I missed this story about ten days ago, but thanks to reader Joanne for sending it.
It is from Bloomberg, and isn’t a surprise to me. Japan takes virtually no refugees because they see what is happening in Europe and the US, and because they want to maintain their own culture.
So, no surprise that this Asian country doesn’t want to roll out the ‘welcome’ mat either.
They aren’t refugees, they are able-bodied men say locals on tourist-friendly Jeju Island.
‘Fake Refugees Get Out’: How South Koreans Are Channeling Trump
On the South Korean island of Jeju, a tourist hotspot famed for blue waters and sandy beaches, Lee Hyang is angry.
The target of her wrath? More than 500 asylum seekers from war-torn Yemen looking for a safe place to live and work.
Lee, who leads a local group demanding the Yemeni nationals be deported, believes outsiders compete for jobs and pose a threat to local safety. The refugees she saw at the immigration center looked “really scary,” she said. She praised the U.S. president, who won a victory this week when the Supreme Court upheld his ban on visitors from seven countries, including Yemen.
“Donald Trump is a true patriot,” Lee said. “He says, ‘America First,’ and really puts his people first. That’s what our president should do too, instead of thinking of other people like these Yemenis.”
The asylum seekers in Jeju have sparked an uproar in South Korea, mirroring immigration debates in the U.S. and Europe.
One group opposed to letting them stay has posters describing the Yemenis as “fake refugees” and urging them to “get out.” An online petition calling for their dismissal has been signed by more than half a million people over the past 15 days.
“The Trump administration’s anti-immigration policy has been used as an excuse for many conservative factions opposing those seeking asylum in Korea,” said Shin He-inn, senior public information associate at UNHCR-Korea. “They use it as a reason to say, ‘Look America’s not doing this, Europe’s not doing this, why should we?’ — and that’s misleading. Worldwide, countries accept hundreds and thousands of refugees each year.”
It’s a long and interesting story.
No time to write more now, so please go and visit Bloomberg for more of it.
By the way, Yemen is one of the banned countries for admission to the US.