Editor’s note: Readers, I’ve been out of commission for a few days. I am just now trying to catch up on refugee news, so there may be other more interesting or pressing refugee/immigration issues that have happened in my absence but I am reporting as I come across alerts in my e-mail. If you have sent me a good post idea, I should find it eventually, but don’t hesitate to resend it now!
This story from Germany is all over the news for the past few days. One story along these same lines says that if the US would strike Syria militarily, it would create even more refugees and that makes sense to me.
Here is the news from Germany. One of the things that interests me about this is that these refugees are not going permanently to Germany, but it is understood from the beginning that this is a temporary arrangement.
Remember there have been demonstrations by some Germans against more asylum seekers entering the country.
From AP at The Times-Standard:
GENEVA—Germany’s relocation program for Syrian refugees is getting under way with 107 people gaining temporary new homes, U.N. officials said Tuesday.
The first group to be relocated under a German program for up to 5,000 Syrian refugees includes “women and girls at risk, people with serious medical conditions, survivors of torture or others with special needs,” said U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.
Unlike the makeshift arrangements for most of the 2 million refugees that have fled Syria into neighboring countries, the program announced by Germany in March gives them the right to work under two-year residence permits that could be extended if Syria’s crisis remains unchanged.
In that regard, Germany currently has the world’s largest such relocation program for Syrian refugees, “setting an important example” for other nations, Fleming said
The first group of 107 Syrian refugees is due to leave Lebanon on Wednesday and head to Hannover, Germany, where the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, known as the U.N. refugee agency, will help them on arrival. From there the refugees are being transferred to an accommodation center in Friedland, in Lower Saxony, where they are to stay for 14 days.
During that time, they will get oriented to their new culture, including basic language training, how the schools and health works, and help in interacting with local authorities, Fleming said. After that they will leave for temporary homes across Germany, mostly small centers or apartments where they have access to schools, medical facilities and social services.
The pressure is now on the rest of the West.
The photo is from this story at The National. Update! For some reason the story and the photo have been taken down, I’ll see if I can find the photo again elsewhere.