Denmark may return Syria refugees as Damascus area deemed ‘safe’
(Should have blocked their entry in the first place!)
Denmark is considering sending Syrian refugees home as it deems areas under the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus safe, Sputnik reported.
The Danish government is fast-tracking a review of residence permits for some 900 Syrian refugees from Damascus, claiming that Damascus is safe, leaving there no reason for them to warrant Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
In the announcement, Danish Integration Minister Mattias Tesfaye said that any refugees forced to return would be given travel money.
“Last year, there were almost 100,000 refugees returning to Syria from the surrounding areas. I think it is fair that the people who live here in Europe also return home if they don’t need protection,” Tesfaye added.
The announcement has come under severe criticism from human rights campaigners who point out that no area of Syria is currently safe to return to.
Some Syrian experts condemned the decision emphasising that anyone who returns is at risk, and that Denmark is setting a dangerous precedent for the treatment of Syrians by EU countries.
Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees stressed that there was no prospect for a peaceful solution to the long-standing conflict in Syria.
“Unless the situation in Syria is significantly improved in terms of ensuring protection for the population, UNHCR calls on states that have received Syrian refugees – including Denmark – to continue their protection,” UNHCR spokeswoman Elisabeth Arnsdorf Haslund said.
Since 2019, the Danish government has been considering that Damascus and its region are safe places and says the refugees must return there.
Last December, Denmark became the first country to deny a Syrian asylum seeker on the basis that the country is safe,despite continued killings of civilians due to air strikes.
“I would say that asylum by now pretty much exists in name only.”
Normally I don’t write about news that you are seeing everywhere except if I can add some bits of information that you haven’t heard about (unless you are a longtime reader of Refugee Resettlement Watch, that is!).
Donald Trump is wrecking havoc on the asylum system that the Open Borders industry has been relying on for more than a decade to admit ever larger numbers of migrants/refugees to America because the industry knew that the normal Refugee Admissions Program couldn’t change America fast enough.
Just so you know the heretofore primary UN/US refugee program involves the selection of refugees who are supposedly being persecuted and flies them to America.
The other side of the program, created in 1980 with the help of people like Doris Meissner, involves the asylum process where migrants arrive at our borders or on flights into the country and then claim asylum. If found to have a legitimate fear of being persecuted if returned to their home country, they are granted asylum and given all the taxpayer-funded goodies that chosen refugees are getting.
Ten years ago I learned that Open Borders Inc. was shifting its focus to the asylum process in order to change America by changing the people at a more rapid rate than the normal refugee process provided them. (Nevermind that at the time, we were admitting 80,000 or so refugees in any given year!)
But before I get to that….
Here is Nina Totenberg writing at NPRabout the case that gave Trump a rare victory in the courts last week.
Supreme Court Sides With Trump Administration In Asylum Cases
The U.S. Supreme Court handed the Trump administration a major victory on a signature issue Thursday, ruling that asylum-seekers whose claims are initially denied by immigration officials have no right to a hearing before a judge.
The decision authorizes the Trump administration to fast-track deportations for thousands of asylum-seekers after bare-bones screening procedures.
Immigrants who make a claim for asylum must initially prove to immigration officials that they have a “credible fear” of persecution in their country of origin to proceed with the full asylum process. If they fail, they can be deported without ever having the opportunity to make their case in court.
That’s what happened to Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, the subject of the case. Thuraissigiam is a Sri Lankan farmer who sought asylum, telling immigration officials that he had been abducted from his fields, arrested, blindfolded by men in a van, interrogated and beaten so badly with wooden sticks that he spent 11 days in the hospital.
Thuraissigiam is Tamil, an ethnic minority that has long been persecuted by the majority Sinhalese government in Sri Lanka. His abduction fits a pattern of similar violence carried out against Tamils there. After he fled his country, he journeyed for seven months to get first to Mexico and then the United States to seek asylum.
“Fits a pattern” because he had the story spoon fed to him by some immigration lawyers?
Thuraissigiam’s case illustrates the speed of expedited deportation proceedings that have become routine. Following a quick hearing with no lawyer present, an immigration officer said he believed Thuraissigiam’s account of the violence he suffered but ultimately denied his claim for asylum because Thuraissigiam could not specify who arrested him or why.
Is that because someone had fed him the story to recite and they forgot, or he was too dumb to remember, some key elements of his made-up persecution tale?
And, does no one ever ask where on earth a poor Tamil ‘farmer’ got the money for a seven-month journey to the US border?
