• The business of building walls

    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is once again known for its border walls. This time Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

    Who killed the dream of a more open Europe? What gave rise to this new era of walls? There are clearly many reasons – the increasing displacement of people by conflict, repression and impoverishment, the rise of security politics in the wake of 9/11, the economic and social insecurity felt across Europe after the 2008 financial crisis – to name a few. But one group has by far the most to gain from the rise of new walls – the businesses that build them. Their influence in shaping a world of walls needs much deeper examination.

    This report explores the business of building walls, which has both fuelled and benefited from a massive expansion of public spending on border security by the European Union (EU) and its member states. Some of the corporate beneficiaries are also global players, tapping into a global market for border security estimated to be worth approximately €17.5 billion in 2018, with annual growth of at least 8% expected in coming years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAuv1QyP8l0&feature=emb_logo

    It is important to look both beyond and behind Europe’s walls and fencing, because the real barriers to contemporary migration are not so much the fencing, but the vast array of technology that underpins it, from the radar systems to the drones to the surveillance cameras to the biometric fingerprinting systems. Similarly, some of Europe’s most dangerous walls are not even physical or on land. The ships, aircrafts and drones used to patrol the Mediterranean have created a maritime wall and a graveyard for the thousands of migrants and refugees who have no legal passage to safety or to exercise their right to seek asylum.

    This renders meaningless the European Commission’s publicized statements that it does not fund walls and fences. Commission spokesperson Alexander Winterstein, for example, rejecting Hungary’s request to reimburse half the costs of the fences built on its borders with Croatia and Serbia, said: ‘We do support border management measures at external borders. These can be surveillance measures. They can be border control equipment...But fences, we do not finance’. In other words, the Commission is willing to pay for anything that fortifies a border as long as it is not seen to be building the walls themselves.

    This report is a sequel to Building Walls – Fear and securitization in the European Union, co-published in 2018 with Centre Delàs and Stop Wapenhandel, which first measured and identified the walls that criss-cross Europe. This new report focuses on the businesses that have profited from three different kinds of wall in Europe:

    The construction companies contracted to build the land walls built by EU member states and the Schengen Area together with the security and technology companies that provide the necessary accompanying technology, equipment and services;

    The shipping and arms companies that provide the ships, aircraft, helicopters, drones that underpin Europe’s maritime walls seeking to control migratory flows in the Mediterranean, including Frontex operations, Operation Sophia and Italian operation Mare Nostrum;
    And the IT and security companies contracted to develop, run, expand and maintain EU’s systems that monitor the movement of people – such as SIS II (Schengen Information System) and EES (Entry/Exit Scheme) – which underpin Europe’s virtual walls.

    Booming budgets

    The flow of money from taxpayers to wall-builders has been highly lucrative and constantly growing. The report finds that companies have reaped the profits from at least €900 million spent by EU countries on land walls and fences since the end of the Cold War. The partial data (in scope and years) means actual costs will be at least €1 billion. In addition, companies that provide technology and services that accompany walls have also benefited from some of the steady stream of funding from the EU – in particular the External Borders Fund (€1.7 billion, 2007-2013) and the Internal Security Fund – Borders Fund (€2.76 billion, 2014-2020).

    EU spending on maritime walls has totalled at least €676.4 million between 2006 to 2017 (including €534 million spent by Frontex, €28.4 million spent by the EU on Operation Sophia and €114 million spent by Italy on Operation Mare Nostrum) and would be much more if you include all the operations by Mediterranean country coastguards. Total spending on Europe’s virtual wall equalled at least €999.4m between 2000 and 2019. (All these estimates are partial ones because walls are funded by many different funding mechanisms and due to lack of data transparency).

    This boom in border budgets is set to grow. Under its budget for the next EU budget cycle (2021–2027) the European Commission has earmarked €8.02 billion to its Integrated Border Management Fund (2021-2027), €11.27bn to Frontex (of which €2.2 billion will be used for acquiring, maintaining and operating air, sea and land assets) and at least €1.9 billion total spending (2000-2027) on its identity databases and Eurosur (the European Border Surveillance System).
    The big arm industry players

    Three giant European military and security companies in particular play a critical role in Europe’s many types of borders. These are Thales, Leonardo and Airbus.

    Thales is a French arms and security company, with a significant presence in the Netherlands, that produces radar and sensor systems, used by many ships in border security. Thales systems, were used, for example, by Dutch and Portuguese ships deployed in Frontex operations. Thales also produces maritime surveillance systems for drones and is working on developing border surveillance infrastructure for Eurosur, researching how to track and control refugees before they reach Europe by using smartphone apps, as well as exploring the use of High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) for border security, for the European Space Agency and Frontex. Thales currently provides the security system for the highly militarised port in Calais. Its acquisition in 2019 of Gemalto, a large (biometric) identity security company, makes it a significant player in the development and maintenance of EU’s virtual walls. It has participated in 27 EU research projects on border security.
    Italian arms company Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica or Leonardo-Finmeccanica) is a leading supplier of helicopters for border security, used by Italy in the Mare Nostrum, Hera and Sophia operations. It has also been one of the main providers of UAVs (or drones) for Europe’s borders, awarded a €67.1 million contract in 2017 by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to supply them for EU coast-guard agencies. Leonardo was also a member of a consortium, awarded €142.1 million in 2019 to implement and maintain EU’s virtual walls, namely its EES. It jointly owns Telespazio with Thales, involved in EU satellite observation projects (REACT and Copernicus) used for border surveillance. Leonardo has participated in 24 EU research projects on border security and control, including the development of Eurosur.
    Pan-European arms giant Airbus is a key supplier of helicopters used in patrolling maritime and some land borders, deployed by Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain, including in maritime Operations Sophia, Poseidon and Triton. Airbus and its subsidiaries have participated in at least 13 EU-funded border security research projects including OCEAN2020, PERSEUS and LOBOS.
    The significant role of these arms companies is not surprising. As Border Wars (2016), showed these companies through their membership of the lobby groups – European Organisation for Security (EOS) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) – have played a significant role in influencing the direction of EU border policy. Perversely, these firms are also among the top four biggest European arms dealers to the Middle East and North Africa, thus contributing to the conflicts that cause forced migration.

    Indra has been another significant corporate player in border control in Spain and the Mediterranean. It won a series of contracts to fortify Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves in northern Morocco). Indra also developed the SIVE border control system (with radar, sensors and vision systems), which is in place on most of Spain’s borders, as well as in Portugal and Romania. In July 2018 it won a €10 million contract to manage SIVE at several locations for two years. Indra is very active in lobbying the EU and is a major beneficiary of EU research funding, coordinating the PERSEUS project to further develop Eurosur and the Seahorse Network, a network between police forces in Mediterranean countries (both in Europe and Africa) to stop migration.

    Israeli arms firms are also notable winners of EU border contracts. In 2018, Frontex selected the Heron drone from Israel Aerospace Industries for pilot-testing surveillance flights in the Mediterranean. In 2015, Israeli firm Elbit sold six of its Hermes UAVs to the Switzerland’s Border Guard, in a controversial €230 million deal. It has since signed a UAV contract with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), as a subcontractor for the Portuguese company CEIIA (2018), as well as contracts to supply technology for three patrol vessels for the Hellenic Coast Guard (2019).
    Land wall contractors

    Most of the walls and fences that have been rapidly erected across Europe have been built by national construction companies, but one European company has dominated the field: European Security Fencing, a Spanish producer of razor wire, in particular a coiled wire known as concertinas. It is most known for the razor wire on the fences around Ceuta and Melilla. It also delivered the razor wire for the fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia, and its concertinas were installed on the borders between Bulgaria and Turkey and Austria and Slovenia, as well as at Calais, and for a few days on the border between Hungary and Slovenia before being removed. Given its long-term market monopoly, its concertinas are very likely used at other borders in Europe.

    Other contractors providing both walls and associated technology include DAT-CON (Croatia, Cyprus, Macedonia, Moldova, Slovenia and Ukraine), Geo Alpinbau (Austria/Slovenia), Indra, Dragados, Ferrovial, Proyectos Y Tecnología Sallén and Eulen (Spain/Morocco), Patstroy Bourgas, Infra Expert, Patengineeringstroy, Geostroy Engineering, Metallic-Ivan Mihaylov and Indra (Bulgaria/Turkey), Nordecon and Defendec (Estonia/Russia), DAK Acélszerkezeti Kft and SIA Ceļu būvniecības sabiedrība IGATE (Latvia/Russia), Gintrėja (Lithuania/Russia), Minis and Legi-SGS(Slovenia/Croatia), Groupe CW, Jackson’s Fencing, Sorhea, Vinci/Eurovia and Zaun Ltd (France/UK).

    In many cases, the actual costs of the walls and associated technologies exceed original estimates. There have also been many allegations and legal charges of corruption, in some cases because projects were given to corporate friends of government officials. In Slovenia, for example, accusations of corruption concerning the border wall contract have led to a continuing three-year legal battle for access to documents that has reached the Supreme Court. Despite this, the EU’s External Borders Fund has been a critical financial supporter of technological infrastructure and services in many of the member states’ border operations. In Macedonia, for example, the EU has provided €9 million for patrol vehicles, night-vision cameras, heartbeat detectors and technical support for border guards to help it manage its southern border.
    Maritime wall profiteers

    The data about which ships, helicopters and aircraft are used in Europe’s maritime operations is not transparent and therefore it is difficult to get a full picture. Our research shows, however, that the key corporations involved include the European arms giants Airbus and Leonardo, as well as large shipbuilding companies including Dutch Damen and Italian Fincantieri.

    Damen’s patrol vessels have been used for border operations by Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK as well as in key Frontex operations (Poseidon, Triton and Themis), Operation Sophia and in supporting NATO’s role in Operation Poseidon. Outside Europe, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey use Damen vessels for border security, often in cooperation with the EU or its member states. Turkey’s €20 million purchase of six Damen vessels for its coast guard in 2006, for example, was financed through the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), intended for peace-building and conflict prevention.

    The sale of Damen vessels to Libya unveils the potential troubling human costs of this corporate trade. In 2012, Damen supplied four patrol vessels to the Libyan Coast Guard, sold as civil equipment in order to avoid a Dutch arms export license. Researchers have since found out, however, that the ships were not only sold with mounting points for weapons, but were then armed and used to stop refugee boats. Several incidents involving these ships have been reported, including one where some 20 or 30 refugees drowned. Damen has refused to comment, saying it had agreed with the Libyan government not to disclose information about the ships.

    In addition to Damen, many national shipbuilders play a significant role in maritime operations as they were invariably prioritised by the countries contributing to each Frontex or other Mediterranean operation. Hence, all the ships Italy contributed to Operation Sophia were built by Fincantieri, while all Spanish ships come from Navantia and its predecessors. Similarly, France purchases from DCN/DCNS, now Naval Group, and all German ships were built by several German shipyards (Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, HDW, Lürssen Gruppe). Other companies in Frontex operations have included Greek company, Motomarine Shipyards, which produced the Panther 57 Fast Patrol Boats used by the Hellenic Coast Guard, Hellenic Shipyards and Israel Shipyards.

    Austrian company Schiebel is a significant player in maritime aerial surveillance through its supply of S-100 drones. In November 2018, EMSA selected the company for a €24 million maritime surveillance contract for a range of operations including border security. Since 2017, Schiebel has also won contracts from Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The company has a controversial record, with its drones sold to a number of countries experiencing armed conflict or governed by repressive regimes such as Libya, Myanmar, the UAE and Yemen.

    Finland and the Netherlands deployed Dornier aircraft to Operation Hermes and Operation Poseidon respectively, and to Operation Triton. Dornier is now part of the US subsidiary of the Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. CAE Aviation (Luxembourg), DEA Aviation (UK) and EASP Air (Netherlands) have all received contracts for aircraft surveillance work for Frontex. Airbus, French Dassault Aviation, Leonardo and US Lockheed Martin were the most important suppliers of aircraft used in Operation Sophia.

    The EU and its member states defend their maritime operations by publicising their role in rescuing refugees at sea, but this is not their primary goal, as Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri made clear in April 2015, saying that Frontex has no mandate for ‘proactive search-and-rescue action[s]’ and that saving lives should not be a priority. The thwarting and criminalisation of NGO rescue operations in the Mediterranean and the frequent reports of violence and illegal refoulement of refugees, also demonstrates why these maritime operations should be considered more like walls than humanitarian missions.
    Virtual walls

    The major EU contracts for the virtual walls have largely gone to two companies, sometimes as leaders of a consortium. Sopra Steria is the main contractor for the development and maintenance of the Visa Information System (VIS), Schengen Information System (SIS II) and European Dactyloscopy (Eurodac), while GMV has secured a string of contracts for Eurosur. The systems they build help control, monitor and surveil people’s movements across Europe and increasingly beyond.

    Sopra Steria is a French technology consultancy firm that has to date won EU contracts worth a total value of over €150 million. For some of these large contracts Sopra Steria joined consortiums with HP Belgium, Bull and 3M Belgium. Despite considerable business, Sopra Steria has faced considerable criticism for its poor record on delivering projects on time and on budget. Its launch of SIS II was constantly delayed, forcing the Commission to extend contracts and increase budgets. Similarly, Sopra Steria was involved in another consortium, the Trusted Borders consortium, contracted to deliver the UK e-Borders programme, which was eventually terminated in 2010 after constant delays and failure to deliver. Yet it continues to win contracts, in part because it has secured a near-monopoly of knowledge and access to EU officials. The central role that Sopra Steria plays in developing these EU biometric systems has also had a spin-off effect in securing other national contracts, including with Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Slovenia GMV, a Spanish technology company, has received a succession of large contracts for Eurosur, ever since its testing phase in 2010, worth at least €25 million. It also provides technology to the Spanish Guardia Civil, such as control centres for its Integrated System of External Vigilance (SIVE) border security system as well as software development services to Frontex. It has participated in at least ten EU-funded research projects on border security.

    Most of the large contracts for the virtual walls that did not go to consortia including Sopra Steria were awarded by eu-LISA (European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice) to consortia comprising computer and technology companies including Accenture, Atos Belgium and Morpho (later renamed Idema).
    Lobbying

    As research in our Border Wars series has consistently shown, through effective lobbying, the military and security industry has been very influential in shaping the discourse of EU security and military policies. The industry has succeeded in positioning itself as the experts on border security, pushing the underlying narrative that migration is first and foremost a security threat, to be combatted by security and military means. With this premise, it creates a continuous demand for the ever-expanding catalogue of equipment and services the industry supplies for border security and control.

    Many of the companies listed here, particularly the large arms companies, are involved in the European Organisation for Security (EOS), the most important lobby group on border security. Many of the IT security firms that build EU’s virtual walls are members of the European Biometrics Association (EAB). EOS has an ‘Integrated Border Security Working Group’ to ‘facilitate the development and uptake of better technology solutions for border security both at border checkpoints, and along maritime and land borders’. The working group is chaired by Giorgio Gulienetti of the Italian arms company Leonardo, with Isto Mattila (Laurea University of Applied Science) and Peter Smallridge of Gemalto, a digital security company recently acquired by Thales.

    Company lobbyists and representatives of these lobby organisations regularly meet with EU institutions, including the European Commission, are part of official advisory committees, publish influential proposals, organise meetings between industry, policy-makers and executives and also meet at the plethora of military and security fairs, conferences and seminars. Airbus, Leonardo and Thales together with EOS held 226 registered lobbying meetings with the European Commission between 2014 and 2019. In these meetings representatives of the industry position themselves as the experts on border security, presenting their goods and services as the solution for ‘security threats’ caused by immigration. In 2017, the same group of companies and EOS spent up to €2.65 million on lobbying.

    A similar close relationship can be seen on virtual walls, with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission arguing openly for public policy to foster the ‘emergence of a vibrant European biometrics industry’.
    A deadly trade and a choice

    The conclusion of this survey of the business of building walls is clear. A Europe full of walls has proved to be very good for the bottom line of a wide range of corporations including arms, security, IT, shipping and construction companies. The EU’s planned budgets for border security for the next decade show it is also a business that will continue to boom.

    This is also a deadly business. The heavy militarisation of Europe’s borders on land and at sea has led refugees and migrants to follow far more hazardous routes and has trapped others in desperate conditions in neighbouring countries like Libya. Many deaths are not recorded, but those that are tracked in the Mediterranean show that the proportion of those who drown trying to reach Europe continues to increase each year.

    This is not an inevitable state of affairs. It is both the result of policy decisions made by the EU and its member states, and corporate decisions to profit from these policies. In a rare principled stand, German razor wire manufacturer Mutanox in 2015 stated it would not sell its product to the Hungarian government arguing: ‘Razor wire is designed to prevent criminal acts, like a burglary. Fleeing children and adults are not criminals’. It is time for other European politicians and business leaders to recognise the same truth: that building walls against the world’s most vulnerable people violates human rights and is an immoral act that history will judge harshly. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is time for Europe to bring down its new walls.

    https://www.tni.org/en/businessbuildingwalls

    #business #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières #visualisation #Europe #UE #EU #complexe_militaro-industriel #Airbus #Leonardo #Thales #Indra #Israel_Aerospace_Industries #Elbit #European_Security_Fencing #DAT-CON #Geo_Alpinbau #Dragados #Ferrovial, #Proyectos_Y_Tecnología_Sallén #Eulen #Patstroy_Bourgas #Infra_Expert #Patengineeringstroy #Geostroy_Engineering #Metallic-Ivan_Mihaylov #Nordecon #Defendec #DAK_Acélszerkezeti_Kft #SIA_Ceļu_būvniecības_sabiedrība_IGATE #Gintrėja #Minis #Legi-SGS #Groupe_CW #Jackson’s_Fencing #Sorhea #Vinci #Eurovia #Zaun_Ltd #Damen #Fincantieri #Frontex #Damen #Turquie #Instrument_contributing_to_Stability_and_Peace (#IcSP) #Libye #exernalisation #Operation_Sophia #Navantia #Naval_Group #Flensburger_Schiffbau-Gesellschaft #HDW #Lürssen_Gruppe #Motomarine_Shipyards #Panther_57 #Hellenic_Shipyards #Israel_Shipyards #Schiebel #Dornier #Operation_Hermes #CAE_Aviation #DEA_Aviation #EASP_Air #French_Dassault_Aviation #US_Lockheed_Martin #murs_virtuels #Sopra_Steria #Visa_Information_System (#VIS) #données #Schengen_Information_System (#SIS_II) #European_Dactyloscopy (#Eurodac) #GMV #Eurosur #HP_Belgium #Bull #3M_Belgium #Trusted_Borders_consortium #économie #biométrie #Integrated_System_of_External_Vigilance (#SIVE) #eu-LISA #Accenture #Atos_Belgium #Morpho #Idema #lobby #European_Organisation_for_Security (#EOS) #European_Biometrics_Association (#EAB) #Integrated_Border_Security_Working_Group #Giorgio_Gulienetti #Isto_Mattila #Peter_Smallridge #Gemalto #murs_terrestres #murs_maritimes #coût #chiffres #statistiques #Joint_Research_Centre_of_the_European_Commission #Mutanox

    Pour télécharger le #rapport :


    https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/business_of_building_walls_-_full_report.pdf

    déjà signalé par @odilon ici :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/809783
    Je le remets ici avec des mots clé de plus

    ping @daphne @marty @isskein @karine4

  • Trump Admits His Border Wall is Not Impenetrable after Reports Parts Have Been Sawed Through: ’You Can Cut Through Anything’

    President Donald Trump has admitted his border wall is not as impenetrable as he had initially claimed after reports that some parts had been sawed through.

    The Washington Post reported on Saturday that smuggling gangs have used commercial power tools to cut through the new parts of Trump’s controversial wall along the Mexican border.

    The gangs used a cordless reciprocating saw, which can be purchased at hardware stores starting from as little as $100, to make gaps big enough for people and drugs to pass through, U.S. agents and officials who have knowledge of the situation told the newspaper.

    Once fitted with specialized blades, the saws can cut through the steel-and-concrete bollards of the barrier in minutes, according to the unnamed agents.

    Trump, who spent years insisting his border wall would be impenetrable, conceded that any wall can be cut through but insisted the damage could be “easily fixed.”

    “We have a very powerful wall. But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything, in all fairness,” Trump told reporters in Washington, D.C. before his departure for New York City on Saturday evening.

    "We have a lot of people watching,’ Trump added, according to Politico. “Cutting is one thing, but it’s easily fixed. One of the reasons we did it the way we did it, it’s very easily fixed. You put the chunk back in.”

    But according to the Post, smugglers have learned how to cut the bollards and then return them to their positions so that the damage goes unnoticed, allowing the passage to be used multiple times.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents reportedly drive along the barrier and kick the bollards with their boots to check for any defects in the metal. If any are found, welding crews are sent in to fix the damage.

    But smugglers have also returned to the same bollards once they have been fixed and cut through the welds as the metal on those bollards is softer, the Post reported. They have also tried to trick agents by using a putty that looks like welding to make a bollard that has been cut look as if it is still intact.

    And cutting isn’t the only technique used by the smugglers to circumvent the barrier. They have also been building makeshift ladders to scale the wall, especially in the San Diego area, the Post reported.

    In a statement to Newsweek, a CBP spokesperson insisted that “the wall is working.”

    The spokesperson said: "Any characterization that the wall isn’t working is simply false. The wall is working and is providing additional capability that Border Patrol agents have asked for.

    “What we’re building is a wall system, which includes cameras, sensors, infrastructure and border patrol agents to ensure we ultimately apprehend the criminals trying to defeat it. When someone cuts through the wall and a border patrol agent is standing there to arrest them because of the technology that gave them a heads up, that’s a win.”

    The spokesperson didn’t elaborate on how many breaches there have been.

    But a senior administration official, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, said there had been “a few instances” but added that the new fencing had “significantly increased security and deterrence.”

    Trump has made building the wall along the border to stop migrants coming into the U.S. from Mexico a major feature of his presidency, repeatedly boasting about its construction at rallies, in ads and on Twitter.

    He recently touted the taxpayer-funded barrier as a “world-class security system” that is “virtually impenetrable.”

    “When the wall is built, it will be virtually impossible to come over illegally, and then we’re able to take border control and put them at points of entry,” Trump said during a visit to a construction site in San Diego’s Otay Mesa area in September, according to the Associated Press.

    https://www.newsweek.com/trump-admits-border-wall-not-impenetrable-saw-cut-through-1469428

    Si même #Trump le dit.................

    #walls_don't_work #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis

  • The Trump administration is sucking up tens of millions of gallons of precious desert groundwater to build the #BorderWall.

    Even after our children tear down this absurd barrier, it could take the ancient aquifers at #Organ_Pipe generations to recover.

    https://twitter.com/LaikenJordahl/status/1182038921145831424
    #eau #murs #barrières_frontalières #USA #Etats-Unis #nappe_phréatique #désert #frontières

    ping @mobileborders

  • Les inégalités moulées Jean-François Nadeau - 7 Octobre 2019 - Le devoir
    https://www.ledevoir.com/opinion/chroniques/564214/les-inegalites-moulees

    La lâcheté complaisante qu’entretient, de longue date, la société à l’égard des inégalités fait en sorte qu’elles semblent aller de soi. Il suffit d’observer le champ fondamental de l’éducation pour s’en convaincre. Malgré ses prétentions, le système québécois ne fournit pas les mêmes chances à l’ensemble des élèves. Le Québec serait même le système d’éducation le plus inéquitable au Canada. C’est du moins ce que nous révélait, il y a quelques jours, une étude pour le moins préoccupante conduite par le Mouvement L’école ensemble.

