Syrians march and demand asylum in Switzerland

It’s about the children.

Looks to me like the Syrian refugees who have taken to the streets in Bern demanding asylum are getting professional community organizing help in crafting their message.

Syrians: We have the right to live in Switzerland! Of course the photo is from!

We’ve reported before about the growing tension in Switzerland where the Swiss are world famous for holding on to their ‘Swiss-ness’ (Not a word I know!).  Here are two recent post (click here and here).

So it’s no surprise that, as this article (Truth out) reports, their marching went largely unnoticed by the Swiss public:

BERN, Switzerland — Due to Syria’s civil war and the refugee crisis it has produced, the political standoff between asylum-seekers in Switzerland and the government body tasked with deciding their status — the Bundesamt für Migration (BFM), or Federal Migration Office — has in the last week become a standoff in a very real sense.

Since September 9, Syrian refugees impatient with what in many cases has been the BFM’s years-long lack of response to their needs have been braving the autumnal chill in an improvised camp in front of the office’s main building in Bern. Eleven of the upwards of 100 demonstrators began a hunger strike on Saturday.

The asylum-seekers — many of whom have been in Switzerland since the onset of the Syrian revolution in 2011, or longer, and around 40 of whom are children — have resolved not to leave until their status is officially decided.


The march was headed by children from the camp, one of whom sat on his father’s shoulders and gleefully led chants, in German using a megaphone, like, “We love Switzerland but Switzerland doesn’t love us. ”The moving spectacle went almost unnoticed by locals as the march wound its way through quiet neighborhoods and empty parklands along the police-approved route, from the far-flung BFM towards the Bern city center.

Sounds like Helin went to the Barack Obama International School of Communist Community Organizing!

“These children want to go to school. If they could, they would go tomorrow,” intoned Helin, a young Syrian woman who has been in Switzerland for five years [before the Syrian civil war?—ed] and has what is known as a B-permit (non-permanent residence). She has been working as a translator and liaison for the activists. “Look at them, they have a life, they have rights,” she said of the children. “Give them a future.”

See (what else!) for the photo and more!

US stepping up deportations of Somali refugees with criminal backgrounds

Were some of Rep. Keith Ellison’s constituents doing the killing in Kenya on Saturday?

Rep. Keith Ellison swearing in on the Koran as the first Muslim Member of the House of Representatives in 2007. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images


This article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune went unnoticed over the weekend (at least by me!)  when the issue of Somalis and Minnesota took center stage in faraway Kenya as Somali terrorists slaughtered dozens of innocent shoppers (see our report here).

We’ve written about Somali deportations previously and noted that the US Supreme Court has already ruled that it is legal to send immigrants back to countries in chaos if they break American laws.  But, the ‘human rights gang’ is always agitating against the idea as is the case now in this report.

From the Star Tribune (Minnesota Somalis make up most of the list of those to be sent back):

The federal government is engaging in an aggressive effort to deport Somali immigrants who run afoul of U.S. law, after refraining for years from shipping people back to a country wracked by civil war and lacking a functioning government.

The policy change affects more than 3,100 Somali nationals who have received final orders for removal from the United States since 2001, either because of violations of immigration law or criminal convictions. That includes 435 people who were ordered removed from the immigration court in Bloomington, representing 13 percent of all such Somali cases in the country’s 52 immigration courts.

Until recently, they had been allowed to remain in this country despite the removal orders, living in a legal limbo, wearing ankle bracelets or under requirements to check in periodically with authorities.

Now that’s changed.

Since 2012, 33 Somalis across the United States have been deported to Somalia, including 22 so far this year. Most have come from Minnesota, home to the nation’s largest Somali refugee community. Thirty Somalis remain in custody this month from the St. Paul region of the immigration service, faced with a pending or final deportation order.

Next the Tribune gives us a sob story about how these kids grew up here and don’t know Somalia, some don’t know the language.   How about a sob story for the US and Minnesota taxpayers who raised these “kids”—housed, fed and educated them!

This is so backwards!  The poor Somali “kids” could become “victims” in Somalia.  What about their victims here?

The increased deportations have raised the thorny issue of whether it is proper to send offenders, many with admittedly lengthy criminal rap sheets, to an unstable country they don’t know and where many believe their presence will be tantamount to a death sentence.

What do you do with people who have no legal right to stay here, but nowhere safe to go?

“We still consider Somalia to be extremely unsafe,” said Deepinder Mayell, director of the Refugee and Immigrant Program for the Minneapolis-based Advocates for Human Rights. “Even affiliation with western countries could be a threat. It makes them stick out. …. They could become subject to increased scrutiny or targeted as a victim.”

Rep. Keith Ellison is worried that al-Shabaab will get these poor kids. 

I think this morning Ellison has to be sweating until we find out if some of his constituents are actually among the al-Shabaab Islamic terrorists who did the slaughtering in the Kenya mall!

The Tribune story continues:

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, whose district includes a large segment of Minnesota’s Somali community, said he will be requesting a detailed briefing from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice on their guidelines for deportations to areas with potential safety concerns. Despite some gains in Somalia, he said he remains concerned about things such as recent asymmetrical attacks by the terrorist organization Al-Shabab.

“Asymmetrical attacks by the terrorist organization Al-Shabab!”  Is that what happened in Kenya?

There is a lot in this article but I don’t have the time this morning, so please read the whole thing here.  Lawyers are wondering why the feds have renewed their interest in deporting the Somali criminals.  I would like to know that too!

Readers:  I’m away from the computer this morning, so if anything interesting happens send me a note at our new address: