InsiderAdvantage first reported in 2015 on appalling conditions and crime at a refugee condominium complex known as Brannon Hills in DeKalb County near Clarkston. While some praise the Clarkston area as a triumph for refugee resettlement, this writer (along with a Fox5 Atlanta TV reporter and policeman) toured the place that year to witness a Third World nightmare.
This past Sunday, Brannon Hills made the news again. Police responded to the complex and found five people had been shot, three fatally. A sixth person later arrived at a local hospital in serious condition. One suspect has been arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault and police are searching for an additional suspect who faces three counts of murder.
When this writer visited the semi-burned-out condominium complex dominated by a Somali refugee gang (this was confirmed by the police and residents we interviewed), the poor squatters and residents on welfare lived in squalor and police were rarely seen. County inspectors had given up visiting, garbage and debris were everywhere and fires had regularly broken out over the years.
What about now? A reporter from the Atlanta newspaper visited the site and saw the same thing. Little had changed except for an effort made a few years ago to demolish some of the unsafe condos.
These condos, along with other crime-ridden pockets of poverty in Dekalb County, underscore the failure of refugee resettlement. Longtime residents told InsiderAdvantage seven years ago that too many refugees had been allowed in by the federal government. The result: The rise of slumlords overseeing welfare, crime and a lack of employment for the foreigners. The many levels of government that are supposed to deal with these issues for years turned a blind eye to crime and terrible conditions.
The refugees from Third World countries, settled and concentrated in the Clarkston area for two decades by charities paid by the federal government to bring them in, are obviously being failed. So are Georgia residents and taxpayers.
Years ago former DeKalb Commissioner Nancy Jester was the first to begin focusing on a Brannon Hills clean-up (even though the complex wasn’t in her district). Jester’s efforts shined a spotlight on the mess– for awhile. But crime prevention and clean-up efforts never materialized.
Commissioner Ted Terry, the one-time mayor of Clarkston who welcomed the refugee influx with open arms, now wants to place the Brannon Hills problem on the May 16th DeKalb Commission agenda. He admits the ideal solution would be to condemn the property and send the refugee residents somewhere else.
In the meantime, Brannon Hills remains a stark reminder of the dark side of refugee resettlement.