Week 5 - The Migrant and Refugee Crisis

            This week marked the half-way point of my internship.  I can’t believe that my experience at NCSC is going by this quickly.  The speed at which this summer is passing is a constant reminder that I need to take every opportunity to learn everything I can from the many talented people at the office.

            The main task this week involved conducting research for a presentation over the current immigration crisis in the world.  Every year at NCSC the interns make a presentation to show the office.  Typically, the topic involves current events and this year was no different.  The presentation is structured around the current state of migrants and refugees around the world.  Europe and the United States will be the focus of the research as these two areas have shown the most dramatic shifts in the realm of politics and the law.  For each region, we will focus on the changing demographics, political opinions, regulations, and court decisions.

            Throughout this research process, I learned many interesting statistics and other bits of information.  For example, currently there are 20 people every minute that are displaced from their homes due to violence and there are over 244 million migrants across the world. One of the most interesting facts that I learned, however, came after researching the Travel Ban that was signed on March 6, 2017 and recently partially upheld by the Supreme Court.  The Ban is premised, in part, on the idea that refugees are dangerous and commit attacks in the United States.  In fact, it specifically lists two such events in the text of the executive order itself.  However, when I looked into the facts of this topic, I found quite the opposite (which honestly was not a surprise). Since 1975 there were about 3.25 million refuges that entered the United States and out of those, only 20 tried to commit terrorist attacks, with only 3 actually being successful in their attacks.  Those three individuals were all Cuban refugees in the 1970s.  In all, there is a one in 3.6 billion chance that you will be killed by a refugee in the US in a terrorist attack.  Put into context, there is a 1 in 112 million chance that you will be killed by a vending machine.  I found this statistic very amusing so I just had to include it in this blog and in the presentation itself. This presentation further reinforced why I love all types of research, you never know what you will find.

             When it came to the weekend, I made the mistake of not checking the metro maintenance schedule.  Normally my commute is about 1 hour to get into downtown DC but this time it took nearly twice as long due to multiple track closings and maintenance for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. When I finally made it into the city, I visited the Newseum and the Museum of the American Indian.  These two were among the few museums that I have not yet visited during my multiple trips to DC in the past and this summer.  They were both wonderful but I found the Newseum especially great.  From the gallery of Pulitzer Prize photos to the large segment of the Berlin Wall, the museum was very well laid out and full of interesting information.  If anyone is looking for a great non-Smithsonian museum in DC (and doesn’t mind paying a somewhat overpriced ticket charge), I highly recommend the Newseum.


Berlin Wall

American Indian