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refugees Tag

This is potentially disturbing and seems to be part of a trend in Western Europe:
Following a report of a series of alleged offensive online posts relating to Syrian refugees living in Rothesay on Bute, Police Scotland confirmed on Tuesday that a 40-year-old man, understood to be from the Inverclyde area, had been arrested under the Communications Act... Following the arrest, Insp Ewan Wilson from Dunoon police office said: “I hope that the arrest of this individual sends a clear message that Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of activity which could incite hatred and provoke offensive comments on social media.”
In the United States, the only way this sort of arrest might be justified would be if the social media postings were used to specifically call for an imminent act of violence against refugees. That would be tantamount to enforcing our own very limited "incitement to riot" exceptions to our free speech policies.

James Traub writes in Foreign Policy on the situation facing Sweden in its attempt to absorb the recent wave of Syrian/Iraqi/Afghan newcomers. At the outset of the article, the author may seem to be leaning towards blaming Europe for not being more magnanimous, and to be making a false analogy to WWII refugees---who may indeed have been from other countries, but who nevertheless were part of the same basic Judeo-Christian culture as the Swedes and held pretty much the same values. But that's actually not at all the direction in which the article ultimately goes, nor is it the way a lot of people in Sweden seem to be going at this point. And the trend may continue. But it's hard to talk about it in Sweden:
Diana Janse, a former diplomat and now the senior foreign policy advisor to the Moderate Party (which Swedes view as “conservative”), pointed out to me that some recent generations of Swedish refugees, including Somalis, had been notably unsuccessful joining the job market. How, she wondered, will the 10,000-20,000 young Afghan men who had entered Sweden as “unaccompanied minors” fare? How would they behave in the virtual absence of young Afghan women? But she could barely raise these questions in political debate. “We have this expression in Swedish, asiktskorridor,” she said. “It means ‘opinion corridor’ — the views you can’t move outside of.” Merely to ask whether Sweden could integrate Afghans today as it had Bosnians two decades before was to risk accusations of racism.

We've been covering the refugee crisis in Europe and the insistence by Angela Merkel and other EU leaders that the "migrant" crisis is not a factor in the crimes committed by migrants. Such denials have stoked anger in Europe, which has seen horrible crimes like the mass rape and sexual abuse on New Year's Eve. In reaction, a wave of anti-Islamification rallies and protests took place this weekend in Germany, the UK, Denmark, France, and numerous other countries, even in Australia. The Daily Mail reports:

Nationalist groups in Europe have been galvanized by the unprecedented influx of refugees from Africa, Asia and the Middle East last year. Today similar, smaller PEGIDA-style protests were planned in France, Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

In the Czech capital of Prague, thousands rallied against the influx of refugees and others in support of them and opposing protesters clashed and had to be separated by police.

In the wake of the Cologne mass sexual attacks and her failed attempts to disassociate the Middle Eastern refugee influx from the crimes they commit, Angela Merkel is trying a new tactic. Having "lost" 600,000 refugees, Merkel is now trying to placate the German people with the idea that these refugees will all "go home" once the civil wars in Syria and Iraq are resolved. Reuters reports:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried on Saturday to placate the increasingly vocal critics of her open-door policy for refugees by insisting that most refugees from Syria and Iraq would go home once the conflicts there had ended. . . . . Merkel said it was important to stress that most refugees had only been allowed to stay for a limited period.

Following reports of increasing sexual violence and general law breaking throughout Europe, including particularly in Germany, EU leaders double-down on their delusional thinking.  Apparently, they are insisting that the increased crime and sexual assaults are not linked to the Middle Eastern refugee influx. The Telegraph reports:
The sex attacks that took place in Cologne on New Year’s Eve were simply a “matter of public order” and had nothing to do with the refugee crisis, Jean-Claude Juncker’s inner circle believe. The European Commission will be the "voice of reason" and tell the public that there is no link between the migration crisis affecting the continent and attacks on women in Germany, internal minutes disclose, amid growing concerns at a “xenophobic” backlash.
Apparently, public safety is not high on their list of priorities; instead, they are focused on trying to manage and manipulate the public's perceptions.  Indeed, according to The Daily Mail, the EU  leaders want to "unconditionally reject" the link between the Cologne sexual assaults and the migrant crisis.

