We apologize for the delay in sending out this edition of the PICUM Bulletin. We hope you will find it full of rich and useful information to support your activism and interest in the social rights of undocumented migrants in Europe. We invite you to share this Bulletin widely with colleagues, partners and friends who you believe would be interested in supporting the mission and work of PICUM.
As always, we look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions. Thank you!
The PICUM Team
- UNITED NATIONS
- EUROPEAN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
- NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
- HEALTH CARE
- LABOUR AND FAIR WORKING CONDITIONS
- UNDOCUMENTED WOMEN
- UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
- DETENTION AND DEPORTATION
- PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES
- OTHER NEWS
- CRIMINALISATION OF UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS AND THEIR ADVOCATES
FRANCE / Suspension of rail traffic between France and Italy
Italy has decided to give a six-month residence permit to over 20,000 Tunisian migrants who arrived in Italy prior to 5 April 2011. According to the European Commission, undocumented migrants may be granted a so-called ‘Aliens travel document’ by Italian authorities and as long as the governments of other EU countries recognise the validity of such documents migrants may be able to freely circulate in the Schengen area. The Aliens travel document replaces a migrant’s missing passport and is foreseen by art. 5 of Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 ‘Schengen Borders Code’. In response to this decision by the Italian government, the French Interior Minister Claude Guéant explained in Milan on 18 April 2011 that his country correctly applied a clause of the Schengen agreement, as agreed by the EC, allowing France to temporarily suspend rail traffic with Italy for “public order reasons”. The decision to suspend rail traffic between Vintimille and Menton was meant to prevent a train of 200 human rights activists to travel to Nice and to manage the influx of Tunisian migrants. The aim is to ensure that migrants have enough financial resources to stay in France and then go back to their country. In case they do not justify enough resources, they are sent them back to Italy, their first EU country of arrival.
Source: Rai, 15 April 2011; Le Monde, 18 April 2011
ITALY / Protests in Lampedusa in response to first repatriations
Following the Italy-Tunisia agreement of 5 April 2011, the first 60 Tunisians were repatriated to Tunisia on 11 April 2011. Protests against such repatriations exploded on Lampedusa Island, where the reception centre was set on fire. Attempts to escape from being repatriated were vain. Meanwhile, 680 irregular migrants reached the coast of Lampedusa during the night of the 10 April 2011, among them, also Eritreans and Somalians fleeing from Libya.
Source: Repubblica, 11 April 2011
ITALY / DEATH AT BORDER / 65 Eritreans died off the coast of Tripoli and survivors accuse NATO
Of the 72 migrants who departed from Tripoli, Libya on 25 March 2011 and directed themselves to Lampedusa, only seven survived the shipwreck; 65 died, among them women and children. Most of them were from Eritrea. The seven survivors said that they were abandoned at sea for weeks while military ships, including from NATO, failed to offer assistance.
Source: Fortress Europe, 13 April 2011
OHCHR / Statement on the situation of migrant workers and members of their families in Libya
The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, acting under its mandate to monitor the implementation of the Convention, released a statement expressing its alarm by the armed conflict and by the violent response to the popular uprising in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya since February 2011. The Committee stated that it is deeply concerned about the recurrence of violations of the right to life, acts of violence, including sexual violence, as well as acts of discrimination and arbitrary detentions victimizing migrant workers and members of their families in Libya, in particular migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: OHCHR, 8 April 2011
UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES / UNHCR concerned by increasing drowning accidents in Gulf of Ade
UNHCR concerned by increasing drowning accidents in Gulf of AdenRefugee drownings in the Gulf of Aden this week have raised the UN refugee agency’s concerns over the inhumane practices of smugglers and called into question the longstanding tradition of rescue at sea. Two separate incidents in the Gulf of Aden have left 16 people dead and five missing. Most of the casualties were Somalis who had escaped violence and human rights abuses back home. UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic said that “UNHCR is alarmed by a growing number of deaths in the Gulf of Aden this year,” noting that 89 people are known to have drowned in January and February alone – nearly six times the number (15) during the whole of 2010. “We also note with the great concern the resurgence of violence and inhumane treatment by smugglers of the refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants that they are transporting. The deadly record for the first three months is a stark manifestation of this trend.”
