Tag: refugees

The Trump Regime’s Handmaids

There are no words for the disgusting policies of the Trump regime but this one really will make you stomach turn: In November 2018, Scott Lloyd was removed from his post at the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) after an ACLU lawsuit revealed he was reportedly mishandling abortion requests from migrant teenagers. Elite Daily reached …

Continue reading

Syria’s Neglected Crisis

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

As you listen to the talking heads and browse through the news articles about the Syrian civil war, the is one crisis that is barely mentioned, the over two million refugees that the war has created, half of them are children. Men, women ans children are flooding neighboring Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon and rapidly spreading into Europe. Sweden has announced that it will give citizenship to all Syrian refugees. Sweden! The UN has warned that the crisis is reaching unprecedented numbers and warned that the world faces its greatest threat to peace since the Vietnam war.

The resident of Oxfam America, Raymond Offenheiser joined Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman and Naereem Shaikh to for a discussion of the global failure to address this crisis

Trancript can be read here

The Nation of Refugees

Haiti, September 22, 2010…

With 1.3 million displaced people in 1,300 camps, homelessness is the new normal here.

Some of the residents of those 1300 tent-cities have been writing letters to humanitarian organizations through letter-boxes set up by the International Organization for Migration.

I don’t have work, my tarp is torn, the rain panics me, my house was crushed, I don’t have money to feed my family, I would really love it if you would help me,” wrote Marie Jean Jean.

M te konn renmen lapli, says a child in a tent. “I used to love the rain.” But now…

Rain means that the floor on which he sleeps turns to mud. Rain now means sometimes standing up all night long in fear of floods.

Pakistan, September 22, 2010

The outside world cannot foot the entire bill for Pakistan’s recovery from devastating floods and the Pakistani government must do more, US special envoy Richard Holbrooke said on Monday.

The day after world donors raised aid pledges to almost two billion dollars, Holbrooke said the eventual cost of the monsoon disaster could run into the “tens of billions of dollars.”

The same article mentions that now 12 million people in Pakistan need “emergency food aid.”

About 105,000 kids younger than 5 are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition over the next six months, UNICEF estimates.

“You’re seeing children who were probably very close to the brink of being malnourished, and the emergency has just pushed them over the edge,” says Erin Boyd, a UNICEF emergency nutritionist working in southern Pakistan. “There’s just not the capacity to treat this level of severe acute malnutrition.”

So many children were already on the brink of severe malnutrition before the floods, and I guess their parents always hoped for a better tomorrow, but now what can they really hope for?

A jobless father of five who lost his house in Pakistan’s floods killed himself by setting himself on fire in front of the prime minister’s house, relatives and officials said.

Mohammad Akram, 30, doused himself before scores of people in front of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s family residence in the eastern city of Multan Sunday. Mohammad Asif, Akram’s brother, said he had been looking for a job for several months.

“We had a mud-brick house which was washed away by the floods and now we are homeless.”

OTW: UPDATED Bienvenidos a Miami Part 2

now also up at Wild Wild Left

QUICK UPDATE: Friday noonish: Just an alert to let y’all know Tess made it by with a comment, see comments! 🙂

Last week, I left you hanging with OTW: Bienvenidos a Miami Part 1. In that Essay, I told you a little bit about my growing up in Miami, Florida, alongside the initial wave of Cuban refugees in the early 1960’s. I also promised you I was going somewhere with this. Yes, I do have a Point. 😛 I will make good on that promise near the end below. And finally, I left you with a cliffhanger with my mention of my Cuban friend, Maria {not her real name}. Well, guess what? I have a surprise for you!

Let’s pick up with a little snapshot phone convo between me and Maria, shortly after college.


She picks up on the third ring and I immediately lay into her. “Where the hell are you? It’s one o’clock already! Ive been ready for an hour! We’re gonna be late!!”

Maria is ever so casual. “Calmate, we have plenty of time. I’ll be there to pick you up around 2, like I told you. Man! Calm down.”

“But… the invitation says the wedding starts at 2, and it’s a 45 minute drive, at least, up to Hollywood. We are sooooo late. This is so bad.”  I’m whining and pleading now.

Maria assures me and tries to explain. “Bueno, she’s Cuban, remember? Are you kidding me? We would look so stupid if we actually had the nerve to arrive at 2PM. They’d lookit us like we’re crazy.”

“No, no, no, but Maria… he is Jewish! This is just so not done. You don’t get it.”

