PICUM Bulletin — 24 October 2011


  • DENMARK / Government ends plans for new border controls

    After re-establishing ad hoc border controls in July 2011, the new centre-left Danish government has decided to “effectively combat cross-border crime within the Schengen co-operation” but has decided to terminate earlier plans to build new control facilities at the country’s border. The new cabinet headed by the Social Democratic Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt has “pledged to respect the ‘common rules that apply in the EU’”. José Manuel Barraso, President of the European Commission, welcomed the new Danish government and the new initiatives it plans.
    Source: EU Observer, 4 October 2011; The Parliament.com, 4 October 2011

United Nations

  • GENERAL ASSEMBLY / President of the UN General Assembly urges end to migration myth

    The President of the UN General Assembly has urged the world to tackle and break down myths about immigration and instead the key issue was to focus on migrants’ contributions to economic development in countries of origin, transit and destination. “Since the onset of the world financial and economic crisis, migrants have increasingly become the target of racism and xenophobia,” said Mr. Al-Nasser who is appealing for a “re-balancing of the message”.
    Source: UN News Centre, 13 Octobre 2011

  • OHCHR / UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention expressed its concern to the disproportionate number of “foreign detainees or Germans of foreign origin”

    Following its first official visit to Germany, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, amongst other issues, expressed concern with regards to the high and disproportionate number of “foreign detainees or Germans of foreign origin” in German prisons. A member of the Working Group, Ms Shaheen Sardar Ali appealed to the authorities that immigration detainees be detained in facilities designated for such a purpose and should not be detained in state prisons. The cancellation of the denunciation policy for teachers and hospital authorities to report the identity of the parents of irregular children was welcomed as a positive step. The Working Group visited local authorities in Berlin, Hamburg, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart, met with civil society organisations and carried out confidential interviews with 69 detainees in various centres. The full report will be presented before the Human Rights Council in March 2012. Click here to read the preliminary observations and recommendations made by the UN Working Group.
    Source: OHCHR, 5 October 2011

European Policy Developments

  • COMMITTEE OF REGIONS / Annual dialogue focuses on irregular migrants

    At the occasion of the Third Annual Dialogue of the Committee of Regions and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) which took place on 17 October 2011 in Brussels, the focus was placed on the fundamental rights of irregular migrants. The agenda included the presentation of key findings of the FRA reports conducted on irregular migrants in Europe on the issue of access to health care and employment conditions in domestic work for irregular migrants. The Annual Dialogue also included a panel with presentations from local actors on best practices in Europe for irregular migrants to access their rights to education (Hamburg local authority), social welfare (Molenbeek Social Celfare Center) and health care. The health care presentation was made by Anne Sjörgen, from the Swedish organisations Rosengrenska, a PICUM member, which provides and advocates for health care services for undocumented migrants. The increasing focus on irregular migrants at the EU and regional level is reflected in the up-coming annual conference of the FRA which will focus on “’Dignity and rights of irregular migrants’ and will take place 21-22 November 2011 in Warsaw.
    Source: Committee of Regions

  • EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT / Call for correct terminology on undocumented migrants

    The EU Parliament, in its position on the regulation establishing the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Border, made a statement on terminology regarding irregular migration: “The European Parliament stresses that the EU institutions should endeavor to use appropriate and neutral terminology in legislative texts when addressing the issue of third country nationals whose presence on the territory of the Member States has not been authorized by the Member States authorities or is no longer authorized. In such cases, EU institutions should not refer to “illegal immigration” or “illegal migrants” but rather to “irregular immigration” or “irregular migrants”.
    Source: European Parliament, 13 September 2011

  • RESEARCH / “Europe Fighting Irregular Migration – Consequences for West African Mobility”

