News Round Up In-Brief
- Government records show that two-thirds of the people deported under the Obama administration had committed only minor offenses, contrary to the president’s claim that Immigration and Customs Enforcement prioritizes removing serious criminals (more commentary here and here). Rather than simply deporting them, the administration has chosen to file formal charges of “illegal entry” in 90 percent of cases against people without any previous criminal record, which threatens those caught returning illegally with prison time. However, over the course of Obama’s tenure since 2009, new deportation cases brought by his administration have decreased, albeit not at a rate pleasing to immigrant advocates.
- The New York Times Editorial Board is calling on President Obama to turn his attention away from immigration legislation and finally take executive action to halt deportations of non-criminal immigrants, a recourse the board says is inevitable.
- The number of migrants entering South Texas has spiked recently, including an increasing number from gang-ridden Central American countries who hope to seek asylum.
- New America Media profiles the negative psychological effects on children of detaining and deporting their parents.
- Seeking to cut the federal budget, Congress may reduce the number of beds funded in immigrant detention centers, a maneuver that would have happened sooner had Congress not set the very minimums for immigration arrests that were required to fill those beds (and the pockets of private prison contractors).
- Major cities including Los Angeles have called on the Department of Homeland Security to designate Filipino immigrants with Temporary Protected Status in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
- Showing partial transcendence beyond immigrant families’ fears that health care enrollment would threaten their immigration status, ACA enrollment surged among Latino Californians in the month before the deadline.
- After over three months in detention, U.S. immigration officials have released the young gay man whose impending deportation to Ethiopia would have made him vulnerable to antigay discrimination.
- Significant gains made by the far-right National Party in France leave its leader, Marine Le Pen, negotiating the line between a new image and old racisms.
- An Italian MP slammed Italy’s treatment of migrants after a young Gambian man who appeared ill upon arriving at a Sicilian reception center died without being transferred to a hospital.
- The Sri Lankan Ministry of Health plans to conduct compulsory health assessments on all applicants for resident visas, which will screen for TB, malaria, and HIV/AIDS “after counseling.” It is unclear when and if the results of the test would lead to treatment or, conversely, expulsion from the country.
- In Malaysia, immigration officials routinely send asylum-seeking new mothers to detention centers after they present at the hospital for labor and delivery, including in at least one case separating a mother from her baby.
- The immigration spokesperson for Norway’s Progress Party, one of the country’s two major political parties, stated its opposition to health clinics that treat undocumented migrants.
- The death of Jamaican immigrant Christine Case in a Serco-operated UK detention center, followed by an eight-hour delay before the information reached her relatives, caused fellow inmates to reflect that “it’s not dignified to die in detention.”
- Stakeholders within the Council of Australian Governments are increasingly supportive of health reforms to provide asylum seekers and refugees with better state-sponsored health care coverage.
- Malta has opened up a $1.6-million “citizenship for cash” program at which billionaires from Russia, China, and many Middle Eastern countries have already jumped.
“Borderland,” a new series on Al Jazeera America, follows six Americans as they retrace the steps of migrants who died while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The show juxtaposes reality-show tactics with the sobering presence of its host, the real-life chief medical examiner of Pima County (where the highest concentration of migrant deaths has occurred since 1999).
Along the lines of Al Jazeera, NPR’s groundbreaking new app Borderland allows users to “play” 12 stories that describe how the border developed it current character and how it feels to be there.
Australia’s SBS World News conducted an interview with former child immigrant detainee Bashir Yousifi, accessible here on SoundCloud.
Watch the Transcultural Psychiatry Blog at McGill University for video presentations on migrant health issues. Recently, Cécile Rousseau of the Montreal Children’s Hospital spoke on the topic of refugee advocacy and Eric Jarvis on the Cultural Consultation Service.
Master’s Program: Click link for details on the Dual Degree Program in Immigration Studies between Barcelona, Spain and Liège, Belgium (students graduate with Master’s Degree in Sociology and Master’s Degree in Immigration Management).
Webinar: On April 22, the Dream Resource Center of the Healthy California Research Project will hold a live webinar on the #Health4All campaign with the title “Undocumented and Uninsured.” RSVP at the Facebook page and download the report here.
Prepared by Rachel Stonecipher.