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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-22-07 12:35 PM
Original message
Has anyone heard about when the Iraq refugees...
will be arriving in Warren Michigan, I heard the tail end of a report last week. They said that there would be about 1,500 maybe more. I was wondering where they will place them and where they will work.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-23-07 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. I haven't heard that
but please post again if you find out something, particularly if they're still looking for housing.
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I didn' t get it all...
one of the local stations...
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Here is some more info...

WATCH INTERVIEW/ACTION NEWS REPORT IN VIDEO PLAYER RIGHT

Warren Mayor Mark Steenbergh claims the federal government is looking to relocate more than 16,000 Iraqi refugees to Warren and Sterling Heights -- and there's no way his city can handle it.

From City of Warren...

Warren Mayor Questions Placement of Iraqi Refugees in City

Thousands of Iraqi refugees may soon be placed in Warren, according to information provided to city officials. I dont understand how the federal government believes we can handle those kinds of numbers, said Mayor Mark Steenbergh. If the numbers shared with my staff are accurate, Im extremely concerned that we cannot handle this burden placed upon our resources.

Warren officials have been discussing the Iraqi refugee placement with staff from the Macomb County Planning Department. County officials told local officials at a meeting held last week that the possibility of thousands of refugees coming to Warren exists. County planners say the federal government agreed to accept up to 25,000 Iraqi refugees to the United States this past April. In order to obtain refugee status with the United States Department of State, applicants must first list someone living here as a contact person. As such, sixty-six percent of the total refugee allotment may be located in the cities of Warren and Sterling Heights due to the large number of Iraqi immigrants already residing in those communities.

We were told ninety Iraqi refugees are due to arrive very soon with many more to follow, said Steenbergh. Ive been told that these refugees will be given assistance in locating housing and in learning English. Will the City of Warren receive assistance for the burden placed upon our services with so many people set to arrive? Will our schools be given assistance with the need to educate so many more non English speaking children?

My biggest concern is where the refugees will find employment? asked Steenbergh. The economy is horrible in southeastern Michigan. Where are the jobs the refugees will need? Long time Warren residents are having trouble finding jobs. This is not the time to add more people to a shrinking pool of employment.

Steenbergh plans to contact federal officials to clarify the Iraqi refugee situation: We are in the process of working with our federal elected officials, including President George Bush, about this. These numbers are staggering. As long as Im mayor, I will oppose any plan to unfairly burden our community.

wxyztv.com

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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-06-07 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Steenburgh's a republican, I'm sure he can get the answers he wants
Steenburgh is out this year, but is running for city treasurer. The current City council president (Fouts) is running for mayor. Steenburgh has p.o.ed the police and fire departments by messing with their pensions.

I have mixed feelings about the refugees. I don't want vacant houses, so I do think that having refugees fill them up is better than empty houses.

On the other hand, are they going to bring the troubles in Iraq with them to Warren? We don't need that.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-06-07 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Which troubles?
You mean the bombing, the lack of water and electricity, and chemical weapons?

hmmm.

We don't need that? They don't need that.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-06-07 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-06-07 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. wow.
just "wow" at your entire post.

Yes, I am sure you are going to be bankrupted by refugees expecting some kind of "special locker room privileges" at the local Community Center. I believe that's going to top off their list of demands. I know if I had my home destroyed, had been living with disease, inadequate medical care, had family members shot or injured in bombings, or rounded up and hauled off to prison, and was forced to flee my country and didn't know what the future held, the first thing I'd do is march off to the local community center and demand special locker room privileges.

Are you seriously concerned that we're going to have a sunni vs. shia civil war here in a midwestern city in the midst of suburbia? Is that something that keeps you awake at night?

Nice to know your neighbors are "good" at any rate - meaning, of course, they don't wear burkas. :eyes:
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-07-07 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I'm glad for you that you are so enlightened and all-you must live in some idyllic community
1. There have been issues surrounding health club locker rooms in Dearborn, by muslim women who feel that they need more privacy than the rest of us.
2. I am not living in denial when it comes to Islam's treatment of women. You can if you choose, but I'm not. Name one branch of Islam, other than the very small sect of sufism, where women are considered equal to men?
3. Every school system in Michigan is suffering from the economic problems we are having, except maybe in Birmingham or the Grosse Pointes. 15,000 refugees is a large number-it could increase the demands on an overtaxed school district. If the children of the refugees need language assistance, it is going to cost money out of my pocket, as a property owner. If my property taxes get too high, I can't afford my house anymore.

