In a letter to the editor, professor Robert McAndrews (Salem State U.) wants to know what is stopping Obama from flinging open the gates to America for Syrians.
I would like to know that too (not that I want it! McAndrews obviously does), because in the face of lobbying pressure we haven’t seen on the refugee front since they beat George Bush into submission on Iraqi refugees, Obama hasn’t made a move that we know of.
McAndrews even points out that the deadline for Syrians in the US to sign up for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has come and gone some months ago. Readers, they should take the word “temporary” out of TPS because how it works is that any Syrian in here for any reason when the turmoil began in Syria can apply for TPS and frankly stay forever! TPS is not supposed to be available for anyone sneaking in now.
Here is McAndrews’ letter (Hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’). We have been reporting on the media campaign to bring thousands of Syrians to the US this year, but something. or someone, is thankfully, so far, blocking the way.
From the Boston Globe:
The United Nations reports that there are more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and more than 600,000 in Jordan (“One million Syrian refugees flooding Lebanon,” April 4). The Assad regime has terrorized its citizens, killing more than 100,000 people and displacing 6.5 million of its citizens. The United States has generously provided nearly $2 billion in aid for humanitarian assistance for the refugees and displaced families. However, according to Human Rights First, the US government has provided only 121 refugee visas for Syrians to enter the United States. This is unconscionable. The message is: We will donate money to relief agencies, but we will not open our border to provide a safe haven for the refugees.
In addition, Citizenship and Immigration Services, the US agency responsible for the administration of granting temporary protected status for Syrians who are already here on a temporary visa, essentially closed the registration for initial filings in December. Does this make any sense?
The other option for Syrians in the United States is to apply for asylum, and thousands living here have done so. This can be a yearslong and legally arduous option, leaving asylum seekers in limbo and often without work authorization.
Syrian refugees need our help now, and the Obama administration must wake up to the moral urgency of this crisis.
LOL! Back in the Bush years, the last line of the letter wouldn’t say ‘Bush administration,’ it would have thrown the blame completely on George W. Bush personally!