Friday, September 23, 2016

REFUGEES, ASYLUM NEWSLETTER #6

OMNI
REFUGEES, ASYLUM NEWSLETTER #6, ARKANSAS, USA, WORLD
September 23, 2016
COMPILED BY DICK BENNETT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE, JUSTICE, AND ECOLOGY
(#1, August 2, 2014; #2 Nov. 24, 2015; #3 Dec. 17, 2016; #4 April 7, 2016; #5 June 28, 2016.)
207517 pageviews - 1589 posts, last published on June 21, 2016 

Contents #5 at end

Contents Refugees Newsletter #6, September 23, 2016

CONTENTS: UNITED STATES AND REFUGEES NEWSLETTER #6
 I. ARKANSAS, II. USA, III. WORLD, IV. HISTORY
ARKANSAS
What’s at stake:   Just a few days ago I read a report in the newspaper about the 7 million Colombians displaced.  And then about the 3.3 million Iraqis displaced, and the threatened battle for Mosul to displace possibly “another 1 million people.”  Many of those millions will become refugees fleeing the violence or consequences of violence.   Some of those might come or want to come to Arkansas.

Catholic Immigration Services, Fayetteville, AR, Frank Head, Dir.
“Canopy” Coalition
Doug Thompson, Report on “Canopy,” Formation of NWA Refugee
     Coalition May 22, 2015
Google Search May 2015
Google Update September 2016
Rev. Jim Parrish, Emily Linn Settlement Director, Creating Teams,
     Signing Up, Getting to Work, Raising Funds
Lowell Grisham, “Welcome the Strangers”


USA
President Obama 2016 from June to September
Dick, From Spain 1614 to US 2016: Rejection, Discrimination, Persecution,
     Deportation
Daniel Kanstroom, Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora
Related:
Mainstream News Reporting of Immigrants:  France and US
The Nation Examines Immigration Reforms


WORLD
65 Million Displaced
South Sudan
Ban Ki-moon Video
Education of Refugees


HISTORY
Majid, We Are All Moors


ARKANSAS

http://www.dolr.org/sites/default/files/pageimages/office-immigration-spr.gif
Catholic Charities Immigration Services provides low-cost immigration counseling and support to families and individuals who are eligible for immigration benefits and cannot afford private assistance. The mission of Catholic Charities Immigration Services is to work for solidarity in our community by welcoming the stranger in the spirit of the Gospel. We recognize the inalienable right of all persons to human dignity. We therefore assist and advocate for immigrants to attain family unity, economic independence and social integration.
Supported by a U.S. Department of Justice grant supporting a federal law to protect victims of human trafficking and violence, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) specialist assists immigrants in safely leaving dangerous situations and obtaining immigration status that supports them in making decisions for their own future. The Crime Victims Services Coordinator also works with law enforcement agencies and parish/community teams to educate them about immigrant victims' rights when they are victims of a violent crime and to provide access to critical resources for victims when they are in crisis.
Services
§  Application Assistance: Immigration Services prepares and files immigration applications and forms to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
§  Counseling and Referrals: Counsels clients about immigration-related needs and refers clients to attorneys for legal assistance and deportation proceedings.
§  Advocacy: Interacts with congressional representatives on behalf of immigrants.
§  Education: Immigration Services conducts immigration workshops and seminars at various events in the community.
VAWA Specialists
§  VAWA is a program within Catholic Immigration Services that helps get lawful permanent resident status for victims of domestic violence who are married to U.S. citizens or other lawful permanent residents. Federal law protects victims of trafficking and violence. The work of our VAWA specialists is funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant.
VAWA Services
§  Security against deportation: VAWA assists victims of certain crimes, like domestic violence, obtain Delayed Action and Employment Authorization when the victim is willing to help prosecute the criminal perpetrator.
§  Immigration Assistance: Helps victims of human trafficking, where people are forced or coerced into servitude. In these cases, the VAWA program works with the local office of the FBI.


CANOPY: NEW ORGANIZATION TO BRING REFUGEES
Doug Thompson, “Group Seeks to Bring 100 Refugees to Region Yearly.”  NADG (5-22-16).  Local group called “Canopy” seeks to bring “’one or two families a month.’”  Canopy is composed of local representatives of Catholic Charities Immigration Services, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and the participation of other groups is planned.  Frank Head directs local Catholic Services; Rev. Clint Schnekloth is lead pastor of Good Shepard Lutheran.  This is a good article about a developing, complex effort, seeking out several perspectives.  [The statistics were confusing.   The UN has declared 65 million “displaced” people, but Thompson refers to 14.5 million “refugees.”  It’s a crucial matter because it helps to determine how adequately US and Arkansas have responded.  The problem may be the definition of “refugees accounted for by the United Nations.”   It’s a narrow definition relating to persecution, when many more people are fleeing the violence of war.   See the following item in which the definition is more inclusive.]  —Dick
www.nwaonline.com/.../2016/sep/.../u-n-affirms-rights-of-re...NWAOnline
3 days ago - Updated: September 20, 2016 at 4:07 a.m. ... According to the U.N.refugee agencyrefugees are people forced to flee as a result of armed ...