    Sur la base de données compilées par l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE), cette étude observe que notre système d’éducation avalise l’existence de programmes sélectifs, selon que l’on fréquente l’école publique ordinaire, l’école des programmes particuliers ou l’école privée. Autrement dit, loin de casser les inégalités, comme il le prétend depuis la Révolution tranquille, notre système d’éducation contribue plutôt à les reproduire en les moulant finement.

    À en croire le discours ambiant, nous vivons dans un monde sans barrières sociales. Tout ne serait qu’une question de volonté, d’ambition et de détermination, que l’on suppose à la base équitablement réparties en chacun. Selon ce mirage savamment entretenu dans nos sociétés, chaque individu serait capable, par ses propres qualités, d’échapper à la loi de la gravité du milieu de vie qui pèse sur lui. Ce rêve waltdysnéesque répète, autrement dit, qu’il suffirait de vouloir pour pouvoir.

    Des gens partis de rien, arrivés là où on ne les attendait pas, servent sans cesse d’exemple pour perpétuer ce mythe de la mobilité sociale. On braque les projecteurs sur ces cas d’exception, comme s’il s’agissait d’une preuve universelle que tout est possible à chacun. On soutient de la sorte l’idée généreuse — mais surtout trompeuse — qu’il demeure bel et bien possible de changer de situation sociale, dans un monde qui continue en vérité de sécréter plus d’inégalités que de possibilités.

    S’il faut rêver pour changer le monde, le monde ne se change pas qu’en rêvant. La perpétuation du monde tel qu’il est — c’est-à-dire un monde foncièrement inégal — se fait selon les modalités de cette inertie sociale entretenue sous le couvert d’un récit fantasmé où chacun serait libre de choisir sa trajectoire.

    L’infériorité de la formation de larges portions de la population continue d’être présentée comme si elle découlait d’une simple affaire de capacités et de goûts pour les études, qu’elle serait pour ainsi dire naturelle, fruit d’un choix librement consenti. On se conforte de la sorte à l’idée que l’éducation constitue une affaire individuelle qui n’est pas circonscrite, au préalable, par une appartenance à un milieu, à une classe sociale, à des revenus familiaux. Et on juge ainsi acceptable que des familles d’ouvriers engendrent surtout des ouvriers et des familles d’avocats surtout des avocats.

    La mobilité sociale, sauf cas d’exception, n’est pas la règle dans notre monde. Si on trouve bel et bien des individus parvenus à échapper aux lois de la statistique, cela ne change pas pour autant le fait que les enfants des classes populaires sont à majorité voués à un destin moins favorisé que ceux qui appartiennent à un monde doré.

    Le principe théorique de l’accessibilité pour tous à l’école a maquillé des formes d’exclusion qui se sont mutées en se camouflant derrière le mince paravent de cette démocratisation opérée à l’orée des années 1960. Bien que tous les enfants fréquentent désormais l’école, les barrières sociales demeurent, ce dont témoignent les inégalités de notre système d’éducation, saigné pendant des années par les scalpels des politiques d’austérité.

    La capacité de manier des concepts, des faits et des raisonnements n’est pas innée. Cela nécessite un entraînement soutenu, durant de longues années. Avant même d’acquérir cette capacité, il faut être en mesure de se donner les moyens de surmonter des difficultés qui entravent son acquisition. Le manque de temps, le manque d’argent, le manque d’espace, un milieu familial défavorable aux études continuent d’expliquer, en large partie, l’insuffisance des résultats obtenus par notre système d’éducation.

    Peut-on changer le tissu social seulement en réformant l’école de l’intérieur ? Depuis des années, l’école québécoise n’arrête pas de se trouver chamboulée. Les réformes de l’éducation sont pour ainsi dire permanentes. L’une chasse l’autre. On en perd vite le compte, à moins d’être un spécialiste. Et encore. Le ministre Jean-François Roberge vient d’en lancer une énième, comme si c’était la principale action qu’encourageait sa fonction.

    Se gargariser ainsi de réformes à n’en plus finir, n’est-ce pas là le signe d’une fuite en avant, celle d’un État qui manque d’abord à son devoir de changer les conditions socio-économiques qui permettraient d’amenuiser, à la base, les différences entre les enfants et leurs parents ?

    Quand on y pense, l’école ne peut suffire à elle seule à briser les inégalités puisqu’elle en est aussi, au final, le triste produit.

    #inégalités (et ses #reproductions) #société #barrières_sociales #sélection #réformes #éducation #école #mobilité_sociale #exclusion #exclusions

  • The Wall. Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

    “I was born at the beginning of it all, on the Red side—the Communist side—of the Iron Curtain.” Through annotated illustrations, journals, maps, and dreamscapes, Peter Sís shows what life was like for a child who loved to draw, proudly wore the red scarf of a Young Pioneer, stood guard at the giant statue of Stalin, and believed whatever he was told to believe. But adolescence brought questions. Cracks began to appear in the Iron Curtain, and news from the West slowly filtered into the country. Sís learned about beat poetry, rock ’n’ roll, blue jeans, and Coca-Cola. He let his hair grow long, secretly read banned books, and joined a rock band. Then came the Prague Spring of 1968, and for a teenager who wanted to see the world and meet the Beatles, this was a magical time. It was short-lived, however, brought to a sudden and brutal end by the Soviet-led invasion. But this brief flowering had provided a glimpse of new possibilities—creativity could be discouraged but not easily killed.

    By joining memory and history, Sís takes us on his extraordinary journey: from infant with paintbrush in hand to young man borne aloft by the wings of his art. This title has Common Core connections.


    https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374347017
    #livre #mur #guerre_froide #murs #barrières_frontalières #Tchécoslovaquie #dessin #BD #communisme #histoire #totalitarisme

  • « C’est fou à quel point ces #murs et ces #grilles sont hautes. On côtoie ces murs en permanence.
    Ils limitent notre quotidien. Ils sont l’affirmation de la négation de l’autre.
    Mais on les a intégrés, leur #violence a été assimilée. On accepte sans le percevoir le #pouvoir de contrainte, la #dépossession de l’#espace qu’ils représentent »

    #géographie_urbaine #villes #urban_matter #barrières

    Source : une #BD de #Margot_Gustaedt dont le titre est "Les renards sans pelage" , qui n’a pas été publiée. C’est son travail de diplôme.

    La BD porte sur les #violences_policières et sur l’affaire du #lycée_Arago

    D’autres travaux de Margot, que j’ai rencontrée en Grèce lors d’une summer school à Athènes sur les villes-refuge, car elle travaillait à une nouvelle BD avec une étudiante qui suivait la summer school :
    https://margotgustaedt.tumblr.com

    ping @reka @davduf @isskein

  • Balkan Region - Report July 2019

    The Border Violence Monitoring Network has just published it’s August report summarizing the current situation regarding pushbacks and police violence in the Western Balkans, primarily in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Se​rbian borders with Croatia and Hungary, but also including Italy, Slovenia, North Macedonia and Greece.

    This report analyzes, among other things:

    – Torture: Recurrence of extreme violence and abuse
    – Pushback from Italy
    – Beyond police: Actors within the pushback framework
    – Further dispersion of pushback sites in NW Bosnia
    – Trends in pushback sites to and from Greece

    More broadly, monitoring work continues to note the trans-national and bilateral cooperation between EU member states in the north of the Balkan route. Instances of chain pushbacks from Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, though relatively rare, offer insight into the web of actors engaged in the refoulement of groups across multiple borders, and liminality of due process in these cases. The intersection of unlawful acts also raises key concerns about aiding and abetting of pushbacks by Brussels. Specifically, analysis from this month elaborates on the involvement of Frontex in facilitating pushbacks.

    https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/August-Report.pdf
    #rapport #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_balkans #asile #frontières

    • Je mets ici les passages qui m’intéressent particulièrement... et notamment sur la #frontière_sud-alpine

      Push-back from Italy

      Chain push-backs from Italy are comparatively rare. Yet notably one report (see 1.1: https://www.borderviolence.eu/violence-reports/august-5-2019-0700-fernetti-italy conducted last month provided evidence of this sequential phenomena of expulsion from Italy back to BiH, via Slovenia and Croatia; drawing into question why such uncommon and illegal procedure was conducted by Italian police officers. The transit group was initially apprehended by Italian police officers in a small village on theoutskirts of Trieste from where they described being brought to a government building. Both in Italy and later in Slovenia, the transit group in question was detained, made to give their fingerprints, had their pictures taken and were asked to sign paperswritten in languages that they did not understand.

      “We asked the woman, what was on the paper because it was in Italian. She didn’t translate and we didn’t understand what we signed.” “I told the translator that they have to find a solution. They can’t just bring us back to Slovenia, knowing that we were in Italy. And they said, we are just migrants, we are not tourists.”Once they arrived in Croatia, the transit group was detained in a police station and interviewed one at a time before being brought to the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina where the group had their phones individually broken with a hammer by a Croatian police officer. They were then told to walk through a forest into Bosnia-Herzegovina. The chronology of events above alludes also to the complicit nature of preliminary actors within the wider pushbacks. Arguably initiators such as Slovenia and Italy -who often afford groups with translators and legal documents -have an intimate relationship to the violence and terror that accompanies subsequent push-backs from Croatia to BiH. The feigning of due process by these countries, despite prior knowledge of violent chain refoulement, forms a central part of their conceit. Italy and Slovenia mask their actions in a malaise of procedures (regularly untranslated or explained), in order to hide the institutionalisation of illegal chain pushbacks. The nature of chain pushbacks are defined by these bit-part processes, which simultaneously imitate regular procedures, while providing ample space for state authorities to deviate from legal obligations.

      (pp.6-7)
      #Italie #push-back #Slovénie #refoulement

    • And on the

      Construction of further fencing along Slovenian-Croatian border

      This August the Slovenian government authorized the construction (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-slovenia/slovenia-erects-more-border-fence-to-curb-migrant-inflow-idUSKCN1VC19Q) of a fence 40 kms long on the banks of the river Kolpa, on the border with Croatia. The security device, installed by Serbian firm LEGI SGS, will add up to an already existing fence, making the barrier a total of 219km long. The exact location of the construction was not made public, and a spokeswoman for the interior ministry said itwill be a temporary measure to prevent people crossing the border. She did however directly cite migration as a threat to the security of citizens’ in her statement, arguably reinforcing the ideological bordering that accompanies this further fencing. Theconstruction is part of an escalating approach to border security which includes the deployment of military (https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2019/07/slovenia-deploy-soldiers-boost-border-patrols-migrants-190721191235190.ht), stationed on the border since 2016, and bolstered this year alongside regular police forces.

      The opposition party NSi demanded tighter control (https://balkaninsight.com/2019/07/05/slovenia-opposition-demands-tighter-border-controls-with-croatia) sat the border with Croatia in July, and there seems little, or no will to challenge the mainstream rhetoric on migration. These demands, as BVMN reported last month (http://www.nonamekitchen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Final-Report-July-2019.pdf), coincided with concerns of Italy building a wall on the border with Slovenia, were the ongoing joint border not to stem movement from Slovenia into Italy. Thus it seems somewhat ironic to observe the construction of a barrier on Slovenia’s Southern border, preempting the machinations of Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

      Unfortunately, the domino effect being played out between these states only feeds into Croatia’s intensifying security measures. While interior minister David Bozinovic was plethoric, stating that “what Slovenians are doing, is their own decision” (https://www.total-croatia-news.com/politics/38042-migrants), his assertion that a joint European solution would be more welcome rings fairly hollow when viewed in tandem with the heightened repression around pushbacks this month and the already complicit role of Frontex. To this end, there seems to be no escape from the vicious circle of reborderization and loss of human rights in Europe, shown most recentlyby Slovenia’s harder borders.

      Allegations of smuggling made against asylum centerstaff in Ljubljana

      A statement (https://push-forward.org/novica/izjava-iniciative-prosilcev-za-azil-la-lutte-de-la-liberte-6-8-2019-az) by the asylum seekers initiative La lutte de la Liberté, and released at the beginning of August highlights what may be a serious case of abuse by security personnel in the asylum seekers camp Vič, Slovenia. According to the group, a resident in the camp called Ibrahim witnessed a number of security guards smuggling migrants out of the camp with cars in exchange for money. After the incident, which took place at the beginning of July, Ibrahim told the director of the camp who flatly denied the allegations, yet simultaneously removed two guards from their posts, causing great suspicion. In retaliation, other guards started to mob Ibrahim resulting in a series of episodes of violence culminating in a fight, for which Ibrahim was taken to a detention centre in #Postojna.

      Ibrahim has now been released and three security guards in the camp are under investigation, a source from InfoKolpa shared. Even though the actual occurrence of smuggling remains a supposition, the event highlights an important grey zone in which camp staff are operating, and the potential for systemic abuse of the asylum system. It can be argued that such cases can only emerge in the void left by inaccessible procedures and it is well known that extremely long waiting times are built into the asylum system in Slovenia. The behaviorof the security guards, in a position of absolute power over the migrants, can be explained by the fact that they are virtually invisible to the outside world, unless the migrants can organizethemselves as in this case. There has already been proof of violent behaviorby the guards in Vic, as shown in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4GP0qLTsg0

      ) taken some six months ago.

      People on the move, for their part, are in a position of structural and individual disadvantage, susceptible to many types of violence. As the statement correctly underlines, regardless of some staff being amenable, one person abusing a position of power is enough to ruin the life of someone held captive in a protracted asylum system. Infact, evidence would go further to suggest that in this case it seems like the guards were more of an organizedmob, rather than rogue individuals.

      The waiting period for asylum which reaches nine months maximum in theory (with only 18 euros a month granted to applicants by the state), makes the tenure of asylum seekers even more precarious, adding to the poor or nonexistent measures taken to integrate them into society: asylum seekers have no access to welfare, assistance in access to work or social housing and their placement in the detention center in Postojna is decided arbitrarily bythe police. The entire Slovenian asylum system goes thus into inquiry, if viewed through thelensof this case, which both expounds its flaws and the potential corruption within.

      (pp.18-20)

      #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières

  • L.A. might ban homeless people from sleeping on many streets. What about your block?

    A plan under consideration at City Hall would ban sleeping on streets and sidewalks within 500 feet of schools, parks, day-care facilities and some popular venues, eliminating at least a quarter of #Los_Angeles for homeless people trying to bed down at night, a Times analysis found.


    https://www.latimes.com/projects/homeless-sleeping-maps
    #bannissement #ségrégation #périmètres_d'exclusion #exclusion #anti-SDF #sans-abrisme #SDF #sans-abri #cartographie #frontières #visualisation #USA #Etats-Unis #barrières_urbaines #in/visibilité #murs_urbains #invisibilité #ressources_pédagogiques #murs_intra-urbains #villes #géographie_urbaine #urbanisme
    ping @reka

  • Le #Pentagone débloque 3,6 milliards de dollars pour le mur de Trump

    Le Pentagone a annoncé mardi avoir débloqué 3,6 milliards de dollars pour financer la construction de 280 km de mur à la frontière mexicaine, à la demande du président Donald Trump.

    Pour débloquer ces fonds, le ministère américain de la #Défense a décidé de « reporter » 127 projets de construction et de modernisation des locaux militaires aux Etats-Unis et à l’étranger prévus dans son budget 2019, a indiqué à la presse un porte-parole du ministère, Jonathan Hoffman.

    Le ministre de la Défense #Mark_Esper « a décidé que ces projets de construction sont nécessaires pour soutenir l’usage des forces armées et le ministère de la Défense va donc mener 11 projets de construction militaire de barrière frontalière », a précisé M. Hoffman au cours d’un point de presse.

    « La longueur totale (...) est de 175 miles », a précisé le responsable des affaires de sécurité intérieure au Pentagone, Kenneth Rapuano. Il a précisé qu’il s’agit de renforcer des segments de barrière frontalière déjà existant mais considérés comme insuffisants, ainsi que de construire de nouveaux segments.

    Les zones considérées sont notamment situées près de #Yuma (Arizona), #El_Centro et #San_Diego (Californie), #Laredo et #El_Paso (Texas).

    Le général Andrew Poppas, directeur des opérations à l’état-major américain, a assuré que la construction de ces pans de mur frontalier permettrait de réduire le nombre des 5.000 militaires américains déployés à la frontière mexicaines à la demande de Donald Trump, qui souhaite endiguer une vague d’immigration en provenance d’Amérique latine.

    Les projets de construction militaire reportés n’ont pas été décrits à la presse, le Pentagone souhaitant informer d’abord les élus des Etats concernés par les 127 projets, mais les élus du Congrès ont très rapidement réagi à cette annonce.

    Parmi les projets affectés figure notamment un bâtiment de la prestigieuse académie militaire de West Point, a indiqué le leader des démocrates au Sénat, Chuck Schumer.

    « C’est une gifle pour les forces armées qui servent notre pays », a-t-il tweeté. Le président Donald Trump est « prêt à cannibaliser des fonds militaires déjà alloués pour satisfaire son ego et pour un mur qu’il a promis que le Mexique paierait », a-t-il ajouté.

    https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/le-pentagone-debloque-36-milliards-de-dollars-pour-le-mur-de-
    #murs #financement #barrières_frontalières #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis #armée

    ping @mobileborders

    • Trump administration raids military construction projects for border wall

      The move is likely to further inflame Democrats who have accused the administration of illegally overriding Congress’ spending decisions.

      The Trump administration is carrying out plans to raid $3.6 billion in military construction projects to build the border wall, further inflaming lawmakers who have accused President Donald Trump of illegally overriding Congress’ spending decisions.

      Defense Secretary Mark Esper informed congressional leaders on Tuesday of the cash grab from a total of 127 military projects. Roughly half the money will come from funds previously dedicated to upgrading military bases abroad and the other half in the United States.

      Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Esper told him some of the money will come from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in his home state of New York.

      “It is a slap in the face to the members of the Armed Forces who serve our country that President Trump is willing to cannibalize already allocated military funding to boost his own ego and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build,” Schumer said in a statement.

      Trump declared a national emergency in February in order to divert $8 billion from various federal accounts to build a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, including a Treasury Department fund and Defense Department efforts to interdict illegal drugs.

      Tuesday’s announcement comes on top of $2.5 billion the Pentagon already diverted from its budget toward the border barrier this spring over objections from leaders on the House and Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees.

      In a letter to Senate Armed Services Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Tuesday, Esper detailed 11 border projects on the U.S.-Mexico border that the diverted funds will now finance.

      The barriers, Esper contended, will allow military personnel that have been deployed to the border to beef up security to focus on areas that don’t have physical barriers.

      “In short, these barriers will allow DoD to provide support to DHS more efficiently and effectively,” Esper wrote. “In this respect, the contemplated construction projects are force multipliers.”

      In total, the military construction budget will fund 175 miles of border wall — a combination of new barricades and improvements to existing structures. The earliest construction could begin in about 100 days, Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon’s acting comptroller, told reporters.

      She added that the first projects are likely to begin on land owned by the military, including the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range along the border in Arizona.

      The roster of 127 projects the Pentagon is targeting to pay for the border wall has been winnowed down from a much longer list of $12.9 billion worth of projects in dozens of states, as well as several locations overseas.

      The Pentagon is expected to release a list of all impacted projects on Wednesday, after it notifies lawmakers whose districts will be affected, as well as officials in foreign countries where projects are being deferred, according to Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson.

      However, the military construction projects being raided do not include family housing, military barracks and projects that have already been awarded or are expected to be awarded in fiscal 2019, Hoffman said. He also added that the $1.8 billion from domestic projects will become available only when the $1.8 billion from international projects has been used up.

      Defense officials said they also hope Congress will appropriate more money to backfill the military construction projects that get cut. “The way we’re describing it is deferred. They’re definitely not canceled," McCusker said of the military construction projects being raided.

      Nevertheless, other Democrats in Congress also swiftly rebuked the decision. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who oversees military construction funding in the House, warned that the Trump administration “is about to weaken our national security by stealing billions from our military," including training for soldiers and schools for military families.

      “I reminded his Admin today that I will not support this theft from our military," Wasserman Schultz wrote on Twitter. “Trump can pander to his nativist base, but the House will fight his every attempt to make our military families or national security suffer as a result.”

      A group of Democratic senators sent a letter to Esper on Tuesday demanding more details. “We are opposed to this decision and the damage it will cause to our military and the relationship between Congress and the Department of Defense,” the senators wrote. “We also expect a full justification of how the decision to cancel was made for each project selected and why a border wall is more important to our national security and the well-being of our service members and their families than these projects.”

      In response to the news, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) also taunted Trump in a tweet, writing eight times that “Trump promised Mexico would pay” for his campaign pledge to build a border wall.

      The move is also expected to draw ire of Republicans — at least privately. Lawmakers in both parties have consistently warned the Pentagon against raiding the defense budget for a border wall — a move they fear will hurt military readiness.

      The Trump administration previously angered congressional Democrats by deploying thousands of troops to help secure the southern border.

      It’s possible some of those troops on the border could return home once the wall is erected, Army Lt. Gen. Andrew Poppas, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters. Having more effective barricades could reduce the need for military personnel to patrol those portions of the border, Hoffman added.

      But Congress isn’t the only interested party expected to put up a fight over Trump’s latest move.

      The American Civil Liberties Union said after the announcement that it plans to file a motion to block the transfer of the money. The ACLU is representing the Sierra Club and border advocates in a related federal lawsuit in California.

      “The fact that the government sat on these so-called ‘emergency funds’ for seven months further confirms that this is nothing but an unlawful power grab. We’ll be back in court very soon to block Trump’s latest effort to raid military funds for his xenophobic wall," Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement.

      https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/03/trump-administration-prepares-to-raid-military-projects-for-border-wall-14

    • Trump moving forward to divert $3.6B from military projects for border wall

      The Trump administration is moving forward with its plan to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects, notifying congressional leaders and lawmakers whose states will be impacted by the shuffle.

      Defense Secretary Mark Esper called congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), on Tuesday to detail the decision to reprogram the money away from military construction projects and to the border.

      Schumer, who has projects in his home state that will be impacted, panned the decision as a “slap in the face” to members of the military.


      “The president is trying to usurp Congress’s exclusive power of the purse and loot vital funds from our military. Robbing the Defense Department of much-needed funds is an affront to our service members and Congress will strongly oppose any funds for new wall construction,” he added.

      Pelosi told House Democrats on a caucuswide conference call on Tuesday that Esper also informed her of the move earlier in the day, according to a call participant.

      “Canceling military construction projects at home and abroad will undermine our national security and the quality of life and morale of our troops, making America less secure,” Pelosi said later in a public statement.

      “The House will continue to fight this unacceptable and deeply dangerous decision in the Courts, in the Congress and in the court of public opinion, and honor our oath to protect the Constitution,” she added.

      Pentagon officials on Tuesday also confirmed that Esper approved $3.6 billion in Defense Department dollars to build 175 miles of wall on the U.S.- Mexico border, with Congress being briefed on the construction projects that will be affected by the order.

      The notification to congressional leadership comes following Trump’s declaration of a national emergency earlier this year to access more money for the border wall after Congress passed a funding bill that included only $1.35 billion for the border.

      Republicans bristled over Trump’s decision to declare the national emergency to get wall funding, but Congress was unable to override Trump’s veto of a resolution to nix the declaration. Democrats have pledged to force another vote this fall.

      As part of the declaration, Trump announced that he would reshuffle $3.6 billion from military construction projects. Republicans are promising to “back fill” the money in the upcoming government funding bills, though that requires cooperation from Democrats.

      In the meantime, roughly 127 military construction projects are being put on hold, half of which are overseas and half of which are planned U.S. projects, according to the Pentagon.

      Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker, who also spoke to reporters, said construction is expected to begin in about 135 days.

      Officials also said that the additional miles of wall to be built are expected to diminish the number of U.S. troops deployed to the border but could not give an estimate as to how many.

      Democrats immediately balked at the Pentagon’s decision to formally move forward with the reprogramming.

      Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, knocked the administration on Tuesday, saying there was “no credible reason” for diverting the funding.

      “There should be broad, bipartisan opposition to misusing defense dollars in this manner in both Congress and the courts," he added.

      “The President is robbing the men and women of our armed services of funds meant for critical construction projects that are necessary to serve our troops, support our allies, deter our adversaries, and care for our military families — all to build a wall that will do nothing to solve the humanitarian crisis at our Southwest border or protect the American people,” Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a joint statement.

      Leahy is the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, while Durbin is the top Democrat on the Defense subcommittee and Schatz is the top Democrat on the military construction subcommittee.

      Schatz added in a subsequent tweet that “every service member, family member, and veteran should look at the list of projects he is de-funding and know that Trump thinks a wall is more important.”

      Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee sent Esper a letter on Tuesday requesting more information on the impacted projects, including how they were selected.

      “We ... expect a full justification of how the decision to cancel was made for each project selected and why a border wall is more important to our national security and the wellbeing of our service members and their families than these projects,” 10 Democrats on the panel wrote in their letter.

      https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/459800-trump-plans-to-divert-money-from-military-projects-this-week-for-bor

    • Pentagon diverts $3.6bn in funds for southern border wall

      US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper has granted $3.6bn (£3bn) in Pentagon funding to be redirected to help build a US-Mexico border wall.

      The money will fund 175 miles (280km) of construction and will force 127 military projects to be put on hold, he told lawmakers in a letter on Tuesday.

      Building a border wall was a major campaign pledge of President Trump but it has faced significant opposition.

      Tough action on immigration also forms a central part of his re-election bid.

      Mr Esper’s letter did not use the term “wall” but the border barriers described are likely to be cited by Mr Trump as evidence of progress as he gears up for the vote in 2020.

      Last July, the Supreme Court handed Mr Trump a victory in a related case, saying that the national emergency he issued in February allowed him the power to use $2.5bn in defence funds for wall construction while the matter proceeds in courts.

      In a letter sent to several congressional committees, the Department of Defense identified the 127 military construction projects worldwide that stand to lose funding on behalf of the border wall.

      Democrats argue that by diverting funds to the wall, the Trump administration is attempting to circumvent Congress’ role in making budgets for government agencies.

      Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it showed Mr Trump “is willing to cannibalise already allocated military funding to boost his own ego and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build”.

      The American Civil Liberties Union promised to seek a court order to block “the president’s abuse of emergency powers to secure funds for a wall Congress denied”.

      Donald Trump promised to use military construction money to fund his long-promised Mexican border wall. Now that order is being recorded on paper and put into action.

      That may cause some political difficulties for the president, but it’s clear he believes the potential damage from not following through on his 2016 border-wall campaign pledge - even if the funds are coming from US taxpayers, not Mexico - is greater than the risk of disgruntled constituents and interested parties.

      It wasn’t too long ago that border walling was a non-controversial proposition, tucked into larger spending legislation. That was before Donald Trump made it the most visible embodiment of his immigration policies, however.

      Mr Trump has already tweeted aerial video of new border wall construction (technically, just replacement barriers). His goal is to have even more footage to point to - and, perhaps, stand smiling alongside - as his 2020 presidential re-election campaign picks up steam.
      What is being defunded?

      In a letter released on Wednesday evening, first reported by The Daily Beast, Mr Esper identifies 127 projects that stand to lose funding at the expense of the border wall.

      This list includes projects across 23 US states, three US territories and 20 countries. More than $1bn in mainland projects - with a wide array of purposes -will likely be shelved, including $40m to update hazardous waste storage in Virginia and $95m for an engineering centre in New York.

      Nearly $700m will be diverted from projects in US territories Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Of these Puerto Rico will be hit hardest: the island stands to lose $400m worth of planned projects.

      Approximately $770m will be taken from projects across Europe, directed at helping allied countries deter a possible attack from Russia.

      Nine projects overall affect the renovation and replacement of schools for children on US military bases across the world.

      According to the Pentagon, the affected projects have not been cancelled outright but have been “deferred”.

      For the projects to be resumed, however, Congress must agree to do so in its annual defence policy bill. If Congress fails to do so, they will be stuck in legislative limbo and effectively defunded.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49574441

  • USA : Dublin façon frontière Mexique/USA

    Faute d’accord avec le #Guatemala (pour l’instant bloqué du fait du recours déposé par plusieurs membres de l’opposition devant la Cour constitutionnelle) et le #Mexique les désignant comme des « #pays_sûr », les USA ont adopté une nouvelle réglementation en matière d’#asile ( « #Interim_Final_Rule » - #IFR), spécifiquement pour la #frontière avec le Mexique, qui n’est pas sans faire penser au règlement de Dublin : les personnes qui n’auront pas sollicité l’asile dans un des pays traversés en cours de route avant d’arriver aux USA verront leur demande rejetée.
    Cette règle entre en vigueur aujourd’hui et permet donc le #refoulement de toute personne « who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border, but who did not apply for protection from persecution or torture where it was available in at least one third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which he or she transited en route to the United States. »
    Lien vers le règlement : https://www.dhs.gov/news/2019/07/15/dhs-and-doj-issue-third-country-asylum-rule
    Plusieurs associations dont ACLU (association US) vont déposer un recours visant à le faire invalider.
    Les USA recueillent et échangent déjà des données avec les pays d’Amérique centrale et latine qu’ils utilisent pour débouter les demandeurs d’asile, par exemple avec le Salvador : https://psmag.com/social-justice/homeland-security-uses-foreign-databases-to-monitor-gang-activity

    Reçu via email le 16.07.2019 de @pascaline

    #USA #Etats-Unis #Dublin #Dublin_façon_USA #loi #Dublin_aux_USA #législation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #El_Salvador

    • Trump Administration Implementing ’3rd Country’ Rule On Migrants Seeking Asylum

      The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

      The restriction will likely face court challenges, opening a new front in the battle over U.S. immigration policies.

      The interim final rule will take effect immediately after it is published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, according to the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

      The new policy applies specifically to the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that “an alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which the alien transited en route to the United States is ineligible for asylum.”

      “Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ’pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States,” Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan said in a statement about the new rule.

      The American Civil Liberties Union said it planned to file a lawsuit to try to stop the rule from taking effect.

      “This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement.

      Gelernt accused the Trump administration of “trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger.”

      The strict policy shift would likely bring new pressures and official burdens on Mexico and Guatemala, countries through which migrants and refugees often pass on their way to the U.S.

      On Sunday, Guatemala’s government pulled out of a meeting between President Jimmy Morales and Trump that had been scheduled for Monday, citing ongoing legal questions over whether the country could be deemed a “safe third country” for migrants who want to reach the U.S.

      Hours after the U.S. announced the rule on Monday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said it was a unilateral move that will not affect Mexican citizens.

      “Mexico does not agree with measures that limit asylum and refugee status for those who fear for their lives or safety, and who fear persecution in their country of origin,” Ebrard said.

      Ebrard said Mexico will maintain its current policies, reiterating the country’s “respect for the human rights of all people, as well as for its international commitments in matters of asylum and political refuge.”

      According to a DHS news release, the U.S. rule would set “a new bar to eligibility” for anyone seeking asylum. It also allows exceptions in three limited cases:

      “1) an alien who demonstrates that he or she applied for protection from persecution or torture in at least one of the countries through which the alien transited en route to the United States, and the alien received a final judgment denying the alien protection in such country;

      ”(2) an alien who demonstrates that he or she satisfies the definition of ’victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons’ provided in 8 C.F.R. § 214.11; or,

      “(3) an alien who has transited en route to the United States through only a country or countries that were not parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol, or the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”

      The DHS release describes asylum as “a discretionary benefit offered by the United States Government to those fleeing persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

      The departments of Justice and Homeland Security are publishing the 58-page asylum rule as the Trump administration faces criticism over conditions at migrant detention centers at the southern border, as well as its “remain in Mexico” policy that requires asylum-seekers who are waiting for a U.S. court date to do so in Mexico rather than in the U.S.

      In a statement about the new rule, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said that current U.S. asylum rules have been abused, and that the large number of people trying to enter the country has put a strain on the system.

      Barr said the number of cases referred to the Department of Justice for proceedings before an immigration judge “has risen exponentially, more than tripling between 2013 and 2018.” The attorney general added, “Only a small minority of these individuals, however, are ultimately granted asylum.”

      https://www.npr.org/2019/07/15/741769333/u-s-sets-new-asylum-rule-telling-potential-refugees-to-apply-elsewhere

    • Le journal The New Yorker : Trump est prêt à signer un accord majeur pour envoyer à l’avenir les demandeurs d’asile au Guatemala

      L’article fait état d’un projet de #plate-forme_externalisée pour examiner les demandes de personnes appréhendées aux frontières US, qui rappelle à la fois une proposition britannique (jamais concrétisée) de 2003 de créer des processing centers extra-européens et la #Pacific_solution australienne, qui consiste à déporter les demandeurs d’asile « illégaux » de toute nationalité dans des pays voisins. Et l’article évoque la « plus grande et la plus troublante des questions : comment le Guatemala pourrait-il faire face à un afflux si énorme de demandeurs ? » Peut-être en demandant conseil aux autorités libyennes et à leurs amis européens ?

      –-> Message reçu d’Alain Morice via la mailling-list Migreurop.

      Trump Is Poised to Sign a Radical Agreement to Send Future Asylum Seekers to Guatemala

      Early next week, according to a D.H.S. official, the Trump Administration is expected to announce a major immigration deal, known as a safe-third-country agreement, with Guatemala. For weeks, there have been reports that negotiations were under way between the two countries, but, until now, none of the details were official. According to a draft of the agreement obtained by The New Yorker, asylum seekers from any country who either show up at U.S. ports of entry or are apprehended while crossing between ports of entry could be sent to seek asylum in Guatemala instead. During the past year, tens of thousands of migrants, the vast majority of them from Central America, have arrived at the U.S. border seeking asylum each month. By law, the U.S. must give them a chance to bring their claims before authorities, even though there’s currently a backlog in the immigration courts of roughly a million cases. The Trump Administration has tried a number of measures to prevent asylum seekers from entering the country—from “metering” at ports of entry to forcing people to wait in Mexico—but, in every case, international obligations held that the U.S. would eventually have to hear their asylum claims. Under this new arrangement, most of these migrants will no longer have a chance to make an asylum claim in the U.S. at all. “We’re talking about something much bigger than what the term ‘safe third country’ implies,” someone with knowledge of the deal told me. “We’re talking about a kind of transfer agreement where the U.S. can send any asylum seekers, not just Central Americans, to Guatemala.”

      From the start of the Trump Presidency, Administration officials have been fixated on a safe-third-country policy with Mexico—a similar accord already exists with Canada—since it would allow the U.S. government to shift the burden of handling asylum claims farther south. The principle was that migrants wouldn’t have to apply for asylum in the U.S. because they could do so elsewhere along the way. But immigrants-rights advocates and policy experts pointed out that Mexico’s legal system could not credibly take on that responsibility. “If you’re going to pursue a safe-third-country agreement, you have to be able to say ‘safe’ with a straight face,” Doris Meissner, a former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, told me. Until very recently, the prospect of such an agreement—not just with Mexico but with any other country in Central America—seemed far-fetched. Yet last month, under the threat of steep tariffs on Mexican goods, Trump strong-armed the Mexican government into considering it. Even so, according to a former Mexican official, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is stalling. “They are trying to fight this,” the former official said. What’s so striking about the agreement with Guatemala, however, is that it goes even further than the terms the U.S. sought in its dealings with Mexico. “This is a whole new level,” the person with knowledge of the agreement told me. “In my read, it looks like even those who have never set foot in Guatemala can potentially be sent there.”

      At this point, there are still more questions than answers about what the agreement with Guatemala will mean in practice. A lot will still have to happen before it goes into force, and the terms aren’t final. The draft of the agreement doesn’t provide much clarity on how it will be implemented—another person with knowledge of the agreement said, “This reads like it was drafted by someone’s intern”—but it does offer an exemption for Guatemalan migrants, which might be why the government of Jimmy Morales, a U.S. ally, seems willing to sign on. Guatemala is currently in the midst of Presidential elections; next month, the country will hold a runoff between two candidates, and the current front-runner has been opposed to this type of deal. The Morales government, however, still has six months left in office. A U.N.-backed anti-corruption body called the CICIG, which for years was funded by the U.S. and admired throughout the region, is being dismantled by Morales, whose own family has fallen under investigation for graft and financial improprieties. Signing an immigration deal “would get the Guatemalan government in the U.S.’s good graces,” Stephen McFarland, a former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala, told me. “The question is, what would they intend to use that status for?” Earlier this week, after Morales announced that he would be meeting with Trump in Washington on Monday, three former foreign ministers of Guatemala petitioned the country’s Constitutional Court to block him from signing the agreement. Doing so, they said, “would allow the current president of the republic to leave the future of our country mortgaged, without any responsibility.”

      The biggest, and most unsettling, question raised by the agreement is how Guatemala could possibly cope with such enormous demands. More people are leaving Guatemala now than any other country in the northern triangle of Central America. Rampant poverty, entrenched political corruption, urban crime, and the effects of climate change have made large swaths of the country virtually uninhabitable. “This is already a country in which the political and economic system can’t provide jobs for all its people,” McFarland said. “There are all these people, their own citizens, that the government and the political and economic system are not taking care of. To get thousands of citizens from other countries to come in there, and to take care of them for an indefinite period of time, would be very difficult.” Although the U.S. would provide additional aid to help the Guatemalan government address the influx of asylum seekers, it isn’t clear whether the country has the administrative capacity to take on the job. According to the person familiar with the safe-third-country agreement, “U.N.H.C.R. [the U.N.’s refugee agency] has not been involved” in the current negotiations. And, for Central Americans transferred to Guatemala under the terms of the deal, there’s an added security risk: many of the gangs Salvadorans and Hondurans are fleeing also operate in Guatemala.

      In recent months, the squalid conditions at borderland detention centers have provoked a broad political outcry in the U.S. At the same time, a worsening asylum crisis has been playing out south of the U.S. border, beyond the immediate notice of concerned Americans. There, the Trump Administration is quietly delivering on its promise to redraw American asylum practice. Since January, under a policy called the Migration Protection Protocols (M.P.P.), the U.S. government has sent more than fifteen thousand asylum seekers to Mexico, where they now must wait indefinitely as their cases inch through the backlogged American immigration courts. Cities in northern Mexico, such as Tijuana and Juarez, are filling up with desperate migrants who are exposed to violent crime, extortion, and kidnappings, all of which are on the rise.This week, as part of the M.P.P., the U.S. began sending migrants to Tamaulipas, one of Mexico’s most violent states and a stronghold for drug cartels that, for years, have brutalized migrants for money and for sport.

      Safe-third-country agreements are notoriously difficult to enforce. The logistics are complex, and the outcomes tend not to change the harried calculations of asylum seekers as they flee their homes. These agreements, according to a recent study by the Migration Policy Institute, are “unlikely to hold the key to solving the crisis unfolding at the U.S. southern border.” The Trump Administration has already cut aid to Central America, and the U.S. asylum system remains in dire need of improvement. But there’s also little question that the agreement with Guatemala will reduce the number of people who reach, and remain in, the U.S. If the President has made the asylum crisis worse, he’ll also be able to say he’s improving it—just as he can claim credit for the decline in the number of apprehensions at the U.S. border last month. That was the result of increased enforcement efforts by the Mexican government acting under U.S. pressure.

      There’s also no reason to expect that the Trump Administration will abandon its efforts to force the Mexicans into a safe-third-country agreement as well. “The Mexican government thought that the possibility of a safe-third-country agreement with Guatemala had fallen apart because of the elections there,” the former Mexican official told me. “The recent news caught top Mexican officials by surprise.” In the next month, the two countries will continue immigration talks, and, again, Mexico will face mounting pressure to accede to American demands. “The U.S. has used the agreement with Guatemala to convince the Mexicans to sign their own safe-third-country agreement,” the former official said. “Its argument is that the number of migrants Mexico will receive will be lower now.”

      https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-poised-to-sign-a-radical-agreement-to-send-future-asylum-seekers-to
      #externalisation

    • After Tariff Threat, Trump Says Guatemala Has Agreed to New Asylum Rules

      President Trump on Friday again sought to block migrants from Central America from seeking asylum, announcing an agreement with Guatemala to require people who travel through that country to seek refuge from persecution there instead of in the United States.

      American officials said the deal could go into effect within weeks, though critics vowed to challenge it in court, saying that Guatemala is itself one of the most dangerous countries in the world — hardly a refuge for those fleeing gangs and government violence.

      Mr. Trump had been pushing for a way to slow the flow of migrants streaming across the Mexican border and into the United States in recent months. This week, the president had threatened to impose tariffs on Guatemala, to tax money that Guatemalan migrants in the United States send back to family members, or to ban all travel from the country if the agreement were not signed.

      Joined in the Oval Office on Friday by Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart of Guatemala, Mr. Trump said the agreement would end what he has described as a crisis at the border, which has been overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of families fleeing violence and persecution in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
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      “These are bad people,” Mr. Trump told reporters after a previously unannounced signing ceremony. He said the agreement would “end widespread abuse of the system and the crippling crisis on our border.”

      Officials did not release the English text of the agreement or provide many details about how it would be put into practice along the United States border with Mexico. Mr. Trump announced the deal in a Friday afternoon Twitter post that took Guatemalan politicians and leaders at immigration advocacy groups by surprise.

      Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, described the document signed by the two countries as a “safe third” agreement that would make migrants ineligible for protection in the United States if they had traveled through Guatemala and did not first apply for asylum there.

      Instead of being returned home, however, the migrants would be sent back to Guatemala, which under the agreement would be designated as a safe place for them to live.

      “They would be removable, back to Guatemala, if they want to seek an asylum claim,” said Mr. McAleenan, who likened the agreement to similar arrangements in Europe.
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      The move was the latest attempt by Mr. Trump to severely limit the ability of refugees to win protection in the United States. A new regulation that would have also banned most asylum seekers was blocked by a judge in San Francisco earlier this week.

      But the Trump administration is determined to do everything it can to stop the flow of migrants at the border, which has infuriated the president. Mr. Trump has frequently told his advisers that he sees the border situation as evidence of a failure to make good on his campaign promise to seal the border from dangerous immigrants.

      More than 144,200 migrants were taken into custody at the southwest border in May, the highest monthly total in 13 years. Arrests at the border declined by 28 percent in June after efforts in Mexico and the United States to stop migrants from Central America.

      Late Friday, the Guatemalan government released the Spanish text of the deal, which is called a “cooperative agreement regarding the examination of protection claims.” In an earlier statement announcing the agreement, the government had referred to an implementation plan for Salvadorans and Hondurans. It does not apply to Guatemalans who request asylum in the United States.

      By avoiding any mention of a “safe third country” agreement, President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala appeared to be trying to sidestep a recent court ruling blocking him from signing a deal with the United States without the approval of his country’s congress.

      Mr. Morales will leave office in January. One of the candidates running to replace him, the conservative Alejandro Giammattei, said that it was “irresponsible” for Mr. Morales to have agreed to an accord without revealing its contents first.

      “It is up to the next government to attend to this negotiation,” Mr. Giammattei wrote on Twitter. His opponent, Sandra Torres, had opposed any safe-third-country agreement when it first appeared that Mr. Morales was preparing to sign one.

      Legal groups in the United States said the immediate effect of the agreement will not be clear until the administration releases more details. But based on the descriptions of the deal, they vowed to ask a judge to block it from going into effect.

      “Guatemala can neither offer a safe nor fair and full process, and nobody could plausibly argue otherwise,” said Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who argued against other recent efforts to limit asylum. “There’s no way they have the capacity to provide a full and fair procedure, much less a safe one.”

      American asylum laws require that virtually all migrants who arrive at the border must be allowed to seek refuge in the United States, but the law allows the government to quickly deport migrants to a country that has signed a “safe third” agreement.

      But critics said that the law clearly requires the “safe third” country to be a truly safe place where migrants will not be in danger. And it requires that the country have the ability to provide a “full and fair” system of protections that can accommodate asylum seekers who are sent there. Critics insisted that Guatemala meets neither requirement.

      They also noted that the State Department’s own country condition reports on Guatemala warn about rampant gang activity and say that murder is common in the country, which has a police force that is often ineffective at best.

      Asked whether Guatemala is a safe country for refugees, Mr. McAleenan said it was unfair to tar an entire country, noting that there are also places in the United States that are not safe.

      In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, 116,808 migrants apprehended at the southwest border were from Guatemala, while 77,128 were from Honduras and 31,636 were from El Salvador.

      “It’s legally ludicrous and totally dangerous,” said Eleanor Acer, the senior director for refugee protection at Human Rights First. “The United States is trying to send people back to a country where their lives would be at risk. It sets a terrible example for the rest of the world.”

      Administration officials traveled to Guatemala in recent months, pushing officials there to sign the agreement, according to an administration official. But negotiations broke down in the past two weeks after Guatemala’s Constitutional Court ruled that Mr. Morales needed approval from lawmakers to make the deal with the United States.

      The ruling led Mr. Morales to cancel a planned trip in mid-July to sign the agreement, leaving Mr. Trump fuming.

      “Now we are looking at the BAN, Tariffs, Remittance Fees, or all of the above,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on July 23.

      Friday’s action suggests that the president’s threats, which provoked concern among Guatemala’s business community, were effective.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/world/americas/trump-guatemala-asylum.html

    • Este es el acuerdo migratorio firmado entre Guatemala y Estados Unidos

      Prensa Libre obtuvo en primicia el acuerdo que Guatemala firmó con Estados Unidos para detener la migración desde el Triángulo Norte de Centroamérica.

      Estados Unidos y Guatemala firmaron este 26 de julio un “acuerdo de asilo”, después de que esta semana el presidente Donald Trump amenazara a Guatemala con imponer aranceles para presionar por la negociación del convenio.

      Según Trump, el acuerdo “va a dar seguridad a los demandantes de asilo legítimos y a va detener los fraudes y abusos en el sistema de asilo”.

      El acuerdo fue firmado en el Despacho Oval de la Casa Blanca entre Kevin McAleenan, secretario interino de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos, y Enrique Degenhart, ministro de Gobernación de Guatemala.

      “Hace mucho tiempo que hemos estado trabajando con Guatemala y ahora podemos hacerlo de la manera correcta”, dijo el mandatario estadounidense.

