5 Migration, Immigration and Refugees In The News

Reducing Emigration Push Factors in Africa - An EU International Development Strategy Better Suited for the Long-Term, Not for the Present of Africa's Youthful Dreamers




Europe is spending billions of dollars to jump-start Africa’s poorest economies. But that may just accelerate the exodus.

Excerpts

"With tens of millions of migrants and refugees projected to arrive in Europe in the coming decades, on top of the million-plus who have claimed asylum in each of the last two years, the European Union is pouring billions of dollars into fighting migration at its source — much of it in impoverished and war-torn countries in Africa. The aim is to transform nations like Mali into more hospitable places. If it succeeds, Brussels is betting that it can convince some would-be migrants to stay home and African governments to stop others from leaving."
...
"Much of the money has been funneled into ambitious development projects: roughly $114 million for sustainable agriculture and food security in Senegal; $32 million for job creation in migration transit zones in Niger; $12 million for vocational training and youth empowerment in Gambia. All of it is administered through a multibillion-dollar EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, launched at a joint African and European summit on migration in 2015."
...
"It [one of the EU's project in Mali]] also exposes a false but largely ignored assumption upon which the EU’s entire plan to use development to fight migration is premised: Better jobs and more income, at least in the short and medium term, don’t typically relieve migratory pressures in desperately poor countries; they increase them, a fact that is well-documented by economists."
...
"[E]xperts are doubtful that this or any other development project aimed at creating jobs can reverse, or even slow, the tide of emigration. “If the success of your policy is dependent on being able to defeat both market forces and human nature, your chances of success aren’t good,” said Kathleen Newland, a senior fellow and co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute."
...
"Not only does more income mean people can do more expensive things, like pay a smuggler thousands of dollars to take them to Europe; it typically means more education and bigger aspirations. That’s why [The Center for International Development's Michael] Clemens says on average as countries transition from poor to middle-income, they experience a 'dramatic rise' in migration. Over the very long term, it is true that development would depress migration as a country transitions to developed status. “But Mali is not going to be a developed country in our lifetime or in the lifetime of our children,” he said. 'The reality is that the development of nations is measured in generations.' Young people are not given to waiting for improvements measured in generations."









Here is another example where ethnicity and religion become the focus, the arena for ambitions power- and wealth-pursuing perpetrators and the media. This focus obscures the underlying political and economic ambitions. For the media it makes for better headlines and entertaining but not always true distinctions between victims and evil doers. For perpetrators such as national and local governments, and the wealthy in pursuit of more wealth, and the opportunistic poor of neighboring ethno-religious groups it provides cover and moral justification for the persecution and displacement of those of different ethnicity and religions. Another instance is the Western media reporting of politician-fueled "tribal clashes" in Africa, most recently in Kenya and Ethiopia. Again, such tactics and reporting obscures, under-reports and provides cover for the economic and political factors driving and contributing to violence and injustice.


Here's more on the media's substandard reporting on Africa: http://jameselassiter.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-not-to-write-about-africa.html


The Pursuit of Power and Wealth Hidden and Abetted by Focusing on Ethnicity, Religion and Race Divisions, and Poor Media Reporting


The expulsion of Rohingyas from Myanmar is another example where ethnicity and religion become the focus, the arena for ambitious power- and wealth-pursuing perpetrators and the media. This focus obscures the underlying political and economic ambitions. For the media it makes for better headlines and entertaining but not always true distinctions between victims and evil doers. For perpetrators such as national and local governments, and the wealthy in pursuit of more wealth, and the opportunistic poor of neighboring ethno-religious groups it provides cover and moral justification for the persecution and displacement of those of different ethnicity and religions. Another instance is the Western media reporting of politician-fueled "tribal clashes" in Africa, most recently in Kenya and Ethiopia. Again, such tactics and reporting obscures, under-reports and provides cover for the economic and political factors driving and contributing to violence and injustice.

Here's more on the media's substandard reporting on Africa:http://jameselassiter.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-not-to-write-about-africa.html



Trump Plans 45,000 Limit on Refugees Admitted to U.S. in 2018


“Today a dark shadow has passed across the great American legacy and promise of protecting refugees,” said Linda Hartke, the president of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, one of nine agencies — most of them faith-based — that partner with the United States government to resettle refugees. “The threat of a drastically low ceiling on refugee arrivals in the U.S. is contrary to American values and the spirit of generosity in American churches and communities.”
...
“Setting a record-low cap on refugee resettlement, the White House is showing a stunning cruelty toward those fleeing our common enemies — enemies who intend to paint the U.S. as indifferent to refugees’ suffering,” said Hans Van de Weerd, vice president of United States programs at the International Rescue Committee, another of the nine resettlement agencies.
He called on Congress to oppose “what would amount to an abandonment of U.S. global and strategic leadership, and decency.”



