Mexican drug violence creating new “refugees”

Whew!  The Miami Herald reports today that escalating drug-related violence is creating a whole new group of asylum seekers— Mexicans!

José Jiménez, a Mexican mechanic, is now doing odd jobs in an American town after escaping a violent northern Mexican city where drug traffickers threatened to kill him when he refused to build secret compartments in tractor trailers to hide U.S.-bound drug shipments.

He’s hoping the U.S. immigration system can keep him alive — and he’s not alone.

He is one of a growing number of Mexicans receiving asylum in the United States, where until recently most Mexican immigrants had sought work permits. But the escalating drug war violence south of the border over the last four years has prompted immigration judges and federal asylum officers to approve more Mexican asylum petitions.

“I definitely feel safer now,” Jiménez said. “But I’m still nervous. These criminals have resources and contacts everywhere.”

Jiménez, 49, is one of the first Mexican refugees to share his story. He is also the first with a known South Florida connection.

All such asylum claims were rejected in the early 1990’s.

In the past, asylum claims from Mexicans were typically rejected because judges and asylum officers deemed them fraudulent or frivolous. It’s only in the last five years that authorities have taken a different view.

In fiscal year 2008, asylum officers and immigration judges combined approved 250 Mexican asylum petitions compared to 153 the previous year and 133 in 2006 — the formal start of the war on drugs launched by Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Separate figures from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services show an increase in Mexican asylum case approvals from fiscal year 2007 to 2008 — 146 to 264 — but a decrease to 249 in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2009. USCIS cases often cover more than one person.

Though still relatively small compared to the number of asylum petitions from other countries, Mexican asylum approvals are significant when you consider that virtually all were were denied in the early 1990s. The majority of new asylum applicants are former police officers, lawyers and journalists.

In the United States, asylum seekers can file petitions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services whose asylum officers then decide the case. If approved, the asylum-seeker is granted a green card. If not, the case is referred to immigration court where a judge decides the case. If the judge rejects the case, the petitioner could be deported.

Doesn’t this open the door to any claims due to violence anywhere in the world?

Fredericksburg, VA “unsafe haven”

An editorial today at sums up the feeling of the folks in that town in the wake of a good investigative report this past week.  We are full and bringing more refugees to our city is downright inhumane. 

Note to the Obama Administration, reform the program!

The federal government says it’s reviewing the resettlement process (let us hope with a keen sense of urgency). The Catholic bishops agree that the system must be changed. Until it is, Fredericksburg should be considered “full up.”

Iraqi refugees suffer in El Cajon, CA

It’s the same old story.  We have posted dozens like this story ever since Refugee advocates have pushed for more and more Iraqis to be resettled in the US.  As a matter of fact, in this fiscal year (5 months old) we have resettled 6,959 Iraqi refugees—the highest number of any ethnic group this year.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Reporting from El Cajon, Calif. – Bomb blasts, torture and years of exile had all but ruined the Azeez family of Iraq. So the news sounded promising: Their refugee application had been approved. Abdul, his wife, Haifaa, and their four adult children were coming to America.

The family of Mandeans, a persecuted religious minority in Iraq, had left behind almost everything in their Baghdad home but planned to create a new life in El Cajon.

One year later, Abdul, 49, fiddles with worry beads as he paces in his two-bedroom town house. His three sons scour the streets competing for jobs with Mexican immigrants.* Haifaa, 49, bends her brittle, bomb-shattered back to light rose-scented candles and prays.

Abdul, once a wealthy merchant who owned jewelry stores in Iraq, was counting on government support to resettle, but the eight months of payments have run out. The family members still lack work, as do many Iraqi refugees they encounter around town.

Why are they bringing Iraqis here? There are no jobs,” Azeez said.

Similar accounts of fading immigrant dreams are increasingly common in this San Diego suburb, where thousands of Iraqi refugees crowd apartment complexes, welfare lines and English-language schools, their appreciation for the United States tested by the specter of poverty.

No jobs for refugees!  But, to partially answer Mr. Azeez’s question about why you are here.  It is because the agencies responsible for resettling you want to continue to keep their jobs!  No refugees, then they too are out of their taxpayer-funded work.  In addition they expect you to be grateful, so grateful that you will vote to keep the Democrats in power.

