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immigration

Merkel: Germany will deport Egyptians who entered illegally

BreakingNews @en di

After her two-days visit in Egypt, and more globally after her visit in Midde-East, Nord Afrique, Merkel has confirmed her volunty to stop every kind of illegal immigration. Around 1000 Egyptian are arrived in Germany illegaly. Chancellor Merkel and Al-Sissi has talked about the acceleration of their deportation to Egypt. The German Chancellor asked also to Egypt and its neighbourg, to have a better control of their border and accelerate the returning process of migrants whose aren’t accepted for asylum. This position of Merkel has created some criticism in her country, especially and the negoation of Human Rights in Egypt.

 

According US Department of State, US citizens in Mexico are about 1,000,000 of which approximately 934,000 are irregular

BreakingNews @en di

According to estimates of the National Institute of Geography and Statistics in 2015 91.2% of US citizens who resided in Mexico did not do it on a regular basis, only 65,000 out of a total of 739,000. According to to the latest surveys this condition has not improved rather has worsened, now US citizens in Mexico are about 1,000,000 of which approximately 934,000 are irregular, according to data provided by the US Department of State. Despite the high number of illegal immigrants Mexico maintains a softer line on the issuewhereas across the border the new administration led by Trump already has repatriated almost 12,000 people of which only 723 were involved in crimes such as drug trafficking or weapons.

Senator Chahuán asks at the Government to address immigration law urgently

BreakingNews @en di

Senator Francisco Chahuán, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the opposition Party Renovación Nacional, said that it is very serious that the government has not yet presented a new immigration law, in fact, according to Chahuán the current regulations are too restrictive and not in line with the new trends of migration flows, even after considering the positions taken by United States on the theme. According to the Senator the delay of the Government even cares Peru and Brazil, who have stated in front of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, finally Chahuán recalled how the former President Piñera had prepared a draft reform of the immigration law, agreed even with the Church, which could be simply recovered now.

German divisions over immigration

Politics di

“A difficult day” for the party said German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the state election held last Sunday. The CDU (Christlich Demokratische Union) lost the majority in two out of three federal states, Baden – Wuttemberg and Rhineland- Palatinate. A remarkable result: although the CDU remains the main political force, we clearly see the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD)party, led by Frauke Petry, gaining increasing support. Key issue: immigration policies.

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In response to the Syrian and Middle Eastern refugee crisis, Chancellor Merkel has been promoting an open-door policy, according to which Germany grants asylum to refugees and migrants coming from war zones. In 2015, more than a million people crossed the German border. A “humanitarian” policy, which distances itself from the position taken by other European countries. For instance, Slovenia has opted for closing the borders, while Austria has imposed stricter controls at the borders and a ceiling of refugees to be accepted.

Very different the approach presented by the AfD, which stands for securing the borders. “Asylchaos beenden” – the party’s motto- clearly shows the concern for national internal stability. The right-wing party supports a conservative political line, aimed to protect the traditional Christian values. The constant influx of Muslim immigrants is perceived as a threat to these values​​: a xenophobic attitude, then, that seems to get more support among the German population.

The AfD, in fact, is gaining votes also outside the traditional far-right supporters. Many conservatives, usually closer to the positions of the CDU but disillusioned by the centrist policies promoted by Merkel, have given their preference to the far-right. The alternative offered by Petry’s populist party, indeed, seems to get closer to their needs and ideas.

We are seeing a strongly polarized electorate. On the one hand, those who has supported and continues to support the open policies promoted by Merkel, whose real fear is not the influx of refugees , but the closure of borders . Doing so would endanger the European Union’s fundamental principles, such as the free movement of persons, free trade and the single currency. On the other hand, the far-right xenophobic party bets on a more radical approach, which aims to defend the national integrity and security at the expense of community values, indeed, the freedom of movement.

Nothing new nor surprising. We have already seen the same process in France with the rise of Le Pen’s xenophobic far-right party and now in the US with Trump’s successes. It seems that in Western countries the intolerance towards permissive policies on refugees and foreigners is sharply growing. And the sense of insecurity due to ongoing threats and attacks carried out in various European capitals certainly does not facilitate an opener position.

