News Round Up In-Brief
News from the US:
- Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As the Irish have done for the last 150 years, many continue to leave the economic situation in their homeland in the hopes of finding something better in New York. Still, many lament that American laws make it exceedingly difficult for immigrants without work visas to find a legal job.
- A court-appointed guardian’s decision to remove the feeding tube of a Rwandan immigrant, Rachel Nyirahabiyambere, exposes the debate over caring for patients in persistent vegetative states. Three weeks later, a judge has ordered that a Nyirahabiyambere be given nutrition and hydration immediately.
- Many states have pledged to toughen up on illegal immigration. Now, with some legislatures winding down their sessions, the lack of consensus that has immobilized Congress has shown up in the legislatures as well, and has slowed — but not stopped — the advance of bills to penalize illegal immigrants.
- In the first move by a state to extend legal recognition to illegal immigrant laborers, the Utah Legislature has passed immigration bills that include a guest worker program that would allow unauthorized foreigners to work legally in the state.
- As many state legislatures consider laws to expand the role of local police departments in immigration control, police chiefs across the country say they are reluctant to take on these tasks and want clear lines drawn between local crime-fighting and federal immigration enforcement, according to a new report by the Police Executive Research Forum.
- In dozens of states considering such crackdowns, elected officials, law enforcers, business owners, religious leaders and regular citizens are providing calm voices and cool judgment, which an editorial in the New York Times refers to as “anti-Arizonans.” Business owners and other community leaders have been sending a contrary message, saying bills to force employers to check workers’ legal status are redundant, costly and anticompetitive. The clergy members have denounced bills to criminalize acts of charity, like driving an undocumented immigrant to church or the doctor.
- Republican Kansas legislator Virgil Peck has drawn the ire of his GOP colleagues after a comment in which he said it might be good to control illegal immigration the way the feral hog population has been controlled – with hunters shooting from helicopters. Peck later apologized for his remark.
- The City of Danbury, Conn., has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by eight day laborers who complained that their 2006 arrest in a local police sting operation was illegal and amounted to racial profiling.
- Schools in migrant communities struggle against mobility, violence and low academic expectations. But the often disrupted lives of the children of migrants here is likely to grow still more complicated as the national debate over immigration grows sharper.
- Texas businessman Ralph Isenberg has become an advocate for immigrants in extreme distress, and has taken up the case of a Muslim student from Bangladesh who was deported last year.
- Read an article on the work of Dr. Ramin Asgary, director of the human rights program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, whose testimony and affidavits have played a crucial role in convincing immigration judges that people seeking asylum were victims of torture in their home countries.
- Last week, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on “Reducing health inequalities in the EU,” in which it calls on Member States to tackle health inequalities in access to health care for undocumented migrants.
- As wealthier nations send boats and planes to rescue their citizens from the violence in Libya, a new refugee crisis is taking shape on the outskirts of Tripoli, where thousands of migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa have been trapped with scant food and water, no international aid and little hope of escape.
- With the turmoil in Libya and elsewhere in the region, many Europeans worry they will face waves of unauthorized immigration.