement program in Tennessee since late 2008. During the first 3 years TOR ran the program, they brought approximately 4,500 refugees to the state so TennCare enrollment within this group more than doubled.

In November 2013, Haslam admitted that increased TennCare costs “threaten to gobble up to 60% of all new revenue in the state’s upcoming 2015 budget.”

Another “key indicator” included in the report is refugee employment data by state. Federal

contractors uniformly report that a high percentage of their refugee clients are employed within the first 3 – 6 months of having arrived and become economically self-sufficient shortly thereafter.   The following Tennessee employment data was reported:

  • out of 1809 refugees brought to Tennessee by contractors, only 52% were eligible for employment
  • of the 952 eligible for employment, only 2/3, or about 618 entered employment
  • 90 days after entering employment, about 506 were still employed

Federal contractors are supposed to report 90 and 180 day employment retention outcomes to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement ORR). This report did not include the 180 day employment retention information. “Friends of Refugees,” is a non-partisan volunteer watchdog group that includes former refugee resettlement agency volunteers. A recent story about Tennessee federal contractor Bridge that resettles refugees in Knoxville and Chattanooga, says the employment data is not accurate:

“A former case manager also sent us information about the agency and pointed out that the refugee employment figures are dishonest as most of the refuges have only temporary employment that does not help them to pay rent and be self-sufficient. The nature of the temp jobs also means that the refugees will be unemployed just a short time after the agency reports them employed to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at 90 days and 180 days.”

Economic self-sufficiency is supposed to be a guiding principle of the U.S. refugee resettlement program. But federal law says that refugees can use every public assistance program such as Medicaid, food stamps, SSI, and public housing, and still be considered “economically self-sufficient” as long as they don’t receive cash welfare.

“Welfare use is staggering among refugees. Welfare usage is never counted by officials as part of the cost of the program. Yet, when it is included, the total cost of the refugee program soars to at least 10-20 billion a year”. (see Fact Sheet)

Of 58,238 refugees resettled in the U.S.,the 2012 ORR report to Congress shows that the unemployment rate is the highest it has been since 2007, 73% receive food stamps, 24% use public housing, 19% are on SSI, 46.5% receive cash welfare and 60% are enrolled in Medicaid or have received 8 months of medical assistance if non-Medicaid eligible.

The Chamber of Commerce Inside and Outside the Governor’s office

In 2001 the Nashville Chamber of Commerce took money from the ORR for the “Building the New American Community” pilot program of ‘gateway’ refugee resettlement. The US Chamber of Commerce and its member chambers like the Nashville and Tennessee Chambers, support refugee resettlement. So while crony capitalists exploit ‘serf’ labor from other countries, U.S. and Tennessee citizens can line up for work.

The TN Chamber of Commerce also supports Medicaid expansion and can work the inside track to the Governor’s office. Leslie Hafner, Haslam’s director for legislation is also the business partner of the Chamber’s chief lobbyist, David McMahan.

So whose economic interests does Governor Haslam really represent? Unemployed Tennessee citizens or the imported refugee “serf” labor? Who eneded up with the 170,000 new jobs?

Part 2 to come.



Newsletter #104 – Has the Jewish Federation Ever Heard of BDS?

Samar letter
  • Back in 2012, representatives of the Nashville Jewish Federation were quick to applaud Gov. Haslam’s appointment of Samar Ali, noting her “impressive” personal and professional background
  • included in Samar’s professional background is her work as the transatlantic liaison on behalf of her father’s organization the Jerusalem Fund when they were setting up the Palestine Diabetes Institute
  • the Jerusalem Fund refers to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”
  • Jerusalem Fund director Yousef Munayyer openly advocates BDS against Israel
  • Samar’s father has served on the board of the Jerusalem Fund since 2000, became Vice-Chair in 2004 and from 2005 to present as the Chairman

It seems the Jerusalem Fund’s anti-Israel bent has not wavered much since its founding.  It’s very public advocacy for BDS against Israel makes this organization’s position crystal clear.

Does the Jewish Federation understand the end goal of BDS is to destroy the State of Israel?

Newsletter #32 – What Even One Person Can Do

“…the power of one – one idea, one heart, one mind, one plan, one determination.” (The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay)

One person can join with another and another, to speak up even in the face of being called a bigot, a racist, a xenophobe or a neo-McCarthyite and present the documented FACTS.  One person can pass on reliable, documentable FACTS.

