A US-born teen was in border custody for 23 days. Now he’s suing the government | US news | The Guardian

A mother and her American-born teenage son are suing two US government agencies and speaking out over the inhumane conditions they said he endured while taken into border custody for more than three weeks.

Francisco Galicia, 18, from Edinburg, Texas, was released from detention earlier this week after an ordeal in which he said he lost 26 pounds, was kept in a crowded space with 60 others and, for 23 days, wasn’t allowed to call his family or a lawyer, brush his teeth, or get access to a toilet, shower or bed.

He was so desperate in the face of the conditions, and unable to communicate with anyone outside, that he almost allowed himself to be deported to Mexico, as first reported by the Dallas Morning News.

And his mother, Sanjuana Galicia, might not have found out where he was if it weren’t for his younger brother, 17-year-old Marlon, who is undocumented and who agreed to be swiftly deported to Mexico, from where he called his mother to tell her what had happened.


Source: A US-born teen was in border custody for 23 days. Now he’s suing the government | US news | The Guardian

Pictures of dead migrants inspire our sympathy. But what use is that to them? | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian

On the morning of 17 January 2018 a humanitarian group, No More Deaths, released a report showing how, over four years, US border patrol agents had destroyed 3,856 gallons of water that had been left for migrants in the desert.

That afternoon, Scott Warren, a No More Deaths volunteer, was arrested for bringing food, water, bedding and clean clothes to two men who had entered the country illegally. He found them in an area where 32 bodies had been recovered in the previous year alone.

Charged with conspiracy to transport and harbour migrants, he faced up to 20 years in prison. Earlier this month his trial ended in a hung jury.

Put differently, an American jury was asked whether, in effect, it should be illegal for one human being to provide basic sustenance to preserve the lives of other human beings in desperate need – and it could not quite make up its mind. (The jury was deadlocked, having split 8-4 in Warren’s favour. The state will decide whether to try him again next week.)

So when we see a photograph of the lifeless body of 26-year-old Salvadorean Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, clutching his dead 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, face down in the Rio Grande, it is important to decipher exactly what the source of the shock might be.

As Warren’s case illustrates, such deaths are not news in the conventional sense, any more than the police shooting black men in the street in the US is “news”. In the absence of mass protest there is a level of racialised suffering that rarely exceeds the status of white noise in the west. Not only do we know these things happen and have been happening for a long time; we know they don’t happen by accident, and could be prevented if we, as a society, had the will to do so. There is pathos in the suffering, but there is policy behind it too.

The tragic image is news because the basic humanity of those who perish has been so routinely denied that the evidence that they are not “cockroaches”, “animals”, “aliens”, “illegals”, rats or vermin but actual people feels genuinely novel – it provides an empathic injection into the morally sclerotic vein of a dehumanised political culture.

This was a father and daughter, holding on to each other until the very end: tender, vulnerable, heartbreaking. In a sense this is the problem. If for the stories of their lives to break through in the mainstream they must first be dead, what use is it to them? The fact that they are objects of pity, shame or even anger does not make them any less objects ripe for our projection.

Empathy could be the first step to solidarity – click, share, engage. Warren must have been conscientised and radicalised somehow. In 2006 I drove all the way up the US-Mexican border from Brownsville, Texas, where Angie Valeria and Óscar were found, to San Diego. On the way I spoke to Armando Alarcón, who was carried over the Rio Grande by his father when he was Angie Valeria’s age. When Alarcón saw a news story about the body of an eight-year-old girl found by a border patrol after she had been abandoned by her smuggler, he bought a Cessna 172 plane and founded a group called Paisanos al Rescate – Fellow Countrymen to the Rescue.


Source: Pictures of dead migrants inspire our sympathy. But what use is that to them? | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian

Is there a crisis at the US-Mexico border? 6 essential reads : The Conversation

For three years, first as a presidential candidate, then as president of the United States, Donald Trump has insisted that the country must stem immigration by building a wall along its southern border – an expensive gambit that few Americans support and that Democratic lawmakers virulently oppose.

Now, he’s even shut down the federal government over this unmet campaign promise. In a Jan. 8 televised address, Trump insisted that it would stay closed until Congress agreed to a $5.7 billion steel barrier to “protect our country.”

But is there a crisis at the southern border?

Unlawful border crossings have actually declined since 2014, when 569,236 people — most of them Central American — were detained at the southern border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Last year, 521,090 migrants were caught trying to enter the country unlawfully.

Here, immigration experts explain who’s trying to get into the United States, what they want, and why immigration — even undocumented immigration — actually benefits the country.

1. Most Central American migrants are asylum-seekers

Central American migration is heavily driven by fear, according to researcher Jonathan Hiskey of Vanderbilt University.