Rohingya Refugees – ‘Blood flowed in the streets.’



What Drives Displacement and Refuge?



South Sudan: No Country for Civilians



Rohingya Flee Myanmar



Stay, Hide or Leave? Hard Choices oir Recent Immigrants in US Heartland



Escaping Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
From 1996 to 2007 I visited Kakuma refugee camp in northwest Kenya many times. Over those years, on trips lasting from two weeks to two months, other immigration officers and I resided there and interviewed thousands of people for resettlement as refugees in the US. [The tax money spent and numbers of refugees that legally enter the US are minuscule compared to the total US economy and Federal budget, and compared to the number of illegal immigrants. Refugee resettlement does not hurt Americans, it helps the neediest of the needy and upholds the US's humanitarian standing in the world.]

Kakuma is a mostly tent and mud hut camp established by the UN in 1991 in the arid homeland of the warrior-herding Turkana ethnic group of Kenya, a very hot and dusty place. However, equal to my years with the US Peace Corps, refugee resettlement in Kakuma and elsewhere was the hardest, most humbling yet best work I've ever been privileged to do.
Welcome to a portrait of Kakuma camp where birds sound like cats, frogs sound like birds, and wolf spiders, snakes, scorpions, stink beetles, and malarial mosquitoes abound. And where camp residents, mostly Sudanese, try to hang on to their sanity and dignity for years, in an impermanent and often dangerous present and an uncertain future. Sports and other forms of entertainment help.



What Immigration Detention Did to My Mental Health



How Not to Solve the Refugee Crisis



Documenting Corporate Culture



Inside Libya’s Migrant Trade



Canada’s Immigration Policy



Fixing a Toxic Workplace Culture Like Uber’s



South Sudan’s Cild Refugees in Uganda
Want to help relieve suffering and provide life-saving opportunities for the neediest of the needy in the world? Support UNICEF and UNHCR any way you are able.

"Home to over 270,000 refugees from South Sudan's brutal civil war, northern Uganda's Bidi Bidi settlement has become is the world's largest refugee camp, the epicenter of a growing humanitarian crisis. Since mid-2016, Uganda's refugee population has more than doubled from 500,000 to nearly 1.3 million. Fleeing violence, famine and economic collapse, over 2,000 South Sudanese refugees on average spill over the border into Uganda every day — half of them children. ... UNICEF is supporting the Ugandan government and working with key partners to reach thousands of refugees with critical, often lifesaving, services."



A New Definition of Company Culture
One of the services my consultancy, Migration Anthropology Consultants (MAC) LLC, offers is conducting studies of the "culture" of businesses and providing recommendations that improve company productivity. Here's a good essay that provides various definitions of "corporate culture." It also suggests a method, Culture Designer 101, for defining a business organization's basic principles and core values, and writing a mission statement.

"Corporate culture is a shared investment in the values, ethics, spirit and socially reinforced norms which convey meaning into products, services and community."



World Refugee Day 2017



‘The Great Migration’
"Historians would come to call it the Great Migration. It would be­come perhaps the biggest underreported story of the twentieth century. It was vast. It was leaderless. It crept along so many thousands of cur­rents over so long a stretch of time as to be difficult for the press truly to capture while it was under way.

"Over the course of six decades, some six million black southerners left the land of their forefathers and fanned out across the country for an un­certain existence in nearly every other corner of America. The Great Migration would become a turning point in history. It would transform urban America and recast the social and political order of every city it touched. It would force the South to search its soul and finally to lay aside a feudal caste system. It grew out of the unmet promises made after the Civil War and, through the sheer weight of it, helped push the country toward the civil rights revolutions of the 1960s."



Bidi Bidi, Uganda - World’s Largest Refugee Camp



Refugees and Asylees in the U.S.
"Fewer than 1 percent of formally recognized refugees worldwide are resettled annually, with about 125,600 individuals departing to resettlement countries in 2016. The United States has historically led the world in terms of refugee resettlement, and today remains the top resettlement country. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, the United States resettled 84,994 refugees."



Myths About Why Migrants Cross the Mediterranean
"So for many, 'destination Europe' is not a pull factor in their migration journey. If we want to understand why people on the move are willing to risk their lives in unsafe boats heading for Europe, much more attention needs to be paid to the drivers of flight and how to offer effective protection to people driven to take such a dangerous journey.