No, you don’t get it, the bride’s family is Jewban. The groom doesn’t count when it comes to a wedding anyway, ferchrissake. Hang up the phone and go fix your lipstick or something. Ill be there in a bit. Jewbans are on Cuban time, reglas cubanas. lolol

Okay, as culture clashes go,  this one is certainly tame and a little funny, but it did happen, and yes, we were terribly late by the wall clock, with me fretting all the way of course, but it all turned out just fine. Maria was right. lol We arrived just as the ceremony started, at about 4PM, which was just right by the culture clock.

OTW: Bienvenidos a Miami Part 1

now cross posted at Wild Wild Left (warts and all…lol)

OTW =  Off the Wall .. my series, the first of which is here, having to do with multi-cultural and diversity topics.

NOTE: I decided to make this Part One because I had entirely too much fun googling related topics & pics, and I got a little lost sidetracked. Lol. I have a certain direction I want to take this, but it may take me another week to actually get there! So there will be a Part Two (at least). Thanks for your patience. Heh.


In 1960, when the first wave of Cuban refugees arrived in droves in Miami Florida, I was about 4 years old. So were a number of Cuban children who would become my classmates, age-mates, rivals and friends. I was just a regular ol’, you know, American. My WASP Dad was from Ohio and my Irish Mom, western Massachusetts. Miami was, at the time, a blend of New England transplants, retired New York Jews (Miami Beach), and more. I was considered a bit of a rarity in that I was actually born there, a “native”. The huge intake of hundreds of thousands of Cubans in such a short period of time had quite an impact on the city. Since I was only 4 at the time, what do I know? But trust me, it did.


Off The Wall: Asylum

Second installment of my new series. My first one last week is here.

PLEASE read & rec this essay here from davidseth with this ACTION item Haiti: Humanitarian Help, Stop Deportations  AFSC link. I’m also checking in with the Miami Herald periodically for their local news and updates.

Wow this is boggy stuff. I’m in the weeds here! In light of the current disaster with the earthquake in Haiti, which I wrote about yesterday, I thought I’d try to take a look at the area of Asylum.  Others have written essays about the complex political history of Haiti, here, here and here. And here.

I wanted to explore the term Temporary Protected Status, but first I had to see about Asylum. And Refugee.  

What Is the Major Difference Between Asylum and Refugee Applicants?

The major difference between asylum and refugee applicants is that those seeking refugee status  apply from outside the United States.  Asylum-seekers must be in the United States or applying for admission at a port of entry. DoJ Fact Sheet

Credible Fear: An asylum seeker who has a credible fear of persecution or torture is referred to an Immigration Judge to hear and then judge their asylum claims.


Afghan youths are seeking a new life in Europe

According to an article and accompanying photo essay, “The Lost Boys of Afghanistan“, in The New York Times, thousands of Afghan minors have come to European Union countries seeking asylum.

“The boys pose a challenge for European countries many of which have sent troops to fight in Afghanistan but whose publics question the rationale for the war.”

Thousands of lone Afghan boys are making their way across Europe, a trend that has accelerated in the past two years as conditions for Afghan refugees become more difficult in countries like Iran and Pakistan. Although some are as young as 12, most are teenagers seeking an education and a future that is not possible in their own country, which is still struggling with poverty and violence eight years after the end of Taliban rule.

Estimates by the Separated Children in Europe Program have about 100,000 unaccompanied children from non-EU countries living in the EU. Many of the minors are not asking for “protection in any form.”

Honduras: How To Help Those Who Flee

Yesterday I asked for your help. I was concerned because many poor people from Honduras have been fleeing the country, passing through Guatemala, and landing in shelters in Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico.  These shelters are ill equipped to deal with a large influx of refugees.  I wanted to help those who will help the refugees.  I have now found two reliable organizations in Mexico that do just that.  

Please join me below to help these refugees.

Honduras: Please Help With This


Today I read that many poor people from Honduras have been fleeing the country, passing through Guatemala, and are landing in shelters in Oaxaca, Mexico:

The military coup in Honduras is providing an unexpected test of Mexico’s immigration and refugee policies. On Friday, July 3, dozens of Honduran nationals arrived at a church-run migrant shelter in the southern state of Oaxaca seeking refugee status because of the political situation in their country.

Alejandro Solaline Guerra, spokesman for the Mexican Episcopal Conference, said a group of Hondurans sought assistance at the House of Mercy in Ciudad Ixtepec on the Tehuantepec Peninsula. The migrant advocate said the bishops’ organization will contact the National Migration Institute to request refugee status for the Hondurans under international law.

“Migrants from a country in a state of war should not be denied refugee status,” Solaline declared.

The Honduran political crisis could aggravate an already conflictive situation in Mexico’s southern border region. Despite the international economic crisis, thousands of Central Americans and other Latin migrants continue to cross the country’s southern border en route to the United States. Along the way, migrants remain a favorite target of corrupt Mexican officials and bands of organized criminals.


