Burmese Refugees: Save Your Kyats, It Might Not Be Worth It (Part 1)
For the most part, migrating to the US has been a welcome blessing for a multitude of Burmese refugees. Discovering the key to success they assimilated, found a career and pursued the American Dream while giving their children opportunities never afforded them in their homeland. Unfortunately not all refugees share the euphoric bliss of liberation migrating has brought. For them, America has been a living hell from the moment of their arrival. All they dream of; is returning to their beloved Burma. In disrepair; others chose suicide as the only other option. Some refugees simply disappeared even before arriving in USA.
This tale is not about the hard working Burmese refugees, immigrants and political exiles who found their place in this complex society. This story is about the voiceless refugees who never assimilated the intricate mores of American modern society for one reason or another. It is also about the traffickers, shy larks and opportunists who prey on their fellow countrymen and milk the US taxpayer in the process. And, in some way, this is a memorial to the countless innocent & trusting refugees who where sold into bondage or murdered by traffickers & employers,………so they are not forgotten.
There is a saying, ‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’ and for refugees the USA was ‘the other side of the fence’, ‘the promised land’ filled with greener pastures and golden opportunities. Sadly for a growing number of Burmese their field of dreams is nothing more than an illusion; lies told by unscrupulous human traffickers eager to take their money and in some cases the money of an entire village. In more than one instance refugees came to America not only to bring prosperity to their families but also to bring relief to their impoverished village back home.
The promise of great fortune meant the village would soon have homes made of brick, not bamboo and possibly a new ox for the communal farm. In knapsacks, the hopes and dreams of a people was on their backs, bound for America. Maybe others would follow after their ‘ambassador’ was firmly situated in this new country. America, the land of plenty where they will find their fortune and save their village whence they landed in the good ole USA, hmm. Surely their countrymen would show them the way to riches, a home, flat screen TV and a Lexus because the roads are paved in gold in Amerika.
Traffickers painted a picture of hope and promise that was hard for impoverished villagers to ignore. All the traffickers needed was 2 million kyats to whisk the fortunate villager off to America and fortunes untold. The desperately needed cash would soon roll into the jungle village and life would finally be good. Sadly some Burmese refugees never made it to America for they were executed only miles from their village and tossed in shallow graves in the dense jungle, murdered for 2 million kyats. Others were betrayed then sold into bondage, burgeoning sweatshops and brothels throughout Asia, and worked to death. Thai fishing captains are notorious for murdering and dumping Burmese crewmen in the sea simply so they don’t have to pay them.
The fortunate ones who manage to arrive in Malaysia believe they finally reached civilization and safety. They can hook up with one of many NGO & religious organizations that ‘cater’ to refugees. And finally, they will reach the UNHCR where officials will either verify or issue a new nationality, tribal affiliation and birthday (1st of any month) that fits the criteria needed to qualify for ‘refugee status’, then it’s off to America.
The harsh reality; upon arrival to Malaysia, writhe with racial inequities, some refugees are subjugated because of their tribal affiliation back in Burma. The bitter irony is the fact these persecuted Burmese refugees are the hardest hit victims of genocide and tyranny who escaped rape, torture and death, not the burgeoning numbers of fraudsters side stepping immigration laws in Burma and the USA in favor of the more lucrative ‘refugee status’ designation.
The lucky ones who are tribally affiliated with one of the well lubed bogus NGO/Religious groups would immediately enter training to learn how to defraud the US government and acquire Social Security Disability and Retirement Benefits. The excuse is usually a well rehearsed mental condition from rape or other sensational traumatic experience designed to garner sympathy from naive westerners.
The list of American freebees delegated to the truly needy refugee has become the bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow for cunning and divisive immigrants. Immigration fraud is not isolated to just Burma for this is a global scam and the US taxpayers are the stooges footing the bill.
Your Devil’s Advocate
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