Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

USM Socialists analyze world refugee crisis through discussion

Krysteana Scribner | The Free Press

Posted on February 01, 2016 in News
By Krysteana Scribner

According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, 50 million in the world today are refugees. This crisis, which stems from people seeking safety from nations succumbing to anarchy and fanaticism, was discussed at a USM Socialist talk, hosted by Owen Hill, an organizer for the Portland branch of the International Socialist Organization.

The talk, which explored how and what people can do to push back against racist hysteria, centered around the subject of refugees. As an opening conversation topic, Hill briefly related a story that made news across the nation: Two refugees, named Anna and William, fled from Honduras in 2009, and just three weeks ago, on Jan. 2, the two were taken from their home in the U.S. and deported back to Honduras.

“They were deported back to the most dangerous place to live in the entire world. Per ten thousand people, 91 citizens are murdered each year. If we compared that to the U.S. and our population, it would be equivalent to over three hundred thousand people dying each year. That’s just absurd.”

Even worse is the fact that Anna and William were, in fact, refugees, so their deportation from the U.S. is illegal. According to U.N. reports, the current refugee crisis is the largest to occur since WWII. This means that the last time the world was in such crisis, the world’s military powers were at each other’s throats; and the crisis only ended with the dropping of the first atomic bomb.

“The worldwide refugee crisis is not accidental, but a direct result of the predictable functioning of the current economic and political system, which I would call capitalist,” said Hill.

Refugee’s are separated into two groups: Ones who are internally displaced, and others who are externally displaced. While internally displaced refugees are fleeing to a different area within their borders, externally displaced refugees are fleeing their country, or nation state, in search of a better, safer life. Syria is the number one country from which people are fleeing, the second is Afghanistan.

“What makes this situation entirely more troubling in the amount of people who won’t accept syrian refugees,” Hill remarked. “Donald Trump stands by his opinion that muslims won’t be allowed in the U.S. and 39 governor’s here in America won’t allow Syrian refugees to settle here – including Lepage.”

Thirty million people are internally displaced, while twenty million are internally displaced. Out of the 200 thousand people living as refugees in the U.S., only 1,000 are from Syria. Hill stated that unless the world is more accepting and understanding of bigger political and economical issues such as these, we will not see an end to the problem.

“There are currently nineteen million empty homes in America – that’s one home for every externally displaced refugee in the entire world,” Hill explained. “The birth of capitalism was marked by violence and until we can understand this, we’re not going to see the issues disappear.”

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