Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The President's First Priority in Office; Gaza Refugees

It would seem that one of the very first priorities of President Obama was to sign executive order Presidential Determination No. 2009-15 of January 27, 2009 one week after his having taken office on January 20th.  This order was to authorize the expenditure of $20.3 million dollars for the funding of Palestinian refugees to be transported to the United States.

The Executive Order states, "it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs". 

One wonders why this was so exceptionally important as having to be addressed only one week into President Obama's administration.  Further, while $20 million dollars is virtually nothing in the grand scheme of the federal budget, one further wonders how many refugees were transferred to the United States, what the reasoning for the transfer was, and why it cost so much money to do so?  It would seem that the amount of money allotted for this could transfer thousands of refugees.  Further, how did this come to the President's attention so quickly?  Was this a fulfillment of a promise during the campaign?  Is this a legitimate humanitarian issue?

Lastly, as many Palestinians in general tend to be unfriendly towards the United States at best and outright hostile at worst, why would we bring these folks into our country?  Are these particular Palestinians ones that spoke out against the Hamas-controlled Palestinian government and thus needed asylum here?  Have these folks been vetted by our government so we know they are indeed safe and not a threat to our country?

It is possible that this issue indeed was nothing more than a humanitarian one that the President quickly dispensed; however, based on the timing of the Executive Order and the fact that this administration has not done ANYTHING quickly sure does raise my suspicions.  I, for one, would sure like to know the answers to these questions and what the motivations for this order truly were.



Norma said...

I blogged about this at the time. I think Pres. Bush actually authorized more, so this announcement was pretty much political--really didn't do anything except give more money to a UN agency. The questions both liberals and conservatives--and the president--need to ask is why Arab countries are allowed to keep millions of Palestinians within their borders in such deplorable conditions with no rights. They use them only as tools in this battle against Israel. At least those living in Israel are citizins with rights.

T. Paine said...

I absolutely agree with your comment regarding the Palestinians and the Arab nations rather having them as a tool with which to bash Israel rather than to allow them to emigrate to other Arab nations in the Middle East.

Thank you for the information regarding the rest of the post. I appreciate the information and clarification for me!

lisa said...

why are we sending money anywhere when we don't have any?

T. Paine said...

Lisa, THAT is indeed the ultimate question! The Palestinian people on the whole loathe us, as do many other nations throughout the world, and yet we continue to spend billions in foreign aid to these folks with seemingly no good return on investment.