News Round Up In-Brief
- Migrants entering the U.S. are increasingly crossing through southern Texas, where many die trying to circumvent a Border Patrol checkpoint in Brooks County. Last year, the toll of recovered remains in the county skyrocketed to 129 bodies, up from 50 or 60 in previous years.
- Migration is shifting along multiple vectors, as Mexico is increasingly an immigrant destination and the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. appears to be on the rise.
- In an investigation of excessive force cases, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General found that “many [Border Patrol] agents and officers do not understand use of force and the extent to which they may or may not use force.” Investigators were confounded by the existence of two different systems for identifying such cases, and at time of publication, neither system had added “use of force” as an option to categorize complaints.
- Immigration reform appears to be collapsing in the House, as two Republican members of the bipartisan immigration reform group have dropped out. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (Ill.), a top Democrat on the “Gang of Seven,” reported that any immigration bill would be severely delayed, citing obstruction by House Republican leaders.
- Migrant advocates plan to reengage the struggle for comprehensive immigration reform this fall.
- Faced with the failure of the “Gang of Seven,” U.S. House Representative Raúl Grijalva of Tucson, a longtime leader in migrant advocacy, introduced his own immigration reform bill that addresses both border enforcement concerns and a pathway to citizenship.
- Calling for the House of Representatives to bring Senate bill S. 744 to the floor, Obama has stated that it is “not an option” for him to take executive action to freeze deportations of the parents of children brought to the U.S. without authorization, even in the likely event that immigration reform fails this year.
- California continues to pioneer expanded rights for noncitizens, as its new round of reforms permits noncitizens to sit on juries, monitor elections in which they cannot vote, and practice law, in addition to granting drivers’ licenses to unauthorized immigrants. About a dozen state legislatures around the country appear poised to follow California with immigrant-friendly measures. In a New York Times op-ed, Bill Keller discusses the benefits to the justice system of granting jury duty to noncitizens.
- In Colorado, devastating floods adversely affected many unauthorized immigrants, who were delayed in escaping rising flood waters and have avoided seeking federal emergency relief due to their fear of immigration authorities.
- Following complaints by advocates about the excessive segregation of some immigrant detainees, Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a policy directive that limits the use of solitary confinement only as a last resort and requires agents to record any time a detainee is singled out from the general population.
- Despite the UK Home Office’s recent insistence that its “go home” van advertisements directed at unauthorized immigrants were “already working,” minister Jeremy Browne said that the vans would not be returning to the streets due to public opposition.
- The UK’s new family migration rules, which created an income threshold for anyone sponsoring a non-EU spouse or child, have separated many families indefinitely.
- In Canada, immigrants are less than half as likely as non-immigrants to receive treatment for depression.
- Responding to the escalating rates of death and injury among Central American migrants who traverse Mexico south to north on a freight train called “The Beast,” the Mexican government has produced a map detailing the dangers migrants may face on each step of the northward journey, including suggested precautions and helpful contact information.
- Norway’s conservative prime minister, Erna Solberg, met with the anti-immigrant Progress Party in September, although political analysts doubt that Solberg would facilitate an extremist anti-immigrant party comparable to others in Europe.
- In Australia, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison of the new Liberal government discussed his party’s policies on asylum seekers who approach Australia by boat, indicating that the public may not find out when or if such boats are being “turned around” at sea as claimed by PM Tony Abbott. Residents of Christmas Island, the location of a major detention center, said they instead would “tell the world” about asylum seeker arrivals.
A series of documentaries on PBS titled “Latino Americans” seeks to provide historical context for the current immigration debate.
Prepared by Rachel Stonecipher
Categories: News Round Up In-Brief