WBEZ | refugees http://www.wbez.org/tags/refugees Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Inside One Of The World’s Largest Refugee Camps http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-02-11/inside-one-world%E2%80%99s-largest-refugee-camps-114817 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Syria.jpg" title="Syrian children wait to return to their country at the Turkish border crossing with Syria in the outskirts of Kilis, southeastern Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. A Russian-backed Syrian government offensive around the Syrian city of Aleppo has sent tens of thousands of people fleeing to the Turkish border in recent days. Turkey, already home to 2.5 million Syrian refugees, is also providing assistance to the new refugees on the Syrian side of the border, but refuses so far to let them in.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/246601234&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Conflict in Syria</span></p><p>Pressure from the Syria crisis is causing at least one U.S. ally to lash out. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Washington has created a &quot;sea of blood&quot; in Syria, because it refuses to brand Kurdish fighters in Syria as terrorists. Erdogan went on to say, &quot;Hey America! How many times have we had to tell you? Are you...with us or are you with the....terror groups?&quot; He&rsquo;s also reportedly threatened to &ldquo;drown Europe in refugees&rdquo; if his financial terms to take in refugees aren&rsquo;t met. We hear more on the potential row between Turkey and the West with Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan. He publishes the blog <em>Informed Comment</em> and his most recent book is <em>The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East</em>.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong> Juan Cole is a professor of history at the University of Michigan and the author of the book <em>The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East</em>.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Dadaab2.jpg" title="A marketplace in Dadaab, Kenya. (Courtesy of Ben Rawlence)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/246601232&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">A Look Inside One Of The World&rsquo;s Largest Refugee Camps</span></p><p>The Dadaab refugee camp was created in 1991, as what was supposed to be a temporary home people fleeing civil war in Somalia. &nbsp;The camp, located in Northern Kenya, has remained home to more than 300,000 people and at times, over the years, has housed as many as 500,000. It&rsquo;s developed its own economy and daily life, even though the Kenyan government has maintained it is not permanent. Ben Rawlence spent time at the camp and documents daily life there in his book &ldquo;City of Thorns.&rdquo; He joins us to talk about the people he met.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> Ben Rawlence is author of the book &ldquo;City of Thorns.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Lateran.jpg" title="Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Concerence arrives to attend a ceremony on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1929 Lateran Treaty - Patti Lateranensi - and the 1984 revision of the Concordat between Italy and Vatican, at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/246601231&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">World History Moment: The Lateran Treaty</span></p><p>The Lateran Treaty dates back to February 11, 1929. Under the treaty, Pope Pius XI was given full sovereignty over the tiny Vatican City State. Historian John Schmidt recalls what happened during the negotiations.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> John Schmidt is a historian and author of &ldquo;On This Day in Chicago History.&rdquo;</p></p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-02-11/inside-one-world%E2%80%99s-largest-refugee-camps-114817 Journalist Carmen Aristegui Talks Press Freedom and Corruption in Mexico http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-02-04/journalist-carmen-aristegui-talks-press-freedom-and-corruption-mexico <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Refugees.jpg" title="Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf makes a pledge during the second co-host chaired thematic pledging session for jobs and economic development during the 'Supporting Syria and the Region' conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Leaders and diplomats around the world are meeting in London Thursday and pledging some billions of dollars to help millions of Syrian people displaced by war, and try to slow the chaotic exodus of refugees into Europe. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/245483183&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Countries Pledge More Money To Help Syrian Refugees</span></p><p>World leaders gathered today in London to discuss funding for humanitarian aid for Syria and Syrian refugees. Earlier this week Jordan&rsquo;s King Abdullah said his country needed more funds to help pay for the toll the Syrian refugees were taking on Jordan, saying &quot;sooner or later, I think, the dam is going to burst.&quot;</p><p>Andy Baker heads the Syria response team for Oxfam. Oxfam had called on nations, including the US, to pay its &ldquo;fare share.&rdquo; Baker is in London for the donor meeting. He joins us to talk about aid for Syria.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> Andy Baker is the Regional Program Coordinator for Syria Crisis at Oxfam.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PeaceTalks.jpg" title="In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrians gather where three bombs exploded in Sayyda Zeinab, a predominantly Shiite Muslim suburb of the Syrian capital, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. The triple bombing claimed by the extremist Islamic State group killed at least 45 people near the Syrian capital of Damascus on Sunday, overshadowing an already shaky start to what are meant to be indirect Syria peace talks. (AP Photo)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/245483182&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Syria Peace Talks Come To A Halt</span></p><p>As countries pledged their fiscal support for Syrian refugees at a donor conference in London, efforts to end the the war in Syria came to a halt. The UN temporarily suspended the peace talks which began earlier this week. Steffan de Mistura, the UN mediator said,&nbsp;&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not prepared to have talks for the sake of talks.