Posted: 25 Feb 2018 04:56 AM PST
“…..reveals the insidious racism harbored by those in this administration."
(Eleanor Acer, director of refugee protection at Washington-based advocacy group Human Rights First)
Here is the story at Think Progress (consider the source):
In a move formalizing more than a year of hardline anti-immigration rhetoric from the White House, the agency responsible for overseeing both green cards and citizenship has wiped a key line framing the United States as a "nation of immigrants" from its mission statement.
In a letter sent Thursday, Lee Francis Cissna, the director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), told employees that the statement had been altered to "guide us in the years ahead."
The original language:
"U.S.C.I.S. secures America's promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system," read the agency's original mission statement.
The new Trump Admin. language:
The new offering is notably altered: "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation's lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland and honoring our values."
That new statement, Cissna said, "clearly defines the agency's role in our country's lawful immigration system and the commitment we have to the American people."
In addition to the removal of the "nation of immigrants" phrase, the statement has also eliminated any reference to non-U.S. nationals as "customers" — a decision Cissna said served as "a reminder that we are always working for the American people."
Did you know that some Native Americans and Blacks never did like the phrase—nation of immigrants—so they must be cheering this move!
The phrase "nation of immigrants" is not without controversy — many Native Americans have argued against the saying, as have Black Americans, arguing that the arrival of colonizers and slaves should not be conflated with immigration more broadly. But the phrase has become a rallying cry for many contemporary proponents of immigration, which helps to diversify the United States and keep the economy strong. Its removal formalizes an agenda long pursued by the Trump administration, which has made cracking down on immigration a key pillar of its tenure.
"Our nation is one built by immigrants—removing this language does nothing to change that fact, it only reveals the insidious racism harbored by those in this administration," said Eleanor Acer, director of refugee protection at Washington-based advocacy group Human Rights First, in a statement.
More here. You might find it heartening to read the list of all the “racist” things the White House has been doing!
And, I don’t want to get in to a big yak, but we haven’t been a nation of immigrants, in fact we took about a 40 year break until Senator Ted (don’t bring them to Hyannis) Kennedy pushed the 1965 Hart-Cellers Immigration Act that opened the present day flood gates. Earlier waves of immigration were mostly from Europe (and there was no welfare system. They worked hard or went home). All that changed in 1965. 15 years later he pushed through the Refugee Act of 1980.
I always wondered if ol’ Teddy was a true believer, or did someone have a gun to his head?
Posted: 25 Feb 2018 04:09 AM PST
Canada is apparently the leading country to take off Israel’s hands some of the tens of thousands of Africans who entered Israel illegally. Israel says they are mostly economic migrants and not legitimate refugees.
Canada wants a bunch, so why they are dragging their feet isn’t clear.
Here is the news at The Star:
Ottawa has reached a last-minute deal with Israel to suspend the deportation of asylum-seekers who currently are waiting for resettlement to Canada.
Israel is set to begin deporting some 37,000 asylum-seekers, the majority of them Sudanese and Eritreans, in April after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government issued them expulsion notices.
The asylum-seekers, most of them deemed by Israel to be economic migrants rather than refugees in need of protection, can either leave voluntarily for a "safe" African country and receive $3,500 and a plane ticket, or face imprisonment.
The Canadian government is under the gun to resettle 1,845 of the African refugees whose sponsorship applications are currently in process, some for years.
"Canada does not support policies of mass deportations of asylum-seekers. The rights of asylum-seekers and refugees are laid out in the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, of which Israel is a signatory," said Adam Austen, press secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.
"As the country that resettles the highest number of African asylum-seekers from Israel, we are in direct contact with the Government of Israel to convey Canada's concerns about the situation."
Joanne Beach, director of justice and compassion for the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, which has a sponsorship agreement with Ottawa, said Canada must do its utmost to expedite the resettlement of refugees.
"The alliance is still concerned for the welfare of those at risk of deportation in Israel who do not have applications currently in process. We are appealing to churches to consider entering into a sponsorship agreement or partnering with a Canadian Jewish organization to help those at imminent risk of deportation from Israel," said Beach.
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