Refugee Resettlement Watch

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 5,896 other followers

  • Reaching me by mail

    You can reach me by e-mail here:

    refugeewatcher@gmail.com

    (But my inbox is so overloaded most of the time, it is hard to keep up.)

    Or, since some of you have asked, I have a post office box and you can reach me there by snail mail!

    Ann Corcoran
    P.O. Box 55
    Fairplay, MD 21733

  • Social

  • Refugee Info Resource

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 7,980,770 hits

Archive for February 22nd, 2008

A new UN program to decrease female genital mutilation among…who?

Posted by Judy K. Warner on February 22, 2008

I never thought I’d be using something called the Feminist Daily News as a source, because I’ve never considered myself a feminist. That is, not until I began learning about the treatment of Muslim women. They have something to complain about and I’ll stand up for their rights any time.

But on the whole, American feminists have been relatively silent about their Muslim sisters. So I’m happy to tell you that the Feminist Daily News is taking an interest and reports

The United Nations launched a program earlier this month to combat the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM). According to Inter Press Service(IPS), UNFPA and UNICEF have created a $44 million dollar program that plans to reduce FGM by 40 percent.

They don’t mention the word “Muslim,” although female genital mutilation is almost wholly a Muslim phenomenon. Instead they talk about geographical locations and “immigrant communities.” What, are English expatriates doing this?  I don’t think so.

Their source article is more informative, but doesn’t mention the word “Muslim” either. It tells us:

After nearly 30 years of intense campaigning against female genital mutilation (FGM), the United Nations says that several countries, including Canada, Belgium, Spain and Italy, have passed legislation criminalising the practice, prevalent mostly among immigrant communities.

————————–

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated between 100 and 140 million girls and women have undergone some form of FGM in more than 28 countries, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Every year, about 3.0 million girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation, the U.N. study says.

African countries are beginning to act to discourage or ban FGM.

Meanwhile, a number of African countries — including Ghana, Uganda, Morocco and Eritrea — have also criminalised FGM in their penal codes or through other laws.

While there is no federal law banning FGM in Nigeria, according to the U.N. report, 11 states have adopted legislation against some “harmful traditional practices, including female genital mutilation.”

Egypt and Yemen have also taken steps to curb the practice within their health-care systems banning health-care professionals from performing it.

There are a number of programs using education and legal means to discourage female genital mutilation. Muslim women are working with women in their own communities to stop the practice. And the rate is declining, but not quickly enough for those working in the field. At a time when so many things in the world seem to be going badly, it is good to read about a trend that is at least going in the right direction.

Posted in health issues | 7 Comments »

My favorite refugee is in the news

Posted by Judy K. Warner on February 22, 2008

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the brave, outspoken Somali woman who moved to the U.S. from the Netherlands, where she had been a member of Parliament, spoke to a crowd in Dallas yesterday, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Ms. Hirsi Ali, who travels under constant security because of death threats, calmly laid out her cause against female genital mutilation and honor killings.

She began her speech by pointing to the killings of Sarah and Amina Said, Lewisville sisters whose father, Yaser Said, disappeared after the two were shot and left to die in his parked cab at an Irving hotel in January.

During her speech,

Ms. Hirsi Ali described a “cult of virginity” in Islam directed only toward women, wherein men are absolved of their sexual urges and are charged with protecting the honor of the family at all costs. The honor and shame code is an integral part of a culture that values virginity before marriage and fidelity afterward.

Folks, this is the mindset we are bringing into our country when we bring refugees from Somalia and other Muslim countries. I am grateful to Ayaan Hirsi Ali for speaking out about it.

Posted in diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 2 Comments »

Joliet, IL Catholic Charities running out of government money

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 22, 2008

I know many of the new readers coming to RRW are surprised to learn that most liberal-leaning non-profit groups, even church groups, are heavily funded by federal and state government.    Losing that taxpayer money can often mean the end of some or all of an organization’s programs like this one in Joliet, IL.

JOLIET – Last week, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet was forced to lay off staff and announced it would be closing some of its programs due to lack of funding.

_______

Some programs, such as the Refugee Resettlement Program, are slated to close in the next few weeks, while others, such as St. Elizabeth’s Residence for senior women in Joliet, would close by the end of June.
_______

According to Kathleen McGowan, executive director for the agency, years of inadequate funding from state and federal government sources and a lack of business for some programs have caused most of the drastic measures.

Refugee Resettlement can be a cutthroat business with volags competing with each other for immigrants to resettle.  So, I suspect that Ms. McGowen is referring to that when she says they have a “lack of business for some programs.” 

The International Institute of Erie, PA we wrote about yesterday must be having the same problem.