In the background of this internal conflict there are also the negotiation leading by the Bundeskanzlerin within the EU with Turkey, in order to sign an agreement on migrants. Erdogan has recently requested an extra 3bn Euros (on top of the 3bn Euros already made available), while proposing an exchange mechanism according to which for every Syrian refugee readmitted in Turkey, the EU would resettle one Syrian refugee from Turkey to other EU Member States. “Understandable” demands, according to Germany; different reaction from other European leaders, such as the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel that defines the agreement as a sort of blackmail.

However, neither the outcome of the election, nor the conflicting opinions within the EU have changed Merkel’s plan: no U-turn in the open-door policy, while the agreement with Turkey still remains the only possible way to solve the crisis.

Likely, there will be consequences both at national and European level. In Germany, the CDU is not only facilitating the growth of far-right parties, but it is endangering the internal stability of its own party. Horst Seehofer, leader of the CSU, sister party of the CDU in Bavaria, has heavily criticized Merkel’s decisions, saying that after similar electoral results the only acceptable response is a policy change. At European level, the distance between an EU-leading Germany and other Member States once again questions the credibility and stability of the institution as well as the effectiveness of any agreement achieved with Turkey. As there are many European countries to have interests at stake, an EU response must take into account these different needs. And if Merkel wants to maintain her leadership, she cannot close her eyes on other countries’ positions.

 

Paola Fratantoni

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Immigration beyond the Channel

Politics di

That Great Britain has never been a supporter of a Europe without borders is nothing new. However, what we are recently witnessing is an increasing rift between British approach to asylum and immigration and the one adopted by other EU members, with criticism arising from both the latter and forces within the country.

The UK, which doesn’t adhere to Schengen Agreements, has a particular position concerning the arrival of foreigners in the country. A strict policy, which doesn’t categorically exclude immigration but allows it in a controlled form. It encourages the entry of skilled workers and students, potential resources for the future. Conservatives’ key principle is simple: protecting country’s interests and security. Therefore, those who want to work hard and contribute to this goal are more than welcomed; no place for the others.

If a similar approach doesn’t draw particular attention in normal times, perspectives change when a massive wave of migrants affects the whole European territory, altering the internal balance of several countries. In the last years, Europe has witnessed two major waves of migration. The first coming from Libya, the second from Syria; both the two still in progress (though with different characteristics and intensity), both related to the breakout of conflicts in those countries, thus forcing people to look for a better future on the other shore of the Mediterranean.

These waves of refugees have provoked emergencies across first countries of arrival –above all Italy, Greece and Spain-, which had to welcome a number of people that goes beyond the capabilities of existing welcome facilities. Hence, the call for help to EU partners, in an attempt to share more equitably the burden of people arriving, thus guaranteeing them acceptable living conditions without compromising security and order of the country itself.

Britain seems to turn a deaf ear. During the Libyan crisis, Mr Cameron made the Royal Navy available for rescue operations in the Mediterranean, but categorically excluded the creation of welcome facilities in British territories. However, if help was needed, it wasn’t at sea, but on land, after the rescue. Syrian crisis did not make British government more inclined to support the EU allies. Opt-out from the UK, indeed, on EU quota system, which consists in the relocation of 160,000 refugees currently in Italy, Greece and Hungary among other EU countries, in proportion to the capacities of the country. However, British PM promises to accommodate 20,000 refuges over the next five years: quite a paltry sum if compared to the commitment of other nations, e.g. Germany, which accepted to take up to 800,000 refugees by the end of 2015. Moreover, British offer concerns only refugees still in the Middle East and not the ones already arrived in Europe, solution that –as EU members have noticed- doesn’t really help to alleviate the emergency situation in first countries of arrival.

Hot spot in EU fora, immigration issues are an element of tension between the political and social forces of the country. Major criticisms come from the Labour Party, which considers inadequate the support provided by Cameron. They refer to human rights, fundamental principles of the EU and to the history of their country, a sanctuary of hope and hospitality after the Second World War. What happened to this tradition? What do the rights enlisted in the Magna Charta and the Universal Declaration mean?

