We deport refugees (gasp!)

Once again Blulitespecial comes up with good stuff.  Happy Labor Day to Blulitespecial and all of you relaxing and eating and celebrating (and not laboring) today!

This article, “Somali immigrants getting bad legal advice,” from The New America Media (Expanding the News Lens through Ethnic Media) reads like a spoof!  Wouldn’t you just love to see some late night comedy routine on this one?  Come to think of it, that is just what we need!  But, I digress.  Back to my story.

First, in all seriousness (sort of):

Somali immigrants, who number over 30,000 in Minnesota, arrived as refugees in the United States. The majority now has permanent legal status, or green cards. Even so, they could be deported for a variety of infractions, simply because they are not citizens.

“Many people in the U.S. don’t know that we deport refugees,” [oh my gosh I didn’t know, how awful]says John Keller, director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, adding: “It’s unconscionable to return them back to the place we gave them refuge from,” he says.

Then this is no joke, here is the guy they use as an example of someone who has only an “infraction” and now fears deportation:

Take the case of Mohamed Ali. He’s a 21-year-old Somali immigrant, who got arrested for breaking into a restaurant in early June. He’s looking for help finding a private defense attorney from community organizations because he’s charged with second-degree burglary, a felony. [He doesn’t trust his smiling female public defender]

Ali admits that he was involved in the burglary, but he says the charge doesn’t fit the crime. He says he and a friend walked into a Jimmy John’s that was already broken into, and Ali grabbed a stash of receipts thinking they were cash and stuck them in his pocket. Roseville Police chased him and his friend down with a dog. Ali pulled up his pant leg to show off scars on his ankles and behind his knees, the result of dog bites.

Ali admits he made a mistake, but he believes he should get a second chance because his record is relatively good – he has a pending misdemeanor assault charge from an earlier fight in a neighboring county. He said he’s trying to make something of his life. “I have never been in trouble — this is my first crime, but the attorneys don’t ask me about my past,” he says.

Ali says he worked his way through high school and graduated with good grades. Since then, he’s held odd jobs, even as he began attending community college. But with his green card taken away by law officials, finding steady work has been difficult.

Ali arrived in the United States when he was 13. His older sister was a citizen here. She sponsored him and a dozen brothers and sisters. Ali says he barely remembers what life was like in Somalia. He has no idea of what he would do if he were sent back. [He was 13 for goodness sakes and he is only 21 now, how can he “barely remember”]

Here is a thought, why don’t we DNA test Sis and all the siblings and see if they are really related.  Afterall, the US State Department has found that 80% of Somalis in Africa are not related to those applying to sponsor them and the program is temporarily suspended.  Hint to prosecutors:  maybe there is a little immigration fraud to add to his charges?

I swear I did not make this next line up:

Ali says he’s been too depressed to shave his wispy chin hairs since he got out of jail six weeks ago.

He is depressed because he doesn’t want to be “stuck in Minnesota”!    Ahhhhhhh! Not Minnesota!

These days, Ali sits in his sister’s home in Burnsville, a suburb of Minneapolis. It’s bigger than a jail cell he says, but he’s worried. He’s worried sick about getting a felony conviction because that would make it hard to find work and also because he will be stuck in Minnesota. His sister is moving to Canada, and his stepmother is going back to Africa. Even if ICE doesn’t put a hold on him, he doesn’t know what he’ll do.

“I’m the only one -– everybody is leaving,” he says.  [waaahhhhhh!]

Does anyone other than me see a little inconsistency here, Immigrant Law Center honcho Keller says it’s unconscionable to send refugees back, but isn’t stepmom going back voluntarily?   Here is an idea, just pack up Ali with stepmom and off he goes back to Africa — “to the place we gave them refuge from?”—because, if it’s safe enough for mama, it should be safe enough for him.


Between October 2006 and 2007, ICE deported 285,157 immigrants nationwide. Over one-third of those were deported for criminal convictions.

Iraqis in America weigh in on McCain v. Obama

Something called Inter Press Service News Agency published an article late last week about the views of Iraqi refugees and immigrants on the Presidential campaign and asked which of the candidates would be better for Iraq.  The article is a bit confusing because first they cite polls in Iraq where Iraqis by very large margins supposedly want America out, but then Iraqis interviewed here seem to be mostly for McCain, at least on issues relating to their homeland.

“I am so sad to say it, but I think that McCain would be better for the future of Iraq, especially since my family and friends are still living there,” Bassam Sebti, a 28-year-old Iraqi who has lived in the United States for two years, told IPS.