&rdquo;</p><p>We&rsquo;ll talk with Yaser Tabbara, a Syrian American lawyer who has been active in the Syrian opposition, about what he thinks needs to happen to reboot the process.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> Yaser Tabbara is a Syrian-American lawyer and the co-founder of The Syrian Forum.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img 2011.="" a="" addressed="" alcoholic.="" alexandre="" allegation="" alt="" an="" ap="" apologize="" aristegui="" calderon="" class="image-original_image" come="" comments="" feb.="" felipe="" fired="" for="" from="" headquarters="" her="" in="" is="" last="" mexico="" mvs="" on="" outside="" photo="" president="" radio="" refusing="" s="" said="" she="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Carmen3.jpg" station="" that="" the="" title="Protesters hold a sign depicting Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui that reads in Spanish " to="" was="" week="" when="" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/245483180&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Popular Mexican Journalist Fired After Reporting On Corruption</span></p><p>Carmen Aristegui is one of the Western Hemisphere&rsquo;s most popular journalists. She herself became news when, last March, when Mexican radio station MVS fired her and her investigative team from their hugely popular radio show after they exposed scandals tied to Mexico&rsquo;s President, Enrique Peña Nieto.</p><p>One well-known scandal &nbsp;known as &ldquo;Casa Blanca&rdquo; or &ldquo;White House,&rdquo; was tied to a wealthy Mexican business magnate who built a seven-million dollar mansion for Peña Nieto&lsquo;s family. Aristegui&rsquo;s firing created an international stir. MVS claims her firing was from unethical use of the company logo on her &ldquo;MexicoLeaks&rdquo; website.</p><p>Aristegui will talk with us about &ldquo;Casa Blanca,&rdquo; her termination from MVS and what she views as Mexico&rsquo;s corrupt political system that subverts justice for victims like murdered journalists and the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> Carmen Aristegui is an investigative journalist from Mexico and the host of <em>Aristegui</em> on CNN en Espanol.</p></p> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-02-04/journalist-carmen-aristegui-talks-press-freedom-and-corruption-mexico A look at a Chicago composting service http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-12-15/look-chicago-composting-service-114172 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/11754576_509705675851641_6486234913055377664_o.jpg" title="(Photo courtesy of Healthy Soil compost LLC)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/237716430&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">EcoHeroes: A Chicago composting service?</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Composting is good for the environment, but for a lot of people there are obstacles to actually being able to do it at home. A new Chicago business makes it easy to compost in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Healthy Soil Compost describes itself as a &ldquo;bicycle powered, year-round, zero emission food scrap collection service for residents and businesses of Chicago.&rdquo; Manager Jonathan Scheffel created a strategy and found partners to help divert food waste out of landfills and put it back into the local soil. He tells us how he did it.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c5298b64-a789-eb27-5a5e-a93adcabc82a"><a href="http://twitter.com/hscompost">Jonathan Scheffel</a> is the manager of Healthy Soil Compost LLC. </span></em></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><em>Dale Hubbard from <a href="http://twitter.com/nlrworms">Nature&#39;s Little Recyclers</a>.</em></li></ul></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/237717333&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Saudi elections see women vote and win</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Over the weekend, women in Saudi Arabia went to the polls for the first time in the country&rsquo;s history. They were also allowed to run as candidates and more than 900 women were on the ballots. Voters elected representatives to the local councils, the only elected representation that exists in Saudi Arabia. The local councils help determine the budgets and important priorities on things like schools and roads and other key local issues. A number of women managed to win seats. We&rsquo;ll examine the results and take a look at what may and may not change now that women are included in the election process with David Ottaway, a Middle East fellow at the Wilson Center. He&rsquo;s just returned from Saudi Arabia.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c5298b64-a78c-d806-8ad4-8ab03addd15e">David Ottaway is a Middle East fellow at the Wilson Center. He&rsquo;s just returned from Saudi Arabia.</span></em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/237719372&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Syrian refugees resettle in Toledo</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">As the war in Syria continues, thousands of people continue to flee Syria as refugees in search of a new home. Despite the fact that numerous American governors have said they do not want Syrian refugees in their states and an application process that involves multiple interviews, a small number of Syrian refugees are being resettled in the U.S. Cities across the country with significant Syrian populations have taken the lead in accepting these refugees, including Toledo, Ohio, often dubbed &lsquo;Little Syria.&rsquo; When Syrian refugees step off the plane at Toledo Airport, they&rsquo;re typically greeted by resettlement coordinator Corine Dehabey. She joins us today to discuss her work for the non-profit US Together, which is helping resettle Syrian refugees across Ohio.