“An increasing number of individuals are now arriving at the U.S. southwest border because of crime, violence and insecurity in Central America,” he writes.

With 60 murders per 100,000 people in 2017, El Salvador was the deadliest place in the world that was not at war. Almost 4,000 people were killed there in 2017. That year New York City, which has a much larger population, saw 292 killings.

Honduras’ murder rate has plummeted since 2014, but with 42.8 murders per 100,000 people in 2017, it is still one of the world’s most dangerous places.


Source: Is there a crisis at the US-Mexico border? 6 essential reads : The Conversation

Six ways Sajid Javid can make British migration policy more humane : The Conversation 

Britain’s increasingly brutal regime of “migration control” has come to a head. After almost two years as home secretary, Amber Rudd resigned on April 29, apologising for misleading parliament of deportation targets, amid public revulsion at the treatment of British people who had come from the Caribbean half a century ago. The prime minister, who introduced many of those policies, remains in post.

In distancing himself from Rudd, her replacement Sajid Javid expressed an intention to focus on making Britain’s immigration system not “hostile” but “compliant”. To make it more humane too, here are six things he should think about.

1. Don’t use migration control as an excuse

When migration control stops being about crossing external territorial borders and turns instead to who gets access to particular services, people can be displaced without moving. And that’s dangerous. It resulted in unknown numbers of the “Windrush generation”, who were living normal lives for decades, suddenly being threatened with exclusion from British society unless they could prove otherwise. The label “migration control” must not be used to justify activities that are not about controlling migration.



Source: Six ways Sajid Javid can make British migration policy more humane : The Conversation

Anger mounts as Israel begins detention and deportation of African asylum seekers : The Conversation

Around 20,000 Israelis and African migrants took to the streets in Tel Aviv on February 24, protesting against a government policy of detaining and deporting African asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country. A few days earlier, a group of Eritrean asylum seekers held at a detention centre in Israel went on hunger strike in protest against their imminent expulsion from the country.

In early Feburary, Israel began issuing expulsion orders to African migrants and asylum seekers whose asylum claims had been refused by the government. Most were from Eritrea and Sudan. The orders, under new rules announced in December 2017, give people the choice to be sent to a “third country” by the end of March, or face detention and imprisonment. The receiving countries will reportedly receive US$5,000 per asylum seeker they accept, while the asylum seekers themselves receive a plane ticket plus US$3,500 each.

The “third countries” have not been officially named, but they were reported to be Rwanda and Uganda – although both countries subsequently denied signing a deal with Israel.

It is the Israeli regime of deportation and detention that is the root cause for the distress of the African migrants and asylum seekers on its soil. It is almost impossible to even launch an asylum claim let alone become a recognised refugee. Merely 11 African asylum seekers, ten from Eritrea and one from Sudan, were given refugee status between 2009 and 2017.

However, in what might prove to be a landmark ruling, an Israeli special appeals court ruled on February 15 in the case of an Eritrean asylum seeker that desertion from the Eritrean military provided a valid claim for asylum. This ruling could affect many Eritreans threatened with deportation, but is unlikely to change wider attitudes among Israeli authorities, who in any case will appeal.

Mixed reasons for coming to Israel


Source: Anger mounts as Israel begins detention and deportation of African asylum seekers : The Conversation

I know the ‘great repeal bill’ has its flaws. But we need cooperation to improve it | Caroline Flint | Opinion | The Guardian

It seems I have adopted a rather controversial view about Brexit: that, perhaps, all the partisans – leavers and remainers – should bury our differences and work together. That’s proving more difficult than it should be. No one in politics likes to concede defeat, particularly if they secretly dislike some of their opponents.

The EU referendum opened a chasm in our nation. Two different views: Britain versus Europe, migration versus integration; internationalism versus national identity, metropolitan versus small town, management versus the factory floor. The outcome was not just a shock, and for many it was hard to accept. The European Union, if not loved by many, was taken for granted as part of our political architecture. The “great repeal bill” is the latest staging ground of this fight. Really an adoption bill, it aims to transfer lots of EU legislation into UK law. Businesses, citizens and government agencies need a legal basis to conduct their activities – and this adoption process is essential to a smooth Brexit. But weak governments with complex bills are easy prey. When Theresa May went to the country in April, she claimed she needed a larger majority lest the opposition parties derail the process. Now it is her own benches to which she is casting worried glances.

I campaigned for remain. And I want the UK to retain close ties to Europe and keep many of the benefits of easy trade, workers’ rights and co-operation. But I also recognise that managing migration – understanding public concerns beyond the big cities – will have to be part of any deal. This will require a tailor-made solution for the UK. But to start with businesses, citizens and government agencies need a legal basis to conduct their activities. This great adoption of EU law is essential to a smooth Brexit.

