Migration

The politicisation of English language proficiency, not poor English itself, creates barriers

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The Australian government is considering yet another English language test for migrants. Ingrid Piller The Conversation The rationale for the proposal is the prospect “Australia will be home to one million people who do not speak English well or at all by 2021”, as Human Services Minister Alan Tudge claimed. In particular, he suggests today’s migrants are less likely to know English than their counterparts in previous generations. His concern is this development suggests a looming crisis of social fragmentation ... Read More »

The sound of children crying for their parents at the border

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(CNN)“I don’t want them to stop my father,” a child whispers in Spanish. “I don’t want them to deport him.” Emanuella Grinberg and Jamiel Lynch, CNN So begins an excruciating audio clip of children howling for their parents after being separated from them at the US-Mexico border. The audio was published Monday by the investigative nonprofit ProPublica. It adds a visceral element to the coverage of a controversial Trump administration policy of taking undocumented immigrant children from their families and putting them in government ... Read More »

Record 68.5 million people displaced worldwide: UN

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A record 68.5 million people have been forced flee their homes due to war, violence and persecution, notably in places like Myanmar and Syria, the UN said on June 19. GENEVA – Agence France Presse Hurriyet By the end of 2017, the number was nearly three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50-percent increase from the 42.7 million uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by the UN refugee agency. The current figure ... Read More »

Community Sector Protests Cuts to Asylum Seeker Support Payments

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Community sector leaders have gathered in Canberra to protest cuts to asylum seeker support payments, as a new report reveals that government policy is driving people seeking asylum into destitution. Luke Michael ProBono Leaders from 10 national NGOs, along with a delegation of asylum seekers and community members, gathered at Parliament House on Monday to urge the federal government to stop cuts to the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS). This service provides asylum seekers with a basic safety net of ... Read More »

#AllWomenCount: art and culture at the forefront of World Refugee Day

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The number of forced migrants is now at an all-time global high – and a majority of these are women and children. Images of refugee women are a familiar sight in press coverage of the variously defined “refugee” or “migrant crisis”. Anna Ball The Conversation These are portrayals of victims – their eyes downcast, arms clutching a young child in tearful desperation as they teeter aboard an inflatable craft. Yet these images do not represent the richly complex identities of ... Read More »

Massachusetts’ governor says family separations are “inhumane” and rescinds National Guard offer

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Amidst a wave of prominent Republican figures who have come out against the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy of separating the children of undocumented immigrants from their… Annabelle Timsit QUARTZ The Republican governor announced Monday (June 18) that, in light of the family separations, he is revoking his earlier pledge to send two National Guard military analysts and a helicopter to the… “Governor Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border today because the federal ... Read More »

Trump migrant separation policy: Children ‘in cages’ in Texas

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Reporters and Democratic lawmakers have been allowed inside a detention centre that lies at the heart of a growing storm over a… BBC Authorities did not allow photos or videos to be taken inside the centre, but US Customs and Border Protection later released several images. Former First Lady Laura Bush has compared it to the internment camps used for Japanese-Americans during World War Two. A Democratic congressman who visited the site said it was “nothing short of a prison”. ... Read More »

How Italy plans to blow up Brussels

epa06779959 Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini attends the Republic Day celebrations (Festa della Repubblica) in Rome, Italy, 02 June 2018. The anniversary marks the founding of the Italian Republic in 1946.  EPA-EFE/GIUSEPPE LAMI

The Italian government wants changes on migration — but its new allies favor very different approaches. Jacopo Barigazzi Politico An Italian butterfly is about to cause a hurricane in Brussels. When EU leaders gather in the European capital later this month, the reality of the right-wing populist government’s stance on key issues such as migration and the eurozone will finally hit… The major European powers have become used to containment maneuvers for the EU’s awkward squad on its periphery — such ... Read More »