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c5298b64-a78e-50ef-9bf5-3e4c8eb7904d"><em>Corine Dehabey is a resettlement coordinator for US Together in Toledo.</em> </span></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 15 Dec 2015 15:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-12-15/look-chicago-composting-service-114172 The Battle to Free Shawkan http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-12-07/battle-free-shawkan-114078 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/22603231990_3b60ef028f_z.jpg" title="(Photo: Flickr/Alisdare Hickson)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/236517446&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The imprisonment of Mahmoud &quot;Shawkan&quot; Abou Zeid</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">This fall, three Al Jazeera journalists made headlines after being held in detention by Egypt&rsquo;s military government. The journalists were eventually set free. An Egyptian photojournalist, Mahmoud Abu Zeid, widely known as &ldquo;Shawkan&rdquo;, was arrested for taking pictures of a protest in Cairo. He goes on trial on December 12th after more than 800 days of imprisonment. We&rsquo;ll speak about Shawkan&rsquo;s case with his friend and spokesperson, Ahmed Abu Saif.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-2a33e5c6-7e1b-a1c2-8e65-e79a8ec75814">Ahmed Abu Saif is a friend and advocate of jailed Egyptian photojournalist, Mahmoud &quot;Shawkan&quot; Abou Zeid.&nbsp;</span></em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/236516571&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Can a climate agreement really be enforced?</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">We&rsquo;re at the halfway point of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, taking place in Paris. One recurring theme is the lack of enforcement measures against countries that fall short or violate a final agreement. One expert said the only punitive regime they foresee comes down to &ldquo;naming and shaming.&rdquo; Mark Hertsgaard, environment correspondent for The Nation magazine, is currently in Paris. He&rsquo;ll update us on the latest news and what&rsquo;s been happening at the talks.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://twitter.ocm/ @markhertsgaard">Mark Hertsgaard</a> is an environment correspondent for <a href="http://twitter.com/thenation">&#39;The Nation&#39;</a>. He is also the author of &#39;HOT: Living Through the next Fifty Years on Earth&#39;.&nbsp;</em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/236517633&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">In Lebanon, refugee situation grows dire</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Humanitarian agencies have reported that Lebanon is at a crisis stage in dealing with the influx of thousands of Syrian refugees. One observer said the country is &ldquo;bursting at the seams.&rdquo; Marya Abdul Rahman is Heartland Alliance International&rsquo;s Lebanon country diector. She&rsquo;s been monitoring the challenging living conditions and lack of resources in Lebanon. She&rsquo;ll join us to talk about what she thinks can be done to address the crisis.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-2a33e5c6-7e2e-462d-f787-7cd9233f5730">Marya Abdul Rahman is</span> <a href="http://twitter.com/heartlandhelps">Heartland Alliance International</a>&rsquo;s Lebanon Country Director.&nbsp;</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 07 Dec 2015 14:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-12-07/battle-free-shawkan-114078 The refugees stranded in Greece http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-11-30/refugees-stranded-greece-113995 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20921696859_bb9c386da0_z.jpg" title="(Photo: Flickr/International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/235459198&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Closed European borders put pressure on Greece</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">The investigation into the Paris attacks has revealed that at least two of the attackers traveled to France via Greece, mixed in with the refugees coming in from Syria. Since the attacks several European countries have closed their borders, stranding a large number of would be asylum seekers and migrants in Greece. Dr. Zaher Sahloul, the former president of the Syrian American Medical Society, has just returned from working with refugees in Lesbos, Greece. He joins us to discuss the latest developments.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guest:</strong><em>&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-eb161a56-5a2e-1c33-89d6-7c4604afff8c"><a href="http://twitter.com/sahloul">Dr. Zaher Sahloul</a> is former president of the Syrian American Medical Society. He&rsquo;s just returned from Greece.</span></em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/235459527&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The implications of pro-Kurdish activist Tahir Elci&#39;s murder</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">A prominent Kurdish lawyer and human rights activist, Tahir Elci, was killed in Turkey over the weekend. He was shot, after a battle with police and after making a statement to journalists, where he called for an end to violence between the Turkish government and the Kurdish group the PKK. Elci had faced death threats after saying the PKK is not a terrorist organization. A curfew was imposed in the city where the killing took place, with police afraid Elci&rsquo;s death could lead to more violence and unrest. Taner Akcam is a professor at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, joins us to discuss the implications of Elci&rsquo;s killing.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-eb161a56-5a2f-d550-7bc3-69c756ff8e16"><em>Taner Akcam is a professor at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at <a href="http://twitter.com/ClarkUniversity">Clark University</a></em>.