PICUM Bulletin — 9 May 2011


  • AMERICAS / Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemns clandestine graves

    On 18 April 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemned the murders of 145 individuals whose bodies were found between 6 and 14 April 2011 in clandestine graves in the municipality of San Fernando in Mexican state of Tamaulipas on the border with the USA. Concerns were raised by the IACHR on the location of the grave where 76 undocumented migrants were found in August 2010 but also with the increasing kidnappings of migrants in that area. The IACHR has called upon the Mexican authorities to take the necessary steps to determine the victims’ identity, and to investigate, prosecute, and punish the perpetrators and masterminds.
    Source: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 18 April 2011

  • ITALY / DEATH AT BORDER / Three migrants die off the coast of Pantelleria

    A boat with 192 migrants from Libya run aground off the coast of the Italian island Pantelleria on 13 April 2011. Panic on board caused the death of two women and one man, who drowned trying to reach the shore by swimming.
    Source: Fortress Europe, 14 April 2011

  • ITALY / Rescue team avoids tragedy

    A boat with 528 migrants on board arrived on 8 May 2011 in Lampedusa, Italy, and run aground when trying to enter the harbour of the Italian island. The rescue team intervened risking their lives when the people of the boat, driven by panic, started jumping in the water to reach the shore by swimming. Thanks to their intervention no one died. 22 pregnant women were transported to the hospital. Italy’s President of the Republic thanked the rescuers for their courage with a formal speech and called on the EU member states to be more united in dealing with migration crisis.
    Source: Corriere della Sera, 8 May 2011

  • ITALY / REPORT / MSF on suffering faced by North African migrants arriving in Italy

    On 2 May 2011, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) released a special report entitled ‘From North Africa to Italy: Seeking Refuge, Finding Suffering’ in which it sets the context and calls for the Italian authorities to radically and urgently improved conditions for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants arriving from North Africa to seek refuge in Europe via Italy. MSF offers concrete avenues of action to rapidly respond to the influx of migrants and ensure that they are met in dignified conditions and that their needs are met especially access to medical care and shelter and food.
    Source: Doctors Without Borders, 2 May 2011

  • LIBYA / DEATH AT BORDER / Boat carrying 600 migrants capsizes off Tripoli

    A large number of migrants, possibly several hundred, may have drowned when an overcrowded boat capsized off Tripoli on 6 May 2011. The boat is understood to have been carrying some 600 migrants heading for Europe. The incident happened soon after the boat cast off. Sixteen bodies have been recovered so far including several women and three babies. Hundreds are still missing, but no reliable account exists on the number of the people who made their way back to the beach.
    Source: Corriere della Sera, 7 May 2011


  • UNHCR / Call for better rescue measures after boat tragedy off Italy

    After the drowning of more than 200 migrants in April 2011 in the Mediterranean Sea, UNHCR is calling on the European Union to urgently put in place more reliable measures for rescues at sea. “A long-standing tradition of saving lives at sea may be at risk if it becomes an issue of contention between States as to who rescues whom. That is why we urgently need a more operational and better functioning search and rescue mechanism,” said Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Ms. Feller. UNHCR called on EU countries to consider taking steps to share the burden. UNHCR requested EU and non-EU resettlement countries to offer additional resettlement places for refugees in North Africa.
    Source: UN News Centre, 8 April 2011

  • UNHCR / Review of Belgium’s human rights obligations

    The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) provided Belgium with an overall positive report in its submission for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), but issues and questions were raised amongst others to the racist attitudes, discriminatory penal system for foreigners, political hate speeches targeting migrants and minority groups and a failure to make a distinction between documented and undocumented migrant workers. The UNHRC made recommendations to Belgian to address these concerns by taking measure linked to improve the integration and the protection of the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, allocating more funding to detention facilities and ensure legal aid to asylum seekers.  Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere acknowledged that the issue of asylum seekers had to be better addressed. For more information, view the full review here.
    Source: FlandersNews.be, 3 May 2011


