Friday, February 03, 2017

'Beyond the Fence' to discuss refugees, travel ban

The radio show "Beyond the Fence," hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames, airs today at noon. Today's show, Ep. 255, is titled "Comments on President Trump’s travel ban in light of Guam’s experience with three waves of ‘refugees.’' This episode will feature three guests: Dr. Richard Wyttenbach-Santos, a retired U.S. Navy captain; Mouhanad Khuja, an imam or religious leader at the Masjid An-Noor (The Light) mosque in Guam; and Dr. Kyle Smith, a professor of Psychology at the University of Guam.
Three waves of refugees
The three guests are invited to provide commentary on Trump's travel ban. According to Dames, "Guam has played a key role in three historic instances of the mass flight of people - variously called refugees, evacuees, parolees or asylum seekers - fleeing war and persecution in other countries." The guests will discuss their experiences with the three different waves of refugees in Guam, which are, Dames said, "moments which illuminate both the vulnerabilities and the opportunities for Guam" as a strategic U.S. unincorporated territory.

Dames identified the three waves that will be discussed: "In 1975, when more than 110,000 of the 130,000 evacuated from Saigon in the closing days of the Vietnam War were brought to Guam and housed in quickly erected tent cities while being processed for resettlement; in 1996, when 6,600 pro-U.S. Kurds from northern Iraq, faced with imminent threat of attack or arrest by the Iraqi military and security forces under the direction of Saddam Hussein, were evacuated to Guam and temporarily housed on U.S. military bases; then in 2001, when over 1,000 Burmese overstayed tourist visas in desperate attempts to escape persecution from the repressive military regime in Myanmar."
Furthermore, she said, "Unlike the first two groups who were evacuated by the U.S. military, the Burmese were not detained and had no assurance of asylum so (they) had to rely on the kindness of strangers for housing and other assistance before their eventual resettlement in the continental U.S."
Trump's travel ban
Trump recently banned all refugees from entering the U.S. for four months. The ban is meant to prevent radical Islamic terrorists from entering the country. However, there is much controversy and unrest over the new president's policy.
"This order immediately suspended a program that last year resettled to the U.S. roughly 85,000 people displaced by war, political oppression, hunger and religious prejudice," Dames said. "Trump indefinitely blocked all those fleeing Syria, where a civil war has displaced millions of people, and imposed a 90-day ban on entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority nations."
"This action immediately sparked unrest at airports and in cities around the world; ignited protests across the nation (including by Democrat members of the House and Senate); and prompted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other activist groups to file a class-action lawsuit. President Trump on Monday also summarily fired the nation’s top law enforcement officer, acting Attorney General Sally Yates, after she defiantly refused to defend his executive order."
About 'Beyond the Fence'
The show runs for one hour and is locally produced, featuring "interviews and coverage of public events offering analysis and personal perspectives on the impacts of U.S. militarism in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands. [The show also provides] accounts of different forms of resistance, decolonization and sovereignty struggles, and the challenges of building community ‘beyond the fence’ where U.S. military bases and other installations are located."
Today's show will be produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Robert Wang. 
Suggestions for future topics and guests may be emailed, or call (671) 734-8930.
Information was provided in a release.

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