Tag Archives: Yemen

Thousands of illegal immigrants who fled to Canada in fear of Trump are trapped in legal limbo

justin trudeau welcomes immigrants

Good luck Canadian taxpayers. Enjoy paying for their hotel stays and gym visits.

From Daily Mail: Thousands of people who fled to Canada to escape President Donald Trump‘s crackdown on illegal migrants have become trapped in legal limbo because of an overburdened refugee system, struggling to find work, permanent housing or enroll their children in schools.

Refugee claims are taking longer to be completed than at any time in the past five years, according to previously unpublished Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) data provided to Reuters.  Those wait times are set to grow longer after the IRB in April allocated ‘up to half’ of its 127 tribunal members to focus on old cases.

The number of delayed hearings more than doubled from 2015 to 2016 and is on track to increase again this year.

Hearings are crucial to establishing a claimant´s legal status in Canada. Without that status, they struggle to convince employers to hire them or landlords to rent to them.  Claimants cannot access loans or student financial aid, or update academic or professional credentials to meet Canadian standards.

Canada’s refugee system was struggling to process thousands of applications even before 3,500 asylum seekers began crossing the U.S. border on foot in January. It lacks the manpower to complete security screenings for claimants and hear cases in a timely manner.

Often there are not enough tribunal members to decide cases or interpreters to attend hearings, the IRB said. More than 4,500 hearings scheduled in the first four months of 2017 were cancelled, according to the IRB data.

The government is now focused on clearing a backlog of about 24,000 claimants, including people who filed claims in 2012 or earlier.

That means more than 15,000 people who have filed claims so far this year, including the new arrivals from the United States, will have to wait even longer for their cases to be heard.

Asylum cases are already taking longer to finalize, on average, than at any time since Canada introduced a statutory two-month time limit in 2012. This year, it has been taking 5.6 months on average, compared to 3.6 months in 2013.

Mohamed Daud, 36, left his family and a pending refugee claim in the United States and walked into Canada in February after hearing rumors of U.S. immigration raids.

Daud, originally from Somalia, had been living and working legally in Nebraska but feared he would be detained and then deported at an upcoming check-in with immigration officials. His May 8 hearing with a Canadian refugee tribunal was cancelled three days beforehand. He has not been given a new date.

‘I don´t know when they will call me. I can´t work. It isn’t easy,’ said Daud. While waiting for a work permit, he gets approximately C$600 ($453) a month in government social assistance and shares a room in an apartment with six other asylum seekers.

Still, Daud doesn’t regret abandoning his life in the United States. ‘The worry, the fear is the same,’ he said.

To try to speed cases through, Canada’s refugee tribunal has put people from certain war-torn countries such as Syria and Yemen on an expedited track that requires no hearings.

Border agents are working overtime to address the backlog in security screenings, said Scott Bardsley, spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who oversees the Canada Border Services Agency.

Asylum claimants are eligible for work permits while awaiting hearings, but employers are often reluctant to employ people with temporary social insurance numbers whose future is uncertain, refugee lawyers told Reuters. ‘How do you establish yourself when your status is unknown?’ said Toronto-based lawyer Aadil Mangalji.

This year is on track to be the highest year for refugee claims since at least 2011, according to government statistics.

The stresses on the Canadian system mirror those of other countries with an open door policy. In Sweden, rising financial strains involved in resettlement were partly behind a move to introduce tough asylum laws.

Honduran Raul Contreras, 19, who walked across the Quebec border in March and whose hearing has been postponed indefinitely, is staying in a government-subsidized Toronto hotel with his mother, step-father and uncle.

Contreras, who spends his days at a local library or working out in the hotel gym, says he has been repeatedly rejected by landlords. ‘They just said that they didn’t rent places to refugee claimants,’ he said. ‘(They) said that refugees don’t have jobs and probably wouldn’t pay.’

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State Department officials sign dissent memo over Trump’s immigration Executive Order

youre-fired.jpg

From Yahoo: About 900 U.S. State Department officials signed an internal dissent memo protesting a travel ban by U.S. President Donald Trump on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, a source familiar with the document said on Tuesday, in a rebellion against the new president’s policies.

A senior State Department official confirmed the memorandum had been submitted to acting Secretary of State Tom Shannon through the department’s “dissent channel,” a process in which officials can express unhappiness over policy.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday he was aware of the memo but warned career diplomats that they should either “get with the program or they can go.”

A draft of the dissent memo seen by Reuters argued that the executive order would sour relations with affected countries, inflame anti-American sentiment and hurt those who sought to visit the United States for humanitarian reasons.

It said the policy “runs counter to core American values of non-discrimination, fair play and extending a warm welcome to foreign visitors and immigrants.”

Trump on Friday signed an executive order that temporarily bans refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority (way to keep the #MuslimBan narrative going, Yahoo) countries, sparking tumult at U.S. airports and protests in major American cities. The ban affects Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Even before the executive order on immigration was issued, concern among State Department officials had been growing over news reports that Trump was about to ease sanctions against Russia, said one State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The resignation of at least four top State Department officials, including Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, who formally left the department on Tuesday, also caused some unease among diplomats who worried about a power vacuum.

