The resettlement assessment report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reveals a Cold War-era program that spends millions of dollars but achieves precious little for the people it supposedly helps, according to an immigration research organization.
Instead of simply moving refugees to foreign cultures, the focus should be on “helping refugees where they are and, ultimately, helping them return” to their homes, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies.
Based on the CIS review, “only those ‘fleeing mass disorder’ (not necessarily persecution) … were picked for resettlement referral by the UNHCR staff in the Middle East.” And of the thousands helped to resettle, “most are still struggling.”
Even the UNHCR notes that just about all refugees submitted for resettlement face circumstances “where there are not immediate medical, social or security concerns that would merit expedited processing.”
Today’s refugees “need a haven that is proximate, so that it is easy to reach and from which it is easy to return once a conflict ends,” notes Oxford professor Paul Collier. Simply transferring people from the hotbeds of terrorism in the Middle East and leaving them in foreign countries, such as America or Canada — with little, if any, follow-up — is not necessarily a humanitarian gesture.
The U.N. needs to rethink how it handles refugees. And the U.S. needs to reconsider its role in this process.
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