CANOPY GOOGLE SEARCH MAY 2016, Bits of History Fall 2015 to Summer 2016
www.arkansasonline.com/.../nw-arkansas-gr...
Arkansas Democrat‑Gazette
May 23, 2016 - FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas took in roughly 1 out of every 1 million refugees seeking shelter worldwide last year -- 13 of the 14.5 million ...
www.arkansasmatters.com/.../official-no-syrian-refugees-appr...
KARK‑TV
No Syrian refugees have been approved for relocation in The Natural State yet, according to an official with the only Department of State refugee processing ...
Nov 16, 2015 - FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. —The governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, released a statement Monday saying that he did not want Syrian refugees ...
Jul 11, 2016 - FAYETTEVILLE,Ark. —Help refugees build a new life as they get settled in Northwest Arkansas. A group called Canopy Northwest Arkansas's ...
www.volunteermatch.org/.../orgs.jsp?...Fayetteville%2C+...
VolunteerMatch
FayettevilleAR | ( 1 reviews). Interest Areas: Community, Education & Literacy, Immigrants & Refugees. Updated: 2007-03-30 00:00:00.0 , Distance: 2.8760252 ...
https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/.../catholic-charities-eyei...
May 23, 2016 - Here is news from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Arkansas ... of creating a new refugee resettlement office in northwest Arkansas.
5newsonline.com/.../governor-hutchinson-opposes-relocation...
KFSM‑TV
Nov 16, 2015 - Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS ... (KFSM/CNN) — Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Monday (Nov.
www.dolr.org/.../refugee-resettle...
Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
How do refugees get to Arkansas? The Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Office works with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Migration ...
www.arkansas-catholic.org/.../Canopy-group-will-make-sure-refugees-ar...
Apr 4, 2016 - Clint Schnekloth, stand with refugee couple Faez Arso and his wife Ahlam ... The goal is to learn how Canopy can make northwest Arkansas a ...
www.washingtontimes.com/.../group-seeks-to-bri...
The Washington Times
May 29, 2016 - FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas took in about 1 out of every 1 million refugees who sought shelter worldwide last year - 13 of the 14.5 ...

CANOPY GOOGLE UPDATE SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/.../arkansas-among-bot...Arkansas Times
Sep 11, 2015 - Posted By Benjamin Hardy on Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 10:51 AM ... May 16,2016 ... Asa Hutchinson: Syrian refugees unwelcome in Arkansas .... has to ask why the Marshalese prefer Springdale to, say, Rogers or Bentonville.
Nov 16, 2015 - Asa Hutchinson says Syrian refugees aren't welcome in Arkansas. ... Federal Government to relocate most of those Syrian refugees here, and especially inNW Arkansas! ..... Posted by radical centrist; on September 18, 2016 ...
... September 15, 2016.
canopynwa.org/updates/
Blog. Date September 8, 2016 userPosted by: canopy ... This person will be working face-to-face, one-on-one with refugees every day. They will be the person ...


CANOPY ORGANIZING TEAMS
Fwd: Co-Sponsors-- It's Go time!
Inbox
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James   9-23-16 Parrish 
Sep 20 (3 days ago)
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to me, Janis, Briana, aguilar_a10, wbhint, Gladys, Edwin, Dian, maya8460, Carol, Andrew, Mary, Rebecca, Mark
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Hi Folks,

UUFF, Compassion Fayetteville, OMNI, and the Quaker Meeting joined together to be a co-sponsor for Canopy when it was being formed, and now it is up and running and needs our attention. 

We need to advertise to our people and put together a team of 8 for the upcoming trainings... either the October training, or January, so they are ready to welcome and support a new family to the area. 

The reason we are a coalition is the difficulty of our smaller groups to pull together eight volunteers for such an endeavor from one... so it makes sense to collaborate. It will be interesting to see the overlap of our people as well;-)

I'm also reaching out to Temple Shalom, and the Muslim community as well. 

Anyhow... Time to contact our constituents and get some volunteers! Share the Canopy materials with them, and lets get one or two 8 person teams put together for training. I'll start a central sign up, when you get names and contact information, share them with me/all, or put them directly into the sign up sheet on Google Docs (sent to each of you plus a link below).



Peace,
Jim


Rev. Jim Parrish
Minister, UU Fellowship of Fayetteville, AR

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Canopy NWA <emily.linn@canopynwa.org>
Date: Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 9:59 AM
Subject: Co-Sponsors-- It's Go time!
To: revjim@fayettevilleunitarian.org

Co-Sponsors, it's time to spring into action!

Dear Co-Sponsors,
Greetings! We have been really busy over here the last couple months setting up our organization and getting ready to begin welcoming refugees to Northwest Arkansas this fall. But we are pleased to announce we are finally ready to begin working closely with our co-sponsoring teams. In case some of you haven’t heard, we found out last month that we were provisionally approved as a site by the State Department.  This was a big and exciting step forward for us, a confirmation that we are headed in the right direction. As of today, there is still not anything in writing, so we are refraining for publicly celebrating just yet, but the day is coming soon!

That being said, we are going forward on the assumption that everything will be finalized very soon and that refugees really will be arriving in Fayetteville in late November… Which means it’s time to get to work!

 
You are receiving this email because you are part of a team that has signed on to co-sponsor a refugee family. This is a wonderful commitment: you will be our community's ambassadors of welcome. It is also a big commitment: there is a lot that goes into helping a refugee build a new life. As such, the first step of this process for you is to attend a Co-Sponsor Training session. 
 
We will hold our first training session October 22 from 9am to 2:30 pm at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2925 Old Missouri Rd, Fayetteville.
 
