I reported here in 2013 that Obama told the UN we would take 50,000 from the DR Congo over five years. We have surpassed 45,000 so far and I will keep you posted about when we go over the 50,000 Obama promised.
I have said repeatedly on these pages that we must get the UN out of the business of choosing our refugees. If we are going to take refugees, let’s choose them ourselves!
We aren’t going to solve Africa’s overpopulation and poverty problems by siphoning off ten thousand (or more) each year.
There are 14 from Afghanistan and two Syrians in this first wave. Nine of the total 73 are Muslims, the remainder are various Christian sects with six from Afghanistan claiming no religion. The two Syrians being placed in Michigan are Muslims.
Below is a map from Wrapsnetshowing the states that are ‘welcoming’ refugees in the first ten days of this fiscal year.
Ohio received the most with 16.The top five states were Ohio, Arizona, Vermont, California and Georgia.
UN refugee chief says Med migrant rescues ‘taken hostage’ by politics
The head of the U.N. refugee agency says returns home among the millions of Syrians living abroad are few, and insists that rescues on the Mediterranean Sea have been “taken hostage by politics”— and must be restored.
Filippo Grandi also urged Myanmar’s government to do more to create the conditions for Rohingya Muslims to return home. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape a bloody crackdown since August last year.
The wide-ranging address by Grandi at UNHCR’s annual executive committee meeting on Monday comes as the European Union has been riven by discord over how to handle an influx of migrants in recent years — though the rate has dropped off from a record high in 2015.
The new government in Italy, which has taken a stricter line on migrants, has refused to allow in some boats that retrieved desperate people who left from Libya, dropping the dilemma of whether to take them in on fellow EU countries like France and Spain.
Grandi, who is Italian, appealed to Europe to preserve its asylum policies. He noted that Libya — the main launch point for migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean — has strengthened its coast guard in recent months, but not its other institutions.
As a result, more would-be migrants and refugees have been getting forcibly returned to Libya, and “that means more and more people exposed to exploitation and detention — in horrific conditions.”
“Responsibility-sharing has been replaced by responsibility-shedding,” Grandi said, alluding to the EU squabbles. “Pushing people away cannot be the answer, and negotiating disembarkation boat by boat, even when successful, is not a good option.”
By all accounts (from people I politically agree with!) Trump gave a great speech at the UN yesterday. And, although we stepped back from one of two new compacts related to refugees under construction in the world body, we participate in this one. (See herethat Trump removed us from a second UN compact deliberation.)
Writing at the Center for Immigration Studies, Nayla Rush, tells us what is wrong with the deliberations that would actually expand the protection the 1951 Refugee Convention presently offers to supposedly only legitimate refugees.
(See wikipedia for more on the 1951 Convention and don’t miss the definition of who is a ‘refugee.’)
In my view, these negotiations are one more way to expand the definition of what constitutes a ‘refugee’ which then would allow more people from the third world to move to the first without them having to prove that they would be persecuted if returned home.
By the way, this discussion of a new refugee compact was launched at Obama’s UN pow-wow in the fall of 2016 when they all were assuming Hillary was moving to the Oval!
U.S. Continues to Back UN Refugee Compact that Contradicts Administration Goals
Despite announcing a lower refugee-resettlement ceiling for the coming fiscal year, the Trump administration continues to support the UN’s Global Compact on Refugees, which is in total contradiction to the administration’s refugee policies.
The final text of the Global Compact on Refugees was released late July. This refugee compact was expected to be adopted by UN member states (including the United States) at the 73rd General Assembly in New York later this week; but the vote is now expected to take place in December. The UN refugee compact seeks for more resettlement places while using expedited processing modalities; facilitating access to family reunification for resettled refugees and encouraging complementary pathways for refugees through private sponsorship programs (such as student scholarships, employment opportunities etc.) that would be additional to regular resettlement and are harder to monitor.
The Trump administration, on the other hand, announced the FY 2019 refugee ceiling of 30,000***, down from 45,000 for 2018 (both ceilings count as the lowest ceiling determinations since the creation of the refugee resettlement program following the Refugee Act of 1980). The reasoning behind such low ceilings is two-fold: Improving the screening and vetting of resettlement candidates (which means slower admissions) and reducing the untenable asylum backlog by reassigning refugee officers to asylum cases.