  • EUROPEAN COMMISSION / Border controls in the Schengen zone

    After requests from French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for an overhaul of the no-border system in 25 countries of the EU and Norway and Switzerland, the EU Commission is examining possibilities to reinstate border controls as a measure to deal with the influx of migrants from North Africa. The Commission proposed its initiatives on 4 May 2011. The proposal will be discussed by the EU heads of state and government at a summit on 24 June 2011. The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) criticized EU reaction to the migration crisis in their recent policy paper, calling it “a shameful race to the bottom”. The human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg criticized the EU proposals for sending negative signals to the rest of the world. In an interview on May 5, he stated that if the EU continues to consider immigrants as “totally unwanted, Europe will have very little credibility to talk about human rights in international fora”.
    Source: Euractiv, 2 May 2011; The Parliament.com, 5 May 2011;  European Commission, 4 May 2011; CEPS policy paper “Race Against Solidarity”

  • EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE / Ruling against the provisions in the Italian law which make irregular immigration a crime

    On 28 April 2011, the European Court Of Justice (ECJ) ruled against the provisions of the Italian ‘Security Package’ from 2009 foreseeing imprisonment for migrants who do not comply with the order to leave the country. Under Italy’s 2009 law, migrants who enter the country irregularly and refuse to leave face a prison sentence of from one to four years, followed by an immediate expulsion. The Italian court of Trento had referred to the ECJ the case of Hassen El Dridi, an Algerian who in 2010 was ordered to leave Italy within five days because he did not have a residence permit. El Dridi ignored the court order and was given a one-year jail term which he appealed. The ECJ stated that following its ruling, judges in Trento should remove the jail terms contained in Italy’s immigration legislation as such terms go against those of European Directive 2008/115/EC on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning irregularly staying third-country nationals. Italy’s Minister of Interior Roberto Maroni said he was dissatisfied with the court ruling as it would make expulsions virtually impossible.
    Source: La Stampa, 28 April 2011

  • POLICY BRIEF / CEPS on “Labour Immigration Policy in the EU: A Renewed Agenda for Europe 2020”

    The European Union’s capacity to implement a legitimate and coherent policy on labour immigration that complies with the rights of migrants faces enormous challenges in light of the political priorities set in the EU’s 2020 Strategy and the effects of the recent revolutions and war in North Africa. This Policy Brief examines the incoherencies characterising the current generation of EU labour immigration policies and the challenges of ensuring a global rights-based approach to migration.
    Source: CEPS, 28 April 2011


  • BELGIUM / Decreasing number of undocumented workers

    The number of undocumented workers that were arrested for doing irregular work in Belgium decreased from 2,470 to 1,593 during the period from 2005-2010. The number of migrants that were placed in detention because of working in the unofficial economy also went down from 1,256 to 640 in the same period. This was announced by the outgoing Belgian Minister for Immigration Melchio Wathelet and figures were given by the Immigration Office in Belgium. The Office also declared that the costs of the detention and repatriation costs of those migrants who were deported were covered by administrative fines to 659 employers in 2009 and 545 employers in 2010.
    Source: De Morgen, 4 May 2011

  • FRANCE / The situation of Tunisian migrants in France

    French associations have denounced the authoritarian approach of the French Interior Ministry towards young Tunisians arriving from Italy and have advised checking their individual situations in order to propose voluntary return, professional training or international protection, for migrants from Libya notably. The Paris Town Council has released funds for an emergency shelter for those migrants but recent massive arrests and detention in Marseille, Nice and Paris should stop urgently as most probably these young people will be finally released in the street and cannot travel without consular documents.
    More info on: France terre d’asile and Laissez-passer

  • MEXICO / Lawmakers vote to protect undocumented migrants

    Mexican lawmakers unanimously approved a law to strengthen the protection and security of migrants, whatever their status. The text from the lower house of Congress noted that law will allow migrants to access health, education and justice services and recognizes their legal status, independently of their migratory situation. It also states that the detention period for undocumented migrants cannot exceed 36 hours.
    Source: France 24, 30 April 2011

  • UK / A refuge for denied asylum seekers causes controversy in small town

    Plans to launch a refuge for failed asylum seekers in a semi-rural town in England have caused controversy. A joint project between asylum charity Assure (Asylum Seekers’ Support and Response) and Kirkheaton Parish Church could see one of the church’s abandoned buildings used as a night centre. The two groups hope to house between two and 10 homeless refugees between 8pm and 8am over five nights a week in the church’s old school building. But the proposal has led to some residents vowing to protest against the plans. The head of the parish church said the premises were needed to prevent people sleeping on the street. Mr Steel said any residents would be picked up from Huddersfield and then taken back in the morning and would spend their days working with various churches. Failed asylum seekers are often left to fend for themselves without state support as they will not be deported if it is deemed unsafe for them to go home.
    Source: The Hudersville Daily Examiner, 3 May 2011

