U.S. refugee policy: plopping total aliens down in the middle of America

James N. writes:

The immigration vignettes you posted recently (here and here) go beyond lack of will to stop immigration of unassimilables.

The Nepalese, the Somalis, the Sudanese, the Sierra Leonians are brought here by the actions of white Westerners—actions permitted by legislation written by other white Westerners.

It’s not the Somali asylees’ idea that they be helicoptered into Lewiston, Maine. That is someone else’s idea, and that someone else is a white Westerner.

Do you think the white Westerners who make this happen are simply (societally) suicidal? Do they hate America, and their fellow Americans, that much?

I think there is a difference between Mexicans going to live in Texas, where a Mexican (or Tejano) parallel society has existed in one form or another for 150 years, and an illiterate Somali Muslim being dropped on a street corner in Lewiston, Maine. The former, I understand. The latter is incomprehensible, at least to me.

LA replies:

Here’s the first problem. About 95 percent of the public debate and knowledge on the subject of immigration concerns illegal immigration; about five percent of the public debate and knowledge concerns legal immigration, and about zero percent of the public debate and knowledge concern refugees/asylees. Compared to general immigration, which is at least somewhat understood, refugee/asylee law and refugee/asylee practice are virtually invisible to the general reader of news and opinion. The settlement of overseas refugees in America, and the granting of asylum to individuals who have illegally entered the U.S. and requested asylum, are processes that go on day in day out with virtually no public attention to or understanding of them.

Here’s the second problem. The granting of refugee status to various groups is significantly more crazy than illegal and legal immigration, because it involves the active assistance by the U.S. government and the sponsoring organization (usually a church) in bringing these people into the United States. In the case of a legal immigrant or an illegal alien, the legal immigrant or the illegal alien is taking action on his own behalf: he chooses to come to America, he chooses where to settle, and he transports himself there. So he is likely to choose a place where he will be comfortable and where he can make a living or at least function. In the case of refugees, the refugee is the passive recipient of the actions of the sponsoring organization and the government. The sponsoring organization or the government chooses where he will settle, and the sponsoring organization or the government arranges for his transportation there. The settling of that refugee or rather large group of refugees in that particular town has nothing to do with the desire of the refugees or of the people of the town. It has nothing to do with any prior or possible compatibility between them. And so we have the insanity of Bantu Somalis being dropped into the Lewiston, Maine, and of Nepalis with acute tuberculosis being dropped into New Hampshire.

And that’s just the beginning of the madness. Which we don’t know enough about.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 06, 2011 12:35 PM | Send

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