News Round-Up In Brief
- Mexican authorities have uncovered several mass graves with a total of 116 bodies in pits near the US border, many of them migrants apparently on their way north including some from Central America. Reports indicate that the country’s violent Zeta and Gulf drug cartels have begun abducting passengers on buses in the area, and a total of 17 suspects had been detained in connection with the killings. As a result, the U.S. State Department yesterday issued a new travel warning for the states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo León and San Luis Potosi. This has further fueled discussions of the region as a “failed state.”
- More than 250 people, including women and children, were missing after their boat capsized off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa in the worst shipwreck since thousands of migrants began traveling to Italy because of the unrest in North Africa. Some 48 were rescued by Italian authorities, and three were saved by a fishing boat, but 20 deaths were confirmed and at least 130 people are unaccounted-for. Watch a video of the search for survivors here.
- In Libya, African migrants claim that they were abducted and forced to fight with Gaddafi’s forces. According to one Ghanaian worker, “They asked us why we were trying to leave the country and that we must stay to fight for when the Americans come.”
- Last week, Italy and France agreed carry out joint sea and air patrols to prevent Tunisian migrants from arriving in Italy, a move that appeared to ease tensions between them over how to contend with thousands of North African migrants who have landed in Italy since January.
- On Tuesday, Israel’s High Court of Justice issued a historic decision demanding the end to a current policy whereby documented migrant workers who deliver babies in Israel automatically lose their residence permit if they do not leave the country with the newborn within 90 days after giving birth. According to the decision, the current policy gives these documented workers an impossible choice: leave the country with one’s child and lose out on the remainder of one’s contract, or keep one’s visa by handing over the infant to be raised by others ‘back home.’
- Immigration continues to be a deeply divisive topic throughout Europe.
- The European Commission’s president has said Tunisia must do more to prevent migrants entering Europe illegally, and readmit its citizens who have done so.
- The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) recently hosted an event discussing the situation of Colombian refugees in Ecuador and Panama. Watch the discussion here.
- After a two-month pause, immigration authorities will resume the deportations of Haitians who have been convicted of crimes in the United States.
- The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against the State of Arizona on Monday and let stand a lower court decision blocking the most contentious parts of the state’s immigration law from going into effect.
- The nonprofit oral history organization StoryCorps is collecting stories of the journeys people made from every corner of the world to arrive in New York.