    The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) has published a Policy Brief on the consequences of EU migration policies and the fight against the influx of African irregular migrants. The DIIS argues that the non-entry migration policies, instead of halting irregular migration, render it more difficult and more dangerous. It argues that the differentiation between the ‘desired’ migration and the vast majority of Africans reconfigures mobility flows not only towards Europe, but also within Africa itself, making mobility easier for educated and privileged groups. The brief also examines some of the main migration routes and the transformation of the West Africa-Maghreb migration system. In its recommendations, it advises EU member states to reconsider the human and political costs of its non-entry policies with respect to border controls, detention, deportation and readmission as well as collaboration with undemocratic regimes on combating irregular migration. It highlights the need to facilitate access to legal means for migration to ensure safer migration.
    Source: Migrants at Sea, October 2011

National Developments

  • GERMANY / New campaign for a right-to-stay

    The German human and refugee rights organization Pro Asyl has started a campaign aimed at bringing a new right to stay regulation to the agenda of the Interior Ministers’ Conference of the German states on 8 and 9 December 2011. Even though there have been regulations in the past years, there are still 75.000 people without a right to stay but with a temporary halt of deportation residing in Germany for more than six years. They had been exempted from previous regulations for “absurd and inhumane reasons” like “too old, too young, too poor or too sick”, Pro Asyl criticizes. Beate Selders, from the Brandenburg Refugee Council, has put together an overview of state regulations and practices of the German states concerning the restrictions of movement for people without a right to stay in Germany. There are many exceptions to the new seemingly liberal rules concerning restrictions of movement for asylum-seekers and people with a temporary leave to remain. Freedom of movement within German territory is still not acknowledged as a fundamental human right and limiting it to sanction unwanted behavior is not a violation.
    Source: Pro Asyl Newsletter 175, October 2011

  • ITALY / 11.000 residence permits extended for six months

    Many of the 11.000 temporary residence permits issued in April 2011 under a migration agreement between Italy and Tunisia to irregular Tunisian migrants who had entered Italy between 1 January and 5 April 2011, were reaching their expiration dates but they were eventually extended for six months with a decree signed by the President of the Council. EveryOne, an international organization working on preventing violations of fundamental rights, had warned that when the residence permits expired, all these individuals would become irregular migrants and would risk being detained according to Italian law up to 18 months. Currently, they are mainly hosted by public facilities and associations. There is no official data monitoring their situation, therefore it is difficult to establish if they have found a job or if they left Italy to go to other European countries.
    Source: La Repubblica, 7 October 2011; Migrants at Sea, 10 October 2011; Migrants at Sea, 11 October 2011

  • USA / Federal Appeals Court blocks two major elements of Alabama’s anti-immigrant law and church organisation makes assistant conditional thus excluding undocumented migrants

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit blocked certain provisions of Alabama’s anti-immigrant law while the constitutionality of the law was under determination. Early October 2011, a federal district court had decided that the law could go into effect but the decision by the appeals court now suspends two of the provisions while the court considers the parties’ appeals from the decision of the lower court. The provisions that have been blocked by the court are: the provision that requires school officials to verify the immigration status of children and their parents and the provision that criminalizes failure to register with the federal government and carry documentation at all times. Other provisions remain, such as authorizing the police to detain people suspected of being in the country without authorization if they cannot produce proper documentation. Amidst reforms of immigration laws, although they claim it was not related to the political debate, the Committee on Church Cooperation (CCC), an NGO in Alabama that provides food, clothing and other assistance to those in need, had decided to stop providing support to undocumented migrants. The ICC requested that applicants seeking support presented government issued photo identification showing residence in the county, as well as a social security card for every member of the household. Following criticism was expressed by members of the CCC and members of the public, the CCC restated its policies to offer assistance solely on individuals’ physical needs not legal status.
    Source: Reuters, 14 October 2011; Left in Alabama, 14 October 2011

  • USA / Coalition of civil rights organizations file lawsuit against South Carolina’s anti-immigrant law

