Friday, September 04, 2015

European migration crisis can complicate our own handling of illegal immigration from or through Mexico, and even asylum seeking for LGBT

Amanda Taub, responding to the image of a particular drowned refugee from Syria, has an impassioned essay on Vox, that the United States could do more to share the burden of taking refugees from the war in the Middle East, link here.

And NBC News has a photo gallery showing a refugee’s life with a relative’s family in Michigan, with enough illustrations to create a short film, here.

Comments to these stories on Facebook make the valuable point that the US could take care of its own homeless first, before taking in more refugees.  Yet CNN today is reporting that there are 60 million displaced people in the World today, the largest number since World War II.

I’ve covered this migration problem on my International Issue blog, but there is certainly a connection to domestic problems.  The issue shares aspects in common with the problem of Central American migration through Mexico, with the problem of processing “illegals” and especially children once they’re here.  And there is the “anchor baby” issue as Donald Trump keeps reminding us. Furthermore, there is a terrible, if smaller in volume, issue with LGBT asylum seekers from authoritarian countries in Africa and especially, also, Russia, since 2013.

Another issue will be religious:  some people would be willing to accept “the idea of” non-Muslim (or specifically Christian or Jewish) refugees only, an idea already driving some right-wing politics in Europe and perhaps the US and Canada.  

Generally, the United States and particularly Canada are willing to let in refugees who already have relatives in the US willing to take them in and sponsor them.

But it would seem likely that churches could organize efforts to pressure politicians to do more about this issue, and to pressure their own members to get involved in hosting activities, even at considerable personal risk, as “matters of faith”.  I could see how policies regarding inheritance (“unearned wealth”) could get brought in. I have a Wordpress posting on this from early 2014 here.  This issue came up in southern cities with the Cuban refugees in 1980. 

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