In respect to these rights, another criticism arises from a different actor, British Charities. The major disagreement is related to families’ reunions, allowed by the system in place but with several restrictions. Only spouses and children under 18 are allowed to enter the country. Adult and other relatives are excluded from these lucky people. Why? Aren’t they experiencing the same pain? If you look at children, the situation is even worse. Unaccompanied children have no right to reunite to their families, even their parents. As the traumas of war, of the escape, of the arrival in a foreign country, where they don’t even know the language, would not be enough. In addition, the distance from their loved ones, the awareness of not being able to see them and the uncertainty about their future and lives. Where are human rights?

The question is: can we do something more? Maybe yes. Hence, one wonders why a country like Britain, -built on certain values and principles and with an economic capability that allows to afford a stronger efforts- pulls back, turning his back to the EU allies, when his help is most needed, but also compromising that image of guarantor of rights that has been built over the centuries. A UK that seems to take more distance from Europe, in order to protect its borders. How far can this go before such an attitude becomes counterproductive? It is no longer just a matter of Brexit or not Brexit. It runs the risk of challenging Nation’s fundamental values, with the following implications this may have in terms of internal stability.

Libya: among possible agreement and endless immigration emergency

Europe/Middle East - Africa di

As agreed in Switzerland, factions will seek a political solution to national unity by September. Continue the migration emergency: for IOM, the Sicilian Channel is the most dangerous route in the Mediterranean Sea.

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Rapprochement in Geneva between different Libyan factions, including Tripoli government. In negotiations chaired by UN delegate Bernardino Leon, parties has unanimously declared to search a political solution of national unity within late August and early September. There is still no formal agreement, then. But, after July agreement reached in Algeria, now the Libyan National Congress could do its role. Although the greatest obstacle will be finding a meeting point between Misurata troops and General Haftar army.

Meanwhile, just two days ago, Prime Minister Abdullah al Thinni had announced his resignation at a Libyan TV. But, a few hours later, a spokesperson has denied the report.

There is, however, no time to lose in negotiations. In addition to the internal fight against Daesh, migration route to the Italian coast is hot. Over 2000 arrivals between Sicily and Calabria in the last three days. On 10 August, vessel Fiorillo of Italian Coast Guard was able to save at least 400 people. As well as more than 150 from Fenice of Italian Navy . Or the 450 migrants arrived at Augusta. And just as there have been many arrests of smugglers from the Italian authorities. The inhuman conditions and deaths at sea are a constant.

Number of deaths which is increasing compared to over 2,000 in early August, certified by the IOM. Compared to the Greek route, “the majority of migrants have lost their lives in the Sicilian Channel, along the central route of the Mediterranean linking Libya to Italy, “says the International Organization for Migration.

Strait of Sicily route is “disproportionately more dangerous than the other. Although Italy and Greece are both hit by migration flows very significant (approximately 97,000 and 90,500 respectively), mortality rates are very different: they were about 1,930 migrants died trying to reach Italy, as were about 60 migrants died en route to Greece. ”

“Despite these tragedies, the IOM recognizes the extraordinary efforts of the naval forces in the Mediterranean, which continue to save lives every day. The number of deaths has decreased significantly in recent months and this is largely due to the strengthening of the operation Triton: the Mediterranean is now patrolled by a larger number of vessels that can push up to where there are requests for help ” .

“They are almost 188,000 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean so far and IOM strongly supports the continuation of these activities. The organization believes that the number of migrants arriving in the coming months and that will increase the threshold of 200,000 will be reached very soon, ” the IOM statement ended.
Giacomo Pratali

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Hungary and that mournful fence

Europe/Politics di

The hungarian government is building on Hungary-Serbia border a 4 m high and 175 km long fence in order to keep away the mounting influx of asylum-seekers, best known as “livelihood immigrants”. Hungarian institutions are running an obstinate and unfriendly policy on immigration issue. This provocative and hostile way of facing the situation reflects its pressure by changing asylum rules quite often recently. Billboards on Hungarian highways and buildings carry messages reading, “If you come to Hungary, you must respect our laws,” or “If you come to Hungary, do not take Hungarians’ jobs!” and so on. Are this slogans printed in arabic? Of course they aren’t: they’re printed in hungarian only, which cleares the meaning of what the government is expecting to achieve by hungarian locals.

