To make sense of the Press Herald’s reporting about refugee resettlement programs, readers need to understand it is primarily driven by people and organizations manipulating the charitable good nature of American taxpayers to benefit themselves.

The executives of lofty-sounding organizations like Catholic Charities Maine and Lutheran Social Services of New England pay themselves six-figure salaries from cash grants funneled through the State Department to sponsor quotas of refugees.

This sponsorship consists of little more than transporting refugees to local communities, then enrolling them in welfare programs. Taxpayer-funded advocate groups give the refugees “financial advice,” which is a euphemism for how to take advantage of public assistance.

These so-called charities and advocates shamelessly exploit the generous instincts of Americans while using needy refugees as human shields to hide their pecuniary self-interest. Any oversight or limits on the open flow of refugees or public funds threatens their scam, so they show up in force for the media and politicians to keep the taxpayer-financed gravy train rolling.

It is time to end what has become a racket to line the pockets of a handful of special interests with money taken from the working people of Maine.

Christopher Reimer

Arundel