Facts are the key and facts have context.  For example, when looked at in the context of the following timeline, it is logical that individuals and groups in Tennessee would question the Governor’s actions and intentions.  (Note also that all responses from the Governor’s office have only addressed the Ali appointment avoiding any reference or answers about the TN Department of Homeland Security’s (TN DHS) partnership with the TN American Muslim Advisory Council.)


2011 Legislative session – anti-terrorism bill introduced based on the Carlos Bledsoe case (Memphis man who shot and killed Pvt. Andrew Long at the Little Rock Army recruiting center.)

June, 2011 – picture emerges confirming that the Muslim Rapid Response Team (which morphed into the TN American Muslim Advisory Council) had been working behind the scenes during the legislative session with TN DHS James Cotter.  This was the group that had formed to lobby against the anti-terrorism bill.

November 2011 – Commissioner Bill Gibbons (TN Department of Safety and Homeland Security), sends congratulatory letter to the AMAC members for organizing along with the Governor- approved partnership with TN DHS.

December 2011 – AMAC partners with the TN DHS to do first law enforcement training.

2012 legislative session – Commissioner Gibbons, testifies in support of an administration bill permitting the TN DHS to enter into partnership agreements with private non-profit organizations like the AMAC.

February 2012 – AMAC partners again with TN DHS for law enforcement training; TN DHS refuses to disclose any information about the AMAC.

May 2012  Governor vetoes bill that would have protected Christian student organizations at Vanderbilt and state universities.

May 2012 – Governor approves appointment of Shariah Compliant Finance specialist Samar Ali as ECD International Director.

May 2012 – AMAC trains TN Dept of Children’s Services.

These are facts, nothing but facts.

Newsletter #31- Importing Fundamentalist Islamists

It really is a lot easier to dismiss the recent criticism of Ms. Ali’s appointment as religious bigotry or as anti- Muslim prejudice.  Except, that would not be true because it is neither of those things.

Just as Governor Haslam was wrong when he told News Channel 5 that somehow the hiring of Ms. Ali and her expertise in Shariah Compliant Finance had something to do with “freedom of religion”.

The Ali appointment was simply the “straw that broke the camel’s back” because it came on the heels of the Governor’s approval of the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and its partnership with Commissioner Gibbons and the TN Department of Homeland Security (TNDHS) which was preceded by the TNDHS back door secret meetings with the Muslim Rapid Response Team. (see newsletter #1).  Lest the Governor forget, this has been further compounded by less than honest answers from his office about this arrangement, and the same obfuscation used to address inquiries about the ECD appointment.

There are two things the Governor doesn’t understand – one, that concerns being raised about the TN AMAC and Ms. Ali’s appointment address the political agenda of political Shariah. And two, that he, the Governor could easily end the controversy by issuing a public statement committing that while he is Governor, Tennessee will not aid, abet or otherwise participate in any aspect of political Shariah.  Everyone could then go home; the issue of political Shariah in Tennessee would become a non-issue, and freedom of religion and worship would remain intact.

One problem of course, is that every mainstream Islamic publication and Islamic authority approved by Islamic organizations in the United States, assert and confirm over and over, that “Islam is a complete way of life”, readily admitting that this encompasses everything from cradle to grave, from religion to politics to the civil and criminal laws that govern our daily lives, even to the assertion that our republican form of government is invalid within the Shariah adherent’s belief system.

What supporters of the recent “Haslam resolution” are trying to tell the Governor, is that they will not tolerate the subversion of their constitutional and religious rights by an ideology designed to do exactly that.  And which is an ideology the Governor (albeit ignorantly), seems to be promoting in Tennessee.  One practical way to deal with this conundrum is to recognize that the State is authorized to and should, deal with issues of political Shariah.

Muslims in Tennessee who emphasize that they are “American Muslims” (American Muslim Advisory Council, American Center for Outreach, ISNA’s Sayyid Sayeed speaking in Nashville in November 2011), with constitutionally protected religious rights, nonetheless, import fundamentalist trained imams to lead the mosques.  For example, 

Yasir Qadhi – Memphis Islamic Center and is Dean of Academic Affairs of the al Maghrib Institute

graduate of Islamic University of Medinah, Saudi Arabia

2006 – listed on terror watch list

2007 video – “We are loyal to our countries insofar as it does not interfere with our religion of Islam”

2008 published article about Ali al-Timimi who Qadhi said “played an instrumental role in shaping and directing me to take the path that has led me to where I am today.” Al-Timimi had been convicted on April 26, 2005 of soliciting others to wage war against the U.S.