Thus, immigrants, asylum seekers wich enter in hungarian territory from the Balkans, should expect to face the rejection of their requests in Hungary. The government has actually introduced a number of restrictive amendments which would expand the scope of “asylum detention”, accelerate asylum procedures so that a final decision could be taken within a few days, and limit the possibility to appeal. The regulation deprives virtually all applicants of individual assessment and fair procedure and thus puts tens of thousands at risk. As Amnesty International points out, Hunagry, definitely, dodges its obligations under national and international law to assist asylum-seekers.

 

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Hungarian’s 175 km long border with Serbia facilitates human smuggling via land routes from the south and an enormous pressure on its reception infrastructure (financed by and large by EU funds). With 42, 000 applicants registered last year, Hungary was the recipient of the second largest amount of asylum claims per capita. So far this year the influx has already surpassed 80, 000, a number that rockets the country to the top of the EU list. And whereas in 2014 almost half of all irregular migrants came from Kosovo, around 80 per cent of this year’s migrants flee from war-torn countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

On May 19, Prime Minister, Victor Orban, roared his disappointment on EU’s allegedly permissive refugee policies, calling the Commission’s quota plan “idiotic and falsely”, by “depriving Hungary of the right to protect its national borders”. As a result, the European Council proclaimed the country a special case and the subsequent Justice and Home Affairs council in July accepted that Hungary – as the one and only member state – does not take part in any one of the EU’s newly established relocation and resettlement mechanisms.

A large scale public campaign, the “National Consultation on Migration and Terrorism” was launched and sent to 8 million Hungarians. Two notions, “migration” and “terrorism” arranged to create a dangerous, a hate-policy combine, supported by the idea of migrants that are grabing huangarian’s jobs. UN High Commission for Human Rights and the Council of Europe expressed grave concerns about the far right populist trend in the Hungarian immigration debate.

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Now, for truth sake, asylum seekers in Hungary, quite the 80 per cent of them, consider to leave the country once they receive an affermative response. Durin 2014, only 9 per cent of all cases were concluded by granting refugee status or subsidiary protection. (For comparison it was 35 per cent in the UK and 40 in Germany). Thus, what for is all this yelling about? Is this just some clear, and poor demagogic propaganda? Is Orban trying to gain some easy achievement using immigration emergency all across european countries?
What’s left to be said? Memory worths it all: hungarian revolution in 1956 created a wave of 200,000 immigrants who gained the respect, the solidarity and the welcome of other countries and people from all over the world. Ironic that in the country that helped bring about the fall of the Berlin Wall by removing its western barriers along the Austrian border in 1989, the idea of this outrageous fence is highly divisive and a symbol of rising worries across Europe about the country’s political future.

Eu, migrants: deal to 32,000 of the arrivals

Europe di

Backwars step about migrants’ redistribution. Yesterday, Eu’s 28 member decided to reshuffle about 32,000 people instead 40,000 (arrived in Italy and Greece in 2015), like set last 26 June by the European Commission. To these, over 20,000 refugees, Syrians and Eritreans, will be received.

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The tough negotiation between 25 and 26 June looks very far. The position taken by the President of the EU Council Tusk opposed to the President of Commission Juncker a month ago were probably a dramatise. As well as the quotas, proclaimed at the time as “compulsory”, are nothing more than “voluntary”.

Therefore about 20,000 migrants miss. Meanwhile, in October, about 32 thousand people arrived in Italy and Greece will be relocated to other countries. In addition to the announced “no” from Austria and Hungary, surprised the “yes” of Ireland to receive 600 people. To the top, however, there are Germany with about 10,000, France with almost 7000, with Netherlands about 2000.

On the refugees’ redistribution, numbers are different. As well as Italy, Germany and France, the UK, Austria and Spain, in addition to the presence of non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Norway, have specially decided to accept Syrians and Eritreans.

In addition to the loewst agreement, the 28 countries have not delivered yet on the quotas for 2016. The Italian Minister of the Interior Alfano believe that this deal is “good for Italy”. But this speech clashes Prime Minister Renzi’s words a months ago to Eu Council assembly: “If you do not agree on the distribution of 40,000 migrants, are not worthy to call Europe. If you want the voluntary, Keep it”. What has changed in the meantime?
Giacomo Pratali

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Immigration: 150,000 arrivals in 2015

Europe di

Italy has received 7,000 migrants more than 2014. Greece 76,000. Despite Frontex operation, number of deaths in the Mediterranean has risen to 1,900. The Iom report helps us to understand this crisis.