</span></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 14:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-11-30/refugees-stranded-greece-113995 This Isn't The First Time Americans Have Shown Fear Of Refugees http://www.wbez.org/news/isnt-first-time-americans-have-shown-fear-refugees-113888 <p><div id="res456922619" previewtitle="The Statue of Liberty, as seen through windows on the south side of the Great Hall at Ellis Island."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="The Statue of Liberty, as seen through windows on the south side of the Great Hall at Ellis Island." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/21/ap_341703699854_wide-69453f4b153ef88326af0668a54bb88f2f31ef0f-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="The Statue of Liberty, as seen through windows on the south side of the Great Hall at Ellis Island. (Julie Jacobson/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>Political leaders in the national and state capitals this week began raising barriers against refugees coming to the U.S. from Syria and Iraq. They were responding to a sense of fear in the land that refugees might bring with them some of the dangers they were fleeing.</p><p>Such fears escalated sharply after the deadly terror attacks in Paris on Friday, the 13th&mdash; a November night of random slaughter that took at least 130 lives and wounded hundreds.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-11-18/bloomberg-poll-most-americans-oppose-syrian-refugee-resettlement">Polls</a>&nbsp;throughout the week showed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.langerresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/1173a1AfterParis.pdf">clear majorities</a>&nbsp;of Americans supporting at least &quot;a pause&quot; in the resettlement of refugees from the region being roiled by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.</p></div></div></div><div id="res456915278" previewtitle="The Bloomberg/Selzer poll asked about the best approach to dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis — proceeding with a plan to resettle 10,000 in the U.S., to filter by religion or accept none."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-11-18/bloomberg-poll-most-americans-oppose-syrian-refugee-resettlement" target="_blank"><img alt="The Bloomberg/Selzer poll asked about the best approach to dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis — proceeding with a plan to resettle 10,000 in the U.S., to filter by religion or accept none." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/21/take-in-syrian-refugees-_chartbuilder_custom-b76bae834062bab36cded85e3cd7059368b5a42d-s400-c85.png" style="height: 294px; width: 500px;" title="The Bloomberg/Selzer poll asked about the best approach to dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis — proceeding with a plan to resettle 10,000 in the U.S., to filter by religion or accept none. Domenico Montanaro/NPR/Bloomberg/Selzer poll, conducted Nov. 16-17, margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent" /></a></div><div><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div><p>For all that America prides itself on being &quot;a nation of immigrants&quot; symbolized by the Statue of Liberty with her lamp beside a golden door, the U.S. is also a nation of people &mdash; subject to human insecurity and fears for safety heightened over the past decade.</p><p>Within 48 hours of the attack,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/20/456713306/governor-who-started-stampede-on-refugees-says-he-only-wants-answers">Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder&nbsp;</a>had called for a pause in refugee resettlements. The Republican&#39;s state is home to a significant Muslim population and might have been a logical destination for many new arrivals. Within a day, a majority of the nation&#39;s governors had joined Snyder or gone even further. In Tennessee, a GOP legislative leader called for Syrians already resettled in Nashville to be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/19/456502693/tennessee-lawmaker-calls-for-national-guard-to-round-up-syrian-refugees">rounded up</a>&nbsp;and turned over to federal authorities.</p><p>On Thursday, the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to suspend the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees until each and everyone could be certified as safe by the heads of the FBI, the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security.</p><p>&quot;From a law enforcement perspective, the bill presents us with an impracticality,&quot; Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. And FBI Director James Comey, one of the three officials charged with certifying the refugees as safe, noted, &quot;It would be very, very difficult to say of anyone coming into the country that there is zero risk.&quot;</p><p>Despite the big bipartisan majority vote, perhaps no one expects this House bill to become law. It will be altered in the Senate, and it has drawn a veto threat from the White House. Nonetheless, it had to happen &mdash; if only to defuse the explosive atmosphere of anxiety even on Capitol Hill in the wake of the horrors in Paris. All these politicians were giving voice to the powerful popular impression &mdash; visible in much of the media &mdash; that lax policies and porous borders could expose Americans to the same sort of violence visited on the French.</p><p>Prosecutors said Friday they determined that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/11/20/world/europe/ap-eu-paris-attacks-the-latest.html">two of the suicide bombers</a>&nbsp;at France&#39;s national stadium had passed through Greece last month. Greece is a common European entry point for many refugees because of its proximity to Syria. It scarcely seems to matter, however, that the core of the Paris problem is that principal players were European nationals &mdash; or that the supposed mastermind was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/19/456683674/suspected-planner-of-paris-attacks-took-conventional-journey-to-radicalization">radicalized in a French prison</a>.</p><p>This is not, of course, the first time Americans have confronted a sudden influx of refugees. And it is not the first time the impulse has been to raise the drawbridge:</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_100112020274.