The convenience of adopting refugees at home

This post is not going to include a lot of links, unlike the math-heavy one earlier which illustrated the sheer scale of the humanitarian crisis in Syria versus the refugee resettlement proposed by President Obama. (A drop in the ocean.) I’ll have to do a link roundup of quite a few good articles I’ve read over the past couple of days that touch on some of these same topics.

Anyway, this is the post about how First World do-gooders are getting their altruistic jollies out of adopting refugees in the most convenient manner possible, rather than using limited resources to do the most good for the most people.

This is the principle of the 99% vs the 1%, only it’s even worse than that, because 10,000 is less than 1% of the population that’s been displaced by the Syrian civil war.

First, let’s acknowledge up front that taking in refugees absolutely does help – those people. Because of chain migration policies, you can grant that entire extended families are helped. And yes, they’re helped a lot. America has her faults but it’s still one of the most free societies out there – people who come here have a broad range of options that they wouldn’t have in the vast majority of the rest of the world.

If America took in no Syrian refugees, what alternatives do they have? Well, there are other countries that accept refugees, so they could end up resettled elsewhere. Not all refugees are resettled, of course – most of them would like to go home, and hopefully the millions of Syrian refugees who’ve found shelter in countries next door will be able to go home soon. The nature of refugee resettlement is not really very clearly understood, I think – many people seem to operate under the erroneous conclusion that refugee resettlement is kind of like a more comfortable refugee camp, where people wait until they can go home and then leave when it’s safe. No. Calling the refugees who are resettled in America “refugees” is misleading – once they arrive, they’re immigrants, here to stay and tracked towards citizenship just like the immigrants who don’t get processed through the UN refugee bureaucracy.

So, you have this shiny First World bureaucracy charged with helping refugees. They unquestionably need help, and humans like helping each other. So what do you do? Donate money and resources, of course! Refugee camps have to house and feed people who’ve fled from violence, and most places around the world where the country has gone to Hell in a handbasket don’t have a lot of extra housing hanging around. Extra food hanging around tends to go bad, too, so you have to get fresh stuff in. Medical care is going to be needed. Basically you now have a huge logistical problem that needs a lot of resources to solve. That’s the constant – no matter where the refugees go later, they need help right away, on the ground where they’re at.

Now let’s take a look at what happens when you bring some of those people to another country. First, it costs the salaries of all the paper-pushers’ man-hours dealing with the reams and reams of ridiculous government and NGO forms to process each case. That’s an expense. There’s non-monetary cost to relocation in a far away place, though. Transitioning to a new culture is VERY HARD, even when you’re not traumatized and running away from a war zone where people were being killed all around you. When that culture has values that are totally alien to your own, it’s even worse than if you moved to a country nearby with similar cultural values. All the taxpayer-funded ESL classes in the world don’t help that. Especially not when it’s considered beyond the pale in the host country to expect the newcomers to assimilate to their host culture.

There are a lot of organizations that then help the refugees get settled in the First World, though. People aren’t left to sink or swim on their own. These organizations look like charities… but they’re being funded through government. The usual problems of bureaucracies existing to exist then come into play: shoddy work, passing the buck, cronyism, fraud, etc. But because these organizations have the “altruism shield,” they can defend themselves by saying that anyone investigating how well they do their jobs (helping refugees!) is actually an anti-refugee racist bigot.

But notice what’s happened. The resources given to the resettlement program on this end… are going to benefit people in the First World economy as soon as the refugees set foot on our shores. Any kind of monetary benefit, once the refugees are in the First World, are recycling back into the First World. 

Now, there’s likely to be just as many issues with corruption and malfeasance if refugees were being resettled closer to their original homes, human nature being what it is. But what if you took all those resources and government grants – and handed them over to programs working in the developing and Third World? Suddenly instead of having money recycled to First World landlords, First World retail, and First World bureaucrats… that money would be going to build infrastructure in the very places where it’s most needed. It would be local community groups who got the grants to help resettle refugees, local landlords who received rent payments, local businesses getting the new customers. Those dollars are going to go a long way, too – cost of living is much higher per person in the First World. You’d still have a layer of First World bureaucracy in the form of whatever UN or NGO organizing it, but instead of recycling refugee aid into the First World economy during the settling in phase, you’d be recycling that aid into the developing world’s economy. Not only would it get a lot closer to where it’s most needed – it would help even more people. Sure, they each won’t be “winning the jackpot” like the refugees relocated to the First World… but which is better as a humanitarian effort? To hand out lottery tickets to individuals who leave for greener pastures, or invest in improving an entire neighborhood?

