America Protects The World- But Who In The World Protects America?

first_imgOn Friday, September 26, 2014, President Barack Obama extended Protected Status (DED) to certain Liberians, who fled a brutal civil war and entered the USA before October 2002. While it is commendable that this group of Liberians have been protected, there are over 7000 similarly situated Liberians excluded from this “foreign policy” inspired immigration relief, whose plights have been overlooked for over a decade. Additionally, as winter approaches in North America, there are thousands of vulnerable (Africans) Liberians, Guineans and Sierra Leoneans stranded in America because of Ebola who deserve temporary protection. In our efforts to fight Ebola (www.fightebola.us), I call on President Obama to exercise compassion and on humanitarian grounds designate Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as countries appropriate for Temporary Protected Status (TPS/DED). This request is consistent with the Immigration Act of 1990 (“IMMACT”), P.L. 101-649, established by Congress to provide TPS to immigrants in the United States, who are temporarily unable to return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.The world is witnessing the height of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy initiatives overseas, which includes “Operation United Assistance”-the deployment of 3000 American soldiers ($500 million dollars) to fight the worst Ebola epidemic in the world and a bombing campaign ($7.5 million dollars daily) against a brutal Islamic terrorist organization called ISIL to protect ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. Even so, President Obama’s foreign policy inspired immigration relief must also be inclusive, compassionate, and humane.Among those excluded from President Obama’s immigration relief are over 7000 Liberians, including Liberian mothers of American children who accompanied their American born children evacuated over a decade ago. Also at serious risks are citizens of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone stranded in the United States because of the deadly Ebola epidemic.It may be recalled that in June 2003, President George Bush ordered “Operation Shinning Express” to protect US Embassy in Monrovia and evacuated Americans citizens to safety. The young Americans are still without protection for over a decade. There are no justifiable reasons why vulnerable people from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone stranded in America this winter because of Ebola and Liberian refugee women and American children evacuated by the US Military over a decade ago should continue to suffer denial of protection, despite repeated pleas from many, including the late Senator Edward Kennedy-D-MA.There are at least six compelling reasons why designating Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for TPS is an urgent necessity:1. There is an existing statute; the Immigration Act of 1990 (“IMMACT”), P.L. 101-649, established by Congress to provide TPS to immigrants. 2. There is a clear and present danger facing these people both in their homeland and in America as winter approaches.3. Unlike the deployment of 3000 Troops ($500 million dollars) and the bombing of ISIL (Up to $10 billion in a year), TPS costs US tax payers nothing. In fact TPS generates revenue for government ($350 per person). 4. The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution supports equal treatment of people in similar situations.5. Commonsense dictates that if America protects ethnic and religious minorities overseas, America ought to also protect its own citizens and Africans stranded by Ebola on American Soil.6. Justice and fairness by American policy makers represent potent and cost-free complementary arsenal of ammunition in the fight against terrorism overseas.The worsening Ebola Outbreak ravaging West Africa has killed over 3000 people and infected over 6000 people and it seems to be getting “out of control.” There are no vaccines for Ebola. To contain Ebola, a state of emergency is in effect in Liberia- all schools, hospitals, government offices and borders are shut down. Flights have been cancelled. Many nationals from the worst hit countries stranded in the USA cannot return home. Designation of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS/DED) would bring relief and work permits to stranded nationals in the USA. If there were no other reasons for compassion, fairness and justice in granting temporary protection which opens access to the basic human needs of food, clothing and shelter to vulnerable refugee women from Liberia, a former colony of the United States or affording protection for American children evacuated from Africa to safety in America or for extending protected status to Guineans, Liberians and Sierra Leoneans stranded in America because of Ebola- one thing is certain: At a huge cost, America is risking the lives of American Service men and women to protect ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.This fact begs the question: So who is going to protect vulnerable Africans and African American children in the winter of 2014 on American Soil, if the Obama Administration fails to grant temporary protection which costs American tax payers nothing? Not Russia, Not Cuba, North Korea, Not China and certainly not Venezuela. Alas, “Charity begins at home.”  Mr. President, I ask that you kindly consider designating Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone countries appropriate for TPS/DED. Thanks and God bless America!Rev. Torli H. Krua is founder of the Universal Human Rights International (UHRI) and YOUNG-Africa Inc. UHRI promotes immigrant rights in the USA and democracy through ballot initiatives in African countries. Rev. Krua may be contacted:www.fightebola.us or UHRI-20 Roche Brothers Way Suite 6-182 North Easton, MA 02356  or [email protected] this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Charleston Shooting: Emanuel AME Church Reopens for First Service

