Sunday, December 11, 2016

An Icelandic Refugee Story

In the middle of last some refugee center in Vioines, Iceland.....after a guy who had applied for 'status' had been turned down....he poured some gas over himself, and lit a match.  Burned to some degree but still alive, in the regional hospital.

There's been some criticism of the Icelandic bureau which manages these evaluations and the refugee center.  Some blame dump upon them because of the lengthy process and the negative outcome.

One might point out that while they had declined to approve his application....they had gotten another country to accept him (Italy).  He considered Italy a worse-off point to be placed.

So I sat and pondered over this entire story, and the process involved.

If you are an immigrant, an asylum-seeker, a migrant in search of a new country.....the minute they have you an application and you fill it are taking a chance that the end-result will be "no".  Statistics will exist in each country and if you ask.....they will admit to certain types of applications as being better than 50-percent, or worse-than 50-percent.  If you aren't capable of handling a negative result....then it's your problem, not the government's problem.

The public who get a disturbed about turn-downs?  There is a process for every single application for asylum, immigration or migration.  If you ask about the process.....the people who run this will bring out a flow-chart.  It'll give you the fifteen to forty-odd points that you pass through.  They might evaluate your education, your intelligence, your past crimes, your reason for leaving, etc.  A number will be assigned to this review.  If you reach a certain level, then you get a visa and a chance to stay.  If you don' leave.

For those who get all peppy and charged-up about people should all get a chance to remain....reality may come to you two years down the road.  You might find out that the hundred people who should have failed the application....who stayed....have yet to pass the language course, and they still don't have a real job....just some fake job deal that the government rigged up so they can get a basic existence check each month.  Then you ask yourself.....who is really paying for their house, their heat, the food, and medical care?  You.  Quietly, without saying anything.....the government found another tax to bring in the money to cover their existence.

Mad at the government and the approval bureau?  Some Icelandic folks may have commentary to  Fire your political folks.  Have an election and dump these folks out and find the "right" folks to run this.  Then re-arrange your priorities to accept people.

In the German case of the BaMF, the 700-person agency who did the applications for asylum.  By the summer of 2015, reality came to raise its ugly head.  The agency, which could typically handle 250,000 people a year and your waiting time was usually less than 90 days....was now taking six to nine months. They had a lack of people to handle the processes involved.  My guess is that Iceland has the same issue.

At this point, I looked at this shelter location.....Vioines.  I've been to Iceland and have a general layout of the country.  Most folks....probably 75-percent of the nation....reside on the far west side of the country, or along the SW coastline.

Vioines sits on the far north coast of Iceland.  A remote and austere location.  There's not much there.  You've got mountains on two sides, the bay laying off three miles to the north, and state road 767 (a marginally paved road) which goes by the unpaved road which leads out to the small village of Vioines....basically four buildings.

For an American standing there on the paved part of 767....if you were to do a 360-degree'd think that you'd come to the ends of the Earth.  There's flat farming land for about a mile in each direction, and then these majestic glacier-like mountains.  Calm, quiet, and a continually wind....365 days out of the year.  In the winter months, you'd enjoy an hour or two of sunshine, and 22-odd hours a day of darkness.  In the summer months, you'd enjoy an hour at best of darkness, and twenty-three hours a day of sunshine.

The nearest town with any real appearance of civilization?  About thirty minutes away, with three to four thousand people.  A couple of grocery operations, some stores, a brewery, a small hospital, etc.  A place to sit down and have a coffee or a dinner?  You'd go to the Hard Wok Cafe (yeah, note the wording, must be an Icelander with a sense of humor).

There's nothing there.  For this guy....sitting there for months and months, one might imagine that he'd come to mental state where he wasn't really thinking like most people.  The long summer with almost no darkness, and winter approaching with almost no can get into a guy's head and make him think in a negative way.  What can you do all day?  You might ride a bike over to the local town....sip a a couple hours of cards....and watch four hours of TV.  Repeat after day....for six months.

There's a long story here, but no matter how you tell's bound to be negative in the end.

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