    A lawsuit against South Carolina’s anti-immigrant law, which is set to take effect 1 January 2012, was filed on behalf of a coalition of civil rights organizations, claiming that the legislation was unconstitutional, invited racial profiling and interfered with federal law. South Carolina’s legislation, SB 20, was closely modeled after Arizona’s anti-immigrant legislation (SB 1070) and similar to an anti-immigrant law which went into effect in the beginning of October in Alabama. Some lawmakers in South Carolina are reported to have voiced their interest in implementing parts of the Alabama law, such as the one that targets undocumented children that are attending schools in South Carolina. The Obama administration has stated that it is examining the South Carolina law to decide whether to challenge the measure.
    Source: Courthouse News Service, 14 October 2011;  Politico, 12 October 2011; 7 News, 10 October 2011

Health Care

  • DENMARK / Study looks at the challenges faced by health professionals in providing care to undocumented migrants

    Researchers at the Danish Research Centre for Migration and Queen Mary University of London published in June 2011 a study entitled “Providing medical care for undocumented migrants in Denmark: what are the challenges for health professionals?”. The study focuses on how health professionals in Denmark provide care to undocumented migrants and the barriers that they face in providing treatment. Interviews were conducted with general practitioners and emergency room physicians. Results from the study showed problems faced by general practitioners regarding the financial aspects in terms of the expenses not being covered by the patient, concerns about how to handle further referrals and uncertainty as to whether to involve the police. The study concludes that based on findings undocumented migrants experience an unequal access to primary care facilities and uncertainty among health professionals in how to respond thus highlighting the need to develop an official policy manual providing guidelines on the delivery of health care to undocumented migrants.
    Source: BMC Health Service Research, June 2011

  • UK / Top GPs urge colleagues to ‘use their discretion’ to treat migrants

    Practices should use their discretion to treat migrants who are ‘eligible but not necessarily entitled’ to free healthcare on the NHS, say top GPs. Speaking exclusively to Pulse at a Migrant Rights Network and NHS East London and the City event, Access to Universal Health Care in the Age of Migration on23 September 2011 in London, Dr Kambiz Boomla, chair of the City and East London Local Medical Committee, said that ‘If we don’t treat people with long-term conditions in primary care then further down the line they end up in A&E, which causes a lot of heartache and distress.’ He also called on GP commissioners to get to grips with the needs of their local migrant population.
    Source: Pulse, 26 September 2011

  • USA / PROJECT / New project to examine the medical safety net for undocumented patients

    The Hastings Center, a nonpartisan research institution that is dedicated to bioethics and public interest, will begin a project that explores the ethical challenges that clinicians and organizations face when providing medical care to undocumented immigrants in the United States. They are left in a vulnerable position as most have no health insurance, are ineligible for public insurance programs and are prohibited from obtaining insurance under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The project will produce a special report, a web site with resources for the public and journal articles.
    Source: Hastings Center, 11 October 2011

  • USA / STUDY / Study finds that undocumented migrants use fewer health services then perceived

    A University of California Irvine study found that undocumented immigrants in Orange County, California used fewer medical services than citizens and legal residents. The largest reason appears to be lack of health insurance. Undocumented immigrants were more likely to go to a hospital outpatient clinic and public health clinic. Findings also showed that undocumented migrants more readily went to public clinics and outpatient clinics than private doctors.
    Source: The Orange County Register, 13 October 2011

Labour and Fair Working Conditions

  • UK / David Cameron supports changes to domestic worker visa in UK, which actually saved his children’s nanny

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing for changes to the UK’s foreign domestic worker visa program, despite himself having hired a nanny who had benefited from the very same program. Under current rules in the UK, foreign domestic workers are allowed to change jobs and move to a different household without losing their work status. The proposed changes by the government would potentially end the visa for overseas domestic workers or keep it but remove the right to change employer or seek resettlement in the UK. The purpose for introduction of the visa was introduced in 1998 specifically to protect the vulnerable group who can fall pretty to abuse and enslavement. Research by Kalayaan showed a curb in abusive suffered by domestic workers comparing figures from 1996 and 2010. This comes following a public call from Cameron to all British citizens to “reclaim our [UK] borders” by denouncing people they suspect may be irregular migrants and sending them “home”.
    Source: The Independent, 16 October 2011; BBC News, 10 October 2011