You Tube video published August 3, 2009 – calls Christians among other things, “filthy”

Holocaust denier; 2001 speech recommending “The Hoax of the Holocaust”

al Maghrib Institute students – Christmas Day bomber and convicted terrorist Daniel Maldonado

Qadhi’s media company was selling recordings by al Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awalaki

Ossama Bahloul – Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) since 2008

 graduate of  Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt – degree in Da’awah (prosletyzing for Islam; his thesis was the establishment of a Da’awah curriculum aimed at secularists, atheists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims)

Al Azhar is credited with starting the Islamist movement with training from Islamic radicals and closely tied to Muslim Brotherhood and stands for the propagation of Islam and Sharia as a complete way of life

Mohamed Ahmed – Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) current

graduate of  Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt

Mosque has documented ties to Muslim Brotherhood front organization ISNA

In the spring of 2011 ICN’s Imam Ahmed Mohammed, gave a lecture in Nashville in which he defended the Egyptian police forced virginity tests reportedly performed on the female protesters in Tahrir Square.  He also talked about honor killings and confirmed that they do occur throughout the Muslim world and even suggested that they used to occur in the U.S. but no longer because of how “crazy our moral ethics have become.”

He testified against the anti-terrorism bill during the 2011 legislative session and was also a participant at the TN Dept. of Homeland Security’s closed door June 2011 meeting with the Tennessee DHS Regional Advisor James Cotter.

Abdulhakim Mohamed – Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) 1999-2007

Yemeni cleric who came to Nashville from the radical Brooklyn Al Farooq mosque which had a documented history of raising money for terrorists and is the same mosque attended by the “blind sheik” who was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

AbdulRahman ibn Esa Chao  – Islamic Center of Tennessee (ICTN)

graduate of  Islamic University of Medinah, Saudi Arabia

            “Why Do We Worship Allah?” (an audio sermon by Sheikh Chao) – everyone is born a Muslim and there is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah

The objective that binds all of these Islamist leaders, is the professed goal of supplanting our Constitution with Sharia law.  This is also the message taught explicitly to young students in Islamic schools in the U.S.  The popular student textbook reportedly used in most madrassas entitled “What Islam is All About” states clearly on page 377 in the Chapter “What is an Islamic Society? Section C, How Do We Become Great Again?”, the following:

“Muslims dream of establishing the power of Islam in the world. Muslims of all types and backgrounds agree that the Islamic system is the best for humanity in this life.”


Newsletter #30 – Dear Party Leaders…

How much do we give away when we “go along to get along”?

Is it about awards and titles or principles?

Is it about qualifications or connections?

“When it was known we were looking to fill a position in our office, I got a call from her father asking me if I would look at her resume. Like any father, he would like for his daughter to move closer to home. I interviewed her for the job, and she was the best qualified.”  Bill Hagerty at First Tuesday, June 2012

Dear Party Leaders,

As you may have heard, there are two resolutions being reviewed by some county GOPs.  One deals solely with the issue of Sharia in Tennessee.  This resolution is based on the Governor approving a partnership between the TN American Muslim Advisory Council and the TN Department of Homeland Security, and the Governor’s appointment of a Shariah Compliant Finance specialist as the International Director for the TN ECD.   You have received this resolution earlier but another copy is attached. RESOLUTION

The county GOPs are the backbone of the party, are closest to the voters, and do most of the “leg work” for the party.  Consequently, the county GOPs can often be heard the most clearly by the Governor.  

The following counties have already passed this resolution:

Carroll, Stewart, Gibson, Putnam, Williamson, Humphreys, White, Obion, Grundy, Warren, Maury  with at least 15 other counties having committed to considering the resolution.