Nevermind, that legitimate asylum seekers are to ask for asylum in the first safe country they enter. How many countries had he already passed through before getting to the US/Mexican border?
Nina of the swamp then quotes Doris of the swamp:
Doris Meissner, who served in top positions at the Immigration and Naturalization Service during the Reagan and Clinton administrations, twice heading up the department, said that Thursday’s ruling is not a significant departure from past practices. But she added that the way the Trump administration has carried out the screening of asylum-seekers has been a dramatic departure from practices in previous administrations, effectively making it impossible for people to win asylum in even the most dire situations.
“I would say that asylum by now pretty much exists in name only,” she said.
Donald Trump has put a serious roadblock in Meissner & Company plans to use the asylum process to speed up the diversification of America.
In 2010 I attended the ‘celebration’ marking the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Refugee Act of 1980 by Jimmy Carter.
The attendees at Georgetown Law School were very much focused on the asylum system as they stated forthrightly that the normal refugee process wasn’t bringing in enough of the third world.
(By the way, this surprised me. In 2010 I was only three years into learning about the Refugee Resettlement Program and so this giddy focus on asylum came as a surprise to me.)
Meissner, speaking at the event, specifically chortled that when they crafted (meaning she was in on the crafting) of the Refugee Act, they had anticipated the odd ballet dancer from Russia asking for asylum, but had not dreamed of the numbers that were beginning to use the system.
Her delight at the increasing asylum numbers was evident.
Here is just one of many mentions I have made about that 2010 event, Meissner and the asylum process. In that 2011 post I called for a Congressional investigation (ha! ha!) of the fraud I believed was happening with asylum claims and NGO lawyers.
….as migrants, refugees and asylum seekers will be blocked from admission because of fear that they are “diseased.”
This line from near the end of an article published in The Nation yesterday sums up the fear of the international Open Borders movement:
The existential threat of Covid-19 has prompted a swift retreat to the nation-state, at the cost of international human rights, as countries rush to fly their own citizens home while keeping others out.
I’ve snipped some highlights from the article, but it is very well worth your time to read it all!
Could Covid-19 Mean the End of Asylum Law in the United States?
As this type of hand-wringing story is wont to do, it begins with a paragraph about the travails of those stalwart souls who walk for months to our southern border expecting to be let in (so they can disappear into their ethnic enclaves and hide for years). LOL! No it doesn’t say that last part.
(Emphasis below is mine)
For almost all of the people who made this kind of journey but were unlucky enough to complete it in the past two months, their time in this country has lasted less than a few hours before they were summarily—and illegally—deported back into Mexico.
Since March 21, the Trump administration has sent over 20,000 people back across the border, thousands of whom would have otherwise sought refugee protection. In that same time, only two people were allowed to stay to seek asylum.
One of the earliest victims of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States was the country’s refugee system. On March 20, the Trump administration announced a sweeping and unprecedented order: Instead of processing new arrivals for asylum, the Border Patrol was encouraged to deport them as rapidly as possible. The United Nations said the decision was illegal under international law; advocacy groups and elected officials called the new policy a travesty. The administration defended the move, claiming it was only a temporary, 30-day measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But the rapid expulsion policy remains in place, almost two months later. It has not yet been challenged in court.
While the administration has justified the end of asylum on the border as a necessary public health measure, it’s not hard to see the ways in which the pandemic is merely the pretext for the order, not the motivation.
“From its earliest days, one of the Trump administration’s chief objectives has been overturning and circumventing US laws that were designed to protect refugees and people seeking protection, as well as unaccompanied children,” says Eleanor Acer, the senior director of refugee protection for Human Rights First. “It’s now using the pandemic as yet another weapon to try to circumvent US asylum law.”
Why, despite its clear illegality, has the total asylum ban remained in place?
Scholars of immigration say the administration has capitalized on two things: the current crisis, and over 100 years of anti-immigrant propaganda casting immigrants as diseased.
Now, here is an interesting piece of news—the ACLU in “disarray!” Why? Is it because they are busy defending the civil liberties of rioters, looters and thugs?
The Nation continues….
Organizations that would typically challenge the law, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, are in disarray, as they deal with the shock of multiple emergencies and a pandemic that is impacting their lawyers across the country.
However, even after the intensity of the shutdowns and quarantines wear off, advocates worry that fears of “diseased” outsiders will make Americans—including those who otherwise support the institution of asylum—more willing to give up on refugee law: Foreigners will simply be seen as too dangerous to admit, no matter the circumstances.