  • UK / Jail sentence overturned for hotelier who helped irregular migrants

    In January 2010, a raid was carried out by a team of police and officers of the UK Borders Agency in the Merrick Hotel in Castle Douglas, Scotland to check on the legal status of some of its employers. The manager, Mr. Helalul Islam, appeared at Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court and was sentenced to 16 months in jail after admitting he had provided “accommodation, food and money to non-European citizens”, during the period from June 2009 and January 2010. When the case was taken to appeal, the two judges decided that Sheriff Robb (first judge) had based his decision on an outdated judgement highlighting that “ there was a key difference between those who had committed a criminal offence and entered the country [irregularly] and those who had breached the rules by over-staying their welcome”. His defence lawyer had pleaded that his confession did not cancel the humanitarian reasoning on which his actions were based when he helped these individuals. Mr Islam had served 33 days in jail before being released.
    Source: BBC NEWS, 27 April 2011

  • USA / May Day marches across the US tie in the need for immigration reform

    Across the US, many pro-immigration reform organizations used the opportunity of May Day to draw attention to the issue of immigration and undocumented migrants’ rights. In city of Los Angeles, thousands of immigrants poured into the streets to demand that President Barack Obama fulfill his campaign promise to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants. Most of the demonstrators were immigrants from Central America and Mexico. In Chicago, Illinois, unions and pro-immigrant organizations marched to demand immigration reform and an end to deporting undocumented migrants. Under the slogan “Workers’ Struggle Beyond Borders,” the organizers sought to include all workers in the demonstration, even those that were undocumented.
    Source: AFP, 1 May 2011; Latino Fox News, 30 April 2011

  • USA / Activists protest against proposed anti-immigration bill in Florida

    Thousands traveled to the state capitol of Florida in order to protest against an immigration bill proposed by the legislature, SB 2040. Protests included students, agricultural workers and activists who wished to call on lawmakers not to approve the bill which demands that companies use the federal E-Verify worker immigration status verification program and as well includes the deportation of undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes. Organizations against the bill, such as the Florida Immigrants Coalition (FLIC) consider it to be similar to Arizona’s SB1070, aimed at criminalizing undocumented migrants. Activists have warned about the consequences that an immigration law would have for the battered Florida economy, which depends in large measure on income from tourism and agriculture, two sectors in which there is a heavy presence of immigrant workers.
    Source: AFP, 25 April 2011; Latin American Herald Tribune, 3 May 2011

  • USA / Undocumented migrants afraid to seek assistance after the damaging tornadoes

    In the US state of Alabama, tornadoes ravaged immigrant and other low-income communities leaving undocumented migrants reluctant to openly seek help out of fear of arrest and deportation. It was reported that undocumented migrants were keeping a low profile and turning to churches in their area for assistance. About 20 immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala whose homes were destroyed spent the night at the church on mattresses alongside tables piled high with donated clothes, shoes and food boxes. Many more have come to the makeshift shelter to receive hot meals, only to return quickly to their damaged homes, in part to reduce their exposure in front of local authorities overseeing search and rescue operations and police who have set up checkpoints to ward off looters.
    Source: AFP, 2 May 2011


  • USA / Proposed amendment that would ban health care to undocumented migrants is dropped

    In the US state of Vermont, Senate negotiators dropped an amendment that would ban undocumented immigrants from coverage under a new state health care program, delivering a victory to human rights activists who had rallied repeatedly to demand the change. Instead, the three senators serving on a House-Senate conference committee suggested studying the issues surrounding providing health care to an estimated 1,500 to 2,500 undocumented farmworkers in the state, as well as others in Vermont irregularly. Their House counterparts readily agreed to the proposal.
    Source: Forbes.com, 3 May 2011


  • IRELAND / VIDEO / Domestic Workers Action Group performance highlighting the experiences of domestic workers

    MRCI’s Domestic Workers Action Group (DWAG) & Rampant Productions presented a one night only performance titled “Acting Out for Hope and Change”. As noted in PICUM’s bulletin 27 April 2011, DWAG promoted a week of activities highlighting to call for improved conditions and protections for workers employed in private homes. A video of the evening was created and shows powerful and provocative dramatizations scripted and performed by members of DWAG. The production is the result of ten weeks of drama workshops between Rampant Productions and the women of DWAG.
    Source: View video; PICUM bulletin, 27 April 2010