      Este es el contenido íntegro del acuerdo:

      ACUERDO ENTRE EL GOBIERNO DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA Y EL GOBIERNO DE LA REPÚBLICA DE GUATEMALA RELATIVO A LA COOPERACIÓN RESPECTO AL EXAMEN DE SOLICITUDES DE PROTECCIÓN

      EL GOBIERNO DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA Y EL GOBIERNO DE LA REPÚBLICA DE GUATEMALA, en lo sucesivo de forma individual una “Parte” o colectivamente “las Partes”,

      CONSIDERANDO que Guatemala norma sus relaciones con otros países de conformidad con principios, reglas y prácticas internacionales con el propósito de contribuir al mantenimiento de la paz y la libertad, al respeto y defensa de los derechos humanos, y al fortalecimiento de los procesos democráticos e instituciones internacionales que garanticen el beneficio mutuo y equitativo entre los Estados; considerando por otro lado, que Guatemala mantendrá relaciones de amistad, solidaridad y cooperación con aquellos Estados cuyo desarrollo económico, social y cultural sea análogo al de Guatemala, como el derecho de las personas a migrar y su necesidad de protección;

      CONSIDERANDO que en la actualidad Guatemala incorpora en su legislación interna leyes migratorias dinámicas que obligan a Guatemala a reconocer el derecho de toda persona a emigrar o inmigrar, por lo que cualquier migrante puede entrar, permanecer, transitar, salir y retornar a su territorio nacional conforme a su legislación nacional; considerando, asimismo, que en situaciones no previstas por la legislación interna se debe aplicar la norma que más favorezca al migrante, siendo que por analogía se le debería dar abrigo y cuidado temporal a las personas que deseen ingresar de manera legal al territorio nacional; considerando que por estos motivos es necesario promover acuerdos de cooperación con otros Estados que respeten los mismos principios descritos en la política migratoria de Guatemala, reglamentada por la Autoridad Migratoria Nacional;

      CONSIDERANDO que Guatemala es parte de la Convención sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados de 1951, celebrada en Ginebra el 28 de julio de 1951 (la “Convención de 1951″) y del Protocolo sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados, firmado en Nueva York el 31 de enero de 1967 (el “Protocolo de 1967′), del cual los Estados Unidos son parte, y reafirmando la obligación de las partes de proporcionar protección a refugiados que cumplen con los requisitos y que se encuentran físicamente en sus respectivos territorios, de conformidad con sus obligaciones según esos instrumentos y sujetos . a las respectivas leyes, tratados y declaraciones de las Partes;

      RECONOCIENDO especialmente la obligación de las Partes respecto a cumplir el principio de non-refoulement de no devolución, tal como se desprende de la Convención de 1951 y del Protocolo de 1967, así como la Convención contra la Tortura y Otros Tratos o Penas Crueles, Inhumanos o Degradantes, firmada en Nueva York el 10 de diciembre de 1984 (la “Convención contra la Tortura”), con sujeción a las respectivas reservas, entendimientos y declaraciones de las Partes y reafirmando sus respectivas obligaciones de fomentar y proteger los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales en consonancia con sus obligaciones en el ámbito internacional;

      RECONOCIENDO y respetando las obligaciones de cada Parte de conformidad con sus leyes y políticas nacionales y acuerdos y arreglos internacionales;

      DESTACANDO que los Estados Unidos de América y Guatemala ofrecen sistemas de protección de refugiados que son coherentes con sus obligaciones conforme a la Convención de 1951 y/o el Protocolo de 1967;

      DECIDIDOS a mantener el estatuto de refugio o de protección temporal equivalente, como medida esencial en la protección de los refugiados o asilados, y al mismo tiempo deseando impedir el fraude en el proceso de solicitud de refugio o asilo, acción que socava su legitimo propósito; y decididos a fortalecer la integridad del proceso oficial para solicitar el estatuto de refugio o asilo, así como el respaldo público a dicho proceso;

      CONSCIENTES de que la distribución de la responsabilidad relacionada con solicitudes de protección debe garantizar en la práctica que se identifique a las personas que necesitan protección y que se eviten las violaciones del principio básico de no devolución; y, por lo tanto, comprometidos con salvaguardar para cada solicitante del estatuto de refugio o asilo que reúna las condiciones necesarias el acceso a un procedimiento completo e imparcial para determinar la solicitud;

      ACUERDAN lo siguiente:

      ARTÍCULO 1

      A efectos del presente Acuerdo:

      1. “Solicitud de protección” significa la solicitud de una persona de cualquier nacionalidad, al gobierno de una de las Partes para recibir protección conforme a sus respectivas obligaciones institucionales derivadas de la Convención de 1951, del Protocolo de 1967 o de la Convención contra la Tortura, y de conformidad con las leyes y políticas respectivas de las Partes que dan cumplimiento a esas obligaciones internacionales, así como para recibir cualquier otro tipo de protección temporal equivalente disponible conforme al derecho migratorio de la parte receptora.

      2. “Solicitante de protección” significa cualquier persona que presenta una solicitud de protección en el territorio de una de las partes.

      3. “Sistema para determinar la protección” significa el conjunto de políticas, leyes, prácticas administrativas y judiciales que el gobierno de cada parte emplea para decidir respecto de las solicitudes de protección.

      4. “Menor no acompañado” significa un solicitante de protección que no ha cumplido los dieciocho (18) años de edad y cuyo padre, madre o tutor legal no está presente ni disponible para proporcionar atención y custodia presencial en los Estados Unidos de América o en Guatemala, donde se encuentre el menor no acompañado.

      5. En el caso de la inmigración a Guatemala, las políticas respecto de leyes y migración abordan el derecho de las personas a entrar, permanecer, transitar y salir de su territorio de conformidad con sus leyes internas y los acuerdos y arreglos internacionales, y permanencia migratoria significa permanencia por un plazo de tiempo autorizado de acuerdo al estatuto migratorio otorgado a las personas.

      ARTÍCULO 2

      El presente Acuerdo no aplica a los solicitantes de protección que son ciudadanos o nacionales de Guatemala; o quienes, siendo apátridas, residen habitualmente en Guatemala.

      ARTÍCULO 3

      1. Para garantizar que los solicitantes de protección trasladados a Guatemala por los Estados Unidos tengan acceso a un sistema para determinar la protección, Guatemala no retornará ni expulsará a solicitantes de protección en Guatemala, a menos que el solicitante abandone la ‘solicitud o que esta sea denegada a través de una decisión administrativa.

      2. Durante el proceso de traslado, las personas sujetas al presente Acuerdo serán responsabilidad de los Estados Unidos hasta que finalice el proceso de traslado.

      ARTÍCULO 4

      1. La responsabilidad de determinar y concluir en su territorio solicitudes de protección recaerá en los Estados Unidos, cuando los Estados Unidos establezcan que esa persona:

      a. es un menor no acompañado; o

      b. llegó al territorio de los Estados Unidos:

      i. con una visa emitida de forma válida u otro documento de admisión válido, que no sea de tránsito, emitido por los Estados Unidos; o

      ii. sin que los Estados Unidos de América le exigiera obtener una visa.

      2. No obstante el párrafo 1 de este artículo, Guatemala evaluará las solicitudes de protección una por una, de acuerdo a lo establecido y autorizado por la autoridad competente en materia migratoria en sus políticas y leyes migratorias y en su territorio, de las personas que cumplen los requisitos necesarios conforme al presente Acuerdo, y que llegan a los Estados Unidos a un puerto de entrada o entre puertos de entrada, en la fecha efectiva del presente Acuerdo o posterior a ella. Guatemala evaluará la solicitud de protección, conforme al plan de implementación inicial y los procedimientos operativos estándar a los que se hace referencia en el artículo 7, apartados 1 y 5.

      3. Las Partes aplicarán el presente Acuerdo respecto a menores no acompañados de conformidad con sus respectivas leyes nacionales,

      4. Las Partes contarán con procedimientos para garantizar que los traslados de los Estados Unidos a Guatemala de las personas objeto del presente Acuerdo sean compatibles con sus obligaciones, leyes nacionales e internacionales y políticas migratorias respectivas.

      5. Los Estados Unidos tomarán la decisión final de que una persona satisface los requisitos para una excepción en virtud de los artículos 4 y 5 del presente Acuerdo.

      ARTÍCULO 5

      No obstante cualquier disposición del presente Acuerdo, cualquier parte podrá, según su propio criterio, examinar cualquier solicitud de protección que se haya presentado a esa Parte cuando decida que es de su interés público hacerlo.

      ARTÍCULO 6

      Las Partes podrán:

      1. Intercambiar información cuando sea necesario para la implementación efectiva del presente Acuerdo con sujeción a las leyes y reglamentación nacionales. Dicha información no será divulgada por el país receptor excepto de conformidad con sus leyes y reglamentación nacionales.

      2. Las Partes podrán intercambiar de forma habitual información respecto á leyes, reglamentación y prácticas relacionadas con sus respectivos sistemas para determinar la protección migratoria.

      ARTÍCULO 7

      1. Las Partes elaborarán procedimientos operativos estándar para asistir en la implementación del presente Acuerdo. Estos procedimientos incorporarán disposiciones para notificar por adelantado, a Guatemala, el traslado de cualquier persona conforme al presente Acuerdo. Los Estados Unidos colaborarán con Guatemala para identificar a las personas idóneas para ser trasladadas al territorio de Guatemala.

      2. Los procedimientos operativos incorporarán mecanismos para solucionar controversias que respeten la interpretación e implementación de los términos del presente Acuerdo. Los casos no previstos que no puedan solucionarse a través de estos mecanismos serán resueltos a través de la vía diplomática.

      3. Los Estados Unidos prevén cooperar para fortalecer las capacidades institucionales de Guatemala.

      4. Las Partes acuerdan evaluar regularmente el presente Acuerdo y su implementación, para subsanar las deficiencias encontradas. Las Partes realizarán las evaluaciones conjuntamente, siendo la primera dentro de un plazo máximo de tres (3) meses a partir de la fecha de entrada en operación del Acuerdo y las siguientes evaluaciones dentro de los mismos plazos. Las Partes podrán invitar, de común acuerdo, a otras organizaciones pertinentes con conocimientos especializados sobre el tema a participar en la evaluación inicial y/o cooperar para el cumplimiento del presente Acuerdo.

      5. Las Partes prevén completar un plan de implementación inicial, que incorporará gradualmente, y abordará, entre otros: a) los procedimientos necesarios para llevar a cabo el traslado de personas conforme al presente Acuerdo; b) la cantidad o número de personas a ser trasladadas; y c) las necesidades de capacidad institucional. Las Partes planean hacer operativo el presente Acuerdo al finalizarse un plan de implementación gradual.

      ARTÍCULO 8

      1. El presente Acuerdo entrará en vigor por medio de un canje de notas entre las partes en el que se indique que cada parte ha cumplido con los procedimientos jurídicos nacionales necesarios para que el Acuerdo entre en vigor. El presente Acuerdo tendrá una vigencia de dos (2) años y podrá renovarse antes de su vencimiento a través de un canje de notas.

      2. Cualquier Parte podrá dar por terminado el presente Acuerdo por medio de una notificación por escrito a la otra Parte con tres (3) meses de antelación.

      3. Cualquier parte podrá, inmediatamente después de notificar a la otra parte por escrito, suspender por un periodo inicial de hasta tres (3) meses la implementación del presente Acuerdo. Esta suspensión podrá extenderse por periodos adicionales de hasta tres (3) meses por medio de una notificación por escrito a la otra parte. Cualquier parte podrá, con el consentimiento por escrito de la otra, suspender cualquier parte del presente Acuerdo.

      4. Las Partes podrán, por escrito y de mutuo acuerdo, realizar cualquier modificación o adición al presente Acuerdo. Estas entrarán en vigor de conformidad con los procedimientos jurídicos pertinentes de cada Parte y la modificación o adición constituirá parte integral del presente Acuerdo.

      5. Ninguna disposición del presente Acuerdo deberá interpretarse de manera que obligue a las Partes a erogar o comprometer fondos.

      EN FE DE LO CUAL, los abajo firmantes, debidamente autorizados por sus respectivos gobiernos, firman el presente Acuerdo.

      HECHO el 26 de julio de 2019, por duplicado en los idiomas inglés y español, siendo ambos textos auténticos.

      POR EL GOBIERNO DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA: Kevin K. McAleenan, Secretario Interino de Seguridad Nacional.

      POR EL GOBIERNO DE LA REPÚBLICA DE GUATEMALA: Enrique A. Degenhart Asturias, Ministro de Gobernación.

      https://www.prensalibre.com/guatemala/migrantes/este-es-el-acuerdo-migratorio-firmado-entre-guatemala-y-estados-unidos

    • Washington signe un accord sur le droit d’asile avec le Guatemala

      Sous la pression du président américain, le Guatemala devient un « pays tiers sûr », où les migrants de passage vers les Etats-Unis doivent déposer leurs demandes d’asile.

      Sous la pression de Donald Trump qui menaçait de lui infliger des sanctions commerciales, le Guatemala a accepté vendredi 26 juillet de devenir un « pays tiers sûr » pour contribuer à réduire le nombre de demandes d’asile aux Etats-Unis. L’accord, qui a été signé en grande pompe dans le bureau ovale de la Maison blanche, en préfigure d’autres, a assuré le président américain, qui a notamment cité le Mexique.

      Faute d’avoir obtenu du Congrès le financement du mur qu’il souhaitait construire le long de la frontière avec le Mexique, Donald Trump a changé de stratégie en faisant pression sur les pays d’Amérique centrale pour qu’ils l’aident à réduire le flux de migrants arrivant aux Etats-Unis, qui a atteint un niveau record sous sa présidence.

      Une personne qui traverse un « pays tiers sûr » doit déposer sa demande d’asile dans ce pays et non dans son pays de destination. Sans employer le terme « pays tiers sûr », le gouvernement guatémaltèque a précisé dans un communiqué que l’accord conclu avec les Etats-Unis s’appliquerait aux réfugiés originaires du Honduras et du Salvador.

      Contreparties pour les travailleurs agricoles

      S’adressant à la presse devant la Maison blanche, le président américain a indiqué que les ouvriers agricoles guatémaltèques auraient en contrepartie un accès privilégié aux fermes aux Etats-Unis.

      Le président guatémaltèque Jimmy Morales devait signer l’accord de « pays tiers sûr » la semaine dernière mais il avait été contraint de reculer après que la Cour constitutionnelle avait jugé qu’il ne pouvait pas prendre un tel engagement sans l’accord du Parlement, ce qui avait provoqué la fureur de Donald Trump.

      Invoquant la nécessité d’éviter des « répercussions sociales et économiques », le gouvernement guatémaltèque a indiqué qu’un accord serait signé dans les prochains jours avec Washington pour faciliter l’octroi de visas de travail agricole temporaires aux ressortissants guatémaltèques. Il a dit espérer que cette mesure serait ultérieurement étendue aux secteurs de la construction et des services.

      Les Etats-Unis sont confrontés à une flambée du nombre de migrants qui cherchent à franchir sa frontière sud, celle qui les séparent du Mexique. En juin, les services de police aux frontières ont arrêté 104 000 personnes qui cherchaient à entrer illégalement aux Etats-Unis. Ils avaient été 144 000 le mois précédent.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/07/27/washington-signe-un-accord-sur-le-droit-d-asile-avec-le-guatemala_5493979_32
      #agriculture #ouvriers_agricoles #travail #fermes

    • Migrants, pressions sur le Mexique

      Sous la pression des États-Unis, le Mexique fait la chasse aux migrants sur son territoire, et les empêche d’avancer vers le nord. Au mois de juin, les autorités ont arrêté près de 24 000 personnes sans papiers.

      Debout sur son radeau, Edwin maugrée en regardant du coin de l’œil la vingtaine de militaires de la Garde Nationale mexicaine postés sous les arbres, côté mexicain. « C’est à cause d’eux si les affaires vont mal », bougonne le jeune Guatémaltèque en poussant son radeau à l’aide d’une perche. « Depuis qu’ils sont là, plus personne ne peut passer au Mexique ».

      Les eaux du fleuve Suchiate, qui sépare le Mexique du Guatemala, sont étrangement calmes depuis le mois de juin. Fini le ballet incessant des petits radeaux de fortune, où s’entassaient, pêle-mêle, villageois, commerçants et migrants qui se rendaient au Mexique. « Mais ça ne change rien, les migrants traversent plus loin », sourit le jeune homme.

      La stratégie du président américain Donald Trump pour contraindre son voisin du sud à réduire les flux migratoires en direction des États-Unis a mis le gouvernement mexicain aux abois : pour éviter une nouvelle fois la menace de l’instauration de frais de douanes de 5 % sur les importations mexicaines, le gouvernement d’Andrés Manuel López Obrador a déployé dans l’urgence 6 500 éléments de la Garde Nationale à la frontière sud du Mexique.
      Des pots-de-vin lors des contrôles

      Sur les routes, les opérations de contrôle sont partout. « Nous avons été arrêtés à deux reprises par l’armée », explique Natalia, entourée de ses garçons de 11 ans, 8 ans et 3 ans. Cette Guatémaltèque s’est enfuie de son village avec son mari et ses enfants, il y a dix jours. Son époux, témoin protégé dans le procès d’un groupe criminel, a été menacé de mort. « Au premier contrôle, nous leur avons donné 1 500 pesos (NDLR, 70 €), au deuxième 2 500 pesos (118 €), pour qu’ils nous laissent partir », explique la mère de famille, assise sous le préau de l’auberge du Père César Augusto Cañaveral, l’une des deux auberges qui accueillent les migrants à Tapachula.

      Conçu pour 120 personnes, l’établissement héberge actuellement plus de 300 personnes, dont une centaine d’enfants en bas âge. « On est face à une politique anti-migratoire de plus en plus violente et militarisée, se désole le Père Cañaveral. C’est devenu une véritable chasse à l’homme dehors, alors je leur dis de sortir le moins possible pour éviter les arrestations ». Celles-ci ont en effet explosé depuis l’ultimatum du président des États-Unis : du 1er au 24 juin, l’Institut National de Migration (INM) a arrêté près de 24 000 personnes en situation irrégulière, soit 1 000 personnes détenues par jour en moyenne, et en a expulsé plus de 17 000, essentiellement des Centraméricains. Du jamais vu.
      Des conditions de détention « indignes »

      À Tapachula, les migrants arrêtés sont entassés dans le centre de rétention Siglo XXI. À quelques mètres de l’entrée de cette forteresse de béton, Yannick a le regard vide et fatigué. « Il y avait tellement de monde là-dedans que ma fille y est tombée malade », raconte cet Angolais âgé de 33 ans, sa fille de 3 ans somnolant dans ses bras. « Ils viennent de nous relâcher car ils ne vont pas nous renvoyer en Afrique, ajoute-il. Heureusement, car à l’intérieur on dort par terre ». « Les conditions dans ce centre sont indignes », dénonce Claudia León Aug, coordinatrice du Service jésuite des réfugiés pour l’Amérique latine, qui a visité à plusieurs reprises le centre de rétention Siglo XXI. « La nourriture est souvent avariée, les enfants tombent malades, les bébés n’ont droit qu’à une seule couche par jour, et on a même recensé des cas de tortures et d’agressions ».

      Tapachula est devenu un cul-de-sac pour des milliers de migrants. Ils errent dans les rues de la ville, d’hôtel en d’hôtel, ou louent chez l’habitant, faute de pouvoir avancer vers le nord. Les compagnies de bus, sommées de participer à l’effort national, demandent systématiquement une pièce d’identité en règle. « On ne m’a pas laissé monter dans le bus en direction de Tijuana », se désole Elvis, un Camerounais de 34 ans qui rêve de se rendre au Canada.

      Il sort de sa poche un papier tamponné par les autorités mexicaines, le fameux laissez-passer que délivrait l’Institut National de Migration aux migrants extra-continentaux, pour qu’ils traversent le Mexique en 20 jours afin de gagner la frontière avec les États-Unis. « Regardez, ils ont modifié le texte, maintenant il est écrit que je ne peux pas sortir de Tapachula », accuse le jeune homme, dépité, avant de se rasseoir sur le banc de la petite cour de son hôtel décati dans la périphérie de Tapachula. « La situation est chaotique, les gens sont bloqués ici et les autorités ne leur donnent aucune information, pour les décourager encore un peu plus », dénonce Salvador Lacruz, coordinateur au Centre des Droits humains Centro Fray Matías de Córdova.
      Explosion du nombre des demandes d’asile au Mexique

      Face à la menace des arrestations et des expulsions, de plus en plus de migrants choisissent de demander l’asile au Mexique. Dans le centre-ville de Tapachula, la Commission mexicaine d’aide aux réfugiés (COMAR), est prise d’assaut dès 4 heures du matin par les demandeurs d’asile. « On m’a dit de venir avec tous les documents qui prouvent que je suis en danger de mort dans mon pays », explique Javier, un Hondurien de 34 ans qui a fait la queue une partie de la nuit pour ne pas rater son rendez-vous.

      Son fils de 9 ans est assis sur ses genoux. « J’ai le certificat de décès de mon père et celui de mon frère. Ils ont été assassinés pour avoir refusé de donner de l’argent aux maras », explique-t-il, une pochette en plastique dans les mains. « Le prochain sur la liste, c’est moi, c’est pour ça que je suis parti pour les États-Unis, mais je vois que c’est devenu très difficile, alors je me pose ici, ensuite, on verra ».

      Les demandes d’asile au Mexique ont littéralement explosé : 31 000 pour les six premiers mois de 2019, c’est trois fois plus qu’en 2018 à la même période, et juin a été particulièrement élevé, avec 70 % de demandes en plus par rapport à janvier. La tendance devrait se poursuivre du fait de la décision prise le 15 juillet dernier par le président américain, que toute personne « entrant par la frontière sud des États-Unis » et souhaitant demander l’asile aux États-Unis le fasse, au préalable, dans un autre pays, transformant ainsi le Mexique, de facto, en « pays tiers sûr ».

      « Si les migrants savent que la seule possibilité de demander l’asile aux États-Unis, c’est de l’avoir obtenu au Mexique, ils le feront », observe Salvador Lacruz. Mais si certains s’accrochent à Tapachula, d’autres abandonnent. Jesús Roque, un Hondurien de 21 ans, « vient de signer » comme disent les migrants centraméricains en référence au programme de retour volontaire mis en place par le gouvernement mexicain. « C’est impossible d’aller plus au nord, je rentre chez moi », lâche-t-il.

      Comme lui, plus de 35 000 personnes sont rentrées dans leur pays, essentiellement des Honduriens et des Salvadoriens. À quelques mètres, deux femmes pressent le pas, agacées par la foule qui se presse devant les bureaux de la COMAR. « Qu’ils partent d’ici, vite ! », grogne l’une. Le mur tant désiré par Donald Trump s’est finalement érigé au Mexique en quelques semaines. Dans les esprits aussi.

      https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Ameriques/Le-Mexique-verrouille-frontiere-sud-2019-08-01-1201038809

    • US Move Puts More Asylum Seekers at Risk. Expanded ‘#Remain_in_Mexico’ Program Undermines Due Process

      The Trump administration has drastically expanded its “Remain in Mexico” program while undercutting the rights of asylum seekers at the United States southern border, Human Rights Watch said today. Under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – known as the “Remain in Mexico” program – asylum seekers in the US are returned to cities in Mexico where there is a shortage of shelter and high crime rates while awaiting asylum hearings in US immigration court.

