WTF Friday, 6/20/14

Welcome to this week’s WTF Friday, “Let’s All Demonize Refugees and Abused Children” edition.

The day started out promisingly. This morning, in honor of World Refugee Day, Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement:

“It is a time to honor the strength and resilience of refugees around the world and renew our determination to support them as they rebuild their lives and communities. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees now counts the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons at 51 million. That number is staggering by any measure. It represents children, women, and men from Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and now Iraq, who face death, destruction, and dislocation.”

But refugees don’t just come from “Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and now Iraq.” They also come from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico. And many of them come to the United States, including, recently, thousands of children.

Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have “renewed our determination” to support those refugees. Vice President Biden is at this very moment meeting with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to clear up “confusion” over U.S. immigration policy in order to stem the flow of migrants fleeing the brutal violence that plagues those countries.

The confusion he’s referring to, as best as I can tell, is the optimistic belief that we would actually follow our obligations under U.S. and international law. (Namely, that we would not return refugees to countries where they would face persecution or torture, and would not deport children to situations where they would face abuse, human trafficking, or worse.) Nah, bro, apparently the plan is to “step up detention and deportation.”

And then we have the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, who has just announced a hearing next week on the ways that child refugees and migrants are “gaming” the system. By which he literally means “applying for immigration relief via the processes set forth in U.S. law, and obtaining such relief if the relevant legal standards are met.” To wit:

“Unaccompanied alien minors are not subject to expedited removal under current law, and many – if not a majority – of them are eligible for immigration relief under current law.”

Following current law? Apocalypse, basically.

Memo to the executive and legislative branches: there is no “unless it’s, like, a little inconvenient” exception to the Refugee Convention. Sometimes refugee flows are burdensome, and that’s just the situation. Jordan is currently hosting more than half a million Syrian refugees in a nation of only 6.4 million people. I am sure they would prefer not to have that responsibility! But they do. Life isn’t fair.

And speaking of which, the numbers here are not actually that big. An estimated 52,000 children have come to the United States since October, which is the mass-refugee-flow equivalent of a goddamned hangnail. That’s not even enough kids to sell out a One Direction show. The Met Life stadium can handle 90,000 screaming Harry Styles fans per night, but I’m expected to believe that the entire rest of this great nation can’t take 52,000 kids over a six-month period?

So yeah, happy World Refugee Day, everyone.


WTF Friday, 5/20/2011

Save the date!

This dude is going HAM with his racism. He not only claims that black women are “objectively less physically attractive than other women,” but also that African countries are poor because African people have low IQs! Dr. Kanazawa, you are a prolific racist.

Kim Jong-un, in his first official trip outside North Korea, visited China, allegedly to strengthen economic ties and coordinate policy for inter-Korean nuclear talks. However, if he’s anything like his brother, I suspect he had other things on his mind.

Update: Forgot to give a hat tip to Julienne, a Wronging Rights loyalist, for the 2nd item. Thanks!

WTF Friday: Technical-Difficulties-So-Actually-WTF-Monday Edition

Proving it’s never too late for awesome, here’s the latest from the desk of our beloved Intern Chris:*

* Sadly, technical difficulties prevented this WTF Friday post from being brought to you on Friday. But, hey, whose Monday couldn’t use a little Friday in it?

Really? A "Coalition Government" for Honduras? Really?

We’ve written before about the ridiculousness of demanding that a legally elected government form a “coalition” with the opponents who are trying to take/keep power by force. Usually, this silliness is limited to the Land of Rape and Lions, but apparently the Obama Administration’s open-mindedness is now bringing it to our Central American friends as well:

“The United States and Europe stepped up pressure on Honduras’ de facto government on Tuesday as deposed President Manuel Zelaya and his supporters called on Washington to pave the way for his return. […]

The U.S. government threw its weight behind Arias’ proposal that Zelaya, who was toppled in a June 28 coup, be reinstated to set up a coalition government.”

Yeah, that’ll teach them a lesson.

(The lesson in question being: “Kids, don’t feel sad if you can’t get into power through legitimate means. Just threaten to destabilize your country, and the international community will give you some for free!”)