Writer: Bhutanese ‘third country resettlement’ sets a bad precedent

Joseph Mathew (or is it Mathew Joseph?) writing at the International Business Times has penned an interesting article giving us the background on why the people of Nepali origin were expelled from Bhutan which led to the US (under the Bush Administration and continuing into today) taking tens of thousands of those expelled people to America over the last five years.  Here is just one recent post about Bhutanese/Nepali people coming here en masse.

Below are my excerpts from the article by Mr. Mathew:

The long pending issue of the repatriation of Bhutanese refugees of Nepali origin, who were housed in the UNHCR-sponsored refugee camps in the eastern Nepal districts of Morang and Jhapa since early 1990s, was “resolved” to many by the Third Country Resettlement proposal put forth and being carried out by countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and the Netherlands. As of now, a sizable section of the refugees have been resettled in these countries, with a majority of them now living in the United States.

These Bhutanese refugees of Nepali origin were expelled from Bhutan in the early 1990s as a result of the state sponsored Bhutanization drive epitomized in the promulgation of “Driglam Nam Za” (code of social etiquette) in 1989, which stipulated strict controls over the people of Nepali origin who inhabited the southern districts of Bhutan.

The author explains that the ruling class in Bhutan feared the growth of the population of people of Nepali origin.

A growth in the number of the people of Nepali origin and their cultural distinctiveness from the ruling elite became a cause of worry for them. The heightened political consciousness among the people of Nepali origin compounded the fears of the Ngalong ruling elite.

Several times Mr. Mathew implies that the ruling class fears of being eventually taken over demographically by the Nepali people and losing control of their government was an irrational fear.  I do remember when I first wrote about the Bhutanese years ago that there was mention of the Maoists agitating within this expelled population.  I don’t know if that is so, but that might have been behind some of the intransigence of Bhutan’s government.  Yes, I found it! here is the news story that reported Maoists in the camps.

Mathew continues:

In the last 20 years, Bhutan has undergone many changes including transforming herself from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy and became a “democracy” from above. However, while undergoing these changes Bhutan has not changed a bit her policy towards the repatriation of the refugee population located in the UNHCR camps in eastern Nepal. On the contrary, it has created many hurdles in the process of resolving the refugee problem amicably despite the efforts of Nepal.

Frankly folks,  I have never understood why Nepal didn’t want its own ethnic people back!

So why did the US get into this squabble?

I have no answer to that.  Discerning readers at this point are likely asking—why is it the business of the US to resolve a dispute involving Bhutan and Nepal and to a lesser degree India?  Why is this in our national interest?

The only answer I have is this—that open-borders agitators wanted more immigrants, more Democrat voters, more people in need of Social Services, more cheap (captive because they can’t go home!) laborers in meatpacking plants and other low-wage industries.

And, then writer Mathew brings up the downside of this wholesale dispersal of a population to the four winds.  He notes that with this UN push to resolve the issue, we helped let Bhutan, Nepal and India get off the hook.  Consequently they didn’t have to come up with a solution that might have led to repatriation (or their resettlement in their original home country of Nepal!).

The diplomatic deadlock between Nepal and Bhutan and India’s non-involvement in resolving the problem created the opportunity for the international community to step in. The context of the proposal of the Third Country Resettlement is that. The proposal for Third Country Resettlement came as a blessing in disguise for Bhutan, Nepal and India as it will definitely ‘resolve’ the refugee problem without affecting their interests and concerns. For many refugees, mainly young people, it offered new opportunity in rebuilding their lives, though the older lot among them was not in agreement with this thinking. The socio-psychological impact of the Third Country Resettlement on the Bhutanese refugees is something to be visible in the course of time.

We have already seen some of the psychological impact with the high suicide rate of Bhutanese here in the US.

The decision to move this entire “refugee” population and not resolve it between the countries involved will have “serious implications” for the future resolution of similar problems around the world:

The proposal for Third Country Resettlement in effect, in this particular case, turned out to be a rejection of the right of repatriation of the refugees. This is going to have serious implications for the resolution of various refugee issues pertaining to different regions of the world. International community, instead of making arrangements for Third Country Resettlement, must put pressure on the concerned parties to facilitate the process of repatriation for the resolution of refugee problems. As far as refugee problems are concerned, repatriation not Third Country Resettlement is the only meaningful solution. [Agreed!—ed]

Feds want more Haitians to sign up for “temporary” refugee program

I wondered why I was seeing notices about new registration periods for Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, and I had noticed mentions of Hurricane Sandy and wondered how that affected Haitians in the US illegally (or already on TPS).

Here, in late December, David North writing at the Center for Immigration Studies blog tells us what is going on.

The administration continues to go out of its way to be nice to illegal aliens, and others from Haiti, who are now in the U.S. with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS was granted to Haitians in the U.S. originally because of the earthquake of January 12, 2010.
[Map of Haiti]

TPS gives otherwise ineligible people legal status in 18-month chunks, during which they are free to work in the above-ground labor market. The beneficiaries are not on a path to citizenship, but they are much better off than they were before, because, among other things, they are also not on a path to deportation. But they do have to re-register every 18 months.

The latest wrinkle relates to the re-registration period for TPS beneficiaries, which was originally scheduled for October 1 through November 30, 2012. Midway through that period Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast, being particularly harmful to New York City, the home of many of the TPS Haitians.

According to the announcement in today’s Federal Register “DHS recognizes that Haitian TPS beneficiaries affected by the hurricane may require additional time to prepare a re-registration application and to gather either the funds to cover the re-registration fees or the documentation to support a fee waiver request.”

So, DHS, instead of extending the October-November registration window for a while to cope with what it regarded as a major problem, let the registration period come to an end, and then, as of December 28, 2012, re-opened it again to close, this time, on January 29, 2013.

We wrote about how the Haitian earthquake back in 2010 gave the Obama administration an excuse to give Haitians temporary refugee status and we knew then, based on all the other TPS designations, that this would never end.  TPS would just be extended and extended until the illegals had purchased homes, opened businesses and raised families (voted?) and like the Liberians before them would then cry foul if anyone ever tried to end their “temporary” stay.

North continued (emphasis mine):

My sense is that USCIS keeps being disappointed at the TPS turnout, but it’s not because of storms, it is because interior enforcement of the immigration law is so tepid, and the talk of an impending legalization program is so common that a lot of Haitian illegals decide, understandably, why bother?

According to the Miami Herald the current Haitian enrollment in TPS is about 60,000; at one point USCIS expected more than twice as many would take advantage of its provisions.

Incidentally, if one is eligible for TPS and holds another nonimmigrant visa, such as an F-1 for international students, the individual alien can choose whichever status suits them best, a highly unusual feature in the migration business.

Readers, I should have made a separate category for Temporary Protected Status but didn’t.  Just type those words into our search function and all previous posts on the topic appear, here.   Guatemalans are now lobbying to get TPS for their people (I see by the large number of hits I get on Guatemala TPS posts), but I gather so far the Obama Administration has not chosen them yet for this special amnesty program.