Source: I know the ‘great repeal bill’ has its flaws. But we need cooperation to improve it | Caroline Flint | Opinion | The Guardian

Merkel calls for G20 compromise as crunch climate talks start | Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed fellow Group of 20 leaders to compromise at the start of talks on climate and trade that have pitted U.S. President Donald Trump against virtually every other country in the club of leading economies.

The host of the G20 summit addressed her counterparts on Friday in a hall at the Hamburg convention centre, after video footage showed Trump shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the first face-to-face encounter between the two men.

Merkel was shown talking casually with Putin as the leaders entered the hall, then joining French President Emmanuel Macron in a three-way discussion with Trump, who was seated between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Britain’s Theresa May.

“We all know the big global challenges and we know that time is pressing,” Merkel told the group.

“And so solutions can only be found if we are ready for compromise and move towards each other, but without – and I stress this – bending too much, because of course we can also state clearly when there are differences.”

Trump later held bilateral talks with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Putin.

The meeting with the Russian leader is drawing intense scrutiny because of Trump’s election campaign pledge to seek a rapprochement with Moscow. So far he has been unable to deliver on that promise amid accusations from U.S. intelligence services that Russia meddled in last year’s presidential election and investigations into the Trump campaign’s links to the country.

Merkel, who is gearing up for a parliamentary election in September, faces the daunting task of steering the G20 towards a consensus on trade, climate change and migration – all


Source: Merkel calls for G20 compromise as crunch climate talks start | Reuters

Vote Leave to save our NHS

We send £350 million a week to the EU – enough to build a new hospital a week

250,000 EU migrants a year come to the UK – it’s out of control and damages the NHS

It’s safer to take back control and spend our money on our priorities


Imagine if we Vote Leave in 60 days’ time… We can help protect patients by ensuring that we can check the qualifications of doctors coming from the EU.

BBC: The Great Debate – On 21 June, the BBC will be holding a televised EU debate at the Wembley Arena. The event will feature senior representatives from Vote Leave and the IN campaign. To reserve your place click here.


Vote Leave to save our NHS

Today we launched our latest campaign advert which warns of the dangers to the NHS of voting to stay in the EU. We send £350 million to the EU every week, money which would be much better spent on our priorities like the NHS.


Our public services are already under huge pressure from uncontrolled migration. As Michael Gove wrote in the Times today, this will only get worse as countries such as Turkey, Macedonia and Albania join the EU. The Justice Secretary states that ‘we cannot guarantee the same access people currently enjoy to healthcare and housing if these trends continue’.

The only way to take back control of our borders and ease the pressure on our NHS and public services is to Vote Leave on 23 June.


Theresa May admits we can’t control migration whilst inside EU

The Home Secretary Theresa May said yesterday that free movement within the EU makes it harder to control immigration. She admitted that EU membership makes this impossible and that David Cameron has failed to bring any powers back from the EU to change that.

More than a quarter of a million people came to the UK from the EU over the last twelve months – a city the size of Newcastle – which adds to the pressures on our NHS and other public services. After we Vote Leave we can create a fairer immigration policy which welcomes in the brightest and best from around the world, whilst easing the strain on our public services. Let’s take back control on 23 June.


UK in a strong position to strike a US trade deal

President Obama rounded off his trip to back the David Cameron’s IN campaign by warning that any UK/US trade deal could take up to a decade to complete. However, the evidence suggests otherwise.

The US signed major free trade agreements with Canada and Australia in under 2 years. Conversely, we have been a member of the EU for over 40 years yet Brussels has failed to strike a deal with the US. Further, the US has signed bilateral agreements with 20 countries – all with smaller economies than the UK’s – which contradicts Obama’s claim that they are only looking to deal with trading blocs.

The UK is a major export market for the US, with nearly $120 billion of American goods and services entering the UK market. As the fifth largest economy in the world, we are in a strong position to negotiate a deal to benefit both UK and US businesses after we Vote Leave on 23 June.


Today’s must reads:

The EU’s answer to its failures is to step on the accelerator, putting our jobs and public services in danger –Michael Gove, Times

Mayday: Pro-EU Home Secretary admits Britain is migrant magnet – Sun

Extremists free to travel to UK because EU states cannot agree on the definition of a ‘foreign fighter’ –Telegraph (Saturday)

Mass migration ‘is damaging Britain’: Leaked jobs report reveals civil servants’ concern at EU influx – Mail (Saturday)

Plans drawn up for European superstate – Sunday Times

‘Downing Street duo have lost faith in Britain’ – Sunday Times

Welfare minister attacks migrant benefit reforms – Times (Saturday)

Obama has every right to urge ‘remain’ — even if he’s got it all wrong – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times