Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Much needed Immigration Reform: Terrorists vs. Victims

In a recent NYT editorial (see link above), one of the most disturbing aspects of recent changes to U.S. Immigration and asylum law is the provision that someone who was actually a victim of terrorism, can now be considered a terrorist. The editorial focuses on several real examples of individuals who were victims of terrorists, but because they dug a grave for Colombian rebels (which could have been their own) or were forced to be sexual slaves for Liberian guerrillas, they do not qualify for resettlement. As the NYT editorial points out, the law makes no exception for "duress".
This goes against all good moral judgement and fairness. How can this be?


stacy h said...

It seems like after September 11th, issues with terrorists have gone a little too far. It's quite sad when immigration law goes as far to say that someone giving a glass of water to an armed guerrilla group approaching her house is unable to enter the U.S. as a refugee because she provided "material support" to terrorists. Honestly, it's sickening. Something else needs to be added to the law in order to allow those who suffer a place to seek refuge. A lot of measures taken after 9/11 have been intended to reduce the possibility of another terrorist attack that could take many lives. However, there is a good chance that by "indefinitely holding" applications of refugees leads to an even greater loss of life than what would occur with another terrorist attack.

MadMax said...

What a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit. First a bunch of gang raping rebels
sticks it to you, then you get it again by our great government. So typical, if you ask me we don’t do enough to force corrupt countries into treating their citizens in a humane way.

I think we should stop “free trade” with any country to which we’ve given political asylum to former citizens or residents.

If your country of origin is so corrupt we’re obligated to grant you aslyum then we don’t need to be trading with that country-even if they have oil.

Does anybody disagree we should have moral & just international trade and not enrich our enemies?

Dr. D said...

Dear Madmax:
how uncharacteristic of you!
You actually agree with us?
How can that be?
This is not me: but my class: they would like to know if you finally woke up on the right side of the bed?
I don't know that we would go so far as stop free trade -- you have just offered another extreme example...
Maybe stop foreign aid, but not free trade because it would harm innocent citizens that still live in the country..
But it doesn't seem that you really care about the rest of the world,now do you?

MadMax said...

Dr. D.

Where is your anger coming from? It seems quite anti-intellectual that you would attack someone for simply disagreeing with your views.
What I really want to know is do you really think that the citizens of corrupt countries receive any aide or benefit of free trade. It’s been my belief that this remuneration is enjoyed only by the elites of these nations. Provided this is the case I see no reason to continue in trades with these appalling countries

the_drifter said...

Dear Madmax,

I think your suggestions about aid do make some sense. But may be instead of not giving any aid to the countries with bad human rights record we should instead try to monitor the distribution of this aid a little better and traget the population directly through seting up NGOs inside the country or working with the already existing ones, not giving aid to government agencies etc.
The suggestion about free trade, however, seems ridiculous to me. It seems that you think that 'free trade' is some kind of generous gift of the US to other countries, some enormous benefit, the US out of its benevolence bestows on them. I'm not sure this is how the whole free trade, liberalization of the market etc. thing works. I wonder what the state of the US economy would be if the US would stop free trade with China and Saudia Arabia to start with.
Unfortunatelly, I don't think that "moral and just international trade" is a real possibility.
Also, I'm glad that it seems that you do not support what the government of the US does to the people who by all means deserve asylum and hope to find it in the US (hm.. they should know better), but have provided "material assistance' to the "terrorist groups". Personally, it's the extremelly vague definition of the terms in this clause that throws me off. But what you propose is basically to do is not going to make situation better in any way. Moral and just free trade does not exist, it's an issue of profit, not morality.

MadMax said...


I’m sorry but I disagree with the foreign aid being managed by NGO’s. Often times these organizations can be as corrupt as the countries they are trying to help. There is just no checks and balances within these governments. I think that any aide given needs to audited by accounting firms contracted by the country giving the aid.

As far as free trade goes…….the United States maintains economic and trade sanctions and embargoes against targeted foreign countries, groups, organizations, and individuals. As of August 2001, the U.S. has sanctions and embargoes against Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I don’t think that they go far enough. More countries should be added to this list.