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    Ann Corcoran
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Archive for June, 2008

Campaign underway to bring North Korean refugees to the US

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 30, 2008

So far we have only brought a few North Korean refugees here, but the push is on.   I don’t have anything definitive, but it’s just like the Rohingya situation, one starts to hear the faint drumbeats that the US MUST save another beleaguered group. 

This is from something called MyDD (direct democracy) which I confess is a political blog I had never heard of:

This is a terrible situation [Editor: aren’t they all?]. Surely, the United States has it in our hearts to provide some kind of help to North Koreans living as refugees in China.

North Korea pays China a bounty of around $300 for each North Korean caught and returned to North Korea. Returned escapees will typically be prosecuted, then imprisoned, or, if it is their third attempt, summarily executed, for the crime of betraying the fatherland by leaving.

Surely the US could match that $300 [Editor: can you see it now, a bidding war with North Korea to benefit the Chinese] and provide a new start for North Korean refugees somewhere in the US, where they would be happy to get a new start. Many have led terrible lives and they are also discriminated against in South Korea.

And then this:

They need a safe place they can go and live in peace.

Why the heck should the South Koreans discriminate against their cultural kin.  South Korea is a peaceful prosperous country and if they are a friend of ours, we should tell them to take in their own people! 

Besides, a reader tells me (but I haven’t researched it yet) that there is a shortage of marriageable men for South Korean women and that they are importing Thais for husbands (oh brother!).

Posted in Other refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 10 Comments »

Burmese conflicted about coming to the US

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 30, 2008

Here is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle about the large number of Burmese refugees entering the US.  You may have noticed them in your city or town already.  Since 2006, according to this article, we have resettled 32,000 Burmese refugees (mostly Christian with some Muslims slipped in) and expect another 18,000 this year.

We’ve written many times about the Burmese but since we have so many new readers I thought this article had some useful information about the Patriot Act and the what is known as the ‘material support for terrorism provision’ and how it can be waived. 

Thanks to a new U.S. policy, Nid Paw hopes to become one of 18,000 Burmese refugees allowed to settle in the United States in 2008. Before the change in law, the Patriot Act had barred refugee status for those who had provided “material support” to organizations on the State Department terrorist list. Because many Burmese refugees had lived in regions where ethnic armies have fought for independence against government troops for decades, they were typically denied entry simply for giving food, water or housing to guerrilla fighters – even if under duress.

In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security recognized that Burmese refugees were unlikely to be terrorists and waived the material support clause, opening the door to an estimated 140,000 Burmese refugees living in nine camps along the Thailand-Burma border.

But the change also makes Nid Paw and other refugees uncertain about the lives they will leave behind and the problems they will face with a different culture, language and educational system, and an economy that is likely to offer no better than a minimum-wage job.

Besides the information on terrorism and the situation in Burma, it was interesting to see that the Burmese really hope to return to a democratic Burma someday.   Chances are slim because most refugees in America won’t make much more than minimum wage, so the cost alone would be prohibitive.

Nid Paw is unsure how she will arrange travel documents to return to Thailand. Refugees must wait five years before applying for green cards, and even then many lack the funds to return.

Using our search function for ‘Burmese refugees’ here is the archive for previous posts on this group.

Posted in Christian refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 1 Comment »

Free speech and Steyn win one in Canada

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 30, 2008

We’ve discussed on several previous occasions that author Mark Steyn and Macleans magazine were recently dragged before the so-called Candadian Human Rights Commission to answer charges that Steyn and the magazine voiced extremist views when Macleans published an article by Steyn based on his best selling book, America Alone.

Now comes word that Steyn and Mcleans have won.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed a complaint by a Muslim organization against Maclean’s, ruling that the views expressed in one of the magazine’s articles were not “of an extreme nature.”

The Canadian Islamic Congress had alleged that the article written by Mark Steyn entitled “The Future Belongs to Islam” and posted on the magazine’s website in October 2006 discriminated and spread hatred against Muslims.

The article, an excerpt of a book authored by Steyn, talks about Islam being a threat to North American institutions and values. It used statistics to show higher birth rates plus immigration mean Muslims will outnumber followers of other religions in Western Europe.

Steyn begins his announcement of the decision on his website on June 27th:

On Thursday, the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission (very quietly) dismissed the Canadian Islamic Congress complaint against Maclean’s re America Alone – and without even giving the Socks the consolation of an Ontario-style drive-by verdict.

So what is a ‘sock’?   That is short for ‘sock puppet’ which is the term used widely to describe the Muslims who filed charges against Steyn.  See the blog, Free Mark Steyn, for a photo of a sock puppet here.  You gotta laugh!

Read Mark Steyn’s America Alone.   Judy and I have included it at the top of our list of recommended books here.

Note to all those who wish to silence us in North America—we aren’t European or British!


