By 2100, Refugees Would Be The Most Populous Country On Earth

Nicolas Economou / Shutterstock.com

By Vijay Prashad for AlterNet – The UN Refugee Agency has announced the new figures for the world’s displaced: 65.9 million. That means that 65.9 million human beings live as refugees, asylum seekers or as internally displaced people. If the refugees formed a country, it would be the 21st largest state in the world, just after Thailand (68.2 million) and just ahead of the United Kingdom (65.5 million). But unlike these other states, refugees have few political rights and no real representation in the institutions of the world. The head of the UN Refugee Agency, Filippo Grandi, recently said that most of the displacement comes as a result of war. “The world seems to have become unable to make peace,” Grandi said. “So you see old conflicts that continue to linger, and new conflicts erupting, and both produce displacement. Forced displacement is a symbol of wars that never end.” Few continents are immune from the harsh reality of war. But the epicenter of war and displacement is along the axis of the Western-driven global war on terror and resource wars. The line of displacement runs from Afghanistan to South Sudan with Syria in between. Eyes are on Syria, where the war remains hot and the tensions over escalation intensify daily.

With Less Crime, Closed Dutch Prisons Are Instead Being Used To House Refugees

Giles Clark

By Brianna Acuesta for True Activist – It might be hard to imagine a world where prisons actually close because of a reduction in prisoners if you live in the U.S., but in many countries abroad this is not such a rare occasion. In the United States, the existence of private prisons that churn out a profit means that the prison-industrial complex focuses less on helping inmates stay out of trouble and more on how the inmates can benefit prison owners. In the Netherlands, however, crime has been rapidly decreasing for the last decade and 19 of the nearly 60 prisons have since closed. Some prisons even took in inmates from Belgium and Norway just to keep up their locations. While this may have resulted in a loss of jobs, it means that less people are being incarcerated, which is always a positive in any country. On top of fewer prisoners and less crime, the government in the Netherlands found a way to repurpose the closed prisons: they now house refugees in there.

Three Nations With Most Refugees Were Targets Of US Intervention

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By Whitney Webb for Mintpress News. CHILE– A United Nations report has shed light on the world’s burgeoning crisis of displaced peoples, finding that a record 65.6 million were forced to vacate their homes in 2016 alone. More than half of them were minors. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which drafted the report, put the figure into perspective, stating that increasing conflict and persecution worldwide have led to “one person being displaced every three seconds – less than the time it takes to read this sentence.” UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi called the figure “unacceptable” and called for “solidarity and a common purpose in preventing and resolving the crisis.” However, what the UN report failed to mention was the role of U.S. foreign intervention, indirect or direct, in fomenting the conflicts responsible for producing most of the world’s refugees.

Newsletter: Syrian Missile Attack, An Opportunity To Challenge Militarism

Syria Don't Bomb Syria

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The US attack on Syria, in reaction to the unproven allegations that President Assad used chemical weapons on the people of Syria, was not a surprise. It took President Trump a few days of discussions with his military advisers to decide to use the tactic of bombing a military target with 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. The Russians were given advance warning, personnel and some equipment were removed from the site and because a majority of Tomahawks missed their target, very little damage was done to the site. There are reports of Syrian aircraft flying out of the facility after the bombing. But damage was done to cities nearby the site and at least 25 civilians were killed, including 8 children and dozens were injured. This was an illegal act of war under international law.

Death in Yemen; Made In USA! Stop the Saudi-U.S. Assault On Yemen!

Yemen refugees return to ruined Aden - Voice of Djibouti

By Staff for Voices for Creative Nonviolence and CODE PINK. Media reports indicate that President Donald Trump is planning a US military escalation in Yemen. The time for people in the United States to act to end the war in Yemen is now. KZ Peacemakers are fasting for a week at the Isaiah Wall at the United Nations in New York to raise a cry against the bombing and starving of the children of Yemen. Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence says: “As we fast from all solid foods, we urge others to join us in calling for a humane response to the deadly tragedy facing Yemeni civilians whose country, ravaged by civil war and regularly targeted with Saudi and U.S. airstrikes, is now on the brink of famine.”

Faith Communities And Campuses Trying To Give Refuge To Immigrants

the National Sanctuary Movement's website

By Rebekah Barber For Facing South – Dating back thousands of years, the concept of sanctuary stems from the custom of offering hospitality to the stranger. In ancient Greek cities, slaves and thieves took sanctuary at the shrines of the gods. During biblical times, those who had killed someone accidentally could take asylum in cities designated for refuge. In recent years, dozens of U.S. cities and counties became part of this tradition by adopting so-called “sanctuary policies” that bar local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. The policies aim to build safer communities by strengthening undocumented immigrants’ trust in local police.

We Want To Welcome! Barcelona Demands Open Borders For Refugees

No Borders, No Nations, Stop Deportations by Mike Alewitz. From CreativeResistance.org.

By Carlos Delclós for ROAR Magazine – On February 18, over 160.000 people took to the streets of Barcelona to demand that the Spanish government and the European Union accept more refugees. The build-up to the protests was spectacular, with the city and Catalan regional governments working together with broad citizen platforms to put the phrase “We want to welcome” (Volem acollir) on everybody’s lips. For several weeks, leading politicians including Barcelona mayor Ada Colau and Catalan president Carles Puigdemont lambasted Spain’s current policies towards refugees. One week prior to the protest, a special concert was organized by a campaign called Casa nostra, Casa vostra (“Our house, your house”), not in a civic center or public square but in an Olympic stadium. The event was aired on Catalan public television and featured major Catalan artists and cultural figures.

