More diversity is beautiful in Lewiston, ME

Sudanese refugee Deng Mirac attempted to kill his wife with a kitchen knife, and remains behind bars until trial. Photo Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Here is another gift to Maine, most likely thanks to Catholic Charities which is still, I believe, the top resettlement contractor in that state (they say on their website that they are the only federal contractor in Maine).

From the Lewiston/Auburn Sun-Journal:

AUBURN — A judge sided with prosecutors Thursday in an attempted murder case, saying DNA evidence collected from the defendant shortly after his arrest was legal even though police hadn’t executed a search warrant.

Sudanese refugee Deng Mirac, 42, of 158 Blake St. in Lewiston was in Androscoggin County Superior Court for a hearing on his motion to suppress evidence. He was assisted by an interpreter.

He is accused of stabbing his estranged wife, Adut Adong, 34, in the face and abdomen with a kitchen knife in the driveway of her Blake Street apartment in Lewiston in April.

Mirac’s attorney, Nicholas Worden, argued that police should have secured a search warrant before collecting samples of a reddish-brown substance that appeared to be blood on Mirac’s hands and the black leather jacket he was wearing. He said there was no risk of his client destroying or hiding evidence because he was in police custody in an interview room at the police station in Lewiston with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Worden said those circumstances gave police enough time to seek a warrant before taking swabs of DNA from Mirac’s hands and jacket. His Fourth Amendment rights were violated, Worden said.

Justice MaryGay Kennedy disagreed with Worden and denied his motion.

For our many many posts on “welcoming” Lewiston, click here.  One of our most popular posts of all time is this 2009 post about Catholic Charities and Maine as the welfare magnet.

Arizona: So where is the wine bar/cafe to benefit poor Americans?

Catholic Charities Community Services of Arizona has launched a new enterprise to benefit refugees surely using mostly taxpayer dollars.  From their latest Form 990, here (page 9), we learned that of the $26 million they took in that recent year, $23 million is from taxpayer funds.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted blessing the Refugee Cafe.

Call me a cynic!  But, why are they in the “business” of setting up wine bars and cafes, and why do they find the world’s downtrodden of more interest than the local downtrodden?  That last is what I don’t get?   Why is the “other” more attractive (cool!) to them?  Or, perhaps this is just clever marketing for Catholic Inc.?

From the Catholic Sun (hat tip: Joanne):

A new coffee shop and wine bar has commuters and residents in the Camelback Corridor investing in more than a little “R and R.” They’re supporting the livelihood of local refugee families.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted blessed The Refuge AZ, a new coffee shop and wine bar Dec. 5 as part of a grand opening and “coffee cake cutting” event. It opened this fall as a social enterprise effort of Catholic Charities Community Services.

The café, 4727 N. 7th Ave., sits just south of Catholic Charities and has already provided supplemental support to 20 refugee families in its first seven weeks of business. Local refugee families that are also Catholic Charities clients benefit from food and beverage sales including Café Esperanza, a private label blend that customers can bring home.

I bet there are some “long periods of suffering” right there in Arizona!

Bishop Olmsted called The Refuge a great project and looks forward to coming back. He commented on the many refugees who come from far away, especially the Middle East after long periods of suffering.

“We have the privilege and the honor of receiving them and loving them in this place,” the bishop said. “Refugees need to be able to make a livelihood for themselves.”

They have a vice president of business development at Catholic Charities?  Are they using taxpayer dollars to out-compete a private business of this kind with refugees as the drawing card?

Steve Capobres, vice president of business development for Catholic Charities, said it was important to give refugees a venue to showcase their artistic and musical talents. As ambassadors welcoming nearly 1,000 refugees a year to the community, he said new outreach through the café is the least Catholic Charities can do.

I’ll bet a million bucks that if they weren’t being funded by you, and had to use private charitable gifts, there would be no cool refugee cafe.

Israel: Africans march, demand “rights,” turn violent, many imprisoned

On the road to Beersheva before the violence broke out.

Israel built a new detention center for mostly African migrants who are claiming they are legitimate asylum seekers (as opposed to economic migrants looking for work).  The facility (we told you about it here) is open for the inhabitants to leave during the day, but they must return at night.  It doesn’t look like it’s working out for hundreds who got into violent clashes with police and now are imprisoned 24-7.

From LiveLeak:

More than 100 African migrants/refugees left the newly instated open detention center in S.Israel and begun making their way to Beersheva in protest of the jailing of fellow refugees as well as governmental reluctance to respond to their asylum request.

The 130-strong march left the Holot detention facility for Beersheba Thursday, accompanied by police cars. The march eventually deteriorated and violent clashes with the police, as well as more then a dozen arrests, were reported.

According to the refugees, the protest was intended to demand the release of two of their compatriots who were arrested in a Jerusalem protest some two days ago. They further called from their asylum requests be reviewed individually.

Abdul, a Sudanese refugee, said “we are marching for our friends, for our freedom and for our rights. We request that the Israeli government examine our request individually, and treat us as refugees, not criminals.”

The two men whose arrest sparked Thursday’s demonstration are currently being held in the Saharonim Prison, a jail built to house asylum seekers held under directives which the High Court deemed unconstitutional.

The demonstration’s starting point – the Holot detention facility – was established as a response to the ruling and thus was built as an ‘open jail,’ from which asylum seekers can come and go during day time.

The demonstrators involved in clashes have now been sent to the real prison.

The cost of the Holot facility was roughly a million shekel and in light of the court’s ruling and recent events, it seems the State is adamant in its intent to deport African refugees who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Photo is from this account of events at Jews for Justice.

For new readers, this is our 136th post in our category entitled ‘Israel and refugees.’