“I’m a taxpayer now. Obama is better for the U.S., but not for Iraq,” said Sebti, who is an editor at the International Centre for Journalists and lives in Washington. 

Naseer Nori, 51, came with his family to the U.S. in May under the Iraqi refugee resettlement programme. “Iraqis back home prefer McCain — they do not want an early withdrawal, which will only leave the country in the hands of militias and political parties that will fight with each other,” he told IPS. “We do not have a strong military to stop that.”

Then here is another Iraqi interviewed who sees it completely differently, but keep in mind that Saddam was a Sunni and this fellow was a part of the favored sect in Iraq prior to our arrival:

Other Iraqis here believe that Obama would be better on U.S. domestic policy, especially treatment of immigrants and refugees, and have no confidence in McCain’s policies toward their homeland.

Suhail Ahmed, a 55-year-old Sunni translator, also moved here with his family in May. Asked to assess the candidates, he responded wryly: “A milkmaid will never tell you that her yogurt is sour.”

Ahmed noted that the Republicans have never admitted that they made mistakes in Iraq. “People back home are tired, and the Republicans will follow the same footsteps of Bush — nothing good will happen to Iraq if McCain wins,” he said.

Bottomline, there is no consensus.  But, this article does give us some useful statistics:

At the time of the 2000 census, about 89,000 Iraqis lived in the Unites States. That number represented only 0.3 percent of all foreign-born people living here. According to Refugee International, 13,754 Iraqi refugees have come to the U.S. from 2001 to 2008.

North Korean refugee is a spy

South Korea last week charged a refugee woman from North Korea with spying after she had entered the South seeking asylum.

Prosecutors say Won Jeong-hwa was trained in espionage before being sent to the South, where she claimed asylum.

She is accused of giving sexual favours to army officers in exchange for military secrets, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Potential refugees from North Korea go through individual screening tests before being allowed into the South.

But correspondents say that if Ms Won is found guilty of espionage, it could raise fears among South Koreans that there are other secret agents in their midst.

Read the whole article and note the Chinese role.

According to the BBC, South Korea has identified 4500 spies in the last 60 years entering from the North or through China.

The US has begun resettlement of “refugees” from North Korea, see our posts here and here.  South Korea doesn’t want them, so the good ol’ USA will take them.  Oh brother!

American Blacks cheer in Mississippi as illegal aliens rounded up

Refugee Resettlement Watch is mostly about reforming legal immigration, but the largest US illegal alien roundup in Mississippi recently caught our attention because the minors arrested were turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement here.   

But as Judy wrote a few days ago, these immigrants are taking jobs Americans will do and the last place I would expect to read that is in the Los Angeles Times

In an article “Immigrant raid divides Mississippi town,” yesterday reporters tell us that black workers cheered as illegals were rounded up:

LAUREL, MISS. — Fabiola Pena considered running away from her factory job when she realized she was being targeted in a federal immigration raid. She was deterred when she noticed the helicopters hovering overhead.

But helicopters were not what shocked Pena the most on her last, fateful day at Howard Industries, the largest employer in this small Southern town. It was the black co-workers who clapped and cheered, Pena said, as she and hundreds of other Latino immigrant laborers were arrested and hauled away.

Then the Times tells us that under an Obama or McCain administration these crackdowns may be stopped because both candidates are soft (The LA Times doesn’t say ‘soft’) on immigration.

If the next president decides to curtail or end raids similar to the one at the Howard Industries, it will not sit well with many residents of Laurel. The raid was welcomed by a number of native-born residents in this manufacturing hub of about 25,000 people that has been transformed in recent years by the influx of Latino workers, many of whom are undocumented.

“They need to go and do this in every little town,” Tonya Jackson said.

Jackson, who is black, said that over the years she had applied numerous times for a job at the locally owned manufacturer, which employs about 4,000 workers. Jackson, 30, said she never received a callback. The raid, she said, was a welcome purge of illegal Latino laborers who had taken jobs they didn’t deserve.

It doesn’t matter if you are a white small town American or a black one, the unfairness of businesses giving jobs to immigrants with the government’s blessing is a time bomb waiting to go off.   And, most Americans looking for work are NOT GOING TO MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN LEGAL AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

We have written about the growing tension between black Americans and African immigrants here and here (follow links back within those posts for even more on the topic). This is not about race!

And in South Africa it’s not about xenophobia!  It is about people wanting only to provide for themselves and their families and being threatened by unbridled immigration.