Correspondence

Faith-Based Immigration

Attempting to make dinner conversation at a May 2004 refugee contractors’ conference, I speculated about the chances of Serbs, now hounded and persecuted in Kosovo, coming to America on the U.S. refugee program.  In the last ten years, the percentage of Serbs in the Serbian province of Kosovo has declined from over ten percent to three percent and is still dropping.  My interlocutor, an Albanian from Kosovo, answered, “We don’t want them here.  Besides, soon there will be no Serbs left in Kosovo to resettle.”  At this, the entire table of “refugee workers”—all from “faith-based” agencies—roared with laughter.

Welcome to Washington and the tenth annual African refugee conference!

Currently, less than one half of one percent of the world’s officially recognized refugees have a chance at resettlement in the West.  Even during times of relatively low refugee admission rates, such as the last three years, the United States resettled more than the rest of the entire developed world combined.  About 70,000 refugees will arrive in 2005.  Roughly another 70,000 will come in as asylum-seekers and “Cuban/Haitian entrants.”  All Cubans and about one third of the non-Cubans will receive asylum, gaining all the rights and entitlements of refugees.  (Most of those whose asylum bids fail will remain in the country...

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