Asylum Access lawyer suggests Obama reform Refugee Resettlement Program

Writng in the Seattle Post Intelligencer yesterday, Michael Kagan, an attorney with Asylum Access laid out his proposals for how the Obama Administration should proceed with refugee resettlement reform.

He begins with chastisement:

In European elections, rising xenophobia leads politicians to compete to show their hostility to asylum seekers. But Americans are supposed to be different. As Obama told Europeans in Berlin in July, “Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom — indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours.”

But in recent decades, we have neglected that part of our heritage. That is why Obama has an opening. He needs to restore our country’s moral standing, and American refugee policy is in dire need of restoration.

In 1980, we invited 200,000 refugees to our shores, but that figure has since declined by a startling 80 percent. Effective control of the U.S. refugee program is split between the United Nations, a few private organizations and two different federal departments.

In a world with 16 million refugees, this Byzantine system somehow fails year after year to find enough refugees to fill a meager resettlement quota of 70,000.

Although I disagree with his goal of dramatically increasing the number of refugees entering the US from its recent rough average of 50-60 thousand a year to hundreds of thousands (where are they all going to work?), I agree that the system is Byzantine.  It is a tangled web involving the UN, the State Department and 10 major non-profit group federal contractors and nearly 400 subcontractors.   It is a system that is frankly a morass—unfair to refugees and to the citizens of the resettlement towns and cities.

Mr. Kagan goes on to make 4 suggestions:

* Increase our refugee quota.

* Let average Americans sponsor refugees who want to come to the United States.

* Establish a U.S. Refugee Corps to recruit young American professionals to go around the world and be the face of our refugee program.

* Do it all with high-profile presidential leadership.

We simply cannot increase our number of refugees.    We have written many posts lately about unemployed and unhappy refugees leading miserable lives in the United States, some wishing to return home.    If we are going to bring refugees, then we need to be able to take care of them and our present Byzantine system has too many falling through the cracks.

Which leads me to whole-hearted support for his second proposal and one we have been making for the last year—refugees should be sponsored by individual families, churches and other groups, and preferably not sponsored by some family member who has been here for such a short period of time that they are still struggling themselves.

Completely get rid of the volags (these non-profit government contractor middlemen).    And, we should only bring the number of refugees for which sponsors have been identified.  The sponsors would be wholly responsible for the care of the refugee or refugee family for however long it takes for the refugee to be on his or her feet— not placing the burden on the US taxpayer.  

Such a system would also, most likely, assure that the refugee would become assimilated to life in America with American sponsors.   The present system basically dumps refugees in cities with a few months supervision by a volag and then bam they are on their own.

I can’t imagine though a bunch of young people running around the world identifying prospective refugees.  It almost sounds like the writer wants government sponsored junkets for him and his friends.   Isn’t that what the State Department should be doing?

And, finally, if I were a betting person, I bet Obama isn’t going to do anything with high-profile Presidential leadership, at least judging by his recent rather pedestrian decisions.

A handy guide to Islam-speak

FrontPage Magazine publishes today an article by Henry Kadoch which should come in handy when we read statements by CAIR, the Muslim Student Association, Muslim community organizers, and all spokesmen for the “Muslim community.”  It tells you how to translate words which we use with one meaning but Muslims use entirely differently because they define a word by how it is used in the Koran. Here is the list:

Peace – The state of cessation of all resistance to Islam. Peace only exists when Islam rules politically and religiously, and all Islamic principles are established as the law of the land. 

Freedom – Freedom exists when Islam and its principles attain complete dominance and constitute the entirety of religious belief and political rule. 

Justice – The state when Sharia law is the law of the land, and all judicial decisions are based on it and it alone. Justice exists when non-Muslims have no standing before a court, and when the testimony of two Muslim women is equal to that of one Muslim man.

 Equality – Equality is achieved when Muslims are the only leaders of society, and are given their rightful place as the best of men, leading all institutions, political and religious. This does not extend to non-Muslims or apostates.

 Tolerance – The state when non-Muslims are properly subdued and subservient to Muslim rule, agree to their second-class Dhimmi status, and duly pay the Jizya to their Muslim overlords.

 Truth – Truth is the accepted Islamic version of events, as laid out in the Koran and the Sunna. Anything beyond that is merely hearsay, and in many cases blasphemy. (see Lies).

 Democracy – The state when Islam is the absolute law and religion, and all peoples conform to Islamic law and customs. (see Freedom).

 Freedom of Speech – Freedom of speech is achieved when Muslims, and only Muslims, are free to espouse their beliefs, and non-Muslims are prohibited from commenting on or criticizing anything Islamic.