  • FILM / Clip on undocumented migrant workers in Europe

    As part of its project, Making Migration Work for Development, SOLIDAR has developed a clip entitled “Through the Eyes of Migrants: Andean Agricultural Workers in Spain”. The clip follows the lives of three migrant workers coming from the Andean region and working in the agricultural sector, in the gardens of Europe. To watch the clip, click here.
    Source: Solidar, 14 October 2011

Undocumented Women

  • IRELAND / Organizations present to the Oireachtas Committee regarding protection of migrant women experiencing domestic violence

    Members of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality heard presentations from women’s and migrant organizations regarding amendments to be in included in the Immigration and Protection Bill that would protect migrant women who are experiencing domestic violence. Representatives from AkiDwA , Migrants Rights Centre and the Immigrant Council of Ireland, PICUM members, discussed how many migrant women came to Ireland as the spouse of a migrant worker noting that in such dependent visa situations, migrant women were less likely to leave an abusive relationship for fear of losing their immigration status.
    Source: Irish Times, 6 October 2011; Immigrant Council of Ireland, October 2011

  • USA / Initiative to support undocumented women with HIV highlighted

    /WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Disease), based in in Oakland, California, has developed a specific programme to provide support to Latin American Women with HIV/AIDS, many of whom are undocumented, to navigate social and medical services. WORLD’s Peer Advocate engages in outreach to migrant communities, as well as social workers and HIV clinics, supports clients in accessing the necessary medication, and operates a support group in Spanish for Latin American women to teach them about living with HIV/AIDS – the support group provides childcare and public transport fare. Many of the undocumented women they support lack the economic support necessary for adequate treatment; often missing appointments due to work commitments, or rent and food costs. Those who entered the US with the intention of making money and returning home must choose between living with the virus or returning to see children and family back home, as there is no medication, services or understanding of the disease in their country of origin.
    Source: “Q & A With Agripina Alejandres, Latina Peer Advocate, WORLD”

  • RESEARCH / Gender inequalities increase chances of refusal and destitution in asylum process

    A report by the UK-based  Asylum Support Appeals Project (ASAP) has highlighted the numerous practical barriers  facing migrant women in the asylum appeals procedure, and how these difficulties increase their chances of becoming undocumented. Investigating the low level of women appealing rejections of their asylum-application, ASAP’s research found the system was difficult and stressful for many migrant women to navigate. The main barriers included health problems, difficulties travelling to the tribunal, fear, childcare responsibilities and pregnancy, lack of childcare facilities at the tribunal, access to good quality advice and advocacy, poor understanding of the process, language barriers, and acute disengagement from the system because of trafficking. These disparities mean that women in the asylum process risk being denied protection and becoming destitute. The report includes key recommendations to the UK Border Agency and the Tribunal service.
    Source: MRN Newsletter, 12 October 2011

Undocumented Children and Their Families

  • FRANCE / Separated children again hosted in Seine-Saint-Denis, but broader reform is needed

    The General Council of Seine-Saint-Denis has announced that, from 10 October 2011, it will again take charge of newly arriving separated migrant children. One out of ten new arrivals will be hosted in the French department of Seine-Saint-Denis, while the nine others will be reallocated to other French cities and departments. The decision came following an announcement in August 2011 that Seine-Saint-Denis would no longer take charge of any new arrivals because it could no longer accommodate unaccompanied minors appropriately see PICUM Bulletins 26 September 2011 and 29 August 2011). Several French organizations campaigning for children’s rights have underlined that this decision will not change the situation of children in practice and that systemic reform is needed. The NGOs GISTI, Hors de la rue, La Voix de l’Enfant and others have called on the French ministry of Justice to fulfill its responsibilities and deal with the financial difficulties faced by the departments, such as Seine-Saint-Denis, which receive the majority of separated migrant children due to its nearby location to Roissy airport, while at the same time reiterating the responsibility of these departments to nevertheless continue to appropriately take charge of and protect children in the meantime.
    Source: France Soir, 10 October 2011 ; Hors la Rue, 7 October 2011