  • EVENT / Migrant Domestic Workers from Modern Day Slavery to Equal Pay

    On 4 May 2011, SOLIDAR held an expert round table hosted by MEP Birgit Sippel (S&D) entitled “Migrant domestic workers: from modern-day slavery to equal pay”. SOLIDAR brought together important stakeholders to raise awareness on the situation of migrant domestic workers in the EU as a labour market, migration-development and gender issue. The debate addressed the challenges to improve the rights and working conditions for migrant workers in the domestic sector in Europe and highlight why EU Member States should support the ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers. Speakers at the event included PICUM members OR.C.A. (Organisation of Undocumented Workers) and RESPECT (European Network of Migrant Domestic Workers).
    Source: Solidar


  • UK / Desire to remove “illegal entrants” prevents support of trafficked women

    A Moldovan woman who was re-trafficked following deportation from the UK when she was just 18 has received damages from the Home Office the day before her trial was due to open in the high court. While British immigration officials had recognised her as a victim of trafficking and forced prostitution, they ruled that she would face no real danger if she was deported. In response to the case, former head of the Metropolitan police’s vice unit, noted the “friction” between the desire to remove “illegal entrants” to the country, and desire to interview potential victims and get them to testify against traffickers.
    Source: The Guardian, 19 May 2011

  • USA / Federal Court condemns shackling of pregnant woman during childbirth

    An undocumented women who was shackled while giving birth had her rights violated, a federal district court ruled on 27 April 2011. Despite requests from medical staff, the local sheriff’s office shackled Juana Villegas by her hands and feet when she was traveling to the hospital, while giving birth, and up to three days afterwards. The court ruled that the actions unconstitutionally interfered with her medical care, subjected her and her fetus to medical risks, and inflicted physical and mental suffering. Villegas had been stopped for a traffic infringement and went into labour shortly afterwards. The court refuted the sheriff’s view that she needed to be restrained, noting that an undocumented status does not constitute a risk to public safety. The ruling in Villegas v. Nashville Davidson County Sheriff’s Office adds to a growing body of U.S. case law which finds the restraint of pregnant women to violate the Constitution and contemporary standards of decency.
    Source: RH Reality Check, 28 April 2011


  • BELGIUM / UNHCR concerned with increasing numbers of unaccompanied children seeking asylum

    On 2 May 2011, the United National High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) and the Belgian government expressed their concern at the increasing number of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Belgium but also in terms of how young these children are. Government statistics show that in the first quarter of 2011, more accompanied children have sought asylum than in 2010 and Belgium’s Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum-Seekers (Fedasil) commented that another difference was that these new claims were made by children as young as 12 when previously the average was 16-17 years old. Figures from January and February 2011 show that almost 60% of seekers came from Afghanistan and Guinea. The reason why younger children have been claiming asylum is unknown but it is clear that the majority were already facing hardship back at home. When visiting the in the Steenokkerzeel centre, one of two Fedasil observation and orientation centres, there were around 50 unaccompanied minors including an Afghan girl who had made her way to Belgium alone and a five-year Angolan girl who had arrived with her younger brother.
    Source: UNHCR, 2 May 2011, Crónica de Aragón, 3 May 2011

  • USA / RESEARCH / New study highlights how hardships undocumented parents face due to their status have potentially lifelong consequences for their children

    “Immigrants Raising Citizens: Undocumented Parents and Their Young Children”, by Hirokazu Yoshikawa, is based on data from a three-year study of 380 infants from Dominican, Mexican, Chinese, and African American families, which included in-depth interviews, in-home child assessments, and parent surveys. The book finds that parents with an irregular migration status are raising their citizen children under stressful work and financial conditions, with the constant threat of discovery and deportation that may narrow social contacts and limit participation in public programs that might benefit their children. It provides descriptions of the everyday experiences of these parents, their very young children, and the consequences these experiences have on their children’s development, which have important implications for immigration policy, labor law enforcement, and the structure of community services for immigrant families.
    Source: Russell Sage Foundation

  • USA / Families protest immigration bills in Florida

    Hundreds of activists organized a week of protests in several Florida cities, including Miami, and state capital, Tallahassee, from 25 April 2011. The protests are calling for the rejection of measures in the state congress that would criminalize irregular migrants. Significant numbers of families and children have been among the protestors, to highlight concerns that the new laws would separate their families. The Florida House of Representatives is set to consider a measure (HB 7089) that would authorize law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people suspected of a crime, if “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person might be undocumented. A similar measure being considered in the state senate requires law enforcement to check the status of inmates and identify those eligible for deportation.
    Source: Agence France-Presse, 25 April 2011; Tampa Bay Online, 26 April 2011