Posted in free speech | 2 Comments »

Michael Savage being himself on refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 29, 2008

Here is something I missed previously,  radio talk show host Michael Savage commenting on remarks by First Lady Laura Bush for World Refugee Day.    I don’t know what Laura Bush said, I didn’t even pay attention at the time or look it up now because I knew it would be some politically correct mumbo jumbo.    Here is Savage: 

And moreover, let me tell you something. I am an immigrant son, but when my grandfather came here, he could read and write. And he had a business that he opened with his money — the first monies he got, he opened his own business. He knew how to use toilet paper; he had used a toothbrush. We’re getting refugees now who have never used a telephone, a toothbrush, or toilet paper. You’re telling me they’re going to assimilate? They will never assimilate. They come here and they bring their destitute ways to this country, and they never assimilate. And then their children become gang-bangers. It is a disaster. Did you hear what I just said? A disaster. And Laura Bush is talking about political refugees as though it’s 1955. It’s pretty amazing to me that she is as out of touch as her husband is. 

I wonder if Mr. Savage has seen an advance copy of Mark Krikorian’s latest book, The New Case Against Immigration, due out this week.   Krikorian, in more genteel terms says the same thing—this isn’t 1955, or 1924—things have changed.

Posted in Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side | Comments Off on Michael Savage being himself on refugees

The “lottery”: Somali refugees in Africa stream to camps in hopes of going West

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 29, 2008

Here is an article from The National (a UAE newspaper?) this past week that explains why the flow of Somalis to camps will continue as long as there is hope that the US will scoop them up and bring them to a town near you.

UN officials are trying to deal with overcrowded camps along the Somali border.   One option is to move them a thousand miles to camps originally set up for Sudanese but increasingly empty because the Sudanese are going home. 

One option the United Nations is considering is moving Somali refugees across Kenya to camps originally set up for Sudanese refugees.

The Kakuma camp on Kenya’s north-western border holds 130,000 refugees from Sudan’s 22-year civil war. But since a peace deal was signed in 2005, most of the Sudanese refugees have returned home. Last year, 66,000 Sudanese were repatriated from Kakuma and the United Nations expects a further 50,000 to return this year.

As the camps near the Somali border continue to fill – 4,000 refugees are estimated to flee across the border every month – officials would like to move some of them to Kakuma.

OK, that sounds like a good plan, but the article goes on to give excuses why that would be difficult.  So, they send some here.

Since Somalia is still too dangerous to send refugees back home, UN officials have been trying to resettle them in other countries. But this is a slow process as refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries compete for the limited number of refugee resettlement spots that western countries make available.

About 3,000 refugees were resettled from Dadaab last year, mostly to the United States. This is still less than the amount arriving in the camps each month. Yet refugees hold out hope that they will be among the lucky ones to start a new life in the West.

“The refugees call it the lottery,” said Francesca Bonelli, a community services officer with the United Nations. “It is completely life changing if they get resettled. It is the big dream.”

As long as the UN and the US send any Somalis to the US, the spigot will remain open and the flow continue as Somalis play the lottery.   Put out the word that “refugees” will be sent a thousand miles to another camp across Africa and I bet they will stop arriving at the rate of 4000 a month.

Posted in Africa, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program | 1 Comment »

Office of Refugee Resettlement Annual Report to Congress, where is it?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 29, 2008

Sorry our “your state” page is so incomplete.  I just figured you could get your state information from our link to the ORR Annual Report to Congress, but I notice the link isn’t working (at least for me).  

If the new report is out would someone send me the link at!   Thanks!

Posted in Refugee Resettlement Program, Where to find information, Your State | Comments Off on Office of Refugee Resettlement Annual Report to Congress, where is it?

Utah: Too many refugees? Just say, no! Wyoming did!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 28, 2008

Utah is feeling the strain with too many refugees for the welfare system to handle. No sympathy here because you could just say, no! Tell the US State Department to tell their NGO contractors to cut the flow until you can get caught up with the needs of your own destitute people before they send you more from all corners of the world.  If you have trouble getting the State Department’s attention, then tell your Congressional delegation to get involved. 

Here is what the Salt Lake Tribune says today:

The dilemma has been raised on the governor’s advisory committee examining refugee services, said Michael Gallegos, director of the Salt Lake County Division of Community Resources and Development. “The question has come up: Can we turn the faucet down a little bit so we can get prepared and deal with issues already in front of us?” he said. “We don’t have the capacity to serve the refugees we have right now.”

Upon arrival, refugees are eligible for food stamps, cash assistance programs, Medicaid and other services, some of which are available for years, some for as little as eight months.