  • NETHERLANDS / Fund to pay financial penalties resulting from giving undocumented students internships

    The Start Foundation is giving subsidies to pay the financial penalty imposed on companies for giving an internship to a student who does not have a permit to stay and is undocumented. Although all children are obliged to go to school and undocumented children are allowed to complete school or finish the current school year in which they become 18 years old, they are denied the right to do their traineeship or internship. Doing an internship is sometimes a compulsory module to graduate and not completing this step prevents some undocumented migrants from finishing their schooling. Schools and employers who provide traineeships to undocumented students risk getting a financial penalty of 8,000 Euros. In early 2011, Minister Van Bijsterveldt had said a solution would be found but that has not yet been the case. In response, the Start Foundation has set up a subsidy called ‘Stoutfonds’ (which means ‘naughty fund’ as well as ‘bold fund’) to pay these fines. It is committed to tackle high drop-out rates and ensure a good future for these youths.
    Source: Stichting Los Newsletter, Year 1 no.17, 10 October 2011

  • UK / Organizations which reach out to undocumented young people are encouraged to apply for funding

    The Supported Options Fund aims to provide support and advice to young people (up to 30 years of age) and children in the UK who are undocumented. The fund was established by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy, with the hope that it may be able to bring about the creation of reliable means through which undocumented people may be able to seek help. Organizations which are interested in applying for the fund and are located in the UK, should apply before 15 November 2011.
    Source: The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, October 2011

  • USA / Undocumented children fear attending school in Alabama after tough immigration laws passed

    As a result of Alabama’s tough new immigration laws (see above under National Developments), which includes requiring school officials determine the immigration status of children when they enroll, the attendance of children with a Latin-American background has markedly reduced. Their absence has been lauded as a success – for alleviating overcrowding in classrooms – by some city officials, such as City Councilman Chuck Ellis of the city of Albertville, where he estimates some 150 children have left the school district, and expects as many as 500 more to leave due to their parents’ fear of being arrested and deported. Albertville’s student exodus has grabbed national headlines as one of the more visible, immediate effects of HB 56, termed the strictest state-level immigration law in the United States. A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the provision, but it still remains for the federal government to ensure that the law is permanently overturned. An Opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times has that the law violates the Supreme Court’s 1982 ruling in Plyler vs. Doe by intimidating undocumented children and parents into withdrawing from public schools, and thus denying children access to a free education because of their immigration status. School districts can lose federal funding for violating the Plyler ruling. Amidst these harshening immigration measures in Alabama, undocumented parents are taking steps to ensure their children are cared for by findings guardians should they be deported. A 2010 study carried out by the Urban Institute found that there are over four million U.S. citizen children living with at least one undocumented parent, and that many of these individuals have nobody else to care for them should their parents be deported.
    Source: Fox News Latino, 6 October 2011; Huffington Post, 4 October 2011; Los Angeles Times, 16 October 2011; Associated Press, 9 October 2011

  • USA / The state of California passes the California DREAM Act

    The California DREAM Act was signed into law on 8 October 2011 and although it does not allow a pathway to citizenship for undocumented students it does allow them to access state financial aid for college. The DREAM Act was first introduced in 2006 and repeatedly passed in the California legislature but was vetoed three times by former Governor Schwarzennegger. There are two parts of the bill package: one, which is seen as slightly more controversial, allowing grants to qualifying undocumented college students for state funded financial aid programs but only after students who are citizens or legal residents are served first. The second part of the bill, which was already signed in July, makes undocumented students eligible for privately funded non-state scholarships.
    Source: ColorLines, 11 October 2011; Latin American Herald Tribune, October 2011

