Did George Bush consider taking 100,000 Palestinians?

I don’t doubt for a minute that this wasn’t discussed in the Bush White House, heck they were taking other large groups of refugees without Congressional approval.

Olmert says details and numbers were discussed.  Hadley says they didn’t get specific.  Abrams says it never happened. 

From the Jerusalem Post:

The idea of the US accepting 100,000 Palestinian refugees as part of a Middle East peace agreement was suggested by extremely senior figures in the Bush administration, not by Israel, sources close to former prime minister Ehud Olmert told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

The reference to “extremely senior figures” is assumed to relate either to president George W. Bush himself or to his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.

The sources spoke to the Post after Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said that the administration envisioned that the US would participate in refugee resettlement activities, but could not have known in advance how many refugees the US might have been able to take in.

In a speech in Tel Aviv on Sunday, Olmert said he had reached an agreement with the US on accepting 100,000 refugees. Hadley’s former deputy, Elliott Abrams, denied this on Monday.

According to Hadley, the Bush administration discussed with Israel how the international community could assist in implementing a peace agreement, including how it could help the Palestinian refugees. Ideas discussed included compensation to refugees or to countries such as Jordan and Lebanon that would take them in, and aid in resettling refugees outside the Middle East who wanted to leave the region.

Abrams:  No President has that power?  Really?

“In that connection, we envisioned that the US would participate in any refugee resettlement activities, along with others in the international community, but that anything the US would do would be done through our normal immigrations process,” Hadley said.

“Therefore, there is no way to know in advance the number of refugees that the US might have been able to take, should any refugees have wanted to come to the US.”

When he spoke, Hadley was unaware of Abrams’s flat denial.

“President Bush did not, I am sure, promise or pledge to take 100,000 Palestinian refugees,” Abrams said. “The president knew, as everyone in the White House knew, that no president has the power to make such a commitment.

“We have immigration laws and they don’t allow that kind of move by a president. He would have had to ask Congress to change our laws.

Moreover, we would never have committed to a specific number anyway, nor did Olmert ask us to or raise that number.”

Then answer me this?  How could a lowly Asst. Secretary of State (Ellen Sauerbrey) make the committment to take 60,000 (a specific number) Bhutanese refugees without going to Congress?   Bottomline,  she did it and it can be done.  

Of course if Bush and Rice did decide to bring that many Palestinians to the US, I’m guessing Congress would have gotten involved because of the huge firestorm of public opinion it would have created.

I’m thinking Olmert is closer to being right:

Olmert’s office reacted to Hadley’s comments the same way it reacted to Abrams’s – by saying that the commitment was made at a higher level.

We all know that it would never have happened because by removing the thorn (the so-called refugees) from Israel’s side, Islamic extremists would have lost their power.  They need the ‘refugee’ problem to continue.  And, besides UNRWA needs your money.

To learn more about this topic, visit our category ‘Israel and refugees,’ here.

Endnote:  There was no talk of Congressional approval here when John Podesta and friends (citing earlier precedents) asked Obama to airlift 100,000 Iraqis.

Center for Immigration Studies: Family reunification proposal flawed

Author and refugee expert, Don Barnett, writing at the Center for Immigration Studies tells us what is wrong with the US State Department’s new plan for bringing refugee families to the US.

Barnett’s introduction first recaps what we have said previously, here.

Most of the “family reunification” provisions in the U.S. refugee program have been suspended for the past 2 years. The Priority 3 (P-3) resettlement category was closed for refugees since summer 2008 when U.S. officials found that most refugees from Africa using the P-3 program were not related at all. The fraud rate among Somali refugees was reported to be as high as 90 percent.

New regulations to combat fraud in the U.S. State Department program were published in the Federal Register for public comment earlier this month with a 60-day public comment period.

Now, here are two issues Barnett finds problematic (emphasis mine):

There are at least two shortcomings with the proposal.

The initial refugee family unit is not verified for relationship.

The initial family in many cases will come over as a husband with one wife, as required by the U.S., but with children from several wives. Much if not most of the current refugee influx is from polygamous societies.

The children from this original family unit could legally bring in their mothers. Presumably this is not a problem for the planners, who may even have designed the program for this outcome. But, since there is no verification of the original family unit, completely unrelated children will come in who then have the right to put their biological parents into the enhanced priority program. These individuals will then be able to legally bring in their other children and their parents who, in turn, can bring in relatives and so on.

The second shortcoming is that the DNA verification program does not cover refugees and asylees who petition for relatives to come over under the I-730 program or non-refugee immigrant categories. An I-730 petition is the far more desirable avenue as it brings the rights and entitlements of refugee status.

 For more information, please visit CIS here.


