The head of the SNSD (Alliance of Independent Social Democrats) Deputies Club in the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH, Staša Košarac, warned that the Ministry of Security does not take any steps to strengthen the borders of the country and prevent a more certain mass wave of migrants from risky countries that could enter during spring and summer. According to the data possessed by BiH authorities, states Košarac, several thousand migrants will try to come to BiH from Greece, through Albania and Montenegro, a new Balkan route that is becoming more and more active in BiH. He added that Mektić ignored warnings of police services and agencies operating in the Ministry of Security regarding BiH’s lack of capacity to accept a significant number of migrants, and daily deteriorating conditions at immigration centers. Most importantly, Košarac stressed that there are not enough people to control the inaccessible and porous border with Montenegro.
The European Union’s Border and Migration Control Agency Frontex closely monitors the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but cannot significantly help. In order to be able to provide full-capacity assistance with a non-EU country, according to the new mandate, Frontex needs to have a bilateral agreement, which is at the moment missing with BiH. If an agreement is reached, Frontex has the right to carry out full-capacity executive operations in countries outside the EU, and this would give it the right to launch a mission to the country and send police officers with executive powers. Considering that there is no such agreement, last year BiH authorities agreed to establish two coordinating points: one at the Sarajevo airport and the other at the border crossing Zupca, near Trebinje.
Congress sped toward reopening the government Monday, as Senate Democrats dropped their objections to a temporary funding bill in return for assurances from Republicans leaders that they will soon take up immigration and other contentious issues. Senate Republican leader McConnell’s commitment to quickly tackle the issue of immigrant “Dreamers” was contingent on Democrats providing enough votes now for a stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks. The measure needed 60 votes, and Democrats provided 33 of the 81 it got. Eighteen senators, including members of both parties, were opposed.
Interior Minister Valentin Radev visited Athens, Greece, on Friday, and met with Greek Minister for Immigration Mouzalas and EU Commissioner for Migration Avramopoulos. He congratulated with the efforts achieved by Greece, and added that “in the field of home affairs, the Bulgarian EU Presidency aims to achieve more efficient management of migration and asylum processes and a balance between responsibility and solidarity”.
Firmness and humanity. In his speech in Calais, Emmanuel Macron wanted to reaffirm the two principles that guide his immigration policy. In front of security forces, the head of state reiterated his commitment to fight illegal immigration. “By no means,” he promised, the state “will allow a jungle in Calais, where a vast slum of more than 8,000 migrants was dismantled in October 2016.” Everything is done to ensure that the illegal passage is not possible in Calais “, which” is not a backdoor to England,” he said, assuring that the state would not allow “to build illegal pathways in this region.”
Macron reminded to all associations responsibility in their action with migrants. “Those who encourage these women and men to stay, to settle illegally or even to go to Great Britain, take on immense responsibility and never will they have the state by their side “, he said. He also announced that the state will take care of the distribution of food to migrants, until then provided by the associations.
But Emmanuel Macron called also the police to be “exemplary” with migrants, not carrying out any violence or confiscation of their belongings.
Union urges SPD to further suspend family reunification for refugees. From March, refugees with limited protection status can again apply for family reunification. The Union wants to prevent this and is now putting pressure on the SPD. It is a central issue in the probe of a possible new grand coalition: but the Union wants to persuade the SPD. The family reunification for refugees is suspended until mid-March and while CDU/CSU want to extend it further, the SPD refuses it. Meanwhile, on the third day of explorations between the Union and the SPD for a new Grand Coalition government, further agreements are emerging. The negotiating partners agreed, on a law for the management of skilled labor immigration to Germany.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has used his controversial visit to the CSU National Group for a drastic description of the refugee crisis. This had become a “democracy problem” for Europe, said Orbán in front of journalists.
While CSU leader Horst Seehofer emphasized the rule of law Orbán, SPD, Greens and left criticized the visit.
Orban repeated a statement from 2015, when he described himself as the “border patrol captain” of Bavaria. “Consider me still as her border patrol captain.”
The migration issue has now become fundamental for Europe” Orban said. The European people clearly do not want to live under terrorism. The people want security and the borders to be protected.
He therefore thinks that the year 2018 will be “the year of the restoration of popular will in Europe”.
“Bavaria and Hungary have long combined respect and friendship,” added Horst Seehofer afterwards. The state of Bavaria will launch an initiative to strengthen the Central European states. “And Hungary will be part of it.”
The Trump administration has given 2,500 Nicaraguans with provisional residency 14 months to leave the United States, announcing Monday that it will not renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation that has allowed them to remain in the country for nearly two decades. But Trump officials deferred a decision for the much larger group of 57,000 Hondurans who have been living in the United States with the same designation, saying the Department of Homeland Security needed more time to consider their fate. The decision was likely to displease immigration hard-liners who have urged the administration to end the TPS program on the grounds that it was never intended to bestow long-term residency to those who may have entered the country illegally. The two groups were shielded from deportation after Hurricane Mitch hit Central America in 1998, and their TPS protections have been routinely renewed ever since.