Happy New Year!

Wishing all of our readers a happy healthy New Year!  I’m (Ann) going to be away for a few days, but Judy will be posting your comments.   I look forward to reading all of your e-mails when I return on Sunday.

If you are a new reader just arriving here, let me direct you to our categories in the column on the left.  We have written thousands of posts to help you better understand the refugee resettlement program, so there is lots to read and learn!  Also, our search function is very good, just type in key words and you will likely find something on most topics involving refugees.

Chin, not the same as Burmese refugees

As we have come to learn in recent weeks from Cindy in Bowling Green, KY, or Ellen in Ft. Wayne, IN, or Madeleine in the UK, all refugees arriving here from Myanmar (Burma) or more accurately from camps in Thailand are not all Burmese.  In fact, there is quite a bit of hostility between some of these ethnic groups, yet they are plunked down in the same neighborhoods in US cities.  I think the assumption by do-gooder refugee agencies is that the mythical melting pot will work its magic.

Here is a short article from the Voice of Chin Refugees which explains some of what is happening.

Mr. Uk, who was stay in Baltimore, Maryland expresses, “There is no Chin case worker in resettlement office but only Burmese. I can understand only a very little Burmese language. Sometimes interpreters are provided for me by telephone that is actually not preferable because by telephone it is very difficult to understand one another. Sometimes, I have many problems but I just try to ignore it.” Hundreds of Chin refugees are in Maryland State, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Dallas but it can be seen that in all of those places only Burmese Case workers are employed in order to handle Chin refugees. A Chin University student in US comments regarding this issue, “There is a big misunderstanding that Chins are still called as Burmese. Actually Chins and Burmese are different nations. Chins are ruled and abuse by Burmese military government.”

In the wake of Detroit Christmas fiasco: Funny, but sad column on Canadian (American too) immigration policy

Here is a column from Canada that tells us how most people are feeling these days.   Fearing any sort of profiling, we let all sorts of assorted “immigrants” into western countries, then when one of them tries a terrorist attack, we subject ma and pa to cavity searches in airports.  Go figure!

To recap: Canada catches a convicted arms-seller lying his way into the country, but lets him stay anyway (that would be, Ahmed Ressam, the Millennium Bomber). 

He soaks Canadian taxpayers, gets caught stealing, swans off to study at Bin Laden Community College, then slips back in through the security sieve because it turns out all you need to get a real Canadian passport is a fake name and three boxtops.

And, oh yeah, Ressam’s testimony was used in a briefing paper titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.” that was given to George W. Bush a month before 9/11. Nice catch, George.

Which brings us to the question of security, as opposed to bureaucratic flailing, which is what we’ve seen around the world this week following that Nigerian guy’s attempt to blow up an airliner with his underpants.

That is, is making Ma and Pa Victoria submit to a cavity search en route to Vegas really going to make the world safe for democracy?

Read it all!  (Link may be slow to open, or it could be just me)

Bangladesh: Rohingya wrangling continues

The hot political debate going on between Burma (Myanmar) and Bangladesh, where tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have arrived in recent decades, continues as Myanmar says they will take some back, but the Rohingya are now refusing to go back.

From AFP:

DHAKA — Bangladesh’s plans to repatriate 9,000 Myanmar Muslim refugees to their homeland hit trouble on Wednesday when a leader of the minority said they would refuse to leave.

Bangladesh’s top foreign ministry official, Mirajul Quayes, said Tuesday that neighbouring Myanmar had agreed to take back 9,000 Rohingya refugees in what was seen as a breakthrough in a decade-long problem.

Quayes, the foreign secretary, said during talks with Myanmar deputy foreign minister Maung Myint in Dhaka that the military regime had agreed to accept nearly one-third of the officially recognised refugees now in Bangladesh. 


Described by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities, some 250,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh in the early 1990s. But some 230,000 were later taken back by Myanmar following a UN-brokered deal.

Since then, thousands of Rohingyas from Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s northern Rakhaine state have streamed across the border every year and are now estimated to number nearly 400,000.

But only 28,000 of them have been granted official refugee status and are allowed to stay in two UN-assisted camps in the country’s Cox’s Bazar district just miles (kilometres) across the Myanmar border.

“Some 9,000, are ready to be repatriated following verification, as the Myanmar government has assured us today that they are also ready. And it can begin within the shortest possible time,” Quayes said Tuesday.

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni last August said the undocumented refugees put a “heavy burden” on Dhaka, causing major social, economic problems.

Meanwhile we are hearing more accounts of Rohingya showing up in Burmese communities in the US.

For new readers:   We have an entire category with 88 posts on the Rohingya issue, here, if you would like to learn more.


Church leaders and congregants at odds over immigration

The Center for Immigration Studies has analyzed a new Zogby poll that appears to indicate that when religious leaders advocate for amnesty and more immigration they are doing so against the wishes of their parishoners.   Check it out here.

In contrast to many national religious leaders who are lobbying for increases in immigration numbers, a new Zogby poll of likely voters who belong to the same religious communities finds strong support for reducing overall immigration. Moreover, the poll finds that members strongly disagree with their leaders’ contention that more immigrant workers need to be allowed into the country.

Also, most parishioners and congregants advocate for more enforcement to cause illegal workers to go home, while most religious leaders are calling for putting illegal immigrants on a path to U.S. citizenship.

The survey of Catholic, mainline Protestant, born-again Protestant, and Jewish voters used neutral language and was one of the largest polls on immigration ever done.

We reported a related story a few months back when the National Association of Evangelicals testified for amnesty but had backtracking to do when some of its member groups disavowed the testimony—-in other words, when the parishoners and members got wind of what their leaders were up to.