By U.S. Embassy Ethiopia | 26 November, 2021 | Topics: Alert, Notification
The security situation in Ethiopia continues to deteriorate. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S citizens in Ethiopia to depart now using commercially available options. Although the Embassy continues to process emergency passports and repatriation loans, and to provide other emergency services, the Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist U.S. citizens in Ethiopia with departure if commercial options become unavailable. Please see information on What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis.
U.S. citizens wishing to depart Ethiopia, currently have multiple options via commercial flights from Bole International Airport. If you have difficulty securing a flight or need assistance to return to the United States, please contact AddisACS@state.gov for guidance. The Embassy can also provide a repatriation loan for U.S. citizens who cannot afford at this time to purchase a commercial ticket to the United States. If you are a U.S. citizen and delaying your departure because your non-U.S. citizen spouse or minor children do not have immigrant visas or U.S. passports, please contact us immediately. Similarly, if you are a non-U.S. citizen parent of a U.S. citizen minor but do not have a valid U.S. visa or other document valid for entry to the United States, please contact us.
Please see contact information for airlines operating from Bole International Airport below:
The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens still in country should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates and to ensure you can be located in an emergency.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described the American immigration system as “broken,” and said that not all of the 1.2 million illegal immigrants who have final removal orders should be deported.
In late September, Mayorkas issued new guidance for the department’s immigration agencies and officers, which prioritized the deportation of illegal immigrants who pose a risk to national security, public safety, and border security. Officers were also directed to consider the “totality of the facts and circumstances.”
“The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them,” Alejandro Mayorkas wrote in a memo to the department’s immigration enforcement agencies. “We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way. Justice and our country’s well-being require it.”
On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) referenced this memo, asking Mayorkas whether this still applied to those who have a final removal order against them.
“We cannot remove 1.2 million individuals,” Mayorkas responded. “I would not necessarily accept the fact that all of them have received due process.”
As Fox News reported, “When asked if any of the 1.2 million people should be deported, Mayorkas said those ‘who pose a public safety threat, who pose a national security threat, who pose a border security threat,’ should be deported from the U.S.”
“Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., defended DHS’s use of ‘prosecutorial discretion’ in deciding which deportation cases to pursue. Coons claimed that ‘an approach that effectively makes any undocumented immigrant a priority is actually making no one a priority,’” Fox continued. “Mayorkas agreed, arguing that discretion is warranted both because DHS has ‘limited resources,’ and also because it is ‘a matter of justice’ not to prioritize those who have become ‘contributing members of our society.’”
In another memo released in October, Mayorkas further limited Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) powers to combat illegal immigration, ordering them to halt mass worksite deportation raids.
The memo was addressed to several officials, including the acting director of ICE, the director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and titled, “Worksite Enforcement: The Strategy to Protect the American Labor Market, the Conditions of the American Worksite, and the Dignity of the Individual.” Mayorkas began the memo, saying, “Thank you for your leadership as we work to more effectively accomplish our Department’s critical missions.”
“Our worksite enforcement efforts can have a significant impact on the well-being of individuals and the fairness of the labor market,” Mayorkas wrote, before stating that the focus of the agency’s efforts should be on the exploitation of “undocumented workers.”
“Our accomplishments in this area make clear that we can maximize the impact of our efforts by focusing on unscrupulous employers who exploit the vulnerability of undocumented workers,” he wrote. “These employers engage in illegal acts ranging from the payment of substandard wages to imposing unsafe working conditions and facilitating human trafficking and child exploitation. Their culpability compels the intense focus of our enforcement resources.”
A 24-year-old Honduran immigrant who’s charged with murder in the brutal stabbing death of a Florida man had crossed the US border illegally months earlier while posing as an unaccompanied minor, an investigation by The Post found.
Yery Noel Medina Ulloa was busted Oct. 7 in Jacksonville when he was found covered in blood after allegedly killing Francisco Javier Cuellar, 46, a father of four who had taken in the immigrant who told authorities he was 17.
Police said they followed a trail of blood back to the victim’s home and arrested Ulloa, placing him in a juvenile detention facility.
It wasn’t until Oct. 13 that authorities learned his real identity — and his true age.
Ulloa, who turned 24 on Friday, had duped border authorities in Texas several months earlier by claiming he was a teenager named Reynel Alexander Hernandez — and even told his mom about the ruse.
“When he entered [the US] he told me, ‘Mommy, I didn’t go in with my name,’” his mother, Wendy Florencia Ulloa, told the Spanish-language Univision network. “‘I went in with the name of another person because right there at the shelter they helped me.”
In keeping with President Biden’s border policy on unaccompanied minors crossing the US border, Ulloa wasn’t turned away but instead placed in a shelter.
He was given a “Notice to Appear” and released, officials told The Post.
Eventually, Cuellar took Ulloa to his Jacksonville home.
“‘Mommy, he is my Uncle Frank,’” his mother said he told her on the phone. Ulloa and Cuellar are not related, despite Ulloa’s use of the moniker. “‘I live with him. But don’t worry. He treats me like a son.’”
It is not clear how Ulloa ended up in Florida after being detained in Texas — or whether he was transported by way of the Biden administration’s secret flights to resettle underage immigrants, revealed in an exclusive expose by The Post last month.
Routes for the flights included from Texas to Jacksonville, the report noted.
Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Border Patrol and the Office of Refugee Resettlement did not immediately respond to inquiries about how Ulloa wound up in Florida. Immigrants from the southern border getting off a World Atlantic Airlines airplane and boarding charter buses at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY, on Oct. 15, 2021. Christopher Sadowski
An ICE spokesman confirmed that Ulloa was detained on Oct. 13, but said the agency was not involved.
Cuellar’s daughter, MaryCarmen, 18, said she knew little about the man now charged with her father’s caught-on-video slaying — but believes he was on one of the flights.
“My dad told me one day he was going to the airport, and then this guy came out of nowhere and was at work the next day,” she told The Post. “I didn’t really ask questions.”
Ulloa nonetheless moved in with Cuellar, who put him to work at the family business, the La Raza Mexican Store, she said. President Biden reinstated the “catch and release” policy earlier in 2021.Susan Walsh/AP
“My dad seemed like he was doing a favor for somebody because where [Ulloa] came from they are super poor,” she said in a phone interview.
“We feel that someone asked my dad to do it,” she said. “My dad was really compassionate like that, he would help someone who needed it.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is already suing the Biden administration over its “catch and release” policy — and sources confirmed Tuesday that his office is also investigating whether Ulloa arrived in Jacksonville on one of the clandestine flights.
“This horrific crime is the latest example of how unfettered illegal migration costs Floridians’ lives,” DeSantis’ office told The Post.
“If not for the Biden Administration’s unlawful ‘catch and release’ policy, Mr. Cuellar would still be alive today.
“Governor DeSantis is committed to doing everything in his power to keep Floridians safe. But as long as the Biden Administration persists in refusing to enforce our country’s immigration laws, Americans are at needless risk. Under the “catch and release” policy, CPD can only hold illegal aliens trying to cross the border for 72 hours.Cedar Attanasio/AP
“How many more lives will be lost before the Biden Administration decides to uphold the law?”
Ulloa had been found wandering near a lake and covered in blood, with a trail of blood leading to Cuellar’s body in his living room, the arrest warrant showed.
Home security cameras showed him “stabbing the victim numerous times and repeatedly hitting him with a chair,” the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office warrant said.
He called a friend to confess and even texted “that he had ‘killed Uncle Francisco,’” the warrant said. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is suing the Biden administration.Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
According to his mother, she was told that after his arrest, “he cried and told them, ‘I killed him. I killed him.’”
Ulloa is charged with second-degree murder and is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.
Rather than finishing the wall & securing America they have given the border over to the cartels! While you & your family struggle, our country is being invaded, & your tax dollars are burning in the desert! This is Joe Biden’s America! Are you pissed off yet?!@RealAmVoicepic.twitter.com/sefsDhaO3B
— Ben Bergquam – Real America’s Voice (RAV-TV) News (@BenBergquam) November 4, 2021
The National Guard reports on the incident registered in the municipality of Pijijiapan, Chiapas.
Mexico City, November 4, 2021
The National Guard (GN) reports the following regarding the incident recorded in the municipality of Pijijiapan, Chiapas:
When they were in support of the activities carried out by the National Institute of Migration (INM), elements of the National Guard were attacked with stones and sticks in the Pijijiapan – Tonalá road section, by between 100 and 150 migrants, belonging to a group of more than 1,600 of different nationalities.
As a result of the attack, five national guards (four men and one woman), resulted with considerable injuries in different parts of the body, to whom the required hospital care is already provided.
It is important to specify that the elements of the institution never responded to the aggression.
The National Guard rejects all forms of violence as a means to achieve any personal or group objective, and reiterates its commitment to regulate its actions with strict adherence to human rights.
The labor union for ICE officers has filed two workplace safety complaints about the Biden administration’s handling of illegal immigrants and COVID-19 at the border, saying federal employees processing and releasing the migrants face conditions that amount to “a death trap.”
The complaints say many of the federal workers are contracting COVID-19.
A Texas processing facility designed to hold fewer than 1,000 people at times has topped 4,000 per day. Employees have been falling ill after spending time in close quarters with illegal immigrants, who generally aren’t tested for coronavirus infection, according to the complaints.
“Many ICE officers are testing positive for COVID, in addition to lung infections, viral infections, diarrhea, etc.” the complaint charges.
At the Anzalduas Port of Entry, officers share port-a-potties with migrants who have not yet been tested for infection, the second complaint says.
Filing the complaints with OSHA was an attempt to use the Biden administration’s regulatory machinery against itself. The ICE union hopes to force the government to follow some of the same standards in handling illegal immigrants that President Biden has attempted to impose on American workers and businesses.
“It’s an absolute act of desperation on our part,” Chris Crane, president of the council, told The Washington Times. “We’re just trying to save officers’ lives down there.”
The National ICE Council, the bargaining unit for thousands of ICE officers, said OSHA replied with a request for names of people at the facilities who could shed light on the situation.
OSHA confirmed it received the complaints and had open inspections at the Donna facility and the port of entry. The agency said it has six months to complete the inspection and no additional information will be available until afterward.
In late October, after the OSHA complaints were filed, ICE officers’ space was relocated inside the Donna facility. The officers no longer have to mingle with the busloads of migrants arriving.
Still, Mr. Crane said, the rest of the unsafe conditions are unresolved.
The presence of ICE officers at the two Texas locations is unusual. Border Patrol agents normally would handle all the duties at Donna, and Customs and Border Protection officers would work at the port. ICE would pick things up when custody has been transferred.
With migrants arriving in record numbers, however, the Homeland Security Department deployed ICE officers to help at CBP facilities.
The Donna facility was set up in February, early in a migrant surge that has plagued the Biden administration. The Border Patrol made about 98,000 arrests that month. It made more than 200,000 in July and more than 185,000 in September.
All of those arrests have to be processed through Border Patrol facilities, and roughly half are expelled back across the border under an emergency pandemic border shutdown order. The others are either caught and released or turned over to ICE or other federal agencies.
Homeland Security’s handling of migrants with COVID-19 risks has been controversial from the start.
Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ early claims that migrants were being tested turned out to be false. Facing criticism, the department reached agreements with local nonprofits and, in one case in Del Rio, Texas, signed a contract with a company to conduct testing.
That usually happens after Border Patrol processing and after government authorities determine whether to expel the migrants or allow them to stay in the U.S. — either in custody or in communities.
When migrants are turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE is supposed to be quarantining and testing.
If Border Patrol agents are catching and releasing the migrants at the border, the nonprofits do the testing. They also are supposed to handle quarantining, but they say they don’t have the power to enforce quarantines if migrants want to leave.
One of the new OSHA complaints asserts that migrants released from the Donna facility who test positive for COVID-19 are turned over to the local Catholic Charities chapter, which shelters them in a hotel for three days before releasing them.
Mr. Mayorkas told Congress this fall that 20% of migrants were ill.
Mr. Crane said the lack of precautions for federal employees at the border contrasts with the Biden administration’s moves to impose vaccine mandates on employees and contractors.
“It’s infuriating to us to see the lies from this administration in that vaccine executive order that they are using all these ‘science-based measures,’ is how they’re referred to, to save the lives of these federal employees, and down there [at Donna], science-based, common-sense-based protection is out the window,” he said.
“This is why they won’t let the media in there: because they don’t want the media to see how extremely inhumane this is to the aliens and to our employees. It’s a death trap,” he said.
Mr. Biden’s vaccine mandate applies to federal employees and contractors.
Declaring that “our patience is wearing thin,” the president also ordered OSHA to come up with a mandated rule for corporations that employ more than 100 people. Those rules, revealed Thursday, offer employees a choice of either vaccination or weekly testing and mandatory masks.
The American Federation of Government Employees units that represent federal Bureau of Prisons workers nationally and in Miami filed a lawsuit arguing that the mandate violates their constitutional rights and short-cut procedural steps.