We will hold co-sponsor trainings once a quarter and we will be requiring all core co-sponsoring team members (minimum of 8 people) to complete the training before we can assign you a family. If some or all of your team are unable to make this training, let us know. We may be able to set up a few make-up sessions, since this is our first go-around, or you might be able to attend our January training instead. We will likely only resettle 3-4 families at the most in this first quarter, anyway, so not all teams need to attend this first session.
Between now and then, we have some homework for you to do:  
    -Meet all together as a team, if you have not done so already, and designate a team leader. This point person will be our main line of communication with your team.
-Begin discussing how your group wants to divide up the following required activities: furnishing the apartment, buying groceries, driving refugees to appointments, practicing English with the refugees, conducting cultural orientation and hosting the refugees for meals/events. We will go over all these in detail at the training, but for now, it would be helpful for you to start discussing internally how you will divide these tasks up.
    -Have your team leader RSVP to Emily.linn@canopynwa.org about the training by October 1. Please let us know the names of all those who will be attending and the name of your co-sponsoring organization. Canopy will provide lunch and refreshments as part of the training, so we need to know accurate numbers. 
    -Begin fundraising. We put in place a requirement (after we recruited all of you) that all co-sponsoring teams commit to fundraising $1,100 for Canopy to assist with the resettlement costs. Because this was not in place when y’all committed, it’s not required of you. However, it would certainly be helpful to us if you would be able to help us with fundraising. This will give you something tangible to work on as a team even now before refugees begin arriving.
And there you have it! We made up for our long silence by suddenly inundating you with information all at once.  Thank you for joining with us in welcoming and empowering our world's most vulnerable. 

Stay tuned,  Emily Crane Linn
Resettlement Director Canopy NWA <emily.linn@canopynwa.org>




USA
HOW IS PRESIDENT OBAMA DOING?
Back in June 2016.

Dick Bennett 
10:50 AM (2 minutes ago)
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6-5-16
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Read the expose of doublethink, doubletalk, cant, hypocrisy, and fear by Julie Hirschfeld Davis (The New York Times), "Critics Call President's Syrian Refugee Talk Hollow," AD-G (June 1, 2016).

The consequence of Obama's and Congress's multilayered fecklessness (one of many descriptors needed) is their outrageous failure to embrace the refugees, which raises the work of private rescue to a high value and urgency.  Our national leaders should say we can do as well as Canada and aspire as high as Germany, instead of that paltry 10,000 as yet not 3000.

BUT OBAMA’S BEGINNING TO GET A GRIP IN SEPTEMBER 2016.
ADG Staff.  “U. S. Sets Refugees ’17 Goal: 110,000.”  September 15, 2016.
That’s “a nearly 30 percent increase from the 85,000 allowed in over the previous year,” but “still far short” of what is needed advocacy groups say.  “Of the 110,000, 40,000 will come from the Middle East and South Asia.” 



FROM SPAIN 1614 TO USA 2016
REJECTION, DISCRIMINATION, PERSECUTION, DEPORTATION by Dick Bennett
     During times of crisis, doubt, and fear, people and governments turn to fundamentalist intolerance and the persecution of minority groups.   We see this cause-effect throughout history.   The defeat of the Spanish Armada led to a new Spanish fundamentalism preaching purity and fighting heresy.  The Spanish Christian rulers proscribed Islam, but of the Muslims who remained living in Spain, called Moriscos, many continued to practice Islam secretly. And they were increasing in number, giving rise to the fear they might some day become the majority.  This perceived threat of growing diversity was used by the rulers to expel all Muslims from 1609 to 1614 in a heinous exodus of suffering and death.
     The US today looks humane compared to this Spanish example or to the expulsion of the Cherokees in the nineteenth century Trail of Tears, yet similar fears and persecutions persist with similar if not such bloody consequences. Just as the Spaniards had made Islam illegal, now we have designated people seeking a better life illegal immigrants.   Part of the anxiety derives from ancient xenophobia, a fear of a counter-identity.   Some people fear loss of their jobs by immigrant competition.  Apparently the fear has increased, as reflected by the persecution, for in its first four years, Mr. Obama's administration deported as many illegal immigrants as the administration of George W. Bush did in his two terms.    Compare these statistics:  “Amount the Obama Administration spent on immigration enforcement during 2013:  $18,000,000,000.   Amount the Justice Department spent on all law enforcement:  $12,400,000,000.”  “Harper’s Index,”  Harper’s Magazine (April 2013). H


