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Senate Sellout Contained Another Atrocity—Brownback`s "Widows And Orphans" Madness
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July 06, 2006, 09:00 AM
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"Going to America is the holy grail of refugee life. People will cajole, bribe, threaten and kill for the opportunity…" (Refugee Reports, Nov 2002, [PDF] published by the pro-refugee Non-Government Organization [NGO] U.S. Committee for Refugees)

From a recent State Department report (The United States Refugee Admissions Program: Reforms for a New Era of Refugee Resettlement), discussing the attractions of the West:

"This magnet effect or pull factor forms an increasingly pervasive worry for host countries and sometimes for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in thinking about resettlement initiatives. Those parties also worry that providing a resettlement option [i.e. to the West] will interfere with pursuit of other durable solutions—local integration or voluntary repatriation.

"The temptation to fraud is great in refugee programs, because resettlement often represents such a highly valued solution for persons in desperate situations. In today`s conditions, the fraud problem has probably worsened, owing to modern communications and the growth of organized crime or other enterprises trying to make money from facilitating a person`s inclusion in a resettlement program."

This State Department report is not, as this quote might appear to imply, a criticism of the refugee program. Instead, it`s basically a how-to manual for overcoming common sense objections to the program and for opening up the U.S. to even more refugee and asylee immigration.

But the Senate needs no such guidance. Its intemperate immigration bill, S2611—known to VDARE.COM readers as "The Senate Sellout"—went beyond even the wildest fantasies of the refugee contractor lobby. In a little-noticed provision, it handed the Refugee Industry what could be the biggest invitation to fraud in the history of the refugee program. And that`s saying a lot.

For years, Senator Sam Brownback (R.-Kansas) has tried to legislate a so-called humanitarian visa category for "widows and orphans." In the latest debate, not only did the Senator succeed in removing an amendment from S2611 that would have strengthened "expedited removal" for bogus asylum seekers, but he was able to include his "relief for widows and orphans" act in the bill. [Sec. 506. The "Widows and Orphans Act of 2006"]

Awww! Who can be against "Widows and orphans"?

Except that according to Brownback`s bill, a "widow" is anyone determined "to be a female who has a credible fear of harm related to her sex; and a lack of adequate protection from such harm."

And under "orphans" we find anyone determined to be under "18 years of age… for whom no parent or legal guardian is able to provide adequate care; who faces a credible fear of harm related to his or her age; who lacks adequate protection from such a harm; and for whom it has been determined to be in his or her best interest to be admitted to the United States." [italics added]

OK—so we are to understand that "widows and orphans" is shorthand for the world`s infinite oppressed and helpless. 

Got that? It does not mean, well, "widows" and "orphans"…any more than "refugees" necessarily means "refugees."

Ironically, Senator Brownback has already successfully thwarted an attempt to resettle "widows and orphans"Somali Bantus, in this case—in his own state of Kansas. He said that they "would not work well in Kansas," telling Kansans that he "contacted the Department of State asking them to not resettle any Somali Bantus in the state of Kansas." ["Brownback clarifies position on refugee issue: No Bantu" By Rob Roberts, Johnson County Sun, October 17, 2001]

In fact, the Refugee Industry has repeatedly passed up opportunities to share in a charitable way its own resources with "widows and orphans." With the Brownback bill, it can continue its profitable import-refugees-and-dump-them-on-the-taxpayer racket as usual. The "widows and orphans" would be treated as refugees for purposes of the U.S. domestic refugee resettlement program—but they would not count against the refugee quota that is currently determined each year by the administration.

Even more importantly, the "widows and orphans" will be admitted under a lower evidentiary standard than that applied to current refugees.

Today, refugees must demonstrate a "well-founded fear" of persecution based on membership in one of five categories—race, religion, nationality, political opinion or social group.

Admittedly, Congress, the courts and the administration have shown this definition only applies when they want it to.

But consider what could happen under the much weaker definition for "widows and orphans."  This group need only demonstrate a "credible fear" based on membership in the group "female" or the group "under 18 years of age."

These Brownback-favored groups mirror certain UN refugee categories such as "women at risk." The "open floodgates" potential of such categories—with weakened standards for proof of persecution to boot—alarm even supporters of the refugee program.

From the State Department report:

"The `women-at-risk` criterion is very broadly phrased, and some worried that it could encourage the courting of harm as a way of qualifying for resettlement priority….

"…some of UNHCR`s traditional categories for resettlement referrals, especially the category for `women at risk`, can become self-fulfilling. When it becomes known that resettlement is possible on this ground, families may separate to enable the woman to win a referral for herself and the children and perhaps be able to bring the husband later…. or  [women may] even expose themselves to greater dangers, so as to try to come within the category. … The temptations in this field have also sometimes resulted in damaging corruption or manipulation on the part of certain UNHCR officials or others in a responsible role, who find they can extract large bribes or other personal favors for moving certain cases to the head of the resettlement line."

To top it off, the report said under the new bill, any "international organization or recognized nongovernmental entity designated by the Secretary of State for purposes of such referrals" can refer individuals into the "widows and orphans" program. 

The State Department audits the books of some 400 NGOs that contract with the government for domestic resettlement. Another 160 receive funding for work overseas in U.N. refugee camps.

The personnel in many, if not most, of these NGOs is largely, sometimes exclusively, made up of refugees and immigrants. They are paid to bring in more refugees and specialize in using social and family networks back home to earn their pay.

Needless to say, the bill`s definition of "an international organization or recognized nongovernmental entity designated by the Secretary of State for purposes of such referrals" is not clear. But my guess is this legislation will give over 500 NGO`s the right to travel the globe on the U.S. taxpayer`s dime peddling the "holy grail" of going to America with all the rights and entitlements of instant U.S. citizenship.

A recent profile of the Senator in Rolling Stone—which in true MSM form, makes no mention of his considerable efforts in the field of immigration legislation—claims that "sex, in all its various forms, is at the center of Brownback`s agenda." But I suspect this tells us more about the Rolling Stone than about Sam Brownback. [God`s Senator, by Jeff Sharlet, January 25, 2006]

"Ask him what drives him" according to the article "and he`ll answer without irony, `widows and orphans.`"

Ask me what drives this aspiring president of the U.S. and I can only speculate about the connections between his recent conversion to Catholicism, the religion of the people he is hoping (to paraphrase Bertolt Brecht) to elect, and the cheap labor lobby money he gets from agribusiness.

We also know the global "human rights" machine has influence and money to hand out and even writes much of his material.

I won`t deny the Senator`s sincere if misguided religious motives in all this. To do so would imply more cynicism on his part, if not outright evil, than even I can imagine.

But maybe it is time to start believing in poltergeists.

Thomas Allen (email him) is a recovering refugee worker.