I think that as the golpe de estado continues in Honduras and as the instability and repression grow, and the economy continues to be disrupted, more and more poor Hondurans will have to pick up and leave, fleeing across Guatemala and into Mexico.

I suspect that those who are running shelters all along the well traveled route from Honduras and across southern Mexico could help these refugees if they had money to do so.

That’s where I need help.  El Hogar de Misericordia en Ixtapa does not have a web site.  La Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano has a site, but no way to donate.  I don’t find on line anywhere to donate to support these refugees on their journey away from Honduras and into Mexico, though I am well aware that there are shelters along the route.

Long story short: I need your help to find a way to get funds to those who are helping the refugees from Honduras who arrive in Mexico.

This seems particularly important to me. Those fleeing Honduras are preyed on by gangs like the Mara Salvatrucha and their rivals, by coyotes, by the police.  Their journey is precarious even when it is motivated purely by economics.  And now, I fear the golpe de estado and the lockdown in Honduras and Honduras’s economic isolation will drive even more poor people from their homes into the snares set by waiting gangs and police.  The shelters are essential to protect these refugees, to feed them, to give them an opportunity to stop in a safe place.

It would be a service to provide financial help to the shelters.  The question, dear Dharmanics, is how we can do that.  I ask your assistance in finding a way.

h/t to Mariachi Mama for the Mexidata article

Climate Refugees

I’ve been thinking about climate refugees for awhile, partly inspired by all those pictures of Dust Bowl refugees from the 1930s.  Floods and famines have forced people to leave their homes for greener pastures throughout recorded history, and presumably before that.  

But nowadays we’ve got a new kind of climate refugee:  Rising sea levels are driving people from their homes in many corners of the planet.  A case in point is the Carteret Islands of Papua New Guinea, a low lying coral atoll, home to 2500 people.  

Cross-posted from DK GreenRoots/Eco-Week at Daily Kos.

Bombs in Pakistan kill civilians, make more terrorists

By Abdul Malik Mujahid

During the last thirty years of wars in Afghanistan, Afghan civilians have had one safe place to escape to: Pakistan.

They fled the Soviet invasion. They fled civil wars. They fled US bombing.  Pakistan took care of millions of these Afghan refugees.  

Now that safe haven with its lush green valleys is burning with bombs.

And the hosts, the people who themselves welcomed Afghan refugees, at times literally into their homes or into campsites on their farms, are on the run. They are streaming out of Swat, Dir, and Buner, and registering as refugees in Mardan and the fertile valleys of Pakistan. The UN says about two million Pakistanis have been displaced during the last year of drone attacks, bombing and fighting.

Pakistan is bombing its own land and its own people who are caught between the Taliban and the Americans.

Whomever I talk to among Pakistanis, it seems, there is an emerging consensus. They hate both the Taliban who blast schools and the Americans who bomb Madrasahs. Both kill civilians.  

Iraq Moratorium #20: We Won’t Forget Or Turn Aside!

The US media may not be reporting it and the politicians may not want to talk about it, but the situation in Iraq is deteriorating. On Friday, 5 US soldiers were killed in a truck bomb attack near Mosul, and another died Saturday when an IED hit his convoy north of Baghdad.

Nor can we forget that life for ordinary Iraqis is still full of danger–last week six simultaneous car bombs across Baghdad killed 32 and wounded 120–and full of misery–on a good day Iraqis are lucky to get four hours of electricity. No wonder tens of thousands filled the rain-drenched streets of Baghdad a week ago, chanting “No, No To America! No, No To Occupation!”

That war in Afghanistan, where 21,000 additional troops are being shipped into harm’s way? It’s actually a war in Afghanistan AND Pakistan. Two articles that you did not see in your local newspaper last week provide a much clearer picture. It is not a pretty one.

The News, an Pakistani paper published in English, laid out what those miraculous pilotless drones used by the US military actually do:

Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qa’eda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians.

One result of American death raining out of a clear sky is a massive refugee crisis. A new UN report says that 600,000 Pakistanis have from fled their homes in border areas rendered deadly by the drones and US-backed Pakistan Army operations. These internal refugees join 1.7 million homeless Afghan men, women and children who have fled into Pakistan!

How much more misery will the expansion of this war cause? How many more mujahidin fighters will it produce? It’s got to stop! We’ve got to stop it!

This Friday and this weekend mark the 20th observance of the Iraq Moratorium. Please take some action by yourself or with others to stop this war!

Crossposted at DailyKos.

Load more