The Trump administration’s continued commitment to the UN agreement is puzzling.
Beware COMPLEMENTARY PATHWAYS!
UNHCR’s Protection head, Volker Türk, insisted on the need for a new international agreement on refugees other than the 1951 Refugee Convention.
According to him, the 1951 convention, while focusing on rights of refugees and obligations of states, does not deal with international cooperation; it “does not specify how you share the burden and responsibility, and that’s what the global compact does. It responds to one of the major gaps we have faced for decades.” Türk added: “Also, we would aim [through the Global Compact on Refugees] to get more resettlement places and find more ways refugees can move to third countries – such as through family reunification, student scholarships, or humanitarian visas, so that refugees can travel safely (what we call ‘complementary pathways’).”
You can readily see how the UN wants an expansion of the definition of the 1951 definition of refugee protection to family members (who may not be legitimate refugees in their own right), students, and whatever that broad new category called humanitarian visasmight allow.
Rush has many more details,click here to read it all.
I’m assuming the Trump Administration stayed involved in this series of meetings so they would continue to be informed. I guess we will find out in a few months how serious the President is about not letting the rest of the world dictate who the ‘new Americans’ will be.
***I’ve been arguing for a refugee cap of zero for the coming year. It would be the only way to force Congress to review the program with an eye to serious reform. I would argue that the United Nations should be completely removed from our decisions on who comes to America and who doesn’t.
At the present time the UN is dictating that we take theDR Congoleseand the Burmese Rohingya. Before that it was the Bhutanese camps they wanted cleared and we said ‘yes master’ and did it! They pushed heavily for us to take the Syrian Muslims from their camps too, but Trump managed to stop that.
If we are going to take any refugees, we should demand that we pick only those we want!
Nayla Rush writing at the Center for Immigration Studiesposes a wide range of questions about how a man with two arrest warrants in Iraq got in to the US from Turkey in 2014, received extensive benefits from the US taxpayer, and lived here until now undetected.
Follow-Up Questions on Omar Ameen’s Refugee Resettlement Case
I have chosen two questions to highlight the fact that we allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and a non-profit Catholic group to do the initial screening of refugees entering the US from Turkey.
I’ve been following this issue for over ten years and I have never seen the UNHCR report anything but doom and gloom—more people than ever (every year!) need to be resettled in a better country than the one they left. Nothing changes while the US taxpayer foots most of the bill!***
A former foreign service officer who worked in several capacities in the US Refugee Admissions Program around the world speaks from first hand experience when she says it is past time—way past time—for Congress to investigate the program.
After outlining examples of fraud that have been identified, Mary Doetsch says this at the Daily Caller:
It’s Time For Congress To Restore The Integrity Of The US Refugee Program
Perhaps even more disturbing than the actual fraud is the fact that this type of investigation is the exception rather than the norm. For decades, little heed has been paid to program’s extensive fraud.
As a former refugee coordinator who served throughout the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Cuba, I saw first-hand the flagrant abuses and scams that permeate the refugee program. I witnessed widespread exploitation and misuse, from identity fraud to marriage and family relation scams, and from private individuals profiting from their involvement in USRAP to distortion of the actual refugee definition to ensure greater numbers of people who are really migrants are admitted as refugees.
During my own time working in this program, I watched USRAP continue to expand unchecked, seemingly without concern for whether it served the best interests of its own citizens or the country.
While refugee admissions have been declining under the Trump administration, there has been almost no focus on programmatic fraud. Midway into the 2018 fiscal year, just over a quarter of the 45,000 individuals proposed in the FY18 refugee ceiling had entered the country. This slow-down in admissions may reduce some fraud, but without structural reform, it cannot be eliminated.
Too many government officials, often under the guise of humanitarianism, have continued to disregard both the external “pay-to-play bribery schemes” of the UN along with the internal fraud within USRAP operations. The once admirable refugee program has lost its integrity and must be reformed. The USRAP is in need of a complete overhaul and it’s time for Congress to take the lead.
This morning as I see CNN crowing about how Trey Gowdy says the FBI did no wrong in planting someone in the Trump campaign, I am reminded of how the chicken! (yes Gowdy!) never lifted a finger to try to get to the bottom of the problems with the USRAP when he was chairman of the subcommittee responsible for overseeing the program.