Rescued migrant ship arrives in Spain

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Valencia:  An Italian coast guard ship has arrived in the Spanish port of Valencia, carrying migrants rescued by the Aquarius charity-run vessel, which Rome refused to allow to dock a week ago. Reuters The Age The coast guard ship is one of two Italian vessels that took on some of the Aquarius’s 629 passengers before escorting it to Spain, at the invitation of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. The ship’s arrival ends the migrants’ gruelling nine days at sea but leaves ... Read More »

Obama Homeland Security Secretary: Trump immigration policy ‘unsustainable’

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Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson criticized the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy on Saturday, calling the practice “unsustainable.” John Bowden The Hill Johnson told CNN that the Trump administration was attempting to “send a shock to the system” by separating thousands of migrant families in order to drive down the number of overall immigrants attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally — a practice, he said, that cannot withstand the… “This is obviously a deliberate effort, short-term, to try to ... Read More »

Italy, France call for refugee processing centres in Africa

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Giuseppe Conte hosted by Emmanuel Macron amid bid to bury hatchet following diplomatic row over rejected refugee ship. Al-Jazeera The leaders of Italy and France have urged the European Union to set up asylum processing centres in Africa to prevent refugees and migrants from undertaking the journey across the Mediterranean. French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s new populist Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte met in Paris on Friday in a bid to bury the hatchet after a bitter diplomatic squabble erupted this week over Rome’s ... Read More »

SA’s ethnic schools to expand under languages initiative

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South Australia’s ethnic schools network will be expanded to allow more students to study secondary language into Year 12 as part of a suite of measures announced by the… Stephanie Richards InDaily Education Minister John Gardner said the government was working with the state’s Ethnic Schools Association to ensure more schools offered out-of-school-hours language programs beyond the… As InDaily previously reported, the proportion of South Australian students choosing to study a language in Year 12 has fallen by more than half in ... Read More »

Bavaria’s man in Berlin pushes Merkel to brink

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 14: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and leader of the Bavarian Christian Democrats (CSU) prepares to take an elevator during a day of wrangling at the Bundestag between the CSU and the German Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel is at odds with Seehofer over migration policy. While Merkel wants a European-wide approach to migration, Seehofer is insisting that Germany be able to unilaterally turn away asylum seekers when they first reach the German border should they not meet asylum criteria.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Horst Seehofer puts home state election first in clash with chancellor. Janosch Delcker Politico BERLIN — Horst Seehofer may be Germany’s interior minister but he’s doing Bavaria’s bidding. The 68-year-old’s career looked to be on the slide when he was ousted as premier of the southern state at the end of last year. Yet he is center stage once again after pushing Angela Merkel’s government into crisis with his plan to toughen Germany’s asylum policies. By threatening to implement his plan even without Merkel’s ... Read More »

From the St Louis to the Aquarius: the history of refugee boats as archipelagos of misery

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The Aquarius, a rescue ship in the Mediterranean carrying 629 people, is now on its way to Spain, after being refused docking in Italy and Malta. Simone Gigliotti The Conversation The crisis has caused a diplomatic row between France and Italy and highlighted the stalemate within the EU on asylum policy. Sadly, there have been many historical examples of boats laden with refugees, that were refused docking. In the aftermath of World War II, the historian Eugene Kulischer wrote: “The ... Read More »

Young refugees share what it’s like trying to finish school, find work and get married

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In 2012, at 10 years of age, Daahir sat in his school classroom in Mogadishu, Somalia. The sounds of gun shots piercing the air interrupted the lesson. Laura Prazeres The Conversation As Daahir ran back home, he overheard that fighting had erupted between government forces and the militant group Al-Shabab. Daahir arrived home to find his father dead from gunshot wounds. Faced with further threats and imminent violence, Daahir and his family, along with many others, fled their… According to ... Read More »

The legality of off-shore detention

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In 2002 Australia, along with more than 80 other nations, acceded to the Rome statute by which the International Criminal Court was created.  The court is the first permanent court ever established with jurisdiction to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators and regardless of the place where the offences occurred. Julian Burnside John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations As part of the process of implementing the International Criminal Court ... Read More »