EXCLUSIVE: Anti-Woke Caucus Members Go After State Department’s Forgivable ‘Loan’ Program For Refugees

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who serves as Chairman of the Anti-Woke Caucus, sent a letter Friday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken pressing him about the State Department’s funding of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Travel Loan Program.

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the letter which asks for specifics regarding the IOM Travel Loan Program that provides refugees with zero interest, penalty free loan payments that can be forgiven for a variety of reasons, including unemployment or bankruptcy. The only penalty for failing to repay IOM loans is a reduced credit score.

“More Americans are defaulting on their auto loans than at any point since the Great Recession. They won’t be able to keep their cars just because they can’t find work in the Biden economy. Meanwhile, foreigners don’t have to worry about repaying their loans or even about driving—they can travel the sunny skies for free on your dime,” Banks told the Caller. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Jim Banks, House Republicans Rip World Bank Over Funding For Sanctioned Chinese Companies)

“Joe Biden will always put foreigners their borders first and America last. It’s frustrating that House conservatives won’t be able to push for defunding IOM travel loans and strengthening our own border during the upcoming appropriations votes,” he added.


  • How many loans has the State Department issued as part of the Travel Loan Program between January 20, 2021, and March 5, 2024?
  • In fiscal year 2023 alone, more than $2.9 billion was appropriated for the Department of State’s migration assistance fund. How much has the State Department spent on interest-and penalty-free loans for refugees and SIVs between January 20, 2021, and March 5, 2024?
  • Between January 20, 2021, and March 5, 2024, what is the average loan issued per recipient via the Travel Loan Program?
  • What is the numerical breakdown on country of origin for refugees and SIVs who received travel loans between January 20, 2021, and March 5, 2024?
  • Of the loans issued from January 20, 2021, to March 05, 2024, how many travel loan repayments have been forgiven, deferred, or reduced? What is the net value of those figures?
  • How many resettlement agencies does the State Department partner with in collecting loan payments for travel loans?
  • How does the State Department select resettlement agencies with which to partner? What does that process entail?
  • What is the range of proportions of repayments that these agencies collect from refugees and SIVs who hold loans?


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

Banks was joined by Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and South Carolina Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan as cosigners. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Jim Banks Presses FDA Over Menthol Ban, Says It Would Enrich Terrorists)

The lawmakers called for responses to their questions no later than March 22.