Thursday, February 02, 2017

The refugee ban

The Guardian has provided a helpful guide to Trump refugee ban Executive Order here, Is this a Muslim ban? Trump's executive order explained 01/31/2017. Obviously there are various court actions against it and a lot of criticism in the US and elsewhere. So the actual practices can change quickly at this point.

Digby Parton in her daily Salon column calls attention to the fact that Trump is also excluding Central American children fleeing horrific violence, some of it a result of the aftermath of 2009 coup in Honduras that the United States backed. "Regime change" can have lots of consequences.

She links to this Los Angeles Times report, Also barred by Trump's executive order: These heavily vetted kids from Central America by Kate Linthicum 02/01/2017:

“This program was an important recognition of the very real violence in these countries,” said Maureen Meyer, who advocates for migrant rights with the nonprofit Washington Office on Latin America. “Clearly the suspension of this program puts these children at more risk. A lot of people that are in danger could be killed.”

... advocates say the children who have applied for the Central America refugee program pose no danger to the U.S. and would be allowed in the country only after careful screening by the Department of Homeland Security.

“The child has to go through a very extensive security vetting,” said Wendy Young, president of Kids in Need of Defense, a nonprofit organization that advocates for immigrant children. “Refugees are the most vetted immigrants in the country.”
It's obvious that on the surface, declaring the borders closed seems an obvious solution to a perceived problem of too many immigrants and/or refugees. But reality is more complicated:

Jaime Rivas Castillo, a professor at Don Bosco University in El Salvador, said the suspension of the refugee program means some young migrants may look for other options to leave the country.

Some may seek asylum in nearby countries such as Mexico or Panama, he said, and others may still risk the 2,000-mile journey to the U.S. border and try to enter illegally or ask for asylum there.

“If you close an important valve, another one will open,” he said.
And, of course, Trump told Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday that he didn't want to live up to Obama's agreement to take some refugees currently being held in Australia under scandalously bad conditions. Robyn Dixon reports (Australia doesn't want them. Trump doesn't either. Who are these refugees trapped in bleak island camps? Los Angeles Times 02/02/2017)

Of all the refugees in the world, these are among the most unfortunate — trapped for years in miserable island camps in the Pacific, unwanted by any nation.

Australia doesn’t want them. President Trump this week made it clear that a U.S. agreement to accept 1,250 of them for resettlement was a “dumb deal” that he’d prefer to get out of.

“Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why?” he tweeted on Wednesday.

The refugees are the collateral damage in Australia’s widely criticized “Stop the Boats” policy, the rule that asylum seekers who try to reach Australian shores by sea will never “make Australia home,” even if they are genuine refugees, are children or have skills.

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