Detention and Deportation

  • CYPRUS / Irregular migrant dies in police cell

    A 28-year old man from Georgia died whilst in detention at Lakatamia police detention. The man was identified as Demetris Maisuradze and had been detained since August on the basis of being an irregular migrant. MP Ionas Nicolaou has condemned the tragedy and denounced the conditions in which irregular migrants are detained as such facilities are meant for temporary short-term detention and not for long periods of time. A police spokesman rebutted the claim saying the facilities were built a year ago based on given standards of the European Council. Another man died in September 2010 in Limassol police cell.
    Source: Cyprus Mail, 18 October 2011

  • ISRAEL / Interior Ministry plans deportation of at least 150 families of foreign workers

    The Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority is drafting a plan to deport 150 families of undocumented foreign workers, apparently within a few months. An additional 240 families would be granted residency under the plan, while a third group of around 220 families who did not strictly meet residency requirements set by the cabinet would be permitted to appeal to an exceptions committee. In August 2010, after the cabinet set criteria for receiving residency status, about 700 families of foreign labor migrants – 1,027 adults and their 1,035 children – applied for permission to remain in Israel legally. They have been waiting for answers since then. In March 2011, Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced the suspension of the scheduled deportations of families with children studying in Israeli schools. At the same time, however, immigration authorities began to enforce deportation orders against families whose children were all under five years old and thus clearly did not meet the criteria for legal residence. As a result, about 50 families were deported. The families who clearly meet the criteria also face difficulties: Although they are permitted to stay in Israel while their applications are being processed, they are prohibited from working.
    Source: Haaretz, 6 October 2011

  • NETHERLANDS / Amnesty laments strict detention of failed asylum seekers

    Amnesty Netherlands has filed a note suggesting alternatives for the current system of detention, which it considers to be too strict and unfair. In 2010, the Dutch lower chamber asked for an alternative detention regime, but the Minister of Immigration, Gerd Leers, has so far not acted on this request. The alternatives include a reporting requirement or an electronic ankle band. Amnesty points to positive examples of good practices in other countries that could be implemented in the Netherlands as well.
    Source: Amnesty International, 11 October 2011

  • UK / Continued child detention and lack of appropriate monitoring on use of detention and restraint revealed

    A Freedom of Information request by the Children’s Society has revealed that in a four-month period between May and August 2011, almost 700 children were detained in the UK, despite a government pledge in May 2010 to end the immigration detention of children. The Children’s Society also found that the Home Office is not sufficiently monitoring these cases, as they are not collecting information on the length of the detention of these children or why they were detained in the first place. Concerns have also been highlighted by HM Inspector of Prisons in regards to the monitoring of those detained at port following the unannounced inspections of three Heathrow Terminals. The governments proposed alternative to detention “pre-deportation accommodation” also remains highly contested (See also PICUM Bulletins 26 September, 29 August 2011, 20 June 2011, 23 May 2011, 27 April 2011, and 28 March 2011). Another freedom of information request, by CYP Now, revealed a lack of rigorous monitoring of cases where restraint is used against children prior to deportation. The Home Office responded that there were no recorded instances of restraint before 2009, although figures released in parliament in October 2010 showed that restraint was used 13 times between March 2008 and February 2010 to get children onto return planes.
    Source: Children’s Society, 17 October 2011; The Guardian, 16 October 2011 ; The Guardian, 17 October 2011

  • UK / Irregular migrant dies on Eurostar

    A 22-year old Albanian irregular migrant whom had seen his entrance refused to the UK falls to death from Eurostar during a voluntary return back to mainland Europe. The British Transport Police (BTP) is not considering the death as suspicious although grave concerns have arisen as to security aboard if somebody can exit the train whilst it is going at high speed.
    Source: BBC News, 18 October 2011

