Monday, March 1, 2010

You wont often see me advocate turning people away at the borders...

A refugee, as defined by the UN and the US's refugee act is

"any person who is outside of any country of
such person's nationality . . . who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or
unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of persecution
or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership
in a particular social group, or political opinion."

It isn't always easy to determine what constitutes a well founded far, or for that matter what constitutes a social group or political opinion, but there are people denied asylum who you or I might think of as deserving protection - people fleeing violent forced marriages, people targeted with violence because of their sexual orientation, people fired and threatened because of political opinion or perceived political opinion.

Apparently though, not being allowed to home-school your children constitutes persecution on the basis of social group.
I am so not impressed. The depths of my not impressedness almost know no bounds. Keep in mind, too, that poverty, no matter how severe, can never be grounds for granting asylum - presumably some parents of children working as domestic servants in Mali or recyclers in Rio would love to homeschool their children too. Arg.