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Asylum

Biden Shuts Down US-Mexico Border

Biden signed an executive order temporarily shutting down the US-Mexico border to asylum requests once the average number of daily encounters of migrants at official ports of entry tops 2,500. The shutdown would go into effect immediately, as the average number of people coming through the border through official ports of entry is averaging around 4,000 people per day. This action comes after a bill pushed by Biden failed in Congress earlier this year, which would have jointly enacted harsh restrictions on the border and provided millions in funding to Ukraine. Congressional conservatives rejected the bill due to claims that it was not strict enough on migrants and due to conservative opposition to additional Ukraine funding.

Racist Asylum And Immigration Policy In The US And Canada

In December 2023, the United States processed a record 300,000 asylum seekers at the southern border with Mexico. This wave of desperate people from throughout the Global South has created a political crisis for the Biden administration and for cities and states around the country which were unprepared for this influx. This huge increase reveals a broken immigration policy passed down from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. The pandemic era Title 42 expelled asylum seekers under the guise of addressing a public health emergency, required them to remain in Mexico, and denied them the right to request asylum.

Under Biden, Family Separations And Other Atrocities Continue

President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump are in Texas today touring different sectors of the Southern border, a spectacle that encapsulates how central immigration is to each of their reelection campaigns. It is Biden’s approach to immigration in recent months, however, that has been a source of controversy on both sides of the aisle. Large swathes of the country do not believe his actions on immigration have been severe enough, while Democratic voters cannot seem to understand why the man who promised to usher in a more “fair, orderly, and humane” immigration system now champions the same immigration policies he once decried.

Asylum Seekers Stranded Along Border Wall Near Sasabe, Arizona

The afternoon sun cut diagonally through the 16-foot-tall concrete-reinforced steel bollards marking the international boundary between the United States and Mexico east of Sasabe, Arizona. The wall’s long shadows cast a strobe light effect on cars passing along the roughly graded road cut into the mountainside along the U.S. side of the desert.

Mutual Aid Groups, Asylum-Seekers Support Families Facing Eviction

On Saturday, Dec. 16, hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers gathered at the Fourth Universalist Society on the Upper West Side for the “Posada de Comadres.” Coordinated by a coalition of mutual-aid and immigrant-rights groups, the event featured a housing workshop, a resource fair, the distribution of winter clothing and a mobile health clinic that offered basic health services. Valentina (a pseudonym) and her family, asylum-seekers who fled Colombia, were one of the families present at the event. They are also among the 3,500 families that received an eviction notice from the city earlier in the month. Valentina is over eight months pregnant; her baby is due in the first week of January.

Congress And President Biden Should Not Trade Away Human Rights

The Senate, House, and White House are embroiled in down-to-the-wire negotiations to trade harmful changes to the asylum system and draconian immigration enforcement measures in exchange for approving a one-time defense supplemental funding package. We urge members of Congress and the White House to reject any such deal. If Congress passes the one-time defense supplemental, the money will likely run out in just a few months. But the major anti-immigrant policy changes that Congress and the White House are reportedly considering will be permanent.

Inside The Underground Network Supporting Asylum Seekers In Scotland

Every Sunday for the past six weeks, far-right protesters have been gathering in the small Scottish town of Erskine to complain about plans to house some 200 asylum seekers in a local hotel. However, they are not alone. Asylum seekers in Scotland and their local allies have also been protesting the use of these hotels, and for a much longer time. Scotland takes in thousands of asylum seekers each year: 4,000 in 2019. Normally Scotland is not the first stop for asylum seekers. The Home Office — the arm of the U.K. government that deals with immigration — processes most asylum seekers in England, and spreads people out around the U.K.

Biden’s Harshest Immigration Policy Yet Makes Impossible Demands

On Tuesday, February 21, US President Joe Biden announced a policy proposal that would largely bar migrants who passed through other countries on their way to the US from securing asylum. This “transit ban” was proposed by the Trump administration but struck down by courts multiple times. This newest policy proposal is set to go into effect on May 11, after a 30-day public comment period if it is not similarly struck down. May 11 is a significant date as it is when the Trump-era Title 42 immigration restrictions will expire, which used the COVID-19 health emergency as an excuse to allow immigrants to be swiftly expelled to Mexico.