"Many people we spoke to had fled from situations of war or conflict, from the threat of terrorist or cult groups, and from kidnapping and torture or violence. Others had fled from persecution by governments, or from being targeted by governments for conscription.
"People also fled from family problems, societal ostracism, extreme discrimination and exploitation, as well as from poverty caused by unemployment or the loss of livelihood. Others faced limited prospects of integration and access to education or language difficulties."



The Trauma of Facing Deportation



Migration vs. The Welfare State



When Companies Grow Beyond 150 People



Being Yourself, A Unaffordable Luxury for Most Immigrants in U.S.



The Desperate Journey of a Trafficked Girl



African Migrants in South Africa

A Nebraska Community Welcomes Syrian Refugees



Trump’s Ban on Refugees
Having had the privilege and honor of serving in the US refugee resettlement program (USRP) for eleven years and interviewing thousands of refugee applicants mostly in remote, harsh areas in Africa, I am deeply saddened and disturbed by this unnecessary action. It will only succeed in causing additional suffering to refugees.

This move by Trump and his supporters in Congress will lead to an unnecessarily severe and ineffective tightening of restrictions on refugee nationality selection criteria, interview adjudication approval thresholds, and admissibility security vetting standards.

Of the hundreds of thousands of refugees that have found safety in the US since 9/11/2001 only three have engaged in terrorist related activity, and all three had become radicalized after, not before, their admission to the US. The resettlement program is not even a remote choice of terrorists for entry into the US for three reasons: the wait to be interviewed can be from 1.5 to 3 years or more; approval is not guaranteed; approval criteria and security checks are the most rigorous of all legal methods of entering the US.

Attacking the USRP is part of politically motivated fear-mongering that benefits rich politicians in search of votes at the expense of refugees. These actions by our government should be vigorously opposed for humanitarian and US international standing and leadership reasons.

"The international refugee system, constructed in the aftermath of World War II, has enabled millions of refugees in every region to find safety in other countries. President Trump’s expected action to suspend all refugee resettlement to the United States and to impose additional restrictions on refugees from largely Muslim countries is a sad day for refugees and for cherished American values."

Having had the privilege and honor of serving in the US refugee resettlement program (USRP) for eleven years and interviewing thousands of refugee applicants mostly in remote, harsh areas in Africa, I am deeply saddened and disturbed by this unnecessary action. It will only succeed in causing additional suffering to refugees.

This move by Trump and his supporters in Congress will lead to an unnecessarily severe and ineffective tightening of restrictions on refugee nationality selection criteria, interview adjudication approval thresholds, and admissibility security vetting standards.
Of the hundreds of thousands of refugees that have found safety in the US since 9/11/2001 only three have engaged in terrorist related activity, and all three had become radicalized after, not before, their admission to the US. The resettlement program is not even a remote choice of terrorists for entry into the US for three reasons: the wait to be interviewed can be from 1.5 to 3 years or more; approval is not guaranteed; approval criteria and security checks are the most rigorous of all legal methods of entering the US.

Attacking the USRP is part of politically motivated fear-mongering that benefits rich politicians in search of votes at the expense of refugees. These actions by our government should be vigorously opposed for humanitarian and US international standing and leadership reasons.

"The international refugee system, constructed in the aftermath of World War II, has enabled millions of refugees in every region to find safety in other countries. President Trump’s expected action to suspend all refugee resettlement to the United States and to impose additional restrictions on refugees from largely Muslim countries is a sad day for refugees and for cherished American values."



Human Trafficking - ‘There are no teen prostitutes.’



The Big Business of Human Trafficking



Climate Change a Cause of Displacement in Africa



The Migration Machine, Europe’s Migration Crisis



Untangling the U.S. Immigration Debate



The Violence of Australia’s Refugee Policy



The Refugee ‘Jungle’ in France



Kenya’s Threat to Close Dadaab Refugee Camp



65.3 Million People Displaced in 2015



About the International Organization for Migration (IOM)



Human Migration: Investigate the Global Journey of Humankind
Here's a very good new book on human migration for high schoolers. I was a pro bono consultant for the later drafts of the book. Part of my review is printed on the back cover. The publisher says the book is for 12-15 year-olds but I think the book's vocabulary and the topics listed in the contents, glossary and index indicate it would also be a very worthwhile read for 16-18 year-olds. It was published by Nomad Press in Vermont and printed in Canada. I highly recommend it.



Interviewing, Vetting and Resettling Syrian Refugees – A Long and Thorough Process