60,000th Bhutanese refugee arrives in the US
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 8, 2012
Under a resettlement plan initiated by then Bush Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, Ellen Sauerbrey, the US agreed to take 60,000 so-called Bhutanese that the government of Bhutan claimed were really Nepalese who had settled in Bhutan illegally. Nepal refused to take its ethnic people back and so they had lived for years in camps run by the UN. In 2007, the UN persuaded third countries to take them, and the US agreed to 60,000 over 5 years.
The 60,000th Bhutanese refugee arrived in the US a few days ago, but it looks like we aren’t going to stop there.
From South Asia Revealed:
As many as 60,000 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in the US from Nepal where they had taken refuge in the 1990s after being forced out of their country.
On September 4, the 60,000th Bhutanese refugee, departed from Nepal to USA. The 28-year-old woman will start a new life in Columbus, Ohia, with her husband and young daughter, said a statement from the US Embassy here.
The US, in close coordination with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), began resettling Bhutanese refugees residing in eastern Nepal in 2007.
Besides the US, which has accepted 60,000 refugees, some 11,000 have already settled in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, and the UK, as part of the third country resettlement programme initiated in 2007 in association with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Our doors are open for more people in need of jobs and social services:
“The US is committed to considering for resettlement as many Bhutanese refugees as express interest,” said the US Embassy.
Initially, the US government had expressed interest to accept a maximum of 60,000 Bhutanese refugees.
I wrote a lot about the Bhutanese in the early years, most “refugees” did not want to come to the US. They wanted help from us and others in persuading Bhutan to let them go back there. I’ve always wondered why such a powerful country as ours couldn’t have made it attractive (lucrative!) for Bhutan and Nepal to welcome back their own ethnic people. Some of the displaced felt after several generations in Bhutan that they were more Bhutanese than Nepalese. Frankly, it would have been more culturally sensitive and cheaper for us to send some gifts to the two countries and for them to find room for the displaced people.
Type ‘Bhutanese’ into our search function and note that while some have made it in America, others are having a very hard time especially as victims of crimes in rotten neighborhoods where the volags (federal ‘church’ contractors) have placed them.
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