Their OSHA complaints say ICE has been made aware of the conditions its employees face.
The Times reached out to the agency for a response. It’s not clear how many ICE employees are fully vaccinated.
Before their relocation last month, ICE officers at the Donna facility were assigned to a workspace next to the sick ward with no negative pressure rooms or other ways to seal off the sick area’s ventilation.
Every 45 minutes, newly arrived migrants were marched through the ICE officers’ workspace, the complaint said.
In addition to COVID-19 risks, the two OSHA complaints cite water leaking under the walls and running over electrical conduits.
Posted: Nov 3, 2021 / 05:52 PM CDT / Updated: Nov 4, 2021 / 11:28 AM CDT
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comment from Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero:
TIJUANA (Border Report) — The cables that supply electric power to the migrant campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry have been cut, leaving migrants without electricity.
City crews were seen arriving Tuesday afternoon and cutting the cables.
One migrant said this will have adverse consequences on people who live at the camp.
“They left us without electricity and no way to communicate with the outside world,” said José Luis Romero Hernandez, an immigrant from Honduras. “How are we going to get information? Just about every tent had an extension line that allowed us to plug in and charge our phones and connect other electronics, it’s complicated.”
Romero said they will now have to go to a nearby store and pay to charge their phones.
“They’re going to charge us 10 pesos ($.50) to charge the phones, it’s a problem, we also have a running battle with the bathrooms, we have to pay for everything,” he said
Romero said several families have gotten together and have agreed to split the cost of buying bath tissue and other essentials.
He reportedly works a few days a week picking onions that allows him to earn enough money to pay for his phone and internet service.
“My work is irregular, I’m not sure if I can stay in Tijuana now, I used to own two barbershops in Honduras but I came here then went back and realized they had taken them away from me,” he said
The Honduran national said he used to talk with his mother on a daily basis, but now without electricity, he’s not sure if he’ll be able to keep up with that routine.
Tijuana’s Mayor, Montserrat Caballero, said she wasn’t aware of the power being cut to the camp.
“If we took this measure, I didn’t know about it, but I’m sure it was done to eliminate some sort of electrical short and prevent a possible fire in the area, if our people suggested it, I’m all for doing away with the risk,” said Caballero.
The mayor figures the migrants themselves may have tapped illegally into the power supply using what are called “little devil” connections where people on their own patch into electrical lines.
“The question about the electricity is we know these little devil connections carry a lot of risks, I can’t really talk about something that is not regulated,” said the mayor.
A caravan of Central American and South American migrants headed to the U.S.-Mexico border has been halted in southern Mexico, held up by sickness and violence.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 migrants departed the Guatemala-Mexico border headed north on foot nearly two weeks ago. The group was walking through the Mexican state of Chiapas on its way to Mexico City, 800 miles away, but was blocked from continuing out of Chiapas by the Mexican military, as well as a mosquito-borne illness that has led to hospitalizations of children in the group, according to the Mexican government’s National Institute of Migration.National Guard soldiers on Sunday opened fire on a group of migrants who tried to pass through a checkpoint in Chiapas, according to local media reports. Four migrants were injured, and one person from Cuba was killed in the incident.
The National Human Rights Commission in Mexico opened an investigation into the use of force incident. The Pueblos Unidos Migrantes, the organization overseeing the caravan’s journey, alleged that the soldiers shot at the vehicle carrying migrants because the vehicle had not stopped at the checkpoint.
“How many deaths is necessary for AMLO to understand that the military should not carry out migratory tasks?” Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Americas division, wrote on Twitter about the incident, referring to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The National Institute of Migration disclosed on Monday that six cases of Dengue fever were suspected among the group’s members, including in five children. A local news outlet reported Tuesday that 17 children in the caravan have symptoms of a cough, fever, and diarrhea, but local hospitals have refused to treat the sick because they may have the coronavirus, according to Irineo Mujica and Luis Rey Garcia Villagran, the leaders of the group.
Mujica accused the Mexican government of trying to “create confusion and xenophobia,” according to a translated version of one media report.
“The health sector was used to try to contain the contingent by ensuring that there were cases of Dengue, which is not true,” Mujica said. “They are the tactics of Donald Trump that migrants brought diseases, but it is only to criminalize them.”
“The migrants have had a little dehydration from all they had to go through. They are completely fine. We put 30 (children to be checked), of which the institute checked five, and they were in charge of spreading this, but the INM is lying. They only have dehydration,” he said.