  • USA / New documentary examines the Obama administrations controversial deportation immigration policy

    PBS Frontline in partnership with Investigative Reporting Workshop conducted a yearlong investigation in the world of America’s immigrant detention system. They visited centers in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas and talked with former detainees in several countries in North and South America about their detention, most of whom did not have lawyers. Many discussed the pressure to sign voluntary departure papers, whether they were authorized or not to live in the US or if they had a legitimate claim to stay. Sexual abuse inside the detention centers was uncovered, along with a number of individuals that were deported who never actually had been convicted of a serious crime, thus separating many families.
    Source: PBS Frontline Documentary, Lost in Detention, 18 October 2011; New America Media, 18 October 2011

  • USA / US Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports largest number of deportations in history

    Nationwide, the federal government reports that it deported 396,906 people in the last fiscal year, representing a 1% increase from deportations last year. Of those deported nationwide, nearly 55% were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors. The Obama administration drew criticism when it announced in August 2011 that it would tighten focus on deporting criminals that were undocumented and give special consideration to certain other undocumented groups, such as persons that were brought to the US as a child.
    Source: ABS-CBN news, 19 October 2011

Publications and other Resources

  • GERMANY / BOOK / “No Papers, No rights”

    Breyer Insa, associate at the Marc Bloch Centre – French-German Research Centre for Social Sciences in Berlin, has published a book entitled “Keine Papiere – keine Rechte? Die Situation irregulärer Migranten in Deutschland und Frankreich” ( “No Rights – No Papers? The situation of irregular migrants in Germany and France”). The book is based on interviews conducted by author with undocumented migrants in Germany and the France on the issue of accommodation, medical care and the contact they have with the local population. The book concludes that although the situation is different, the result is the same; irregular migrants are marginalized and excluded in both Germany and France. The author notes how this reflects how far European society is at upholding humanitarian principles and ideals on which it is built.  To find out more and buy the book, click here.

  • GERMANY / BOOK / Europe Shuts Down

    In October 2011, the two journalists Jürgen Gottschlich and Sabine am Orde published a book entitled “Europa macht dicht. Wer zahlt den Preis für unseren Wohlstand?“ (Europe shuts down. Who is paying the Price for our Wealth?). They describe the fatal relinquishing of human rights at the borders of Europe, analyze the role of the EU border agency Frontex and demand a reform of refugee and migration politics in Germany and Europe. For more information, click here.


  • GERMANY / Symposium Perspectives of a Genuine Right-to-Stay-Regulation

    The Refugee Council of Schleswig-Holstein and the Paritätische (Association of Social Movements) have issued a joint statement on the planned initiative for a new right-to-stay-regulation without reference date coming from the state government of Schleswig-Holstein. They are also organizing together with the State Commissioner for Issues concerning Refugees, Asylum and Migration a symposium in Kiel on 3 November 2011 involving government officials, refugee aid workers and representatives of all parliamentary parties.

Other News

  • USA / The media and terminology

    Following a plea from a Rebecca Aguilar, a member of Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists outlining the criminalizing and emotional impact of the use of the terms ‘illegal’, the SPJ decided on 26 September 2011 to stop using the term “illegal alien” and “illegal immigrant.” The resolution “urges journalists and style guide editors to stop the use of illegal alien and encourage continuous discussion and re-evaluation of the use of illegal immigrant in news stories.”. Timothee Lee whom had originally written about the decision of the SPJ responded to critics by justifying the changes in terminology as a reflection of terms that become socially and politically incorrect with time and societal change. He concluded by arguing that using neutral terminology is required by traditional journalistic ethics. For further information on terminology and undocumented migrants, please visit the PICUM website.
    Source: Forbes, 30 September 2011 and 3 October 2011

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