I live in Warren. I like living there, I like the fact that it has become more integrated over the past few years. But to ignore the challenges presented by integrating 15000 people who are coming from a different country, with a different religion and different social customs, is irresponsible.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-07-07 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. good grief
I hate to break this to you, but women are not equal to men in Christianity, either. Or in our society as a whole. If you believe otherwise, you have your own issues of living in denial. Glass houses.

School systems in the US are dealing with economic problems, yep. The schools where they are coming from are facing worse problems. One of them is that girls aren't so much being allowed to go to school in many areas. In some areas, girls are being sold as sex slaves so families can survive.

If you are as concerned about women's rights as you claim you are you would make fixing that a priority in your life. Telling them they need to stay out of your backyard because you are more concerned about your precious locker room than their being sold into prostitution or being denied education, and claiming it's related to your concern over women's rights is laughable.

Instead of posting on DU about the need for ESL classes, volunteer some hours to go teach them. Go be part of the solution - it's obviously something that concerns you.

What I see is that some people give lip service to the rights of women when it serves their self-centered political purposes, but when it comes to actually putting forth any effort - or even standing by quietly and not getting in the way - when there's an opportunity to help those women get access to food, shelter, and a small amount of financial security, suddenly that concern transforms itself into anything BUT caring about those women.

Better to leave them in Iraq dying in childbirth for lack of medical care than actually lift a finger to help, right? And let me guess, you consider yourself "a feminist."
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-08-07 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-08-07 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. There's a difference between being a good citizen
Edited on Wed Aug-08-07 09:15 PM by lwfern
who is looking for ways to help people, and spreading anti-Arab propaganda with the intent to stir up hatred and fear.

"There are some muslims who have declared that their goal is to make Michigan the first american state with sharia law-did you know that?"

Your point?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-09-07 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
coco77 Donating Member (966 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-07-07 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. When will they arrive..
Edited on Tue Aug-07-07 05:23 PM by coco77
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-08-07 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. A handful already have. (nt)
Edited on Wed Aug-08-07 09:18 PM by lwfern
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. Well....
My Sunni friends in Ft. Worth Texas, who were refugees from Iraq during the time of Saddam, did not wear hijab, nor were they in any way afraid of speaking their minds. Have you seen www.muslimwakeup.com ? If you go there, you will read many articles by Muslim women. It is true that the Wahhbists and other right wing Muslims have a very unenlightened view of how women are to be treated, but they are not, by any means, a majority, at least in this country. And one must realize that part of this is culture. I remember my grandfather saying how the people in the small town in Illinois where he grew up looking askance at the beer drinking done by his parents and the visiting German Lutheran ministers.

I agree that a large increase in the number of students in a school district should be subsidized by the federal government, especially when it comes to language education. Writing your Congressperson about this is definitely in order. Perhaps you could start a petition about this? As someone born in Michigan (Montcalm County), I'd be glad to sign it.

As for integration of refugees--it has been said that the reason they are coming there is because there are already Iraqi-Americans living there. I'm sure, therefore, that others will be going to the DFW Metroplex, as there is a rather large Muslim community there, and many are from Iraq.

As for the challenges integrating those from another country, with different language, religion, and social customs--isn't that the story of our nation? When Michigan was first settled, many folks came from western New York--but then came the Dutch, who founded Holland. There was an influx of Germans, too, around 1850--they fled Germany and took the St. Lawrence and then the lakes to Michigan and Illinois. Many were Catholic, most didn't know English, and almost all drank (which made the New Yorkers who were teetotalers gasp in horror)--there was a lot of prejudice against them. And then, gradually, they became Americans. The same thing will happen with these Iraqis, and sooner than you think.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. I've had a bit of experience with refugees
When I was very young, our church sponsored refugees from East Germany. They couldn't speak English, but the kids were in my school and picked up the language quite quickly. Like most refugees coming to this nation, they had skills-most were carpenters. They did not displace American workers, but rather worked a niche market of remodeling older homes, if memory serves.

When I was first married and living in Ft. Worth TX, I met a lovely Iraqi/Palestinian couple. They were political refugees, under death threat by Saddam. They opened a restaurant, sent their children to school to become doctors, and were a real benefit to the community. Perhaps you do not know this, but the Muslim tradition is to help others--all extra food from the restaurant was donated to the mosque, where new arrivals to this country could be fed and helped with housing, shelter, etc.

Refugees are not likely to cause trouble. They are so happy to be away from trouble they usually turn out to be model citizens.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Refugees very unlikely to bring troubles with them
For one thing, the Iraqis being allowed into this country have been closely scrutinized. I am not certain, but I would guess that many, if not all, are from the professional class. If they are like other refugees that have come here, they will be hard at work making their new homes.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
15. Wow, I can't believe you all deleted my posts
But posts that are condescending and insulting to me are allowed to stand. I made no complaint about them or their source.

So are we not allowed to criticize Islam here anymore? Or am I just not allowed to do so?
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Something I've found
is that if I'm tempted to start a sentence with "this may not be politically correct, but ..." that's probably a good time to stop talking. "Politically correct" is short-hand for "I'm going to say something that is offensive now to an entire group of people."


With regard to religion (or the lack thereof), Democratic Underground is a diverse community which includes Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, and others. All are welcome here. For this reason, we expect members to make an extra effort to be sensitive to different religious beliefs, and to show respect to members who hold different religious beliefs. Members are welcome to discuss whether they agree or disagree with particular religious beliefs, but they are expected to do so in a relatively sensitive and respectful manner. As a general rule, discussions about ideas are usually permitted, but broad-brush bigoted statements about groups of people either religious or non-religious are not. If you are easily offended by discussions about religious beliefs, or if you take pleasure from offending or ridiculing people with different beliefs, or if you consider progressive people with different beliefs to be your enemy or your inferior, do not participate in religious discussions on Democratic Underground.


Let me restate that last part another way. If you consider Muslims to be your inferior, do not participate in religious discussions on Democratic Underground.

Claire and Hamudi, best friends:


I am the parent of one of them.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. Did I say or infer I was superior to muslims?
I was pointing out legitimate concerns I had. It is fair for you to make sweeping statements about fundamentalist christians, which you did, but not fair for me to say that as a feminist, I have issues with Islam? If I was stating I had problems with catholicism, would you be responding so emotionally and in such a condescending tone?

Anyways, if I criticize Islam, does the fact that some fundamentalist christian groups also expect women to submit to men make it right for muslims to do so? That's not a legitimate argument-that's like someone on the right saying "Clinton got a blow job, so it's okay for Bush to do whatever he is being accused of at the moment". Show me a branch of Islam that doesn't discriminate against or preach the subjugation of women apart from sufism-that was my challenge and you did not meet it. I can name several christian denominations that don't-the UMC, UCC, PBUSA, Episcopal USA, UU, American Baptist-there are probably more-I know of at least one fundamentalist or Pentecostal mega church in my area that has a female head pastor.

I never suggested discrimination against muslims, nor did I say not to let them come here. You just responded as if I had said that, unless you feel that denying special accommodations is "discrimination". I said that as feminists we should be wary of a religion that expects women to submit to men, and wants to make that the law for everyone, not just their adherents. I also pointed out some issues that had been problematic in other cities in my region. You made those issues personal, when they were examples. My underlying question was who is going to pay for any extra accommodation, which is a legitimate question for any taxpayer to pose.

I think we should also be wary of mormons, scientologists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Maranathas-different reasons for each group, but does that offend you, too?

Your kid and her friend are cute kids.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. If, in fact, you are welcoming them to the area
and looking for ways to make this a win-win situation for everyone, then that's great.

That's not what I understood from previous messages ... I was picking up on a sense that people don't want them in our neck of the woods, and that they wanted to convince others to oppose their arrival. If I understood that wrong, well, that's one case I'll be glad to have been wrong, because frankly I didn't like thinking that sort of attitude was how they were going to be greeted. It's not how I'd want to be greeted if I were a refugee. The whole blame the victim thing is not my cup of tea - and these are the victims, not us.

I did say in this thread that women aren't equal to men in Christianity, and added in the same sentence that such is the case in society as a whole. The difference between that and what I saw spoken in this thread against Muslims is that I wasn't implying that Christians - or society as a whole - shouldn't be allowed in my neighborhood because of that. Once a person starts using it as rationale for why they don't want to let someone live near them, it's kind of heading into discrimination territory. If you want to critique or discuss Islamic culture, there's a forum for that - you could do it in the religion/theology group, or the muslim/islamic group. If you want to discuss refugees moving to Michigan and how to make that transition work for them, that's a separate issue from critiquing their religion. I would have been appalled if the Katrina evacuees had been prevented from moving to a specific area because the people there didn't like that they were baptist, methodists, whatever. Same thing. Whether you feel as a feminist that one religion is better or worse than another is an unrelated issue to whether we need to afford refugee status to people whose homes we destroyed.

