Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for January 23rd, 2010

Haitian “orphan” ping pong

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 23, 2010

Update February 3:  No Haitian orphans going to San Antonio, yet, here.

In the wake of the horrible earthquake in Haiti we have reported on efforts of do-gooders to round-up the “orphans” and bring them to the US.   Most notably it was all over the news about  Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Ed Rendell organizing a mission within days of the quake to bring 50-plus orphans to PA.  Also, Catholic Charities was getting in gear for a massive recreation of Operation Pedro Pan.

Now comes a report that cooler heads are prevailing, and agencies such as the International Rescue Committee (I can’t believe I’m agreeing with the IRC and this radical publication!*) are obviously at odds with Catholic Charities.

International Social Services and the International Rescue Committee concur, stating “in general, international adoption should not take place in a situation of war or natural disaster, given that these events make it impossible to verify the personal and family situation of children. Any operation to adopt or to evacuate children that are victims of the earthquake to another country must be absolutely avoided, as was the case during the 2004 tsunami….”

A professor in the Netherlands tells readers to follow the money! 

The Quebec government has followed the advise of these experts, putting a hold on new adoption applications for Haitian children while the U.S. and the Dutch have sent planes to bring children out of Haiti in the midst of the recovery efforts despite Professor Rene Hoksbergen of Utrecht University, the Netherlands, warning that authorities should take great care in dealing with orphans from such a disaster, fearing the hurried evacuation could send a wrong signal.

“You have to be very careful in adopting these children from a country in chaos,” he said. “It might look like when a country is a disaster it is easy to adopt children there.” Worse still is the fear of all NGOs of corrupt baby brokers and opportunistic child traffickers using such disasters to their advantage.

When confused by pro and con statements about adoption, with both sides claiming to have the best interest of children at heart…follow the money.

Adoption agencies, even religious and non-profit rely on the redistribution of children to pay their bills, including salaries. This motivates their “concerns.” They have lobbyists that pressure government into quick “feel good” bills and “rescue” actions that don’t always look so quite so good in hindsight, and by those “rescued” and their families – or snatched – depending on your point of view.

I’ll reiterate my opinion, with all this foreign concern and presumably funds, these agencies should set up first rate orphanages in Haiti and make every effort to reunite Haitian children with their families, a project that might take a couple of years.

*  Read the whole article. I think they have picked a few cases, and possibly overstated them, where “orphans” were hurt by quick action.  But some were surely helped and within those groups they cite I feel sure there are many former “orphans” who are glad they were saved.  Surely, all those little Jewish girls saved from the Nazis did not go into mental institutions.  Still, I concur with the general theme of this article—keep the kids in Haiti until the crisis is over, and try to find their families!

Posted in Haiti, Refugee Resettlement Program | Comments Off on Haitian “orphan” ping pong

Supreme Court to hear Somali case? Do we protect war criminals?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 23, 2010

That is what All Gov* is reporting yesterday.  Here is the whole story from Noel Brinkerhoff:

The former head of Somalia’s military is now the focus of a potential landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court which will decide whether foreign officials now living in the country can be subject to U.S. law.

Mohamed Ali Samantar, once Somalia’s minister of defense under the Siad Barre regime in the 1980s, now lives in Fairfax, Virginia. He has been accused by some Somalis of overseeing a campaign of torture, imprisonment and executions directed at political prisoners. The allegations include authorizing the 1988 military attacks that killed more than 5,000 people in Hargeisa, the nation’s second largest city.

The Center for Justice & Accountability has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Somali survivors who want Samantar punished for his actions. The case, Yousuf v. Samantar, relies on the Torture Victim Protection Act which Congress passed in 1991. The law states that foreign government officials accused of torture who now live in the U.S. can be accountable under American law as long as there is no effective judicial system in the country where the crimes were committed. Plaintiffs are arguing that the chaotic state of Somalia today makes it impossible to bring Samantar to justice back home.

Samantar insists that he is protected from legal action in the U.S. under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act which grants immunity from American lawsuits to government officials from other nations.

I’m not a lawyer but I wonder if this case will have some bearing eventually on Gitmo prisoners  should they be released in the US (I heard about the possible release of some on a  talking-head show yesterday).

*  I was not aware of All Gov (Everything our Government really does) before I saw this story, but it’s an interesting website, check it out.

Posted in Africa, Asylum seekers, Crimes | Comments Off on Supreme Court to hear Somali case? Do we protect war criminals?

Muslims attempting to get to South Africa stopped in Zimbabwe

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 23, 2010

It’s been a long time since I mentioned the problems of the rainbow nation, South Africa, so here is a little update.  Corrupt immigration officials in Zimbabwe have been involved in granting illegal alien Pakistanis, Somalis, and Bangladeshis entry through Zimbabwe.

Harare — A SENIOR immigration officer has gone into hiding after he allegedly issued 26 Bangladeshis with visas without authority.

Police have since launched a manhunt for Alter Upenyu Nhidza who was based at Kanyemba Border Post.

It is believed that Nhidza is only one link in a syndicate that has seen Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Somalis trickling into the country mostly through illegal entry points en route to South Africa.

[…..]

The Herald understands that a sizeable number of Pakistanis, Somalis, and Bangladeshis entered Zimbabwe with the aid of rogue immigration officials.

Caliphate building are we?

Posted in Africa, Other Immigration | Comments Off on Muslims attempting to get to South Africa stopped in Zimbabwe

Israel is serious about keeping out illegal immigrants. . .

Posted by Judy K. Warner on January 23, 2010

. . . even if they try to pose as refugees. That was the message Prime Minister Netanyahu gave in a speech this week reported in Israel News.

“Infiltrators cause cultural, social and economic damage, and pull us towards the Third World,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a Manufacturers Association assembly. 

“We suffer from a problem that actually stems from Israel’s economic success,” he said, explaining the problems that arise from the breached border with Egypt.  

“We have become almost the only First World country that can be reached by foot from the Third World. We are flooded with surge of refugees who threaten to wash away our achievements and damage our existence as a Jewish democratic state.”

“Almost” but not quite. The United States has probably the longest border with a third world country that can be walked across in many places.  The only reason our character and existence are not quite as threatened by our illegal aliens is that we are so big. Israel has only around 7 million people, and could easily be swamped by these immigrants.

Imagine an American president being so gutsy as to tell a meeting of manufacturers that they are going to be stopped from employing illegal aliens.  Can you think of any potential president who would?

Of course the guilt-playing left gets its licks in:

The Hotline for Migrant Workers was enraged by the prime minister’s remarks, and issued a response saying: “The danger to the Jewish state is not the refugees, but the many Jews in key positions who have forgotten that their parents were refugees, and who besmirch the persecuted in order to whitewash their submission to the manpower corporations.” 

Somehow I don’t think Netanyahu is going to be swayed by that. For one thing, it makes no sense. For another, he faces fiercer enemies than these folks, whoever they are. Bravo to him.

Posted in Israel and refugees, Other Immigration | Comments Off on Israel is serious about keeping out illegal immigrants. . .

 
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