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Most Support Temporary Ban on Newcomers from Terrorist Havens

maga

State Run Media hardest hit.

From Rasmussen Reports: Most voters approve of President Trump’s temporary halt to refugees and visitors from several Middle Eastern and African countries until the government can do a better job of keeping out individuals who are terrorist threats.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen until the federal government approves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here. Thirty-three percent (33%) are opposed, while 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Similarly, 56% favor a temporary block on visas prohibiting residents of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States until the government approves its ability to screen for likely terrorists. Thirty-two percent (32%) oppose this temporary ban, and 11% are undecided.

This survey was taken late last week prior to the weekend protests against Trump’s executive orders imposing a four-month ban on all refugees and a temporary visa ban on visitors from these seven countries.

These findings have changed little from August when 59% of voters agreed with Trump’s call for a temporary ban on immigration into the United States from “the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism” until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 25-26, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Other items of note from Rasmussen:

  • The refugee ban is supported by 82% of Republicans and 59% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Democrats are opposed by a 53% to 34% margin. The numbers are
  • Among voters who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing, over 70% support both bans. Similar numbers of those who Strongly Disapprove of his job performance are opposed.
  • Most voters opposed former President Obama’s plan to bring tens of thousands of Middle Eastern and African refugees here this year. Sixty-two percent (62%) said Obama’s plan posed an increased national security risk to the United States.
  • Just 32% think the United States is safer now after eight years of the Obama presidency. In late December, 34% of voters said the United States will be safer from domestic terror attacks five years from now. Twenty-seven percent (27%) believe it will be less safe, while 32% expect the level of danger to be about the same.

Read the whole report here.

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Making a statement against Trump: Starbucks says they will hire 10,000 refugees because of “human rights”

howard-schultz

Howard Schultz: A serious case of Trump Derangement Syndrome

Doubling down on the progressive narrative. So glad I don’t drink coffee…

From Yahoo: CEO Howard Schultz sent out a company-wide letter following President Donald Trump’s decision to sign an executive order that bans (Yahoo obviously received the Media Matters talking points memo) citizens of seven majority Muslim countries from entering the United States.

The executive order, signed on Friday, temporarily halts citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US.

“We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question,” Schultz wrote.

He continued: “These uncertain times call for different measures and communication tools than we have used in the past. Kevin and I are going to accelerate our commitment to communicating with you more frequently, including leveraging new technology platforms moving forward. I am hearing the alarm you all are sounding that the civility and human rights (entering the US is not a human right) we have all taken for granted for so long are under attack, and want to use a faster, more immediate form of communication to engage with you on matters that concern us all as partners.”

A number of CEOs, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, have knocked Trump’s decision to sign the orders.

Schultz’s letter went on to detail some of the actions the company is taking, including plans to hire 10,000 refugees. “We have a long history of hiring young people looking for opportunities and a pathway to a new life around the world. This is why we are doubling down on this commitment by working with our equity market employees as well as joint venture and licensed market partners in a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination,” Schultz wrote.

He continued: “There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business. And we will start this effort here in the U.S. by making the initial focus of our hiring efforts on those individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel in the various countries where our military has asked for such support.”

In addition, Schultz also wrote about Starbucks’ operations in Mexico. Social media users in Mexico had called for boycotts of US companies, including Starbucks.

“We have been open for business in Mexico since 2002, and have since opened 600 stores in 60 cities across the country, which together employ over 7,000 Mexican partners who proudly wear the green apron. We have sourced coffee from Mexico’s producers and their families for three decades and last fall, we also announced the creation of a farmer support center in Chiapas to help accelerate our collective ability to grow and export some of the world’s finest coffees from this important growing region, while donating more than $2 million to support the livelihood, food security and water quality of coffee producing communities in Oaxaca,” Schultz wrote.

He added: “With the support of thousands of Starbucks partners and millions of customers, we have also donated half a million coffee trees to support 70,000 families, and we will be expanding the initiative this year to generate another 4 million tree donations. Coffee is what unites our common heritage, and as I told Alberto Torrado, the leader of our partnership with Alsea in Mexico, we stand ready to help and support our Mexican customers, partners and their families as they navigate what impact proposed trade sanctions, immigration restrictions and taxes might have on their business and their trust of Americans. But we will continue to invest in this critically important market all the same.”

Last week, Trump put out additional orders aimed to crack down on illegal immigration, including a measure expanding the authority of local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration laws, among other policies. Trump also announced that it was his administration’s policy to immediately begin construction of a wall along the US-Mexican border.

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No US carrier at sea leaves gap in Middle East

GOLF OBAMA

Jan. 20, 2017 can’t come soon enough.

From Fox News: For the next week, not only will there be no U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in the Middle East, but there will be no American aircraft carriers deployed at sea anywhere else in the world, despite a host of worldwide threats facing the United States.

The carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and her strike group returned to Norfolk, Va., Friday following a seven-month deployment. The Ike launched hundreds of airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria from both the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Two destroyers in the Ike’s strike group also saw combat. The USS Nitze and USS Mason were attacked in the Red Sea when Iranian backed Houthi forces in Yemen launched cruise misisles, which were intercepted by the Mason. A retaliatory strike by the Nitze destroyed the radar installations in Yemen in October.

The Eisenhower’s replacement carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, was delayed by more than six months in the shipyards and will not be able to replace the Ike until early next year, according to Navy officials.

While there is no U.S. aircraft carrier in the Middle East right now, there is a large deck U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship with thousands of Marines on board as well as helicopters and some jets to respond to a crisis, according to officials.

In the meantime, the Navy tells Fox News the U.S. military has other jets available to make up for the aircraft carrier gap in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. The Navy can also “surge” a carrier now in port to deploy if necessary. But the absence of a deployed U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, long seen as a symbol of American power projection, is noteworthy. It is believed to be the first time since World War II that at least one U.S. aircraft carrier has not been deployed.

“We are not going to discuss the timing of operational movements of carrier strike groups into and out of the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility,” said Capt. Terry Shannon, a U.S. Naval Forces Central Command spokesman, in a statement to Fox News. Centcom is tasked with control over all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

It’s not the first time there was a carrier gap in the Middle East. Last fall, the U.S. Navy relied on a French aircraft carrier to fill the void when the USS Theodore Roosevelt returned home. At the time it was the first gap in carrier coverage in the Middle East since 2007.

Other factors contribute to the U.S. Navy not having an aircraft carrier deployed anywhere in the world right now. From 2011 to 2013, the Navy maintained two carriers in the Persian Gulf on the orders of Centcom’s then-commander, Gen. James Mattis, who is now President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for defense secretary.

The congressionally mandated budget cuts known as sequestration have also been felt on the waterfront since 2011. After billions of dollars were cut from the Navy’s budget, ships such as the George H.W. Bush were forced to prolong their time in the shipyards, which had a ripple effect down the line. If the Bush had left the shipyard on time, she would have relieved the Ike in the Gulf or the Mediterranean, officials tell Fox News.

Read the rest of the story here.

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US aircraft carrier sent to block Iranian shipments to Yemen

Fox News: A U.S. aircraft carrier has been dispatched to waters off Yemen to join other American ships prepared to block any Iranian shipments to the Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen. 

The U.S. Navy has been beefing up its presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea amid reports that a convoy of about eight Iranian ships is heading toward Yemen and possibly carrying arms for the Houthis.

A Navy official confirmed to Fox News that the USS Theodore Roosevelt — along with her escort ship, the USS Normandy, a guided-missile cruiser — left the Persian Gulf on Sunday en route for the Arabian Sea, to help enforce the blockade.

Tensions are rising in the region even as the U.S. and five other world powers scramble to strike a final deal with Iran on its nuclear program by the end of June. The fighting in Yemen, where U.S. ally Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition against the Iran-backed rebels, is complicating matters. 

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, without commenting specifically on any Navy movements, said the U.S. has concerns about Iran’s “continued support” for the Houthis.

We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen. That support will only contribute to greater violence in that country,” he said. “These are exactly the kind of destabilizing activities that we have in mind when we raise concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East.”

He said “the Iranians are acutely aware of our concerns for their continued support of the Houthis by sending them large shipments of weapons.”

A written statement from the Navy on Monday said the two ships are joining others in conducting “maritime security operations” in the region. “In recent days, the U.S. Navy has increased its presence in this area as a result of the current instability in Yemen,” the statement said.

“The purpose of these operations is to ensure the vital shipping lanes in the region remain open and safe. The United States remains committed to its regional partners and to maintaining security in the maritime environment.”

The Houthis are battling government-backed fighters in an effort to take control of the country. There are now about nine U.S. Navy ships in the region, including cruisers and destroyers carrying teams that can board and search other vessels, as well as three support ships.

The U.S. Navy generally conducts consensual boardings of ships when needed, including to combat piracy around Africa and the region. So far, however, U.S. naval personnel have not boarded any Iranian vessels since the Yemen conflict began.

And Iran wants nukes?

obama-what-me-worry

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Iran is a terror threat to the Middle East, Latin America & USA

Did you know that in 2010 in New York City, the heads of the New Black Panthers and Nation of Islam met secretly with then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and forged an alliance against their common enemy — the white race?

P.S. To the bashers and mockers of conspiracy theories, here’s a real conspiracy!

Consortium of Defense Analysts

Iranian and Western officials are in Lausanne, Switzerland rushing to reach a nuclear framework agreement by an end-of-month deadline, which means today.

It doesn’t help that an Iranian defector, a journalist who was a close media aide to Iran’s president and was present at the nuclear talks, said on television after his defection that the U.S. negotiation team is an advocate (“speaks for”) for Iran at the negotiation table.

And so it is with good reason that on March 29, 2015, in Jerusalem, newly reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against the emerging nuclear deal with Iran. More ominously, Netanyahu said that “Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East.” Referring to the unrest in Yemen, Netanyahu said that “While [world powers] convene to sign this deal, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are conquering large swaths of land in an effort to overtake…

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