Source: UNHCR, 15 April 2011
EUROPEAN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
EUROPEAN COMMISSION / Forthcoming New European Agenda on the Integration of Migrants
The European Commission is preparing a Communication for a New European Agenda on Integration due to be published at the end of May 2011. The purpose of this Agenda is to supplement the Stockholm Programme of 2009, which focuses predominantly on tackling terrorism, organised crime and irregular immigration, with a chapter on integration. PICUM has contributed to a civil society joint submission to the drafting of the Agenda.
Source: Intercultural Europe, April 2011
COUNCIL OF EUROPE / Convention establishes legal framework to protect women from violence, regardless of their status.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted of a landmark new Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence on 7 April 2011. This Convention is the first legally binding instrument in the world creating a comprehensive legal framework to prevent violence, to protect victims and to end with the impunity of perpetrators. Article 4 of the Convention affirms its provisions apply to all women regardless of migrant status and Article 59 on “Residence Status” addresses the situation of those on a spouse dependent visas and the issuance of renewable residence permits to victims. The official guidance note makes specific reference to undocumented migrant women, highlighting that while they have a different legal status to asylum seekers, they share an increased risk of experiencing violence against women and face similar difficulties and structural barriers in overcoming violence. The also foresees the establishment of an international group of independent experts to monitor its implementation at national level.Source: To view press-release and access all background documents visit Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE).
Source: Council of Europe, 7 April 2011
COUNCIL OF EUROPE / REPORT / Child protection key issue at Council of Europe seminar on the human rights dimensions of migration in Europe
The Council of Europe (CE) has released the report of its seminar on the Human Rights Dimensions of Migration in Europe which took place in Istanbul, Turkey on 17-18 February 2011. The seminar highlighted that the protection of all migrants is one of the key concerns and challenges faced by CE member states. The second session of the seminar focused on unaccompanied migrants and related human rights standards. In the conclusions of the General Rapporteur, Professor Theodora Kostakopoulou explained that from the seminar it was clear that child protection take priority over migration control policies and he noted the strong support given to the notion that unaccompanied migrants should be treated “first and foremost as children ; the need to make the best interests of the child the primary consideration…thereby forbidding detention; providing opportunities for the children to be heard and their views to be taken seriously in all relevant procedures; according the benefit of the doubt if there exists uncertainty about their age.”
Source: Council of Europe, 14 April 2011
COUNCIL OF EUROPE / Hammarberg: Europe must make migration policies more humane
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, in presenting the conclusions of the seminar on the human rights dimensions of migration in Europe organised in Istanbul in February on 14 April, said that as illustrated by the current crisis in North Africa, Europe needs to establish more humane migration management and improve the treatment reserved for migrants. The European Union and the Council of Europe should co-operate more closely on this, ensuring that any EU policy abides fully by human rights standards.
Source: NCDAC, News 14 April 2011
EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE / Four different Italian courts ask whether imposing penalties on irregular migrants is compatible with EU “Return Directive”
Under tough legislation to combat unlawful stay in Italy, an irregular migrant may face up to four years’ imprisonment if s/he fails to comply with orders to leave the country within five days of notification. In four different cases, four courts have each made a reference for a preliminary ruling to the European Court of Justice to ask whether imposing penalties, including imprisonment, on irregular migrants is compatible with Directive 2008/115/EC.