-The resolution is NOT about Muslims or religion; it is about political Shariah.  It does not matter whether or not you are a Muslim, only whether you are promoting political Shariah

-The resolution is NOT about any individual nor about Samar AliThe resolution IS about the ideology that individuals like Samar Ali have chosen to promote through her expertise in Shariah Compliant Finance

-The resolution IS about Governor Haslam’s elevating the status of political Shariah by institutionalizing the TN American Muslim Advisory Council as a non-governmental partner with the various Departments within the Tennessee government including the TN Department of Homeland Security and the TN Department of Children’s Services

-The resolution IS about Governor Haslam’s choice to further advance a toehold for Shariah in Tennessee by appointing an internationally recognized expert in Shariah Compliant Finance to be the International Director for ECD

-The resolution IS based on and cites to original source documentation written by authoritative Islamic Shariah scholars; all information and citations can be verified by you

-The resolution’s declarations ARE all supported by original source documents and facts

     Examples of Western government submission to Political Sharia rules include but are not limited to (in no particular order):

1.      Wife beating is legal

2.      All food served in government cafeterias and prisons must be halal

3.      Sharia finance

4.      A non-Muslim is not allowed to say or write anything that offends Muslims

5.      Child marriage is allowed

6.      Polygamy is allowed

7.      Those who leave Islam may be killed

8.      Honor killing is simply labeled murder

9.      A women’s testimony is half that of a man in court

10.   Those who criticize Islam may be murdered

Governor Haslam has chosen to begin the institutionalization of Shariah in Tennessee with #3 on the list.  

The Environment of Samar Ali


There has been a tremendous movement around the state opposing Governor Bill Haslam’s appointment of Samar Ali, a Shariah Compliant Finance, expert to the TN Commission of Economic and Community Development.  Below is an expose on the associates of Ms. Ali and why her appointment is very troubling for the citizens of the State of Tennessee.

The Environment of Samar Ali

We are all a product of our environment. Some have the skills, abilities, knowledge and education that allows them to choose their environment. Shariah Law is one environment that some have chosen to promote.

Shariah Law is a major piece in the foundation of the political ideology that is Islam and accounts for many of the atrocities committed by terrorists around the world.

Samar Ali has chosen to promote Shariah by specializing in Shariah Compliant Financing (SCF). It is well known that SCF is used as an instrument to finance the activities of radical Islamic extremists. Does that mean that Samar Ali is a terrorist? Of course not. But let’s look at the environment that she has chosen for herself:

1.      In 2007, Ms. Ali worked as an intern with the Islamic International Arab Bank in Amman, Jordan. This bank, dba Arab Bank, has been involved in numerous lawsuits alleging financial support for terrorist. The lawsuit, which was the first to go after an international bank for its role in financing terrorism when it was filed in 2004, alleges that Arab Bank administered the accounts of the Saudi Committee in Support of the Intifada Al Quds, which provided payments of $5,316 to the families of Palestinians who were killed in attacks on Israel, including suicide bombers. It also alleges that the bank administers accounts for other individuals and organizations involved in terrorism, including Hamas. The lawsuit was still being argued in 2010.

2.      In 2009, Ms. Ali attended the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) as part of the British delegation. The next year, she was a founder of the U.S. delegation and attended her second session of the WIEF as a U.S. delegate. The WIEF was initiated by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest voting block in the United Nations and includes all 57 Islamic states. Saleh Abdullah Kamel is on the International Advisory Panel for World Islamic Economic Forum. He is also a founding member of the Al Shamal Islamic Bank, which was established by Osama bin Laden to fund jihadi fighters around the globe. Saleh Kamel, is a Saudi billionaire, and the majority shareholder of the Saudi conglomerate Dallah Albaraka. Kamel is legendary in his involvement with terrorist financing and was named as one of the “Main individual Saudi sponsors of al-Qaida” in a United Nations Security Council report

3.      The third example of the environment Ms. Ali is immersed in is one she may not have chosen but was born into. Her father, Dr. Subhi D. Ali is the chairman of the Jerusalem Fund and the Palestine CenterOmar Jamil Fayezis listed as a board member for the Jerusalem Fund. He is an attorney in Chicago and represents Ali Abunimah. Abunimah and Fayezare both board officers in The Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society, Inc (MECCS). The web site resource, “Discover the Networks”  describes Ali Abunimah as, “a Palestinian American who serves as the Board of Directors Member for the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network. He is also a co-founder of the Electronic Intifada website, which was created by activists affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). All of these organizations, from Dr. Ali’s Jerusalem Fund to ISM, are dedicated to pro-HAMAS and anti-Israeli ideologies. MECCS’ current and past directors and officers promote extreme anti-Israel agendas and antisemitic rhetoric.

In mid-May, 2012, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed Samar Ali international director of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.