So why do people get so emotionally invested in bringing refugees to the US, where they have to deal with culture shock on top of trauma, the endless scaremongering by reporters desperately hoping for that “anti-Muslim backlash” mob they’re sure is lurking around every corner, learning an entirely new language and way of life? Why so attached to recycling aid resources to First Worlders rather than keeping it in the developing/Third World where it’s most needed?

Well, it’s awfully easy, isn’t it? Especially in America, where we’re all “a nation of immigrants.” The national mythos encourages it – and the multicultural kumbaya diversity-is-our-strength dogma also encourages it. You can feel good about helping people – and you really are helping people, people right in front of you that you can see – while living in the First World, enjoying its benefits, and possibly even collecting a paycheck as an employee of one of the First World organizations that works with refugees. If it’s all happening in the developing or Third World, you could still donate money, but to personally help you’d have to do something difficult, like travel to a different country yourself. You’d end up having to endure deprivation and physical danger. You’d have to see a lot of people who you just can’t save, because there’s too much need and one person can only do so much, instead of having all those people you didn’t help far away and out of sight on another continent.

How about downstream effects? If the refugee community takes First World multiculturalism at face value, fails to assimilate, and ends up with high unemployment and radicalized second-generation “citizens,” well, it’s not your fault. You were only helping people who needed it! All those negative outcomes are the fault of society for being so intolerant of poor refugees and their diverse culture! Systematic, institutional racism! While all the positive outcomes? That happened because of your excellent humanitarian work!

See how that goes?

Convenience. Disguised as altruism.

The people who most need our help? Are never going to make it to the refugee camps in the first place.

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Tolerance, stereotypes, and hypocrisy

In my Facebook feed, I have seen precisely zero people saying that the US should leave refugees to die. I have seen quite a few people claiming that anyone who disagrees with them about refugees is a heartless bastard who wants children to die.

I have seen zero memes bashing Muslims as terrorists. I’ve seen dozens of memes bashing Christians for not being caring enough, posted by individuals who pat themselves on the back for being multicultural and tolerant, caring people.

Funny how the “tolerant” liberals in my newsfeed are constantly defending moderate Muslims, and then turning around and proudly defecating all over followers of a different religion.

SJWs always lie. SJWs always project.

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Short post about something that’s been bugging me. In 2005, CollegeBoard removed analogies from the SAT. (Next year, they’ll be dumbing the test down even further as the logical reasoning and vocabulary skills of college-bound high school graduates continue to erode.)

This leads to the travesty of pro-immigration lefties claiming that failure to bring in that .07% of Syrian refugees is going to be JUST LIKE failing to grant refuge from Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. *cue guilt trip*

Oh, and apparently applying a religious test to refugees is “un-American” even though it’s literally written into the law.

The appropriate analogy – for people with actual functioning brains – is as follows: Obama would like America to take in those poor Moderate German Aryans who just aren’t Nazi enough for the SS. Meanwhile, we can’t prioritize Jewish refugees who are in danger of being shoveled into ovens because that would be a religious test. 

And totally racist too. I mean, what’s wrong with moderate white supremacists, you haters? Don’t you know that white supremacy has nothing to to with radical Nazis mass murdering Jews? White supremacists are good people just like everyone else! /s

I don’t like the epithet “libtard” but sometimes it’s just so apt.

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The scale of refugee resettlement

So today I got in a discussion with one of those well-meaning bleeding heart liberals, who thinks in nothing but stereotypes and believes clickbait mainstream media articles count as being well-informed about current events.

I don’t know why I bother, except I know I need to practice my rhetorical skills.

In the course of this conversation, I dropped a comment about how it would be better to help refugees locally rather than bringing them halfway across the world for the convenience of First World do-gooders.

That got a reaction, of course. I could tell it stung, but I’m not sure how to capitalize on it in a manner acceptable to normal women (the other girl, obviously, since I’m an INTJ freak).

So I’ve decided to write a blog post about how it’s so conveniently convenient for First World do-gooders to bring a minuscule fraction of Syrian refugees to the First World rather than help them in the Middle East. This is not that blog post. This is the blog post where I show just how MINUSCULE the refugee resettlement program proposed by Obama in the wake of the Paris attacks really is. With MATH. Please feel free to correct my numbers if you have better sources or if you spot a mistake. (Many of these numbers are approximations due to the sheer size of the problem.)

First, the scale: I’ve got roughly 4.2 million Syrian in about half the neighbors, and apparently those evil Gulf States do take refugees but don’t work through the UN organizations to do it, which is why we have no UN numbers on how many refugees they’ve taken. Let’s be generous and say that another 2.5 million refugees have been taken in by the Gulf States. That doesn’t count internally displaced people, who are still inside Syria’s borders. I got 7.6 million for that one. According to Wiki, in 2011 (which was when the war started) the total population of Syria was about 23 million. Which means about 14.3 million people, or 62% of Syria’s population has been pushed out of their homes.

So, what about resettlement? “The UNHCR hopes to identify 50,000 for resettlement somewhere next year, and another 50,000 in 2016.” That’s 100,000 people out of the 4.2 million out of the 14.3 million displaced persons, or 0.7%.

That’s right. Only seven out of every thousand currently homeless Syrians will be resettled ANYWHERE by the UNHCR. The United States “State Department is reviewing more than 4,000 applications from Syrian refugees seeking permanent homes in the United States next year or beyond, up from dozens considered for resettlement this year and last,” according to the WaPo article I linked above. (That’s permanent resettlement, since the UN believes tens of thousands of people won’t ever be able to return to their homes. Figuring out who exactly those tens of thousands of people so we know who actually needs to be resettled? Impossible to do before the fighting stops and Syria is stabilized. So of course we’re adopting refugees out based on our criteria and not whether or not they’d actually be able to go home someday.) Obama would like to go for broke and resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the USA, now that the prospect of potentially importing infiltrated ISIS jihadis has got the Republicans tied up in hysterics. That’s seven out of every ten thousand displaced persons. Which screening wait time that could last several years.

So yeah. Refugee resettlement. I don’t want to dismiss the fact that those refugees who make it through the process and actually have their applications to come permanently to America approved have basically won the jackpot – their lives are absolutely going to be exponentially better than they were as refugees. Or if they’d been resettled virtually anywhere else closer to Syria. Or if they’d gone home. I’m sure parts of Syria are nice. Probably a lot fewer now than in 2011, though.

But people are freaking out with the #RefugeesWelcome hashtag over what amounts to helping LESS than ONE-TENTH of ONE PERCENT of the people who’ve been forced to leave their homes due to the Syrian civil war. And this aid does not help anyone stuck behind ISIS lines as sex slaves, mind. These are the people who are already lucky enough to have gotten away in the first place. It doesn’t help stop the killing or stabilize the country so that people can go home. It takes the 4.3 million UN-registered refugees… and drops it to the low, low number of 4.29 million. Aren’t you impressed by First World do-gooders?

Why, if all of the First World worked together, we might resettle as many as ONE PERCENT of homeless Syrians!

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Refusing to screen refugees for terrorists hiding among them is like giving a woman a restraining order against a stalker and then telling her, “By the way, the police aren’t actually going to enforce the restraining order. He can still come assault you whenever he wants, we’re not going to actually do anything to prevent it.”

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Terror in Paris

To no one’s surprise, Islamic terrorists have orchestrated a mass attack in Europe. Initial reports are likely to be less than completely accurate, so it will be unknown for some time whether this tragedy was home-grown or facilitated by the migration crisis. It is certainly fanning the controversy into flame, though – literally, if reports of fire at the Calais refugee center are true. (I hope it is coincidence – and not another prong of an attack meant to turn people against each other. If Europeans decide they don’t want any more migrants in their countries, I’m not hopeful about the migrants’ chances of survival.)

What is sure is that the Paris attack represents the critical failure of the French government to protect its citizens. And in failing to effectively combat Islamic terror, the governments of Europe are also failing the refugees they invited in as guests. People who have fled Islamist violence in their native countries cannot gain freedom from violence if their tormentors are permitted to set up shop wherever the victims flee! You cannot help the real refugees if you are unable to keep predators and opportunists from hiding among them.

Nor is inviting those with the resources and freedom for international travel truly enough. Throwing open the gates of Europe to economic migrants does nothing to save the sex slaves in ISIS’ hands, or the children being murdered in the Middle East.


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My theory of the electorate

It’s very simple: if you’re a smart, well-informed voter, your vote doesn’t matter.

At all.

Though your political establishment dearly wants you to think otherwise, of course.

This is what gets me about the “smart” political junkies who love to go around calling Trump a clown, etc. as if the fact that his simplistic presentation is a legitimate reason why he’s not suitable for the Presidency.

All these Smart Folks apparently haven’t put 2 and 2 together to realize that (a) the collective IQ of the country is dropping every year, and (b) half of all citizens are below average intelligence.

And that’s not even going into the travesty that is modern education indoctrination, where college students have been trained to exercise political power through tactical temper tantrums. They can vote, too.

So all a politician has to do to win is appeal to the below-average and a good chunk of the just-above-average, and voila, none of the votes of the Smart, Informed Folks matter – because the majority of the country is neither smart nor informed, but votes anyway.

In a Reality TV nation, nobody who appeals to policy wonks is electable. Politics is a circus, not a sober debate. People vote for the most emotionally appealing candidatenot the one most “qualified” for the job. Whatever that means.

So it’s never going to matter how “allergic” the policy wonks are to a candidate like Trump – if the guy can appeal strongly enough to normal people, he’s going to win.

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