Chris Coen of Friends of Refugees on Nashville

This morning we received this letter from Chris Coen, Director of Friends of Refugees  in response to our post on Nashville yesterday.  He tells us more that the Tennessean reporter should have known about the downside of multiculturalism in Nashville.

Dear Refugee Resettlement Watch,

The reporter ‘forgot’ to mention a few other incidents with refugees in Nashville,  one of which had been reported in her own paper just a few years earlier.

What the State Department needs to consider when deciding where in the U.S. to resettle refugees is the appropriateness of communities for the various groups of refugees. In 2001 the State Department with its 10 voluntary agency partners placed thousands of Lost Boys of Sudan refugees in inner city neighborhoods of many of our largest cities. These young men were resettled without parents or extended families, and were often placed in cities that did not have members of their ethnic groups. As a result, many of the young men were preyed upon by street thugs and other criminals while the State Department and its partner agencies sat by offering little assistance.

In 2001 ‘Lost Boy’ Ring Paulino Deng died at age 19 with a knife in his chest outside the Nashville apartment where he had settled, the victim of an argument over a parking dispute. In May of 2003 the Lost Boy refugee Moses Pieny, 25, also of Nashville, was murdered after being lured to a house, tied up and robbed. He was later shot several times and his body was dumped in a vacant lot. In Nashville in May of 2006 the 34-year-old Eritrean mother refugee Freweini Gebremicael was shot in the head and her corpse lit on fire. In Chicago we counted 23  ‘Lost Boys’ refugees brutalized on the streets – three were stabbed, many were beaten and had teeth knocked out, and one sustained brain injuries after being kicked down the concrete steps of an L-platform.  The State Department dismissed the refugees’ fear of the neighborhoods in which they had been placed in Chicago as “perceived” safety of the neighborhoods.


Christopher Coen


Friends of Refugees

See our last post on Chris Coen and the tireless work he does to bring the plight of refugees in America to the authorities attention only to be rebuffed.  And, shame on the lazy and incompetant mainstream media for aiding and abetting this travesty by their silence.

I reiterate, we can debate all day long about how many refugees we should take and from where they should come but there is no excuse for the neglect many suffer when they have come to live among us.  Every refugee or refugee family unit must have a church or group sponsor/advocate as was the case in early refugee resettlement before these volags completely ran the show.

Afghan refugees returned by the millions

A letter in the Washington Post this morning from the Afghan ambassador (not available online) said that 5 million refugees had returned to Afghanistan. I’m trying to check the number; so far I’ve found a story on 3.7 million returning refugees as of July 2005.

This means that in total more than 3.7 million Afghans have returned from Pakistan and Iran since 2002, when the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) began its current repatriation programmes after the fall of the Taliban regime, making it the largest repatriation operation in the world.

These were refugees who had left while the Taliban was in power. When the U.S. liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban after 9/11, the refugees began flowing home, in far greater numbers than anyone anticipated. Somehow Afghanistan accommodated them. The Iraqi refugee situation is not exactly parallel, because the Iraqis fled during the chaos and civil war that ensued after we liberated their country from Saddam Hussein. Still, the number of Iraqi refugees is not as great as those who had left Afghanistan and returned, and the UN now has the Afghanistan experience in resettling people in large numbers to look to. Somehow the property issues which loom so large in Iraq must have been settled in Afghanistan. And there is this:

“This unprecedented number of people returning to their homeland is a testament to the desire of Afghan refugees to participate in the rebuilding of their country,” High Commissioner António Guterres said in Geneva.

Let’s hope the Iraqi refugees also want to participate in the rebuilding of their country.

More sense from the UN refugee commissioner?

A Reuters story about the 80-percent drop in violence in Baghdad ends with this:

While Iraqi and U.S. officials laud the security gains, humanitarian groups say it is still too early to encourage around 2 million refugees who fled Iraq to return home.

“The plight of Iraqi refugees will end with national reconciliation,” the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, told reporters during a visit to Baghdad.

From the rest of the article I don’t think Guterres is being sarcastic and implying that there will not be national reconciliation. The article — amazingly for Reuters — focuses on the incredible gains in security in the last year (even though, being Reuters, it has to put in a not really relevant incident in which three civilians were killed and U.S. soldiers were blamed). I think the UN may really be looking toward the return of the Iraqi refugees.