2,200 Somalis attracted (so far) to Lexington, NE by Tysons Food

I’ve reported on the meatpacking town of Lexington, NE a bunch of times.   Here is an AP story I posted on from way back in 2007 when the Somalis first began arriving in Lexington. 

Rural America unprepared in 2007!

One problem landlords faced when African refugees first began flowing into Lexington: burning wood on top of indoor stovetops to cook food.

“They may not have seen an automobile or a telephone,” said Christine Kutschkau, the state coordinator for refugee resettlement. “Some of our refugees come from very primitive areas.”

The rapid change in towns like Lexington has been a shock to the system of services immigrants rely on, such as health care. Kutschkau said there has been a shortage of medicine for an influx of refugees who needed to be treated for tuberculosis.

“They really are unprepared for these people,” Kutschkau said.

Here is another story from Lexington the “welcoming” city.

Here, in 2009, we learn about the new Somali Community Center.

Now here is an update story from Friday.  Earlier reports were unable to put a number on how many Somalis live in Lexington, but his one says 2,200.  The headline says they need spiritual assistance, but it sounds like they need money:

LEXINGTON – Four or five years ago, the numbers of Somali residents in Lexington began to grow as work opportunities at Tyson Fresh Meats attracted resettled refugee victims with employment.

The Somali Community Center says nearly 2,200 Somali natives have become Lexingtonites, and are in dire need of language services in order to integrate and be a productive and safe part of the Lexington community.

Read the whole story.

The article goes on to discuss the needs of the Somali Community Center there, but I must say I did a little searching and can’t find anything official about this organization, so I can’t say if they have properly incorporated or not.  I wonder if they are a spin-off of Mohamed Rage’s (CAIR-friendly) ECBO in Omaha?

Somali community centers everywhere!

I did find this list of Somali Community Centers throughout the United States and they appear to be on it, or at least one Somali Center in Lexington is on it.

Nebraska lecture series on Somali child welfare/abuse taught in Lexington

From University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Through the eyes of a child):

Several Nebraska communities have seen a surge in population of Somali families and a number of these communities have seen rising numbers of Somali children and families in the child welfare system. This training provides an overview of cultural, language, and familial issues as well as practical guidance regarding a more culturally sensitive and effective response to the problem of child abuse/neglect in this new immigrant community. Local and state resources from the Somali community were invited to participate in the training and to develop or strengthen linkages that assist families in the child welfare system.

Squishy language but we should give them credit for tackling the problem.

I wonder if Indiana has had any such taxpayer funded courses?

Readers, consider Khadra’s warning.

56 Iraqis deported from Europe

These must have been some really bad dudes for these do-gooder countries to send them back to Iraq and risk the wrath of the United Nations.

From AP at the Boston Globe:

BAGHDAD — Several dozen Iraqis who did not gain asylum in Europe returned to Iraq yesterday despite concerns the country is still too dangerous, the UN refugee agency said.

Security has dramatically improved in Iraq since the height of sectarian bloodshed in 2006 and 2007, but the UN agency has urged governments not to force Iraqis who fled the country after the 2003 US-led invasion to return, citing continued attacks and human rights violations.

Check out the countries doing the deporting:

The plane arrived from Stockholm with 27 Iraqi deportees from Sweden, nine from Norway, four from the Netherlands, and an unknown number from the United Kingdom, Sybella Wilkes, a UN spokeswoman, said. The Iraqi official said 56 deportees were returned yesterday.

I guess Europe is getting the picture.

For everything you wanted to know about Iraqi refugees, visit our Iraqi Refugee category, here.  This is our 479th post on the topic.

Ft. Morgan, CO Police Chief sent to Denmark to learn more about refugees

The trip, sponsored by the US State Department as part of a program to help communities deal with a refugee influx, is detailed here in a lengthy article in the Ft. Morgan Times:

Fort Morgan Police Chief Keith Kuretich spent two weeks in Denmark recently talking with of-ficials about Fort Morgan’s experience with refugees and immigrants, and learning about that country’s situation.

He flew to Denmark along with seven other Americans as part of the World Learning Visitor Exchange Program supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cul-tural Affairs Office of Citizen Exchanges.

The Chief did learn that terrorism is a real problem in Europe with its open borders.

Read it all.

The Ft. Morgan honor killing

I wonder what ever happened with that Ft. Morgan Somali honor killing we wrote about last in May, here.   I wonder if the Chief discussed honor killings with his Danish counterparts?

Now I see, Abdi plead guilty when faced with the evidence that the knife he used to kill his stepsister was taken from Swift & Co. meatpacking plant where he worked (the victim worked at Cargill meatpacking) indicating perhaps that the murder was premeditated.  He would then have to face trial on first degree murder charges.   The article says he was to be sentenced in July, but I don’t see any story on that.

Abdi’s plea bargain effectively sweeps the whole honor killing story under the rug.