This post is a call for a Congressional investigation!
Last March (March 16th to be precise) I attended the 30th Anniversary “celebration” of the passage of the Kennedy/Biden Refugee Resettlement Act (signed by Jimmy Carter) at Georgetown University with Human Rights First! in Washington, DC. This is just one post I wrote at the time.
Note there are a few lines in that post that have been rattling around in my mind on and off ever since.
Expressing gratitude for being granted asylum in the US an African young man from Sierra Leone described how he somehow (mysteriously) got a plane ticket to the US and ended up in NYC. He was placed in detention for 4 months, but also mysteriously was visited by a lawyer from Human Rights First who helped him through the asylum process.
I was also struck at the conference by how much emphasis the pro-refugee, pro-open borders activists and speakers were placing on our asylum program. They wanted to educate more asylum lawyers and hire more asylum judges (apparently the refugee program itself wasn’t bringing immigrants in fast enough!). One speaker even said that the original idea behind the program was to rescue the odd ballet dancer seeking asylum from some repressive regime, but had now expanded to thousands every year.
Last night as I began reading all of my backed-up articles on refugees, two jumped out at me, both are about Somalis arriving at our borders and being granted asylum. Both stories involve young Somalis, supposedly running from Al-shabaab and who mysteriously had the resources to trek across the world and just happened to end up on our borders where they then knew enough to immediately ask for asylum. Come on folks, we all know that some poor third worlder who knows only an obscure African language could not manage such a thing without enormous amounts of help.
Where are they getting their help? I don’t know but maybe that’s where Mr. Foster, the RICO lawyer could help.
Below are the stories I came across that set off my warning bells. Both, of course, are meant to be feel-good stories.
The first article is from the Las Cruces Sun News and it highlights a Somali woman recently granted asylum:
Asha Omar, a native of Somalia, spent almost a year looking for safety, away from the Islamic militants who murdered most of her family.
Late last year, she found it in El Paso.
In November, a federal immigration judge granted Omar’s application for asylum based on her fear of being persecuted in her home country.
At least two other Somalis are in El Paso seeking asylum, said Louie Gilot, executive director of Las Americas.
Nationwide, more than 300 Somalis requested asylum in 2009. Almost 200 were granted their requests.
Now this is the sentence that jumped off the page:
She managed to make her way to Cuba and then flew to Mexico. At the San Ysidro port of entry in California, she requested asylum, and she was taken to the El Paso Immigration Detention Center while her application was processed.
She MANAGED! She MANAGED to make her way to Cuba and then flew to Mexico! Some 19-year-old shy third worlder MANAGED to get to Cuba! How many of you adults reading this could manage to get yourselves to Cuba!
Who helped Asha Omar?
My second story comes from the Minneapolis Star Tribune on January 5th. and it is yet again about a young Somali managing to make it to the US. Who helped Liban Hussein?
Fearing for his life and still mourning his murdered family, Liban Hussein fled Mogadishu in 2009 and eventually found refuge a world away in the Twin Cities.
But Hussein didn’t follow the route of most Somali refugees, who live in overcrowded camps in Kenya or other neighboring countries and wait months, even years, for a travel visa.
Instead, he resorted to an option that an increasing number of desperate Somalis bound for Minnesota are choosing: He paid underground operatives $10,000 to smuggle him to America. The smugglers, relying on forged documents and bribes, passed Hussein by air and land through 11 countries, stopping everywhere from Dubai to Moscow to Havana.
Finally they got him to Tijuana, where he went to the nearby U.S. border and asked for asylum.
Then listen to this immigration lawyer, she makes me want to scream!
“It’s a free-market solution to a refugee processing backlog,” said Kim Hunter, a local immigration attorney who represents Hussein and about a dozen others smuggled into this country.
One Los Angeles law office interviewed 200 Somalis smuggled into the United States in 2010 alone.
Free-market solution!—trafficking human beings is a massively criminal activity!
Reading on, my heart is pounding because here we have it, getting Somalis into the US through the asylum process is apparently being condoned by “leaders” in the refugee field. Meissner, quoted in this article is the speaker I heard last March at the “celebration” say that the asylum program was established for the purpose of helping the odd ballet dancer seeking freedom but has long since become a major conduit for NGO’s to bring Somalis across our borders.
And then get this, they are not detained while awaiting a decision, but freed to go live with family and friends in your neighborhoods!
Doris Meissner, former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, said applicants can wait in camps for years with no assurance they’ll get into the country of their choice.
“Sometimes they decide that smuggling is the best shot,” said Meissner, now a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington.
Dick Zonneveld, a St. Paul immigration attorney, recently taught a law class on Somali immigration issues. “Many times their only way to travel to the United States is illegally with false papers,” he said.
Previously, amnesty seekers were detained, sometimes for a long time at a high cost, until given asylum. But in January 2010, U.S. policy changed to release them if they have a “credible fear” of persecution and can stay with friends or family until a final court decision.
Nationally, the number of Somali asylum seekers found to have a “credible fear” more than doubled in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, from 186 in 2009 to 394 in 2010, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Please read the entire Minneapolis Star Tribune story where there is also a discussion of the 270 smuggled Somalis that have not been found—maybe Ms. Meissner or Ms. Hunter know where they are! Maybe a Congressional committee should ask them!
Who is paying the smugglers? Who pays the lawyers? US Non-governmental organizations? We don’t know but Congress should find out. Everyone reading this page should immediately contact your Congressman and US Senators and demand Congressional investigations!