- Posted August 30, 2012 by
Statelessness in America. How we can fix this major problem?
Those stateless persons living in the United States who came from former countries such as Soviet Union and Yugoslavia by not their own fault found themselves abandoned and not recognized by the succession state or other states where new immigration and citizenship policy completely stripped them from any rights or claims to new citizenship. But those stateless people spent years living and working in the United States, paid taxes, routinely reported to immigration authorities but they have no rights to travel around, no rights to enjoy complete freedom as destined to full citizens. It is the time for our law to be changed. Those who completely integrated into our society should not be thrown away and forgotten but be protected and provided with path to citizenship. It’s time for America to stand up and fight statelessness and their human rights violation now, here, in our own soil, in our own territories as well as we do across the ocean.
US as a member of UN 1957 Refugee Convention should guarantee the rights of stateless persons living in the United States and its territories, and create a system for protecting stateless persons and other vulnerable persons and respond to crisis of statelessness in the United States. Stateless persons should be treated with efficiency and compassion as they are the most vulnerable in the world, with no country to go, countryless and basically homeless.
When we look at the site of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration it states that we provide aid and sustainable solutions for refugees, victims of conflict and stateless people around the world. It is true, but do we provide solutions to stateless people in our own country, in the United States? No, because stateless people in our own country are not protected by law, there is no specific law or regulation that protects stateless people in America, and this is our major flaw. How we can provide solutions for statelessness around the world if we can’t fix the statelessness issue in our own country? That does not make sense to me at all.
Stateless people in the United States suffer from marginalization and neglect. Stateless people in the United States have no other place to go, no country to claim and they live in the state of permanent uncertainty. Why the immigration law of the United States does not contribute to the problems of statelessness? As a stateless myself who was detained six month in immigration jail, thrown to the US island in South Pacific for the past 8 month and banned from entering the country I lived for 16 years, I can only describe myself as being stateless that it demonizes me, takes away all human I had in me, makes me mad, angry, crazy. I feel like being mentally tortured constantly but I am still fighting for my rights as well as the rights of other stateless people living like this and feeling the same way in the country we call home, United States of America.
United States must join and sign 1954 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons including 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness as soon as possible to avoid future disaster that associated with statelessness.