      Human Rights Watch found that asylum seekers face new or increased barriers to obtaining and communicating with legal counsel; increased closure of MPP court hearings to the public; and threats of kidnapping, extortion, and other violence while in Mexico.

      “The inherently inhumane ‘Remain in Mexico’ program is getting more abusive by the day,” said Ariana Sawyer, assistant US Program researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The program’s rapid growth in recent months has put even more people and families in danger in Mexico while they await an increasingly unfair legal process in the US.”

      The United States will begin sending all Central American asylum-seeking families to Mexico beginning the week of September 29, 2019 as part of the most recent expansion of the “Remain in Mexico” program, the Department of Homeland Security acting secretary, Kevin McAleenan, announced on September 23.

      Human Rights Watch concluded in a July 2019 report that the MPP program has had serious rights consequences for asylum seekers, including high – if not insurmountable – barriers to due process on their asylum claims in the United States and threats and physical violence in Mexico. Human Rights Watch recently spoke to seven asylum seekers, as well as 26 attorneys, migrant shelter operators, Mexican government officials, immigration court workers, journalists, and advocates. Human Rights Watch also observed court hearings for 71 asylum seekers in August and analyzed court filings, declarations, photographs, and media reports.

      “The [MPP] rules, which are never published, are constantly changing without advance notice,” said John Moore, an asylum attorney. “And so far, every change has had the effect of further restricting the already limited access we attorneys have with our clients.”

      Beyond the expanded program, which began in January, the US State Department has also begun funding a “voluntary return” program carried out by the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM). The organization facilitates the transportation of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico back to their country of origin but does not notify US immigration judges. This most likely results in negative judgments against asylum seekers for not appearing in court, possibly resulting in a ban of up to 10 years on entering the US again, when they could have withdrawn their cases without penalty.

      Since July, the number of people being placed in the MPP program has almost tripled, from 15,079 as of June 24, to 40,033 as of September 7, according to the Mexican National Institute of Migration. The Trump administration has increased the number of asylum seekers it places in the program at ports of entry near San Diego and Calexico, California and El Paso, Texas, where the program had already been in place. The administration has also expanded the program to Laredo and Brownsville, Texas, even as the overall number of border apprehensions has declined.

      As of early August, more than 26,000 additional asylum seekers were waiting in Mexican border cities on unofficial lists to be processed by US Customs and Border Protection as part the US practice of “metering,” or of limiting the number of people who can apply for asylum each day by turning them back from ports of entry in violation of international law.

      In total, more than 66,000 asylum seekers are now in Mexico, forced to wait months or years for their cases to be decided in the US. Some have given up waiting and have attempted to cross illicitly in more remote and dangerous parts of the border, at times with deadly results.

      As problematic as the MPP program is, seeking asylum will likely soon become even more limited. On September 11, the Supreme Court temporarily allowed the Trump administration to carry out an asylum ban against anyone entering the country by land after July 16 who transited through a third country without applying for asylum there. This could affect at least 46,000 asylum seekers, placed in the MPP program or on a metering list after mid-July, according to calculations based on data from the Mexican National Institute of Migration. Asylum seekers may still be eligible for other forms of protection, but they carry much higher eligibility standards and do not provide the same level of relief.

      Human Rights Watch contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the US Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review with its findings and questions regarding the policy changes and developments but have not to date received a response. The US government should immediately cease returning asylum seekers to Mexico and instead ensure them meaningful access to full and fair asylum proceedings in US immigration courts, Human Rights Watch said. Congress should urgently act to cease funding the MPP program. The US should manage asylum-seeker arrivals through a genuine humanitarian response that includes fair determinations of an asylum seeker’s eligibility to remain in the US. The US should simultaneously pursue longer-term efforts to address the root causes of forced displacement in Central America.

      “The Trump administration seems intent on making the bad situation for asylum seekers even worse by further depriving them of due process rights,” Sawyer said. “The US Congress should step in and put an end to these mean-spirited attempts to undermine and destroy the US asylum system.”

      New Concerns over the MPP Program

      Increased Barriers to Legal Representation

      Everyone in the MPP has the right to an attorney at their own cost, but it has been nearly impossible for asylum seekers forced to remain in Mexico to get legal representation. Only about 1.3 percent of participants have legal representation, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, a research center that examined US immigration court records through June 2019. In recent months, the US government has raised new barriers to obtaining representation and accessing counsel.

      When the Department of Homeland Security created the program, it issued guidance that:

      in order to facilitate access to counsel for aliens subject to return to Mexico under the MPP who will be transported to their immigration court hearings, [agents] will depart from the [port of entry] with the alien at a time sufficient to ensure arrival at the immigration court not later than one hour before his or her scheduled hearing time in order to afford the alien the opportunity to meet in-person with his or her legal representative.

      However, according to several attorneys Human Rights Watch interviewed in El Paso, Texas, and as Human Rights Watch observed on August 12 to 15 in El Paso Immigration Court, the Department of Homeland Security and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which manages the immigration court, have effectively barred attorneys from meeting with clients for the full hour before their client’s hearing begins. Rather than having free access to their clients, attorneys are now required to wait in the building lobby on a different level than the immigration court until the court administrator notifies security guards that attorneys may enter.

      As Human Rights Watch has previously noted, one hour is insufficient for adequate attorney consultation and preparation. Still, several attorneys said that this time in court was crucial. Immigration court is often the only place where asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico can meet with attorneys since lawyers capable of representing them typically work in the US. Attorneys cannot easily travel to Mexico because of security and logistical issues. For MPP participants without attorneys, there are now also new barriers to getting basic information and assistance about the asylum application process.

      Human Rights Watch observed in May a coordinated effort by local nongovernmental organizations and attorneys in El Paso to perform know-your-rights presentations for asylum seekers without an attorney and to serve as “Friend of the Court,” at the judge’s discretion. The Executive Office for Immigration Review has recognized in the context of unaccompanied minors that a Friend of the Court “has a useful role to play in assisting the court and enhancing a respondent’s comprehension of proceedings.”

      The agency’s memos also say that, “Immigration Judges and court administrators remain encouraged to facilitate pro bono representation” because pro bono attorneys provide “respondents with welcome legal assistance and the judge with efficiencies that can only be realized when the respondent is represented.”

      To that end, immigration courts are encouraged to support “legal orientations and group rights presentations” by nonprofit organizations and attorneys.

      One of the attorneys involved in coordinating the various outreach programs at the El Paso Immigration Court said, however, that on June 24 the agency began barring all contact between third parties and asylum seekers without legal representation in both the courtroom and the lobby outside. This effectively ended all know-your-rights presentations and pro bono case screenings, though no new memo was issued. Armed guards now prevent attorneys in the US from interacting with MPP participants unless the attorneys have already filed official notices that they are representing specific participants.

      On July 8, the agency also began barring attorneys from serving as “Friend of the Court,” several attorneys told Human Rights Watch. No new memo has been issued on “Friend of the Court” either.

      In a July 16 email to an attorney obtained by Human Rights Watch, an agency spokesman, Rob Barnes, said that the agency shut down “Friend of the Court” and know-your-rights presentations to protect asylum seekers from misinformation after it “became aware that persons from organizations not officially recognized by EOIR...were entering EOIR space in El Paso.

      However, most of the attorneys and organizations now barred from performing know-your-rights presentations or serving as “Friend of the Court” in El Paso are listed on a form given to asylum seekers by the court of legal service providers, according to a copy of the form given to Human Rights Watch and attorneys and organizations coordinating those services.

      Closure of Immigration Court Hearings to the Public

      When Human Rights Watch observed court hearings in El Paso on May 8 to 10, the number of asylum seekers who had been placed in the MPP program and scheduled to appear in court was between 20 and 24 each day, with one judge hearing all of these cases in a single mass hearing. At the time, those numbers were considered high, and there was chaos and confusion as judges navigated a system that was never designed to provide hearings for people being kept outside the US.

      When Human Rights Watch returned to observe hearings just over three months later, four judges were hearing a total of about 250 cases a day, an average of over 60 cases for each judge. Asylum seekers in the program, who would previously have been allowed into the US to pursue their claims at immigration courts dispersed around the country, have been primarily funneled through courts in just two border cities, causing tremendous pressures on these courts and errors in the system. Some asylum seekers who appeared in court found their cases were not in the system or received conflicting instructions about where or when to appear.

      One US immigration official said the MPP program had “broken the courts,” Reuters reported.

      The Executive Office for Immigration Review has stated that immigration court hearings are generally supposed to be open to the public. The regulations indicate that immigration judges may make exceptions and limit or close hearings if physical facilities are inadequate; if there is a need to protect witnesses, parties, or the public interest; if an abused spouse or abused child is to appear; or if information under seal is to be presented.

      In recent weeks, however, journalists, attorneys, and other public observers have been barred from these courtrooms in El Paso by court administrators, security guards, and in at least one case, by a Department of Homeland Security attorney, who said that a courtroom was too full to allow a Human Rights Watch researcher entry.

      Would-be observers are now frequently told by the court administrator or security guards that there is “no room,” and that dockets are all “too full.”

      El Paso Immigration Court Administrator Rodney Buckmire told Human Rights Watch that hundreds of people receive hearings each day because asylum seekers “deserve their day in court,” but the chaos and errors in mass hearings, the lack of access to attorneys and legal advice, and the lack of transparency make clear that the MPP program is severely undermining due process.

      During the week of September 9, the Trump administration began conducting hearings for asylum seekers returned to Mexico in makeshift tent courts in Laredo and Brownsville, where judges are expected to preside via videoconference. At a September 11 news conference, DHS would not commit to allowing observers for those hearings, citing “heightened security measures” since the courts are located near the border. Both attorneys and journalists have since been denied entry to these port courts.

      Asylum Seekers Describe Risk of Kidnapping, Other Crimes

      As the MPP has expanded, increasing numbers of asylum seekers have been placed at risk of kidnapping and other crimes in Mexico.

      Two of the northern Mexican states to which asylum seekers were initially being returned under the program, Baja California and Chihuahua, are among those with the most homicides and other crimes in the country. Recent media reports have documented ongoing harm to asylum seekers there, including rape, kidnapping, sexual exploitation, assault, and other violent crimes.

      The program has also been expanded to Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, both in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which is on the US State Department’s “do not travel” list. The media and aid workers have also reported that migrants there have experienced physical violence, sexual assault, kidnapping, and other abuses. There have been multiple reports in 2019 alone of migrants being kidnapped as they attempt to reach the border by bus.

      Jennifer Harbury, a human rights attorney and activist doing volunteer work with asylum-seekers on both sides of the border, collected sworn declarations that they had been victims of abuse from three asylum seekers who had been placed in the MPP program and bused by Mexican immigration authorities to Monterrey, Mexico, two and a half hours from the border. Human Rights Watch examined these declarations, in which asylum seekers reported robbery, extortion, and kidnapping, including by Mexican police.

      Expansion to Mexican Cities with Even Fewer Protections

      Harbury, who recently interviewed hundreds of migrants in Mexico, described asylum seekers sent to Nuevo Laredo as “fish in a barrel” because of their vulnerability to criminal organizations. She said that many of the asylum seekers she interviewed said they had been kidnapped or subjected to an armed assault at least once since they reached the border.

      Because Mexican officials are in many cases reportedly themselves involved in crimes against migrants, and because nearly 98 percent of crimes in Mexico go unsolved, crimes committed against migrants routinely go unpunished.

      In Matamoros, asylum seekers have no meaningful shelter access, said attorneys with Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG) who were last there from August 22 to 26. Instead, more than 500 asylum seekers were placed in an encampment in a plaza near the port of entry to the US, where they were sleeping out in the open, despite temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Henriette Vinet-Martin, a lawyer with the group, said she saw a “nursing mother sleeping on cardboard with her baby” and that attorneys also spoke to a woman in the MPP program there who said she had recently miscarried in a US hospital while in Customs and Border Protection custody. The attorneys said some asylum seekers had tents, but many did not.

      Vinet-Martin and Claire Noone, another lawyer there as part of the L4GG project, said they found children with disabilities who had been placed in the MPP program, including two children with Down Syndrome, one of them eight months old.

      Human Rights Watch also found that Customs and Border Protection continues to return asylum seekers with disabilities or other chronic health conditions to Mexico, despite the Department of Homeland Security’s initial guidance that no one with “known physical/mental health issues” would be placed in the program. In Ciudad Juárez, Human Rights Watch documented six such cases, four of them children. In one case, a 14-year-old boy had been placed in the program along with his mother and little brother, who both have intellectual disabilities, although the boy said they have family in the US. He appeared to be confused and distraught by his situation.

      The Mexican government has taken some steps to protect migrants in Ciudad Juárez, including opening a large government-operated shelter. The shelter, which Human Rights Watch visited on August 22, has a capacity of 3,000 migrants and is well-stocked with food, blankets, sleeping pads, personal hygiene kits, and more. At the time of the visit, the shelter held 555 migrants, including 230 children, primarily asylum seekers in the MPP program.

      One Mexican government official said the government will soon open two more shelters – one in Tijuana with a capacity of 3,000 and another in Mexicali with a capacity of 1,500.

      Problems Affecting the ‘Assisted Voluntary Return’ Program

      In October 2018, the International Organization for Migration began operating a $1.65 million US State Department-funded “Assisted Voluntary Return” program to assist migrants who have decided or felt compelled to return home. The return program originally targeted Central Americans traveling in large groups through the interior of Mexico. However, in July, the program began setting up offices in Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana, and Mexicali focusing on asylum seekers forced to wait in those cities after being placed in the MPP program. Alex Rigol Ploettner, who heads the International Organization for Migration office in Ciudad Juárez, said that the organization also provides material support such as bunk beds and personal hygiene kits to shelters, which the organization asks to refer interested asylum seekers to the Assisted Voluntary Return program. Four shelter operators in Ciudad Juárez confirmed these activities.

      As of late August, Rigol Ploettner said approximately 500 asylum seekers in the MPP program had been referred to Assisted Voluntary Return. Of those 500, he said, about 95 percent were found to be eligible for the program.

      He said the organization warns asylum seekers that returning to their home country may cause them to receive deportation orders from the US in absentia, meaning they will most likely face a ban on entering the US of up to 10 years.

      The organization does not inform US immigration courts that they have returned asylum seekers, nor are asylum seekers assisted in withdrawing their petition for asylum, which would avoid future penalties in the US.

      “For now, as the IOM, we don’t have a direct mechanism for withdrawal,” Rigol Ploettner said. Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned about the failure to notify the asylum courts when people who are on US immigration court dockets return home and the negative legal consequences for asylum seekers. These concerns are heightened by the environment in which the Assisted Voluntary Return Program is operating. Asylum seekers in the MPP are in such a vulnerable situation that it cannot be assumed that decisions to return home are based on informed consent.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/25/us-move-puts-more-asylum-seekers-risk

      via @pascaline

    • Sweeping Language in Asylum Agreement Foists U.S. Responsibilities onto El Salvador

      Amid a tightening embrace of Trump administration policies, last week El Salvador agreed to begin taking asylum-seekers sent back from the United States. The agreement was announced on Friday but details were not made public at the time. The text of the agreement — which The Intercept requested and obtained from the Department of Homeland Security — purports to uphold international and domestic obligations “to provide protection for eligible refugees,” but immigration experts see the move as the very abandonment of the principle of asylum. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy analyst at American Immigration Council, called the agreement a “deeply cynical” move.

      The agreement, which closely resembles one that the U.S. signed with Guatemala in July, implies that any asylum-seeker who is not from El Salvador could be sent back to that country and forced to seek asylum there. Although officials have said that the agreements would apply to people who passed through El Salvador or Guatemala en route, the text of the agreements does not explicitly make that clear.

      “This agreement is so potentially sweeping that it could be used to send an asylum-seeker who never transited El Salvador to El Salvador,” said Eleanor Acer, senior director of refugee protection at the nonprofit organization Human Rights First.

      DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      The Guatemalan deal has yet to take effect, as Guatemala’s Congress claims to need to ratify it first. DHS officials are currently seeking a similar arrangement with Honduras and have been pressuring Mexico — under threats of tariffs — to crack down on U.S.-bound migration.

      The agreement with El Salvador comes after the Supreme Court recently upheld the Trump administration’s most recent asylum ban, which requires anyone who has transited through another country before reaching the border to seek asylum there first, and be denied in that country, in order to be eligible for asylum in the U.S. Meanwhile, since January, more than 42,000 asylum-seekers who filed their claims in the U.S. before the ban took effect have been pushed back into Mexico and forced to wait there — where they have been subjected to kidnapping, rape, and extortion, among other hazards — as the courts slowly weigh their eligibility.

      Reichlin-Melnick called the U.S.-El Salvador deal “yet another sustained attack at our system of asylum protections.” It begins by invoking the international Refugee Convention and the principle of non-refoulement, which is the crux of asylum law — the guarantee not to return asylum-seekers to a country where they would be subjected to persecution or death. Karen Musalo, law professor at U.C. Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, called that invocation “Orwellian.”

      “The idea that El Salvador is a safe country for asylum-seekers when it is one of the major countries sending asylum-seekers to the U.S., a country with one of the highest homicide and femicide rates in the world, a place in which gangs have control over large swathes of the country, and the violence is causing people to flee in record numbers … is another absurdity that is beyond the pale,” Musalo said.

      “El Salvador is not a country that is known for having any kind of protection for its own citizens’ human rights,” Musalo added. “If they can’t protect their own citizens, it’s absolutely absurd to think that they can protect people that are not their citizens.”

      “They’ve looked at all of the facts,” Reichlin-Melnick said. “And they’ve decided to create their own reality.”

      Last week, the Salvadoran newspaper El Faro reported that the country’s agency that reviews asylum claims only has a single officer. Meanwhile, though homicide rates have gone down in recent months — since outsider president Nayib Bukele took office in June — September has already seen an increase in homicides. Bukele’s calculus in accepting the agreement is still opaque to Salvadoran observers (Guatemala’s version was deeply unpopular in that country), but he has courted U.S. investment and support. The legal status of nearly 200,000 Salvadorans with temporary protected status in the U.S. is also under threat from the administration. This month also saw the symbolic launch of El Salvador’s Border Patrol — with U.S. funding and support. This week, Bukele, who has both sidled up to Trump and employed Trumpian tactics, will meet with the U.S. president in New York to discuss immigration.

      Reichlin-Melnick noted that the Guatemalan and Salvadoran agreements, as written, could bar people not only from seeking asylum, but also from two other protections meant to fulfill the non-refoulement principle: withholding of removal (a stay on deportation) and the Convention Against Torture, which prevents people from being returned to situations where they may face torture. That would mean that these Central American cooperation agreements go further than the recent asylum ban, which still allows people to apply for those other protections.

      Another major difference between the asylum ban and these agreements is that with the asylum ban, people would be deported to their home countries. If these agreements go into effect, the U.S. will start sending people to Guatemala or El Salvador, regardless of where they may be from. In the 1980s, the ACLU documented over 100 cases of Salvadorans who were harmed or killed after they were deported from the U.S. After this agreement goes into effect, it will no longer be just Salvadorans who the U.S. will be sending into danger.

      https://theintercept.com/2019/09/23/el-salvador-asylum-agreement

    • La forteresse Trump ou le pari du mur

      Plus que sur le mur promis pendant sa campagne, Donald Trump semble fonder sa #politique_migratoire sur une #pression_commerciale sur ses voisins du sud, remettant en cause les #échanges économiques mais aussi culturels avec le Mexique. Ce mur ne serait-il donc que symbolique ?
      Alors que l’administration américaine le menaçait de #taxes_douanières et de #guerre_commerciale, le Mexique d’Andres Lopez Obrador a finalement concédé de freiner les flux migratoires.

      Après avoir accepté un #accord imposé par Washington, Mexico a considérablement réduit les flux migratoires et accru les #expulsions. En effet, plus de 100 000 ressortissants centre-américains ont été expulsés du Mexique vers le #Guatemala dans les huit premiers mois de l’année, soit une hausse de 63% par rapport à l’année précédente selon les chiffres du Guatemala.

      Par ailleurs, cet été le Guatemala a conclu un accord de droit d’asile avec Washington, faisant de son territoire un « #pays_sûr » auprès duquel les demandeurs d’asiles ont l’obligation d’effectuer les premières démarches. Le Salvador et le #Honduras ont suivi la voie depuis.

      Et c’est ainsi que, alors qu’il rencontrait les plus grandes difficultés à obtenir les financements pour le mur à la frontière mexicaine, Donald Trump mise désormais sur ses voisins pour externaliser sa politique migratoire.

      Alors le locataire de la Maison Blanche a-t-il oublié ses ambitions de poursuivre la construction de cette frontière de fer et de béton ? Ce mur n’était-il qu’un symbole destiné à montrer à son électorat son volontarisme en matière de lutte contre l’immigration ? Le retour de la campagne est-il susceptible d’accélérer les efforts dans le domaine ?

      D’autre part, qu’en est-il de la situation des migrants sur le terrain ? Comment s’adaptent-ils à cette nouvelle donne ? Quelles conséquences sur les parcours migratoires des hommes, des femmes et des enfants qui cherchent à gagner les Etats-Unis ?

      On se souvient de cette terrible photo des cadavres encore enlacés d’un père et de sa petite fille de 2 ans, Oscar et Valeria Alberto, originaires du Salvador, morts noyés dans les eaux tumultueuses du Rio Bravo en juin dernier alors qu’ils cherchaient à passer aux Etats-Unis.

      Ce destin tragique annonce-t-il d’autres drames pour nombre de candidats à l’exil qui, quelques soient les politiques migratoires des Etats, iront au bout de leur vie avec l’espoir de l’embellir un peu ?

      https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/cultures-monde/les-frontieres-de-la-colere-14-la-forteresse-trump-ou-le-pari-du-mur

      #Mexique #symbole #barrières_frontalières #USA #Etats-Unis #renvois #push-back #refoulements

    • Mexico sends asylum seekers south — with no easy way to return for U.S. court dates

      The exhausted passengers emerge from a sleek convoy of silver and red-streaked buses, looking confused and disoriented as they are deposited ignominiously in this tropical backwater in southernmost Mexico.

      There is no greeter here to provide guidance on their pending immigration cases in the United States or on where to seek shelter in a teeming international frontier town packed with marooned, U.S.-bound migrants from across the globe.

      The bus riders had made a long and perilous overland trek north to the Rio Grande only to be dispatched back south to Mexico’s border with Central America — close to where many of them had begun their perilous journeys weeks and months earlier. At this point, some said, both their resources and sense of hope had been drained.

      “We don’t know what we’re going to do next,” said Maria de Los Angeles Flores Reyes, 39, a Honduran accompanied by her daughter, Cataren, 9, who appeared petrified after disembarking from one of the long-distance buses. “There’s no information, nothing.”

      The two are among more than 50,000 migrants, mostly Central Americans, whom U.S. immigration authorities have sent back to Mexico this year to await court hearings in the United States under the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico program.

      Immigration advocates have assailed the program as punitive, while the White House says it has worked effectively — discouraging many migrants from following up on asylum cases and helping to curb what President Trump has decried as a “catch and release” system in which apprehended migrants have been freed in U.S. territory pending court proceeding that can drag on for months or years.

      The ever-expanding ranks pose a growing dilemma for Mexican authorities, who, under intense pressure from the White House, had agreed to accept the returnees and provide them with humanitarian assistance.

