The New York Times : Judge Rejects Long Detentions of Migrant Families, Dealing Trump Another Setback

10 juillet 2018


Commentary by Francois Crépeau : « When we know the psychological and physical damage that detention causes to children, the position of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – that administrative detention can never ever be in the best interest of any child and that an alternative to detention must always be found, which is exactly what the 1997 Flores agreement does – is the only position that makes sense. Thank God that judges still have common sense and resist the Administration push for longer detention for children. Nationalist populist politicians want to subdue independent “unelected judges” to avoid such a result. »

By Miriam Jordan and Manny Fernandez

LOS ANGELES — The Trump administration on Monday lost a bid to persuade a federal court to allow long-term detention of migrant families, a significant legal setback to the president’s immigration agenda.

In a ruling that countered nearly every argument posed by the Justice Department, Judge Dolly M. Gee of the Federal District Court in Los Angeles held that there was no basis to amend a longstanding consent decree that requires children to be released to licensed care programs within 20 days. The government said that long-term confinement was the only way to avoid separating families when parents were detained on criminal charges.

Judge Gee said the administration’s request to modify the decree, the 1997 Flores agreement, was “a cynical attempt” to shift immigration policymaking to the courts in the wake of “over 20 years of congressional inaction and ill-considered executive action that have led to the current stalemate.”

In another setback, federal authorities were preparing Monday to unwind the administration’s family separation program, with 54 young migrants scheduled to be returned to their parents as a result of an earlier court ruling from a federal judge in San Diego. The secretive operation set to unfold on Tuesday involves transporting children hundreds of miles to undisclosed locations around the country.

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The New York Times : Some Contractors Housing Migrant Children Are Familiar to Trump’s Inner Circle

5 juillet 2018


Commentary by Francois Crépeau : « The industrialisation of detention is at work in migrant detention as it is the case for prisons. The profit factor raises the pressure to increase the number of detainees. Strict oversight of  and accountability for detention decisions and detention conditions is made extremely difficult » 

By Ben Protess, Manny Fernandez and Kitty Bennett

Many of the nonprofits, corporations and religious groups watching over migrant children detained at the southwest border have been in this business for years — and they have a history of political connections, donating millions of dollars to Democrats and Republicans alike.

Now, as new federal policies greatly expand the number of migrants held in detention, it is also becoming clear that some of the players in this billion-dollar industry have particularly strong ties to the Trump administration.

The president’s education secretary provided funding to one of the groups. His defense secretary sat on the board of another. Mr. Trump’s own inauguration fund collected $500,000 from two private prison companies housing detained migrant families. And some of the contractors employ prominent Republican lobbyists with ties to Mr. Trump and his administration, including someone who once lobbied for his family business.

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The New York Times : In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’

4 juillet 2018


Commentary by Francois Crépeau : « Such policies sow the seeds of ostracisation, resentment, marginalisation. Targeting specific population and identifying them as at risk of non-integration will create fear, retaliation and violence. Moreover, this policy reeks of contempt for foreign parents, as if they did not know how to care for their children, and the State had to compensate for their failure. This will further increase the resentment. In all cases, it will be counter-productive in terms of integration as these daycare centres will be quickly termed “ghetto daycare centres”.

If social integration mechanisms are needed from age 1, let them be for all children. Many States have already mandatory education from age 3. One could discuss the merits and having mandatory part time day care from age 1, in order to socialise children better and free the parents for the labour market. But it would have to be for all children, citizens and foreigners. This would be an excellent integration solution.« 

By Ellen Barry and Martin Selsoe Sorensen

COPENHAGEN — When Rokhaia Naassan gives birth in the coming days, she and her baby boy will enter a new category in the eyes of Danish law. Because she lives in a low-income immigrant neighborhood described by the government as a “ghetto,” Rokhaia will be what the Danish newspapers call a “ghetto parent” and he will be a “ghetto child.”

Starting at the age of 1, “ghetto children” must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in “Danish values,” including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language. Noncompliance could result in a stoppage of welfare payments. Other Danish citizens are free to choose whether to enroll children in preschool up to the age of six.

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New Republic : No Shelter Here

Thousands of Africans have fled to Israel, seeking asylum from repressive regimes. Instead of offering safe harbor, the government has done everything it can to force them out, including secretly funneling them into the hands of human traffickers. What does it mean when there’s no safety in the land of last refuge?
2 juillet 2018

Picture1Commentary by Francois Crépeau : An in-depth account of the failed attempt of the Israeli government to deport “infiltrators” to third countries. »

By Brian Goldstone

The photograph showed four young Eritrean men in the departure terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport. Dressed sharply in jeans and T-shirts, they looked playful and relaxed, hugging each other shoulder to shoulder. They were waiting to board a flight bound for Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Having spent the last several months confined to an Israeli detention center, their relief at what had been promised to them in the East African nation—housing and employment and, above all, a path to refugee status—was evident on their faces.

When Saimon Fisaha pointed to his younger, smiling visage in the photograph three and a half years later, he had long since relinquished the optimism of that morning. It was mid-February, and we were sitting in a hotel restaurant off Alexanderplatz, in central Berlin, as the gentle-mannered 27-year-old explained that he and his friends were among the first to be expelled from Israel under a secret program to rid the country of its African asylum-seekers. Some of the story I knew already : Two weeks earlier, his testimony had appeared in a widely publicized study based on interviews with him and 18 other Eritrean deportees. The starkly titled report, “Better a Prison in Israel Than Dying on the Way,” which was co-authored by three Israeli migration researchers, documented a collection of harrowing yet remarkably similar journeys. All of the refugees had been “voluntarily” relocated from Israel to Rwanda and Uganda between 2014 and 2016 ; all, somewhat miraculously, had survived the tribulations that followed and were able to make their way to Europe, where the majority were subsequently granted asylum. Though Israeli authorities denied wrongdoing, other investigations have revealed that as many as 4,000 Eritreans and Sudanese were deported into the same perilous conditions.

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The New York Times : Migration Agency Picks a New Leader, and Sends Trump a Message

2 juillet 2018

GENEVA — Delivering a stiff rebuke to the Trump administration over its handling of migration issues, the International Organization for Migration rejected on Friday the American president’s choice to become the agency’s next executive director, choosing instead a former deputy prime minister of Portugal.

The election of the new leader, António Vitorino, was seen as a barometer of United States influence in multilateral agencies after President Trump’s decision to withdraw the country from international commitments on climate and trade, as well as from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

“This reflects the reaction to the overall Trump approach to international organizations, the United Nations, and its decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council,” Ted Piccone, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said by telephone from Washington. “There’s a clear pushback against the Trump agenda.”

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