News Round Up In-Brief
- A coalition of Texas immigrant advocacy groups called on the U.S. Congress to reject the appropriation of $25,865,000 to fund 1,000 new beds in private prisons around the state.
- New research out of Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology found that low-income children of immigrants have much poorer health than low-income children of citizens.
- Several news outlets reported that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol planned to end its seven-year practice of repatriating Mexican deportees into the interior of Mexico using air flights. The Department of Homeland Security clarified these reports by stating that officials are currently working on a “more robust program,” which will have the same aim: to disrupt the migration cycle by deporting migrants far from the border.
- InvestigateWest, a non-profit investigative journalism service focused on the Pacific Northwest, conducted a series of investigations into the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. The series included articles about daily life in the center, profiles of detainees, and details on the current class action suit on behalf of detainees with mental disabilities. The suit was filed by the ACLU but includes organizations from multiple states, including the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
- Since the Obama administration’s deportation deferral initiative went into effect on August 15, large numbers of young immigrants have applied. As some begin to see success with their applications, however, friends and family who before shared the same status but now fall outside the program’s eligibility requirements find themselves on the other side of the line. One commentary noted that farmworker youth are among those excluded from eligibility. An apparent slowdown in the number of applications has been attributed to the election season, mistrust, and financial and logistical obstacles.
- Discussion continues regarding the exclusion of undocumented youth from all benefits and obligations associated with the 2010 health care reforms, despite the deportation deferral initiative.
- The U.S. government deported a record number of people again in fiscal year 2011, continuing a pattern after setting records in both 2009 and 2010.
- One in five people deported in 2011 were parents of U.S. citizens. Advocacy groups have recently argued that the non-violent parents of U.S. citizen minor children should be categorically exempt from deportation proceedings.
- California’s Trust Act represents a new approach to bringing state immigration enforcement in line with federal deportation priorities.
- On September 13, civil and immigrant rights activists including the ACLU filed a last-ditch appeal to block the “papers please” provision of Arizona’s SB 1070, which requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop and suspect are undocumented.
- Many professional caregivers in the U.S. have no basic worker protections, such as paid sick days, due to their immigration status, a situation that creates unnecessary health risks for both caregivers and their patients.
- The San Ysidro Health Center in San Diego, a large community clinic founded by a group of immigrant women in 1969, expanded on September 7 with the opening of the King-Chavez Health Center in the southeastern part of the city. Further north, the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento has run a series of popular monthly health fairs, which are free and open to all.
- Friends and family members of an undocumented gay detainee who fled Peru for the U.S. as a result of antigay violence have expressed concerns that facility health professionals are not adequately treating his post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Called the reborn “Pacific Solution,” the Australian government has begun to transfer asylum seekers to the island republic of Nauru, with the stated purpose of “sending a message” to stem the flow of migrants by boat. The controlling Labor party has been criticized for its lack of specificity about what rights asylum seekers will possess from within another country. Another party, the Greens, has proposed the creation of a panel of health professionals to periodically inspect and report upon the detention facilities. The Salvation Army is set to provide welfare services to the detainees.
- Also in Australia, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has proposed the immediate rejection of all Sri Lankan refugee claimants trying to enter the country, on the grounds that their country’s civil war is “long over.”
- The Canadian government is revoking the citizenship of over 3,000 people it claims achieved the status fraudulently.
- On September 1, immigrant advocates in Spain protested government cost-cutting measures that will deny undocumented immigrants most forms of access to free health care.
- Libyan officials have expressed the desire to control undocumented migration once the state regains authority, with some expressing fears that African migrants bring health risks.
- Sex workers in Geneva, where anti-immigrant sentiment has recently escalated, fear revealing their status to immigration authorities in order to receive needed medical care, often hiding health needs that can develop into crises.
- An alliance of mostly Colombian immigrants in Venezuela marched in support of a “Law for Social Inclusion of Migrant Communities,” which would give migrants rights of citizenship, including the vote. They justified the proposal by noting that the country had already given them access to government health and education services.
- A study led by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London (Warfa et al. 2012, below) examined environmental factors in mental health among Somali migrants, finding that employment and achievement of refugee or citizenship status in the receiving country were associated with lower rates of major depression and psychological disorder.
- An overloaded boat carrying over 100 refugees from Turkey to Greece capsized on September 6, adding to the already-high death toll resulting from perilous undocumented migration routes between the two countries.
- The UK government revoked the right of London Metropolitan University to sponsor overseas students, leaving students with 60 days to find another course of education before being required to leave the country.
- Officials in New Zealand’s Public Service Association are concerned that the granting of the new powers of arrest, detention, entry, and search to the country’s Immigration compliance officers will cause them significant workplace stress.
Bacigalupe, Gonzalo, and María Cámara. 2012. Transnational Families and Social Technologies: Reassessing Immigration Psychology. In Special Issue: Migration and the Internet: Social Networking and Diasporas. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38(9): 1425-1438.
Cuadra, C.B. 2012. Right of access to health care for undocumented migrants in EU: a comparative study of national policies. European Journal of Public Health 22(2): 267-271.
Mladovsky, P., B. Rechel, D. Ingleby, and M. McKee. 2012. Responding to diversity: an exploratory study of migrant health policies in Europe. Health Policy 105(1): 1-9.
Spallek, J., H. Zeeb, and O. Razum. 2011. What do we have to know from migrants’ past exposures to understand their health status? a life course approach. Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 8(1): 6.
Warfa, Nasir, Sarah Curtis, Charles Watters, Ken Carswell, David Ingleby, and Kamaldeep Bhui. 2012. Migration experiences, employment status and psychological distress among Somali immigrants: a mixed-method international study. BMC Public Health 12: 749.
Prepared by Rachel Stonecipher.