News Round Up In-Brief
- Nationwide deportations declined 10 percent during the 2013 fiscal year, with a larger share of deportees convicted of serious crimes.
- Arizona remains in the top three states for immigration-related prosecutions, which make up 97 percent of its petty-offense defendants.
- In a New York Times op-ed, Martin Ruhs advocates a new international convention on migrant rights that would enumerate only “core,” unalienable rights.
- A new report describes New York City’s record-high immigrant population.
- Jeh C. Johnson replaces Janet Napolitano as the new Secretary of Homeland Security.
- A New York Times editorial argues that guilty pleas should be completely voided in non-citizen felony trials to protect from the harsh consequence of deportation.
- Another editorial describes the futile and fatal routine of the Border Patrol in Arizona.
- An activist with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) reported that he met with more than 60 people who are still detained for immigration violations in the El Paso Processing Center after being found by federal authorities to have claims to political asylum. Ju Hong writes on this issue for the Huffington Post.
- Some estimate that about half of the young, unauthorized immigrants eligible for Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have not applied, prompting advocates to actively seek new applicants.
- The California Immigrant Policy Center published a guide to DACA for residents of California.
- A Canadian woman planning to board a cruise in New York was prevented from entering the U.S. due to a previous, nonviolent “mental illness episode.”
- Reflecting a new strategy to curb deportations, New York City declined to honor 37 percent of the detainers, or federal hold requests, issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the month of September.
- A New York Times story about Jacob Deng Mach, a “Lost Boy” from Sudan, offers one glimpse into the experience of refugees growing up in the U.S.
- In a scene reminiscent of Cesar Chavez’s 25-day fast in 1968, Eliseo Medina and two other advocates conducted a 22-day fast on the National Mall that aimed to pressure the House to take up immigration reform.
- Fear of detention and deportation plagues immigrant communities as Congress continues to require that 30,000 immigrants be detained daily.
- Governor Chris Christie has agreed to in-state tuition for undocumented students in New Jersey.
- Just a few months into the fiscal year, the U.S. government has already reached its cap on special visas for crime victims, but authorities will continue placing eligible people on a waiting list for next year’s allotment (which kicks in October 1).
- In Israel on December 17, 200 African asylum seekers marched to Jerusalem after a two-day journey to protest their treatment by Israeli authorities. The group walked out of the Holot “open” detention facility in the Negev desert several days after Parliament approved a measure that would allow authorities to hold new unauthorized migrants in detention for up to a year without trial and to hold those already in Israel indefinitely in “open” detention. After at least 150 participants in the first march were arrested by authorities and put on buses back to detention, 130 detainees embarked on a second “March for Freedom” that ended prematurely, with reportedly illegal arrests by authorities.
- Since the September 23 ruling that stripped citizenship from the descendants of Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic, thousands have lost their civil rights and 300 people have been deported.
- France passed a law shifting legal penalties away from sex workers to their clients, aiming to combat sex trafficking and provide paths out of the sex industry for victims.
- The Australian government put a cap on permanent protection visas “until the Senate changes its mind,” indefinitely denying settlement to the 33,000 asylum seekers currently detained in its processing centers.
- Blaming faulty data management and administrative delays at the Department of Immigration, doctors report life-threatening delays to medical transfers from Christmas Island’s detention facility to the Australian mainland. Other reports say the facility’s medical screening process is inadequate. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said medical care on Christmas Island is under investigation, but that asylum seekers would still be sent there.
- Women in Australia’s mainland and offshore detention facilities have received poor prenatal care that may have caused them to lose their babies.
- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott disbanded the 12-member Immigration Health Advisory Group (IHAG) and plans to replace it with a single advisor, a move experts say is “asking for trouble.”
- A family in Australia faces deportation because their son has been diagnosed with autism.
- While the UK government is considering an EU immigration cap, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has promised to block any further attempts to curb immigration from the European Union, citing harm to the UK economy.
- December 18 was International Migrants Day.
- Amid racially charged political strategies, debates have erupted in France over the purpose and meaning of the new term “anti-racism.”
- The UK-based Medical Justice Network released a new report on mental health in UK immigration detention.
The Beast, by Óscar Martínez, describes the dangerous, and often deadly, train that carries Central American migrants across Mexico.
Call for Papers
Plans are underway for a panel on “Noncitizenship in theory and practice” for the European Consortium for Political Research General Conference (September 2014). This panel will explore how political theory can begin to directly address the question of ‘noncitizenship’. Contacts: Katherine Tonkiss (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tendayi Bloom (email@example.com).
Prepared by Rachel Stonecipher