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More than 700 immigrants landed on the Sicily shores weekend are just the latest wake-up call to a crisis for Italy and Greece. The figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of the Interior, certify a tragic exodus which will grow in the coming months.

The arrival in Europe of 150,000 migrants is a substantial number, but cannot be described as “an invasion,” considering that Europe is home to over 500 million people, according to Soda. “Lebanon, a country of 4 million people, is hosting 1.5 million Syrian refugees and Turkey is hosting about 2 million”, Oim report said.

According to the survey, migrants arrived in Europe by sea in 2015 are more than 150,000: 74,000 and in Italy (around 7000 more than a year) and almost 76000 in Greece (six times more than 2014). “Over 1,900 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean so far this year, over twice the number during the same period in 2014. But the number of fatalities has started to decrease since May. This is probably due to the large presence of European Union (EU) / Frontex ships in international waters. The enhancement of the EU’s Operation Triton has enabled maritime forces to save more migrants lives in the Channel of Sicily. For Italy, the main countries of origin during the first half of 2015 were: Eritrea (18,676), Nigeria (7,897), Somalia (6,334), Syria (4,271), Gambia (3,593), and Sudan (3,589). These nationalities were also among the top 10 at this time last year. ”, Oim underlined.

Beyond Italy, the dinamic routes explaine the exponential growth of the immigration, especially Syrians and Iraqis, in Greece Islands: “One major difference has been a significant drop in the number of Syrian nationals arriving in Italy. (There were about 12,000 during the same period in 2014.) Syrians are now primarily using the Eastern Mediterranean route through Turkey and Greece. An estimated 22,582 Syrian nationals reached Greece between January and May 2015”.

Resuming on the Italian istance, Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome, confirmed that immigration is an European issue: “Italy is affected by mixed migration flows, which require different operational responses. The country is experiencing the arrival of not only a significant number of asylum-seekers, but also a large proportion of job-seeking migrants. Irrespective of nationality, both types must be individually screened to determine their status. The boats transporting men, women, and children attempting to reach Europe also often carry vulnerable people, such as victims of trafficking and violence, unaccompanied children, and pregnant women”, he ended.
Giacomo Pratali

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Southern Asian countries will help Rohingya

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en di

Southern Asian countries will donate a fund for the several Rohingya arrived in Indonesia, Malesia and Thailand in the recent months. So they receive Un’s requests. More than 4600 boats have tried to reach these countries since May: at least double than 2014.

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ALast May, Indonesia and Malesia announced to give a temporary asylum to about 7000 migrants who arrived to their coasts. But the emergency has not stopped yet. And this is an humanitarian emergency which concerns thousand of women and children.

As reported by United Nations, the elements about this geopolitical context are awful, even if the International Press is focusing only about immigration in Mediterranean Sea: “Such perilous journeys, whether by land, sea, or air, have become a global phenomenon”, said António Guterres, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, Peter Sutherland and William Lacy Swing, Un Higher Commissioner for Refugee said.

Again: “88,000 migrants had tried to migrate by boat in Southeast Asia since 2014. “Nearly 1,000 are believed to have perished at sea due to the precarious conditions of the voyage, and an equal number because of mistreatment and privation at the hands of traffickers and abusive smugglers”, they underlined.

Rohingya are detached in two parts. Majority, the Muslim faction, who is persecuted by the Buddist Myanmar. The other part are Bangladeshi who run away from poverty. Now more of them live in refugee camps in Indonesia, Malesia and Thailand, after a long journey from Rakhine (North Myanmar) to the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.

Through a creation of a humanitarian fund, United Nations hope to decrease all crime against Rohingyas: “Women are raped. Children are separated from their families and abused. Men are beaten and thrown overboard, We are deeply concerned at reports that boats full of vulnerable women, men and children are unable to land and are stranded at sea without access to urgently needed food, water, and medical assistance”, Un statement reported.
Giacomo Pratali

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