Why resentment against refugees?

This tiny little mention in a blog today reminded me to once again try to explain why there is on-going resentment toward refugees in local communities.  We saw it in our county last year and we have written about it on many occasions at RRW.

Here is the notice that inspired this post: 

Cars for Refugees

LiNK is seeking cars to be used by North Korean refugees resettled here in the US. If you are able to donate and would like more information, please email info (at) linkglobal.org with the subject headline “Cars for Refugees.”

All contributions are, of course, tax-deductible!

By the way, we have guietly started taking North Korean refugees.  Up until 2005 the ORR database shows no refugees from North Korea, but 2006 and 2007 indicate we are now taking a handfull.    But, I guess its enough to encourage some NGO to solicit cars for them.

Refugees enter the US with all sorts of goodies including air fare (technically they are supposed to return this loan money, but many don’t), a housing stipend, medical care, food stamps and the list goes on.   Also, the volags (voluntary agencies contracted to resettle refugees) can participate in a special government program (Match Grant) that returns cash to the volags for junk they collect—including used cars. 

I don’t know if this particular organization (with this advertisement) is getting taxpayer cash for cars, but they are seeking donations of cars for this particular group of refugees.

So, it’s no wonder that Americans living with not much, such as those we mentioned recently in Roanoke, VA or the Quad-cities area of IL,  get resentful.   And, no matter where the refugees are resettled stories abound that refugees get special treatment and it makes for very bad relations in communities where citizens ask, “What about our own poor people?”

See this early post on refugees getting cars and then go read this 2003 VDARE article by Thomas Allen that explains in more depth how (it’s no rumor), that goodies (and cars) flow to refugees.

Bangladesh: Rohingya can go home to Burma, but refuse

In the wake of a visit to Bangladesh last week by UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, according to this report a stalemate seems to have been broken about the repatriation of the final 27,000 Muslim Rohingyas back to their homeland in Burma (Myanmar).   However, they say they will go only when democracy is established in Burma.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Thursday, the chief editor of a Burmese news agency based in Bangladesh said that Bangladeshi authorities are asking the refugees—who are almost entirely ethnic Rohingya from Arakan State in western Burma—to return home voluntarily. However, he said, the majority would refuse due to fears of reprisals from the Burmese military regime and the worsening economic crisis in the country.

The Bangladeshi government agreed to a proposal on Monday by UNHCR to reactivate a 1992 tripartite agreement to repatriate the remaining 27,000 Burmese Rohingya refugees to their homeland, said UNHCR Commissioner António Guterres on Wednesday.

Guterres said the intention of re-establishing a trilateral mechanism involving Bangladesh, the UNHCR and Burma was “to create the conditions for voluntary repatriation of the Rohingya refugees to their homeland in safety and dignity.” 

Here is what doesn’t make sense.  If 237,000 have voluntarily returned to Burma, then what is the hold up for the final 27,000.   Only a few things seem logical.  They could be troublemakers who fear to return, or they could be enjoying the care and attention they get from the UN and humanitarian groups while begging to be resettled in the West.

Around 258,000 ethnic Rohingya people from Arakan State fled to Bangladesh in 1991, following a campaign of human rights abuses by the Burmese junta. They were registered as refugees by the government of Bangladesh, but without any proper legal status.

By 2006, around 237,000 refugees had returned to Burma. Most of the remaining refugees live in two camps in Nayapara and Kutupalong in Cox’s Bazar, where they receive assistance from the UNHCR and World Food Programme.

See our category “Rohingya Reports” for our archive on the Rohingya efforts to be resettled in first world countries.

P.S. Based on his efforts here, I like Guterres for trying to solve this problem without automatically whisking more Muslim refugees to the US and the West.

How many refugees and from what countries…

And, to which states were they resettled.    I just realized we don’t have all these databases in one handy place.   Here are links to the Office of Refugee Resettlement data bases for refugees resettled in the US.

First, for a very handy chart for 1983-2005, go here.  [Update:  January 2013, link no longer available]

Then for individual years from 2001 to 2008, go here.

South Africa: Tensions continue as immigrants beg to be resettled

As perhaps the world’s most highly touted experiment in multiculturalism continues to crumble, immigrants and refugees storm humanitarian offices insisting they be resettled to first world countries.  See our coverage last week of the anti-immigrant riots in South Africa and with them the demise of the “rainbow nation” myth.

Here is the latest news, this story is from Durban:

The spotlight was thrown on the true nature of intimidation, robbery and assault that Durban’s foreign community has had to deal with, as angry yet desperate foreigners pleaded for help at the gates of the Diakonia Centre on Thursday.

Police were called in to control the furious group of foreign nationals and refugees who had barricaded the gates to the centre after demanding intervention from Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and the Mennonite Central Committee Refugee Project (MCC).

Some women clutched babies swaddled in blankets while men waved hastily written placards in the air outside the gates, but they quickly abandoned their protest action and gathered around journalists to tell their individual stories of oppression in a country they thought they were safe in.

Their protest action was aimed directly at forcing the LHR and MCC, who act as local agents for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), to act in assuring them protection and, in some cases, repatriation.

Tensions rose as some vocal refugees shouted at LHR and MCC staff across locked gates, before police intervened and restored calm.

Incidentally, I think the reporter is misusing the word “repatriation” which means to be returned to one’s native country.  The gist of the article is that the immigrants do not want to go back to the country they were escaping from but want third country resettlement—code for free passage to Europe, America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

But LHR attorney Sherylle Dass said the dreams many of the refugees had of being repatriated to other countries, let alone a first world country, were extremely slim.

The intervention of the UNHCR only resulted in about 2 percent of applications for repatriation being successful. It could take up to five years for such applications to be processed.

She said a letter outlining the frustration of Durban’s refugees and foreigners seeking repatriation and help had been sent to the UNHCR fafter the protest action and a subsequent meeting.

“The people were basically seeking protection in various ways. Some want a local refugee camp, but others want to resettle. We have had a steady stream of resettlement applications before the xenophobic attacks, but now there has been a huge influx,” Dass said.

“Some may have security risk, but there are those who are using this as an opportunity to get into a first world country.”

Obama and friends on Fox this weekend

Just received this alert to a TV special featuring Daniel Pipes talking about Obama’s Islamist friends.    How does all this tie in with immigrant and refugee activists and your tax dollars being spent on groups such as the Arab American Action Network?    See my post from March, “Obama and the taxpayer money trail.”  Be sure to follow the link back to Atlas Shrugs for a full view of “community organizing” Chicago-style.

Then watch this special! 

Alert from the Middle East Forum

To watch Daniel Pipes discuss the connection between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi, please tune in to “Hannity’s America” on Fox News Channel. It will air twice:

· Saturday, May 31 at 9 p.m. EDT

· Sunday, June 1 at 9 p.m. EDT.

This is part of the show’s ongoing “Real Barack Obama” series (for links to the six prior episodes, see Fox here).

Mr. Pipes will provide information on the two men’s social, intellectual, and financial connections in Chicago, then consider the implications for his presidential candidacy.

For background on the topic see the Los Angeles Times article of April 10, 2008, “Allies of Palestinians see a freind in Barack Obama”