      As the numbers rise, Mexico, in many cases, has opted for a controversial solution: Ship as many asylum seekers as possible more than 1,000 miles back here in the apparent hope that they will opt to return to Central America — even if that implies endangering or foregoing prospective political asylum claims in U.S. immigration courts.

      Mexican officials, sensitive to criticism that they are facilitating Trump’s hard-line deportation agenda, have been tight-lipped about the shadowy busing program, under which thousands of asylum-seekers have been returned here since August. (Mexican authorities declined to provide statistics on just how many migrants have been sent back under the initiative.)

      In a statement, Mexico’s immigration agency called the 40-hour bus rides a “free, voluntary and secure” alternative for migrants who don’t want to spend months waiting in the country’s notoriously dangerous northern border towns.

      Advocates counter that the program amounts to a barely disguised scheme for encouraging ill-informed migrants to abandon their ongoing petitions in U.S. immigration court and return to Central America. Doing so leaves them to face the same conditions that they say forced them to flee toward the United States, and, at the same time, would undermine the claims that they face persecution at home.

      “Busing someone back to your southern border doesn’t exactly send them a message that you want them to stay in your country,” said Maureen Meyer, who heads the Mexico program for the Washington Office on Latin America, a research and advocacy group. “And it isn’t always clear that the people on the buses understand what this could mean for their cases in the United States.”

      Passengers interviewed on both ends of the bus pipeline — along the northern Mexican border and here on the southern frontier with Guatemala — say that no Mexican official briefed them on the potential legal jeopardy of returning home.

      “No one told us anything,” Flores Reyes asked after she got off the bus here, bewildered about how to proceed. “Is there a safe place to stay here until our appointment in December?”

      The date is specified on a notice to appear that U.S. Border Patrol agents handed her before she and her daughter were sent back to Mexico last month after having been detained as illegal border-crossers in south Texas. They are due Dec. 16 in a U.S. immigration court in Harlingen, Texas, for a deportation hearing, according to the notice, stamped with the capital red letters MPP — for Migrant Protection Protocols, the official designation of Remain in Mexico.

      The free bus rides to the Guatemalan border are strictly a one-way affair: Mexico does not offer return rides back to the northern border for migrants due in a U.S. immigration court, typically several months later.

      Beti Suyapa Ortega, 36, and son Robinson Javier Melara, 17, in a Mexican immigration agency waiting room in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

      “At this point, I’m so frightened I just want to go home,” said Beti Suyapa Ortega, 36, from Honduras, who crossed the border into Texas intending to seek political asylum and surrendered to the Border Patrol.

      She, along with her son, 17, were among two dozen or so Remain in Mexico returnees waiting recently for a southbound bus in a spartan office space at the Mexican immigration agency compound in Nuevo Laredo, across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.

      Ortega and others said they were terrified of venturing onto the treacherous streets of Nuevo Laredo — where criminal gangs control not only drug trafficking but also the lucrative enterprise of abducting and extorting from migrants.

      “We can’t get out of here soon enough. It has been a nightmare,” said Ortega, who explained that she and her son had been kidnapped and held for two weeks and only released when a brother in Atlanta paid $8,000 in ransom. “I can never come back to this place.”

      The Ortegas, along with a dozen or so other Remain in Mexico returnees, left later that evening on a bus to southern Mexico. She said she would skip her date in U.S. immigration court, in Laredo — an appointment that would require her to pass through Nuevo Laredo and expose herself anew to its highly organized kidnapping and extortion gangs.

      The Mexican government bus service operates solely from the northern border towns of Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, officials say. Both are situated in hyper-dangerous Tamaulipas state, a cartel hub on the Gulf of Mexico that regularly ranks high nationwide in homicides, “disappearances” and the discovery of clandestine graves.

      The long-haul Mexican busing initiative began in July, after U.S. immigration authorities began shipping migrants with court cases to Tamaulipas. Earlier, Remain in Mexico had been limited to sending migrants with U.S. court dates back to the northern border towns of Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez.

      At first, the buses left migrants departing from Tamaulipas state in the city of Monterrey, a relatively safe industrial center four hours south of the U.S. border. But officials there, including the state governor, complained about the sudden influx of hundreds of mostly destitute Central Americans. That’s when Mexican authorities appear to have begun busing all the way back to Ciudad Hidalgo, along Mexico’s border with Guatemala.

      A separate, United Nations-linked program has also returned thousands of migrants south from two large cities on the U.S. border, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.

      The packed buses arrive here two or three times a week, with no apparent set schedule.

      On a recent morning, half a dozen, each ferrying more than 40 migrants, came to a stop a block from the Rodolfo Robles international bridge that spans the Suchiate River, the dividing line between Mexico and Guatemala. Part of the fleet of the Omnibus Cristobal Colon long-distance transport company, the buses displayed windshield signs explaining they were “in the service” of Mexico’s national immigration agency.

      The migrants on board had begun the return journey south in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas, after having been sent back there by U.S. immigration authorities.

      Many clutched folders with notices to appear in U.S. immigration court in Texas in December.

      But some, including Flores Reyes, said they were terrified of returning to Matamoros, where they had been subjected to robbery or kidnapping. Nor did they want to return across the Rio Grande to Texas, if it required travel back through Matamoros.

      Flores Reyes said kidnappers held her and her daughter for a week in Matamoros before they managed to escape with the aid of a fellow Honduran.

      The pair later crossed into Texas, she said, and they surrendered to the U.S. Border Patrol. On Sept. 11, they were sent back to Matamoros with a notice to appear Dec. 16 in immigration court in Harlingen.

      “When they told us they were sending us back to Matamoros I became very upset,” Flores Reyes said. “I can’t sleep. I’m still so scared because of what happened to us there.”

      Fearing a second kidnapping, she said, she quickly agreed to take the transport back to southern Mexico.

      Christian Gonzalez, 23, a native of El Salvador who was also among those recently returned here, said he had been mugged in Matamoros and robbed of his cash, his ID and his documents, among them the government notice to appear in U.S. immigration court in Texas in December.

      “Without the paperwork, what can I do?” said an exasperated Gonzalez, a laborer back in Usulutan province in southeastern El Salvador. “I don’t have any money to stay here.”

      He planned to abandon his U.S. immigration case and return to El Salvador, where he said he faced threats from gangs and an uncertain future.

      Standing nearby was Nuvia Carolina Meza Romero, 37, accompanied by her daughter, Jessi, 8, who clutched a stuffed sheep. Both had also returned on the buses from Matamoros. Meza Romero, too, was in a quandary about what do, but seemed resigned to return to Honduras.

      “I can’t stay here. I don’t know anyone and I don’t have any money,” said Meza Romero, who explained that she spent a week in U.S. custody in Texas after crossing the Rio Grande and being apprehended on Sept. 2.

      Her U.S. notice to appear advised her to show up on Dec. 3 in U.S. immigration court in Brownsville.

      “I don’t know how I would even get back there at this point,” said Meza Romero, who was near tears as she stood with her daughter near the border bridge.

      Approaching the migrants were aggressive bicycle taxi drivers who, for a fee of the equivalent of about $2, offered to smuggle them back across the river to Guatemala on rafts made of planks and inner tubes, thus avoiding Mexican and Guatemalan border inspections.

      Opting to cross the river were many bus returnees from Matamoros, including Meza Romero, her daughter and Gonzalez, the Salvadoran.

      But Flores Reyes was hesitant to return to Central America and forfeit her long-sought dream of resettling in the United States, even if she had to make her way back to Matamoros on her own.

      “Right now, we just need to find some shelter,” Flores Reyes said as she ambled off in search of some kind of lodging, her daughter holding her mother’s arm. “We have an appointment on Dec. 16 on the other side. I plan to make it. I’m not ready to give up yet.”

      https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-10-15/buses-to-nowhere-mexico-transports-migrants-with-u-s-court-dates-to-its-far

      –---------

      Commentaire de @pascaline via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      Outre le dispositif d’expulsion par charter de l’OIM (https://seenthis.net/messages/730601) mis en place à la frontière nord du Mexique pour les MPPs, le transfert et l’abandon des demandeurs d’asile MPPS à la frontière avec le Guatemala, par les autorités mexicaines est présentée comme une façon de leur permettre d’échapper à la dangerosité des villes frontalières du Nord tout en espérant qu’ils choississent de retourner par eux-mêmes « chez eux »...

  • Matteo #Salvini veut construire un mur à la frontière entre la Slovénie et l’Italie

    Voilà une semaine que des #patrouilles slovéno-italiennes parcourent la frontière entre les deux pays pour empêcher les passages illégaux de réfugiés. Présentée comme une intensification de la coopération entre Rome et Ljubljana, la mesure ne satisfait pas le ministre italien de l’Intérieur, Matteo Salvini, qui a évoqué l’idée d’un mur à la frontière Est de la Botte.

    L’image, digne d’un spot de campagne proeuropéen, a fait le tour des médias slovènes : tous sourires, deux gardes-frontières slovène et italien se serrent solennellement la main, encouragés par un concert de bons mots sur la coopération policière entre Rome et Ljubljana. La mise en place d’une patrouille frontalière binationale, proposée par le ministre slovène des Affaires étrangères Miro Cerar et approuvée par son homologue italien, vise à empêcher plus efficacement les franchissements illégaux. « Nous nous attendons à des résultats positifs », a déclaré à la télévision slovène 24UR Vincenzo Avallone, chef de secteur de la police frontalière basée à Udine. « Cette coopération contribuera à un meilleur partage d’informations, crucial pour continuer notre travail. »

    Jusqu’au 30 septembre, quatre patrouilles de police se succèderont chaque semaine, trois côté slovène et une côté italien. Formées à Trieste, les équipes pourront entrer jusqu’à dix kilomètres dans le territoire des deux pays, avec pour mission de surveiller les points de passage les plus sensibles. « Nous avons travaillé sur cette initiative durant des mois », s’est félicité le gouverneur de la région de Frioul-Vénétie julienne, Massimiliano Fedriga, cité par l’agence italienne ANSA. « La pression politico-diplomatique sur la Slovénie et les pays des Balkans s’est accentuée », précise-t-il, tout en présentant la mesure comme « un commencement, pas une solution ».
    « Rendre la frontière infranchissable »

    La semaine dernière, Matteo Salvini, vice-Premier ministre italien en charge de l’Intérieur, a affirmé que si ces patrouilles ne suffisaient pas, il ferait installer des « obstacles physiques » à la frontière, à commencer par une barrière de fils barbelés. Avant d’évoquer l’idée de sceller la frontière orientale : « Nous allons rendre la frontière avec la Slovénie infranchissable, et ce par tous les moyens disponibles ».

    Le 5 juin, 500 personnes s’étaient rassemblées en signe de protestation dans la commune frontalière de #Nova_Gorica - #Gorizia, et 300 autres à Trieste lors d’une visite de Matteo Salvini à Trieste pour la signature d’un contrat d’investissement avec la Hongrie. « Chez nous, le dernier mur est tombé en 2004 [date de l’entrée de la Slovénie dans l’UE]. L’érection d’un nouveau mur éveillerait le passé, ce qui serait non seulement douloureux mais également contreproductif », explique le maire de Gorizia, Rudi Ziberna, à La Repubblica. Au premier semestre 2019, 5306 migrants auraient franchi la frontière slovéno-croate, une hausse de près de 50% par rapport à 2018 (3612 passages). 146 auraient été renvoyés en Slovénie, contre 158 l’année précédente.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/refugies-Salvini-mur-frontiere-Slovenie-Italie
    #frontières #frontière_sud-alpine #murs #barrières_frontalières #Italie #Slovénie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #coopération_bilatérale #gardes-frontière #militarisation_des_frontières

    • Il muro anti-migranti tra Italia e Slovenia proposto dalla Lega costerebbe 2 miliardi di euro

      Il governatore del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Massimiliano Fedriga, ha parlato dell’ipotesi di costruire un muro di 243 chilometri al confine orientale dell’Italia, tra Friuli e la Slovenia.

      In un’intervista rilasciata al Fatto Quotidiano domenica 30 giugno, ha dichiarato che sta valutando l’ipotesi di realizzare il piano insieme al Viminale. La sua realizzazione risponderebbe infatti alla necessità di “fermare l’ondata migratoria che avanza”.

      “Se l’Europa non tutela i suoi confini noi saremo costretti a fermare l’ondata migratoria che avanza attraverso altri altri Paesi dell’Ue con tutti i mezzi. Non possiamo mettere poliziotti a ogni metro”, ha detto il leghista.
      Muro anti migranti Friuli | Costo

      Ma quanto costerebbe realizzare un vero e proprio muro anti migranti tra Friuli Venezia Giulia e Slovenia?

      Il coordinatore nazionale dei Verdi, Angelo Bonelli, ha calcolato che la sua costruzione costerebbe circa 2 miliardi di euro alle casse dello stato.

      “Per 100chilometri di reticolato al confine tra Usa e Messico il congresso americano ha autorizzato a Trump la spesa di 1,3 miliardi di dollari. E quindi per 243 chilometri di reticolato in Italia, il costo sarà di circa 2 miliardi di euro”, ha detto Bonelli.

      Un’infrastruttura del genere sarebbe, per questo, non solo discutibile dal punto di vista politico e morale, ma anche dal punto di vista pratico.

      Le spese per la costruzione del muro ricadrebbero su molti di quei cittadini italiani che, di questi tempi, probabilmente accoglierebbero con favore il piano.
      Muro anti migranti Friuli | Le critiche

      Le critiche all’idea del progetto non sono tardate ad arrivare anche da parte di altri personaggi pubblici, che si sono concentrati sull’aspetto politico del piano, ritenuto da alcuni anacronistico.

      Lo scrittore e saggista Claudio Magris ha scritto sul Corriere della Sera che un progetto simile sarebbe anti-storico, e rievocherebbe l’epoca della cortina di ferro, costruita alla fine della seconda guerra mondiale tra Trieste e la ex Jugoslavia di Tito.

      Anche diversi membri del Movimento 5 stelle hanno criticato il piano, tra cui il deputato e giornalista Emilio Carelli, che ha detto: “Spero che l’idea del governatore Massimiliano Fedriga non venga raccolta da nessuna forza politica. Non è alzando i muri che si governano i problemi delle migrazioni”.

      Giuseppe Brescia, presidente della Commissione Affari costituzionali della Camera ed esponente del M5S, ha invece affermato: “Questa iniziativa non ha né capo né coda, non se ne dovrebbe nemmeno parlare. Non è in agenda né nel contratto di governo, quelli della Lega non possono spararla sempre più grossa”.

      https://www.tpi.it/2019/07/01/muro-anti-migranti-friuli-fedriga-costo/

    • PM Says Fence Not Needed on Slovene-Italian Border

      Prime Minister Marjan Šarec has dismissed ideas by senior Italian officials that a fence should be erected on the Slovenian-Italian border, telling the National Assembly that such proposals had to be interpreted “in the domestic policy context”.

      “In talks with the Italian government we will state that there are no reasons for the border, this is clear from the numbers ... Italy is not threatened by Slovenia’s inactivity, and we will substantiate that,” he said.

      Šarec made the comment when he was quizzed by opposition MPs in parliament on Tuesday about the recent launch of mixed police patrols on the border, their implication being that the beefed up controls are the result of Slovenia’s failure to properly protect the Schengen border.

      Stressing that the number of persons Italy returned to Slovenia had dropped by 17% in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year, Šarec said Slovenian police were doing all they could to protect the Schengen border and curb illegal migrations.

      Border patrols are “not a measure that would squeeze Slovenia out of the Schengen zone,” as Democrat (SDS) MP Branko Grims claimed, as Italy has such cooperation with all of its neighbours and Slovenia also had such mixed patrols on its other borders, according to Šarec.

      New Slovenia (NSi) deputy Jernej Vrtovec wondered why Slovenia had proposed mixed patrols, labelling it an admission of its inability to control the Schengen border. But Šarec stressed that it was not the government that had proposed joint patrols, this was the result of an agreement at the level of both police forces.

      For Šarec, the key thing to dam migrations is for Frontex, the EU’s border agency, to be deployed on Croatia’s borders with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.

      Overall, border control is “a serious issue that the new EU Commission will have to tackle with all seriousness... Migrations will be with us for years to come ... the EU is not active in tackling these issues,” he said, adding: “Schengen is de facto not working anymore.”

      Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini recently suggested Italy might erect a fence on its border with Slovenia if joint police patrols do not suffice to stop migrations, raising fears of a return to border checks that would severely disrupt life along the border.

      While the right has taken the announcement as evidence of Slovenia’s failings, politicians on the left have started urging the government to take action to prevent such a scenario from unfolding.

      Social Democrat (SD) deputy Matjaž Nemec thus urged Šarec today to take the initiative and invite the prime ministers of all countries on the Western Balkan migration route, including Italy and Austria, to jointly tackle the issue.

      But others think Italy will do as it likes regardless of what Slovenia does.

      Robert Polnar, an MP for the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS), said Italy’s measures would probably be harsher than the measures Slovenia is adopting.

      And Luka Mesec, the leader of the Left, said Salvini was “playing his game” in order to win the election in Italy.

      "What the Slovenian right is doing, and partially the government by starting to announce drones and fencing ... is acquiescing to this game... Our politicians are dancing to Sallvini’s tune, Mesec said on the margins of the plenary today.

      https://www.total-slovenia-news.com/politics/4072-pm-says-fence-not-needed-on-slovene-italian-border

    • Misure rafforzate contro l’immigrazione irregolare e per difendere i porti

      Nell’occasione è stato espresso apprezzamento anche per la decisione della Slovenia, che confermando le intenzioni anticipate al governo italiano ha annunciato il via ai pattugliamenti congiunti con la polizia croata.

      www.interno.gov.it/it/notizie/misure-rafforzate-contro-limmigrazione-irregolare-e-difendere-i-porti

      Commentaire Sara Prestianni, reçu via email:

      « l’Italie, qui avait annoncé il y a quelque semaine de vouloir construire un mur avec la Slovenie puis dementis puisque ont été relancé les patrouilles conjointes Italie/Slovenie, se felicite de l’annonce de la Slovenie de proceder à des patrouilles conjointe avec la Croatie »

    • Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 29.07.2019 :

      Slovenia deployed 35 soldiers at the border to Italy to prevent migration and confirmed its “commitment” (www.h-alter.org/vijesti/slovenija-od-danas-s-vojskom-na-granici-kod-kopra) in helping Croatia with combating illegal migration, and proposed the potential sending of #Frontex to the EU’s external borders, H-alter writes (www.h-alter.org/vijesti/slovenija-od-danas-s-vojskom-na-granici-kod-kopra).

      Slovenija od danas s vojskom na granici kod Kopra

      Slovenski mediji objavili su jučer kako će se od danas “u zaštitu granice s Italijom od ilegalnih migracija” uključiti dodatnih 35 vojnika, koji su poslani kao ispomoć policiji kod Kopra, gdje je prošli tjedan uhićeno 122 osoba u tranzitu. Vojnici će koristiti sredstva koje vojska ima u redovitoj upotrebi, od sredstava za promatranje do oklopnih vozila.

      Pojačani angažman Slovenije na sprečavanju migracija na granici s Italijom počeo je početkom ovog mjeseca kada su uvedene zajedničke ophodnje slovenske i talijanske policije.

      Slovenski ministar unutarnjih poslova Boštjan Poklukar i njegov talijanski kolega Matteo Salvini sastali su se prošlog tjedna i potvrdili svoju “predanost” pomoći Hrvatskoj “u borbi protiv nezakonite migracije”, te su predložili potencijalno slanje Frontexa na vanjske granice Europske unije.

      http://www.h-alter.org/vijesti/slovenija-od-danas-s-vojskom-na-granici-kod-kopra
      #armée #armée_slovène

    • Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 02.08.2019 :

      Also, after last week’s news on the Slovenian army at the border with Italy and the proposal to send Frontex to the border with Croatia, this week we learn (https://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/clanak/slovenci-navukli-uniforme-i-sami-stite-granicu-s-hrvatskom-od-migranata-vice) that a group of Slovenian locals in the Metlika and Črnomelj area dress in camouflage uniforms and patrol the border area. Non-sanctioning of such patrols, especially fueled by anti-immigrant attitudes, may further jeopardize access to international protection and the safety of persons on the move.

      –----

      Slovenci navukli uniforme i sami štite granicu s Hrvatskom od migranata : ’Vičemo im : Ovo je moja zemlja, odmah lezite’, a oni bježe’

      Neobična priča dolazi iz pograničnog područja uz Kupu sa slovenske strane granice s Hrvatskom. Razočarani odnosom službene Ljubljane, koja bi po njima trebala činiti više da zaštiti granicu od migrantskog vala, dio mještana tog kraja organizirao se u ’seoske straže’. Iako nisu naoružani, tvrde da im je cilj povećati osjećaj sigurnosti uz granicu

      Kako izvještava slovenski portal Siol.net, straža se sastoji od desetak mještana koji u maskirnim uniformama patroliraju pograničnim područjem u okolici Metlike i Črnomelja. Jedino oružje koje koriste u svom ’nadzoru granice’ njihov je glas.

      ’Vičemo im: ’Ovo je moja zemlja, ovo je Slovenija, odmah lezite!’ No oni ne slušaju naša naređenja, okrenu se i bježe’, svjedoči Blaž Zidar, jedan od mještana koji svakodnevno patrolira.

      https://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/clanak/slovenci-navukli-uniforme-i-sami-stite-granicu-s-hrvatskom-od-migranata-vice ?

      Les photos publiées avec l’article :

      ... dont une qui montre le nom du village : #Gibina (#Gibanje_Omejeno), à la frontière entre la #Slovénie et la #Croatie, et non pas avec l’Italie —> donc sur la route vers l’#Autriche :

      #barrières_frontalières #barbelés

    • Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 12.08.2019:

      The Slovenian government (http://hr.n1info.com/Regija/a425162/Slovenija-mobilizirala-pomocnu-policiju-zbog-migranata-i-sigurnosti-u-pro) has mobilized an increased number of reserve police forces, arguing that the Slovenian border is threatened by ’’an increased influx of migrants’’. The Border Police of Bosnia and Herzegovina (https://m.vecernji.hr/vijesti/eurozastupnik-podupire-bih-sram-me-je-hrvatska-granicna-policija-se-ne-sm) said it expects border surveillance equipment from the Czech Republic, stating that they "urgently need sophisticated sensor and radar systems to monitor day and night conditions and detect illegal crossings, special cameras, drones, vehicles for monitoring and surveillance, mobile equipment for direct access to databases as well as border control equipment intended for the detection of people in hidden spaces.’’