The refugee crisis in Europe is causing a huge number of problems for European governments and people, and now British "anarchists" from No Borders have traveled to Calais to incite refugees to violence. The Daily Mail reports:

British anarchists were among some 35 people under arrest in Calais on Sunday after leading a 'scandalous' invasion of the ferry port by some 500 migrants.

Not only did the thugs tear down security fences and threaten violence, but they also defaced a statue of France's wartime leader and former president Charles de Gaulle.

Masked agitators from the left-wing group No Borders were filmed during the trouble on Saturday afternoon as they tried to get people to the UK.

Apparently, the "anarchists" were attempting to force officials to allow the "migrants" to enter the UK.

The Mail continues:

Time's 2015 "Person of the Year" is facing increasing criticism for her handling of the Middle Eastern refugee crisis and her open borders policy. Now, in the wake of numerous assaults across Germany alone, including the New Year's Eve mass sexual assaults by immigrants in Cologne, and increasing crime and unease among the German people, the German government admits that it cannot account for 600,000 of the 1.1 million refugees Angela Merkel let flood into the country over the past year or so.

Reading the accounts from Cologne about the throngs of Arab men sexually assaulting women in Cologne on New Year's Eve, my first thought went to Lara Logan who suffered a similar fate in Egypt during the "Arab Spring." Lara is continuing to suffer from the unspeakable abuse she endured and was again hospitalized early in 2015.  My second thought went to the Second Amendment. As the evil that was perpetrated on over a hundred women (in Cologne alone) sinks in, the governments in Germany and throughout the western world—reports of similar attacks in Finland are emerging—are feeling more pressure than ever to address the refugee crisis and their own policies. Der Spiegel has published a lengthy and thoughtful article entitled "Chaos and Violence: How New Year's Eve in Cologne Changed Germany."
For some, the events finally bring to light what they have always been saying: that too many foreigners in the country bring too many problems along with them. For the others, that which happened is what they have been afraid of from the very beginning: that ugly images of ugly behavior by migrants would endanger what has been a generally positive mood in Germany with respect to the refugees.

The number of Syrian Christian refugees the United States has taken in is extremely small. And yet this is a group that ought logically to be first in line because members face the most obvious danger and persecution---not only in Syria, but in several Arab or Muslim countries to which they might have fled. Syrian Christians would also have little chance of being terrorists. We already have seen how little Obama has said or done about the plight of Christians in the Middle East today, both rhetorically and in terms of action. So it's no stretch to imagine that the lack of Syrian Christian refugees may be the result of a deliberate policy of this administration. However, at least some of the lack of Christians among the Middle Eastern refugees to the US is a reflection of the way the system works vis-a-vis the UN, which usually does the initial vetting for us---a system that, by the way, desperately needs changing:

Earlier this week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a complaint seeking to block resettlement of six Syrian refugees. Sarah Rumpf reported:
The lawsuit names as defendants various federal entities such as the Department of State, Secretary of State John Kerry, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, as well as International Rescue Committee, Inc., a nonprofit organization involved in refugee resettlement. According to the the complaint, the Refugee Act of 1980 (8 U.S.C. § 1522) “establishes a framework for collaboration and cooperation” between the federal government, state and local governments, and volunteer nonprofit organizations, and also requires that the federal government and these private groups “shall consult regularly” and work “in close cooperation and advance consultation” with the states about “the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the States and localities before their placement in those States and localities.” The Texas HHSC was told during a phone call with International Rescue Committee that the group intended to resettle two families of Syrian refugees — a total of six people — in Dallas, Texas this week, possibly as early as Thursday, December 3. However, as the complaint alleges, neither this nonprofit group nor the federal government have met their obligations under the Refugee Act of 1980 to consult with Texas about these refugees. Therefore, Texas is demanding that the court order the federal government and International Rescue Committee to comply with the law by consulting with Texas and providing the requested information, and to block the resettlement of these Syrian refugees until that occurs.
Friday, Paxton withdrew the complaint:

On Wednesday afternoon, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, on behalf of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (Texas HHSC), filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking to block the resettlement of six Syrian refugees in Texas. The lawsuit names as defendants various federal entities such as the Department of State, Secretary of State John Kerry, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, as well as International Rescue Committee, Inc., a nonprofit organization involved in refugee resettlement. According to the the complaint, the Refugee Act of 1980 (8 U.S.C. § 1522) "establishes a framework for collaboration and cooperation" between the federal government, state and local governments, and volunteer nonprofit organizations, and also requires that the federal government and these private groups "shall consult regularly" and work "in close cooperation and advance consultation" with the states about "the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the States and localities before their placement in those States and localities.”

