News Round Up In-Brief
- A heartbreaking and important group of maps allows for comparison of the militarized borders around the world with the highest death tolls.
- In a harsh new crackdown, the Obama administration plans to forcibly remove undocumented immigrants from Medicare’s rolls and explicitly require lawful presence in the country to enroll. Advocates charged that the problem of “fraud” lies more with health care providers than this population.
- A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man he said had struck him in the face with a rock. The agency claims that rock-throwing incidents increased 70 percent from 2011 to 2012, an issue that has become the center of discussions around the agency’s use of deadly force.
Responding to the surge in fatal shootings since 2009, a Border Patrol memo instructed agents on specific guidelines for exercising restraint when deciding what level of force to use against unarmed undocumented migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border.
- The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health has launched a program called “Clergy Academy,” which aims to better equip church leaders in immigrant communities to advise people with mental health issues.
- Obama has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to “inventory” its current deportation practices to see if immigration officers “can conduct enforcement more humanely.”
- Due to fears that enrollment information will be shared with immigration officials or could label documented residents as “public charges” and harm their chances of gaining citizenship, states are struggling to register Latino Americans for state-run health exchanges.
- In an interview for Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision, President Obama defended his administration’s record on deportations and pushed for Latinos to register online for health insurance, assuring mixed-status families that none of the information required to apply would be available to immigration officials.
- This week, five immigrant detainees in Washington state’s Northwest Detention Center remained on a hunger strike to protest the high number of U.S. Deportations.
- Federal immigration officials in Boston are seeking to deport a 19-year-old gay man who may be in physical peril if returned to his home country of Ethiopia.
- A Department of Homeland Security report stated that the death of a 58-year-old immigrant man being held in an Adelanto, CA detention center was preventable and that medical staff “failed to provide adequate health care.”
- The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the immense backlogs in immigration courts around the country, combined with the emotional heaviness of many cases, create stress in judges.
- State Senator Ricardo Lara of California officially proposed legislation to extend state-funded Medi-Cal to undocumented California residents and open up a marketplace for higher-income immigrants to purchase insurance.
- In Texas, Republican politicians still use the word “invasion” to describe the journeys of undocumented immigrants.
- A New York Times Room for Debate series addresses the issue of citizenship for long-term residents.
- During a visit to Capitol Hill, immigrant youth leaders signaled a willingness to accept something less than citizenship for undocumented residents as long as deportations are greatly reduced. Leaders have said they will now turn their focus to the president’s executive power to stop deportations.
- In New York, the new Immigrant Justice Corps will begin recruiting recent law graduates to give two to three years of service in immigration law and advocacy.
- The New York Times Editorial Board points out the economic irrationality of current immigration arrest and deportation policies.
- In February, Spanish military police shot rubber bullets into the water at migrants trying to swim around the fenced barriers between Morocco and the Spanish city of Ceuta, which divide the only land connection between Africa and Europe. Fifteen bodies have been recovered from the water so far.
- Under a controversial 1994 regulation, Australian Immigration Department officials are permitted to forcibly medically treat immigrant detainees even if they have explicitly refused treatment. Since 2005, the department has approved medical treatment without consent on 10 occasions.
- Reza Barati, a 24-year-old Iranian asylum seeker who was being held at an Australian detention center on Papua New Guinea, died from “multiple head injuries” after detainees’ protests asking for freedom escalated into a violent confrontation with G4S (private detention contractor) guards.
- Leaked documents reveal that Australia’s 12-member Immigration Health Advisory Group was sacked in December by Immigration Department Secretary Martin Bowles due to fears that members who disagreed with the policies of Operation Sovereign Borders would speak out to the media.
- Australia’s Human Rights Commission is launching a formal inquiry into the placement of children in immigration detention.
- A Toronto court is reviewing a legal challenge brought by Canadian physicians’ and lawyers’ groups against Ottawa’s cutbacks to health care for refugee claimants.
- In Britain, a conservative group in Parliament proposed a draconian amendment to the Immigration Bill that would ban the presence of foreigners with HIV or Hepatitis B in the UK.
The trailer for Jose Antonio Vargas’ film on undocumented immigration, Documented, has been released here.
The Living in the Shadows series, a project of the Reporting on Health Collaborative based at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, joined together news organizations around the country to explore the connections between immigration status and health.
AES/ALPA Presidential Address
Merry, Sally Engle and Susan Bibler Coutin. 2013. Technologies of truth in the anthropology of conflict. American Ethnologist 41(1): 1-16.
Pew Research Center Report
Public Divided Over Increased Deportation of Unauthorized Immigrants (pub. February 27, 2014)
Calls for Papers
International Workshop: “Refugee Protection Outside of the International Legal Framework: Expanding Cross-National and Cross-Disciplinary Collaborations.” Center for Forced Migration Studies at the Buffett Center for International & Comparative Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA, May 27-28, 2014. Abstracts due April 1, 2014
Special Issue: “Migrant Narratives and Ethnographic Tropes: Navigating Tragedy, Creating Possibilities,” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Papers due December 1, 2014
“Immigration Reform and Beyond? The 5th Conference on Immigration to the U.S. South.” University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, October 23-25, 2014. Proposals due March 31, 2014
Prepared by Rachel Stonecipher