    • Italy/Slovenia enact joint patrols along their shared border

      This month saw the introduction of joint Slovenian and Italian police patrols on their mutual border, raising concerns about the retrenchment of national boundaries contra the Schengen Agreement. The collaboration between authorities, due to be implemented until the end of September, mobilises four joint operations per week, with respective police forces able to enter 10km (https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/17916/italy-slovenia-start-joint-border-patrols) into the territory of their neighboring state in order to apprehend migrants. Mixed operations by member states signifies a growing trend towards the securitization of the EU’s internal borders, and in this case a tightening of controls on the departure point from the West Balkan route. The patrols aim at stemming the transit of migrants from the western Slovenian regions of Goriška and Obalno-kraška, into the eastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy. Given the extensive pushback apparatus being employed by Slovenian and Croatian officials, arrival in Italy has often been the first place where persons-in-transit can apply for international protection without the threat of summary removal. However, these developments in cross border patrols highlight a growing effort on the part of the Italian government to prevent people seeking sanctuary on its territory. The Telegraph reported (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/08/anti-migrant-patrols-italy-slovenia-border-raise-spectre-post) that the operations had already generated “the arrest of 97 migrants in just 48 hours”, and were being carried out on both local roads and motorways across the breadth of the 120 mile land border. But the newspaper also expressed its concerns around the reintroduction of border controls, suggesting the joint operations were “conjuring up memories of the barbed wire and fences which made peoples’ lives miserable after World War Two”. The article cited the rise in local tensions in the town of Novi Gorica, as the functions of a more formalised border came back into place. Split in the aftermath of WW2, #Gorizia came to form half the town on the Italian side while the other half, #Novi_Gorica, was under Yugoslavian control. The local experience of separation within the community has informed a growing unease regarding these new border procedures, as seen in demonstrations on the Slovenian side by locals opposing a hard border. But it would seem the patrols are likely to become a regular function within the bilateral work of the Slovenian and Italian police given the rising anti-migrant rhetoric being mobilized by Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini. The Interior Minister has already made calls for a border fence between the countries, should these joint patrols not bring transit into Italy under control. The knock on effect has been felt in Slovenia, where conservative opposition party NSi have made subsequent calls for the further protection of its border with Croatia. Concerned by what Balkan Insight termed a “Hungarian-style border fence” in Italy, the Slovenian parliamentary right are seeking assurances that Slovenia will not become a bottleneck for migrants whose passage to Italy is blocked. To this end, Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec made a visit to the southern border and, according to Croatian media (https://www.total-croatia-news.com/politics/37027-slovenia), pledged further police to the efforts, along with military assistance and drones. Here once again, the courtship rituals of these respective member states continues to dance ever closer to the reestablishment of fixed borders and further from a reappraisal of their obligations to international asylum law.

      (pp.16-18)

      Source: https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/July-2019-Final-Report.pdf

    • Italy, Slovenia start joint border patrols

      A joint border patrol mission between Italy and Slovenia started Monday. The aim is to stem the flow of migrants reaching the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia from the eastern border.

      A joint Italian-Slovenian border patrol officially began Monday. The main aim of the cross-border collaboration between the police forces is to stem the flow of migrants who cross into Italian territory from the eastern border, authorities said.

      To start, four joint patrols have been planned per week with two Italian border police officers and two Slovenian colleagues who can be deployed in an area of up to 10 kilometers within their respective territories.

      Massimiliano Fedriga, governor of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, said ’’we have been working for months on the initiative’’ because ’’Italy’s political-diplomatic pressure on Slovenia, as well as on Balkan countries, has increased." He added that the measure is “a start, not a solution.”

      Italy is ready ’’to adopt other’’ measures, the governor also said, including the suspension of Schengen rules, ’’as already done by Austria with Slovenia’’, or erecting a border barrier in northeastern Italy, The barrier, the governor added, would not be erected along the entire border, as previously reported, “but potentially on some of the most critical points,” citing the woods in the Karst region, in order to “channel undocumented (migrants) along routes that are easy to control.” Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has repeatedly spoken over the past few days of “sealing the eastern border.”

      Slovenia says no emergency at the border with Italy

      Speaking at a press conference at the former Lipica border crossing to mark the start of the joint patrols, Slovenian authorities said there “is no emergency at the border with Italy.” Since the start of the year, said the director general of Slovenian police, Marian Stubljar, ’’the readmissions of illegal (migrants) from Italy to Slovenia were 146 against 158 last year." The most critical situation in terms of migrant arrivals today is at the border with Croatia, the Slovenian official said.

      As of June 29, Slovenian police at the border with Croatia registered 5,306 illegal crossings, compared to 3,612 in 2018, noted Stubljar. Most of them were ’’Afghan, Algerian and Pakistani citizens." Therefore the situation remains critical outside the Schengen area ’’at the border with Bosnia," said the official.

      Patrols to prevent migrants from crossing into Italy

      Although readmissions have not increased compared to last year, Italian authorities explained, the aim of the joint border patrols is to prevent migrants from entering national territory. Once they have crossed into Italy, they cannot be sent back if they apply for asylum, the officials said. Vincenzo Avallone, the official in charge of the so-called Fourth zone of the Udine border police, said authorities ’’expect good results’’ from the operation.

      Further developments in immigration policies could follow the visit of Deputy Premier Salvini who is expected on Friday to travel to Trieste, the main city of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/17916/italy-slovenia-start-joint-border-patrols

    • Migranti: fine pattugliamento congiunto Italia-Slovenia

      Il pattugliamento congiunto del confine fra Italia e Slovenia, una iniziativa avviata a luglio scorso e programmata fino alla fine di settembre, è formalmente terminato, ma la collaborazione transfrontaliera delle forze di polizia in alcune aree prosegue. Lo scrive l’agenzia di stampa STA, che riporta una dichiarazione della polizia distrettuale di Capodistria, dove la collaborazione prosegue. A Nova Gorica invece le pattuglie congiunte sono state sospese. Durante il pattugliamento congiunto nell’area del capodistriano sono state condotte 46 operazioni di pattugliamento congiunto, 36 in Slovenia e 10 in Italia. Fino al 30 settembre di quest’anno sono stati poco meno di quattromila (3.922) gli stranieri intercettati lungo la zona di frontiera, un numero leggermente in crescita rispetto allo stesso periodo dello scorso anno, quando furono fermati 3.272 migranti.

      http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/it/notizie/rubriche/cronaca/2019/10/02/migranti-fine-pattugliamento-congiunto-italia-slovenia_c0eb4322-dde5-4141-

  • Migranti: premier annuncia più controlli a confine Croazia

    LUBIANA - Il premier sloveno Marjan Šarec ha deciso di aumentare la presenza di polizia e soldati lungo il confine con la Croazia. «Non abbiamo mai detto che non c’era alcun problema con i migranti», ha dichiarato Šarec durante un sopralluogo effettuato oggi lungo la frontiera meridionale, nel comune di #Ilirska_Bistrica, insieme al ministro dell’interno Boštjan Poklukar, e alla direttrice generale della Polizia, Tatjan Bobnar. Anche se ha preferito non dare dettagli sul numero di ulteriori agenti che saranno inviati per il pattugliamento dei valichi di frontiera, Šarec ha detto che le forze di sicurezza saranno dotate di attrezzature tecniche, come i droni, e che viene anche valutata l’eventualità di rinforzare recinzioni e barriere fisiche, ove necessario. Lungo alcuni tratti del confine fra Slovenia e Croazia è presente una recinzione con filo spinato, ma sin dalla prima visita del ministro Poklukar il numero di attraversamenti illegali è raddoppiato e «questo per noi è inaccettabile», ha dichiarato il primo ministro. Come si apprende da una nota diffusa dal governo, in linea con le aspettative di protezione dei propri confini il governo ha stanziato considerevoli risorse finanziarie destinate alla polizia slovena e continuerà a farlo in futuro. La collaborazione con la comunità locale, prosegue il comunicato, deve essere portata avanti senza che la retorica politica prenda il sopravvento. La visita di Šarec è poi proseguita nei comuni di #Kostel e #Črnomelj.

    http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/it/notizie/rubriche/politica/2019/07/08/migranti-premier-annuncia-piu-controlli-a-confine-croazia_01b75f45-24ae-4f
    #militarisation_des_frontières #drones #barrières_frontalières #murs
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Croatie #Slovénie #frontières

    • Le Premier ministre slovène annonce le renforcement de la frontière avec la Croatie

      12 juillet - 11h30 : Au lendemain de l’agression au couteau d’un chauffeur de taxi par un ressortissant irakien, le Premier ministre slovène, Marjan Šarec, a promis l’envoi de soldats supplémentaires à la frontière avec la Croatie et l’achat d’équipement supplémentaire, dont des drones et de nouvelles barrières.

      Cette annonce survient peu après la création de patrouilles slovéno-italiennes. Le Premier ministre était pressé par l’opposition de droite, qui craint que la Slovénie ne devienne un goulot d’étranglement pour des réfugiés coincés à la frontière italienne. Le parti chrétien-démocrate NSi a demandé au gouvernement de prendre les « mesures nécessaires pour empêcher les franchissements illégaux de la frontière et garantir une protection efficace de la frontière sud ».

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/fil-info-refugies


      https://twitter.com/vladaRS/status/1148273439406534657?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

      #murs #barrières_frontalières

    • While the Croatian Ministry of the Interior has publicly expressed concerns about maintaining the security of Croatian borders, neighboring Slovenia started building additional fences along the border with Croatia. The Slovenian Interior Ministry said that they plan to put an additional 40 kilometers of wire at the border with the river Kupa, which means that Slovenia will have a total of 179 kilometers of border covered by ’’ technical barriers ’’.

      Reçu via la newsletter de Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 26.08.2019

      source:

      Mediji: Slovenija počela dizati dodatne ograde uz granicu s Hrvatskom

      U MUP-u kažu da se dodatne prepreke postavljaju na mjestima gdje je to neophodno za zaustavljanje ilegalnih migracija.

      Slovenija je počela postavljati dodatnu protumigrantsku ogradu uz granicu s Hrvatskom, na sektoru gdje je ove godine zabilježen povećan broj ilegalnih ulazaka, uz rijeku Kupu, prenose u četvrtak slovenski mediji.

      Kako je objavila televizijska postaja POP-TV, u srijedu je započelo postavljanje četiri kilometra duge nove panelne ograde na potezu između sela Žuniči i Zilje, prenosi Hina.

      Posao bi trebao biti završen u nekoliko idućih tjedana, nakon čega će granica na Kupi između Vinice i Žuniča, gdje je ovog proljeća i ljeta bilo mnogo ilegalnih prelazaka, biti praktično u cijelosti zaštićena, navodi televizijska postaja, pozivajući se na svoje izvore.
      Na granici 179. kilometara ’privremenih tehničkih zapreka’

      Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova je u vezi s tim navelo da se dodatne tehničke prepreke na granici postavljaju na mjestima gdje je to neophodno za zaustavljanje ilegalnih migracija.

      “Gdje će se prepreke konkretno postaviti i u kojemu opsegu, o tome se odluke donose temeljem konkretnih ocjena i prijedloga policije”, naveli su u izjavi u slovenskom MUP-u.

      Slovenija je tehničke prepreke za zaustavljanje migrantskog vala počela postavljati u jeku velike migracijske krize 2015-2016. godine, a vlada je ovog ljeta najavila da će postaviti dodatnih 40 kilometara ograde, na mjestima koja su najriskantnija i nalaze se na rutama ilegalnih migracija.

      Trenutačno je na granici Slovenije i Hrvatske 179. kilometara “privremenih tehničkih zapreka”, od čega 116 kilometara čini bodljikava žica, a 63 kilometra takozvana panelna ograda, potvrdilo je ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova.
      Odabrano poduzeće iz Beograda

      Ograde je do sada postavljala slovenska vojska, dok je za postavljanje dodatnih 40 kilometara panelnih ograda sada odabrano poduzeće Legi-SGS iz Beograda, koje je na natječaju za taj posao dalo ponudu od 4,56 milijuna eura.

      Kako prenose slovenski mediji, Slovenija je do sada za ograđivanje granice potrošila 19 milijuna eura, u što nije uračunat rad vojske te odštete vlansicima privatnih parcela na kojima su barijere postavljene.

      Dodatne ograde se postavljaju i zbog prijetnji talijanskog ministra unutarnjih poslova Mattea Salvinija da će postaviti fizičke prepreke na granicu sa Slovenijom, ako zajedničke patrole na granici i dodatne mjere slovenske vlade do ove jeseni ne rezultiraju smanjenjem ilegalnih ulazaka migranata u Italiji preko slovenskog teritorija.

      http://balkans.aljazeera.net/vijesti/mediji-slovenija-pocela-dizati-dodatne-ograde-uz-granicu-s-hrvats

  • 3,800 Volunteers Have Joined an Artist to Challenge Trump’s Idea of a “Big, Beautiful Wall” on the US–Mexico Border

    With the help of thousands of volunteers, #Enrique_Chiu is creating a large-scale mural on Mexico’s side of the border to spread a message of peace.


    https://hyperallergic.com/506480/3800-volunteers-have-joined-an-artist-to-challenge-trumps-idea-of-a-b
    #USA #Etats-Unis #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières
    #art #graffitis

    Et la question qui notamment Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary se pose... en invitant des artistes à rendre le mur "joli"... ne réifie-t-on pas le mur ? N’est-ce pas une démarche contre-productive ?

    • L’expression des artistes est qualifié de jolie par Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary. Ca me fait le même effet d’entendre reproché à une cause d’être porté par une belle voix.
      C’est ma manière de répondre par l’absurde à ce reproche qui me semble absurde.

    • En fait, Anne-Laure qualifie peut-être de « joli » l’expression des artistes, mais justement pour dénoncer l’effet pervers que ça induit... Pour connaître bien son travail, c’est vraiment quelqu’un qui a dès le début dénoncer l’effet pervers des actions artistiques sur les murs frontaliers.

    • Elle dit notamment cela :
      https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/file/index/docid/809322/filename/Amilhat_que_montrent_les_murs.pdf
      et ça :

      Partout où les frontières se ferment, des formes de border art surgissent. Le border art, c’est à la fois l’art de la frontière, l’art à la frontière et l’art sur la frontière. Les murs-frontières où le border art s’est le plus illustré sont les murs les plus médiatiques : Israël / Palestine, Etats-Unis / Mexique, Berlin et puis les deux autres cas qui ont été beaucoup mobilisés : Belfast et Chypre. Les murs-frontières sont un catalyseur extrêmement fort du border art et le border art est un catalyseur de ce que les murs-frontières nous disent.

      https://www.franceculture.fr/video/border-art-signe-de-fermeture-du-monde
      #border_art

      Elle met en évidence l’ambiguïté du border art, qui réifie ce qu’ils essaient de dénoncer...

    • Citation :

      « Ces images fonctionnent comme des prophéties autoréalisatrices : une fois investis des millions dans la construction d’une barrière dont les clichés seront régulièrement présentés dans les médias, il devient évident pour le destinataire de cette communication que le danger contre lequel la barrière devait le prémunir est réel. Selon un syllogisme fallacieux, l’immigrant illégal voit sa dangerosité confirmée par l’ampleur du dispositif mobilisé pour le combattre ».

      Amilhat Szary, 2015, Qu’est-ce qu’une frontière aujourd’hui ?

  • The Croatian government decided to put a fence at the Croatian-Bosnian border crossing #Maljevac (https://www.bilten.org/?p=28196#). This is another practice put in place by the government to frighten and harm both refugees and the local community living in the surrounding area. Building a fence, and using violence at the border, are two sides of the same coin: discourage and deny refugees their right to seek asylum in an EU country.

    #murs #barrières_frontalières #Croatie #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_balkans

    Reçu via la newsletter de Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 14.06.2019

    • Hrvatske anti-izbjegličke ograde i nacionalna nevinost

      Hrvatska je još jednom pooštrila svoje antimigrantske mjere. U ponedjeljak je na graničnom prijelazu Maljevac prema Bosni i Hercegovini podigla željeznu ogradu sa šiljcima, visoku tri metra. Temelji za postavljanje ograde napravljeni su i na graničnim prijelazima Gejkovac i Pašin Potok, izvijestilo je Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova RH (MUP) te podsjetilo na Schengenski katalog za nadzor vanjskih granica i odredbe Zakona o nadzoru državne granice.

      Ministarstvo financija kao tijelo nadležno za izgradnju i održavanje graničnih prijelaza, na traženje Ministarstva unutarnjih poslova RH, postavilo je 10. lipnja 2019. godine pomičnu fizičku barijeru (ogradu) na Granični prijelaz Maljevac s obzirom na to da je Schengenskom katalogu EU-a za nadzor vanjskih granica, povratak i ponovni prihvat navedeno “kako granične prijelaze i neposredno okolno područje treba tehnički nadgledati, a granične provjere i nadzor trebaju biti osvijetljeni“.

      Granični prijelazi, u pravilu, trebaju biti odijeljeni ogradom, a iznimke se mogu napraviti u slučaju graničnih prijelaza za lokalni granični promet, priopćio je MUP. Hrvatska dakako nije kriva, objašnjava nam MUP, jer je postupala u skladu s mogućnostima koje dopušta Europska unija – u skladu s “katalogom” za nadzor granica.

      Maddalena Avon iz Centra za mirovne studije kazala je za Bilten kako je “ograda na graničnom prijelazu Maljevac način na koji se RH pokazuje ispred Bruxellesa i institucija EU”. Dodala je i da “ova odluka još jednom pokazuje kako migracija mora biti zajednička odgovornost u cijeloj Europi, utemeljena na načelu solidarnosti, i kako bi odgovor na nju trebao biti kolektivan”. Iz CMS-a još jednom neumorno ponavljaju zdravorazumske društvene zahtjeve: “Još jednom, od RH zahtijevamo da poštuje zakon i prestane uskraćivati ljudima pravo na traženje azila u EU, a od EU tražimo da osigura legalnost prolaza za ljude koji traže sigurnost u Europi.”
      Obeshrabriti i uskratiti

      Avon zaključuje kako je ovo “još jedna praksa koju vlada provodi kako bi zastrašila i naškodila i izbjeglicama i lokalnoj zajednici koja živi u okolici.” Dodala je kako su “izgradnja ograde i korištenje nasilja na granici dvije strane istog novčića: obeshrabriti i uskratiti izbjeglicama njihovo pravo tražiti azil u nekoj zemlji EU.

      Granice se više ne štite od kriminalaca i mafije. Kao što vidimo po medijskim natpisima, droga i druge ilegalne potrepštine najnormalnije prolaze, nema gotovo nikakvih zastoja u opskrbi. Valjda to znači slogan “slobodan protok kapitala, roba i ljudi”. Ljudi su i u stvarnosti i u sloganu na posljednjem mjestu. Sad kada je eksploatacija prirodnih resursa dovela do klimatskih promjena koje vode u društvene nesigurnosti i egzistencijalne neizvjesnosti, zidovi koji se podižu vjerojatno generacijama neće biti srušeni. Hoćemo li u Hrvatskoj ostati poslušni i sretni zbog toga što smo se kroz ušicu igle provukli u EU koja nam omogućuje da ostanemo s prave strane zida i za promjenu i sami ne budemo izbjeglice?

      Hrvatska, zbog ograde dakako kriva nije, baš kao što nisu krivi ni ispitanici u poznatom Milgram eksperimentu provedenom na Sveučilištu Yale kojim se dokazalo da većina ljudi između svojih osobnih i društvenih vrijednosti i naredbe figure autoriteta zapravo sluša naredbe autoriteta, makar pritom te naredbe rezultirale smrću trećih subjekata. Najave kažu da imamo još 30 godina do kraja civilizacije. Društvena situacija može se samo pogoršavati, ako ili kad nestane hrane, začeci ove politike “svako sam za sebe” dobit će katastrofalne razmjere odustanemo li već sada od načela solidarnosti i uzajamne društvene pomoći.

      https://www.bilten.org/?p=28196#

  • Les bouquetins jouent à saute-frontière alors que les êtres humains (certains êtres humains, les #indésirables...)

    Dans le parc du #Mercantour, les bouquetins jouent à saute-frontières

    Parmi les actions de coopération entre la France et l’Italie soutenues par l’Union européenne, un programme vise depuis 2017 à recenser et protéger la population de bovidés.

    La #montagne n’ayant pas de #frontières, les projets ont très vite pris une envergure européenne.


    https://www.liberation.fr/france/2019/05/09/dans-le-parc-du-mercantour-les-bouquetins-jouent-a-saute-frontieres_17259

    #animaux #frontières_ouvertes #differential_inclusion #humains #êtres_humains

    ping @reka

  • Sunk Costs. The border wall is more expensive than you think.

    When the federal government builds a border wall, the taxpayer foots two bills. First, there’s the cost to get the thing built, a figure proclaimed in presidential budget requests and press accounts. And second, there’s a slew of concealed costs — expenditures that hide in general operations budgets, arise from human error or kick in years down the line. In the Trump era, those twin outlays combine to make the wall outlandishly expensive.

    Excluding the hidden costs, Trump’s wall is running taxpayers a cool $25 million per mile, up nearly fourfold from just a decade ago. To understand why, it helps to know a little border history. In 1907, the U.S. government took possession of a 60-foot-wide strip of land along the U.S.-Mexico border from California to New Mexico as a buffer zone against smuggling. During his second term, George W. Bush built much of his border wall on this government-owned land. But in Texas, the vast majority of border real estate is privately owned, forcing the government to seize property all along the Rio Grande if it wants to build a barrier. That extra burden is a main reason the Lone Star State hosts a small fraction of existing border fence.

    Then there’s the terrain. For example, in Starr County, an unfenced swath of South Texas that’s high on Customs and Border Protection’s priority list, Trump plans to build on the Rio Grande’s craggy, erosion-prone bank — an engineering challenge that adds millions of dollars per mile. As CBP spokesperson Rick Pauza wrote in an email to the Observer: “Every mile of border is different, and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all cost per mile.” In addition, taxpayers today are buying the luxury edition of the wall: a structure that’s up to 12 feet taller than the Bush-era fence and buffered by a 150-foot “enforcement zone.”

    But all that’s only part of the story. Not included in the $25 million-per-mile figure is a suite of hidden expenses. Among them:

    Routine Maintenance and Operation. Border barriers are potent political symbols. They’re also physical structures that accumulate debris, degrade and break over time. In 2009, CBP estimated that operating and maintaining $2.4 billion worth of fencing, along with associated roads and technology, would cost $3.5 billion over 20 years — almost 50 percent more than the original cost.

    Breaches. Depending on design, border fences can be cut through using either bolt cutters or power tools. From 2010 to 2015, fencing was breached 9,287 times, according to the Government Accountability Office. At an average repair cost of $784, the government spent $7.3 million patching those holes in the wall. And the more new wall, the more breaches.

    Waste. In November 2011, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General issued a scathing report regarding procurement of steel for the border fence. “CBP purchased more steel than needed, incurred additional storage costs, paid interest on late payments, and approved a higher-priced subcontractor, resulting in additional expenditures of about $69 million,” the report read.

    Department of Justice Litigation. Every time landowners refuse to sell their land for the wall, the Department of Justice must take them to court. According to a 2012 planning document prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that legal process costs about $90,000 per tract of land. In sparsely populated Starr County — where property has been passed down for hundreds of years, often without legal record — almost every case must go to court to determine ownership. That money is unaccounted for in congressional appropriations for the wall; it comes instead from the DOJ’s general budget.

    Advertising. When the DOJ wants to take Texans’ property for the wall, the agency must sometimes issue notice to potential heirs in the local newspapers. So far, a DOJ spokesperson said, the agency has done so three times in the Rio Grande Valley — cramming many cases into a single publication. Each instance cost the DOJ about $100,000. At a November court hearing in McAllen, a DOJ attorney lamented the state of local media. “We have one person or corporation who owns both papers — so we can’t really negotiate,” he said. “So it’s a large expenditure.”


    https://www.texasobserver.org/the-border-wall-is-more-expensive-than-you-think
    #murs #barrières_frontalières #coût #prix #coûts_cachés #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis

  • First-ever private border wall built in #New_Mexico

    A private group announced Monday that it has constructed a half-mile wall along a section of the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico, in what it said was a first in the border debate.