But after receiving initial housing assistance, refugee families join thousands of other Utahns hoping to obtain a federal subsidy that can significantly discount their rent. Many in this new wave of refugees will join more than 4,000 residents already on the Salt Lake City Housing Authority waiting list. They will have to wait at least two years to get a housing discount voucher

Frankly, I don’t get this. What is everyone so afraid of?  Afraid of looking “unwelcoming”?  Maybe someone will call you a racist?  There is nothing wrong with saying, we need a little breather here.  Wyoming does not participate in refugee resettlement and I don’t see that state maligned for the decision. 

Then this last line is really annoying.   

Refugees often feel helpless and alone when faced with a stack of critical documents linking them to food, medical care and other services .
“We’ve had people say, ‘It was better in the camps,’ ” Brown [Utah Refugee Services Director] said. 

We have from the earliest days of writing this blog advocated for the institution of a social and economic impact study of cities and states to help determine if a locale could handle new refugees.  If it was regularly updated better planning would surely result.

We have an extensive archive on Utah here.  Sadly Utah made the news a few months ago as the location where a little Burmese refugee girl was raped and murdered by another refugee in their housing complex.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Who is going where | Comments Off on Utah: Too many refugees? Just say, no! Wyoming did!

South African TB patients riot

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 28, 2008

While I’m on the subject of infectious diseases this morning, here is a frightening story from South Africa thanks to blulitespecial. 

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Authorities increased security Friday at a tuberculosis hospital where patients with drug-resistant forms of the disease went on a rampage to protest prison-like conditions.

Twenty-two patients were arrested Wednesday, accused of public violence and assault after they pelted staff with stones and vandalized equipment. But the local police station and prison refused to admit them because of fears of the highly infectious disease. Instead, they were returned to the hospital.

The Jose Pearson hospital, near the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, treats about 300 patients. Many have multidrug-resistant TB and the even more dangerous extensively drug-resistant TB, which is very difficult and expensive to treat. Those with drug-resistant strains are supposed to stay in the hospital for six months to two years, living in isolated wards surrounded by barbed wire and security guards.

South African authorities have reluctantly resorted to enforced confinement of patients with drug-resistant TB because of fears that it might otherwise spread through the community. TB is an airborne bacteria and can be spread easily through coughing or sneezing.

The country is gripped by a tuberculosis crisis, which is feeding off the AIDS epidemic and striking the weakened immune system of victims. Nearly 60 percent of South African TB patients have AIDS. The emergence of drug-resistant TB strains — often the result of not sticking to the standard six-month course of treatment — has worsened patients’ chances of survival.

Why am I telling you this, because as the “rainbow nation” implodes (I wonder if that was discussed at the star-studded Mandela birthday bash this week) we are going to be pressured to take refugees newly created by the violence against immigrants in South Africa.

We are already admitting refugees with HIV and TB.  And, I will bet you a buck that the refugees that roam from city to city are not sticking with their six-month long treatment regime and that the volags are not following up on these people.    A Somali refugee died of TB in a Tyson’s plant in Emporia, KS last year.  Bet you didn’t hear that in the news.

Posted in Africa, Asylum seekers, diversity's dark side, health issues | 2 Comments »

Chris Coen weighs in on World Relief and Fort Wayne

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 28, 2008

Earlier this month we reported on a volag “cat fight” going on in Ft. Wayne, IN.  It seems that volag World Relief (Corporation of National Association of Evangelicals) is trying to horn in on Catholic Charities lucrative territory in Ft. Wayne.  

As we have reported many times on this blog, these agencies are paid by the head to resettle refugees and so they are often competitive.   In the case of Ft. Wayne there are huge numbers of Burmese going to that city which has put out the refugee welcome mat.   Those refugees want to bring family members to Ft. Wayne, and refugees in camps in Thailand also request resettlement in Ft. Wayne because they want to live near people like themselves.

This week the Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne published this letter (scroll down) from Chris Coen of Friends of Refugees

Refugee agencies rife with problems

I saw the editorial “Helping refugees”  regarding World Relief’s proposal to open an office in Fort Wayne. I don’t know whether its presence in Fort Wayne will be good for all or not, but my experience with World Relief has not been positive. I am an independent volunteer assisting refugees since 2001. I started a group to monitor the U.S. refugee resettlement program with a small group of volunteers in 2002.

We found refugees who were being neglected and abused by their World Relief agency in 2003-05 north of Tampa, Fla. That refugee program was subsequently shuttered by the Department of State in 2006 because of the neglect of the refugees.

World Relief also seems to have some irregularities in its accounting.

In fairness to World Relief, though, there seem to be quite a few irregularities and neglect of refugees in the U.S Refugee Resettlement Program. There is also extensive documentation of Catholic Charities and the other eight national refugee resettlement agencies neglecting refugees. The State Department has done very little to clean up the problems.

CHRISTOPHER COEN Friends of Refugees Minneapolis

I have on my desk a GAO (General Accounting Office) investigative report on World Relief from 2004.  The report is highly critical of the volag which could not properly account for over $2 million in federal funds.  I don’t know if they have cleaned up the shoddy accounting practices or not.

