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August 20, 2004 6:09 AM   Subscribe

The USA is sending the refugees from Monserrat back home. Why? Because the threat from their volcano is no longer regarded as "temporary", but "permanent".
posted by Pretty_Generic (24 comments total)

 
If it is a permanent problem, it seems like it is Britain's to deal with, and the US shouldn't be involved at all.
posted by smackfu at 6:36 AM on August 20, 2004


Apparently this is a bylaw of the "USA Crush Kittens with Hammers and Kick Old People Down Stairs" Act.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:37 AM on August 20, 2004


ugh. I am continually embarrassed by this government.
posted by shoepal at 6:48 AM on August 20, 2004


smackfu: these people have lives in America now. Do you think they should be evicted from them?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:55 AM on August 20, 2004


Can't they apply for permanent residency like anyone else? If they have jobs and lives here, that would seem like the best option....
posted by armage at 7:04 AM on August 20, 2004


these people have lives in America now. Do you think they should be evicted from them?

But they're taking 250 jobs that white people could have! And we don't know a lot about Monserrat. They could be muslims.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:09 AM on August 20, 2004


The decision seems heartless and silly, but I bet the US doesn't want to set a precedent for hosting refugees permanently displaced by the environment. Think about all the refugees from Bangladesh, Maldives, Vanuatu, etc. when the seas start to rise.
posted by since1968 at 7:10 AM on August 20, 2004


I was thinking only of the brave Krakatoans!
posted by ChasFile at 7:18 AM on August 20, 2004


But they're taking 250 jobs that white people could have!

Damn Darkies!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:23 AM on August 20, 2004


smackfu: but these people aren't causing the US a problem. They're living here, and working here. Many of them have children who were born here. Telling these people 'you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here' is pointless, and helps noone.
posted by mosch at 7:25 AM on August 20, 2004


Maybe Canada can take them.
posted by lagado at 7:29 AM on August 20, 2004


since1968 has a point. A somewhat cruel point, but likely the correct one.
posted by ook at 7:44 AM on August 20, 2004


Regarding that point: part of me would rather the USA just regard the Bangladeshi problems etc. as "permanent" to begin with, instead of than allowing people asylum, letting them form new lives, and THEN kicking them out.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:48 AM on August 20, 2004


What I'm saying is, I feel the USA now has an obligation to these people that it doesn't necessarily have to random Bangladeshis.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:49 AM on August 20, 2004


Not to be picky but it is Montserrat...Anyway the tourism board still wants people to come visit.

Also if you have a child that was born in the us, it seems to me that you should be able to stay to raise that child. It is just another example of policy without common sense. If it is a permanent problem these people need more help than if it was just temporary.
posted by Cool Alex at 8:21 AM on August 20, 2004


Also if you have a child that was born in the us, it seems to me that you should be able to stay to raise that child.

That would never fly. Your average American doesn't want to be encouraging poor illegal immigrants to have kids.
posted by jpoulos at 9:01 AM on August 20, 2004


I'm more angry about the logic here than the debate about the U.S.'s obligation for future refugees.

Understandably, there is a discussion to be had about the U.S.'s obligation to accept all refugees and offer them hospice in America. But these are people who have lived in the U.S. and established familes and lives for seven years. And now, they are being told to vacate not because they have a home to go to, but specifically because they don't. I understand the whole "tired, poor, huddled masses" thing has an asterisk or two nowadays, but in what America does the Statue of Liberty represent a concept like this?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:10 AM on August 20, 2004


God knows what we need less of in this country is people that establish successful small businesses.

Christ.

But then, I'm an open borders sort of person, so.
posted by kavasa at 9:20 AM on August 20, 2004


HS said, "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
But damn it, only temporarily."
posted by pyramid termite at 11:51 AM on August 20, 2004


jpoulos, if they're here as refugees, and are now being sent back, how are they "illegal" immigrants? Just an example of two words that gravitate together, like "faith and begorrah"?
posted by cookie-k at 5:17 PM on August 20, 2004


This is obscene. Sending them back does "nothing for nobody"...it's a completely wasted motion.

On top of that, it's cruel, it's absurd...and it is a shining example of how rules can overpower people.
posted by dejah420 at 6:52 PM on August 20, 2004


Two words.
Catch 22.
posted by davebarnes at 8:33 PM on August 20, 2004


Montserrat expects 3000 refugees to return over the next six years as reconstruction continues, including an airport and a rebuilt capital.

While the volcano remains active, there has been a substantial reduction in concern since the July 2003 dome collapse including pyroclastic mud flows and ashfall, although the scientific assessment awaits a full year of reduced activity [PDF] before officially declaring the nine-year eruption "over". Meanwhile, hazard management continues with exclusion zones, daytime-entry zones, and other recommendations for specific areas or activities. At this point, though, the best guess puts the risk to the island as a whole from the volcano at approximately the same level as for a hurricane. With forethought, something that can be lived with.

This decision does appear particularly obtuse, but most countries in the world have concern over the permanent admission of refugees, and not all give them the opportunity to apply for permanent residence. Refugees are by definition temporary; and clearly the situation back home has changed, so they would normally be expected to return at some point. (And oh yes, if they overstay their refugee visa, they will be legally illegal.)
posted by dhartung at 9:37 PM on August 20, 2004


Note: the explosive eruption of the Soufriere Hills lava dome in July 2003 was captured on OmniMAX film in the science feature Forces of Nature.
posted by dhartung at 10:02 PM on September 1, 2004


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