An estimated 80% of the refugees are jobless, according to community leaders and social service agencies.

Going back to the Middle East?

In bleak moments, family members wonder why they came to the United States. They had options, including Sweden and Australia. They’ve considered returning to Syria, where at least they understand the language and there is a small Mandean community.

This is a good time to consider the words of an Iraqi refugee boy who seems wiser by far than all the high paid refugee industry professionals inside and outside government.

It is better to have 10 Iraqi refugees who are satisfied with their lives than having 100 angry ones with no life at all.

* This mention of competition for jobs with Hispanics reminded me that yesterday a reader, Cap, criticized me for posting on RRW that story about a rancher allegedly murdered by an illegal alien because Cap thinks I shouldn’t be mixing the two—legal and illegal aliens.  However, it is the refugee resettlement agencies mixing the two.  I continue to be outraged that federal refugee contractors are lobbying for amnesty for illegal aliens while their job is to resettle legal refugees and help them find work.  The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Lutheran Immigration and Refugees Services, and Church World Service all actively sponsored that Marxist March on Washington recently.  How dare they mix the two when they are almost entirely paid by the taxpayer to help Mr. Azeez’s family and others like him.

Rohingya pouring out of Myanmar, straining resources in Bangladesh, so the West should take them

This is an update on the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar (Burma).  We haven’t written about them for some time so when I saw this opinion piece in the Daily Star from Dhaka, the Capitol of Bangladesh, I decided to post it to bring readers up to date.

Muslim Bangladesh is pushing fellow Muslim Rohingya back across the border into Myanmar.  Where is that much ballyhooed Muslim charity?

A European Parliament resolution passed only last month called on the Bangladesh government to “recognise that the unregistered Rohingyas are stateless asylum seekers who have fled persecution in Myanmar and are in need of international protection.” However, in spite of such calls, the government still continues with its forced repatriation drive. In recent months, border authorities have launched an unprecedented crackdown in Bangladesh, pushing over 2,000 Rohingyas back across the border into Myanmar where they are likely to face arrest for leaving their villages without a travel permit.

Citizens of Bangladesh fear job loss, radicalization (Islamic?) and crime with the influx.

Though half of the Rohingya who make their way to Bangladesh are taken in by sympathetic local families until they find their feet, it remains a fragile relationship. Many locals are competing for jobs with the Rohingya (who are often willing to work for less than Bangladeshis) and this often fuels local tensions. Others worry that armed extremist gangs are radicalising the youth of this marginalised, leaderless community, and suspicions of drug smuggling and an increase in petty crime in the camps have been recorded in the local press.

Bangladesh didn’t sign the 1951 UN Convention, the country is poor and so the West needs to help.  What else is new?

Bangladesh, like India, Thailand and Pakistan, didn’t sign the 1951 Refugee Convention (the global treaty that defines who is eligible for refugee status and what rights they are guaranteed) and cannot be expected to take on such a massive challenge single-handed. As one of the poorest nations in the world, it doesn’t have the financial resources to cope with such a huge influx of people. However, the Thai boat crisis of 2009 should have made clear that regional solutions are needed to solve this issue. There has to be sustained regional pressure (including from India and China) on Myanmar to stop the ethnic cleansing and to recognise the Muslim Rohingya alongside the other 146 non-Muslim ethnic minorities.

The international community must also help relieve the pressure on Bangladesh by accepting some of the refugees that have already been registered. Since 2006, the UNHCR has resettled as few as 749 Rohingya from the registered camp. Five hundred were relocated in 2009 and another 190 are pending departure for the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the US. It’s a rate of departure that barely covers the population growth of 2.9 percent within the registered camp; right now, the system is simply paying off the human interest.

Coming to a town near you?  Probably Ft. Wayne is on the list so as to add to the incendiary mix of Burmese they already have!

Oh,  here is an idea, maybe rich Saudi Arabia could take in their fellow Muslims.  No, that won’t work, I just remembered that Saudi Arabia imprisons and deports Rohingya, here.

This makes the 90th post we have written on the Rohingya, see our Rohingya Reports category, here.