Why do refugees from the US need our help?

Refugees from the US have many of the same problems as other refugees

Like other refugees, those from the US are people who have suffered life-destroying human rights abuse. They may have lost their homes and their livelihoods. They may be fleeing death threats and/or attempts on their life. They may have suffered torture, or seen members of their family or community killed because of their race, religion, gender, or politics.

American refugees suffer discrimination

Some expect that asylum applicants from the USA might receive preferential treatment, because of their race, their Western background, their language skills, etc.

  • This is not the case: of all nationalities, asylum seekers from the USA have one of the lowest approval ratings. **
  • Less than 3% ever win official “refugee status”.
  • Like asylum-seekers from other countries, what happens to the rest of these desperate people, stranded in destitution, is almost never recorded.

Unlike some other nationalities, no one has gathered data about refugees from the USA.

  • At this writing, no one knows how many of these are elected representatives, or officers of their political parties (like some cases we know of.)
  • We don’t know how many US citizens forced to flee their country are Afro-Americans (as in some cases we know of.)
  • We don’t know how many children are among American refugees.
  • We don’t know what fate has befallen the vast majority (97.5%) who have never won official “refugee status”.
  • We don’t know how many have died after a forced return to their country of origin.
  • We don’t know how many have committed suicide.

Lying about human rights abuse

  • The Bush Administration pursued a campaign to cover up abuses by the US government.
  • Economic pressure / intimidation was exerted against other countries, whose governments tried to prosecute or otherwise expose US human rights abuses.
  • The Bush Administration’s hostility to entitles who expose US human rights abuse means few countries dare grant asylum to Americans.
  • Because of this, asylum applicants from the USA are routinely denied refugee recognition and support, without which they have little hope to rebuild their lives.
  • Like thousands of others seeking asylum, when treated unfairly or illegally, they may have no power to bring governments to account.

No more lies

When we know more about refugees from the USA, it will be easy to see that the same abuses are being suffered by people all over the world: no matter what country, or how “safe” they seem.

** “Approval rating” means the percentage of asylum applicants who ever actually win recognition as refugees. Without such approval / recognition, they have no access to refugee support services.