“Refugees are Human Beings” from an American that lives in SE ASIA
WE do not usual write about politics and try to just share the beauty of SE Asia with information to help you enjoy your stay here.
There are 4 reasons a country or people may object to helping. FEAR IGNORANCE HATE or ECONOMICS
I am an American, Christian and live in SE Asia for a number of years. I worked in Iraq as an american contractor so have seen what war does to families. First refugees is a moral issue for me so that is the main factor shaping my view. My grandfather was also an immigrant from Bohemia that came to America in the late 1890s to have a better life, so my family heritage. I write this because have seen a number of americans some politicians, friends, and family that are against the US accepting Syrian refugees. This saddens me and is embarrassing but most of all disgusting! Number of “want to be President of America” using fear and ignorance as a means to get votes! Not inspiring americans but bringing out the worst in mankind. Also, the Syrian refugees are not the only refugees, as in SE Asia the Rohingya Refugees is also a crisis! The number of refugees around the world is a huge number “The latest figures available show that the number of refugees of concern to UNHCR in mid-2014 stood at 13 million refugees, up from a year earlier” UNHCR “The refugees of concern to UNHCR are spread around the world, with half in Asia and some 28 per cent in Africa. They live in widely varying conditions, from well-established camps and collective centres to makeshift shelters or living in the open.” Wikipedia “At the end of 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide 14.4 million under UNHCR‘s mandate, plus 5.1 million Palestinian refugees under UNRWA‘s mandate)”
Photos from Google Photos
Refugee and immigration or fleeing religious persecution, economic hardship is not new. America was founded by people fleeing Europe from religious intolerance and poverty.
text from UNHCR
The practice of granting asylum to people fleeing persecution in foreign lands is one of the earliest hallmarks of civilization. References to it have been found in texts written 3,500 years ago, during the blossoming of the great early empires in the Middle East such as the Hittites, Babylonians, Assyrians and ancient Egyptians.
Global migration patterns have become increasingly complex in modern times, involving not just refugees, but also millions of economic migrants. But refugees and migrants, even if they often travel in the same way, are fundamentally different, and for that reason are treated very differently under modern international law.
Migrants, especially economic migrants, choose to move in order to improve the future prospects of themselves and their families. Refugees have to move if they are to save their lives or preserve their freedom. They have no protection from their own state – indeed it is often their own government that is threatening to persecute them. If other countries do not let them in, and do not help them once they are in, then they may be condemning them to death – or to an intolerable life in the shadows, without sustenance and without rights.
An Introduction to Statelessness
text from UNHCR
People are often asked, at some point in their lives, what nationality they have. However, not many question how and why they have acquired their nationality. Is nationality something we are born with? Is it something we acquire? Can we lose it? The answer to these questions is yes. However, unless you have encountered problems with your nationality, you probably take it for granted.
Having a nationality is something so natural that people rarely stop to think about what life would be like without it. But at least 10 million people worldwide have no nationality. That is the same as the combined populations of Norway and Denmark. Moreover, most of these 10 million people are stateless by no fault of their own. Statelessness – not having a nationality – occurs because of discrimination against certain groups; redrawing of borders; and gaps in nationality laws.
The constant in all of this is that someone without a nationality cannot live the same life as someone with a nationality:
- Try to get an ID card if you have no nationality;
- Try opening a bank account without an ID card;
- Try to board a flight without a passport;
- Try to enrol in university without proof of nationality.
These things are impossible for stateless people to do in a way that is safe and dignified. So imagine a lifetime of obstacles and disappointment and imagine 10 million people who cannot achieve their full potential.
What countries are helping?
My commentary: Great countries in history that we admire share a common humanitarian core. Countries in History that usual looked upon as evil have usual been government that are extreme left or right or dictators. Past example would be Nazi Germany, Japan, Italy that during WWII killed 3% of the world population and created the largest exodus of people fleeing. wikipedia “The conflict and political instability during World War II led to massive numbers of refugees (see World War II evacuation and expulsion). In 1943, the Allies created the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) to provide aid to areas liberated from Axis powers, including parts of Europe and China. By the end of the War, Europe had more than 40 million refugees”
About my Country America
Fear is understandable emotion and often we are fearful of what we do not know. Ignorance
For many americans there is little knowledge about Islam except what they see of terrorist acts such as the 911 attack in New York and the terrorist using Islam as reason. Less than 1% of the US population follow Islam. So most americans only know what they see on the news or what leaders/politicians tell them. People also usual make friends with like minded people, conservatives like other conservatives etc. I have been blessed to have friends, neighbors, and worked with muslims, jews, buddhist and people of many other faiths and counties. As a Christian, I cant see where one religion has it over another as far as how people live moral lives. All thru history evil men have used religion as a basis to gain power. All religions! In America we have not used religion but certainly have committed atrocities against other humans. No country is perfect but what has made america great have been the people and we have the freedom of speech and use it often to be critical of our own government. We have freedom of Religion!
