Syrian refugee smorgasbord

Every day our news alerts are jam-packed with the latest stories on the SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS.   Here is a little round-up of the latest news.

MP Yvette Cooper, leader of the revolt: Bring in the Syrians!

Great Britain:  ‘MP’s revolt over failure to admit Syrian refugees’:

The Coalition is under mounting pressure from Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs to perform a U-turn to allow some Syrian refugees to come to Britain.

Mark Harper, the immigration minister, angered some MPs yesterday by saying the United Nations plan for Western countries to accept 30,000 of the 2.3 million Syrian refugees would have only a “token impact”.  [Then the you-know-what hit the fan—ed]

Lebanon‘U.N.: Syrian refugee’s murder of son highlights desperation’:

BEIRUT: The case of a Syrian man who was arrested Tuesday for strangling his 8-month-old son because he was crying reflects the desperate plight of refugees, UNICEF’s spokesperson said.

According to security sources refugee Hasan Ayesh strangled his son late Monday in his home in Minyara, in the northern province of Akkar, reportedly because the boy wouldn’t stop crying.

Mind you, it’s all about his status as a refugee, not the possibility that he might be a brute or mentally unstable to begin with.  Sheesh!

U.S.‘Aid Agency Chief: Syrian Refugees Creating ‘Regional Crisis”:

David Miliband head honcho of the International Rescue Committee told Morning Joe that the international community must “massively scale up” its response.  But, surprisingly he never mentioned his organization’s testimony in the Senate recently to resettle 12,000 Syrians here this year.  I’m wondering if they have done polling that tells them not to mention bringing them here!

In light of upcoming international peace talks between the opposing sides in Syria’s civil war, former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the numbers of refugees resulting from the war has created a “regional crisis” that demands attention.

“This is a regional crisis that demands a big international engagement,” Miliband, who is president and CEO of aid agency International Rescue Committee, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday.

The conflict in Syria has resulted in a “scale of brutality … that hasn’t been seen for a very long time,” Miliband said.

As a result, millions of people are taking refuge in neighboring countries. He called for the international response to be “massively scaled up.”

You can watch Morning Joe’s interview, here.  Joe doesn’t look too worked up.

Russia‘Russia grants asylum to almost 500 Syrian refugees – FMS’:

This is a surprise, I wonder if they are taking mostly Christians since they don’t have a burning desire for more Muslims.

The number of Syrian refugees seeking asylum in Russia is on the rise, head of the Federal Migration Service Moscow department Olga Kirillova said.

“Due to the exacerbation of the sociopolitical situation in Syria, the number of citizens seeking asylum on the territory of Russia has grown significantly,” she said.

More than 1,000 Syrian citizens filed refuge requests with the Federal Migration Service Moscow department in 2013 and 478 were granted temporary asylum, she added.

Bulgaria‘Bulgaria Begins Construction of Border Fence with Turkey’:

The construction of the wire fence at the Bulgarian – Turkish border will begin on January 20, Minister of Defense Angel Naydenov announced.

“The site preparatory work and the construction of the facility will start Monday,” Naydenov said, cited by Focus News Agency.

The construction period will stretch over 45-60 days depending on the weather conditions.

Border fences can be built pretty quickly if a country is motivated.

Sweden:  ‘Syria crisis: Influx of refugees into Swedish town’:

Some Swedish towns are struggling to cope with an influx of Syrian refugees, after the government there guaranteed asylum to fugitives from the civil war.

The right-wing Swedish Democrat party claims ethnic Swedes are angry at the cost of social benefits and rising pressures on schools, housing and health care.

In the past eight years, the town of Sodertalje has accepted three times more refugees than Sweden’s biggest cities.

Ah, Sweden, our canary in a coal mine.

From Bangladesh to Brooklyn, but not as refugees

Several readers sent me this important article by Daniel Greenfield at Frontpage magazine, published last week, entitled, ‘Beheadings, Bombings and New York’s Little Bangladesh.’  They wanted to know if most of these Bangladeshis taking over neighborhoods in NYC are “refugees.”

Well, no, not technically.  We have only taken a handful of Bangladeshis directly from Bangladesh through the Refugee Program in the ten years reported in the most recent Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) report to Congress.  If you have never looked at these reports, which the ORR is notoriously late on producing, then check this one out.  Tables near the end, have stats on who we admitted in the previous ten years.  I also went back to the years 1983-2000 and we did not bring any Bangladeshi “refugees.”

Rasel Siddiquee (left) is charged with beheading landlord.

Here is Greenfield:

Bangladesh is more than 90 percent Muslim. Hindus are being attacked in the streets of its cities by Islamist mobs because Islam does not co-exist. The other religions of the city do not demand that everyone join them or acknowledge their supremacy and pay them protection money for the right to exist.