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Rescuers work to free trapped survivors and find dead victims in a four story building that collapsed in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)" /><strong>2010 &mdash; Haitians:&nbsp;</strong>The earthquake in Haiti in 2010 increased the already strong incentives for Haitians to attempt the hazardous seaborne transit to the U.S., whether legally or illegally. Given the new devastation in the island nation, the U.S. relaxed its usual policy of deportation for undocumented Haitians already in the U.S. illegally, granting them Temporary Protected Status. Similar status had been granted to arrivals of other Latin American countries after earthquakes and hurricanes. But the idea of accepting new Haitian immigration because of this disaster was strongly resisted both in Florida and beyond.</p><p><strong>1980 &mdash; Cubans:</strong>&nbsp;In the summer of 1980, an economic crisis in Cuba led the Communist regime of Fidel Castro to allow thousands of Cubans to leave the country. Over the course of months, perhaps 125,000 Cubans made the trip from Cuba to the U.S. in a massive, but haphazard, flotilla known as the &quot;Mariel boatlift.&quot; Public opinion was positive at first, but soured at reports that Castro had salted the exodus with an admixture of inmates from prisons and hospitals. Partly as a result, relocation was slowed while the &quot;Marielitos&quot; arrivals were vetted and processed at military reservations in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and Arkansas, as well as South Florida. In Arkansas, there were riots at the camp and escapes. The political fallout caused the defeat that fall of the state&#39;s young first-term Democratic governor, Bill Clinton.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_7501250109.jpg" style="height: 203px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="A little girl in a pedicab, and her driver stare as they pass a demonstration of nine anti-war activists before the United States embassy in Saigon, Friday, Jan. 25, 1975. The activists, led by David Harris, left, of Menlo Park, Calif. former husband of folk singer Joan Baez, passed out leaflets demanding the end of U.S. intervention in South Vietnam. (AP Photo)" /><strong>1975 &mdash; Vietnamese:</strong>&nbsp;The fall of Saigon sent hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese fleeing from the triumphant new Communist regime. Some had the means to travel, while others were forced onto flimsy vessels that were barely seaworthy. They came to be known as &quot;boat people.&quot; Many had the U.S. as their ultimate destination, and a young Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown of California resisted their relocation. He even tried to prevent planeloads of refugees from landing in his state at Travis Air Force Base. Brown eventually relented, and Vietnamese have assimilated successfully in California and elsewhere since. Returning to the governorship in 2011, Brown has been a vocal supporter of accepting Syrian refugees.</p><p><strong>Mid-1950s </strong>&mdash;<strong> Post-WWII Europeans, including Jews who survived the Holocaust:</strong>&nbsp;When the Soviet Union was tightening its grip on Eastern Europe through proxy governments run by the Communist Party, President Dwight D. Eisenhower released a plan to bring a quarter-of-a-million asylum-seekers to the U.S. But the end of World War II in 1945 sent waves of refugees in multiple directions. Here again, the popular reaction was resistance. A Gallup poll in 1946 found 59 percent of Americans disapproved of a plan to accept those displaced by the war &mdash; including Jews, who had survived the Holocaust. President Harry Truman directed that 40,000 refugees be admitted in December of that year, a number that barely registered against the magnitude of human movement at the time.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_781671446777.jpg" style="height: 224px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="In this Aug. 22, 1939 file photo, the S.S. Parita, with 700 European Jewish refugees on board, lists after it was beached near the Ritz Hotel in Tel Aviv, an all-Jewish town in Palestine, under British mandate. The state of Israel declared independence in 1948. (AP Photo)" /><strong>Late 1930s</strong><strong> &mdash; European Jews before the Holocaust:</strong>&nbsp;Those seeking political asylum from the rise of Nazism in central Europe often wanted to come to the U.S., and some with the necessary means or connections managed to do so. Still, others were turned away. A Fortune magazine poll in 1938 found 67 percent opposed to allowing &quot;German, Austrian and other political refugees&quot; to come to the U.S. That same year, a troubled President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened a 29-nation conference to discuss the Jewish refugees in particular, who were fleeing Hitler&#39;s rise.</p><p>As one account put it, &quot;If each nation [present] had agreed on that day to take in 17,000 Jews at once, every Jew in the [German] Reich could have been saved.&quot; But the conference, which was held in France, accomplished little. The U.S. and Great Britain were not willing to lead the way in accepting substantially higher numbers of Jewish refugees. In one especially notorious case, the ocean liner&nbsp;St. Louis&nbsp;arrived at Miami in 1939, but was not allowed to disembark more than 900 passengers &mdash; nearly all of them Jewish refugees. The ship returned to Europe, where many of the 900 would die in the Holocaust. That same year, a Gallup Poll found 61 percent of Americans opposed to taking in 10,000 refugee children, most of them German Jews.</p><p><strong>1918 &mdash; Post-WWI Europeans:&nbsp;</strong>Hundreds of thousands of people tried to come to the U.S. after the end of World War I in 1918. Their efforts merged with the surging immigration that had characterized the decades before the war, bringing waves of Italians, Greeks, Eastern Europeans and Russians to America. These populations found assimilation more difficult than Northern Europeans had before them.