  • Protests before Belgian ‘Frontex flight’

    On 27 April 2011 a group of demonstrators protested at Brussels Airport against the deportation of a group of 60 Congolese failed asylum seekers. A day after, a group of protesters were arrested at the Belgian detention centre in Steenokkerzeel as they blocked the entry gate of the facility to voice the same protest.
    Source: HLN.be, 27 April 2011 and 28 April 2011

  • BELGIUM / Families with children can again be put into detention

    The Belgian Minister for Migration, Melchior Wathelet, announced that undocumented families with children living in Belgium can again be placed into detention at the closed center 127 bis in Steenokkerzeel. Wathelet announced the construction of 34 housing units on the premises of the detention center for hosting such families. A few years ago a previous minister prohibited families being put into closed detention centres and instead provided for open facilities for repatriation. The reason behind the change in policy is the apparent disappearance of a number of families who fled the complex in order not to be expelled from Belgium.
    Source: Het Belang van Limburg, 4 May 2011

  • HUNGARY / New HHC report documents unlawful detention of children in 2010

    Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) has released a report on Hungarian immigration detention practices based on the findings of monitoring visits to “temporary” immigration jails throughout Hungary in 2010. The report, “Stuck in Jail”, found that two unaccompanied children were held in immigration detention in 2010 despite it being explicitly prohibited by the Aliens Act. Since 24 December 2010, amendments to the law have come into force, including the permission of immigration detention of minors and families for 30 days. The HHC urges that children never be detained for reasons related to their immigration status, irregular entry or stay as well as persons whose exact age cannot be assessed properly, as the current detention facilities and regimes are inappropriate for children.
    Source: Hungarian Helsinki Committee, 13 April 2011

  • ITALY / Amnesty International raises concerns over accommodation of children in Lampedusa

    Amnesty International visited the Base Loran centre on 31 March 2011. At the time the centre accommodated male children and some vulnerable adults. A number of children to whom delegates spoke complained that they had been subjected to bullying by older children; some mentioned very limited contact with family members. The children appeared to have been given no adequate information about their future, leading to fear and anxiety. Whilst Amnesty International delegates were onsite they observed an outbreak of fighting amongst a group of boys that resulted in at least one child sustaining a black eye. Although the delegation was unable to confirm the ratio of staff to children at the centre, there did not appear to be adequate supervision of children’s welfare. Amnesty International was also concerned that adults and children were accommodated together at Base Loran.
    Source: Amnesty International, 21 April 2011

  • SPAIN / Irregular migrants with children will not be deported until their children have finished their academic course

    According to approved changes in the immigration law by the Spanish government on 18 April 2011, irregular migrants with children enrolled in school in Spain may not be expelled from the country until the end of the academic year unless the other parent has legal residency in Spain and can take care of them. This amendment is based on a similar rational that sick people and pregnant women who arrive irregularly in Spain cannot be repatriated to their countries of origin if the trip is a risk to their health, pregnancy or the baby. In the reformed law, upholding European standards, detention would be limited to 60 days or until the case has been addressed and a decision has emerged.
    Source: El Día, 20 April 2011

  • UK / High Court rules detention of mother unlawful

    A High Court judge ruled immigration officials acted unlawfully in their handling of the case of a mother who was detained for almost a year and separated from her three children. The children were already in foster care as the mother, who is a Jamaican national, had served a prison sentence for drugs offences before being detained for immigration reasons. But while detained, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) decided to deport her and her three children. As she was detained, it was impossible for social workers to assess the impact of the move on their welfare or her parenting ability. In his judgment Mr Justice Blair ruled that her detention between May and September 2010 had “become unreasonable” and unlawful.
    Source: Children & Young People Now, 20 April 2011

  • USA / Children at risk in detention due to the non-compliance of immigration authorities with law

    The NGOs Appleseed and Mexico Appleseed have released a report that identifies substantial noncompliance with U.S. law and ineffective polices on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border regarding the treatment and protection of unaccompanied Mexican children who are detained after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The report, “Children at the Border: The Screening, Protection and Repatriation of Unaccompanied Mexican Minors,” shows that a 2008 federal law intended to prevent human trafficking and exploitation has not been fully implemented or complied with, allowing the rights of unaccompanied Mexican children to be routinely violated. As a result, thousands of children are needlessly being exposed to human trafficking by drug cartels and criminal gangs and being repatriated to potentially abusive and dangerous situations without having a reasonable chance to assert their rights.
    Source: PR Newswire, 27 April 2011


