Colombia offers protection to Venezuelan migrants, for 10 years

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Colombian President Iván Duque announced that temporary protection status will be granted to Venezuelan migrants residing in Colombian territory. During the announcement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, was present.

Thanks to the measure adopted by the coffee-growing country, Venezuelans located in the Colombia will be able to work legally. According to data compiled by various agencies, the estimated number of illegal Venezuelans, or those without legal status, is around 1 million.

The main consequence of the uncontrolled migration of Venezuelans to Colombia is the oversaturation of education and health systems, particularly in border locations.

During a press release, President Iván Duque mentioned that the process “marks a milestone in Colombia’s migration policies.”

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the decision can be seen as the greatest gesture of solidarity in decades.

Details of the temporary protection measure for Venezuelan migrants

The new migratory status will have a duration of 10 years, which will also provide greater comfort to migrants who are already legalized. This was stated by the President.

It should be noted that migrants who entered Colombia before January 31 are eligible for the new protection measure. However, they must register to acquire the new immigration status. Otherwise, they may be deported.

Combating COVID-19

Finally, Iván Duque reiterated the call to the international community to contribute more funds to the fight against COVID-19. In this way, they will be able to use the funds to vaccinate Venezuelan migrants living in Colombian territory.

By Luis Alejandro R.


Standoff as migrant caravan closes Brazil-Peru International Bridge

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SAO PAULO – A humanitarian crisis is escalating in the far west Brazilian state of Acre as about 300 Haitians, Indians, Pakistanis have taken over the Friendship Bridge connecting Assis, Brazil with Peru at the Brazil-Peru-Bolivia border. Peruvian authorities are refusing entry and the immigrants are demanding to be allowed to return home through the Andean country.

The area has been a popular entry point for immigrants from many parts of the world seeking asylum in Brazil. Having failed in their quest to obtain legal papers but unable to be deported due to Brazilian laws and international treaties that prevent deportation into potential harm’s way, the immigrants have been staying in empty schools in the area, but hygienic and toilet facilities are not sufficient and the municipality of 7500 is stressing its resources providing food baskets and help for the immigrants. Described as hungry and exhausted, the immigrants say they want to return home by way of Peru but are suspected of really wanting to make their way to the United States. Brazilian authorities say they have been in the area for months, under precarious conditions, sleeping in open barracks, living off state help and charity, and bathing in the Acre River.

By Milan Sime Martinić

Trump’s 100th Day May See a Government Shutdown

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A government shutdown could be the result of Trump’s demand for funding for a wall on the Mexico border.

Among Trump’s priorities for the CR* are the wall and the military, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Congressional Democrats and some Republicans oppose the funding of the wall, and it may result in a government shutdown on Saturday, Trump’s 100th day in office. At least 8 democrats are needed to pass a funding bill.

However, Trump was reported to have indicated in a private meeting with conservative media outlets this week that he may put off seeking funds for the border wall until after Republicans begin drafting the budget blueprint for the next fiscal year, which would decrease the likelihood of a shutdown.

*CR stands for “continuing resolution,” an “appropriations bill” that sets aside money for specific government departments and programs”)

‘City Stay’ Lets Students Study with Immigrant Families in the US

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A new study experience option has started, called “city stay,” which is in some ways similar to “study abroad.”

City Stay is the name of a program run by Minnehaha Academy, a private school in Minneapolis. When students enrol in a city stay, they are placed in immigrant homes for a week and have a chance to learn a foreign culture without ever getting on a plane.

Minnehaha’s “City Stay” project has about 60 students and 20 host families so far. So far, It is an unpaid project run by founder Julie Knopp.

Island Seeks Women

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The Faroe Islands are experiencing a woman shortage.

The Island’s population is 50,000, and they have a “gender deficit” of 2,000 more men than women.

Increasingly, Faroese men are bringing women in from Asia, and there are currently 300 women from Thailand and the Phillipines, and Asians now make up the largest ethnic minority.

The immigrants are also very active in the Faroes’ work force.

While finding a husband may be fairly easy, the tropical women are having a difficult time with the cold, wet climate, lack of even English speakers, and sometime remote and isolated lifestyles.

Dalai Lama: “Now Too Many Refugees in Europe”

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The exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, spoke to German press this week about his current situation, also commenting on the current refugee crisis in Europe.

The Dalai Lama has previously spoken in favor of sheltering all refugees in need, but in his interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine he also said that the numbers had become too great for the good of European countries:

“If we look into the face of each individual refugee, especially the children and women, we feel their suffering,” said the Dalai Lama. “A person that is doing a little better has a responsibility to help them. On the other hand, there are now too many.

“Europe — for example, Germany — cannot become an Arab country. Germany is Germany. [Laugh.] There are so many that it is difficult in practice.

“Also, viewed morally, I find that these refugees should be only kept on a temporary basis. The goal should be to return and help rebuild their own countries.”

