First off, I wanted to know who the h*** is Banksy?
Turns out he is an anonymous British street artistwho is apparently rolling in dough—enough dough to fund a vessel that will bring more invaders to Europe nevermind any silly little lockdown (what pandemic?) that keeps you from visiting Europe!
Editor: By the way, I guess my August recess is over. Back to work!
Migrant rescue: UN urges help as 200 taken off Banksy rescue boat
The UN Refugee Agency says almost 400 refugees and migrants rescued by three ships in the Mediterranean must be allowed to disembark safely.
A joint statement issued with the International Organization for Migration said it was a “humanitarian imperative to save lives”.
Italy’s coastguard evacuated 49 people from an overloaded rescue vessel funded by British artist Banksy.
Watch some of the rescue here:
Another rescue boat SeaWatch 4 later took the remaining 150 on board.
The crew of the Louise Michel had earlier tweeted a call for immediate assistance. European authorities had not responded adequately, they said. Sea Watch 4 said late on Saturday it was now carrying 350 people who needed to disembark as soon as possible.
Chris Grodotzki, part of the Sea Watch 4 rescue team, told the BBC the people it picked up were “sea sick, they showed signs of fuel burns, they were disorientated, dehydrated”.
He said the situation on board was currently “stable” but that the vessel would not be able to carry that number of people for a long period of time.
“The decks are stuffed,” he said. “People are crammed together.”
The UNHCR and the IOM said the lack of a deal on a regional landing system could not be an excuse to deny vulnerable people safe harbour.
According to UN data, 443 people have died or have gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean from north Africa so far in 2020.
Slightly more than 40,000 have arrived in Europe by sea during the same period.
So what lucky country will be getting this latest batch? We will be watching.
And, you can be sure that right now the “interfaith community” is getting in gear for what they anticipate will be a great blue wave in November and they will all be back in business when Biden/Harris fling open our borders to the third world beginning in January.
Of course you are probably reading this and thinking: don’t we need to get our people back to work and get through the Chinese virus panic before you hit the Hill with your strategic lobbying for more refugees and for more payola!
No! While you are distracted they are busy as they always are working all the angles to get more fundingand influence more members of Congress to see things their way.
If a member is Catholic—send in the Catholics! Jewish? Send in HIAS. If the Muslims want an entree? The Catholics and the Jews will help make that possible.
This article at Devexdescribes the basics of well-organized lobbying efforts in Washington that you, average citizens, can NEVER match.
These are all well-funded organizations with high paid staff working 40-hour work weeks, 52 weeks a year to influence Congress, and they hope very soon to get back into the White House.
(emphasis is mine)
‘We can be very strategic’: How faith-based NGOs advocate on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON — Many NGOs dedicate time to advocacy (aka lobbying) on Capitol Hill to garner support for development and humanitarian policies and funding, but faith-based organizations work together to bring a different perspective to these lobbying efforts.
“We, at one level, are doing what everybody’s doing, which is trying to understand to the greatest extent we can what drives a particular member.And that is as varied as the membership in the House and Senate,” said Bill O’Keefe, executive vice president for mission, mobilization, and advocacy (aka lobbying) at Catholic Relief Services.***
“We do look at what is the religious background of this member, and is there a particular appeal that we can authentically make that would make a difference in this case?”
CRS aims to meet with every member of Congress regardless of the member’s religious affiliation, O’Keefe said. The organization’s work to eliminate causes of poverty and injustice is rooted in principles of Catholic social teaching, a tradition that bolsters the NGO’s reputation and allows it to work well with members on both sides of the aisle, he said.
CRS works closely with other faith-based organizations — both those that are part of what O’Keefe calls “Team Catholic,” as well as those of other faiths — on the Hill to coordinate advocacy (aka lobbying) efforts for certain bills or funding requests.
The NGOs determine what type of appeal may be most effective with particular members who may have seats on relevant committees or from whom they want support.
“If there is an office where the elected official is a strong Catholic, it wouldn’t necessarily make sense for HIAS to take the lead on that meeting,” said Naomi Steinberg, vice president of policy and advocacy (aka lobbying) at refugee resettlement organization HIAS.
“Every single day we are in partnership with other faith organizations and we work in coalition on a lot of different issues. What we find is that we are all heading in the same direction and certainly we sometimes might have different strategies, but through the coalition, we really do speak with one voice.
The value of us coming from different faith traditions is that we can be very strategic.”
HIAS began as an agency that resettled Jewish refugees in the U.S. Now, it is one of nine refugee resettlement agencies in the country that works with people of all faiths as well as with refugees abroad — issues Steinberg said have become unfortunately partisan during the Trump administration.
Her team works to develop relationships with congressional offices even when they are not pushing for a particular policy or funding so that when there is a tougher issue on which they seek support, they have existing contacts to tap.
I was a lobbyist decades ago and I can assure you that this is where they spend a lot of their time building their influence. They make friends with staff members and spend time with them, often outside of regular work hours, so that naturally when the lobbyist needs something, they can get a phone call returned or even get an entree to the member on short notice.