One interesting little bit in the report was that when refugee numbers declined dramatically in the years immediately following 9/11, World Relief spent more federal dollars than the GAO thought reasonable.  I’m going to bet however that all the volags had a shopping spree during this time because the federal government responded to their plea for funding at the same level as pre-September 11th because the volags complained that they needed to keep offices open and paying staff in anticipation of a return to the higher number of refugees.     Bottomline is that we taxpayers paid for all these non-profits to stay in business even though the refugee numbers were extremely low for a couple of years.

A related matter appeared in the Journal Gazette in mid-June.

The Health Department in Ft. Wayne has been financially strapped due to the huge number of refugees that need vacinations and treatment for HIV and TB.   Buried in another article about outdoor cooking rules is this information:

Waldron [Health Dept. Administrator] said the county commissioners have indicated they will approve $2 million toward relocation of the infectious disease clinic.

With the growing demands in refugee care, the health department needs additional space, and commissioners have asked the department to explore existing clinic sites or other buildings that could be used by the health department. 

But, what can you do?   As I said earlier Ft. Wayne has put out the word that it is a “welcoming” city.

Posted in health issues, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Who is going where | 1 Comment »

More on the friction between Black Americans and Black African refugees

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 26, 2008

Update August 20th:  More on this subject here.

A few weeks ago I told you about how tensions are building in black communities between immigrants and American blacks.    Sometimes the tension is between Black American Muslims (BAMs) and IMMs (Immigrant Muslims who are not black).  Sometimes it’s just Black Americans (BAs) and African immigrants no matter what religion, but now comes the revelation that BAMs and BAs generally have some resentment toward Somalis (Muslims of course).   Did you get that?     Maybe not, but read on!

If this is a topic that interests you, and frankly I found it fascinating, read this blog entitled Jamerican Muslimah:  Talking it plain.   I’m not sure what the bloggers name is, maybe Jamerican, but I like her a lot.  She does ‘talk it plain’ and so well I didn’t know where to start to give you some excerpts.  Here is how she opens Part I

I recently read Sherri Williams’ article entitled “Uncommon Ground” in Ebony Magazine’s July 2008 issue. This article discusses the tension between Somali immigrants/refugees and African-Americans (BAs) in Columbus, Ohio. I felt compelled to share my own thoughts and experience on the subject. After all, I live in the Twin Cities which boasts the largest Somali population in the country. I can forewarn you that what I have to say is not going to be politically correct. I can admit that I’m biased on this subject. Most of the experiences I’ve had with Somalis have not been so great. Needless to say, my perspective on this subject has been tainted by the negative experiences I’ve had. But Alhamdulillah, I’m currently working on it. This is my story. 

In Part II, she says this and a whole lot more: 

It is clear to me that many BAs in the Twin Cities are affected by the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric floating around the country. On one hand, I feel like they are capitalizing on the sentiment in order to garner favor or acceptance from White conservatives (even if they don’t know that, that’s where the rhetoric originated.) On the other hand, they are upset because they believe that Somalis have been given money and other perks by the government. They see Somalis, who are for the most part refugees, driving new cars, opening businesses, and receiving some of the best housing MPHA has to offer.[Editor: refugees do get special perks and this causes resentment from Americans who are poor whether the American is white or black.]  They see Somalis taking over sectors of the job market which had been previously occupied by BAs. (Think of my cousin’s comment about Somalis at the airport). They see yet another group of immigrants coming in and gaining acceptance as the “model minority.” They see how White people in the Twin Cities often work hard to understand the predicament of Somalis, sometimes excusing their behavior or sympathizing with them because of their experience back home or in refugee camps. Meanwhile, the country and the world has dismissed BAs as being criminal, lazy, constantly crying victim and doing nothing to change their circumstances. There is no sympathy for us or our history. But should that be taken out on Somalis?

I believe that some BAs have a bias against Somalis because they are abashedly and unashamedly Muslim. (I find this to be especially true when the BA has a Christian base). They see Islam as a foreign religion with strange, primitive, stifling customs. The fact that female circumcision is practiced by Somalis- the dominant Muslim group in the Twin Cities- serves as further proof of the primitive nature of Islam and of Muslims…  [Editor:  we had heard that Somalis are practicing FGM in America]

What a revelation all this is, I bet a lot of you white folks in Emporia, KS and Shelbyville, TN have been thinking it’s just you.    Have you wondered if you are racist?  Is that why the Somalis were so hard to deal with?   You can rest easy now, you knew deep down you weren’t a racist.  It is not you!   Black Americans are being put off by Somali refugees too and because of the cancer of cultural relativism rampant in the volag resettlement agencies, no one tells the Somalis they need to fit in to America.

Posted in Africa, Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, women's issues | 12 Comments »

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