Ann already linked to this post by Mark Krikorian on National Review’s Corner, but I wanted to add a short comment. Krikorian is the head of CIS, the Center for Immigration Studies, which we frequently cite. (I know, I have some nerve saying “we” when Ann’s doing all the posting lately.)
In this post he cites Ann’s observation that the Bhutanese are the third largest refugee group this year, and adds this:
The perversity of this policy is clear when you learn that they’re ethnic Nepalese kicked out by the Bhutanese government and living in refugee camps in — Nepal! I’m sure Nepal’s glad to palm them off on us, but coping with their compatriots is their business, not ours. The State Department is using resettlement to serve a transnational human-rights agenda that has nothing to do with promoting our vital national interests. In effect, our foreign-policy elite views the actual United States as a sort of hinterland where they can dump their overseas problems.
Krikorian goes on to cite more examples of this — the Meshketian Turks, the Somali Bantus, the Iraqi Palestinians. And he makes this excellent point:
The central problem is that we are not making decisions about what refugees will be resettled here based on a person’s individual characteristics and circumstances. Instead, we are making sweeping grants of eligilibility based on group membership, regardless of a person’s specific situation or alternatives.
If the State Department adopted Ann’s suggestion of making refugee resettlement something engaged in by churches and other local organizations instead of mega-volags, that’s just what would happen — every case would be judged individually, because every family would have to be sponsored by someone. Fat chance, of course. Krikorian concudes:
Refugee resettlement should be reserved only for the most desperate persecuted people in the world, who face imminent death if they stay where they are and will never have anywhere else to go. If they think about it at all, this is what ordinary Americans think the refugee program is doing already, but it isn’t.
Mostly true, but a lot of ordinary Americans have now come in contact with problem refugees, and some are getting an inkling that this program is not what it’s supposed to be.