Source: Migration News Sheet, April 2011
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT / PICUM NEWS / Hearing on labour migration and NGO statement on seasonal workers
On 20 April, 2011 The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) held a public hearing entitled “Legal migration after Lisbon: seasonal workers and intra-corporate transferees” where PICUM and Solidar presented the joint NGO statement on the European Commission draft directive on “conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment.” The question of undocumented seasonal workers present in European member states was raised on many occasions during the hearing and various participants supported the idea of introducing provisions that would allow for all third country nationals present in the EU who do not have access to the formal labour market, including undocumented migrants, to be included in the directive.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AGENCY / The situation of irregular migrants in Greece
On 8 March 2011? the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU (FRA) published its thematic situation report “Coping with fundamental rights emergency: the situation of persons crossing the Greek land border in an irregular manner” where the agency strongly criticises the Greek government’s response to address the conditions in detention centres despite the availability of EU funds. Access the report, here.
Sources: MPG, Migration News Sheet, April 2011
FRANCE / New restrictive measures adopted by the Senate with the French Law on immigration
The French Senate finalized its second reading of the draft Law on immigration on 14 April 2011. The Senate finally accepted to prolong to four days (instead of 2 currently) the duration of retention for foreigners on simple administrative decision. They also reversed their position on seriously ill migrants, opting for a new more restrictive formulation conditioning the residence permit for medical reasons to “the absence of treatment in the origin country”. Other measures such as extending retention period, creating a new interdiction of returning on the French territory or creating special waiting zones were also adopted.
Source: La Cimade, 14 April 2011
FRANCE / French Supreme Court of Appeals confirms that police may not carry out identity checks on persons unless there is suspicion of a threat to public policy
On 23 February 2011, the Supreme Court of Appeals confirmed that carrying out identity checks near the border on persons purely because of their physiognomy (in the belief that they are foreigners) is unlawful. The Court ruled that identity checks that are carried out “regardless of the behaviour of the person (concerned)” within a band of 20 kilometres from the border are not compatible with EU law. Beyond this band and everywhere in France, the police may only carry out identity checks on people if there are grounds to suspect that they pose a threat to public policy.
Source: Migration News Sheet, April 2011
SPAIN / More than 80 organizations reject draft regulations of Immigration Law
More than 80 organizations across the country have signed the manifesto drawn up by the Network “The Right to Have Rights” in response to the draft regulations of the Immigration Law. The organizations which are part of the network claim to want to implement an immediate legalization process for immigrants who are undocumented. They also complain that the law is not developing to include an extension of the rights of the migrant population nor limits the discretion of the Administration in applying legal concepts. Spokesperson for SOS Racism, the Federation of Associations of Immigrants and Refugees (FERINE), the Centre for Defence and Human Rights Studies (CEDEHU) and the Regional Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Madrid (FRAVM) will make a speech to the media.
Source: Regional Federation of Neighborhood Associations of Madrid, 14 April 2011
USA / US Circuit Court of Appeals that the state of Arizona may not enforce key parts of immigration law
In a victory for the Obama administration, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that key sections of Arizona’s immigration law are preempted by federal law and may not be enforced. The three-judge panel said the key sections undercut a national scheme enacted by Congress and would complicate the conduct of US foreign policy. The court also said the finding on preemption was warranted by the threat of 50 states layering their own immigration enforcement rules on top of federal immigration statutes. Under the Constitution, federal law is the supreme law of the land. When a federal law clashes with a State law, it is up to the courts to decide whether the state law is preempted by the federal law. It is expected that the state of Arizona will appeal to the US Supreme Court with a possible oral argument to then take place in 2012. A number of civil society organizations also celebrated the ruling, for example, 91 women’s rights organizations joined an amicus brief expressing concern that undocumented migrant women who are victims of abuse would be at risk of detention by Arizona authorities for reporting abuse and seeking assistance from federally authorized programs, if the Arizona law were permitted to stand.
Source: Christian Science Monitor, 11 April 2011; National Association of Social Workers (NASW), 11 April 2011
USA / Arizona-style immigration bill passes in the state of Georgia but fails in the state of Indiana
In the state of Georgia, the governor is expected to sign a tough immigration law which will, despite the threats of boycotts and lawsuits against the legislation, amongst other things, allow law enforcement officers to ask about immigration status when questioning suspects in certain criminal investigations. It will also punish people who transport undocumented immigrants during the commission of a crime and imposes high prison sentences on those who use fake documents to get jobs. In the state of Indiana, a bill will be voted on in the legislature which does not include the requirement for police to enforce immigration policy. The provision was purposefully removed in the House committee before sending it to the full legislature. As it stands now, the legislation focuses more on employers.