Canada joins the liberal leaders of the US and much of Europe and plans to go ahead with the admission of many thousands of Syrian refugees:
Canada plans to fly in 900 Syrian refugees a day as of next month, according to media reports, as the defense minister said showing compassion for these people sends a message to Islamic State extremists. Canadian officials said details of a plan to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees by year's end would be announced Tuesday. The Canadian media reports come amid fears that IS jihadists could slip into the country posing as refugees, in the wake of last week's attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people.
The bill is projected to be 1.2 billion Canadian dollars. Canada has come up with a stupendous rationale for what they're doing. The liberal Canadian Minister of Defence (who is a Sikh, by the way, with what appears to be a pretty strong resume) has made some statements that are similar to the reasoning of liberals in this country as well:
This crisis is not just about a humanitarian project," he said in his opening remarks to military commanders and defense ministers from around the world. "This also sends a great message to ISIS that you might create this environment for us, but we will not let you take advantage of this," he said, using an alternate acronym for the IS group. "By doing our part for this, we are actually hitting ISIS in a different way as well."

As Ted Cruz's campaign gains momentum and as Obama continues to be more aggressive in his critique of Republicans than of ISIS, Cruz challenged Obama this week over comments made overseas regarding the Paris attacks, ISIS, and the Syrian refugee crisis. Politico reports:
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday said that if President Barack Obama wants to be critical of his rhetoric, he should "come back and insult me to my face." Obama has been critical of Cruz's proposal for handling the Syrian refugee crisis, which includes allowing in Syrian Christians, but not Syrian Muslims. The president earlier this week called that approach "shameful," adding, "we don't have religious tests to our compassion." "Mr. President, if you want to insult me, you can do it overseas, you can do it in Turkey, you can do it in foreign countries, but I would encourage you, Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face," Cruz told reporters Wednesday morning, looking directly into the cameras. "Let's have a debate on Syrian refugees right now. We can do it anywhere you want. I'd prefer it in the United States and not overseas where you're making the insults. It's easy to toss a cheap insult when no one can respond, but let's have a debate."

Wednesday, I argued that debate over the Syrian refugee crisis detracts from the heart of the issue -- President Obama’s incompetency combatting radical Muslim terrorist cells. Had this administration some semblance of strategy or will to win, the contentious and overly politicized refugee debate would be nonexistent. There would be no need for for the masses to flee heinously violent Islamist terrorists.
The better discussion here is not refugees that will take at least 18 months to vet, but how an absence of overall strategy has resulted in an emboldened ISIS. Speaking from Turkey earlier this week, President Obama renewed his commitment to stay the course with the current strategy to fight ISIS (whatever that is) and admitted he has no interest in, “pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning,” an attitude that become more obvious by the day.
Prior to Thursday's House vote to halt President Obama's Syrian refugee proposal, Rep. Trey Gowdy also argued that, "the people in charge of our foreign policy seem more interested in treating the symptoms," rather than addressing why thousands are fleeing their homeland.

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Americans are looking toward their elected leadership for a way forward in the plan to defeat ISIS. One of the plans put forward by the GOP-led Congress is to enhance security measures and to temporarily halt settlements for the incoming Syrian and Iraqi refugees, and to also require the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to perform individual background checks. The White House has reported that President Obama has made it clear that he will veto the House-led legislation if it arrives at his desk. From Fox News:
"Given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis ... [Obama] would veto the bill."
But even some Democrats are showing defiance towards the president's strategy and are aligning themselves with the GOP on this particular issue. The Blue Dog Democrats, who are more conservative-leaning, will back the legislation.