     Some compassionate, tolerant Spanish nobles opposed the discrimination, the arbitrariness, the proscription, and the deportations.  One Pedro de Valencia writing in 1606 called for gradual integration through dispersion, mixed marriages, and better living conditions.  A few recognized that appropriate incentives would eventually lead the Moriscos to become loyal subjects.  Instead, the majority with the King chose hideous intolerance and cruelty.
     Similarly today, reasonable citizens recommend a generous enlargement of immigrant quotas.  Not of all who seek a better life, not as Emma Lazarus wrote in her sonnet, “The New Collosus,” inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses.”    But in that spirit we certainly can and should accept significantly more.   Many other countries absorb immigrants at a higher rate than the U.S. does once you factor in the size of each nation’s population.   Using the measurement of permanent, annual immigrant inflows per overall population, the U.S. in 2009 ranked only 11th out of a selection of 28 advanced industrialized nations, trailing such countries as Australia, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, Norway and Ireland.  And using United Nations data on the cumulative number of resident immigrants as a share of total population, the U.S. ranks only 25th in the world.
       And if Christian US deportation of Christian illegal workers is less brutal than that of the seventeenth-century Spaniards’ expulsion of illegal Muslims, the US deports many more than did ruling Spain.   As Professor Daniel Kanstroom has recounted in his book, Aftermath, since 1996, when new, harsher deportation laws went into effect under the Clinton administration, the US has deported millions of noncitizens back to their countries of origin, yet hardly any attention has been paid to what actually happens to deportees.   In fact, we have fostered a new diaspora of deportees, many of whom are alone and isolated, with strong ties to their former communities in the United States.   The uprooting of settled illegal immigrants especially with families, the separation of spouses and children, have caused immeasurable grief.   Kanstroom (also author of the definitive history of US deportation, Deportation Nation) criticizes the current deportation system of the United States and especially deportation's aftermath: the actual effects on individuals, families, U.S. communities, and the countries that must process and repatriate ever-increasing numbers of U.S. deportees. Few know, he writes,  that once deportees have been expelled to places like Guatemala, Cambodia, Haiti, and El Salvador, many face severe hardship, persecution and, in extreme instances, even death.
      In his letter to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Feb. 20, 2013), Stephen Clark appeals to US clergy to speak out in support of “the worldwide persecution of Christians.”  He offers no evidence (but the newspaper restricts contributors to 250 words, or one page), but I join him in deploring any persecution, which has plagued some religions for hundreds of years, including Christianity
       Mr.  Clark also states that “the persecution is especially severe in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, and Afghanistan.”  If so, I denounce them for it as I do US Christian bigotry against other faiths, as in the expulsion of millions of undocumented people since 1996, mainly Hispanics but also Muslims and others.    Note the sub-title of Anouar Majid’s book:  We Are All Moors:  Ending Centuries of Crusades Against Muslims and Other Minorities.   After the death of Jesus, his followers were nonviolent.  But by 420 Christianity was beginning to persecute heresies.  By 436, Christianity had been so transformed that only Christians could serve in the Roman legions, and nonviolence was a heresy to be persecuted.    Then Islam arose and moved westward, until the Battle of Potiers in 732, when the Christian re-conquest began and the Crusades, and today Mr. Clark perceives Christians as the victims and calls upon Christian pastors to take action.
       Had he ended there, no great intensification of the ancient hatred and bloodshed of the re-conquest would have been suggested.  But he ends his letter with a quotation from  pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer warning Germans during WWII that “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.   God will not hold us guiltless.”   By that quotation, possibly unintentionally he insinuates that not only are five Islamic countries and one communist country guilty of “severe” persecution of Christians (no details given), but that they are “evil” comparable to Hitler.  Two of the countries are among the “Axis of Evil,” President Bush’s war cry: you are either with us or against us.  
         Such association and call for action can lead only to continued distrust and conflict.  The last century witnessed endless fear, bitterness, and folly, resulting in the deaths and impoverishment of millions and grievous damage to the environment.   Now in the twenty-first century, let us reject hatred and aggression, discrimination and persecution.  
    
   REFERENCES
Kanstroom, Daniel .  Aftermath:  Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora   2012.    Deportation Nation: Outsiders in American History.  2012.
Majid, Anouar.  We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades Against Muslims and Other Minorities.  2009.
Shear, Michael.   “Advocates Push Obama to Halt Aggressive Deportation Efforts.”  New York Times (Feb. 22, 2013). 
Smith-Christopher, Daniel, ed.  Subverting Hatred: The Challenge of Nonviolence in Religious Traditions.  1998.


Lowell Grisham.  “Welcome the Strangers: U.S. System to Blame for Illegal Immigration.”  NADG (September 13, 2016).   “It’s time to give a legal path for good people to strive for the American dream.  Enough of the deadly, legalistic talk of walls and deportation.”     http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2016/sep/13/lowell-grisham-welcome-the-strangers-20/?opinion



Aftermath:  Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora
Daniel Kanstroom
bookshot 
Jun 2012, 
Description
Since 1996, when new, harsher deportation laws went into effect, the United States has deported millions of noncitizens back to their countries of origin. While the rights of immigrants-with or without legal status--as well as the appropriate pathway to legal status are the subject of much debate, hardly any attention has been paid to what actually happens to deportees once they "pass beyond our aid." In fact, we have fostered a new diaspora of deportees, many of whom are alone and isolated, with strong ties to their former communities in the United States.

Daniel Kanstroom, author of the authoritative history of deportation, Deportation Nation, turns his attention here to the current deportation system of the United States and especially deportation's aftermath: the actual effects on individuals, families, U.S. communities, and the countries that must process and repatriate ever-increasing numbers of U.S. deportees. Few know that once deportees have been expelled to places like Guatemala, Cambodia, Haiti, and El Salvador, many face severe hardship, persecution and, in extreme instances, even death.