  • FRANCE / Practical tips for undocumented migrants

    A Guide against the closure of borders and for the regularization of undocumented migrants was published by the Collectif CASSS-paPIERs. The document contains practical tips for activists, social workers and associations which help undocumented migrants and foreigners, and advocates the opening of borders and regularization of all migrants. More info also on CASSS – paPIERs website.

  • USA / DOCUMENTARY / Film talks about the lives of undocumented student migrants

    “An Unfinished Dream” by Margarita Reyes looks at myths, realities of undocumented students and immigration laws focusing specifically at the phenomenon of AB 540 students in the USA, who are undocumented migrants who have applied and been entitled to pay in-state tuition to universities but who upon graduation are not allowed to legally work. The documentary addresses the on-going barriers they face, their fears and concerns and their plans for the future, post-graduation. The co-director explains that the aim of the documentary is “to encourage viewers to see the students on the screen as who they are, human beings, and not as some status.”
    Source: The Collegian, 3 May 2011

  • GUIDE / Migration and international human rights law

    The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) launched their Practitioners Guide No.6: Migration and International Human Rights Law. This Guide looks into the different international law provisions and texts which protect migrants and outlines basic standards to be respected on various issues including entry procedure, expulsion and detention as well as access to social rights (health care, education, labour conditions and housing).
    Source: International Commission of Jurists, 14 April 2011

  • USA / RESEARCH / Undocumented migrants in the state of Colorado pay taxes equal to the amount of services used

    In the state of Colorado, research conducted by the Bell Policy Center and the Colorado Center on Law and Policy found that undocumented immigrants in the state were a significant contributor to the state’s economy and that undocumented immigrants contributed as much in sales, property and income taxes as they cost in K-12 education and other mandated services. The research released in April 2011 largely discredits the overinflated estimates and costs that were attributed to undocumented migrants by an anti-immigrant organization in the state.
    Source: The Bell Policy Center, 22 April 2011 – information and research; The Colorado Center on Law and Policy, 22 April 2011


  • ECUADOR / Symposium on “Global Crisis and Migration Strategies: Redefining Migration Policies”

    From 18-20 May 2011, the IV Symposium of the International Network on Migration and Development (INMD) will be held in Quito, Ecuador, co-organized by FLACSO and INMD. The focus of the event will be the migration-development nexus, from various critical perspectives, but issues of legal status and rights will cut across much of the discussion.

  • GERMANY / Touring exhibition “Residenzpflicht – Invisible Borders”

    This exhibition aims to bring together different actors to develop an networking and experience sharing opportunity between civil servants, students, regional NGOs and NGOs working refugee issues to look at the ‘the invisible borders’ refugees face on a daily basis which singles them out from German citizens and reinforces their stigmatisation such restriction of movement due to the ‘duty of residence’ (‘Residenzpflicht’). Through the use of models, plans, texts, photographs and films the exhibition documents issues of inclusion and exclusion and its impact on the perception of space, but also avenues and strategies of resistance. For more for more information, please visit the exhibition’s website.

  • UK / HIV/Aids medical care for in immigration detention centres

    The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) will hold a meeting to discuss the medical care given to HIV/Aids detained immigrants in the UK. This follows from a report published by Medical Justice entitled ‘Detained and Denied: the clinical care of immigration detainees living with HIV’. The meeting will take place in London at the IRR office, on Monday, 9 May 2011 from 1pm to 2pm.
    Source: IRR


  • USA / Video game which depicts undocumented migrants trying to cross the border is rejected

    An iPhone game that allows users to drive a truck full of immigrants through what appears to be the US-Mexican border has been rejected by Apple Inc. As first reported in PICUM’s bulletin on 28 March 2011, the software developer, Owlchemy Labs, drew fire from immigrant advocate groups after it announced the game’s creation.  The game was criticized as being in poor taste because it trivialized how immigrants risked their lives under what advocates call a broken immigration system. Owlchemy Labs said the immigration game’s rejection was content-related but would not give further details.
    Source: Boston Globe, 29 April 2011; PICUM Bulletin, 28 March 2011

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