</p><p>This same convergence of concerns is evident in the current panic over Syrians, which bleeds into a more general public unease over immigration in general. For Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and others, the threat of terrorists arriving among refugees is an extension of a larger resistance to immigration. And that story is nearly as deeply woven into American history as the idea of immigration itself.</p><p><strong>In the </strong><strong>1850s</strong><strong> it was the Irish, </strong>driven onto the sea by famine, dispersing to the New World and the Australia. America also greeted many Germans in those same years before the Civil War, fleeing turmoil at home and arriving in force in New York, the Midwest and even frontier Texas.</p><p><strong>The late 1800s and early 1900s brought the first big waves of Italians, </strong><strong>Greeks</strong><strong> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/poland-elsewhere-why-so-many-poles-came-chicago-113578" target="_blank">and Poles</a>,</strong> as well as many Jews from Russia and from eastern and central Europe. Chinese, many of them refugees from political unrest in Asia, came in great numbers in this era as well.</p><p>The U.S. set up a processing camp on Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay that operated from 1910 to 1940. Arriving immigrants from Asia stayed there for vetting and processing that could take many months. The rates of exclusion for arrivals here was far greater than for Ellis Island, the processing site in New York Harbor, hard by the Statue of Liberty.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/21/456857350/this-isnt-the-first-time-americans-have-shown-fear-of-refugees" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/isnt-first-time-americans-have-shown-fear-refugees-113888 With Asylum Out Of Reach, Some Minors Seek Out Special Visas http://www.wbez.org/news/asylum-out-reach-some-minors-seek-out-special-visas-113887 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/claudio_uac2_custom-0d97784c4aa45b208f0a6c45840378d71a653afb-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res456838582" previewtitle="Some unaccompanied minors who don't qualify for asylum can apply instead for a visa called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or SIJS."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Some unaccompanied minors who don't qualify for asylum can apply instead for a visa called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or SIJS." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/20/claudio_uac2_custom-0d97784c4aa45b208f0a6c45840378d71a653afb-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 393px; width: 620px;" title="Some unaccompanied minors who don't qualify for asylum can apply instead for a visa called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or SIJS. (LA Johnson/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>When Henry Gomez was 12 years old, four gang members stormed his house in El Salvador, seeking revenge on a cousin of his who had refused to join them.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;They came into the house,&quot; Gomez says. &quot;My cousin was sitting down and they shot him three times in the back. And then they shot my uncle twice.&quot;</p><p>Gomez survived the attack by running upstairs and hiding under his bed &mdash; but that didn&#39;t mean he was safe. &quot;I said they are going to want to shoot me, too, because I saw who they were.&quot;</p><p>His mom shared those fears. She had lived apart from her son for half of his life. As a single parent, she couldn&#39;t support them both with the money she earned selling food on the street. So, she traveled to the U.S. in search of work.</p><p>When she heard about the murders, she told her son he&#39;d have to leave, too.</p><p>&quot;My mom said that with the level of violence I couldn&#39;t be living there anymore,&quot; Gomez says.</p><p>His mother paid a smuggler $6,000 to deliver him to New York, where she lived. Immigration agents caught Gomez and eventually released him to his mother on Long Island.</p><p>She brought him to the Central American Legal Assistance Center in New York City.</p><div id="res456815827" previewtitle="Henry Gomez with his mother, Rosa."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Henry Gomez with his mother, Rosa." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/20/img_0711_vert-fa90f1949b77e77cbd8707a22bd8a89b92ac64f3-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Henry Gomez with his mother, Rosa. (Alexandra Starr/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>There, attorney Heather Axford took his case. She explains that Gomez didn&#39;t have a strong claim to asylum.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;Asylum doesn&#39;t protect all harm feared &mdash; even really bad harm,&quot; Axford says.</p><p>Under immigration law, gang threats often aren&#39;t reason enough to get refugee status. Applicants have to connect the threats of violence to their political views or membership in a particular group. That wasn&#39;t the case for Gomez.</p><p>When Axford heard about his age, though, she realized he&#39;d be eligible for a visa called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or SIJS.</p><p>&quot;SIJS is for kids who can&#39;t be reunified with one of their parents because of abuse, abandonment, neglect,&quot; she says.</p><p>Congress created it 25 years ago for undocumented children in the U.S. foster care system. A few years ago, lawmakers expanded the grounds for eligibility. A child who had been abused or abandoned by just one parent could get the visa. Axford says that clause made Henry Gomez eligible.</p><p>&quot;His dad abandoned him, and then was killed,&quot; she says. &quot;So there was no question he couldn&#39;t depend on the protection of his father.&quot;</p><p>The federal government has approved more than 6,000 SIJS visas so this year. Partly because of these visas, undocumented minors have more opportunities to legalize their status than their adult counterparts.</p><p>&quot;Over the last eight years the number of people applying for this has about quadrupled,&quot; says Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia. He&#39;s chairman of the House Judiciary Committee &mdash; and he wants to make it tougher to get an SIJS. &quot;It should be a requirement that both of your parents are ineligible to take care of you before you be eligible for a green card to live in the United States.