Update: The Free Lance-Star reporter, Amy Umble, has more information in an excellent blog posting on this story here.
How many times! How many times have we heard over the last year and a half that Iraqi refugees were desperate to get out of Syria? How many times did AP reporter Matthew Lee, shilling for the refugee industry, harass the Bush Administration to bring more Iraqis to the US? Now, these families, after only 6 months in the US, want to go back to the Middle East, to Syria no less!
From the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, VA, describing the trip to Dulles airport last week:
Shamas Jawad woke up groggily in the back seat of a minivan bound for the airport.
“Are we there yet?” the sleepy 3-year-old asked in Arabic.
Awkward laughter followed. The curly-haired preschooler and her family wouldn’t reach their destination for another 36 hours. And then they could face an additional daylong journey.
When the Jawads arrive in Syria, they may find a cheap place to rent. But the government could instead deny them refuge and offer a police escort back to the Jawads’ native Iraq.
Shamas’ father, Muoafaq Jawad, thinks either option would be better than life in America.
He, his wife and five children arrived in Stafford County on Aug. 27.
They found poverty, unemployment and homelessness here.
After having had their airfare to the US paid by the American taxpayer, they had to borrow money to get back to Syria.
The Jawads were evicted from their Stafford townhouse March 12 and immediately began begging and borrowing money for airfare for all seven family members. They packed their clothes and left for Syria on Thursday.
Making reference to a story we have heard many times, these refugees were told that life in the US was going to be fabulous and that they would have things taken care of. WHO IS TELLING THEM THIS, AND WHY?
Unable to find jobs during the recession, the Jawads and another Iraqi refugee family both left Stafford on Thursday.
About 85 Iraqis resettled in the Fredericksburg area last year. Most came through Jordan and Syria where, refugees say, someone promised them jobs and aid once they got to America.
“They told us they would bring us to the United States for a better life,” Jawad said.
But he and other Iraqi refugees in America say they were better off as refugees in Syria and Jordan.
The article wraps up by mentioning that more Iraqis will come this year anyway. Duh! You would think that with all my past posts (community destabilization category) on the Alinsky method, I should have noticed. I just realized that when I wrote about Eric Schwartz’s outfit this morning, Connect US Fund, which promotes the seemingly illogical idea that inspite of our economic downturn it is still a good time to bring refugees, it never occurred to me that refugees in crisis, like these families, could serve as the catalyst to expand the public welfare part of refugee resettlement—you know, the Emanuel/Obama theme about not wasting a good crisis! We are seeing that welfare expansion already in Utah!
Please go and read the whole article from Fredericksburg, it is fascinating and the comments alone are well worth the visit. I guess you could say the common theme was Bye! Bye! And, that is one of the kinder sentiments.