Think Progress: "There Are Now More Displaced People Than Any Time Since WWII"

by Joseph McKeown

For the first time since World War II, the number of displaced persons, asylum seekers, and refugees worldwide exceeds fifty million, with Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia as the top three major source countries. The UN Refuge Agency released the report on World Refugee Day, and stated:

This massive increase was driven mainly by the war in Syria, which at the end of last year had forced 2.5 million people into becoming refugees and made 6.5 million internally displaced. Major new displacement was also seen in Africa – notably in Central African Republic and South Sudan.
"We are seeing here the immense costs of not ending wars, of failing to resolve or prevent conflict," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. "Peace is today dangerously in deficit."

The report notes that a record 25,300 asylum applications were from children who were separated from or unaccompanied by parents. In that regard, the US is continuing to address the high influx of unaccompanied minors at the US/Mexico border with a House Committee hearing where Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson had to "remind members of Congress of the laws they passed to protect unaccompanied minors and prevent their further victimization." Also: some lawmakers are calling for lawyers for these minors. The Daily Beast makes an argument that "cartels may actually be responsible for the recent influx of Central Americans attempting to cross the Southwest border and, specifically, the surge in unaccompanied minors coming from the region." Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden heads to Central America to dissuade others from coming. Also: comedian John Oliver gives his take on immigration reform.