&quot;</p><p>That potential change alarms immigration advocates like Axford. She says a lot of the children she represents are in Henry Gomez&#39;s position. They could be killed if they were sent back to Central America. And SIJS is often the only status they qualify for.</p><p>&quot;Other forms of protection like asylum are essentially failing them,&quot; Axford says.</p><p>Gomez, now 17, lives with his mother on Long Island. He&#39;s on track to become his family&#39;s first high school graduate.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/22/456669013/with-asylum-out-of-reach-some-minors-seek-out-special-visas?ft=nprml&amp;f=456669013" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 10:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/asylum-out-reach-some-minors-seek-out-special-visas-113887 4 Things To Know About Visa Waivers and Security http://www.wbez.org/news/four-things-know-about-visa-waivers-and-security-113867 <p><div id="res456719401" previewtitle="Passengers wait to get their passports checked at Miami International Airport earlier this year. The visa waiver program allowed 20 million travelers into the U.S. last year, with much less screening than refugees receive."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Passengers wait to get their passports checked at Miami International Airport earlier this year. The visa waiver program allowed 20 million travelers into the U.S. last year, with much less screening than refugees receive." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/19/gettyimages-465228486_wide-058dd4ca4d2e8267cfc0ced36608e4633ea0ebc9-s1600-c85.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Passengers wait to get their passports checked at Miami International Airport earlier this year. The visa waiver program allowed 20 million travelers into the U.S. last year, with much less screening than refugees receive. (Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>While Congress took steps to pause the Syrian refugee program this week, there is another concern that many say poses a bigger threat of a allowing a potential terrorist into the U.S. It&#39;s known as the visa waiver program, and it allowed 20 million travelers into the U.S. last year, with much less screening than refugees receive.</p><p>President Obama said recently that &quot;the idea that somehow [refugees] pose a more significant threat than all the tourists that pour into the United States every single day just doesn&#39;t jibe with reality.&quot;</p></div></div></div><p>Here are four things to know about that program, and the security concerns that have been raised about it:</p><p><strong>1. How does it work?</strong></p><p>It used to be that if you were a person living abroad and you wanted to see the U.S., you had to first go to an American embassy and get a visa. You would be interviewed by an embassy official who would ask about your background. But since the 1980s, residents of many countries no longer have to go thru that process. In fact, 38 nations, including most of Europe are visa waiver countries. It&#39;s a largely hassle-free way to come to the U.S. for tourists and business people. You&#39;ll need to answer a few questions on a form on the internet, and have a passport with a digital photograph.</p><p><strong>2. What are the concerns?</strong></p><p>Some lawmakers, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, say the process has gaps. She calls it &quot;the soft underbelly&quot; of America&#39;s national security. She and other lawmakers are worried about the thousands of Europeans who have gone to Syria to fight alongside ISIS.</p><p>They return to France or Belgium, say, and with no screening could then easily hop on a flight to the U.S.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_360930717092.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)" /></div><p><strong>3. How can those gaps be closed?</strong></p><p>Feinstein is proposing legislation to tighten the visa waiver program and attempt to keep those foreign fighters out. The bill would require people who have traveled to Syria or Iraq in the past five years to go through an interview in order to get a U.S. visa. Of course, given the porous Syrian border it&#39;s not easy to say for sure who has traveled there.</p><p>The Department of Homeland Security did tighten the program earlier this year, including requiring foreign travelers from waiver countries to carry passports with biometric data embedded on computer chips.</p><p><strong>4. Would </strong><strong>changing</strong><strong> the visa waiver program make it more difficult for legitimate visitors coming to the U.S.?</strong></p><p>That&#39;s what concerns many, including the travel and tourism industry and some business groups. All those foreign visitors to the U.S.&nbsp;<a href="https://vwp.ustravel.org/?utm_source=MagnetMail&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=ncarpenter@ustravel.org&amp;utm_content=11.19.15%20-%20Press%20-%20VWP%20Response&amp;utm_campaign=PROOF%3A%20Travel%20Leaders%20Warn%20Against%20Headlong%20Rush%20to%20Gut%20Visa%20Waiver%20Program" target="_blank">spend on average</a>&nbsp;$4,700 per person per trip, according to the U.S. Travel Association.</p><p>Roger Dow, the group&#39;s president and CEO, supports closing loopholes, but warns against making any major changes. The Obama administration says its open to amending the program.</p><p>It&#39;s a delicate balance, said Frank Cilluffo, who runs the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University. &quot;We want to be open to foreign travelers, we want to be open to foreign cultures, we want to be open for business. But the flip side is we&#39;ve got an acute security threat right now.&quot;</p><p>Feinstein says she intends to introduce her legislation after Thanksgiving.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/20/456715124/4-things-to-know-about-visa-waivers-and-security?ft=nprml&amp;f=456715124" target="_blank"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 11:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/four-things-know-about-visa-waivers-and-security-113867 Reaction to US governors refusing to accept Syrian refugees http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-17/reaction-us-governors-refusing-accept-syrian-refugees-113822 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/bruce rauner ap Seth Perlman web.