Source: The New York Times, 14 April 2011; CNN, 15 April 2011; Indystar, 15 April 2011
CYPRUS / PICUM NEWS / PICUM speaks out about access to health care for undocumented migrants in Cyprus
PICUM member, KISA, held a conference in Nicosia on 15 April to release the HUMA report, “Access to heath care and living conditions of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Cyprus”. The report, which also focuses on Malta, Poland and Romania, presents access to care in legislative terms as well the results of a survey conducted with both asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. PICUM was on a panel along with a representative from HUMA, the Ombudsman, and the President of the Ethics Committee of the Pancyprian Medical Association. The issues discussed were the dilemmas faced by medical personnel in providing care, the impact on society and the importance of providing care. As well, PICUM Program Officer, Devin Cahill, was interviewed by PressTV in regards to the work of PICUM and access to care for undocumented migrants.
Source: Press TV, 16 April 2011
ITALY / Special team of doctors in Lampedusa to take care of migrants’ health
The team of the INMP (National Institute for the Promotion of Migrant Populations’ Health and for the Fight against Diseases Related to Poverty) has been set up to take special care of undocumented migrants arriving in Lampedusa, Italy. The team started its work on the island on 10 April 2011 and its mission will last two months and also aims to guarantee the right to health of the whole population. The team is composed of 23 members, including a gynaecologist, a paediatrician, a specialist on migration diseases, and a psychologist. They are assisted by intercultural mediators speaking languages spoken by the migrants, other than English and French.
Source: Repubblica, 19 April 2011
ITALY / PUBLICATION / Access to health for undocumented migrants in Milan
PICUM Member NAGA (Associazione Volontaria di Assistenza Socio-Sanitaria e per i Diritti di Cittadini Stranieri, Rom e Sinti, Volunteers Association of Social and Medical Support for Undocumente Migrants, Roma and Sinti) has published a study on the level of implementation of the national law on access to health care for undocumented migrants in Milan. The study, entitled “La Doppia Malattia” (The Double Illness) highlights that undocumented migrants who are sick are also victims of discrimination that makes it more difficult for them to get treated. According to the findings, undocumented migrants still face many obstacles when trying to access health care and Pietro Massarotto, Chair of NAGA, believes this is due to the lack of political will of national and local administrations. Dowload the study here (only in Italian).
NETHERLANDS / PUBLICATION / Study on undocumented migrants’ knowledge of access to health care while detained
A new study released in the BMC Public health journal focuses on knowledge about access to health care in the Netherlands of undocumented migrants who have been incarcerated in a detention centre while awaiting expulsion to their country of origin. The study underlines the need for a better education of undocumented patients and providers concerning opportunities for health care in the Netherlands. Moreover, there is a need to further clarify the reasons for denying care to undocumented patients, as well as the barriers to health care as perceived by undocumented migrants.
Source: BMC Public Health, 2011
USA / American College of Physicians call for greater access to care for undocumented migrants
During its annual meeting, the American College of Physicians (ACP) released a policy paper that discusses the challenges immigrants face in obtaining health care services and the need for US policy to respond to those needs. They stated that both documented and undocumented migrants face many barriers in accessing needed health care and that they are more likely to lack health insurance as compared to U.S. citizens; they may lack the funds necessary to pay for health care services without insurance; and, they may face the additional barrier of being fearful that seeking medical attention may lead them to be reported to authorities. Among its policy recommendations, they note that physicians and other health care professionals have an ethical and professional obligation to care for the sick and that immigration policy should not interfere with the ethical obligation to provide care for all.
