Refugees lobby Congress for more refugees/a more “welcoming” America
Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 22, 2013
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (which selects refugees for the US) and the US State Department partnered to bring refugees to Washington, DC earlier this month to lobby Congress (you probably paid their expenses!). To tell you the truth it’s not exactly clear what they told Members of Congress as they traveled around the Hill on “Advocacy Day.” I’m guessing they want more stuff from taxpayers and more of their people to be admitted to the US.
From Reuters (a submitted opinion piece?) thanks to reader Joanne:
WASHINGTON, DC, United States, December 13 (UNHCR) – Refugees and asylum-seekers from Syria, Sudan and 20 other nations took steps this week in Washington, DC, to ensure their voices become an integral part of United States policy discussion on how best to protect people fleeing violence and persecution around the world.
At the end of the 2013 Refugee Congress, organized by UNHCR on Monday and Tuesday, the 48 delegates each signed a letter calling on the US authorities to “invite refugees and other affected persons to participate meaningfully in discussions” on refugee and asylum policy issues. [I sure hope that Congress also invites the other "stakeholders"---the US taxpayer!---ed]
The letter was handed by the delegates to their representatives in the US Congress during meetings on the “Advocacy Day” that followed the gathering, an action that participants said underscored the drive to push refugee advocacy forward from the conceptual to the practical.
“UNHCR supports the Refugee Congress as a way for refugees and asylum-seekers in the United States to help themselves and to develop a credible voice for advocacy,” said Shelly Pitterman, UNHCR’s regional representative. “I think that this year’s Refugee Congress took an important step in the right direction,” he added.
“You belong here!”
Assistant Secretary of State Richard, in an address to the gathering, said the refugee story of courage and resilience was quintessentially American. “You are not strangers. You belong here!” she stressed.
The congress participants agreed that fortifying that fact of belonging must be central to their future work. This meant not just feeling confident of their status as full-fledged members of American society but of exercising that status in practical ways to advocate for an issue they know better than anyone. [In other words just living and blending in isn't enough, they must become political activists.---ed]
Then long-time amnesty activist Frank Sharry told the gathering it was time for them to “hurry up and take over.” Now what the heck does that mean? The charming Mr. Sharry made news recently when he teamed up with Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform to say they where cooking up a scheme for REVENGE against Speaker Boehner and any Republicans who did not want to go to conference with the Senate-passed S.744.
In a rousing address on the first day of the congress, Frank Sharry, executive director of the America’s Voice immigration reform advocacy organization, stressed the need for all people in the United States to understand that refugees and asylum-seekers are as much a part of the fabric of American society as any other group in the country.
“My vision of an America that I love and that I will fight for is an America that is welcoming to refugees,” Sharry said, before calling on refugees and asylum-seekers to take the lead in that cause: “Hurry up and take over!” he said.
I continue to be amazed that the federal refugee contractors and the refugee “activists” themselves don’t get it that if the so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill should become law, there will be FEWER jobs for legal refugees because the millions of newly legalized Hispanics, who are increasingly conversant in English, will be first in line for the jobs at places like Marriott hotels (one of the financial backers of the amnesty lobbying push).
An appeal! As of this writing we are only 4 short of 1000 subscribers/followers of RRW. Help us find 4 more before the end of the year so we can reach a new milestone! It may not seem like a large number compared to the big blogs, but because our subject is a narrow one, we are thrilled with the growing number of readers!
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