The State Department wants YOUR input during the consultations to determine the annual refugee quota.
That's right! According to Kelly Ryan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, irregularly scheduled open meetings will be aimed at
"getting the views of the public on the appropriate size and scope of the fiscal year 2004 refugee admissions program." [July/August 2003: Refugee Reports — U.S. State Department Holds Public Meeting on Refugee Resettlement]
The first such meeting was held in the Washington D.C.-area offices of the State Department's Refugee Processing Center on July 31.
What? You missed the notice of the meeting in the Federal Register?
Well, you didn't expect them to advertise in the Washington Post, did you?
But VDARE.COM was there!
And we can reveal the exciting things State learned:
At least, that's according to the 20 or so NGOs, faith-based organizations (FBOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), Community Development Corporations (CDCs), human rights organizations (HROs), voluntary agencies (VOLAGS), federal commission members and immigration lawyers who did somehow hear about the July 31 meeting and showed up.
That's particularly interesting because, according to State Department sources, South Korea has never been approached about taking more refugees from the North. Yet such refugees are granted automatic citizenship in South Korea.
Given its relationship and proximity to the mad dictatorship, South Korea can hardly hang out banners inviting northerners to flee south. (Only moneymaking "nonprofits" in the U.S. can afford to do that.) But its silence is an implicit welcome worth more than the word of the gaggle of NGOs purporting to speak for the American public.
It was of course to prevent U.S. officials from using discretion in the case of Soviet Jews that Congress has been quietly renewing the "Lautenberg Amendment," decreeing that they be treated as refugees.
This means sending Department of Homeland Security agents to re-open refugee processing offices in Hanoi.
Of course, most of these Vietnamese are not and never were refugees. And they could go home – but an attempt to repatriate them to Vietnam in the mid-nineties was halted by bad press and the condemnation of the Catholic hierarchy.
If this idea is adopted, watch for a sudden expansion—again—of this Vietnamese "refugee" population in the Philippines as they can reasonably expect to be sent to the U.S.
Current proposals would easily triple the population that now falls under the protection of U.N. refugee mandates—and that's already at about 13 million,
About 5,000 or so unaccompanied children arrive in the U.S. annually and are detained by DHS. Some 40% are deported or return voluntarily. But some, deemed a flight risk or possibly criminals (they can be as old as 16), are kept in secure facilities.
Needless to say, children detained by DHS make marvelous media sob stories. (see NYT Nov 3, Littlest Immigrants, Left in Hands of Smugglers, by Ginger Thompson.)
But here is one story apparently not fit to print: according to Ken Totta of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, the non-secure detention facilities in which most are held "like a boarding school," with one staffer for 6 juveniles and a program of movies and concerts.
Increasingly, these minors are entering the over-taxed U.S. Foster Care system. VDARE.COM prediction: we will find cases where the relative in the U.S. who originally summoned the child ends up being paid by Foster Care to raise it!
Anastasia Brown of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops told the meeting that the bishops are "distressed" over the state of care for refugee children. Don't worry!—she added "they are not involved for any reason other than that is 'our mission.'"
A few further observations from the July 31 meeting:
There's a move to bring over a group of "Lost Girls" to join the "Lost Boys"—the gang of alleged child soldiers and others from the Sudanese Civil War who were imported a couple of years ago!
In fact—this is a VDARE.COM exclusive— the Lost Girls are already on their way! But quietly, without the press fanfare that accompanied the Lost Boys.
The official reason for the covert nature of this operation is not concern over U.S. citizen reaction. (Which seems to be spreading and has actually stopped resettlement plans in Kansas, Massachusetts and South Carolina.) This official reason: concern over negative reaction in the tribal communities in Africa from which the "Lost Girls" are being taken.
You see, they too have a culture with its own expectations for its young. Any overt plan to bring over, say, 3,500 Lost Girls to match up with the Lost Boys would disquiet tribal elders. Who knows, the elders might try to hide the girls from refugee workers.
(Even more likely, the realization that there is a plan to raid the camps for young women would spur marriages of convenience made to hitch a ride out of the camp on the U.S. refugee program. As they say in all parts of the globe where the U.S. refugee resettlement program operates: "marriage is a means of transportation.")
The U.S. Commission of International Religious Freedom was particularly busy airing its views at the July 31 meeting. This commission, established by Congress, is intended to bring religious freedom to the persecuted around the world. But, failing this, it will assist in bringing the "religiously persecuted" to the U.S.
The commission offers its services to any organization needing help in framing a religious persecution argument for aspiring asylum entrants.
Indeed, it turns out that U.S. visa officers overseas who suspect a visa applicant may overstay his visa may not categorically deny that applicant—if the visa officer also has reason to believe that the applicant, once admitted to the U.S., might apply for asylum on the basis of "persecution." All such applicants must be referred to the U.S. refugee program.
(Attention all Department of Homeland Security agents! To your posts in foreign capitals please!)
This Commission, which its "Immigration Counsel" Mark Hetfield described at the July 31 meeting as a "federal agency independent of the executive branch," whatever that means, is basically another federal entity at the service of the refugee and immigration lobby. Some, if not most, of its members come straight from the ranks of refugee resettlement contractors. (Hetfield himself was formerly Washington Representative of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.)
Obviously, the July 31 meeting was a charade. And the State Department knows that.
But these refugee consultations should not yet be dismissed. Nor should the State Department be blamed for everything. I am convinced that there are elements in State that want the meetings to succeed. And the refugee industry, as powerful a lobby as it is, ultimately remains the Frankenstein creation of Congress and its laws. It could be uncreated anytime.
A State Department spokesman has defended the meeting as a flawed first attempt, which will be improved upon with time, especially as it relates to getting input from the public.
VDARE.COM will give plenty of advance notice of the next meeting!