Activists Hang ‘Refugees Welcome’ Banner From Statue Of Liberty

@AltStatLiberty via Twitter

By Nadia Prupis for Mint Press News – (REPORT) — Activists scaled the base of the Statue of Liberty on Tuesday to unfurl a massive banner reading “Refugees Welcome” across the observation deck. The 20-foot red-and-white banner was up from roughly 12:45pm to just before 4:00pm, when the National Park Service tore it down. In an email to local media, the collective of activists, which calls itself Alt Lady Liberty, said they were “just private citizens who felt like we needed to say something about the America we believe in.” One organizer added, “Speaking personally—my grandparents met in a refugee camp after WWII, and my mother immigrated. So this touches close to home. But almost every American knows an immigrant or a refugee. We wanted to send a reminder about America when we’re at our best—the country that’s a beacon of freedom to the world, built by immigrants. Walling off countries or entire religions is against our values.”

Trump’s Executive Order On Refugees Violates The Establishment Clause

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By David Cole for Just Security – According to the Supreme Court, “the clearest command of the Establishment Clause is that one religious denomination cannot be officially preferred over another.” Larson v. Valente, 456 US. 228, 244 (1982). But that command is apparently not clear enough for President Donald Trump. On Friday he signed an Executive Order on refugees that imposes a selective ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, and at the same time establishes preferential treatment for refugees seeking asylum who are identified with “minority religions” in their country of origin. In case there was any doubt about the latter provision’s intent, Trump told Christian Broadcast News that it was intended to give priority to “Christians” seeking asylum over “Muslims.”

Facts Show Refugees Almost Never Involved In Terrorism

A migrant girl looks through the fence waiting to register with the police in refugee center in the southern Serbian town of Presevo, in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/DARKO VOJINOVIC

By Beenish Ahmed and Dylan Petrohilos for Think Progress – Governors from more than half of country are attempting to block refugees fleeing conflict in Syria from being settled in their states citing concerns that they might carry out terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Experts familiar with the issue say their fears are largely unfounded. Evidence collected so far suggests that refugees were not involved in carrying out the gun and bomb attacks on the French capital. While hundreds of thousands of migrants have turned up on European shores in the last several months seeking asylum, the U.S. refugee resettlement program vets each person it admits through rigorous background checks that have a nearly flawless record at keeping terrorists out.

The People And Courts Stop Muslim Immigration Ban

Immigration protest meme from Twitter

By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Protests at airports across the country sprung up like a brush fire in reaction to Donald Trump ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries. And, courts in multiple states issued emergency orders initially to stop deportations but ultimately to block detentions of people traveling to the United States from this countries. Courts issued rulings in New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington State. Now, there is a nationwide stay preventing deportations and detentions. This morning Donald Trump tweeted that “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world — a horrible mess!” Before noon, the White House changed its tune reversing itself and saying green card holders will not be barred but added confusion saying border agents would have “discretionary authority” to detain people and that there would be increased scrutiny of everyone, including US citizens, coming from the seven countries.

Trump's Immigration Order Challenged And Protested Immediately

Protesters at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York protest Trump immigration order.

By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking immigration from specified Muslim-dominated countries took hold and impacted people almost immediately. The order includes people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and bans citizens of these seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days. President Trump’s Muslim ban excludes countries linked to his international business empire, i.e. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey, where Trump holds multi-million dollar licensing and development deals. The order prevents entry of any refugees to the U.S. for four months. There was an immediate reaction to the ban. People were at airports to support those being held at airports when they came off of an airplane. In addition, lawsuits were being filed to support them and overturn the Trump ban.

In The Footsteps Of Refugees: Berlin-Aleppo Peace March Begins

Mideast Syria Assads Air Power

By Staff of Euro News – Hundreds of activists set off from Berlin on Monday on a three and a half month march to Aleppo to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Before setting off, Caspar explained why he was taking part: “It’s Christmas and it is nice to spend time with family, but we also have to raise awareness that in other parts of the world people are struggling and that we could do something to make their lives better.” Jaber, who is Syrian, was also passionate about the march, saying: “This affects me personally. The march and the people are here to express their humanity and I want to contribute to it.

Young French Immigrants Begin Solidarity Chain To Feed Refugees

The youth cooked sandwiches and typical cuisine from West Africa, then delivered them in a dozen cars to homeless refugees in Paris. | Photo: Video Capture

By Staff for Tele Sur – “We also are children of immigrants, we grew up in poverty, the principle of sharing is part of who we are,” said Souleymane. A video inviting young residents of Paris’ immigrant suburbs to give free meals to homeless refugees went viral on Facebook, reaching over 50,000 views by Monday. “We also are children of immigrants, we grew up in poverty, the principle of sharing is part of who we are,” said Souleymane, a resident of the Sarcelles suburb where the project began.

One Out Of Every 200 Children In The World Is Now A Refugee

Children in a refugee camp in Jordan. (Photo: Reuters)

By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – “What can the future hold for these children—denied so much of what they need?” —Anthony Lake, UNICEFThe total number of child refugees doubled between 2005 and 2015, the report says, and children now comprise half of all refugees despite accounting for less than a third of the global population. The report, “Uprooted: The Growing Crisis for Refugee and Migrant Children,” (pdf) presents “for the first time, comprehensive, global data about these children,” UNICEF writes.