Oops! Fake refugee gets into US

How can that be!    We are told over and over that refugees entering the US are thoroughly screened in advance and that refugees are not a security risk.  But here is a short news account from Nepal that dispels that idea.  

Imagine the surprise of the family to learn that someone using Dad’s identity has already been resettled in the US, and he isn’t even Bhutanese.  We are supposedly resettling 60,000 Bhutanese from these camps over the next couple of years.   But, oh well, these things happen says the IOM (International Organization of Migration).

Oh, one more thing, just a reminder that we do not pick our refugees they are chosen for us by the likes of the United Nations and the IOM (whoever the heck they are!).  See an earlier post warning about this—fakes in the Bhutanese camps.

Association of Press Freedom Activists (APFA) Bhutan has said a non-Bhutanese refugee has been resettled in United States, using fake identity as a Bhutanese refugee from Beldangi 2 camp in Jhapa district.

According to a statement by the association, a non-Bhutanese has been sent to US after completing resettlement process at the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in the name of Padam Lal Poudel, 52, from Beldangi 2, Sector D/2 Hut No 24.

The association quoted a family member of Poudel as saying, “The inquiry section of IOM confirmed that someone matching my father’s information has
already got resettled in the US.”

The matter came to light after Poudel’s son inquired at the IOM to know why his father’s resettlement process had been delayed while other families whose interviews began at IOM along his family already left Nepal.

He was informed by the people at IOM reception that there are many such cases.

There were media reports saying some non-Bhutanese have been making efforts to go US under disguise.

APFA said IOM offices in Damak and Kathmandu, UNHCR office in Kathmandu and UN embassy in Kathmandu denied talking on the issue.

The association demanded that original identity of the person being resettled be made public by the concerned agencies – date of his departure from Nepal, place where he has been resettled along with photo – and urged IOM, UNHCR and US embassy to take precautionary measures to ensure that non-Bhutanese are not be resettled.

Note to volags, I guess you are keeping an eye out for a fake Padam Lal Poudel and you will turn him in when you find him.

See all of our previous coverage of the Bhutanese refugee issue.

World Refugee numbers rising, sort of

June 20th is World Refugee Day, so you are probably seeing an up tick in the number of news articles about refugees this week.  Here is one from the International Herald Tribune that says numbers of refugees are rising.

Oh, but you could look at it this way, the numbers are down since a high of almost 18 million during Bill Clinton’s Bosnian war.      Holy cow!   I suppose you could then say that the Clinton era Balkan war produced more refugees than the Iraq War—how can that be?

The number of refugees fleeing to other countries to escape conflict and persecution rose in 2007 for the second year as factors from climate change to overly scarce resources threatened to increase the flow, the United Nations refugee agency warned Tuesday.

A total of 11.4 million refugees were under the care of the agency, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2007, including about 400,000 experiencing conflict in their home countries, the agency said. The total for 2006 was 9.9 million.

The total was modest compared with the 17.8 million refugees in 1992 at the time of the Balkan wars, but after a steady drop from 2001 to 2005 it represents a worrying trend, the relief agency said.

“We are now faced with a complex mix of global challenges that could threaten even more forced displacement in the future,” António Guterres, the high commissioner, said in a statement. “They range from multiple new conflict-related emergencies in world hot spots to bad governance, climate-induced environmental degradation that increases competition for scarce resources and extreme price hikes that have hit the poor the hardest and are generating instability in many places.”

The number of people displaced by conflict but remaining in their countries also rose in 2007, to 26 million, the agency said, citing statistics provided by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, a private organization based in Geneva.

Lest you start feeling good about the refugees coming to the West, the UN wants to dispel any notion you have about doing good.     We western countries are bad, bad, bad because we don’t allow the millions in (to deplete our resources), and now the developing nations are getting stingy too.

The latest statistics contradicted a number of misconceptions about the impact and distribution of refugee patterns, officials said, starting with the notion that Western countries admit most fugitives from conflict.

Instead, 80 percent of refugees remain in developing countries in the immediate vicinity of their own country, the UN agency said.

Pakistan accepted more than 2 million refugees and Syria 1.5 million in 2007. The United States sheltered 281,000, the statistics showed. Only a tiny proportion find resettlement in third countries: about 49,900 people in 2007 and 821,000 in the decade ending in 2007.

Developing countries are increasingly unwilling to shoulder the refugee burden and are imposing stricter criteria for acceptance.

“It’s becoming a more and more inhospitable world for refugees,” said William Spindler, an agency spokesman.

 Someone asked me recently why I thought things were changing and increasingly we see stories other than “puff pieces” about refugees and as I said previously, I think part of the reason is that the guilt trip works less and less frequently these days!