US policy regarding the refugee resettlement program is outrageous. This is our country, our sovereignty, our future. If one thing is for certain, it's that the UN is not, I repeat, not, America's friend.
Since 1976, more than 2.6 million new citizens have entered America as legal humanitarian refugees according to reports of the US State Department.
Humanitarian refugees have literally won the proverbial lottery. Typically, they receive green cards as resident aliens within a year of arrival and are eligible to become full US citizens within five years, unless they violate our immigration laws, commit a felony or are deported. In the process they are provided with cash stipend and social services assistance from federal, state, NGO’s and voluntary agency contractors.
The irony is the mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) determines which of the world’s huddled masses comes to the US as humanitarian refugees. UNHCR trends for 2006 indicate that worldwide there were more than 32.9 million ‘persons of concern’ with approximately one third defined as ‘refugees’. Major refugee ‘hot spots’ include the Horn of Africa with Somalia, Darfur in the Sudan and Ethiopia, Iraq, Pakistan and Myanmar. The US is the third highest ranked country in terms of hosting refugees. The annual budget for the UNHCR is over $1.7 billion derived from government contributions, foundation grants and donations.
A veritable cottage industry of federal and state alphabet soup agencies, NGO’s and voluntary agencies or VOLAG contractors has sprung up to facilitate absorption of humanitarian refugees.
At the top of this cottage industry is the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM) headed by Assistant Secretary Ellen Sauerbrey, a former Maryland GOP gubernatorial candidate. BPRM, the second largest bureau in the State Department, has a budget approximating $1 billion. The BPRM is required under the Refugee Act of 1980 and its amendments to report to Congress annually on authorizations for refugees in various regions in the world.
Another federal bureaucracy involved in the humanitarian refugee ‘industry’ is the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) that administers a program of cash stipends and social assistance through a network composed of various state departments of social services and contracts with a large array of voluntary agencies. These groups include Catholic Charities, Church World Services, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and dozens of others. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) at the US Department of Homeland Security uses so-called roving teams at US Embassies to screen humanitarian refugees for security and immigration purposes.
As we shall see, the untoward consequence of UN control over the humanitarian refugee program in the US is discrimination against groups like the imperiled half million Christians who have fled Iraq.
More concerning is that the UN control of humanitarian refugee processing has introduced Jihadis among the Somalis from the Horn of Africa, who now number in the tens of thousands throughout America. The Somalis have brought with them strict Islamic Sharia values that violate our Constitution and Civil Rights laws and mock our Judeo Christian values. Still worse, they, and some other refugee groups, have brought with them undetected contagious diseases like TB, Hepatitis and HIV that evaded health screening prior to their entry to America.
The Somali immigrants are a significant proportion of those included in the humanitarian refugee program for Africa. For the Federal Fiscal year ended, September 30, 2007, according to information from the ORR, 7, 500 Somalis entered this country out of a total of 17,000 such refugees allotted to Africa. The aggregate total of Somali refugees as of 2005 was close to 70,000. Given figures for both 2006 and 2007, the current aggregate may approximate 90,000. The concern is what proportion of these received proper medical and security screening before entering this country.
This has caused disruptions in both large and small communities through America. Communities like Minneapolis, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville, Emporia, Kansas, Lewiston, Maine and Shelbyville, Tennessee.
These disruptions occurred in American heartland communities as a by-product of conscious refugee policies adopted during the Clinton administration and in a number of instances, local business community interests that took advantage of the change.
There is much more; go and get aggravated.
UPDATE 1/2/08: Received from a reader (emphasis mine);
My daughter, who is a case manager for a Phoenix charity that does the resettlement work for the refugees sent me the following response ;
I agree that there's some problems screening people. The UN is such a giant bureaucracy that they miss a lot of fraud that we see on this end - most of it harmless (families bringing children that aren't really their children, etc) but the US needs to be more careful who it lets in and not just rely on the UN screenings. Also, I think we can be a little bit more picky about the groups we let in - I think we should never have let so many Somalis in. Many Somalis are so extreme in their religious beliefs that it's really hard for them to integrate into their new communities. That makes problems for them and for their new communities. Other Muslim groups are more flexible and thus easier to integrate, such as the secular Muslims currently coming from Iraq. Obviously the point of the refugee program is to give a 2nd chance to people who would otherwise die fleeing or waste away in refugee camps. But I think a secondary goal of the program is to bring productive, upright new citizens into the country. We have a great opportunity to pick who will be contributing to the future of the country, so I think USCIS needs to take advantage of that opportunity and not let the UN dictate who it sends here.
I have another problem with the UN refugee screening process: it tends to serve the better-educated, less at-risk refugees who have more monetary resources. One example we've seen lately of lopsided UN policy is with the Chin people from Burma. Those with more money, better connections, better education, etc tend to fly to Kuala Lumpur to work before life gets too difficult in Burma. Of course, the conditions are difficult and they face a lot of discrimination in Malaysia, but life is tolerable and Chin refugees there tend to make plenty of money. The UN was quick to set up a refugee processing center there for them. On the other hand, the majority of the poorer Chin refugees who have endured rapes, torture, and detention took the quick route and fled through the mountains to India. The Indian authorities' treatment of refugees is brutal. They squat in the mountains and generally can't find jobs. However, the UN has done nothing to help this group of Chin. This is the group that should get priority because they are the most at-risk.