Addressing a wide range of political, social, and legal issues, Kanstroom considers whether our deportation system "works" in any meaningful sense. He also asks a number of under-examined legal and philosophical questions: What is the relationship between the "rule of law" and the border? Where do rights begin and end? Do (or should) deportees ever have a "right to return"? After demonstrating that deportation in the U.S. remains an anachronistic, ad hoc, legally questionable affair, the book concludes with specific reform proposals for a more humane and rational deportation system.
Features
*       Shines a light on the many injustices and inadequacies of America's current immigration control system
*       Features stories of immigrants caught in the immigration control system's web and shows what happens to them after they are deported
*       A broad ranging overview of how the system emerged and how it works that closes with powerful legal and ethical argument for reforming it
Reviews
"In Aftermath, Dan Kanstroom accomplishes the impossible: he disassembles the labyrinthine snarl of our immigration system in a volume that is both readable and scholarly, accessible and authoritative. Arguing compellingly against "government behavior and consequences we cannot and should not accept," he outlines a sensible, sane way forward. This book is ultimately a volume of hope that appeals to the American spirit of fair play and resoundingly demonstrates that fairness can be, and is, pragmatic and enlightened self-interest. A must-read."--Ashley Judd, actor and human rights activist
"Daniel Kanstroom has written another remarkable book about the U.S. deportation system. Reading Aftermath is a must for anyone seriously interested in understanding the underbelly of contemporary US border control policy and the urgency of immigration reform."--Jacqueline Bhabha, Director of Research, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University
"In this cogent, well-written and, at times, poignant work of scholarship, Daniel Kanstroom looks unflinchingly at the understudied issue of deportation's aftermath. No one interested in immigration policy will be unmoved by his deft unveiling of the injustices that routinely accompany the US's use of large-scale deportation. More than simply showing its problems, this work provides a convincing account of how the deportation system can be reformed to make it less of an affront to basic principles of morality and legal fairness."--Matthew J. Gibney, University of Oxford
"Dan Kanstroom is among the most daring and inventive migration scholars writing today. Many studies of immigration law and policy start with the foreign national's arrival in the United States and end with her forced departure. But for nearly all individuals and families, life does not end with removal. Aftermath carries the story forward, rounding out the picture to include previously-overlooked narratives of life for those removed, those left behind, and the enduring efforts of millions of households to preserve the ties that bind. It is a fair-minded and accessible book that lays bare the gross failings of our current deportation machinery, but also, in illuminating experience in what Kanstroom terms "the new American diaspora," points to a way out of the terrible box we are now in."--Michael J. Wishnie, William O. Douglas Clinical Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Daniel Kanstroom is Professor of Law at Boston College and author of Deportation Nation: Outsiders.

NEWS REPORTING IMMIGRANTS/IMMIGRATION
“What Makes a Critical Press? A Case Study of French and U.S. Immigration News Coverage,” International Journal of Pres/Politics (January 2010).  Rev. Columbia JR (May/June 2010). 


The Nation (August 16/23, 2010) presents 4 articles on immigration reform.



WORLD

THE MILLIONS DISPLACED AS OF SEPTEMBER 2016
65 MILLION WORLD WIDE
7 MILLION IN COLOMBIA 2015
 MORE THAN 1 MILLION, MOSTLY FROM SYRIA, IRAQ, AND AFGHANISTAN, FLED TO EUROPE

Conflicts around the world have displaced 65 million people, many of whom are living in poverty, said a report by the United Nations refugee agency and the World Bank. "Extreme poverty is now increasingly concentrated among vulnerable groups, including people who had to flee in the face of conflict and violence, and their presence affects development prospects in the communities that are hosting them," the report contends.
The Guardian (London) (9/15) .  UN Wire (9-16-16)

UN: South Sudan conflict has resulted in more than 1M refugees    The Associated Press (9/16).  UN Wire (9-16-16).   


Related:

EDUCATION OF REFUGEES
Education for Displaced People
Migrants and Refugees: Equitable Education for Displaced Populations by Elinor L. Brown, Anna Krasteva,  2013.

  • A volume in the series International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice
  • International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice is an international research monograph series of scholarly works that
  • primarily focus on empowering students (children, adolescents, and young adults) from diverse current circumstances and historic beliefs and traditions to
  • become non-exploited/non-exploitive contributing members of the global community. The series draws on the research and innovative practices of
  • investigators, academics, and community organizers around the globe that have contributed to the evidence base for developing sound educational policies,
  • practices, and programs that optimize all students' potential. Each volume includes multidisciplinary theory, research, and practices that provide an enriched
  • understanding of the drivers of human potential via education to assist others in exploring, adapting, and replicating innovative strategies that enable ALL
  • students to realize their full potential. This volume provides the reader with promising policies and practices that promote social justice and educational
  • opportunity for the many displaced populations (migrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, and immigrants) around the globe. The volume is divided into four
  • sections that offer: (1) insights into the educational integration of displaced children in industrialized nations, (2) methods of creating pedagogies of harmony
  • within school environments, (3) ways to nurture school success by acknowledging and respecting the cultural traditions of newcomers, and finally (4)
  • strategies to forge pathways to educational equity. Overall, this volume contributes to the body of knowledge on equitable educational opportunities for
  • displaced youth and will be a valuable resource for all who seek to enable the displaced a place at the political, economic, and social table of civil society.



OMNI CLIMATE CHANGE REFUGEES /DISPLACED PERSONS NEWSLETTER #1, August 5, 2013.     http://omnicenter.org/dick-bennetts-peace-justice-and-ecology-newsletters/
#2 is being prepared.

HISTORY
We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades against Muslims and Other Minorities by Anouar Majid.   2012.
We Are All Moors
An alternate history of xenophobia and how we must overcome it together
In We Are All Moors, Anouar Majid contends that the acrimonious debates about immigration and Islam in the West are the cultural legacy of the conflict between Christians and Moors. Offering a groundbreaking new history, Majid explores how “the Moor” has served as an unacknowledged but potent metaphor for all minority peoples in the West, endlessly reincarnated by the majority.
We Are All Moors excited me for its implications. The range is superb and reading it is a pleasure—Anouar Majid dances across continents, taking a thread and seeing what comes of it. It reminds us of histories long forgotten, and provides a useful way to look back to help understand the present.   Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World