Mass Immigration Policy In UK Challenged By Top Economics Prof

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Report by Cambridge professor’s takes a critical look at economics of immigration

The current large-scale immigration policy of the UK will result in small gross economic benefits while creating serious negative consequences, according to a UK economics professor who has just published a report on his research.

The moral and practical questions related to controlling immigration in the UK are ones that have concerned Dr. Robert Rowthorn, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Cambridge University in England, the author of several books on economics, for a number of years, he wrote in the new report broadly covering the economic and demographic consequences of immigration on advanced economies.

The UK’s immigrant numbers shot up from 4.9 million in 1991 to 8.3 million last year — not counting the children of immigrants — half of which were employed in the countries work force, the prime economic benefit of immigration, according to Rowthorn.

In drawing conclusions about the net effects of immigration, Rowthorn wrote that current numbers combined with the children born to immigrants would raise the UK population 20 million over the next 50 years, and the total GDP of the UK would rise faster than otherwise, but the per capita GDP would not see an appreciable change.

Economic gains for the UK from immigration would be achieved mainly from the young age of immigrants — working age citizens.

However, the effects of young immigrants even in large numbers would be modest, Rowthorn found, and the immigrants would themselves age, so that a younger UK population could only be maintained by continually higher rates of immigration.

Whether or not the UK increases immigration rates to maintain a lower working-age population over decades, the “dependency rate” of the UK — the number of citizens age 65 and over who must be supported by younger citizens — will increase significantly due to current immigration numbers as the new young workers age.

Rowthorn also noted that because the primary benefit to the UK economy is the age structure of the population, gains could be achieved with much lower immigration numbers and lower population growth.

Rowthorn also documented several negative effects of immigration on the UK.

Immigrants have a negative impact on native employment, as estimated by the Migration Advisory Committee. Unskilled workers’ wages in the UK have dropped due to competition with immigrants, and will continue to drop as immigration continues.

European Union governments have responded to this effect by increasing screening for educated and skilled workers, but this impoverishes the source countries of their professional and talented workers — “enriching ourselves at their expense,” as Rowthorn puts it.

Overall, the benefits the UK sees due to its large number of immigrants and their descendants are small compared to the negative impacts, Rawthorn concluded.

Rowthorn advised lower immigration rates and an increased retirement age to improve the UK economy. “Many people would consider it better to settle for much less immigration and much slower population growth at the cost of slightly faster ageing,” he wrote.

By Andy Stern

The report, “The Costs And Benefits Of Large-Scale Immigration,” is available in full online as a pdf.

CNA Makes Recommendations For US Asia-Pacific Rebalance

Asia-Pacific Rebalance
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The Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Carnegie Mellon University Civil and Environmental Engineering Program, the Center for New American Security, and the University of Oxford released the report, “The U.S. Asia-Pacific Rebalance, National Security, and Climate Change,” Tuesday.

Dr. Leo Goff, program manager of the CNA Military Advisory Board, and Nilanthi Samaranayake, research analyst at CNA, coauthored the chapter, “Climate Change, Migration, and a Security Framework for the U.S. Asia-Pacific Rebalance.”

The authors concluded, “Working both bilaterally and through multinational organizations, the U.S. must apply sound migration principles, employ a migration security framework, and adopt best practices to find acceptable and perhaps even beneficial solutions to make migration a successful adaption rather than a source of conflict and strife.”

“While migration can be an acceptable and often beneficial response to a changing environment, security experts warn that mass migration has serious security risks,” the report had it.

“Mass migration can overrun existing social systems; result in exploitation of migrants; and in the extreme, result in conflict as cultures clash or nations take actions to forcibly prevent entry or settlement of refugees. As part of its rebalance and establishing a new security posture in Asia, the United States must work closely with partner nations and take a proactive approach to finding acceptable solutions to inevitable climate change induced migration.”

Following that logic, the report recommended a focus on South and Southeast Asia for migrants — the diverse region between India and the Maldives. The area was selected because of its climate change vulnerabilities and increasing ties to the U.S, as well as security and military considerations.

The report stressed planning ahead: “[F]ailure to plan or adapt … could lead to sudden onslaught of mass migration, which carries the greatest risk, not only for governments, but for migrants.”

By Whitney Doll

Ombudsman Answers Breivik’s Charges Of “Inhumane” Prison Treatment

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Norway’s parliamentary ombudsman has visited the prison in which political mass killer Anders Breivik has been locked up since 2012, and reported Wednesday that the conditions of the prison could represent inhumane treatment as alleged by Breivik in his lawsuit against the Norwegian State.

Breivik has brought suit against his country for what he says are violations of his human rights as guaranteed under the European Convention of Human Rights — specifically the articles dealing with torture, infringements of private and family life, correspondence, and the right to marry.

Ombudsman Aage Thor Falkanger presented his report of the prison:

“The regimen in the very high security unit imposes very strict conditions on inmates’ freedom of movement and their possibility to have contact with other people.

