refugees

HUMANITARIAN GROUPS WARN REFUGEE BILL IN CONGRESS COULD PUT LIVES IN PERIL

 

East County News Service

June 17, 2017 (San Diego) - The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act has been reintroduced and will be considered in the House Judiciary committee this weekContrary to its name, refugee advocates say the measure would actually endanger the lives of refugees in need ot immediate resettlement as well as any refugees already in the U.S. who travel home to visit family.  A letter opposing the legislation has been sent to the committee’s chair and ranking member, signed by 117 refugee advocate organizations including many local groups ranging from churches to human rights advocates.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN LORENA GONZALEZ-FLETCHER AND COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE "CALIFORNIA WELCOMES REFUGEES" LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE

 

East County News Service

February 10, 2017 (Sacramento) -- California State Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D- Sacramento), Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D – San Diego) and Adrin Nazarian (D- Sherman Oaks) have introduced a legislative package that they say builds upon California’s efforts to welcome and successfully integrate refugees from around the world. This legislative package will help refugees access educational and employment resources necessary to become integrated and productive members of the community.

9TH CIRCUIT PANEL OF 3 JUDGES UNANIMOUSLY RULES AGAINST TRUMP ON TRAVEL BAN, AFFIRMS THAT REFUGEES, IMMIGRANTS FROM 7 BANNED NATIONS AND GREEN CARD HOLDERS SHALL BE ADMITTED TO U.S.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

February 9, 2017 (Seattle) – In a unanimous verdict in State of Washington v. Trump, a three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against President Donald Trump and refused to reinstate a travel ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim nations.  That means admission to the U.S. will resume for refugees  and for immigrants who are citizens of of Iran, Iraq, Libya Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, as well as green card holders with permanent residency in the U.S.

In their decision, the judges wrote, “The Government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the Order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States. Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the Executive Order, the Government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all. We disagree…”

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT HELPING REFUGEES WITH SUPPORT TO LICENSE TO FREEDOM

 

East County News Service

February 7, 2017 (East County) –  The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) has awarded a $10,000 grant to License to Freedom, an El Cajon-based nonprofit that assists Middle Eastern refugees and immigrants with cultural assimilation and health education.

JEWISH COMMUNITY JOINS WITH LOCAL OFFICIALS AND NONPROFITS TO COMBAT HATE TARGETING IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES

 

Executive order canceled 129,000 immigrant visas

"The refugee crisis, the millions that are displaced…Now is not the time to be spectators, we need to be involved: Generous with our time, money and with our feet." --Rabbi Scott Meltzer

By Thea Skinner  

February 6, 2017 (San Diego) -- Days before U.S. District Judge James Robard halted an executive order to bar immigrant travel, the Jewish community and official leaders organized at Congregation Beth El in La Jolla on February 2nd.

JUDGE HALTS TRAVEL BAN NATIONWIDE; REFUGEES AND OTHERS WITH VISAS CAN NOW ENTER U.S.

 

By Miraim Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News :  Among the first to gain entry was an Iranian infant in need of heart surgery.

February 4, 2017 (San Diego) –  Travelers barred from entering the U.S. due to President Donald Trump’s sweeping executive order issued on January 27th must now be admitted due to a ruling by U.S. District Judge James Robard on Friday.  

The court issued a nationwide halt to the entire executive order, though the Trump administration has said it will appeal the ruling. The ruling applies to refugees previously approved for admission to the U.S., as well as citizens of seven Muslim nations including Syrians.  It also requires admission of green card holders with visas.

EXCLUSIVE : IRC AND SURVIVORS OF TORTURE DIRECTORS SPEAK OUT ON REFUGEE RESTRICTIONS

 

By Miriam Raftery, Editor, East County Magazine

Hear our interview for KNSJ Radio by clicking the audio link

February 1, 2017(San Diego) – To learn the impacts of President Donald Trump’s executive action restricting refugee s’ entry into the United States,  we interviewed International Rescue Committee Executive Director David Murphy and Kathi Anderson, Executive Director at Survivors of Torture.

The order has created “fear for a lot of people” in San Diego, long a welcoming haven for refugees starting with the airlifts of Vietnamese boat people in the 1970s, says Murphy.  San Diego County takes in 3 to 4 percent of  all the refugees accepted into the U.S. each year.

Audio: 

SYRIAN REFUGEES THANKFUL FOR NEW LIVES IN SAN DIEGO REGION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

November 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The youngest survivors of Syria’s civil war are a traumatized generation.  In the U.S., 80% of the 10,000 Syrian refugees admitted in 2016 are children—and nearly all have suffered unspeakable trauma. 

HOPE FOR IRAQI CHRISTIANS SEEKS MATCHING FUNDS BY JULY 4 TO HELP 200 REFUGEE FAMILIES: ADOPT A FAMILY FOR JUST $1 A DAY

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2016 (La Mesa)—Hope for Iraqi Christians, a La Mesa based organization that assists Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing genocide in the Middle East, has received a pledge from the  Anahid Oram Memorial Refugee Fund to match $10,000 in monthly donations, sponsoring 100 families per month, but only if they can secure sponsors for at least 100 families by July 4. If that goal is met, the matching funds will mean that 200 families will be helped.

