What’s your escape plan?

January 23, 2008

I’ve been noticing stories on the news lately about the Iraqi refugees in Syria. The latest one I heard was about all the services needed to take care of that many people with no income. The one that really stuck with me, though, was from a while ago, talking about how so many of the refugees in Syria had actually been quite wealthy when they first arrived, but as the years have dragged on and they still feel unsafe returning to Iraq, their savings have dwindled. They can no longer afford to rent the large houses they settled in originally; they have sold many of the possessions they brought with them; any business they possibly once owned in Iraq has been taken over. They do not have the right to work in Syria, no matter how highly trained, so they have no hope of income. And these were the people who planned ahead and had means to leave.

Today, one of my friends sent me the link to this NYTimes story about Venezuelan immigrants to the US. They are moving to Florida in droves to escape Chavez, or at least his policies. My friend, who is currently living in South Florida as well, pointed out that none of these people are anything but upper class, especially given which Miami suburbs they seem to be settling in. Luckily, many of these people seem to have found a way into the US that allows them to work. They are the wealthy ones, the lucky ones.

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