 Just Society – A society ruled by Muslims under Islamic law. 

Koran – Allah’s final word, perfect and un-altered, superseding all others and the true and only guide for mankind in religion, law and politics.

 Oppression – The rule of a state by non-Islamic law; actions of resistance to implementation of Islamic law and Muslim rule.

 Racism – The state where anything Islamic or any Muslim is criticized or rejected.

 Infidel – Any and all non-Muslims. Subject only to conversion, subjugation, or death under Islamic law.

 Slavery – The rightful and lawful status of any infidel captured in battle against Islam.

 Treaty – A non-binding and temporary agreement between Muslims and non-Muslims, valid only until such time as the Muslims have the power to achieve by force or other means what they have momentarily failed to achieve.

 Lies – The act of hiding the truth, permissible by Islamic law for a Muslim when in fear for his safety or when it advances the cause of Islam.

I wish every government official and member of the media would study this glossary.

200 Iraqi refugees headed to Maine from elsewhere in U.S.

A very short item from the Associated Press tells us:

PORTLAND, Maine.  Some 200 Iraqi refugees are headed for Maine in the coming months.

Catholic Charities Maine says these so-called ”secondary migrants” had previously found homes in other states but expressed a desire to move to Portland in order to join an Iraqi family that settled there.

Catholic Charities said that while it does not control the movement of secondary migrants, it suggests that they pace out their arrivals to Maine so that social service providers are better prepared for them.

First Rohingya refugees arrive in Great Britain, but are they in US already?

The first group of Rohingya Muslim refugees arrived in England this week.

About 34 refugees from Nayapara and Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camps left Dhaka for resettlement in England on December 7, at about 8 am (local time), said a refugee named Kasim from Nayapara camp.

First, a little background.  Over a year ago we received information that the US State Department did not want to be coerced into resettling Rohingya refugees.  Here is the first post I wrote on the subject.    You will see that some Rohingya are involved with terrorist groups.   I have followed the progression of this story in our category Rohingya Reports ever since.

So far we know that Rohingya, with the help of  a very aggressive public relations campaign,  have been resettled in Canada and New Zealand (and now the UK) as summarized in this article.   We also know they are in Norway but not sure how they came to be there.

The resettlement programme was started from 2006 and Canada was the first country to accept Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. About 42 Rohingya refugees went to Canada from 2006 -2007.


 The first batch of 23 Burmese refugees this year included men, women and children who were resettled in New Zealand in June.
This is a humanitarian gesture and an attempt to seek a durable solution for about 27,000 Rohingyas in two camps in Cox’s Bazaar—Nayapara and Kutupalong.


The UNHCR has actively promoted resettlement in third countries for Rohingya refugees for whom no other solution is viable. “We have been heartened by the humanitarian gesture of countries such as Canada, UK and New Zealand who have accepted a small but important number of refugees for resettlement in their countries. Resettlement is one of the durable solutions for refugees”, said Ms. Pia Prytz Phiri on June 20, on World Refugee Day.

We keep hearing suggestions that the Rohingya are already in the US and that they came through Burmese Karen (Christian) camps in Thailand disguised as Karen.  My sources told me there is tension among the Burmese Muslims (presumably Rohingya) and the Karen in some resettlement cities in the US. 

However, here is a comment received from reader Nerd 12 at this post which suggests they are indeed here already.  Nerd 12 says everything is going just great between the Karen Christians and the Muslims.

Actually, I know many Muslim Burmese through the resettlement process. They get along just fine with the Karen. The explanation for their refugee status is that they are rejected by most groups and and claim no territory, unlike the Karen (who have the only active resistance against the ethnic Burmese gov’t and would like their own sovereign state), Chin, Kachin and other ethnic groups. There was a mislabeling in the camps of the Muslisms as Karens, and I am not sure if that is because the came from the Karen territory inside Burma, direct mislabeling of the Muslims by their own design (I doubt this one highly after meeting them), or a processing decision made by the OPE to categorize them as Karen for whatever reason. There could be a few reasons the OPE would do this intentionally, I don’t have time to get into the rationale entirely.

Nerd 12 indicates that the Burmese Muslims “claim no territory” which makes me think there must be another group of Burmese Muslims, but I have not heard of them before.   The Rohingya most definitely claim territory, or at least the right to live in Rakhine State in Myanmar.

Anyway, this is all very puzzling.  We already know that Overseas Processing Entities screwed up and allowed Somalis to enter the US fraudulently, could this mean that they are doing the same with the Rohingya Muslims either accidentally or on purpose?

So, let’s just stop all Muslim immigration to the US, just to be on the safe side!