You can sponsor a family for as little as  $1 a day. Each donor will receive information on the family adopted.  Smaller donations will be pooled to help reach the total. Or consider adopting multiple families.

READER’S EDITORIAL: STAND TOGETHER #WITHREFUGEES ON #WORLDREFUGEEDAY

 

By Elizabeth Lou

June 20, 2016 (San Diego) -- With all the cataclysmic incidences happening around the world, the refugee crisis is one of chief concerns in recent history. Refugees are a population of concern because they are displaced due to unwarranted circumstances including armed conflict and political or religious persecution. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are more than 65 million displaced people in the world. That is approximately the populations of two U.S. states, California and Texas combined. Every year during the month of June, the international community commemorates the plight of refugees, as well as their contributions to their respective host countries.

POPE’S EASTER MESSAGE CALLS FOR COMPASSION FOR REFUGEES

 

East County News Service

Photo: Pope Francis, from his Twitter feed

March 27, 2016 (San Diego) – On Good Friday, Pope Francis washed the feet of European immigrants including Christians, Muslims and Hindus, demonstrating his outreach to people of all faiths and calling for world peace. 

In his Easter Sunday mass at the Vatican, the pontiff stated, ““This day invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees, including many children, fleeing war, hunger, poverty and social injustice.”

He also criticized those who seek to stop migrants fleeing persecution in the Middle East and North African from seeking a safe haven in Europe and other regions.

COUNCIL DECLARES 2016 “YEAR OF INCLUSION”

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2016 (San Diego) – The San Diego City Council has proclaimed 2016 as the Year of Inclusion.  The proclamation notes that immigrants comprise 23 percent of the population in our region, with over 100 languages spoken by San Diego residents from around the world.

The proclamation recognizes organizations in San Diego dedicated to helping s build a “culture of civic participation among new generations” that empower leadership and activism. The city's welcoming gesture toward immigrants comes at a time when anti-immigrant has been on the rise nationally and among some prominent political figures, most notably Republican presidential frontrunner candidate Donald Trump.

UCSD CONFERENCE OFFERS PERSPECTIVES ON REFUGEE SITUATION WORLDWIDE

 

 

By Victiashea Matthews

 

December 30, 2015 (La Jolla)  - The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) and Eleanor Roosevelt College at the University of California, San Diego hosted an event called the “Comparative Responses to Asylum Seeking in Europe, Australia, the U.S., and Middle East” on November 30th,  

 

What drives international migration?  Why are some countries more hostile and others more accepting?  Those are some of the compelling questions posed by David FitzGerald, Co-Director of CCIS and Professor of Sociology. These are fascinating questions to consider when unpacking the asylum-seeking diaspora. Here are some highlights from the event.

READER’S EDITORIAL: NOW IS THE TIME TO WELCOME REFUGEES, NOT SHUT THEM OUT

 

By Rebecca Paida

December 13, 2015 (San Diego)--Now is the time to welcome refugees, not shut them out. Given the recent controversy over refugees, I am compelled to write about my refugee story and call on cities to create an inclusive Citizen Commissions on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs.

HOUSES PASSES BILL TO STOP REFUGEES FROM IRAQ AND SYRIAN FROM ENTERING U.S.

 

 

Update Nov. 20, 2015:  Here is how San Diego's Congressional members voted:  Representatives Duncan Hunter, Scott Peters and Darrell Issa voted for banning refugees from Iraq and Syria, while Representatives Juan Vargas and Susan Davis voted against the broad-based ban.

East County News Service

Photo: Iraqi Christians in El Cajon at a 2014 rally pleaded for help to save persecuted Christians in Iraq

November 19,2015 (San Diego’s East County) –The House of Representatives has passed a bill to suspend admission of refugees from both Syria and Iraq into the U.S., until national security agencies certify that they pose no security risk.

The measure passed by 289 to 137, a wide enough majority to override President Barack Obama’s threatened veto, with 47 Democrats joining Republicans to push the bill through.  But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has pledged to block the bill in the Senate.

STATE GOVERNORS SPLIT ON ADMITTING SYRIAN REFUGEES IN U.S.

 

Refugees in Europe, most fleeing ISIS, risk death with winter approaching if not enough places will accept them. But fear of potential terrorism has led some nations to bar entry.

Photo: Refugees marching across Europe arrive in Slovenia; source: Slovenia Ministry of Defense.

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – After Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, for which the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. over the next year.

But governors in half of all states nationwide have reportedly said that they oppose taking any Syrian refugees in their states, or want to postpone admitting them until screen procedures are approved, according to reports by Associated Press, CNN and USA Today.

FBI SEEKS INFORMATION FROM PEOPLE IN U.S. ON HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS OVERSEAS

 

East County News Service

July 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reaching out to refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants in the U.S. to help identify and prosecute those committing human rights violations in other countries.

IRAQI CHRISTIANS WHO FLED ISIS ARE IN DETENTION CENTER AT OTAY: LOCAL LEADERS CALL FOR RELEASE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

East County News Service

Photos of rally by Peter Mansour

June 24, 2015 (San Diego) – Clergy members and Iraqi community leaders held a prayer vigil on June 18th, calling for release Iraqi Chaldean Christians held in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center.