first_imgThe South Carolina church where nine people died in a gun attack by an alleged white supremacist less than a week ago reopened to worshippers on Sunday.Worshippers attended the first service at Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church since Wednesday, when Dylann Roof, 21, is alleged to have pulled a gun on members of a Bible study group. The church pastor, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a state senator, was among the nine people who were killed.Uniformed police officers were posted on both levels of the sanctuary. The service began with prayer and songs and a message of love, recovery and healing. The proceedings then became more solemn as the victims’ names were read and the music’s tempo slowed.At 10 a.m., church bells rang out across Charleston, which is known as the “Holy City”.“We still believe that prayer changes things. Can I get a witness?” the Reverend Norvel Goff asked, to which the congregated responded “Yes.”“But prayer not only changes things; it changes us,” he said.“It’s been rough,” Goff said of the days since the shooting. “Some of us have been downright angry, but through it all, God has sustained us and encouraged us. Let us not grow weary.”Goff vowed that he and others would “pursue justice and we’re going to be vigilant and we are going to hold our elected officials accountable to do the right thing.” Despite the grim circumstances the congregation had faced, the welcoming spirit Roof exploited before the shooting was still alive, church members said.On Saturday, Harold Washington, 75, said he expected the sanctuary to host many newcomers after the shooting shattered the group’s sense of peace and security.“We’re gonna have people come by that we’ve never seen before and will probably never see again, and that’s OK,” he said. “It’s a church of the Lord, you don’t turn no body down.”Also on Saturday, authorities said they were investigating a website that contained a racist manifesto apparently written by Roof, who is white. All nine people who died were black. The provenance of the website, which contained a cache of photographs of the 21-year-old in which he was seen holding a pistol or standing beside the Confederate flag, was unclear.As news of the website emerged, hundreds of people rallied at South Carolina’s state house in Columbia on Saturday night to demand that lawmakers remove the Confederate flag from its grounds.In the wake of the shooting, prominent Republicans and Democrats have called for the flag – to many, a potent symbol of America’s racist past – to be taken down. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney added his voice to the calls on Saturday. President Barack Obama said on Friday that the flag deserved to be in a museum, not flying in the state capital.At the rally in Columbia, Stephanie Bradley, a black woman and mother of three young children, told the Guardian that because of the shooting she had to explain to her children for the first time what the Confederate flag meant.To her the flag has always immediately brought to mind racism inflicted on black people throughout the course of US history. “I see the KKK, I see burning crosses, I see burning churches, I see raping, lynching, I see all of that,” she said.On Sunday, events to show solidarity with the victims were planned throughout the city and beyond, including the synchronised ringing of church bells at 10am ET (1400 GMT). South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley, and her family were to attend the service at Emanuel.The investigation into the shooting was continuing. In a statement, the FBI said it was investigating the website apparently written by Roof. “Charleston police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are aware of postings on a website allegedly attributed to Dylann Roof, the suspect in the 17 June 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church … We are taking steps to verify the authenticity of these postings.“Because this is an ongoing investigation, neither the Charleston police nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation is able to release further details at this time.”The site began circulating on the internet on Saturday. It contains a 2,444-word statement that, if penned by Roof, would shed light on the racist ideology that led him to the Emanuel AME church in Charleston on Wednesday.The accompanying photographs reveal that Roof toured historical sites across South Carolina that have links to the civil war era and slavery, including graveyards and plantation sites.However, data encoded into the images, which may have provided clues as to when they were taken, appears to be unreliable.The website was created in February by a registrant who listed his or her name as Dylann Roof. Under a section entitled “An Explanation”, the website appears to allude to the forthcoming massacre.“I have no choice,” it states. “I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to whites in the country.”The statement adds: “We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”Roof’s former stepmother, meanwhile, said the 21-year-old had been affected by “internet evil”.“He was locked in his room looking up bad stuff on his computer,” Paige Mann, who is divorced from Roof’s father, told NBC News. “Something on the computer drew him in – this is internet evil.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more