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What Sponsors Should Know Before Signing Form I-864 Affidavit of Support
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If you are sponsoring someone for a family based green card (U.S. lawful permanent residence) you will, as a condition of the person being approved, need to fill out an Affidavit of Support for that person. This is done on Form I-864, published by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Let's take a look at the legal implications of the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. You should also attempt to read all the instructions that come with the form.
If you are lucky, you might not have to fill out the long version of the form. Some sponsors get to use a considerably simpler Form I-864EZ rather than the Form I-864. If you are sponsoring only one immigrant, and your income alone is enough to satisfy the required Poverty Guidelines levels, be sure to use this easier form! (For information on how much income you will need to show, see "How Much Income an Immigrant's Sponsor Needs to Show According to the Poverty Guidelines.")
The Sponsor’s Obligations
The Form I-864 Affidavit of Support is a legally enforceable contract, meaning that either the government or the sponsored immigrant can take the sponsor to court if the sponsor fails to provide adequate support.
When the government sues the sponsor, it collects enough money to reimburse any public agencies that have given public benefits to the immigrant. When the immigrant sues, he or she collects cash support up to 125% of the amount listed in the U.S. government’s Poverty Guidelines (as shown in the chart in Form I-864P).
The sponsor’s responsibility lasts until the immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, has earned 40 work quarters credited toward Social Security (a work quarter is about three months, so this means about ten years of work), dies, or permanently leaves the United States. If the immigrant has already been living in the U.S. and earned work credits before applying for the green card, those count toward the 40.
In fact, in marriage-based cases, work done by the U.S. petitioning spouse during the marriage can be counted toward these 40 quarters.

CAUTION
A sponsor in a marriage-based case remains legally obligated even after a divorce. Yes, a divorced immigrant spouse could decide to sit on a couch all day and sue the former spouse for support. The sponsor may wish to have the immigrant sign a separate contract agreeing not to do this, but it is not clear whether courts would enforce such a contract.
Who Can Serve as an Immigrant's Financial Sponsor
The person petitioning the immigrant and any additional financial sponsor(s) must meet three requirements to serve in this role. Each sponsor must be:
• a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident
• at least 18 years of age, and
• live in the United States or a U.S. territory or possession.
As a practical matter, of course, the sponsor will have to doing pretty well financially to get the immigrant approved for a green card. Even if the sponsor’s income and assets are lower than the Poverty Guidelines demand, however, he or she must sign an Affidavit of Support. But in a case of low income, the sponsor will have to look for additional sponsors to help the foreign-born person immigrate.
Take particular note of the third requirement if both the sponsor and the would-be immigrant are presently living overseas. The consulate may require that the sponsor show that this is a temporary absence, that the sponsor has maintained ties to the U.S., and that he or she intends to reestablish domicile there no later than the date that the immigrant is admitted as a permanent resident. Some of the ways the sponsor can show having maintained ties to the U.S. include having paid state or local taxes, kept U.S. bank accounts, kept a permanent U.S. mailing address, or voted in U.S. elections.

