After Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on January 10, 2020 that he will not be accepting refugees for resettlement in the state, Catholic organizations were infuriated by his decision.
Abbot’s decision made Texas the first state to reject refugee resettlement after President Donald Trump issued an executive order last year ordering governors to publicly say if they will accept refugees after June 2020.
As of now, governors in 42 states have declared that they wil bring in more refugees. Governors from the five remaining states — Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina — have yet to respond by the January 21, 2020.
Texas bishops were disappointed by Abbott’s course of action and urged him to reconsider. In a January 10 statement, the Texas Catholic Conference asserted that the move to “turn away refugees from the great state of Texas” was “deeply discouraging and disheartening.”
The conference claimed it “respects the governor” but declared that Abbott’s decision in this case was “simply misguided” due to how it denied “people who are fleeing persecution, including religious persecution, from being able to bring their gifts and talents to our state and contribute to the general common good of all Texans.”
In a letter he wrote to Pompeo, Abbott stressed the work Texas has done taking in refugees, saying that since fiscal year 2010 “more refugees have been received in Texas than any other state.”
“Texas has carried more than its share in assisting the refugee resettlement process and appreciates that other states are available to help with these efforts,” the letter stated.
Ashley Feasley, the Director of Policy for Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told Catholic News Service that Abbott’s decision is a “big deal” because the state has resettled 10% of refugees in the United States during the last decade.
She clarified that the move does not mean that refugees can’t visit the state. It just means they cannot be resettled there.
That decision, she said is troubling. First off, roughly 80% of the refugee cases are described as “follow to join.” In other words, these cases involve individuals who have been vetted, are looking to connect with a family member or friend in the community. Allowing them to resettle with people they already know is something resettlement agencies try to respect, she stated, because it helps with the settlement transition.
She also pointed out how Abbott’s decision, and others to come from remaining state governors who have made a decision on the matter, could be affected by a federal judge’s ruling on Trump’s order expected on January 17, 2020. The judge will be ruling on the lawsuit that three refugee resettlement organizations filed in an attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction to block the executive order.
Abbott, who is also a Catholic, should stand firm and not give in to the pressure that pro-mass migration organizations are placing on him. He should maintain his course as one of the most hardline governors on the issue of immigration.
Large Numbers of Chinese Nationals Caught Cheating in U.S. College Applications and in Classrooms
Eduardo Neret of Campus Reform recently reported on some of the “many methods that Chinese nationals have reportedly used to gain acceptance into U.S. colleges and universities.”
“Fake transcripts and essays, falsified letters of recommendation and test scores, paid consultants, and fake passports and IDs” are some of the ways that Chinese nationals try to enter the U.S. educational system.
These incidents started out as isolated incidents but “has now turned into a vast, international money-making industry.”
In April, Hiu Kit David Chong, an admissions official at the University of Southern California (USC), pleaded guilty in April to wire fraud and in aiding Chinese students create fraudulent college applications. According to the Department of Justice, confessed to making $40,000 from a number of clients during the past few years by providing “false college transcripts with inflated grades,” “fraudulent personal statements,” and “phony letters of recommendation” to them as they applied to universities.
Additionally, the admissions official even offered to supply surrogate test takers for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam for international students.
A 2012 report by Time Magazine highlighted how a “huge industry of education agents” has grown to cater to a growing number of Chinese nationals who have desires of studying abroad at U.S. universities.
According to Zinch China, a consultancy firm, 80 percent of Chinese students use agents to file applications to U.S. colleges, with increasing numbers of them engaged in cheating. The company estimated that 90 percent of recommendation letters and 70 percent of college essays that Chinese students submitted are fraudulent. Furthermore, 50 percent of previous grade transcripts are also fraudulent. Ten percent lied about academic or extracurricular achievements and another 30 percent lied about financial aid information.
Surveys revealed that Chinese families view U.S. education as a luxury that can yield future financial benefits, which motivates the “whatever it takes” mentality that characterizes the manner in which Chinese nationals go about the application process. Zinch China also highlighted that the competition among college consultants and the pressure from parents also played a role in the cheating.
“Cheating is pervasive in China, driven by hyper-competitive parents and aggressive agents,” Tom Melcher, the chairman of Zinch China stated.
The number of Chinese students has grown substantially during the last decade. According to the Power of International Education, the number of Chinese foreign students in the U.S. as of 2019 was 369,548, which Neret noted is “more than the next three nations, India, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia, combined.”
What see here is another reminder of why the U.S. must drastically reduce migration from China. Although China has made somewhat of a transition from its authoritarian past, it still remains an adversary.
Like many U.S. adversaries, China recognizes the flaws in the U.S. migration system and will likely exploit them in ways that benefit its national interests.
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