An Afghan refugee has been charged with the rape of a woman in Missoula, Montana, the state’s governor said Thursday – and he called for the Biden administration to halt all refugee resettlements until assurances are made about the vetting process.
Gov. Greg Gianforte’s office said in a statement that an Afghan male placed in Montana by the U.S. State Department was charged with sexual assault.
The Missoula Police Department told Fox that Zabihullah Muhmand was arrested after they received a 911 call from the victim and a local motel about concerning behavior. Muhmand, 19, is now being held at the Missoula County Jail on charges of sexual intercourse without consent and the case is being investigated by detectives – but did not confirm his evacuee status. The local court told Fox News that there is a federal hold on Muhmand.
The victim says she met Muhmand, who asked her to go back to her hotel room, but she said she did not want anything to happen, court documents reviewed by Fox News show. The victim was later seen in the lobby visibly upset and called 911, according to those documents. Authorities found the victim’s bra and socks in Muhmand’s room. The man said the incident was consensual.
Zabihullah Muhmand is charged with sexual intercourse without consent. (Missoula Police Dept.)
The incident was first reported by local outlet KGVO.
In a statement, Gianforte said that while he welcomes “full-vetted Afghan allies to Montana, this situation and others across the country raise serious concerns about whether the Biden administration is meeting its obligations to fully vet Afghans prior to resettlement.”
“I’m calling on President Biden to immediately halt resettlements to Montana until federal agencies provide me with adequate assurance that Afghans coming to Montana are fully-vetted in accordance with federal law,” he said.
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said the suspect was admitted to the United States and placed in Montana under humanitarian parole, and backed stopping resettlements.
“The fallout and consequences from President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan continue,” he said in a statement. “While I support assisting our fully-vetted Afghan allies who served alongside our armed forces, President Biden has failed to provide answers as to who has come into the country or if they have been fully vetted according to what’s required by law. I’ve spoken to Gov. Gianforte about this situation, and I stand with him in calling on President Biden to stop all Afghan resettlements to Montana until we get answers.”
Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., who has expressed concerns about the vetting of nationals for weeks, and has introduced legislation on the matter, said the national was paroled into the country without proper screening. The Department of Homeland Security, which is overseeing Operation Allies Welcome, did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment.
“These unvetted Afghans do not share our culture and our values, and as this horrific incident shows they represent a serious risk to our communities,” said Rosendale. “We cannot allow this administration to continue to jeopardize the safety of our communities and the security of our nation in the name of empathy.”
He also urged a halt to the resettlement of nationals, and called on Biden to “begin to remove Afghan evacuees that have been resettled from the United States.”
The Biden administration has been bringing tens of thousands of Afghan nationals into the country in the wake of the U.S. drawdown. It has said the process is multilayered and officials say screening and security are conducted by intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism officials from multiple agencies.
“We screen and vet individuals before they board planes to travel to the United States and that screening and vetting process is an ongoing one and multilayered,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last month.
But Republicans have raised concerns about the vetting process, and pointed to a number of cases in which Afghans have been accused of serious crimes – although administration officials have noted that they are still relatively few considering the numbers that have come in.
A female soldier at Fort Bliss in New Mexico reported being assaulted on Sept. 19 by a group of male evacuees – an incident being investigated by the FBI. That was after Bahrullah Noori, a 20-year-old Afghan evacuee, was charged with attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor using force against that person, along with three other counts of engaging in a sex act with a minor, at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Another evacuee at Fort McCoy, 32-year-old Mohammad Haroon Imaad, was charged with assaulting his wife by choking and suffocating her on Sept. 17.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz has listed Cambridge, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Newport as ports of entry under a proposed Stop the SURGE Act; that "would relocate illegal immigrants from South Texas to newly established ports of entry for processing". pic.twitter.com/2onqUYlCNu
Sign The Petition: It’s time to defund sanctuary cities!
Sanctuary jurisdictions pose a serious threat to the safety of the American people by impeding federal immigration law without repercussions. We can no longer stand idly by and allow sanctuary cities to defy these laws. By signing this petition, you are supporting the efforts of American citizens nationwide to protect their communities by defunding and abolishing sanctuary cities.
At least 5 babies have already been born to illegal invaders under the international bridge in Del Rio, TX- some to C0VID+ families with births timed to correspond to migration: now support them with your tax dollar$, get vaxxed & wear your masks America😡pic.twitter.com/l800CskCjM
Health officials said they were working to notify people potentially exposed at an unidentified Richmond hospital as well as Fort Pickett, an Army National Guard base southwest of Richmond that is providing temporary housing to recently arrived evacuees.
