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As millions of people around the globe were marking World Refugee Day on Sunday, UNHCR chief António Guterres called on the international community to do more for the forcibly displaced.
High Commissioner made his call during a press conference in Syria - broadcast on a live video link - where he met earlier in the day with President Bashar Assad and other top leaders. Syria hosts about 1 million mainly Iraqi refugees, according to the government.
"I appeal to the international community to do more to host refugees," Guterres said just two days after the UN refugee agency announced that 100,000 Iraqi refugees have been referred for resettlement from the Middle East to third countries since 2007, a major milestone for one of the world's largest refugee populations.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, also made an appeal on behalf of refugees in a special World Refugee Day message. "Refugees have been deprived of their homes, but they must not be deprived of their futures," he said, while calling for working with host governments to deliver services and for intensified efforts to resolve conflicts so that refugees can return home.
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This is not just a fringe candidate - he's the GOP nominee for New Mexico's northern congressional seat.
A key development considering that they helped to sink immigration reform before.
A reader linked to this in the comments and it's worth bumping up to its own post. The New York Times' Nina Bernstein reports on a couple - a white US citizen woman and her Cameroon national husband - who have been battling to prevent the husband from being deported. Bernstein reported earlier in the week on the effective racial profiling USCIS is using to target mixed race couples in marriage-based green card cases - well worth reading if you have not already read the piece.
Caroline Jamieson wrote to President Obama pleading with the President to help with her husband's case. The White House forwarded the case to USCIS to check further and the agency instead forwarded the letter to ICE to pick up the husband and put him in deportation proceedings. The arrest was not a mere coincidence - the ICE officers specifically asked Hervé Fonkou Takoulo if he wrote a letter to the President. When he acknowledged his wife had, he was handcuffed and sent to jail to await deportation. ICE claims it does not use letters to elected officials as investigative leads and it also claims to be focusing on criminal aliens. But it was not until the Times started asking questions that Mr. Takoulo was released (albeit with an ankle bracelet monitor). The fact that Mr. Takoulo, an engineer, was even facing removal is troubling. He applied for political asylum and was denied. He was ordered deported after that. He married his wife five years ago and ICE has the authority to reopen the case to allow for Mrs. Jamieson to apply for her husband's green card. The agency has so far refused and has not even considered the question of whether the marriage is genuine.
A new poll from ABC News shows a seemingly contradictory result. Nearly six in ten support the controversial Arizona law SB1070. That will make the Tea Party crowd happy. But the buried headline is that almost the same number support legalizing illegally present immigrants. Why the seemingly conflicting data? I think it shows Americans want action on reforming what they perceive is a broken immigration system. Americans are not anti-immigrant just because many support SB1070. They are upset that Congress and the President have refused to deal with immigration and are giving credit to states taking matters in to their own hands. Where the antis are off is assuming that Americans want to get rid of immigrants. They don't. They want to get rid of illegal immigration which is very different.