“It’s a bargaining tool: We’ll take a certain number of refugees. These are the things you will do for us.”
(Melanie Nezer, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society)
This is just a quick post as I am researching WTH Secretary of State Pompeo was doing when he had a little chit-chat about refugees with the now under- fire Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in October.
Before I get to the little nugget I discovered in a 2018 Politico article about Pompeo, I want to remind long time readers, and inform new readers, that way back seven years ago (and long before that) the US State Department annually invited comment on the coming years refugee plans.
However, when those so-called scoping meetings began to be dominated by those of us who want the refugee program dumped or reformed, they stopped having the annual (albeit phony) ‘hearings.’
The Trump State Department has had no such opportunity for public input.
I regularly sent in testimony demanding a moratorium on the program and listed ten reasons, most are still applicable today. See them here.
Here is my Number 7:
7) Congress needs to specifically disallow the use of the refugee program for other purposes of the US Government,especially using certain refugee populations to address unrelated foreign policy objectives—Uzbeks, Kosovars, Meshketians and Bhutanese (Nepalese) people come to mind.
Now check this out at Politico in August of 2018.
Refugees as pawns and your community be damned!
“Pompeo is the critical stakeholder,” one refugee advocate said.
Now that he’s served both as CIA director and secretary of state, activists hope that Pompeo has earned an appreciation for the diplomatic leverage having a robust refugee program can give the U.S. in negotiations with other countries.
“It’s a bargaining tool: We’ll take a certain number of refugees. These are the things you will do for us,” explained Melanie Nezer, a top official with HIAS, one of several organizations that helps refugees.
It is time to shut up about the humanitarian BS! A refugee should be someone who is in legitimate need of protection, not a chip in a foreign policy poker game.