Islam does.

Its immigration is also a Jihad, a form of supremacist manifest destiny to colonize the Dar al-Harb and subdue it to the will of a dead prophet with sheer numbers or sheer force. [Al-Hijra!—ed]

The number of Bangladeshis in New York has increased by 20 percent in only four years to an estimated 74,000. And those numbers don’t take into account the unofficial Mohammeds living in basements while nursing their murderous grudges.

Diversity Visa Lottery!

So, not refugees as such!  However, one absolutely insane immigration program we have is the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery’ (sometimes called the green card lottery) to allow immigrants into the US from countries that have not sent us 50,000 in the past.   Bangladeshis took so much interest and won so many lotteries over 5 years that they are now banned from participating.  By the way, there are US lawyers who help the hopeful lottery participants craft their applications to get them just right, thus enhancing their chances of ‘winning.’

Here is what we learned at the Bangladesh US Embassy website:

The Diversity Visa Program in Bangladesh ended in October 2012. The DV program no longer exists in Bangladesh since Bangladesh has sent more than 50,000 new permanent resident visa holders to the United States over the past five years.

Once they have a foot in the door, then through family reunification (chain migration!) they bring in the extended family!

It is possible that some Bangladeshis came as asylum seekers, but I don’t know that.  And, surely, some are here illegally.  As is the case this time, rarely does the mainstream media give us any information about the immigration status of alleged murderers and criminals like Siddiquee.

Endnote:  It should be mentioned that some experts believe that the Burmese Rohingya Muslims are actually from Bangladesh.  We are bringing in some Rohingya Muslims who may be attracted to the Bangladeshi neighborhoods since they speak a dialect similar to the Bangladeshis and not so similar to the Burmese dialects.  I believe that Esar Met, the recently convicted child rapist and murderer, is a Rohingya, but he is only described generically as a Burmese Muslim tragically placed in a Burmese Christian apartment building.

More on refugee mental health issues from Pittsburgh

Translation services are going to cost your “welcoming” community a bundle going forward (not to mention the cost itself of mental health treatment for immigrants).

This is another in a series of articles written by reporter Erika Beras and published here at the local NPR station.  We have mentioned previously two of Ms. Beras’s excellent investigative reports, here and here.

From WESA (Pittsburgh’s NPR station).  Emphasis below is mine:

Barbara Murock, Immigrants and International Initiative Manager for Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services. Does your county have such a position?

Pittsburgh was once an immigrant foothold. European and Middle Eastern immigrants and black migrants from the Jim Crow American South built the city into what it is. But when industry began to shutter in the ’70s, people started moving away in droves. And for a long time, people didn’t move in.

It’s only been in the last few years that census numbers have ticked upward. Some of that is young people moving to Pittsburgh from other cities, but it’s also refugees. Several thousand have been resettled here in the last few years by four resettlement agencies, and others move here after being resettled elsewhere.

In some ways it’s a perfect fit: There is ample employment and affordable housing stock. But in some critical ways, it’s not a good fit at all.  [What is the ample employment in Pittsburgh?—ed]

“Pittsburgh is about 20 years behind the rest of the country when it comes to immigrants,” said Barbara Murock, the Immigrants and International Initiative Manager for Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services, a relatively new initiative. “We’re still learning and we’re at a tipping point in terms of having enough immigrants that we need to start developing systems and programs and pathways for people to obtain services that they need.”  [What is that going to cost the taxpayers of the county?—ed]

Those services include everything from having interpreters in a slew of languages in the courts and schools and drug and alcohol treatment centers.

However, making services available is more than just language. For refugees, a lot of what they don’t understand is cultural.

What follows is a section worth reading about how in some cultures it is taboo to seek any mental health treatment.  Note one star of the story has “situational depression.”  I guess that means he has become disenchanted with life in America.  One proposal for reform I’ve mentioned previously is for the resettlement contractors to set aside money (preferably theirs!) for an airfare fund to send refugees back to their home country who are not cutting-it in the US.  Some want to go home but are trapped here in nasty jobs at low wages and can’t afford the airfare.

Federally mandated translation services could bust your city or county budget!

Those services are expensive and not always easily accessible. The cost of an interpreter, even on the phone, can be high. The translation services the center uses averages $5,000 a month. They also use in-person interpreters, staff who speak a variety of languages.


By law, health care providers that receive federal monies such as UPMC have to provide interpreter services, and they do in more than 200 languages. That number is only expected to grow as the number of refugees in the community grows and changes.

Readers should try to find out what translation services are costing your local government.  It isn’t just health care services that must provide an interpreter, but the court system as well.   Even when some refugee has a minor traffic problem and ends up in local court—he or she must have a translator!