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The backlash against US-bound Syrian refugees has intensified with at least<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/more-governors-oppose-us-resettlement-syrian-refugees-113816"> half the country&rsquo;s Governors</a> refusing to accept refugees, including Illinois. What does that mean for the families who were set to come to Illinois?</p><p>We check in with a <a href="https://twitter.com/suzanneakhras">Suzanne Akhras Sahloul</a>, a Syrian American who&rsquo;s helped refugee families get their bearings here in the Chicago area. She&#39;s the founder and director of the <a href="http://www.syriancommunitynetwork.org/web/">Syrian Community Network</a>.</p><p>And <a href="https://twitter.com/juliaprestonnyt">Julia Preston</a>, New York Times National Immigration Correspondent, explains the process for accepting refugees into the the US and what authority governors have to deny refugees.&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 12:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-17/reaction-us-governors-refusing-accept-syrian-refugees-113822 Some states withdraw welcome mat for Syrian refugees http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-11-16/some-states-withdraw-welcome-mat-syrian-refugees-113812 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/GettyImages-494455638.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt=" A group of Syrian migrants who have just crossed the border with Macedonia dance as they wait to catch a bus that will take them to a registration center in the village of Miratovac on October 27, 2015 in Preshevo, Serbia. Meanwhile, in the United States" id="1" src="http://www.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/styles/primary-image-766x447/public/GettyImages-494455638.jpg?itok=ClD8H4DY" style="height: 362px; width: 620px;" title=" A group of Syrian migrants who have just crossed the border with Macedonia dance as they wait to catch a bus that will take them to a registration center in the village of Miratovac on October 27, 2015 in Preshevo, Serbia. Meanwhile, in the United States, some governors are declaring that they will restrict the number of refugees allowed in their state. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><div><div><div>Governors from all over the U.S. responded to the weekend attacks on Paris with condolences. Several also issued statements saying they would no longer welcome Syrian refugees for settlement in their states.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>President Obama recently promised to settle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States in the next year, but usually states work with the federal government to get refugees and asylum seekers set up with housing and other services.</div></div></div><p>Many of the governors argue the screening process for asylum seekers is not stringent enough, and expressed concerns about potential terrorists using the process to enter the country. Even Texas and Michigan, which typically take a relatively high number of refugees, issued statements refusing to accept more.</p><p>But, legally, governors can&rsquo;t actually stop the federal government from settling refugees in their states.</p><p>&quot;The states can&rsquo;t just refuse to house them,&quot; said&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cato.org/people/ilya-shapiro" target="_blank">Ilya Shapiro</a>, a senior fellow with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cato.org/" target="_blank">The Cato Institute</a>. &quot;It&rsquo;s the federal government that accepts refugees, processes them, and once they&rsquo;re legally in the country, the states can&rsquo;t just line up at their borders preventing the entry of refugees or anyone else.&quot;</p><p>But states can certainly let it be known refugees are not welcome.</p><p>&quot;What the states can do,&quot; Shapiro said, &quot;is cut off funding or stop their programs by which they are cooperating with federal authorities that settle refugees.&quot;</p><p>Those services can include housing assistance, language and job training.&nbsp;With so many states refusing just certain kinds of refugees, it could create what<a href="http://www.law.gwu.edu/Faculty/profile.aspx?id=1749" target="_blank">&nbsp;Ralph Steinhardt</a>,&nbsp;who teaches international law at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.law.gwu.edu/Pages/Default.aspx" target="_blank">George Washington University</a>,&nbsp;called a &ldquo;cacophony of state by state regulations&rdquo;.</p><p>&quot;The power to regulate immigration is an exclusively federal power,&quot; Steinhardt said. &quot;I think as a legal principle, you cannot have states making these individual determinations&mdash;where does it end?&quot;</p><p>What&rsquo;s likely to happen, according to several experts, is that the federal government probably won&#39;t bother sending refugees to contrarian states.&nbsp;<a href="http://hhh-prd.umn.edu/about/our-leadership" target="_blank">Eric Schwartz</a>, dean of the&nbsp;<a href="http://hhh-prd.umn.edu/" target="_blank">Humphrey School of Public Affairs</a>&nbsp;at the University of Minnesota, said that means refugees will just relocate, especially if they already have family living in the U.S.</p><p>&quot;They would come and join family members anyway as a result of secondary migration because we don&rsquo;t impose border controls from one state to the other,&quot; said Schwartz. &quot;So... it&rsquo;s going to be counter-productive because the refugees who travel to these states after they were resettled elsewhere would be coming into these states without any federal benefits and it would create, I think, even more challenges.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/2015/11/16/life/some-states-withdraw-welcome-mat-syrian-refugees" target="_blank"><em>via Marketplace</em></a></p></p> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 17:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-11-16/some-states-withdraw-welcome-mat-syrian-refugees-113812