“This, and the fact that in reality there is an extremely limited number of inmates in the very high security unit, means that this regimen represents an elevated risk of inhumane treatment,” Falkanger reported.

The ombudsman made several recommendations to reduce the risks of inhumane treatment, including more interaction with guards and inmates and a review of handcuff use.

In 2012, Breivik was convicted in the 2011 killings of 77 people — mostly family members of a political party with which Breivik was aggrieved due to their immigration policies. Breivik prepared for his attack far in advance and wrote a 1,518 manifesto detailing his history and beliefs, as well as his motivation.

Immigration Watch Group Criticizes Canada’s Mass Immigration

Richmond Canada
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Canada, the nation with the highest per capita immigration intake per year — adding 1 million immigrants every four years to her now-35 million population, is suffering because of an abnormal and unnecessary mass immigration policy, according to the immigration-focused group Immigration Watch Canada.

“Since 1991, Canada has had a mass immigration policy,” Dan Murray of Immigration Watch Canada told The Speaker.

“The term ‘mass immigration’ means that Canada has had a continued high immigration intake since 1991. This is an abnormality in Canada’s immigration history. It means that Canada has taken over 6 million people since 1991 and that Canada did not need most of those people.”

Murray said the rates were unnecessary and even detrimental to Canadians. The source of the policy of prolonged high rates of immigration originated, according to Murray, in a Conservative Party move to gain a new voting segment — the immigrant vote — in 1990.

He cited several government studies as evidence that the immigration numbers would not reduce Canada’s average age, would not produce any significant economic benefit, and would be beyond the optimal population based on Canada’s cold, mostly rock and desert land – some of the major benefits of immigration claimed by high immigration proponents.

Murray also cited the costs of bringing in an average 250,000 immigrants per year for 25 years, most of whom settle in the major cities. The cost of immigration for taxpayers — in the hundreds of million of dollars per year – is only part of the burden placed on the Canadian-born population, Murray stated. Two of the most easily quantifiable effects of mass immigration, he said, were in increased labor competition and housing affordability.

“The best friend of any worker is a tight labor market. When high  immigration intake floods the labor market, wages stagnate or even decline and unnecessary competition occurs.”

The extra workers, Murray said, are not needed, and are sometimes given place in front of Canadian-born workers though programs like the Employment Equity Act, which enforces proactive employment practices when it comes to minority groups.

Murray noted the increase in ethnic enclaves in Canadian cities over the past decades as well. A handful 30 years ago has become about 300 today and is increasing, he said.

Richmond demographicsHe cited cities like Richmond, British Columbia, where white Canadians made up 80 percent of the population in 1981. The remainder was a mix including less than 10 percent Chinese. Today, Chinese are the majority in the city, and white residents have left Richmond in the thousands. The same trend exists over all of Vancouver, where nine out of 10 of the population’s additional 30,000 new residents every year are immigrants.

He referred to Canada’s current majority population as “the new First Nations” whose interests are being betrayed by their political parties.

“Even a quick look at a graph that shows Canada’s immigration history will demonstrate that,” stated Murray. “No sane country allows its majority population to be overwhelmed. No sane country forces its majority population to compete unnecessarily for a limited number of jobs or grants new immigrants preference to those jobs. No sane country allows its population to grow indefinitely, particularly when the population growth occurs on its best agricultural land — yet Canada has done this.”

Illegal African Migration Will Continue, And Will Continue To Harm Africa

Illegal African Migration
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Pressure on the borders of the European Union under the weight of illegal migration from Africa will continue unabated so long as policy makers in both continents do not pay the necessary attention to the issues of democracy, justice, fair trade and the expansion of economic opportunity.

Many of Africa’s most enterprising people routinely leave their rural areas and move to the cities and urban centers in search of quality education, formal employment, higher standards of living and channels for their creativity. What they find, however, is chronic unemployment, informal settlements and bureaucratic intolerance or political tyranny. The resulting material deprivation coupled with the lack of institutional arrangements for political participation and decision making means that the vast majority of the population is unable to transform themselves or their surroundings. What follows is the erosion of self-respect, the loss of self-confidence and finally desperate actions.

The illegal migrations to Europe also reflect the failure of international trade to raise the living standards of the poor: Africa is rich in resources but her people are poor because the value addition to her resources is carried out in the industrialized countries. Furthermore, the inability to negotiate better prices for her primary products means that Africa pays more and more for her imports while earning less and less for her exports thus entrenching poverty. A few years back I attended a public lecture by the renowned Ghanaian novelist, Ayi kwei Armah, in which he explained that Africans were not running away from their continent but were simply “following their resources.”

Africa’s illegal migrants are in desperate need of empowerment, personal dignity and self-worth. Many would have preferred to stay home but are now wasting away in European refugee camps or lie buried at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.

Analysis by Nicholas Okumu