Liberian child rapists—their violent country made them do it

Here we go, excuses, excuses.  The Arizona Republic is trying very hard here to tell us that the four young boys who raped an 8 year-old neighbor girl in Phoenix last week have to be understood because they come from a culture of violence.

Liberian refugees who have fled the war-torn nation say the rape of an 8-year-old girl in Phoenix is a horrifying case of families trying to escape violence in their own country only to find it again in their new home.  [Find it? Interesting spin from the reporter, didn’t they bring it!]

The attack, which police say was committed by four young Liberian boys, also exposed the darkest sides of the country’s long civil war. Boys were recruited to rape, kill and torture, and experts and government leaders said sexual violence remains a challenge as the West African country rebuilds.

The assault also has revealed cultural attitudes about women and assault victims that could take a generation to change.  [A generation to change?  Great!]  Rape wasn’t even outlawed in Liberia until 2006, and victims are still made to feel shameful and even complicit in the attacks on them, aid workers say. 

Phoenix police say the local case, which has garnered international attention, is no different. After the girl was attacked on July 16 in a shed at a Phoenix apartment complex, her parents told police to take her away, saying she had brought shame on the family.

Just a reminder that Liberia of all African nations had a chance to be something other than your average violent African backwater in the mid-1800’s when it became a country for freed American slaves and formed a government based on the US Constitution.

How many Liberians were resettled by the federal government to Arizona?

Many details remain unclear about when the families of the girl or the four boys accused in the attack settled in Phoenix. Nearly 1,200 Liberian refugees have settled in Arizona since fleeing the war, which ended in 2003, and its aftermath, according to the Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program.

The US State Department and whichever of the top ten government contractors did the resettling know when these families arrived.  When I went to the stats I see we resettled 1030 Liberians in Arizona between 2001 and 2008 inclusive.  The largest number (469) arrived in 2004.   That year we resettled 7,047 Liberians throughout the US.  A quick glance at the numbers tells me that Minnesota and New York got huge numbers of Liberians in comparison to Arizona.

So let’s assume these families arrived in about 2004 (5 years ago) and the alleged rapists now ages 9-14 would have been 4-9 years old.    This next statement makes me wonder how much of the “rampant rape” in Liberia they could have picked up at that young age.

Ali Keita, a Liberian who immigrated to the U.S. in 1997, said many refugees he has worked with lived amid rampant rape and brutal violence in Liberia.

“Most of those boys (probably) grew up in very broken family situations,” said Keita, president of the Arizona Mandingo Association, a group that works with African immigrants.

Read the rest of the article because it strikes me (see if you get the same impression) that the political leaders in Liberia are distancing themselves from the excuses our media seems to be already crafting for why these boys raped the little girl and why the girl’s family is abandoning her.  So, good for them!

I still would like to know what happened with that order to deport thousands of Liberians who had been invited to the US TEMPORARILY that I mentioned (here) back in February.

UN and its leftwing media friends continue to badger Japan to diversify

We have written previously about the pressure Japan is under to take more refugees and asylees.  So far, apparently wanting to preserve its unique culture, Japan has resisted.  But, last year under stepped up pressure from the UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) and its leftwing media lobbyists, Japan did begin a pilot program of refugee resettlement.   I feel sorry for Japan which apperently hasn’t completely bought into the diversity-is-strength-multiculturalism-uber-alles-no-borders-goal of the Left.

So far, it looks like Japan is only taking Asians. 

However, we had a good laugh back in September 2008 about a Japanese blogger hankering to bring Somalis to Japan, here.

This is the article that prompted me to post again on Japan.  From Japan Today:

It’s easy not to notice them: they blend in anonymously with the rest of the foreign faces here. You could be forgiven for not even realizing they exist at all. But refugees and asylum seekers are very much a reality in Japan — and as their numbers increase, the government is coming under fire for its handling of the issue.

Despite being the third largest donor in the world to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Japan admits only a tiny number of asylum seekers compared to other industrialized nations, and often appears reluctant to grant refugee status to those who do come. Damning statistics are bandied about, such as the fact that the country has accepted just 508 refugees from the 7,297 applications made since 1982.

The media doesn’t paint a very flattering picture, either. Many will remember the Dogan and Kazankiran families, Kurdish Turks whose unsuccessful battle to be recognized as refugees in Japan was reported extensively in local English-language press and overseas. When two members of the Kazankiran family were summarily deported in January 2005, the UNHCR denounced the move as “against international law,” and the Japanese government received widespread condemnation.

Both families have since been resettled in other countries, but the memory of their struggle has lingered on. So too have criticisms from organizations such as Amnesty International, which reported in May that Japan “continued to deport failed asylum applicants to countries where they faced a risk of torture or other ill-treatment.” Not exactly the most glowing of report cards. But is the reality as bad as the detractors would have us believe?

Japan has only recently begun to feel the impact of the refugee crisis. It didn’t ratify the 1951 U.N. Convention relating to the Status of Refugees until 1981, bowing to international pressure in the wake of the Vietnam War and the flow of refugees — the so-called “boat people” — that resulted from it. It took three years after the fall of Saigon for Japan to accept just 500 people, and ten years before the quota was raised to 11,500.

Although these were significant numbers for a country that had never previously taken in refugees, the government wasn’t ready to open the floodgates yet. Instead of granting individual refugee status to those it accepted, Japan admitted the refugees as a group based on humanitarian grounds. The number of refugees accepted thereafter slowed to a trickle — during the whole of the 1990s, fewer than 50 asylum seekers were granted refugee status.

Read on.

Claiming they are terrorists, Obama Administration no better than Bush on “material support” ban

That is the gist of this article from McClatchy yesterday.  Writing about the material support of terrorism ban, the reporter tells us that the Obama Administration has not taken any steps to ease the rules for immigrants and refugees who may have been forced to help a group deemed a terrorist group at some point in their lives.

I told you about this issue here more than a year ago.  In that post I said I really didn’t understand the issue.  I still don’t.   The problem I have is that in each of these stories we hear from the human rights advocates that the Dept. of Homeland Security is acting frivolously (even now under Obama) and they use cases that are pretty egregious to illustrate their point, but we never hear Homeland Security’s side of the particular case.   I’m thinking there must be more to the story.

From McClatchy:

Alkarim’s [Iraqi artist they are using for illustration] problems have their roots in post-Sept. 11 anti-terrorism laws that the Obama and Bush administrations vowed to fix.

Despite that pledge, the number of people who’ve been told their requests for refugee status, asylum or green cards won’t be processed because of the laws has risen from 5,304 in December to 7,286 in June.

The broad language of the Patriot Act and other laws bars refugees and asylum seekers from living and working in the U.S. if they supported or were members of an armed group in their homelands. They’re considered terrorists or supporters of terrorists even if they opposed dictators or helped the U.S. government.

Although Congress has attempted to give the executive branch the power to grant waivers in such cases, the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, has yet to set up an efficient way to handle them, refugee advocates say.

“As far as I can tell, the situation has only grown worse,” said Thomas Ragland, a former Justice Department lawyer attorney who now represents several immigrants affected by the laws. Ragland’s clients include an Iraqi, an Ethiopian, a Nepali, and a Burmese. 

Department of Homeland Security officials in charge of reviewing the matter declined a request for an interview.

Matthew Chandler, a DHS spokesman, said the department has granted more than 10,500 waivers to people impacted by the laws, proof that the cases aren’t being ignored.

There is more, read on.