I just received this link with the latest statistics on the Bhutanese (ethnic Nepali people) refugees arriving in the US. It is from a press briefing of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which is an ‘overseas processing entity’ that prepares refugees for their departures to resettlement countries. (Note that IOM received over $300 million tax dollars in FY09, here.)
Bhutanese Refugee Resettlement Passes 25,000 – IOM has now helped more than 25,000 Bhutanese refugees to resettle in third countries from camps in eastern Nepal.
The Bhutanese refugee resettlement programme, which is in close collaboration with UNHCR and the Nepalese government, began in November 2007.
Some 22,060 refugees have left for the US, 1,006 for Australia, 892 for Canada, 316 for Norway, 305 for Denmark, 299 for New Zealand, 122 for the Netherlands.
They represent nearly a quarter of the over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees of Nepali origin who fled to seven camps in the Jhapa and Morang districts of Nepal in the early 1990s following Bhutan’s decision to expel them and revoke their citizenship.
Subsequent negotiations to allow them to return to Bhutan failed and in September 2007 the Nepalese government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IOM to carry out resettlement activities in Damak, the Nepali town closest to the camps.
IOM works with the resettlement countries and UNHCR to facilitate refugee departures. It processes cases for resettlement countries, conducts health assessments and cultural orientation courses based on the requirements of each resettlement country, and organizes all transportation from the refugee camps to final destinations.
IOM organizes some 1,500 refugee departures every month by charter flight from eastern Nepal to Kathmandu. It then takes the refugees from Kathmandu to their final destinations on commercial flights.
Over 86,000 Bhutanese refugees currently remain in the seven camps.
For background, readers may wish to return to this post about how former Republican gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey, while head of the State Department’s Office of Population, Refugees and Migration, committed us to 60,000. Then here is a post about how the IOM office was bombed by presumably Maoists who don’t want the camp residents scattered to the four corners of the globe (and note they say the “refugees” will be doing menial labor in western countries), here is a post just a couple of days ago about how special “security villages” have been established in camps to protect those getting ready to depart for third country resettlement, and then here is the most recent post I wrote on Bhutanese out of work in Manchester, NH.
It is still a mystery to me, why it was the US’s business to bring people of Nepali origin from Nepal. Why not just have helped Nepal absorb its own people back into its society? Or, why didn’t we work with the government of tiny Bhutan and “encourage” them to take some of them (not the Maoists) back to Bhutan. And, why do Leftists here in the US think its o.k. to muck around in the politics of this region of the world and condemn us for mucking around in Iraq and Afghanistan?
One final comment, the three top nationalities being resettled in the US right now are the Bhutanese (Nepali), Burmese, and Iraqis.
For more information, just use our search function for the key word “Bhutanese” and note that we have written dozens and dozens of posts on this group of refugees.