Monday, March 24, 2008

Police Ask for African Refugees to be Put Out of the City

Police officials in Australia advised Immigration officials that it would be better to settle African Refugees outside of the city. In the past police officials have had crime-related problems because of grouping conflicts among Sudanese refugees which was further exacerbated by the living conditions in the city. Also, the police have noticed an escalation in gang violence among Sudanese refugees. Officials believe that it would be better to settle these refugees in rural settlements where it would be easier for refugees to find jobs, avoid drugs and alcohol, and street crimes. These settlements would help create comfortable communities for the refugees where they would not have to worry about the hustle and bustle of a major city such as Melbourne. Officials believe that they can entice refugees to move out of the cities by offering them better job opportunities and living conditions in rural settlements.

I think that this idea is interesting. I do not know however, how effect this plan will be in rural areas. I believe that if people want to be a member of a gang or involved in criminal activity they will be involved no matter where they live. I propose that officials provide refugees with education about the culture they are about to be submersed in and encourage safe communities and community involvement for refugee families no matter if they live in a city or rural area.



What do you think?

3 comments:

ashley said...

I don't know that placing these refugees in rural areas will have quite the drastic effect that the article suggests, but I absolutely agree that education and career opportunities will provide tremendous benefits. Separating the people from urban life will not remove the problem of gangs, drugs, and alcohol, but setting up a program that provides refugees with an alternative to this type of lifestyle will certainly be a step in the right direction.

Many criminal offenders will commit the same crimes when they are released from detention centers because they are forced to move back into the same area with the same crowd of people. The same concept applies to this group of immigrants- if they arrive in another country and only certain options are available to them to survive, then that's what they are going to do. I had the opportunity to visit a Pre-Release Center in Montgomery County, MD, where prisoners are given the chance to start a job while still under supervision. These men and women are housed in secure areas, but they can go out during the day to work and become re-integrated into society. The idea the article presents is somewhat similar; ushering refugees into an unfamiliar society through job opportunities and cultural education would increase their chances of becoming productive members of society.

Scuba Steve said...

Does anyone else view this with skepticism?? It seems to me like this whole proposition is a disguise for separating the refugee population from the rest of the country's citizens. I would like to see what these "good jobs" are that are being offered as incentives. If it can be shown that they are in fact being given the opportunity to work at a reasonably high level, and live in appropriate housing... I will recant my pessimistic thoughts. But, aside from being given some sort of "proof"...... this seems like a tactic to set up a refugee concentration somewhere far away where the refugees will not mix with the nationals. If the government fails to provide adequate housing and economic stability, they will essentially create a refugee ghetto, out in the middle of nowhere, with no one to interfere or complain to....

Nikki M said...

It seems to me like the Austrailian government is trying to sidestep the problems that lead to immigrants becoming involved in gangs and criminal activities instead of facing them head on. Instead of tackling social issues, let's just avoid them. Maybe that approach will work in this circumstance, but it's not a sustainable or healthy response to the circumstances people have to face in society. What happens when something comes up in the rural areas? Where are they going to move immigrant communities then? Maybe there are no easy answers to this problem, but let's at least look for a few instead of sweeping things under the rug.