“I don’t know who to believe or what is safe to do to protect myself,” said Yanet, who stepped forward to file a sexual abuse case years ago but is having second thoughts about continuing to pursue it. Photo Credit: Megan Miller for The New York Times

USA: Too Scared to Report Sexual Abuse. The Fear: Deportation

Article in The New York Times
4 May, 2017

“I am scared they will find me,” Cristina, who lives in a suburb of Los Angeles, said in an interview, asking that her last name not be used.

Domestic violence has always been a notoriously difficult crime to prosecute. It often takes victims years to seek help, and they frequently have to be persuaded to testify against their assailants. And for many undocumented victims, taking that step has become exceedingly difficult because of fears that the government will detain and deport them if they press charges, according to law enforcement officials, lawyers and advocates from across the country…

“We’ve always told our clients that even if you are undocumented, you don’t need to worry about it — the officers are going to protect you,” said Kate Marr, executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Calif. The level of fear now, however, is unlike anything Ms. Marr has seen in her nearly two decades of work with domestic violence survivors, she said.

“Everything we’ve ever told our clients is out the window,” she said. “It’s so demoralizing and so frightening to imagine what happens if it continues.”

At the risk of repeating myself, this is exactly why we need firewalls between immigration enforcement and public services, including the local police, which needs to “serve and protect” everyone without interference from immigration enforcement considerations. Otherwise, migrants will not report abuse and perpetrators will benefit from practical immunity. One needs to empower migrants to fight for their rights, not push them further underground where they can suffer more human rights violations.

To access the full article, please click here



Opportunities in Crisis: The Future of Refugee Policy in Germany and Europe

Report by the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration
25 April, 2017

This report’s core messages are very positive:

“In its 2017 Annual Report, the Expert Council outlines proposals for further development of EU refugee policy that aim to redistribute responsibilities within the EU. One core element for the fair distribution of refugees are EU-wide rights of free movement that refugees could be granted under certain conditions. This year’s report also deals with possibilities and limits in the cooperation with transit countries and countries of initial reception, including the EU-Turkey Statement. In a second part, the SVR analyses the new regulations to integrate refugees in Germany, mainly in the areas of housing, education and the labour market as well the communication of values. The SVR describes the need for action that still exists for policymakers and presents concrete recommendations.”

Please click here to access the full report.

US to honour ‘dumb’ Australia migrant deal

Article on BBC News
22 April, 2017

“The United States has confirmed it will be going through with a migrant resettlement plan made with Australia.

US President Donald Trump once called the deal, which was agreed under his predecessor, “dumb“.

The agreement allows for up to 1,250 asylum seekers to Australia to resettle in the US.

In return, Mr Turnbull’s administration has agreed to resettle people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador who have sought asylum in the US.

The deal would be honoured but not necessarily admired, visiting Vice-President Mike Pence said after talks with Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull.

Australia has controversially refused to accept the asylum seekers, most of whom are men from Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq, and instead holds them in offshore detention centres on the Pacific nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

If the men are found to be refugees, they are settled outside Australia, in Papua New Guinea, Nauru or Cambodia.”

Great news for the 1400 persons stuck in Nauru and PNG for almost four years, including many children, some born there. Hopefully, they will be processed quickly.

To read the article on the BBC’s website, please click on the following link.

  The Danish authorities have called for Zarmena Waziri, 70, who has dementia, to be deported to Afghanistan. She has suffered multiple strokes and has high blood pressure. Photo Credit: Andrew Testa for The New York Times on The New York Times' website.

Old, Ill and Ordered Deported From Denmark to Afghanistan

Article in The New York Times
22 April, 2017

“Zarmena Waziri’s dementia is so severe that when she recently ate an orange she forgot to swallow and nearly choked to death. She has suffered multiple strokes, has high blood pressure and wears a diaper.

Now, in a case that has captured headlines across Denmark, the Danish authorities have called for Mrs. Waziri, a 70-year-old Afghan woman, to be deported to Afghanistan, where, her children say, she is sure to die.

Her daughter Marzia, her main caregiver, has lived in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, for 25 years and owns a small grocery business. Marzia’s two children are Danish citizens.

Read Post

“The Promise of a Subject-Centered Approach to Understanding Immigration Noncompliance”

Academic Article by Emily Rio
21 April, 2017

This article provides a good theoretical framework for a harm-reduction approach to migration and for firewalls between public services and immigration enforcement:

The Promise of a Subject-Centered Approach to Understanding Immigration Noncompliance

“Unauthorized immigrants and immigration enforcement are once again at the center of heated public debates and reform agendas. This paper examines the importance of applying a subject-centered approach to understanding immigration noncompliance and to developing effective, ethical, and equitable immigration policies. In general, a subject-centered approach focuses on the beliefs, values, and perceptions of individuals whose behavior the law seeks to regulate. This approach has been widely used in non-immigration law contexts to produce a richer and more nuanced understanding of legal noncompliance. By contrast, the subject-centered approach has been an overlooked and underappreciated tool in the study of immigration noncompliance. This paper argues that a subject-centered understanding of why people obey or disobey the law has the potential to generate new insights that can advance public knowledge and inform public policy on immigration in a number of important ways. Specifically, the paper considers how the use of this approach might help us: (1) recognize the basic humanity and moral agency of unauthorized immigrants, (2) appreciate not only direct and immediate costs of immigration enforcement policies, but also their indirect and long-term costs, and (3) develop new and innovative strategies to achieving desired policy goals.”

To access the full article, please click here.