CAUTION
Sponsors who try to run away from their obligations will face fines. The U.S. government has anticipated that some sponsors might try to escape their financial obligation by simply moving and leaving no forwarding address. That’s why the law says that the sponsor must report a new address to USCIS on Form I-865 within 30 days of moving. A sponsor who does not comply faces fines of between $250 and $2,000; or $5,000 if the sponsor knows the immigrant has collected need-based public benefits.
by: Ilona Bray, J.D.
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Qualifying for Political Asylum in the United States
By BOYD F. CAMPBELL
Attorney at Law and Civil Law Notary
    Political asylum is granted by the U.S. government to people who can prove that they are afraid to return to their home country because they have a "well-founded fear of persecution."  People may also be granted political asylum if they left their home country because they were persecuted in the past. If you win political asylum, you can apply for your "green card" (permanent residence). To win asylum because you are afraid of returning to your home country, you must appear at an initial hearing before a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officer, usually at a USCIS district office.  If you application for asylum is denied, you may appeal to an immigration judge, and will have another opportunity to prove that your fear is "well-founded."
    You must convince the asylum officer or immigration judge that you truly believe you are in danger, that you have good reasons for this belief, and that someone else in your position would also be afraid.  You must generally present independent, verifiable documentary evidence that shows you fear persecution in your home country or that you have been persecuted in the past.  Persecution can mean that you have been, or may be, hurt, kidnapped, detained, jailed, tortured, threatened, killed, or beaten, or that your freedom was or will be taken away in any other way.
    The people who persecuted you or whom you're afraid will persecute you if you return to your home country can be the government (army, police, soldiers, elected officials, death squads, or others), the guerrillas, another opposition group, the civil patrol, or any other group that the government cannot or will not control.  The people who persecuted you or whom you think will persecute you if you return to your home country must be persecuting you based on one of the following five reasons:
    1. The most common reason for being persecuted is because of your political opinion. It doesn't matter whether you support or oppose the government. People who have been persecuted because of their political opinions and have won their asylum cases have included: people who demonstrate as students, are active in labor unions, or are members of political parties or the government. Sometimes, even if you don't have a political opinion, the persecutor may think you have a certain political opinion. He may persecute you because he thinks you have a political opinion due to things you do, groups you belong to, or your family's background.
    2. Another common reason for being persecuted is your religion, no matter what religion it is.  If you're not allowed to practice your religion or you are persecuted because of your religious beliefs, you may be able to qualify for asylum.  Many times people who are religious workers, catechists, or members of Christian Base communities qualify for asylum.
    3. Often people are persecuted because they belong to a particular social group. This means people who share certain characteristics such as: age, place where they live, family, ethnic group, race, nationality, gender or community.
    4. Sometimes people are persecuted because of their race. This means that if you have been or may be persecuted because of your skin color, origin or background you may qualify for asylum.
    5. Some people are persecuted because of their nationality. Nationality is similar to race. It can mean your country of citizenship, country of origin  or your ethnic group.
    6.  Recently, the immigration and federal courts have also created a new ground for persecution based on sex and the treatment of women in foreign countries, and this ground may include the practice of female genital mutilation in the asylum applicant's home country.
    If the persons who are persecuting you are doing so for personal reasons only, you will not win your case.   Yet, if you have a well-founded belief that the persons who are persecuting you are doing so for a number of reasons, one of which is personal, then you may be able to obtain political asylum in the United States.  For example, if a soldier who is off-duty threatened to kill you because he thought you had stolen money from him, that would not qualify as a well-founded fear of persecution for purposes of political asylum because the threat relates to something personal, strictly between the two of you.  But if this same soldier then told his commander that you were a guerrilla or an anti-government activist, then you could argue the danger would no longer be just personal; it would also be political.
    The closer the persecution came to you, the stronger your case will be.  For example, you would have a better case if you yourself were threatened or captured than if a fellow-student or  someone else in your town or family were threatened or captured.  However, if you can prove that what happened to the other person shows that you are also in danger, you still may have a strong case.  Your testimony, if the immigration judge (or INS asylum officer) believes it, can be enough to prove your case.  You do not need documents.  Even though you do not need them, documents and independently verifiable information are always helpful to show that at least parts of your story are true.  For example, it can be helpful to show student or union identification cards, letters from a church or other religious group with whom you've worked, newspaper articles about you, your family or town, as well as general articles showing the problems in your home country, such as reports from the U.S. Department of State or Amnesty International.
    Anyone who applies for political asylum and has persecuted someone else because of that person's political opinion, her membership in a social group, her religion, her race or her nationality may not be granted political asylum, no matter how strong the case may be. For example, if a member of the army or a guerrilla group participated in the kidnapping, torture or murder of someone else whom he suspected of opposing his group politically, this could mean he was persecuting another because of political beliefs and he will probably lose his political asylum case.  Yet, if you were a guerrilla or soldier and hurt or killed another guerrilla or soldier while you were fighting in a war, then you probably would not be considered to have persecuted another and you may still be able to qualify for asylum.
    Besides persecuting others, you can also be denied political asylum if you were convicted of certain bad crimes or for other reasons. You should always check with a lawyer or law office to see if you may be able to qualify for asylum.
    To prove your political asylum case, you will likely have to have to have a hearing in front of an immigration judge. The purpose of the hearing is to tell the immigration judge your story of why you fear returning to your home country. The immigration judge will decide if you qualify for political asylum.  He will decide in your favor if he feels you fear being persecuted in your home country and if he feels that your fear is real (this means that someone else in your position could have the same fear and you are not just making it up).  Your immigration lawyer, an interpreter (if you need one), the lawyer representing USCIS, and the immigration judge will all be at the hearing. Each person has a different role at the hearing.
Your immigration lawyer
    Your immigration lawyer is on your side. It is his job is to help you explain to the judge why you fear returning to your home country. You and he will already have prepared an application and a declaration for the immigration judge to read, but the immigration judge wants to hear your story live and in person. The way you have to tell the immigration judge why you are afraid to return to your home country in the court is different from the way most stories are told. In the court, the way stories are told is through what is called the direct exam. The direct exam is when the your immigration lawyer asks you questions and you'll answer them for the immigration judge. Your answers will include everything that happened causing you to leave your home country and why you can't return. Most of the information your lawyer will be asking you will be based on the information provided in your Form I-589 application for asylum and what you have told your immigration lawyer in previous interviews.
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) lawyer
    The USCIS lawyer (called the "district counsel" or the "Service attorney") will do what is called the "cross-examination".  The cross-examination is when the USCIS lawyer asks you questions right after your lawyer finishes asking you questions, and you have to answer these questions, too. The USCIS lawyer will try to show you don't qualify for asylum. He will do this by trying to confuse you, to show you are lying or being inconsistent, or that you really came to the United States to make some money, escape military service, or for some other reason, instead of because you feared being persecuted. You and your lawyer will practice the cross-examination so you are used to it before the hearing. After the USCIS lawyer asks his questions, your lawyer will have another chance to ask more questions and then the USCIS lawyer gets another chance, too. So each side (yours and USCIS) gets two chances to ask questions.