Hate is often the result of fear and ignorance and often used thru out history to gain support for leaders or politicians. The nazi party in Germany certainly used it, Iran today uses it. We have politicians in america that would like to be president and are using it. This has been used before example during the cold war about communist!
Donald Trump says he’s now more against allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. than ever, warning it could be a way for terrorists to sneak into the country.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has struck back at President Obama’s implication that his rejection of Syrian refugees is “shameful,” telling CNN he will be introducing legislation banning Muslim Syrian refugees from entering the United States.
Ben Carson This Monday, I sent letters to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan urging Congress to terminate all public funding for ongoing federal programs that seek to resettle refugees from Syria into the U.S. I also call on the American people to stop viewing Islamic extremism through the lens of political correctness.
Like his rival Jeb Bush, Rubio cited concerns over the vetting of such refugees, stating there would be no way to conduct background checks in order to keep out potential terrorists.
“You can have a thousand people come in and 999 of them are just poor people fleeing oppression and violence,” Rubio said. “But one of them is an Isis fighter – if that’s the case, you have a problem.
Facebook post by few afraid and ignorant americans
The US Vetting Process
America History of Helping Refugees
Has not been something to be proud of! In america we can learn about our countries failures as well as the successes. WE have the freedom to to that and to try and argue for change without risk of going to prison. We can openly be critical and it is not seen as unpatriotic. It is how a democracy works.
Gallup’s first questions about refugees were asked in January 1939, just a couple of months after the Nov. 9-10 events, which came to be known as Kristallnacht, when Nazi party officials, Hitler Youth and other Germans carried out waves of violence against Jewish synagogues, cemeteries, businesses and Jewish residents in their homes. The events accelerated the attempts of European Jews to flee Germany and proximate countries and to emigrate to nations such as the U.S. The basic question Gallup asked related specifically to refugee children: “It has been proposed that the government permit 10,000 refugee children from Germany to be brought into this country and taken care of in American homes. Do you favor this plan?” A second question asked of a different sample was basically the same as above, but included the phrase “most of them Jewish” and ended with, “should the government permit these children to come in?”
It didn’t matter much whether or not the refugee children were identified as Jewish. A clear majority, 67% of Americans, opposed the basic idea, and a lower 61% were opposed in response to the question that included the phrase “most of them Jewish.”
President Obama remarked during a press conference in Turkey that “slamming the door shut” on those seeking refuge, or screening them based on their religion, would be “shameful.” “When individuals say we should have religious tests, and only Christians, proven Christians, should be allowed, that’s offensive and contrary to American values,” he said.
Republican rhetoric has been quite different, emphasizing a potential national security risk from migrants. Donald Trump said Syrian refugees could be “the greatest Trojan horse of all time,” and urged banning them all. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush was more cautious, saying, “We all have sympathies for people who have been uprooted. But we have a duty to protect our country as well.”
For students of history, this conversation may sound familiar. The debate between welcoming migrants and protecting the U.S. from perceived external threats is one that has pervaded our history. It’s a debate that, or one time or another, has determined the fortunes of practically every ethnic group in America, as the photos below show. America is a nation of immigrants and refugees, but also a nation that has, on countless occasions, turned immigrants and refugees away.
Perhaps the massive influx of Irish migrants to the U.S. in the mid-19th Century, which provoked one of the most significant anti-immigrant movements in American history, should be thought of as refugees as well.
At the time, Irish certainly had reason to fear for their lives. In the mid-19th Century, Ireland was experiencing a deadly potato famine, the horror of which is hard to comprehend. Ireland’s population today is still substantially lower than it was 150 years ago. Two million people fled a country wracked by famine and abject poverty, where one million people ultimately died. This drawing shows Irish emigrants massed at Queenstown, Ireland, waiting for passage to New York:
This influx of immigrants sparked an anti-Catholic and anti-foreign backlash that branded itself the Know-Nothing Party, a movement that sought to close America off from what they termed “foreign paupers.” The party shared a broad belief that the American nationality could be destroyed by an influx of immigrants, especially those loyal to the Pope
Anti-immigrant sentiment rose again in the late 19th Century on the East Coast with the arrival of large numbers of Italian immigrants, who came to work as unskilled laborers in the new industries that were popping up in U.S. cities.
In the late 1930s, Americans were also reluctant to welcome Jewish refugees of the brewing Second World War.
As the Post’s Petula Dvorak writes, the U.S. turned away Jewish children who were desperate to escape the Nazis. In one tragic case, officials in Florida turned away a boat called the SS St. Louis. The boat returned to Europe, where about a quarter of the 908 Jewish refugees aboard were ultimately killed in Nazi death camps.
My Closing Comments
American people are a good people and generous. America can afford to help as the largest economy in the world. Countries can change. Look at Germany now that has open its doors and welcome refugees with the Germany of 1930s! I hope American will do more to help and accept those families. It is the moral thing to do!
This is a long post. I hope maybe will change a few minds. Please any comments please be civil