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Amira last won the day on January 30 2017

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About Amira

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  1. One article I read said the whole thing would last eight hours. The average amount of time someone spends inside is 8 minutes.
  2. To keep it as short as possible: Three people were planning to join another two people in Europe for a five-day vacation. Each group would be flying to Europe from different continents, and the two people were taking care of most of the logistics. One of the three people couldn’t get the time off work to go, so all the plans had to be changed (car rental, some activity reservations, accommodations) a month before the trip. A week before the trip, the third person got the time off work and now wants to go. However, this would require the two people to change all the plans again on very short notice, and these two people aren’t as flexible as they used to be as they get older. Is it worth adding the third person back into the plans? If the changes could be handled by the group of three, then there would be no problem, because that group would deal with the expense and hassle. But that’s not possible.
  3. Amira


    I didn’t see your posts, but I’m sending thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.
  4. Of course this is far more complicated than was has happened in the last few days, or the last few years. And of course Turkey is actually the country forcing even more people from their homes in Syria. But it’s precisely because of Turkey’s appalling track record regarding the Kurds that the US shouldn’t have behaved this way. The world has abandoned the Kurds multiple times, and capitulating to Turkey yet again was the wrong thing to do. And it’s not just that it was immoral, it was a stupid foreign policy decision.
  5. I use Kindle, with apps on various devices, plus a dedicated Kindle reader. If you have a US address and credit card attached to your Amazon account, which I assume you do if you’re living in the US now, you’ll be able to buy or check out ebooks anywhere in the world. I’ve been doing that for 14 years now in many different countries, from Uzbekistan to Saudi Arabia to Mexico. Dh once changed my account to be Saudi-based when we were living there and I couldn’t get much of anything for an hour while I changed it back. He won’t do that again. 🙂
  6. Not personally, but I have many friends who move regularly with their pets to different countries. International travel with pets can be very expensive and difficult for the animal. It really is as hard as you’ve heard, except in certain cases. Most people I know wouldn’t do it except for a move. And for many of them, dealing with the airlines, quarantines, expense, and worry about their pets is by far the worst part of an international move, which is saying a lot. But in the right circumstances, it can go well and be relatively uncomplicated.
  7. I keep reminding myself that getting it over with will at least get me past the dread, which usually turns out to be the worst part.
  8. Before 9/11, I’d get asked if I wanted to be a terrorism expert when people heard I was studying Arabic. When 9/11 happened, I knew that would get much worse. But I didn’t think it would last this long. I have Muslim friends who have never felt welcome in the US since 9/11, particularly if they aren’t US citizens. I miss them. I still am sad about the man we knew who was arrested on terrorism charges and kept in solitary confinement for over a year before being acquitted because the charges had no basis. My dad commented to me right after 9/11 that it must have been hard for me in a different way, and it was, but not for the reason he thought. I wasn’t disillusioned about Islam because of 9/11. But the fallout for Muslims has been a lot worse than I’d feared it would be. I know too many people who are refugees because of decisions made after 9/11. And the excuse of terrorism has allowed so many countries to openly oppress people. I really don’t care about the security changes. They’re a hassle, and I get caught up in extra searches and questioning because I live in “scary” countries, but my American passport still carries a lot of privilege. There are a lot of people who don’t have it as easy as I do.
  9. Cancel the card, but also contact the USPS. Do it now.
  10. Up till now, it’s been rare for him to have headaches. They had increased very slightly since we moved to our current location a year ago, and then suddenly they were constant.
  11. Dh has had headeaches almost all of the time since early June. They did stop for a few weeks when we traveled to the US, but they came back pretty quickly after we returned home. They almost never really go away, but they are much worse in the late afternoon and into the evening. He tried an antihistamine at first and now he’s on migraine meds which don’t seem to be helping, although he’s still taking them. Any suggestions of what could be causing this?
