Just two hours ago the UN Observer reported that the ‘Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act’ which was attached to the Defense Authorization bill at the end of September is now in conference committee. You can read about it in this news report from EPIC (Education for Peace in Iraq Center). EPIC joined some of the volags, who coincidentally will receive federal funding to resettle the refugees, in lobbying for this measure.
All last week, EPIC and our colleagues from Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Church World Service, and International Rescue Committee (IRC) met with House lawmakers to urge them to support these important Senate provisions on protecting Iraqi refugees, and suggested ways to strengthen the language to go even further.
We have covered Iraqi refugees extensively and we encourage readers to review our coverage here. As we have mentioned previously, the US State Department already has the authority to admit Iraqi refugees. If you notice the groups involved in the drumbeating have opposed the war and by making a big issue of the refugee situation, they get in their licks against the Bush Administration.
I really don’t get it. Why are we insisting that 60,000 low-skilled people with limited educations come to America from refugee camps in Nepal? US officials are charging that prospective immigrants are being intimidated by leaders of the camps who want to keep them there presumably to keep up the political pressure on Bhutan and Nepal to accept the return of their native people. That sounds sensible to me. All over the world people are returning home after years of exile. Just the other day we reported that Afghan refugees are heading home.
Why do we feel the need to shift people around the world, to scatter them to the four winds? Why can’t we do more to pressure the governments there to repatriate their people? Do we think our culture is superior to theirs and we need to introduce them to the joys of fast food and TV smut? Or, is this about jobs Americans won’t do? Or, about keeping the volags in the resettlement business?
Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal are facing “severe intimidation” ever since plans to resettle them in the West were announced, a senior US official says.
I very much would like someone to explain to me the logic of pressuring people to accept resettlement.