I would feel less like these threads were a prejudiced preemptive witch-hunt against them if the focus was more on finding ways to help and less on "this is going to harm us, and here's why."
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Cobalt Violet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-12-07 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Your suspision is true.
We aren't allowed to criticize Islam here anymore.
Apparently it's the only religion we can't criticize ever.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-12-07 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Your perception is inaccurate.
The policy, once again: "Members are welcome to discuss whether they agree or disagree with particular religious beliefs, but they are expected to do so in a relatively sensitive and respectful manner. As a general rule, discussions about ideas are usually permitted, but broad-brush bigoted statements about groups of people either religious or non-religious are not."

The policy is enforced for other religions as well, and I'm surprised you haven't seen that yet, given how long you've been a member. Here's an example from today, in fact:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

When you see religious bigotry (or bigotry against atheists), please confront it, alert on it, or do both. I'm sorry if you are feeling it's tolerated here in general, but the mods can't be everywhere at once. We sort of need to be self-policing in ensuring we aren't sending messages, or tolerating messages, that certain people aren't welcome in our communities, shouldn't be running for public office, etc. based on their religion.
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Cobalt Violet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. I don't worship at the altar of cultural relativism.
I will not alert as you have suggested I do. I don't feel the need to defend or protect any religion that calls for mass death or enslavement among no-believers. I am an anti-theist and I consider some religions worse than others. I believe that human rights trumps political correctness.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. The way I see it
Edited on Mon Aug-13-07 08:20 AM by lwfern
When you're opposing granting asylum to war refugees based on their religion, you're no longer on the side of human rights, either.
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Cobalt Violet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. I didn't realize anyone was opposed to granting asylum.
I guess that's what can happens when half the conversation is missing.

What I see is concern that the economy of the region may not be able to support such high numbers refugees and concern over a religion's demands for public accommodation. Aren't those valid concerns of someone living in the area? Or are they bigots for even thinking it?
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-13-07 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. History repeats itself
Edited on Mon Aug-13-07 11:17 AM by lwfern
In 1938, 300,000 Germans, mostly Jewish refugees, tried to get US visas. The US denied over 90% of the requests, out of concern for Americans who would resent the competition over jobs.

In 1939, the St. Louis left Germany with a thousand refugees, again mainly Jewish. The US Coast Guard followed the ship along the Florida coast to prevent it from landing, and prevent its passengers from swimming ashore. Roosevelt never replied to a telegram pleading to allow them asylum. The ship, in the end, returned to Europe and most of the passengers were sent to concentration camps.

Even when the realities of the concentration camps were known, the attitude of our government and of many many citizens was that they sympathized with the Jews, they thought we should be doing everything we could to stop the atrocities, but, you know, we didn't want them in our backyard. If we could relocate them some other place, they were all for that, though. Economically, it just wouldn't be good for us, not at that time. It just wasn't wise. Plus, you know, they were Jewish. As the chief of the US Consular Service wrote in a report introduced into Congress, Jewish immigrants were "filthy, un-American, and often dangerous in their habits ... lacking any conception of patriotism or national spirit." It's not that he was a religious bigot, it's just that followers of some religions are worse than others. You know how that is.

Anne Frank's family was refused asylum here in 1941.

I gather there are some folks here who sympathize with Roosevelt's position on immigration. He wasn't opposed to giving the refugees a safe place, just not now, not here, the timing was bad. Basically, he felt that human rights (the right of US citizens to be employed) trumped political correctness (granting asylum to refugees), and a lot of people throughout the administration and in the general public shared this concern that the economy of the region may not be able to support such high numbers of refugees, and so they instead believed putting the refugees somewhere else was best all around. Someplace where the refugees could be safe, but not someplace where it would actually impact their life at all.

Meanwhile, other people like Wallenberg were less concerned about their own economic security. He risked (and lost) his life, but he saved 20,000 others.

I think it's a lot easier to make a case that Roosevelt was a bigot (as well as most of his administration and the American public) and that Wallenberg devoted his life to human rights, than it is to make the case that Wallenberg was a bigot and Roosevelt was devoted to human rights.
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