Arrggghhhh! Check out this story at the Los Angeles Times today. It seems that Somalis aren’t waiting to get into the US as refugees but are sneaking across our borders and flying into our airports and asking for asylum.
LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) — The asylum seeker from Somalia hung his head as an immigration judge grilled him about his treacherous journey [is this description of a treacherous journey supposed to make him sound sympathetic!] from the Horn of Africa. By air, sea and land he finally made it to Mexico, and then a taxi delivered him into the arms of U.S. border agents at San Diego.
Islamic militants had killed his brother, Mohamed Ahmed Kheire testified, and majority clan members had beaten his sister. He had to flee Mogadishu to live.
The voice of the judge, beamed by videoconference from Seattle, crackled loudly over a speaker in the mostly empty courtroom near the detention yard in the desert north of Los Angeles. He wanted to know why Kheire had no family testimony to corroborate his asylum claim.
Kheire, 31, said he didn’t have e-mail in detention, and didn’t think to ask while writing to family on his perilous trek.
It seemed like the end of Kheire’s dream as he waited for the judge’s ruling. He clasped his hands, his plastic jail bracelet dangling from his wrist, and looked up at the ceiling, murmuring words of prayer.
Kheire is one of hundreds of desperate Somalis in the last two years to have staked everything on a wild asylum gamble by following immigration routes to the United States traditionally traveled by Latinos.
With the suspension of a U.S. refugee program and stepped-up security in the Gulf of Aden and along Mediterranean smuggling routes, more overseas migrants from Somalia are pursuing asylum through what one expert calls the “back door.”
Arrggghhhh! Only family reunification is suspended due to the widespread fraud discovered through DNA testing in 2008.* We are still admitting thousands of Somalis every year to the US. Mr. Hatfield of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has been helping them resettle in the US—he knows the truth! We admitted 670 Somalis into the US in the refugee program in the first two months of FY2010 alone.
The U.S. has closed most of the doors for Somalis to come in through the refugee program so they’ve found alternative ways to get in,” said Mark Hetfield, senior vice president for policy and programs at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. “This is their new route.”
About 1,500 people from around the world showed up in U.S. airports and on the borders seeking asylum during the 2009 fiscal year, according to statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Somalis were the biggest group to make the journey, with most arriving in San Diego. More than 240 Somalis arrived during that period — more than twice the number from the year before.
Arrggghhh! When the refugee program is not robust!!! What the heck, we are bringing more refugees to the US now (when there are no jobs) than we did in any year since 9/11.
Immigration experts say such circuitous paths are routes of last resort.
“I always call it the back door,” said Bob Montgomery, director of the San Diego office for the International Rescue Committee.
“When the refugee program is not robust, we see more people trying to come through the asylum system,” he said.
Most Somalis have reached the United States — there are some 87,000 here — through U.S.-sponsored refugee resettlement programs. But the State Department in 2008 suspended a family reunification program for refugees over fraud concerns. The number of Somalis admitted by refugee programs dwindled to about 4,000 last year.
Arrggghhh! And, what the heck is this—87,000 Somalis in the US. We have hundreds of thousands of Somalis in the US because we admitted nearly that many over 25 years through the refugee program.* Those Somali families have been having on average of 6 kids per family for two decades!
Read the rest of the story, but be prepared to be outraged!
*For new readers :
The US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing. That specific program has not yet been reopened (that we know of), but will be soon. Nevertheless, thousands of Somali Muslims continue to be resettled as I write this.