Where do refugees come from? (2011)

Refugees to U.S. by Country of Nationality – Fiscal Years 2009 to 2011
2011 2010 2009
Country Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Total              56,384 100          73,293 100          74,602 100
Burma              16,972 30.1          16,693 22.8          18,202 24.4
Bhutan              14,999 26.6          12,363 16.9          13,452 18
Iraq                 9,388 16.7          18,016 24.6          18,838 25.3
Somalia                 3,161 5.6            4,884 6.7            4,189 5.6
Cuba                 2,920 5.2            4,818 6.6            4,800 6.4
Eritrea                 2,032 3.6            2,570 3.5            1,571 2.1
Iran                 2,032 3.6            3,543 4.8            5,381 7.2
Congo, Democratic Republic                    977 1.7            3,174 4.3            1,135 1.5
Ethiopia                    560 1                668 0.9                321 0.4
Afghanistan                    428 0.8                515 0.7                349 0.5
All other countries, including unknown                 2,915 5.2            6,049 8.3            6,364 8.5
Source: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System (Wraps)

Report (May 2012), from Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics is linked here: Refugees and Asylees:2011.

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The View from the Front

This article yesterday in the Seattle times tells about the struggle refugees are having making ends meet in the recession economy and how the budget cuts are impacting them here in Washington State.  I took some time to read the comments that followed the article, and was made aware of how great some of the hostility is that people hold towards not just illegal immigrants, but also towards those our government has invited to be here.  While I understand financial frustation, and fear that your piece of an ever-shrinking pie will somehow disappear, I am also aware that my friends who are refugees have faced things beyond my comprehension.  The link here is to an article from the Bangkok Post, written by a friend of a friend, highlighting the situation these folks needed a refuge from.

Refugee Resettlement Statistics 2009

Information published July 5th from the UN High Commissioner for refugees states that “…more than 80 per cent of the world’s refugees live in developing countries where many cannot remain safely and have no possibility of integration. For many refugees, resettlement in a third country is the only way to find lasting safety and a new and permanent home. While voluntary repatriation remains the preferred solution among most of the worlds refugees, persistent conflict or fear of persecution often prevent people from returning to their countries of origin.”  http://www.unhcr.org/4c31f3826.html

Refugee resettlement statistics by country of origin and state http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/data/fy2009RA.htm

This group is run by friends (mostly former refugees) who are giving 110% of their time and energy to helping folks resettled in the Northwest (and other places in the U.S.).  They can always use help and their web site gives you ideas of what some of that help might involve: http://www.allburmarefugees.org/

 A list of the agencies that resettle refugees and more about their programs: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/partners/voluntary_agencies.htm

Good Life in the Midst of Bad Circumstances

At first glance it might seem a little incongruous to have a “Good Life Club” in the middle of a war zone, but the name comes from John 10:10 where Jesus promises abundant life. This project, started by our friend, Karen, gives those of us living in safety and prosperity something practical we can do to contribute to the lives of internally displaced mothers and children on the run from the Burma Army. For details of how you can help, click here

For more pictures of the Good Life Club in action….click here.  (This is  a project of Partners Relief & Development and their friends at Free Burma Rangers).  The Good Life Club packs are carried in by the relief teams going into Burma and delivered to the moms and kids who need them.

Global Day of Prayer for Burma – March 14, 2009

The Global Day of Prayer for Burma is an annual event initiated in 1997 by Christians Concerned for Burma at the request of Burma’s democracy leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.  Next Sunday, churches around the world are urged to pray for Burma during their services.  See the following link for details:

http://www.prayforburma.org/IDX/Prayer/Day_of_Prayer/2010/GDOP%202010.pdf

For Seattle area runners/walkers, the Run for Relief (a fundraiser for relief efforts in Burma) will take place next Sunday in Gig Harbor….See following link for details:  http://www.chapelhillpc.org/our-calendars-mainmenu-17/special-events-mainmenu-131.html

10,000 More Villagers Displaced

Even while talking publicly about the need for progressing towards “disciplined democracy,” the Burma Army and their henchmen continue the campaign against the ethnic nationalities–10,000  Shan (click here) have been displaced since July 27. and a buildup against the Karen in the Three Pagoda Pass area (click here) is also in process.  On the public side,  Than Shwe cuts the unearned sentence of the illegally held Aung San Suu Kyi from three years to 18 months (still keeping her out of the way for next year’s rigged elections), and the UN makes noises about the unfairness of it all. Asean delivers mild rebukes. On the private side, gang rape, murder, forced displacement, ethnic cleansing  and other crimes against humanity continue unabated.

How many deaths does it take til we know that too many people have died?  (Bob Dylan)

For more info from the Shan Women’s Action Network, click here.

How do you bring about regime change if the regime has no interest in changing?