“Crisis produces an instinct to close the border and keep people out,” says Charanya Krishnaswarmi, Amnesty International’s advocacy director for the Americas.
But the Covid-19 pandemic might create long-term damage to refugee law in ways other crises have not: Sickness provides a convenient pretext to mask xenophobia. Even in the best of times, immigrants are seen by those seeking to limit immigration as a threat to “our” culture, “our” economic well-being. Now, the risk of a deadly virus means the outsiders can be presented as an existential threat as well.
On April 21, the president announced plans to “temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” in a move Democrats have called “xenophobic scapegoating.” Covid-19 has made tangible the parallels the president himself has drawn between migrants and disease, and given such claims a veneer of legitimacy.
Medicalized migration reinforces this connection between immigrant and threat, while simultaneously buttressing the inequalities between citizens and noncitizens. [There are, and should be,”inequalities” between citizens and non-citizens.—ed]
What does this mean for the future of refugee law? Human Rights First’s Acer, like other refugee experts we spoke to, suspects that the new, total asylum ban will last long after the coronavirus pandemic ends. “I expect they will fight to make it last as long as this administration, however long that is,” she says.
However, even if asylum is reinstated on the southern border (for instance, under a hypothetical Democratic administration), Acer worries that the pandemic-inspired exclusions policy might have already done significant damage to international refugee protections.
“What I’m worried about now is how countries like Hungary and Turkey will be emboldened to further refuse refugees,” she says. The language of public health creates a convenient narrative for anti-immigrant zealots like Hungarian President Viktor Orbán to obscure racist and Islamaphobic rhetoric with the language of medical necessity.
There ismuch more (it was hard to decide which were the best bits to snip!).
It is always worth learning how the opposition thinks and what they fear the most which in this case is that they fear the hardening of borders worldwide while using their humanitarian mumbo-jumbo as a cover for their real goal of erasing borders altogether.
See my Viktor Orban (the world leader I would most like to meet) archive here.
It is only 3, but their arrival tells us that all refugee resettlement to America has not stopped and that the Obama “dumb deal” to take Australia’s rejected asylum seekers who have been held in offshore detention for years is still on-going.
According to BuzzFeedreporter Hannah Ryan the three new arrivals went to Maryland, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
The US, Struggling Under The Pressure Of The Coronavirus, Is Still Taking Refugees From Australia
Three refugees flew from immigration detention in Australia to start new lives in the United States this week, despite the coronavirus pandemic placing a chokehold on international resettlement.
The men, two from Sudan and one from Pakistan, jetted together from Melbourne through Qatar to the US, where they parted ways before reaching their final destinations of Tennessee, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The US took them under the refugee swap deal between the two countries.
The flights went ahead despite a global pause on refugee resettlements announced by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees in mid-March. The US also suspended its refugee program because of the coronavirus on March 19, with the exception of emergency cases.
The ongoing operation of the resettlement program in the US leaves refugees in Australia and its offshore detention camps who have been accepted under the program with an invidious choice: to stay in detention, where many have been for the past seven years, or start a new life in the US as it is ravaged by a deadly pandemic.
Or a combination of the two! Whatever, it can’t be soon enough for member states like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic who steadfastly insist on their right to control their own borders.
Invasion of Europe news….
Gatestone writer Judith Bergman has agood piece this morningabout the recent decision by The Court of Justice of the European Union that says those three countries violated the EU principle of “solidarity” in not inviting thousands of supposed “war refugees” to live in their countries.
EU: Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic Broke EU Law
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic broke EU law when they refused to take in migrants under the European Union’s September 2015 relocation agreement. During the 2015 migrant crisis, EU leaders agreed to relocate 160,000 migrants and refugees EU-wide, assigning each EU member state a fixed quota from the camps in Italy and Greece, where migrants and refugees were arriving in record numbers. However, the Czech Republic accepted only 12 of the 2,000 refugees assigned it, while Hungary and Poland took in none.
In 2017, the EU took Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) over that refusal to take migrants. On April 2, 2020, the CJEU ruled against the three countries. The ruling followed the October 2019 recommendation by the Court’s Advocate General, legal advisor to the Court, which said that EU law must be followed and that the EU’s principle of solidarity “necessarily sometimes implies accepting burden-sharing”.
In its judgment, the Court dismissed the three countries’ argument that they were entitled to refuse the relocation scheme based on concerns for the maintenance of law and order and the safeguarding of internal security.