Source: American College of Physicians, 7 April 2011
LABOUR AND FAIR WORKING CONDITIONS
IRELAND / End of April marks the “Domestic Workers Action Week”
The Domestic Workers Action Group is using the end of April 2011 as an action week to call for improved conditions and protections for workers employed in private homes. Events will be focused on encouraging further government support for the ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers to take place in June 2011, protections for domestic workers employed by diplomats and on the ‘Criminalisation of Forced Labour in Ireland’. Further details of activities are available on the MRCI website.
Source: MRCI, Domestic Workers Action Group, April 2011
ISRAEL / High Court halts automatic deportation for pregnant migrant workers
The Israeli High Court has ruled that the country’s “pregnant worker regulation” policy is unconstitutional, and must be abolished. The regulation entails deporting female migrant workers once they have given birth and only allowing their re-entry only if they leave their child behind. The move followed a petition filed to the court by a coalition of Israeli NGOs in 2005 which includes PICUM member, Kav LaOved. In order to discourage migrant workers from overstaying, Israel’s Interior Ministry introduced harsh procedures in 2005 to disallow any form of family reunification or procreation by migrant workers. Currently migrant workers cannot enter Israel if any immediate relatives are already working there, and work permits are cancelled in cases of child birth, marriage and intimate relationships.
Source: The Jerusalem Post, 14 April 2011; Migrants Rights, 17 April 2011
USA / Push to reintroduce free pre-natal care for undocumented women in Nebraska
Nebraska is currently considering a bill to reinstate Medicaid prenatal coverage for all “pre-citizens”, regardless of the legal status of their mothers (see PICUM newsletter December 2009). Approximately half of the women dropped from the program are undocumented despite the fact that their babies will automatically qualify for Medicaid health services upon delivery. However, a similar bill failed in 2010 due to the lack of support and increased pressure by anti-immigration groups. Many groups are divided on the issue of providing care to undocumented pregnant women in Nebraska and some low-income women are reportedly opting for abortions rather than go through pregnancy and birth without any prenatal care.
Source: Mother Jones, 30 March 2011
USA / Immigration controls deter victims of domestic violence from reporting their abuse
Immigration controls deter victims of domestic violence from reporting their abuse The increased link between immigration and law enforcement personnel in the US has come under strong criticism from organisations working with undocumented women and children. Organisations working with undocumented victims of domestic violence have noted an increasing fear among their clientele to contact police or appear in court during prosecution of perpetrator; many are enduring violence in silence to prevent deportation and separation from their children and families. The NGO Enlace Communitario in New Mexico have produced a short video entitled “Broken Trust” in which victims of domestic violence are interviewed about their feelings calling the police knowing that law enforcement is partnering now with ICE.
UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
NETHERLANDS / Too Westernised to be sent back
A fourteen year old girl who was judged to be too “Westernised” to be sent back to Afghanistan has been granted a residence permit by Dutch authorities. Sahar Hibrahim Ghel and her family previously failed to obtain a permanent residence permit in the Netherlands, but in a unique subsequent court case a judge ruled that because she had essentially become accustomed to life in the Netherlands she would not be able to re-integrate into Afghan society and could therefore not be evicted. According to the Dutch Minister of Immigration there are around 400 girls in a similar situation, of which 100 are currently in a procedure to obtain a residence permit and about half of those could be granted a permit on the same legal basis.
Source: Trouw, 8 April 2011
USA / Maryland passes its ‘Dream Act’
Maryland becomes the twelfth state to pass a law – the Dream Act- granting undocumented immigrant students the right to pay in-state tuition at the state’s four-year colleges. Access to college is not yet obstacle free, strict requirements still remain for undocumented migrants such ‘graduating from a Maryland high school, completing 60 credits at a Maryland community college and proving they and their parents paid income taxes for the prior three years’. However, the law “means the difference between $8,416 in tuition that state residents pay and $24,831 that out-of-state students must pay”. This is good news particularly considering that undocumented immigrant students are not permitted to receive federal financial aid, grants or loans.