The interpreter
    The interpreter, if needed, will interpret the questions that your lawyer, the USCIS lawyer and the immigration judge ask you into your language and will interpret your answers into English. Some interpreters are better than others.  You should learn how to best use a interpreter. It is best to practice with an interpreter before the hearing. If you speak in short, very clear sentences, it will help because it is hard for the interpreter to accurately interpret more than a couple of sentences at a time.
The immigration judge
    The immigration judge will decide the case if a USCIS asylum officer has denied your application for political asylum.  He will want to satisfy himself that you are telling the truth.  Immigration judges feel that they can determine this.  Thus, it is important for you to look him in the eyes once in a while, act natural, believable, and confident, and not to look down at the floor.  The immigration judge will also be looking for inconsistencies in your story based on what you say during the hearing and also what the application and declaration include.  Sometimes the immigration judge may interrupt the questioning by the others, and ask his own questions.  He may also ask questions at the end of the hearing.  If the immigration judge grants you asylum, one year later you can apply for your "green card."
    If your asylum case is denied, you will not necessarily be deported immediately.  The immigration judge may give you some time to leave or you can appeal the case, which often takes one to four years.  During the appeal process, you will be allowed to remain in the United States with USCIS employment authorization (a "work permit").  But you cannot leave the United States.  If you do, you will automatically lose your case.
You must apply within one year of arriving in the United States
    Current federal law requires an asylum applicant in the United States to apply for asylum no less than one year after entering the United States.  However, USCIS policy with regard to waivers of the one-year requirement is liberal, and there are many reasons for not applying within this one-year period.
What about the children?
    With the resolution of the Elian Gonzalez case in June, 2000, there has been much discussion of the word "capacity" as it is applied to minor children who may have a colorable claim to political asylum in the United States.  In an excellent article published in the ABA Journal for August, 2000, writer Siobhan Morrissey researched the issue.
    " 'More than a dozen attorneys represented Elian's Miami family,' Bernard Perlmutter, director of the University of Miami's Children and Youth Clinic, was quoted as saying, 'but most refugee minors are not so lucky.'  Last year, 5,000 unaccompanied children sought asylum in the United States, he said, explaining that there were 'many instances where they had no access to interpreters or [legal] counsel.
    "Some of these children fled the horrors of their  homelands:  bonded labor, femal genital mutilation, child prostitution and conscription into the military as child soldiers.  Last year, 1,200 children voluntarily agreed to deportation from the United States, largely because many of them did not understand their legal options, Perlmutter says.
    " 'They may well be children who have bona fide claims to asylum,' he says.
    "The United Nations High Commission on Refugees estimates children compose more than half the world's refugee population -- roughly 20 million minors.  Those who make it to the United States often don't comprehend the legal process and have difficulty being heard, says Wendy Young, director of government relations with the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, a New York City-based nonprofit organization.
    " 'An asylum seeker who is represented by an attorney is three times as likely to win asylum as one without,' Young says.  'When you add to that mix a child's capacity, it is virtually impossible to win asylum.'
    "Not all children merit asylum, Young concedes.  However, all minors should be appointed an attorney to shepherd their cases, as is already done in Britain, she adds."
Refugees
    Refugees are in a separate category from political asylum applicants.  They are admitted to the United States under executive orders that mirror U.S. participation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees worldwide.  Refugees are admitted for permanent residence, or temporarily until situations in their home countries are resolved and they are able to return home.
    Many refugees worry that taking advantage of federal public benefits, such as food stamps, and Aid to Families With Dependent Children, will bar them from receiving immigration benefits or U.S. citizenship.  Fact sheets on the availability of federal public benefits for refugees are available on our web site by clicking on the following link:  Benefits
    If you think you may be eligible for political asylum, or you know someone who may be eligible, get good legal guidance.  If you cannot afford legal help, contact the Immigration Law Center, at (334) 832-9090.  Foreign-language Interpreters are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday.  They will provide you with information about political asylum and how you can file with USCIS for political asylum on your own, without an attorney.  The Immigration Law Center uses the language translation and interpretation services of the Linguist Databank.  If you can afford to hire a lawyer to help you with a political asylum application, and you need the help of an interpreter fluent in a language other than English, you are invited to call our law offices, after hours, at (334) 832-9090.  Leave your message in your native language and ask us to find an interpreter for you.  If you leave your name and telephone number, we will get in touch with you to arrange an interview.
    If you cannot afford a lawyer, request free or needs-based legal aid through the International Assistance Project of Alabama (IAPA), which provides legal services in meritorious cases.  You can read more about IAPA by clicking on the following link:  CLICK HERE.  If you live outside the southeastern United States and would like to hire a lawyer closer to you, call the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) at (202) 216-2400 and ask for the Lawyer Referral Service.  Winning your political asylum case will not be easy.  A high percentage of cases are routinely denied.  You are three times as likely to lose your case without the help of an attorney who is knowledgeable about U.S. immigration and nationality law and political asylum.  If you dedicate yourself to the task and work hard, it may take years to achieve your goal, but you can be successful.
    WARNING:  Your friends, relatives, and fellow employees are good sources of bad advice concerning immigration and nationality law.  It does not cost much to present you situation to a qualified immigration lawyer to find out what you should do or get a legal opinion on whether you are eligible for political asylum.  Such advice and guidance is usually worth much more than you pay for it.  You can get professional help from a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) by calling (202) 216-2400 in Washington, D.C., and asking for the Lawyer Referral Service.
    Boyd F. Campbell is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  He is former Chair of the Immigration Law Committee of the ABA's General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Lawyers Section.  He is also a former Co-Chair of the Immigration Law Committee of the ABA's Section of Labor and Employment Law and was a member of the ABA's Coordinating Committee on Immigration Law from 1994 to 1998.  He also serves as Chair of the International Law Section of the Alabama State Bar.  Mr. Campbell is Alabama's first practicing civil law notary, having been appointed to this official position by Alabama's Secretary of State in August, 2001.  He is also Chairman of the Board and Legal Director of the International Assistance Project of Alabama, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage economic development and family orientation among Alabama's new international residents and long-term visitors.  Please consider volunteering with IAPA, and read more about IAPA by visiting its home page.
Questions or comment about this article may be directed to:
Immigration Law Center, L.L.C.
P.O. Box 11032
Montgomery, Alabama 36111-0032 U.S.A.
Telephone:  (334) 832-9090
Send Email:  CLICK HERE
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Contents Refugees Newsletter #5, June 28, 2016

United Nations Refugee Data
Welcoming Refugees
United Nations
UN for Displaced Women and Children
The Progressive Magazine
US Big Deal: 10,000 [3000] Syrians [and Central Americans]
Resettling Refugees in Arkansas
Urgent Need to Protect Refugees Crossing the Mediterranean
By June ’16, 3400 Dead or Missing
OMNI Climate Change Refugees Newsletter #1
Ongoing Effort to Understand Fear and Hatred of Immigrants and Refugees
The Central Delusion of Western Civilization
Google Fear of Refugees



END REFUGEES, ASYLUM NEWSLETTER #6