Syrian refugee complains that her brothers can’t come to U.S. from Saudi Arabia

What is wrong with this sob story?

This Syrian family and the brothers left behind were in Saudi Arabia (one of the brothers had already emigrated to S.A.). Saudi Arabia is a safe country!  Therefore, why are these people now the responsibility of the US taxpayer? They weren’t living in some sqaulid camp.

They were in arguably the richest country in the Middle East!

So tell us again why Saudi Arabia couldn’t house millions of Muslim refugees in their tent cities reserved for the brief Hajj period? Instead we are taking Syrian ‘refugees’ from S.A.!
SA tent city

From the San Diego Union-Tribune.

It is worth reading the whole article because there are lots of useful nuggets and some important comments by critics of the program (besides the story of a Syrian family that came to the U.S. as ‘refugees’ from Saudi Arabia!)

By the way, I’m sure many of you are saying—yes! If we must have them, keep them in California!

Even though overall arrival numbers in fiscal 2017 dropped by more than half from the previous year, San Diego County continued its legacy as the California county that took in the most refugees.

In a year that began with a promise of more refugees than ever before coming to the U.S. and ended with an ongoing court battle over how many and whom the president could block from coming, about 1,500 refugees resettled in San Diego County, according to data from the State Department. That’s down from just over 3,100 the year before, and it’s the only time that number has dipped below 2,000 in the last decade.

“The fact that we remained the largest county, it definitely makes us proud to continue the tradition of San Diego being a safe haven,” said Etleva Bejko, director of refugee and immigration services for Jewish Family Service, a resettlement agency.

Where refugees resettle once the U.S. agrees to take them is a complicated decision-making process that factors in whether they already have family living here, which agencies have the bandwidth to support them and which places have infrastructure in place to help them succeed. That often means that places like San Diego that already have large populations of people from a country will continue to take refugees from that country. [Multiplier effect! Like Ft. Wayne in my previous post—ed]

San Diego County has been known for leading the state in refugee arrivals since large numbers of Iraqis fleeing war began arriving in late summer of 2007.

Confirmation again! Federal resettlement contractors paid by the head!

Bejko said her organization has had to reorganize support efforts because of the overall decreases in arrivals. Resettlement agencies receive funding based on the number of refugees that they help.


Three members of the Tarakji family, originally from Damascus, Syria, were some of the few who made it to the U.S. after the travel ban. The slowdown in accepting refugees has separated them from two other members of their family.

Catholic Charities resettled mother Alshifaa Hammoush, 52, father Manaf Tarakji, 58, and daughter Maria Tarakji, 21, in April. Two sons, Yasser Tarakji, 29, and Yaman Tarakji, 27, remain in Saudi Arabia.

They had already been trying to immigrate to the U.S. to reunite with their extended family who live in San Diego County when the war in Syria broke out. [They hit the jackpot because the refugee category is the most desirable way to get into the country. They get their hands held by a federal contractor who helps them get all of their welfare (not available to other categories of legal immigrant)!—ed]

After bombing destroyed the pharmacy where Hammoush worked and scared off Manf Tarakji’s clients for his electronics repair business, and a car exploded outside their building, the family fled in 2013 to Saudi Arabia, where the oldest son was already living and working.

Once in Saudi Arabia, they couldn’t continue the process to get family-sponsored green cards.

They stayed there in limbo, unable to fully establish new lives because they were on visitor visas that they had to renew every three months, until they were accepted as refugees to the U.S. Yaman Tarakji was separated into his own refugee case because of his age, and he is still waiting for processing.

The oldest brother, Yasser Tarakji also tried to apply but never heard back from the U.N. agency that registers refugees.


Still, separation from the two sons is painful for all of them. Whenever Maria Tarakji looks at photos from their last day together in Saudi Arabia, her eyes wet with tears.

“The U.S. was accepting refugees forever. It’s unfair to do this now,” Maria Tarakji said. “It’s really hard to live here, and our brother is not here.”

She said she’s had to take responsibility for tasks that her brothers used to handle, like choosing an internet router.

Both brothers work in computer programming and repair.

Continue reading here.

See my San Diego archive here.  It wasn’t too long ago that we reported that the IRC there was involved in some housing fraud controversy.


Guest column: Feds shifting costs to states for refugee resettlement

Polish Catholics celebrate Battle of Lepanto, send a clear message to Islamists

Think Progress complains about Russian facebook pages that mention refugees

Tensions grow in Ft. Wayne, IN over placement of Rohingya Muslims in Burmese neighborhoods

State Department’s Refugee Processing Center screws up (on purpose?)

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of the Tarakji family: son Yaman Tarakii, 27; father, Manaf Tarakji, 58; mother, Alshifaa Hammoush, 52; son Yasser Tarakii, 29; and daughter Maria Tarakji, 21. The father, mother and daughter arrived in the U.S. in April as Syrian refugees. Two sons are still in Saudi Arabia (Courtesy Photo)

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