Since the rise of ISIS, many Iraqi Chaldean Christian have fled to neighboring countries. Some have been fortunate enough to make it across the Mexico-US border. But many of these Christians have now been imprisoned in the detention center for up to four months without any indication of imminent release, despite testimony from Christian family members in San Diego that can vouch for their identity.

WORLD REFUGEE DAY HEALTHCARE FAIR DRAWS HUNDREDS

 

 

Event is part of massive roll-out to educate local refugees on new healthcare laws and more

By Miriam Raftery

June 24, 2013 (City Heights) – “This is the largest refugee resettlement community in California and one of the largest in the United States,” Councilmember Marti Emerald said at Somali Family Service Community Healthcare Fair held on World Refugee Day event Saturday in City Heights Community Park, in collaboration with East African Collaborative.

WORLD REFUGEE DAY JUNE 29

 

June 21, 2013 (San Diego) – June is International Refugee Month and the Nile Sisters Development Initiative is sponsoring World Refugee Day on June 29 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 6035 University Avenue, San Diego, in the parking lot.  The event will celebrate the diverse refugee cultures in our community with food, music, entertainment, raffles and more.

DISPLACED BY DISATERS: 32.4 MILLION PEOPLE UPROOTED IN BOTH RICH AND POOR COUNTRIES

 

 

May 13, 2013  (Geneva) A new report released today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) reveals that 32.4 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2012 by disasters such as floods, storms and earthquakes.  While Asia and west and central Africa bore the brunt, 1.3 million were displaced in rich countries, with the USA particularly affected.

Nearly all (98%) of displacement in 2012 was linked to climate- and weather-related events.

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE GIVES PREVIEW OF FARMERS’ MARKET OPENING MARCH 21 IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

By Janis Mork

January 30, 2013 (El Cajon) Updated March 15, 2013- Last week, Troy McKinney, Fresh Fund coordinator from the International Rescue committee (IRC), participated in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine. He gave more details of the future farmers’ market that will be set up on the Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon each Thursday starting March 21.

Like the IRC’s farmer’s market started four years ago in City Heights, the El Cajon farmer’s market will help both local refugees and the broader community.

SEED BALLS AND SPIRAL HERBS TAKE ROOT AT IRC-KAISER COMMUNITY GARDEN IN EL CAJON

 

By Janis Mork

February 25, 2013 (El Cajon)- Last Saturday was a celebration of community gardens in El Cajon where the public was invited to different garden events around El Cajon. At the IRC-Kaiser community garden at 203 Travelodge Drive, Anne Barron, community garden coordinator from the International Rescue Committee, gave the public a complete tour of the garden.  Still in the production stage, the garden is set to open in mid-March.

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE PREPARES FOR COMMUNITY GARDEN

 

By Janis Mork

February 19, 2013 (El Cajon)- The International Rescue Committee has partnered with Kaiser Permanente in El Cajon to open up a community garden for El Cajon residents, who wish to become gardeners by filling out a contract, to grow their food.

Anne Barron, community garden coordinator, gave ECM a tour of the garden, which is expected to open up in mid-March. The community garden is located at 203 Travelodge Drive in El Cajon. 

LGBT IMMIGRANTS, ASYLEES AND REFUGEE SEEKERS EXPLORE EMERGING ISSUES SEPT 29

September 20, 2012 (San Diego) -- Join SAME and The "Centro Cultural De La Raza" as we Co-Host this important subject on  September 29th, 2012 from 6 –9p.m. at Centro Cultural de la Raza, 2004 Park Blvd., San Diego, 92101.

Experienced attorneys will speak about issues impacting LGBT immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, including the progress made in adjudicating claims by same-sex  bi-national couples, the impact of DOMA litigation or repeal of DOMA on LGBT immigrants and much more.

REFUGEES' COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA) PROGRAM LAUNCHES IN CITY HEIGHTS

September 13, 2012 (City Heights) — San Diego is home to refugees from around the world – people who have fled war, famine or persecution in their homelands. Now you can help refugees rebuild their lives by purchasing fruits and vegetables grown by local refugees — delivered fresh each week at a cost of just $12.

ENGLISH-LANGUAGE CLASSES AT EAST COUNTY COLLEGE DISTRICT PREPARE IRAQI IMMIGRANTS FOR THE WORKFORCE

 March 31, 2012 (Rancho San Diego) -- A pilot program for recent Iraqi immigrants that teaches English in the context of office work is being offered at Cuyamaca College through a partnership between the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and San Diego County.

 

FEELING LUCKY? VIVA LA MAESTRA CASINO NIGHT ON MARCH 30

 

March 19, 2012 (San Diego) – La Maestra is holding a Vegas Style casino night on March 30 from 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. at 4060 Fairmount Avenue, San Diego.  The event includes a special guest, the King.
 
Tickets are $75.  For sponsorships or registration please contact Gloria Sosa at 619-584-1612 ext 3111. Or visit www.lamaestra.org

 

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