HIAS also ties this advocacy (aka lobbying) closely with its grassroots efforts on refugee issues, which includes urging Jewish communities across the country to contact their members of Congress to express their support for more funding and higher refugee resettlement caps.
“One of the messages we share with our grassroots advocacy network … is you should never assume that even if your elected official has been on the right side of these refugee issues, that they know how important this is to you, to their constituency,” Steinberg said.
“Keep those calls coming, keep those emails coming. Because we want them to know that people in their district vote partially based on these issues.” [Other than NumbersUSA and FAIR, with limited staff and financing, I don’t know any other organizations doing this on the immigration restriction side of the debate.—ed]
Politics can also impact inroads faith-based organizations are able to make on Capitol Hill. Jihad Saleh Williams, senior advocacy (aka lobbying) and government affairs advisor at Islamic Relief USA, said his organization can have difficulty getting a response from Republican offices who are nervous to meet with a Muslim organization with which they may not be familiar.
As a former congressional aide, Williams said he understands the instinct of Hill staffers to protect their boss at all costs, and that IR USA must understand “discreetness” required for some of its meetings.
Williams said he often begins outreach with congressional offices by discussing IR USA’s domestic work in order to build relationships.
Many offices incorrectly believe that the organization only works in the Middle East, he said, or only deals with civil liberties and counterterrorism issues. By educating members about work to promote food security and health access — particularly during COVID-19 — in the U.S., Williams said he can gain an entry point to promote the value of international development and humanitarian work as well.
NGOs use interfaith coalitions to work together to counter such misconceptions about particular groups, positioning faith-based organizations as a united block that support the same issues, regardless of religious affiliation, to strengthen their power on the Hill.
“I really have tried to work hard over time, particularly with Islamic Relief and with other minority religious groups in the United States, to make sure … when people think of the faith community, they don’t just think of the Christian community,” O’Keefe said.
“We partner a lot with Islamic Relief and consider them brothers and sisters in this development and humanitarian world.”
***I just had a look at the most recent Form 990 for Catholic Reliefand learned that in 2018 they had an income stream of over $936 Million and of that $453,988,287 (nearly a half a billion!) came from you, the US taxpayer!
No wonder they are busy lobbying on the Hill.
Here is the salaries page from that Form 990. Sean Callahan sure is doing well by doing good!
Personal anecdote: About 20 years ago I had a reason for wanting to help a Catholic convent in Danang, VN. The sisters there are devout Catholics who had spent a couple of decades in the rice fields when the Communists took over the country. By the year 2000, the government had lightened up on them and they were back running an orphanage and a school for young children, but they needed financial help.
In my naivete I called Catholic Relief to see if they could help that convent and was told “That isn’t what we do!”
Now I have a better understanding of what they do—big fat salaries, lobbying efforts to garner more funding, and efforts to bring more Muslims into the US is what they do! Nuns in Vietnam who love America can go pound sand.
By bringing in even greater numbers than we have in the past we can show the world that we have “moral authority” and even those dastardly Chinese will have to pay attention!
They are all getting excited for Biden/Harris and here the Leftwing Brookings Institution*** in Washington says forget the idea of simply restoring our Refugee Admissions Program, it needs to be reformed to be even more robust when Biden gets to the White House in January 2021.
I thought I was going to be reading about real reform of the program when this headline was brought to my attention. But alas, reform=more poor (sick!) third worlders for your town.
COVID-19 and the chance to reform US refugee policy
COVID-19 has exposed the underlying fault lines in societies around the world and in modern globalization. Yet by revealing long ignored flaws, it presents a rare chance to reform.
Unsurprisingly, refugees — the vast majority of whom live deeply precarious lives — have been among the most threatened by the pandemic.
A new U.S. administration should seize the opportunity presented by COVID-19 to build a better refugee policy, both for refugees’ benefit and for U.S. national security and strategic interests. [No one has ever shown me that our national security benefits from bringing in people from countries that hate us!—ed]
With the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees approaching in 2021, now is an opportune time for an update to U.S. refugee policy.
Today, vibrant[They cannot write a refugee story without using that word!—ed] refugee communities can be found in cities like Los Angeles, California, Nashville, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri, which host the largest number of Vietnamese, Kurds, and Bosnians in the United States, respectively. [Notice they don’t mention the vibrant community of Somali Muslims in Minneapolis!—ed]
A compelling argument can be made that America needs refugees and owes part of its economic success to those who came to its shores seeking shelter from persecution and violence. The arrival of refugees helped to uphold America’s identity as a multicultural nation that accepts all victims of persecution who would come to its shores.
But that evil creature Trump has caused our “moral authority” to go into the toilet!
Blah, blah, blah…
I’m very interested to learn, if it’s true, that a battle is going on among Ds about whether to restore the program or go bigger….
As the 2020 presidential election draws near, a key division amongst Democrats who hope to see President Trump leave office in 2021 is between the restorationists, who think things can go back to the way they were before Trump, and the reformists, who see the hurricane of the Trump administration as an opportunity to build back stronger. COVID-19 should render this debate moot with regards to U.S. refugee policy.