Source: Colorlines, 12 April 2011
DETENTION AND DEPORTATION
SPAIN / Criticism that the Center for Foreigners in Murcia looks like a prison
The Center for Foreigners (CIE) of Murcia needs revision. This is what emerged from the last report by the Ombudsman office, María Luisa Cava, presented to the Congress of Deputies and criticizing some of the shortcomings of these facilities that receive, among other, immigrants arriving in small boats to the coastal region. She explained that although the facility meets the parameters, it “resembles excessively prison facilities”. As main conclusions, Cava highlights the need to extend surveillance to all agencies “to ensure the rights of inmates and officers”. She also requested that migrants have free access to the cells and toilets, and can make use of the latter at night without having to notify the escrow agent.
Source: La Verdad de Murcia, 12 April 2011
SPAIN / A judge reminds the Government that the expulsion of immigrants “is not a law of the State”, but an provision which can be implemented in varied ways
A judge in Madrid has issued a ruling in which it reminds the Government that the expulsion of immigrants “is not a fundamental right of the State but a measure adopted legislatively and that may well vary in its regulation”. The ruling responds to a request from the Foreign Police Brigade filed on 18 March 2011 for the detention and expulsion of a young migrant, Jabrán S., who could not prove he had a legal right to reside in Spain. The judge said too often the authorities directly see detention as the only measure ignoring the specificity of each case as well as other legal measures available such as confiscation of passport and regular contact with police authorities. Jabrán has been released and granted residency under the programme ‘Messengers of the Peace’ having been able to prove his 6-year residency having arrived in Spain as an unaccompanied minor.
Source: Europa Press, 23 March 2011
UK / Children detained in “degrading” conditions at Heathrow Airport
Children are still being held overnight in “degrading” and “wholly unsuitable” conditions at London’s Heathrow Airport, a watchdog has warned. The airport independent monitoring board (IMB) found that the airport’s detention rooms had poor ventilation, no natural light and inadequate washing facilities. In 2010, more than 15,000 people, many of them children, were detained by immigration staff at the airport, according to the report. Furthermore, the watchdog has denounced the lack of progress over the year since the conditions were highlighted in their previous report. “The UK Border Agency has again failed in its duty to treat everyone in its care in Heathrow holding rooms with decency,” the report said. “In our last report we drew attention to the wholly unsuitable conditions in which men, women and children were held. There has been no change: they are still held in these conditions and still for too long. Lack of change is unacceptable on grounds of humanity.”
Source: BBC News, 18 April 2011
USA / PUBLICATION / Economics of deportation vs. regularization in Arizona
The Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) have released a report entitled ‘A Rising Tide or a Shrinking Pie: The Economic Impact of Legalization Versus Deportation in Arizona’. The joint CAP and IPC analysis reveals that deporting large numbers of undocumented migrants in Arizona would lead to a large decrease in total employment for immigrants and native-born workers alike would contract the state’s economy and would result in a significant loss of tax revenue. Conversely, a legalization program—requiring all undocumented immigrants to register, undergo background checks, pay taxes, and learn English—would create jobs, increase employment, and boost tax revenues.
Source: Centre for American Progress, 24 March 2011
PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES
CANADA / PAPER / “Institutionalizing precarious migratory status in Canada”
This paper by Luin Goldring presents an analysis of the institutionalized production of precarious immigration status in Canada. It builds on recent work on the legal production of irregularity and non-dichotomous approaches to immigrant legal status. Canadian immigration policy allows for various categories of permanent and temporary immigrants, refugees and visitors. Once in Canada, people may shift from relatively secure but largely temporary statuses to less secure statuses.
FRANCE / Report on undocumented migrants in France
The report entitled “La Geste des Irréguliers, sans papiers sur les routes de France” (The Gesture of Irregulars; Undocumented Migrants on the Roads of France) tells the story of a group of irregular migrants which crossed France in May 2010 to demand the regularisation of all undocumented migrants. The book can be found in hard copy only and is published by Editions Rue des cascades.