Posted in Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off on Joliet, IL Catholic Charities running out of government money

Sweden is sending some Iraqi refugees back

Posted by Judy K. Warner on February 22, 2008

The Associated Press reported on Monday:

Sweden and Iraq signed a deal Monday that will make it easier for Swedish authorities to return Iraqi asylum-seekers who are not granted residency in the Scandinavian country, the Justice Ministry said.

——————–

The repatriation agreement signed in Baghdad clears the way to send back Iraqi asylum-seekers by force if necessary, the ministry said in a statement.

——————–

Sweden has received more Iraqi refugees than any other country outside the Middle East. More than 18,000 Iraqis applied for asylum in Sweden last year even though residency requirements have been tightened.

I don’t know if these 18,000 Iraqi asylum-seekers are included in the 80,000 Iraqi immigrants that Sweden has. Whether they are or not, Sweden seems to be realizing that they can’t take in so many people without serious consequences for their country and their culture. Especially Muslim immigrants who try to impose their religion and way of life on the Swedes. “Sweden” and “force” are not words usually found together, so they must be really fed up.

Posted in Asylum seekers, Iraqi refugees | 1 Comment »

The forgotten refugees — the Middle East Jews

Posted by Judy K. Warner on February 22, 2008

You don’t hear about them very often, but now someone has taken up their cause.

In his work with Jewish refugees from the Middle East, Stanley Urman catches a lot of flak. The usual charge against him: stealing the Palestinian narrative.

As the executive director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), Urman says when it comes to refugees –– Arab and Jew –– no one has to steal anything. There was plenty of misery to go around.

Urman’s organization works on behalf of the nearly 1 million Jews exiled from Arab lands after the founding of Israel in 1948, and their descendants. Those Jews had their assets stolen and their communities erased, even after having lived for generations in countries like Iraq and Libya.

The reason you don’t hear a lot about these refugees is that Israel took in every one of them, so they are no longer refugees. Contrast that with the Palestinians, whom every Arab country refused to take in, preferring to keep them in refugee camps so they could use them for propaganda purposes. And the UN went along with the scheme.

Some blame must go the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, and its standards on refugees. “The [U.N.] established standards for every refugee –– protection, resettlement and rehabilitation –– except for Palestinians,” he said. “For UNRWA the mandate is only protection. That anomaly perpetuated the problem. Palestinians were used as pawns by the Arab world.”

Translation: After WWII, all refugees were resettled somewhere — and there were a lot of them. Only the Palestinians remained refugees for generations, in order to stir up the world’s hostility toward Israel.

I have to correct one thing from the article: It’s technically true that Jews had lived in Iraq “for generations.” Actually, it’s many, many generations, dating back 2600 years to the Babylonian captivity of 600 B.C., with some arriving as early as 700 B.C.  After the founding of Israel the Jews in Iraq were terribly persecuted and the vast majority, about 120,000, left. Their property was seized. There are now fewer than 100 Jews left in Iraq.

The Middle Eastern Jews who became refugees, along with their descendants, now number about 4 million. Their claims are now an issue in the Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations.

High on his agenda now is H.R. 185, a nonbinding congressional resolution in support of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. The late San Mateo Congressman Tom Lantos introduced the legislation.

The resolution stipulates that any U.S. negotiations on the claims of Palestinian refugees must also take into account the rights and claims of the exiled Mizrachi Jews.

Urman pressed to have the issue raised at December’s Middle East Conference in Annapolis, Md.

“We understand this issue was raised at Annapolis. And a statement from [Israeli Foreign Minister] Tzipi Livni referred to the issue of Jews from Arab countries,” he said. “We know during Bush’s visit to Israel, he raised the issue with [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert.”

Here is our earlier post on the Jewish refugees.

Posted in Other refugees | Comments Off on The forgotten refugees — the Middle East Jews

Virginia rounding up immigrant sex offenders

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 22, 2008

Although presumably none of the immigrant sex offenders rounded up in Virginia are refugees, I found this story very interesting.     The State of Virginia has been cracking down heavily on illegal immigrants but this initiative is to deport any immigrant who has not yet become a citizen, but who has been convicted of a sex crime.  Hat tip: Infinicat

Richmond, Va. – More than 170 criminals will be deported as part of a joint law enforcement operation to remove alien sex offenders from Virginia.

_______

“Operation Cold Play” identified 255 people convicted of sex crimes who are not U.S. citizens. Eighty-four offenders on the list had already left the country or been deported. The other 171 offenders were either in jail already or picked up off the street.

The news report says the immigrants are from all over the world.

Posted in Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side, Other Immigration | Comments Off on Virginia rounding up immigrant sex offenders

 
%d bloggers like this: