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America's Response to Child Refugees Fleeing Bloodbaths Is to Take Terrible Care of Them and Send Them Back

July 16, 2014 in Blogs

By Joshua Holland, Bill Moyers

Wingnuts are hurling epithets at fleeing children, and media coverage of their plight is no less repugnant.


Those seething with so much rage and xenophobia that they’d hurl ugly epithets in the faces of children fleeing bloody violence in Central America bring shame to the whole nation. But the response of mainstream America hasn’t been much better.

The media’s characterization of what’s going on at our southern border as a “crisis,” politicians pointing fingers at one another and Washington’s refusal to provide the resources necessary to care for a small wave of refugees — not to mention the bipartisan push to send them back home — is just as shameful when one considers the context.In June, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)reported that in 2013, the global population of refugees from war and persecution hit 51.2 million — exceeding 50 million for the first time since World War II.Half of them were children.The vast majority were “internally displaced persons,” homeless people within their home countries. Many live in fetid refugee camps run by underfunded NGOs, where they face continuing privation and abuse.

There are over ten million refugees in Africa, and five million in Asia. More than six million people have been displaced for years, and in some cases decades. The UN estimates that 6.3 million people have been displaced in Syria alone.

The US has had a hand in this global crisis. According to the UNHCR, Afghanistan accounts for the world’s largest population of refugees; in Iraq, many of the two million people who fled the country after the US-led invasion in 2003 are now returning, despite the fact that many of its 1.7 million internally displaced citizens remain homeless, and more than one million new refugees have fled ISIS, or The Islamic State. Iraq has also absorbed about one million refugees from Syria.

Many countries with nowhere near the wealth or infrastructure of the United States have kept their borders open on humanitarian grounds, including Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. The BBC reported in June that “the UN is concerned that the burden of caring for refugees is …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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