Source: Ministère de la régularisation de tous les sans-papiers, 5 April 2011
POLAND / “International Protection of Migrant Workers` Rights. Origins, Institutions and Impact”
A book by Bogumil Terminski entitled “International Protection of Migrant Workers` Rights. Origins, Institutions and Impact” has been released. The aim of this work is to present the question of protection of migrant workers as an increasingly significant sphere of human rights protection. Its task is to provide expert knowledge on the legal protection of migrant workers against the background of universal and regional regulations and also, within a selected field, the internal policies of certain states. It also introduces knowledge about practical action taken in the interests of migrants in the aforementioned context. The author devotes much attention to the origins, ratification and frameworks of implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families already ratified by 44 states.
UK / New IPPR Report on irregular migration
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has released a new report titled, “No Easy Options”, funded by the UK Foreign Office which highlights irregular migration and how the government should be responding with policy. The report asks not if irregular immigration should be reduced, but how. It is based on 213 interviews with current or former irregular immigrants from 15 countries, including those who have returned to their countries of origin. The study demands tougher action on those blatantly flouting immigration law, but leniency for “low-risk” individuals who could contribute to the UK or whose children were born in the UK, as well as “special treatment” for immigrants who are effectively stateless because their home country will not allow them to return. As noted by Migrant’s Rights Network (MRN) the report’s recommendations are broadly in line with the direction of current government policy rather than presenting any immediate challenge to current thinking. This is reinforced by the language used in this report about irregular migration (frequent reference to ‘harm’ and the shorthand reference to ‘irregulars’ in particular) as well as the fundamental framing of the issue as a law and order matter which government can and should seek to control in the long-term.
Source: Migrant’s Rights Network, 20 April 2011; The Guardian, 20 April 2011
BELGIUM / Steenrock Festival on 7 May 2011 in front of the retention centre 127 bis of Steenokerzeel.
The second edition of the « SteenRock » Festival will take place on 7 May 2011 in front of the 127 bis detention center. Last year 300 persons gathered under the slogan “Make music, not retention centres” at the concert organized by the CRER (Coordination contre les Rafles et les Expulsions et pour la Regularisation).
CZECH REPUBLIC / Conference on regularisation
The conference “Regularization as one of the tools in the fight against irregular migration” took place on 12 April 2011 in Prague and summarized the work from the last two years of three Czech NGOs dealing with the rights of foreigners (legal counselling, surveys, study of relevant legislation, lobbying for rights of immigrants in the Parliament), namely the Association for Integration and Migration, the Organization for Aid to Refugees and the Multicultural Centre Prague. The key topic of the conference coincided with one of the main goals of the project – promotion of regularization in the Czech Republic.
FRANCE / Conference in Paris on freedom of movement
The French NGO and a member of PICUM, GISTI, organised an evening conference following the publication of a report in January 2011 entitled “Freedom of movement: a right, which policies?” Gathering experts from NGOs, international organizations, as well as researchers and artists, the conference took place on 26 April 2011 in Paris, France.
CRIMINALISATION OF UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS AND THEIR ADVOCATES
USA / Interactive website shows a timeline of immigrant criminalization in the US
The interactive website ‘Deportation Nation: A Timeline of Immigrant Criminalization’, has created a timeline starting in 1783 which shows the number of legislative measures and actions throughout the history of the US which have effected immigration.
Source: Deportation Nation
USA / Research from local law enforcement shows reluctance on solely arresting persons because of their immigration status
As many state legislatures consider laws to expand the role of local police departments in immigration control, police chiefs across the country say they are reluctant to take on these tasks and want clear lines drawn between local crime-fighting and federal immigration enforcement, according to a new report by the Police Executive Research Forum. Dozens of police department commanders who participated in the report recommended that local officers should be explicitly prohibited from arresting people solely because of their immigration status, and should have orders to protect victims and witnesses regardless of that status. The report cites worries among police chiefs that if they are pulled into immigration enforcement, a job that was limited until recently to federal agents, their ties to immigrant communities will be eroded, with the result that crimes would not be reported and witnesses would be afraid to cooperate in investigations.
Source: The New York Times, 3 March 2011; Police Executive Research Forum