Measles is a highly contagious disease that can be spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or throat. Most Americans are vaccinated against it as children.
Every single person onboard these aircrafts leaving Kabul Airport was potentially exposed to measles. It is highly unlikely that only six evacuees out of 60,000 brought to the U.S. were infected.
As more of our tax dollars go towards treating those infected and preventing another viral outbreak, the U.S. has halted inbound flights of evacuees.
What other diseases are these people carrying and now spreading in America?
Why does the Biden Regime mandate COVID-19 vaccines for Americans but not for “refugees”?
1,500 Miles From The Southern Border, Immigration Fight Disrupts Michigan Town
The town has become an unlikely test case for President Biden’s immigration policy. Alma residents will vote on whether to approve a shelter for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum.
NOEL KING, HOST:
A small city in Michigan is posing a test for the Biden administration’s immigration policy. Alma is 1,500 miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border. Officials there are going to vote on whether to permit a shelter in the city for kids who cross the border without their families. Here’s Brett Dahlberg with member station WCMU.
BRETT DAHLBERG, BYLINE: Normally, children fleeing violence and human trafficking in Central America would be housed in a shelter near the southern border while the federal government works with nonprofit groups to place them with a family member in this country. But those facilities are reaching capacity as the number of kids crossing the border by themselves increases. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has revoked the licenses of several shelters in that state. So the federal government has to look ever further from the southern border for places that can shelter refugee kids. In some places, it goes smoothly. Elizabeth Carey runs Starr Commonwealth, a group that welcomed about 200 migrant children to a shelter in Albion, Mich., about 100 miles west of Detroit.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
ELIZABETH CAREY: Actually, we have been just overwhelmed with joy about the outpouring of support we’ve received since this announcement.
DAHLBERG: Other shelters in Montana, Pennsylvania and North Dakota have taken in children. But approval is far from certain in Alma, where Yvette Franco-Clark is organizing opposition. She worries that immigration will funnel crime to the city of 9,000. It’s a city where 98% of the population was born in the U.S. In addition, she doesn’t trust the motives of Bethany Christian Services, which would run the shelter here.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
YVETTE FRANCO-CLARK: They’re abusing Christianity to make a buck – plain and simple. And the people out there are saying, oh, we need to help them do that. We need to help them do this humanitarian work because you’re not a Christian if you don’t want to help these kids.
DAHLBERG: The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement says it runs rigorous checks on everyone who crosses the border seeking asylum. And Bethany says as a charitable organization, it will not profit from a shelter in Alma. But those statements aren’t easing the opposition’s concerns. And that leaves the city’s faith leaders struggling to figure out how to address the issue with their deeply divided congregations.
KATRINA PEKICH-BUNDY: I have not directly talked about it.
DAHLBERG: Katrina Pekich-Bundy is the pastor at Alma’s First Presbyterian Church.
PEKICH-BUNDY: I have brought up how Jesus welcomed those who most of society turned away.
DAHLBERG: Pekich-Bundy says to her, there’s a clear direction for the church – welcoming young refugees. But she’s not sure if Alma is ready for it.
PEKICH-BUNDY: Having seen some of the yelling and the anger and the hate, it makes me question if this would be welcoming for somebody who’s a person of color.
DAHLBERG: Muzaffar Chishti is a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute. He says the surge of young migrants crossing the southern border is forcing the federal government to look for shelters in places it normally wouldn’t, where opposition to the refugees can be strong.
MUZAFFAR CHISHTI: It does become much more potent in places which don’t have a lot of history of immigration. Numbers do matter.
DAHLBERG: Chishti says a proposal to house 40 migrant children in New York or Miami or Los Angeles might not raise concerns in the same way it does in a town like Alma.
CHISHTI: This is a very thick soup of anxiety that we are dealing with.
DAHLBERG: But Chishti says big-city shelters are running out of room, and putting these shelters in small towns is a tough sell. He says if current immigration trends continue and places like Alma don’t allow shelters for unaccompanied children, the federal government will struggle to follow its own laws and guidelines on how to care for migrant kids. For NPR news, I’m Brett Dahlberg in Alma, Mich.
(SOUNDBITE OF YONDERLING AND FEVERKIN’S “SUNROOM”)
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“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard