Editor: This is another copy of testimony submitted in response to my offer to post testimony that readers have sent, or are sending, to the US State Department before May 19th. Your testimony can be long or short, more detailed or less so. Just send something! And, then be sure to copy it to your elected officials.
I’m sure readers will agree with most of what Mark says….even if you don’t agree with his primary reason!
As a citizen of the United States of America, I am writing to give input on the FY 2017 U.S. Refugee Admission Program.
I strongly object to the Program’s pattern of admitting people from countries with languages, cultures and religions that are completely at odds to the current and predominant American language, cultures and religions.
What is being done to the North African, Middle Eastern, and Asian refugees in bringing them to the USA is INHUMANE! The lifestyle in which they are used to living is so radically different from the lifestyles that dominate the American scene. They are being traumatized unnecessarily!
As a clinical social worker, I do therapy with people who have been traumatized by various events. I see and hear the hurt and anguish that they experience on a daily basis. It is not fair to the refugees to bring them to a country that is so foreign to their way of life.
Why is the Federal Government and the various Federal contractors continuing to torture these poor refugees by forcing them into such a radically different environment after they have already experienced such trauma by having to leave their homes and peoples?
Why aren’t these desperate refugees being relocated in countries that are similar to the ones which they are fleeing?
If they come from somewhere in North Africa, surely there is another location in North Africa that is relatively peaceful. If they are fleeing from a region in Asia, surely there is another part of Asia that is not under such strife where they can be easily resettled.
We are now reading about refugees who are asking to return to their homelands because they have not been able to adjust to the European or American environments in which they have been placed. In Europe, some countries have even started paying for their return trips home! What an unnecessary waste of limited financial resources! Don’t bring them to such foreign places in the beginning!
We must avoid such unnecessary trauma on these already devastated adults and children.
I am particularly concerned about the Muslim refugees being exposed to the inherent racism and Islamophobia of American culture, as noted by the Obama administration. Why are these individuals being placed in such dangerous circumstances? Shouldn’t they be placed in predominantly Muslim countries where they will be able to easily assimilate and where they will not be in danger from Islamophobes?
In conclusion, as a clinical social worker I am writing out of concern for the refugees who are already traumatized within their own homelands who are being subjected to further trauma by being forced to relocate in a country that is so completely different from their country of origin. This is all so completely unnecessary! This is all so UNFAIR! Please do not bring any more refugees to the racist and Islamophobic USA! Resettle the refugees in another country that is as close as possible to their current language, culture, and religion. By doing so, you will be helping to preserve what little sanity these traumatized refugees retain and helping them start on the road to healing within a generation.
Thank you for listening.
In the spirit of compassion for the refugees,
By the way, because there are refugees who come to America who subsequently become very disillusioned, we have proposed a ‘repatriation fund’ which would pay their airfare back to their home country. In most cases refugees are trapped here because they simply can’t afford the return ticket.
‘Islamophobia’ is a genuine fear based on copious evidence coming to us from all corners of the world.
This is the eighth testimony in our series leading up to the deadline for testimony on May 19th. Go here for where they are archived. We are posting as many as we can because we know the US State Department has refused in the past to make them public (so much for Obama transparency!).