Asylum For Sale, Profit And Protest In The Migration Industry

On the heels of last week’s North America Trilateral Summit, from which not much changed within the migratory system, today’s episode will focus on migration as a for-profit industry which has turned migrating humans into commodities. Our guest Adrienne Pine is co-editor of the book Asylum for Sale:  Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry published by PM Press in November 2020.  Here is brief description: Through essays, artworks, photographs, infographics, and illustrations, Asylum for Sale: Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry regards the global asylum regime as an industry characterized by profit-making activity: brokers who facilitate border crossings for a fee; contractors and firms that erect walls, fences, and watchtowers while lobbying governments for bigger “security” budgets; corporations running private detention centers and “managing” deportations; private lawyers charging exorbitant fees; “expert” witnesses; and NGO staff establishing careers while placing asylum seekers into new regimes of monitored vulnerability.  Humanity is not for sale, and no one is illegal.

Some Africans Can’t Get Asylum In Israel Because Persecution Is Normal

While all eyes are currently and justifiably on the incoming, monstrous Israeli government, there are a few leftovers from the previous administration that are worth mentioning. The previous Israeli government is seen by many people as a kinder, gentler and more reasonable government than the one in place right now. However, while it is true that the current government is more frightening than anything we have seen the Zionists produce until now, we would do well to look at the policies enacted by that previous government so that we refrain from the mistake of seeing any Zionist government as reasonable or favorable in any way. While the numbers of Israeli atrocities and crimes are far too many to count, from time to time we come across something that stands out. This time it is the decision by Israel’s outgoing Minister of Interior to deny asylum to a woman who, if she returns to her native Sierra Leone, will have to undergo female genital mutilation.

With The Delay Of Vacating Title 42, The Death Toll Will Only Rise

Janine Jackson interviewed the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies’ Melissa Crow about asylum policy for the January 6, 2023, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

Legalization For All Network Condemns Anti-Immigrant Supreme Court Ruling

The Legalization for All Network condemns the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on December 27 to force the government to keep the terrible Trump-era ‘Title 42’ policy in place that closed the US-México border to asylum-seekers.  Trump invoked Title 42 more than two years ago, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to close the border to asylum-seekers attempting to present themselves at the US-México border to request asylum. It is a right under international law to request asylum and have that request considered. That has not happened at the US-México border since Title 42 was imposed. Trump’s implementation of Title 42 at the US-México border has unjustly and indefinitely trapped desperate people in makeshift camps, parks and shelters on the México side of the border.

UK Health Workers Protest Plan To Deport Asylum Seekers To Rwanda

Health workers Lianna Reynolds and Sepeedeh Saleh talk about what prompted them to launch a campaign against the British government’s policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. Lianna Reynolds and Sepeedeh Saleh are British health workers who co-authored an appeal to former Home Secretary Priti Patel protesting the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. The appeal was signed by over 400 medical professionals. In this interview with Peoples Health Dispatch, they explain the reasons for this move by the government, what prompted them to send the letter, and the responsibilities of those in the sector while addressing such issues.

Asylum, Migration And US Foreign Policy

Every day the republican governors of Texas, Greg Abbott, and Florida, Ron DeSantis, eagerly announce that they are sending people generically labeled as migrants to what are known as sanctuary cities. The corporate media report that thousands of people have been convinced to board buses to New York City or Washington DC or Sacramento or Chicago or even chartered flights to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. What they don’t explain is who these migrants are and why their status is highly problematic and a function of imperialist foreign policy. Republicans rail against what are called sanctuary cities and imply that federal law doesn’t apply in these places or that undocumented people get some sort of special deal. However, the term sanctuary city doesn’t really mean very much.

New Migrant Caravan Heads To The US

On Monday, about 3,700 Central American migrants left the border state of Chiapas for the United States. According to reports from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the caravan is made up of people from countries including Venezuela, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Ecuador, Cuba, Panama, and also from Asia. Members of this new caravan reported that this mobilization is taking place after two weeks of unsuccessful waiting for a response from authorities of the National Migration Institute (NMI) for the issuance of temporary permits to travel through the territory and thus alleviate some of the institutional violence that afflicts migrants during transit. For their part, activists are denouncing the sale of migration cards at prices of almost $2,000, and sting operations involving not only the NMI, police, National Guard, and Mexican Armed Forces, but also federal agents from the United States, and Central and South America.
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