Today at Refugee Resettlement Watch I reported on a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer blasting the President and saying he is morally bankrupt for not being willing to take as refugees thousands more from those two countries.
What do you think? We freed the Iraqis from a tyrant in a war that cost us enormous blood and treasure, so why are we obligated then to take thousands, tens of thousands! of nationals from those countries to live in America.
When is enough enough?
The war in Iraq ended in 2011! Does our obligation continue for decades?
Large numbers of Iraqis are being deported back to Iraq because they have broken US laws somewhere along the line, but of course they don’t want to go, so some (the exact number is not being reported) have removed their “tethers.” (Tethers are described here. )
They have had their court hearing and have been ordered deported.
In a story clearly sympathetic to the Iraqi refugees, theDetroit News tells us what is happening to those awaiting deportation. The ACLU claims they are Christians who will be persecuted if returned to the Muslim country.
I think there is likely much more to their ‘stories’ than we are being told, and Christians or not, if they abused our welcome and broke our laws, we really don’t need them here.
Fearing deportation, Iraqi refugees cut tethers
Detroit — A growing number of Iraqi refugees are attempting to “save their own lives” by cutting off their tethers to evade immigration authorities’ deportation attempts before their court cases are heard, families and lawyers say.
At least seven Iraqi nationals have removed their tethers in Michigan in the last month, according to a lawyer representing 23 refugees.
One of them, Ali Al-Sadoon, ditched his tether in July in Detroit on the day he was supposed to be deported. The 33-year-old refugee from Redford Township now faces criminal charges for removing the ankle GPS tracker in addition to removal orders for breaking and entering, for which he was sentenced in 2013. But his case is expected to head to a trial he might not have otherwise received. “The only reason Ali cut his tether was because he was scared …” said his wife, Belqis Florido. “They sentenced him to death.”
Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials also arrested Wisam Hamana, 39, of Hazel Park and Baha Al-Said, 35, of Ann Arbor after both cut their tethers. Another Iraqi national, Oliver Awshana, 31, was deported from Calhoun County Correctional facility and made such a scene while transferring flights in Chicago that the pilot refused to fly him, his lawyers said.
The ACLU of Michigan has argued in federal court, where the detainees’ fates have played out for the past two years since immigration raids in June 2017, against repatriation to Iraq because, it says, if the men are sent back, they face torture or death because of their Christian faith, for having served in the U.S. military or for seeking U.S. asylum.
Be sure to note that those being deported have not become US citizens. If they came legally as refugees, then why didn’t they become citizens?
Shanta Driver, an attorney representing 23 Iraqi nationals, said the refugees cut their tethers because they “get to a point of desperation.”
[….] The men are being deported for committing crimes that the government believes violate U.S. immigration laws. [What does she mean “believes.” These men had their day in court.—-ed]
They are more vulnerable to deportation after being released from detention because their immigration cases were denied and they are seeking emergency stays so they can appeal their cases. ICE, meanwhile, is expediting deportations before that can happen, Driver said.
ICE officials said cutting off the tethers has forced the agency to detain the men again and file federal charges for the act.
A bill introduced in Congressseeks to slow the process of deportation for Iraqi nationals who have committed crimes. The bill sponsors are here. No surprise that Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are among its co-sponsors. Worried about the Christians are they?
“The State Department has evacuated all non-essential American personnel from Iraq because it is so dangerous, yet the administration is simultaneously trying to deport longstanding members of our community to Iraq, even though they face persecution, torture and death,” ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman said. “… A fair process takes time, which is why it is so critical that Congress pass the bipartisan bill to pause Iraqi deportations. Many Iraqis have won their immigration cases, but they need time to do so.” A bipartisan group of lawmakers hopes to help their cases with a bill that would grant Iraqi nationals relief from detainment and deportation while they await individual hearings before immigration judges. The bill would exclude those who pose a threat to national security. Democratic U.S. Rep. Andy Levin of Bloomfield Township and Republican Rep. John Moolenaar of Midland are spearheading the bill backed by 30 lawmakers across the country.
Michigan’s 9th District, represented by Levin, has the largest Iraqi-born community of any congressional district in the country, according to census data. Levin said they sent letters to Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and are working with the executive branch requesting intervention.
In my previous postwe learned that an Iraqi refugee (from a Special Immigrant Visaholder family) has been arrested in New Hampshire for the murder of a man who was once his neighbor.
(Local news reports say that the alleged killer’s father was a driver for western and UN diplomats, so I am assuming they are an SIV family.) The story reminded me that I wanted to fill you in about where we stand with admitting these ‘special refugees’ who supposedly once helped us in Iraq and Afghanistan. Related posts lately include my number crunching for the regular refugee program and for the Unaccompanied alien children (teens!) program which can be found here and here.
The Special Immigrant Visa program is one more legal immigration program.
The number of SIVs from Iraq has dropped under the Trump Administration, but Afghanistan is another story.
To be more precise, Hassan Ali Sapry is the son of a Special Immigrant Visaholder from Iraq. The family arrived in New Hampshire in 2008 according to local media reports on the case.
Of course they are all local reports because murders by refugees (or most illegal aliens for that matter) go unreported in the national print or cable news media.
This story is a month old (thanks to Julia for sending it), but it is new to me and likely new to everyone of you (unless you live in NH!).
The news reminds me that I have been planning to tell you where our Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program is under the Trump Administration. The last time I looked at the numbers being admitted they were huge—largely from Afghanistan at the moment. Ten years ago they were growing exponentially from Iraq after Ted Kennedy got the SIV program quietly off the ground.
SIVs are treated just like regular refugees and receive all of the usual welfare goodies refugees receive. Paid refugee contractors are responsible for placing them and someone knowledgeable about the program once reported to me that it is the SIV arrivals that are keeping the contractors afloat.
But I digress….
I’ll post the latest numbers soon.
For more on the Laconia, NH murder, there are lots of local stories about the murder and the manhunt that followed. Here are just a couple of those. Continue reading “Little Laconia, NH has a Murder and the Man Arrested is an Iraqi Refugee”→