  12. The 1986 immigration bill that Regan signed ended up allowing fewer than 3 million undocumented people to get green cards. There were at least 2 million more undocumented people who didn’t get green cards, either because they didn’t qualify or didn’t know about the program. It was also suppposed to put more responsibility on employers to not hire undocumented people, but those requirements were largely ineffective (and still are today). And Congress didn’t adequately fund stronger border enforcement for several years and then when it did, it wasn’t done effectively. The biggest problem was that the bill didn’t provide for the huge demand for immigrant labor in the US. If we won’t deal with that, then we’re never going to solve this. Either we maintain the status quo, we provide a path to citizenship for undocumented workers, or we increase legal immigration or guest workers programs or unskilled labor visas to fill the demand for lower-income labor. Or we can change our lifestyle and expectations, but that’s not very likely. But all of this is still separate from asylum, which is a completely different system of entry into the US. Asylum seekers have a legal right to live and work (after 5-6 months) in the US, unlike undocumented immigrants. I wish we would grant asylum to more people. The fact that so many are denied in the end is galling to me too.
  13. And 98-99% of visa holders use their visas correctly and don’t overstay. In the most recent report (a new one is due soon), an estimated 1.33% overstayed. There’s lots more information about overstays here, including the data that shows that twice as many Canadians than Mexicans overstay. Students are more likely to overstay than other groups. The undocumented immigrant population in the US has been declining over the last decade. 2/3rds of undocumented people in the US have been there for at least 10 years. 1 in 5 have been there less than 5 years. 80% have been there for at least 5 years. We’re actually doing a decent job of protecting our borders, in my opinion, and there are more pressing issues regarding immigration.
  14. There really isn’t good evidence that many children at the border are being trafficked. Here’s a link to myths about trafficking, and I can post more data showing that trafficking victims in the US are usually citizens, and those who aren’t usually enter the US legally and afterward experience sexual or labor trafficking. However, it is very true that trafficking is a serious issues facing forcibly displaced people and we should be paying attention to this worldwide. Human smuggling is the term that better describes what some fear is happening at the border. But we really don’t have good data showing how many children are being smuggled across the border. There’s also a new debate about whether parents should be considered smugglers simply for bringing their children with them on the journey. We criminalize so many with that kind of thinking. People have to be able to get out of bad situations without being accused of smuggling their own children. Even if you do believe that most of these children are victims of human smuggling, I don’t understand how the current policy of detention is helping them. I feel like the trafficking/smuggling argument is being used to justify harsh policies at the border. But if these children were actually vicitims, how can these policies be helping them? A victim of human smuggling should be reunited with their parents as quickly as possible while waiting in a safe and caring space. They should have toothbrushes and showers. Competent adults should supervise them. Their legal rights should be protected. They should be educated. These things are not happening. These children are victims. Maybe I think it’s because of gangs or war or other unsafe situations at home. Maybe you think it’s because of trafficking or smuggling. But no matter what, the current policies are re-victimizing them, and that cannot be right. We cannot allow it to become acceptable.
  15. For those looking for sources, these threads always end up with links to asylum laws, to refugee conventions, and all sorts of other things. Here’s a list of some of them. All UN and .gov links should be considered official sources. The Wikipedia links are included for context if you’re interested. There are lots of other links that could be included, like current US policies regarding asylum seekers and refugees, statistics about the number of children being separated (although those are difficult to pull out sometimes, but court orders have helped there), the number of undocumented people in the US and how long they’ve been there, current rates of visa overstays, who overstays their visas, the number of apprehensions at the border, and so much more. I’m happy to edit to add any of those links if someone wants them, or post them yourself. Refugees: UN 1967 Protocol UN 1951 Convention Forcibly displaced people (including refugees, asylees, and IDPs) UN stats Internally displaced people (IDPs): Stateless people Success story in Kyrgyzstan US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) US refugee law: US asylum law US visas (immigrant and nonimmigrant) Immigrant visa process Types of visas General visa info
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