Ohio Refugee Resettlement Up 22 Percent Under Gov. Mike DeWine, Including Hundreds From Countries With ‘High Burdens’ of TB

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Refugee resettlement in Ohio is up 22 percent under Gov. Mike DeWine, including hundreds from countries with “high burdens” of tuberculosis.

DeWine is one of more than 30 governors who have agreed to accept more refugees under a plan put forth by President Donald Trump in which a governor has to opt in for resettlement, the Associated Press reported.

In September, DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said, “Ohio has had a long history of helping true refugees who are fleeing political and religious persecution,” The Columbus Dispatch reported.

One Republican governor, Bill Lee of Tennessee, has received pushback for agreeing to accept refugees.

Mayors also may opt in. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther informed U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo he wanted more refugees, The Ohio Star reported. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley was one of 100 mayors nationwide who begged Trump to import as many refugees into the country as possible in order to ‘bring cultural vibrancy and diversity” to American communities.’”

Foreign-born people accounted for 4.5 percent of Ohio’s population in 2017, or more than 528,000, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Data provided by the Refugee Processing Center of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration for Jan. 14-Dec. 23, 2019 shows an influx to Ohio of 1,279 refugees, up from 1,045 refugees in Jan. 14-Dec. 23, 2018.

There are 22 countries that since 1998 have been considered to be the TB “high burden” countries, according to TB Facts.

A  country’s burden of TB can be described by saying how many cases of TB they have in a year. It can also be described by saying how many people in the country die of TB each year. A third way of describing it is to say how many cases of TB there are at any given point in time. The burden of TB is also sometimes related to the population size.

Hundreds of refugees from such countries have settled in Ohio, but the exact number is hard to pin down.

Ohio went from 149 reported TB cases in 2017 to 178 in 2018, a 19.5 percent jump, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of TB incidences in the same period increased from 1.3 (per 100,000) to 1.5, a 19.2 percent change.

Although TB in America is slightly down, it is a huge issue among foreign born — Foreign Born accounted for 70 percent of all TB cases in the U.S.

In 2018, a total of 9,029 new tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States, representing a 0.7% decrease from 2017. The U.S. TB incidence in 2018 (2.8 per 100,000 persons) represented a 1.3% decrease from 2017; the rate among non–U.S.-born persons was >14 times that in U.S.-born persons.

Among the 9,029 TB cases reported in the United States in 2018, approximately two thirds (6,276 [69.5%]) occurred in non–U.S.-born persons, whereas 2,662 (29.5%) occurred in U.S.-born persons; 91 (1.0%) cases occurred in persons for whom no national origin was documented.

The CDC said that while cases of TB in Ohio in 2017 were below the national average rate of 14.4 cases per 100,000, that was not the case for foreign-born residents, who had an average of 20.1 cases per 100,000, placing them above the national average.

You can see the breakdown of refugees resettled to Ohio over the last two years.

2018

 

2019

The Department of State’s Refugee Processing Center website shows an increase of refugees from these high burden countries — 863 in 2019 vs. 558 in 2018, a 55 percent increase.

Immigrants to Ohio from high burden countries in 2019 were:

  • Afghanistan: 4
  • Burma/Myanmar: 49
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: 795
  • Ethiopia: 8
  • Pakistan: 3
  • Uganda: 4

Immigrants to Ohio from high burden countries in 2018 were:

  • Afghanistan: 44
  • Burma/Myanmar: 49
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: 427
  • Ethiopia: 6
  • Pakistan: 28
  • Uganda: 4

According to a data sheet from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, refugees receive a wealth of social services.

Refugees may be eligible for the Refugee Cash Assistance and Refugee Medical Assistance programs for the first eight months after they arrive. Depending on who is in the family group, refugees also may be eligible for other federal programs.

Refugees also are eligible for social services programs for up to five years, to help them become self-supporting as quickly as possible. Examples of refugee social services include job and language training, employment counseling, job placement, child care and transportation related to employment, citizenship training, and naturalization services.

Federal refugee numbers vary from State of Ohio numbers. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services tracks refugees by federal fiscal year (FFY), which is Oct. 1-Sept. 30 of a given year.

For FFY 2019, Ohio shows 1,505 refugees, vs. 1,529 in FFY 2018.

According to the FFY19 state data, refugees from high burden TB nations were:

  • Afghanistan: 89
  • Burma/Myanmar: 53
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: 870
  • Ethiopia: 12
  • India: 1
  • Pakistan: 3
  • Russia: 3
  • Uganda: 5

The State of Ohio FFY18 data show these refugees from high burden TB nations:

  • Afghanistan: 126
  • Burma/Myanmar: 44
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: 392
  • Ethiopia: 2
  • India: 10
  • Pakistan: 28
  • Uganda: 5

One thing Ohio does not do is readily make available data on the health of refugees, unlike states like Minnesota. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has drawn criticism for not making such data available, as the law requires.

Michigan also has run afoul of reporting requirements, Breitbart News reported.

As Breitbart News reported, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) does not collect latent TB infection rate data from the county health departments and local resettlement agency providers it hires to conduct initial domestic medical screenings for arriving refugees, nor does it acknowledge its clear legal obligation to do so under the Refugee Act of 1980.

Other states, such as Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Colorado do not publish annual reports on refugee health, but they do make this information publicly available, as Breitbart went on to say.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Thought to “Ohio Refugee Resettlement Up 22 Percent Under Gov. Mike DeWine, Including Hundreds From Countries With ‘High Burdens’ of TB”

  1. Pauli

    Just look at this smiling politician b’stard, chuckling as he destroys your land. Sickening

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