Biden has already said he is going big in January (but won’t the pandemic still be raging in January)! And, I have no doubt he and Kamala will be eager to jump on the UN bandwagon on the Global Compact on Refugees!
There are already signs that a post-Trump United States could adopt a more helpful stance on refugees. Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has promised to rescind the Trump administration’s Muslim ban, restore access to asylum, and increase yearly refugee resettlement quotas to 125,000, a move that would show solidarity with countries hosting large numbers of refugees and likely spur U.S. allies to follow suit. There is also support in Congress for shouldering a greater refugee burden, as seen with Refugee Protection Act proposed in November 2019.
With a definitive end to the COVID-19 pandemic nowhere in sight, the threat facing refugees and the political stability of their host countries calls for the next administration to go beyond simply restoring the traditional U.S. leadership role on refugees. To address the challenge of rebuilding after COVID-19, the United States should endorse the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).
And then this! By bringing in even greater numbers of refugees we can stick it to China, say the great minds at Brookings?
A revamped U.S. commitment to helping refugees carries direct benefits for U.S. national security priorities, in particular with respect to the strategic rivalry posed by a rising China.
Firstly, revamping its leadership role in managing refugee resettlement would go a long way in helping America reclaim the moral leadership it has enjoyed in past decades, which enabled it to create unique solutions to problems.
America’s support for refugees does more for it in a “battle of ideas” than its military and economic capacity alone: an America that actively protects the less fortunate might more easily win hearts and minds globally while also serving its own national security interests.
It drives me mad, when they say things like that—“win hearts and minds globally”—with not a bit of proof that anyone loves us more, surely not the Chinese!
And what about Americans’ hearts and minds!
The devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep flaws in countries around the world and endangered the health and livelihoods of millions. To build a better, more democratic, more equitable world after the pandemic, the United States could start by helping refugees, rather than what it can do by merely seeking its own benefit.
In the wake of the Chinese virus crisis the US has only one obligation and that is to take care of Americans FIRST!
***Brookingstries to pretend it is centrist however,
Starting with the 1990 election cycle, employees of the Brookings Institution gave $853,017 to Democratic candidates and $26,104 to Republican candidates. In total, since 1990, 96 percent of its political donations have gone to Democrats.
Refugee admissions to the US resume after being on pause due to coronavirus
(CNN)Refugee admissions to the United States have resumed after being put on pause for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the State Department.
In March, the US put a temporary pause on refugee admissions after the International Organization for Migration, which is in charge of booking refugees on their travel, and the United Nations refugee agency announced a temporary suspension of resettlement travel. Both organizations have since moved to restart admissions.
In a statement to CNN, a State Department spokesperson said Secretary Mike Pompeo approved the resumption of admissions on July 29.
“This program is a vital lifeline for the world’s most vulnerable refugees who have no other alternative and who are made even more vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the spokesperson said, adding that the program “resumed arrivals for approved refugees effective July 30 with significant COVID health measures in place as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
The spokesperson didn’t provide additional details on what extra health measures entailed. Refugees are usually heavily screened before arriving in the US.
We have admitted 196 refugees and spread them out among 22 states in the two weeks since Pompeo made the announcement according to data compiled by the Refugee Processing Center.
The top three welcoming states are Texas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Of the 196, 41 are Muslims (there is no Muslim ban). The 41 include 15 Burmese Rohingya people and 15 Syrians.
Just a reminder, next month the President is required by law to submit his determination (ceiling) for the number of refugee arrivals for FY2021 that begins on October 1, 2020.
We will be watching!to see what the President does. He can, of course, postpone any decision, or he can set the ceiling at zero.
A video translated by RAIR Foundation USA reveals a distraught woman in Lampedusa, Italy complaining about illegal migrants squatting on her land even after she repeatedly tries to report the problem to authorities. In addition to the “mattresses,” “bottles of alcohol,” and “excrement everywhere,” Rosy Matinais explains that the Muslim migrants have eaten all of her animals, including dogs, with the exception of pigs.
Ms. Matinais, a farmer who lives off the crops on her land, earns her living from raising farm animals. “They have eaten chickens, the goats, the dogs,” she said. “I can’t have any more animals. I only have pigs.” The illegal migrants ate four of her dogs by skinning them and grilling them, she explained.
According to Italian newspaper ilgiornale.it, her father purchased the property on the island in 1967. Lampedusa, Italy, at the southernmost part of Italy, has become an epicenter for the socialist-driven illegal migrant invasion. The tiny island, an Italian tourist destination, has a population of about 6,000. There have been times when the migrants outnumbered the citizens. Socialist Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte “reversed [former Deputy Prime Minister Matteo] Salvini’s immigration stance when he came to power,” as reported at RAIR.
Hundreds of migrants have been landing daily in this beautiful Southern Italian coastal town that survives on tourism. Rosey and her native Italians have been failed by left-wing politicians pushing open border policies at all costs. Not only are these elected leaders turning a deaf ear to the unspeakable problems citizens are facing but they smear anyone who goes public with their stories.