The Refugee Flood and UNHCRPosted: April 12, 2016
The Refugee Flood and UNHCR
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
Completely unknown to most Americans, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is playing a dramatically important role in dealing with the refugee crisis. This UN agency has been placing individuals it designates as refugees in numerous parts of the globe. Using its power, UNHCR personnel decide who is a refugee and, additionally, where those it so designates will be placed.
Europe is currently suffering greatly from the UNHCR’s decisions, with the greatest flood of refugees impacting Germany. But Sweden with a much smaller native population has also found itself swamped. Immigrant arrivals in Greece and in neighboring countries have overwhelmed the area’s authorities. With immigration a continuing concern in France, England, Belgium, and elsewhere in Western Europe, and a future that is expected to be marked by more, worries about the problem have risen sharply in nation after nation. Everywhere, it seems, the refugee crisis figures to impact national culture, even have countries undergo a makeover that will make of them something far different than what they have been in past centuries.
In actual practice, a person seeking refugee status places himself/herself before a UNHCR official who decides whether or not to award such a designation and which country should accept the individual. Many thousands have already been placed in the U.S. via this process and little (most likely nothing) has been done to assure that there are no terrorists among them. Refugees sent to the United States then receive an array of generous benefits at taxpayer expense.
Heretofore, entrants coming to the U.S. through Mexico have been a continuing problem. While those crossing the border into our nation’s southwest have done so without UNHCR’s direction, those currently arriving (with more expected in the very near future) carry the UNHCR’s stamp of approval and do not need to enter through Mexico. So the still leaky Mexican border is not the only concern. In 2016, President Obama intends to welcome 85,000, not from Mexico but from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere. That number is scheduled to increase to at least 100,000 in 2017.
It is certainly true that America has always been a nation of immigrants. In the past, whoever came here wanted to learn the English language, become familiar with the American governmental system, and assimilate into the culture with those goals in mind. Not so with many arriving in recent years. Change is coming unless our leaders get a handle on the situation.
Continue to take in immigrants, of course. But strictly maintain the decision about who comes here and how many. Establishing the United States of America and making into the great country it became should not become a candidate for change. All of this adds up to another reason why our country should withdraw from the United Nations and cease subjecting the USA to its continuing grasp for power through such agencies as the UNHCR.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.