News Round Up In-Brief
- Immigration advocates successfully pressured the AP into outlawing the word “illegal” when used to describe persons, prompting the New York Times to more seriously reconsider the term.
- The growing political clout of the United Farmworkers Union was in evidence April 11 when the Union struck a deal with crop growers on visas and pay scales for foreign farmworkers.
- Proposed immigration reforms make undocumented immigrants ineligible for federal public health benefits for at least 10 years, a move that would shift increased responsibility for their health care costs onto states and counties.
- The group of Senators working on immigration reform agreed on a plan that requires more border enforcement controls before undocumented immigrants can begin to proceed toward citizenship; however, there are no specific provisions in the bill that, if not met, would block the citizenship path.
- The current immigration reform proposal creates a “W-visa” for low-skilled workers from which they can, if desired, begin on a path to citizenship after one year. Immigrant advocates argue that the plan will not let in enough guest workers, starting at 20,000 per year and increasing to 75,000 annually after four years. Additionally, reforms will shift the visa system in favor of immigrants with employment-based visas, who will have more options than those with family visas to begin the path to citizenship.
- Because undocumented immigrants are not entitled to a lawyer, it is estimated that more than half of unaccompanied immigrant children face immigration courts without representation.
- New York dairy farmers are lobbying Congress for expansions to the existing agricultural guest-worker program, since the current program includes only seasonal workers and most dairy farmworkers work year-round.
- On April 10th, immigrant rights activists across the country attended rallies and marches in major U.S. cities. Access Denied contributor and co-founding member, Nolan Kline, attended the march in Atlanta, Georgia.
- The United Nations International Labor Organization reported April 9 that an estimated 600,000 migrant workers are trapped into forced labor and sex slavery in the Middle East, due largely to the fact that employers sponsor their visas.
- Twenty-eight asylum seekers detained in Melbourne, Australia began a hunger strike April 8, asking the Australian government to either release or kill them.
- Hundreds of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have fled religious persecution to Indonesia, exacerbating the overcrowding in Indonesia’s refugee detention centers. The Sydney Morning Herald compared this situation to Australia’s detention of north Asian refugees.
Biswas, Dan, Brigit Toebes, Anders Hjern, Henry Ascher, and Marie Norredam. 2012. Access to health care for undocumented migrants from a human rights perspective: A comparative study of Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Health and Human Rights: An International Journal 14(2). Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.hhrjournal.org/index.php/hhr/article/view/536/829.
Prepared by Rachel Stonecipher