    The 18-foot steel bollard wall is similar to the designs used by the Border Patrol, sealing off a part of the border that had been a striking gap in existing fencing, according to We Build the Wall, the group behind the new section.

    The section was also built faster and, organizers say, likely more cheaply than the government has been able to manage in recent years.

    Kris Kobach, a former secretary of state in Kansas and an informal immigration adviser to President Trump, says the New Mexico project has the president’s blessing, and says local Border Patrol agents are eager to have the assistance.

    “We’re closing a gap that’s been a big headache for them,” said Mr. Kobach, who is general counsel for We Build the Wall.


    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/may/27/first-ever-private-border-wall-built-new-mexico
    #privatisation #murs #barrières_frontalières #USA #Mexique #frontières #business #complexe_militaro-industriel
    ping @albertocampiphoto @daphne

    • The #GoFundMe Border Wall Is the Quintessential Trump-Era Grift

      In 2012, historian Rick Perlstein wrote a piece of essential reading for understanding modern conservatism, titled “The Long Con” and published by the Baffler. It ties the right’s penchant for absurd and obvious grifts to the conservative mind’s particular vulnerability to fear and lies:

      The strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers points up evidence of another successful long march, of tactics designed to corral fleeceable multitudes all in one place—and the formation of a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began.

      Lying, Perlstein said, is “what makes you sound the way a conservative is supposed to sound.” The lies—about abortion factories, ACORN, immigrants, etc.—fund the grifts, and the grifts prey on the psychology that makes the lies so successful.

      Perlstein’s piece is all I could think of when I saw last night’s CNN story about the border wall GoFundMe, which seemingly has actually produced Wall. According to CNN, the group We Build the Wall says it has produced a half-mile of border wall in New Mexico. CNN was invited to watch the construction, where Kris Kobach, who is general counsel for the group, spoke “over the clanking and beeping of construction equipment.”

      #Steve_Bannon, who is naturally involved with the group, told CNN that the wall connects existing fencing and had “tough terrain” that means it was left “off the government list.” The half-mile stretch of wall cost an “estimated $6 million to $8 million to build,” CNN reported.

      CNN also quoted #Jeff_Allen, who owns the property on which the fence was built, as saying: “I have fought illegals on this property for six years. I love my country and this is a step in protecting my country.” According to MSN, Allen partnered with United Constitutional Patriots to build the wall with We Build the Wall’s funding. UCP is the same militia that was seen on video detaining immigrants and misrepresenting themselves as Border Patrol; the Phoenix New Times reported on the “apparent ties” between the UCP and We Build the Wall earlier this month.

      This story is bursting at the seams with an all-star lineup of right-wing scammers. The GoFundMe itself, of course, has been rocked by scandal: After the effort raised $20 million, just $980 million short of the billion-dollar goal, GoFundMe said in January that the funds would be returned, since creator Brian Kolfage had originally pledged that “If for ANY reason we don’t reach our goal we will refund your donation.” But Kolfage quickly figured out how to keep the gravy train going, urging those who had donated to allow their donations to be redirected to a non-profit. Ultimately, $14 million of that $20 million figure was indeed rerouted by the idiots who donated it.

      That non-profit became #We_Build_The_Wall, and like all good conservative con jobs, it has the celebs of the fever swamp attached to it. Not only #Kris_Kobach, a tenacious liar who failed at proving voter fraud is a widespread problem—but also slightly washed-up figures like Bannon, Sheriff David Clarke, Curt Schilling, and Tom Tancredo. All the stars are here!

      How much sleazier could it get? Try this: the main contractor working at the site of New Wall, according to CNN, is Tommy Fisher. The Washington Post reported last week that Trump had “personally and repeatedly urged the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” to give the contract for the border wall to the company owned by Fisher, a “GOP donor and frequent guest on Fox News,” despite the fact that the Corps of Engineers previously said Fisher’s proposals didn’t meet their requirements.

      Of course, like all good schemes, the need for more money never ceases: On the Facebook page for the group, the announcement that Wall had been completed was accompanied with a plea for fans to “DONATE NOW to fund more walls! We have many more projects lined up!”

      So, what we have is: A tax-exempt non-profit raised $20 million by claiming it would be able to make the federal government build Wall by just giving it the money for it and then, when that didn’t happen, getting most of its donors to reroute that money; then it built a half-mile of wall on private land for as much as $8 million, which went to a firm of a Fox News star whom President Trump adores.

      Perlstein wrote in the aforementioned piece that it’s hard to “specify a break point where the money game ends and the ideological one begins,” since “the con selling 23-cent miracle cures for heart disease inches inexorably into the one selling miniscule marginal tax rates as the miracle cure for the nation itself.” The con job was sold through fear: “Conjuring up the most garishly insatiable monsters precisely in order to banish them from underneath the bed, they aim to put the target to sleep.”

      The Trump era is the inartful, gaudy, brazen peak of this phenomenon. This time, instead of selling fake stem cell cures using the language of Invading Liberals, the grifters are just straight-up selling—for real American dollars—the promise of building a big wall to keep the monsters out.

      https://splinternews.com/the-gofundme-border-wall-is-the-quintessential-trump-er-1835062340

    • Company touted by Trump to build the wall has history of fines, violations

      President Donald Trump appears to have set his sights on a North Dakota construction firm with a checkered legal record to build portions of his signature border wall.
      The family-owned company, #Fisher_Sand_&_Gravel, claims it can build the wall cheaper and faster than competitors. It was among a handful of construction firms chosen to build prototypes of the President’s border wall in 2017 and is currently constructing portions of barrier on private land along the border in New Mexico using private donations.
      It also, however, has a history of red flags including more than $1 million in fines for environmental and tax violations. A decade ago, a former co-owner of the company pleaded guilty to tax fraud, and was sentenced to prison. The company also admitted to defrauding the federal government by impeding the IRS. The former executive, who’s a brother of the current company owner, is no longer associated with it.
      More than two years into his presidency, Trump is still fighting to build and pay for his border wall, a key campaign issue. After failing to get his requests for wall funding passed by a Republican-held Congress during his first two years in office, Trump has met resistance this year from a Democratic-controlled House. His attempt to circumvent Congress through a national emergency declaration has been challenged in the courts.
      On May 24, a federal district judge blocked the administration from using Defense Department funds to construct parts of the wall. The Trump administration has since appealed the block to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals and in the interim, asked the district court to allow building to continue pending appeal. The district court denied the administration’s request.
      Despite the uncertainty, construction firms have been competing to win multimillion-dollar contracts to build portions of wall, including Fisher Sand & Gravel.

      Asked by CNN to comment on the company’s history of environmental violations and legal issues, the company said in a statement: “The questions you are asking have nothing to do with the excellent product and work that Fisher is proposing with regard to protecting America’s southern border. The issues and situations in your email were resolved years ago. None of those matters are outstanding today.”
      Catching the President’s attention
      The company was founded in North Dakota in 1952 and operates in several states across the US. It’s enjoyed public support from North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer, who as a congressman invited the company’s CEO, Tommy Fisher, to Trump’s State of the Union address in 2018. Cramer has received campaign contributions from Fisher and his wife. A photo of the event shared by Fisher in a company newsletter shows Tommy Fisher shaking Trump’s hand.
      The Washington Post first reported the President’s interest in Fisher. According to the Post, the President has “aggressively” pushed for the Army Corps of Engineers to award a wall contract to Fisher.
      The President “immediately brought up Fisher” during a May 23 meeting in the Oval Office to discuss details of the border wall with various government officials, including that he wants it to be painted black and include French-style doors, according to the Post and confirmed by CNN.
      “The Army Corps of Engineers says about 450 miles of wall will be completed by the end of next year, and the only thing President Trump is pushing, is for the wall to be finished quickly so the American people have the safety and security they deserve,” said Hogan Gidley, White House deputy press secretary.
      A US government official familiar with the meeting tells CNN that the President has repeatedly mentioned the company in discussions he’s had about the wall with the head of the Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite.
      Fisher has recently made efforts to raise its public profile, both by upping its lobbying efforts and through repeated appearances on conservative media by its CEO, Tommy Fisher.

      In the past two years, for example, the company’s congressional lobbying expenditures jumped significantly — from $5,000 in 2017 to $75,000 in 2018, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit that tracks lobbying expenditures.

      When asked about Fisher Sand & Gravel’s lobbying, Don Larson, one of Fisher’s registered lobbyists, said: “I am working to help decision makers in Washington become familiar with the company and its outstanding capabilities.”
      Media Blitz
      As part of a media blitz on outlets including Fox News, SiriusXM Patriot and Breitbart News, Tommy Fisher has discussed his support for the border wall and pitched his company as the one to build it. In a March 5 appearance on Fox & Friends, Fisher said that his company could build 234 miles of border wall for $4.3 billion, compared to the $5.7 billion that the Trump administration has requested from Congress.
      Fisher claimed that his firm can work five-to-10 times faster than competitors as a result of its construction process.
      The President has also touted Fisher on Fox News. In an April interview in which he was asked about Fisher by Sean Hannity, Trump said the company was “recommended strongly by a great new senator, as you know, Kevin Cramer. And they’re real. But they have been bidding and so far they haven’t been meeting the bids. I thought they would.”
      Despite the President’s interest, the company has thus far been unsuccessful in obtaining a contract to build the border wall, beyond that of a prototype.

      Earlier this year, Fisher put its name in the running for border wall contracts worth nearly $1 billion. When it lost the bid to Barnard Construction Co. and SLSCO Ltd., Fisher protested the awards over claims that the process was biased. In response, the Army Corps canceled the award. But after a review of the process, the Army Corps combined the projects and granted it to a subsidiary of Barnard Construction, according to an agency spokesperson.
      It’s unclear whether the project will proceed, given the recent decision by a federal judge to block the use of Defense Department funds to build parts of the border wall and the administration’s appeal.
      Fisher, which has a pending lawsuit in the US Court of Federal Claims over the solicitation process, is listed by the Defense Department as being among firms eligible to compete for future border contracts.

      It has moved forward with a private group, We Build the Wall, that is building sections of barrier on private land in New Mexico using private money raised as part of a GoFundMe campaign. Kris Kobach, the former Kansas Secretary of State who is now general counsel for the group, said a half-mile stretch is nearly complete, at an estimated cost of $6 million to $8 million.

      In a statement, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said Fisher Industries has told them that the company has begun construction on private property along the border “in the approximate area of a USBP border barrier requirement that was not prioritized under current funding.”
      The spokesperson added: “It is not uncommon for vendors” to demonstrate their capabilities using “their own resources,” but the agency goes on to “encourage all interested vendors” to compete for border contracts “through established mechanisms to ensure any construction is carried out under relevant federal authorities and meets USBP operational requirements for border barrier.”
      In responses provided to CNN through Scott Sleight, an attorney working on behalf of the company, Fisher maintained that it’s “committed to working with all appropriate federal government officials and agencies to provide its expertise and experience to help secure America’s southern border.”
      The company says it has “developed a patent-pending bollard fence hanging system that [it] believes allows border fencing to be constructed faster than any contractor using common construction methods.” It also added: “Fisher has been concerned about the procurement procedures and evaluations done by the USACE to date, and hopes these issues can be remedied.”
      Relationship with Sen. Cramer
      A month after attending the 2018 State of the Union address with Cramer, Fisher and his wife, Candice each contributed the $5,400 maximum donation to Cramer’s campaign for the US Senate, Federal Election Commission records show.
      Fisher also donated to several Arizona Republicans in the 2018 election cycle, including giving the $5,400-maximum donation to Martha McSally’s campaign, records show.
      A recent video produced by Fisher Sand & Gravel demonstrating its ability to construct the wall includes a clip of Cramer at the controls of a track-hoe lifting sections of barrier wall into place, saying “this is just like XBOX, baby.” Cramer was joined at the demonstration by a handful of other Republican lawmakers from across the country.

      Cramer has been publicly critical of how the Army Corps has handled its border wall construction work, arguing that it has moved too slowly and expressing frustration over how it has dealt with Fisher. In an interview with a North Dakota TV station, Cramer said that he believes the corps “made a miscalculation in who they chose over Fisher” and that the company had been “skunked so to speak.” Cramer added that Fisher “remains a pre-qualified, high level, competitor.”

      In an interview with CNN, Cramer said that the company has come up in conversations he has had with administration officials, including the President and the head of the Army Corps, but while the senator said that he would “love if they got every inch of the project,” he added that he has “never advocated specifically for them.”
      "Every time someone comes to meet with me, whether it’s (Acting Defense Secretary) Shanahan, General Semonite, even with Donald Trump, they bring up Fisher Industries because they assume that’s my thing," Cramer said.
      “One of the things I’ve never done is said it should be Fisher,” Cramer said. “Now, I love Fisher. I’d love if they got every inch of the project. They’re my constituents, I don’t apologize for that. But my interest really is more in the bureaucratic process.”
      According to an administration official familiar with the situation, Cramer sent information about Fisher to the President’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, who then passed it along to the Army Corps of Engineers for their consideration. The source tells CNN that Kushner was not familiar with the company prior to getting information about them from Cramer.
      Cramer said he does recall passing along information about the company to Kushner, but that he did not know what Kushner did with the information.
      On May 24, Cramer told a North Dakota radio station that the President has asked him to examine the process of how federal border wall projects are awarded.
      “We’re going to do an entire audit,” Cramer said. “I’ve asked for the entire bid process, and all of the bid numbers.” Cramer told CNN the President said he wanted the wall built for the “lowest, best price, and it’s also quality, and that’s what any builder should want.”
      Asked about aspects of the company’s checkered legal record, Cramer said “that level of scrutiny is important, but I would hope the same scrutiny would be put on the Corps of Engineers.”
      Environmental violations
      Though its corporate headquarters are in North Dakota, Fisher has a sizable footprint in Arizona, where it operates an asphalt company as well as a drilling and blasting company. It’s there that the company has compiled an extensive track record of environmental violations.
      From 2007 to 2017, Fisher Sand & Gravel compiled more than 1,300 air-quality violations in Maricopa County, culminating in the third highest settlement ever received by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department, according to Bob Huhn, a department spokesperson. That’s a record number of violations for any air-quality settlement in the county, Huhn said. The settlement totaled more than $1 million, though the department received slightly less than that following negotiations, Huhn said.
      Most of the violations came from an asphalt plant that the company was running in south Phoenix that has since closed. While the plant was still running, the City of Phoenix filed 469 criminal charges against the company from August to October of 2009, according to a city spokesperson.
      According to a 2010 article in the Arizona Republic, Fisher reached an agreement with Phoenix officials to close the plant in 2010. As part of the deal, fines were reduced from $1.1 million to an estimated $243,000 and all criminal charges were reduced to civil charges.
      Mary Rose Wilcox was a member of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors at the time the city and county were fighting Fisher over the asphalt plant, which was located in her district. “They tried to persuade us they were good guys since they were a family-owned company. But they were spreading noxious fumes into a residential area,” Wilcox said. “We tried to work with them, but their violations were just so blatant.”
      Michael Pops, a community activist who lived in the area around the plant, remembers fighting with Fisher for six years before the plant finally shut down. “The impact they had on this community was devastating,” Pops said, adding many low-income residents living near the asphalt plant were sickened from the fumes the plant emitted.
      The company has also racked up more than 120 violations with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality from 2004 until as recently as last summer, according to the department.
      In 2011, Fisher agreed to a Consent Judgement with ADEQ over numerous air quality violations the company had committed. As part of that settlement, Fisher agreed to pay $125,000 in civil penalties, and that it would remain in compliance with state air quality standards. Within two years Fisher was found to be in violation of that agreement and was forced to pay an additional $500,000 in fines, according to the state’s attorney general’s office.
      Legal trouble
      Internally, the company has also confronted issues.
      In 2011, Fisher Sand & Gravel agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a sexual discrimination and retaliation suit filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit charged that the company violated federal anti-discrimination laws when it “subjected two women workers to egregious verbal sexual harassment by a supervisor and then fired one of them after she repeatedly asked the supervisor to stop harassing her and complained to a job superintendent.”
      The settlement required Fisher to provide anti-discrimination training to its employees in New Mexico and review its policies on sexual harassment.
      Micheal Fisher, a former co-owner of Fisher and Tommy’s brother, was sentenced to prison in 2009 for tax fraud, according to the Justice Department. Fisher pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the [Internal Revenue Service], four counts of aiding in the filing of false federal tax returns for FSG and four counts of filing false individual tax returns,” according to a Justice Department release.
      The company also admitted responsibility for defrauding the US by impeding the IRS, according to the DOJ. Citing a long standing policy of not commenting on the contracting process, the Army Corps declined to comment on whether Fisher’s history factored into its decision not to award Fisher a contract.

      https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/31/politics/fisher-sand-and-gravel-legal-history-border-wall/index.html

    • Private US-Mexico border wall ordered open by gov’t, fights back and is now closed again

      The privately funded portion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall is now fully secure and closed again after one of its gates had been ordered to remain open until disputes about waterway access could be resolved.

      “Our border wall & gate are secure again and we still have not had a single breach. I want to thank the IBWC for acting swiftly and we look forward to working with you on our future projects,” triple amputee Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage posted to Twitter on Tuesday night.

      Kolfage created We Build The Wall Inc., a nonprofit that is now backed by former Trump Administration Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. The group crowd-funded more than $22 million in order to privately build a border wall and then sell it to the U.S. government for $1.

      A portion of that wall has been constructed in Texas for between $6 and $8 million. The 1-mile-long wall is located on private property near El Paso, Texas, and Sunland Park, New Mexico.

      However, the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) had ordered a 33-foot gate within the private border wall to remain open – not locked and closed – over a waterway access issue, according to BuzzFeed News. The IBCW addresses waterway issues between the U.S. and Mexico.

      “This is normally done well in advance of a construction project,” IBWC spokesperson Lori Kuczmanski said. “They think they can build now and ask questions later, and that’s not how it works.”

      BuzzFeed reported that the IBWC said the gate “had blocked officials from accessing a levee and dam, and cut off public access to a historic monument known as Monument One, the first in a series of obelisks that mark the U.S.–Mexico border from El Paso to Tijuana.”

      By Tuesday night, the IBWC said the gate would remain locked at night and issued a statement.

      “The U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) will lock the privately-owned gate on federal property at night effective immediately due to security concerns,” it said.

      The statement continues:

      The USIBWC is continuing to work with We Build the Wall regarding its permit request. Until this decision, the private gate was in a locked open position. We Build the Wall, a private organization, built a gate on federal land in Sunland Park, N.M., near El Paso, Texas, without authority, and then locked the gate closed on June 6, 2019. The private gate blocks a levee road owned by the U.S. Government. After repeated requests to unlock and open the private gate, the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC), accompanied by two uniformed law enforcement officers from the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office, removed the private lock, opened the gate, and locked the gate open pending further discussions with We Build the Wall. The gate was also opened so that USIBWC employees can conduct maintenance and operations at American Dam.

      The USIBWC did not authorize the construction of the private gate on federal property as announced on We Build the Wall’s Twitter page. The USIBWC is not charged with securing other fences or gates as reported by We Build the Wall. The international border fences are not on USIBWC property. The USIBWC did not open any other gates in the El Paso area as erroneously reported. Other gates and the border fence are controlled by other federal agencies.

      When the proper documentation is received for the permit, USIBWC will continue to process the permit application.

      Before the statement had been released, Kolfage posted to Twitter.
      https://a

      mericanmilitarynews.com/2019/06/private-us-mexico-border-wall-ordered-open-by-intl-group-later-closed-locked-after-security-concerns/

  • The border fence (en allemand: Die Bauliche Massnahme)

    Brenner Pass, Alpine border, spring 2016: the Austrian government announces the construction of a border fence, expecting a shift of the refugee routes to Italy after the Balkan route is closed. The residents fear the fence just as much as the supposedly threatening influx of foreigners to their homeland.

    Two years later, the fence is still rolled up in a container, as the inrush of refugees never occurred.

    https://www.geyrhalterfilm.com/en/die_bauliche_massnahme
    #frontières #murs #barrières_frontalières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Alpes #Italie #Autriche #Brenner #film #documentaire #frontière_sud-alpine #Nikolaus_Geyrhalter

    Trailer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebKkUIa4U-8

  • ’Walls Often Fail; They Have Unintended Consequences’

    Along the Iraq-Syria border, Iraqi patrol forces have swapped their hard tactical helmets for the warmth of beanie caps. The soldiers look out from their observation towers, across a stretch of desert into Syria.

    From this concrete tower on the border, you can almost see the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has made its final stand. Over there, Syrian Democratic Forces—a Kurdish-led alliance dedicated to rooting out ISIS and backed by the US—have nearly liberated the city and its suburbs, and American troops are beginning a long-awaited drawdown. A plume of gray-white smoke breaches skyward as an artillery strike reaches the villages and towns near Deir ez-Zor. The horizon is a diaphanous blur of dark smoke.

    Between us and Syria is a fence. It is about 43 miles long, and a guard tower is located every few hundred feet, manned by squadrons from the Iraqi border security forces. The roughly 10-foot-tall chain-link barrier bucks and rattles in the wind. Barbed wire unspools along the top, and about 20 feet beyond the fence, on the Syrian side, there’s a ditch to stop explosive-laden ISIS vehicles that might charge the border. Beyond the ditch is a desiccated stretch of desert now mostly cleared of booby traps.

    The fence divides two villages, both called #Baghouz. The residents of Syrian Baghouz and Iraqi Baghouz once traveled freely between the towns, visiting with family and friends in a place where international borders are as hazy as the smoke between them. “It was normal for us to go to Syrian Baghouz,” says Alaa Husain, an Iraqi shepherd who has lived in this hamlet for 28 years.


    https://www.wired.com/story/the-wall-journey-across-divide-iraq-syria
    #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #Irak #Syrie #ISIS #EI #Etat_islamique

  • (Dé)passer la frontière

    En ce début de 21e siècle, l’heure est à la #fermeture_des_frontières. Si ce durcissement des #politiques_migratoires peine à produire les résultats escomptés, il participe à la multiplication de situations de violations des #droits_humains, partout dans le monde.

    Les frontières, leur gestion et leur actualité traversent les débats publics et médiatiques sur les #migrations, attisant les controverses et les fantasmes, en particulier en Europe et en Amérique du Nord. Les frontières cristallisent un grand nombre d’enjeux – sociaux, (géo)politiques, économiques, historiques – et mobilisent une grande diversité d’idées, de projets de société et d’acteur·rices. Étudier, questionner la frontière et tout ce qu’elle véhicule comme #symboles est donc indispensable pour penser l’avenir des territoires et de leurs populations dans une perspective de respect de la #dignité_humaine, autrement que sous le seul angle d’analyse de « la crise migratoire ».

    L’objectif principal de ce nouveau numéro de la collection Passerelle est donc de proposer des pistes d’analyse et de réflexion sur les enjeux autour des frontières : dans un monde globalisé, entre territorialisation et dématérialisation, qu’est-ce qu’une frontière aujourd’hui ? Quels sont les intérêts politiques et économiques qui régissent les mouvements d’ouverture pour certain·es, et de fermeture pour d’autres ? Cette publication invite également à explorer les multiples formes de #résistance à travers la voix de celles et ceux qui défient les politiques de fermeture, mais aussi les idées et propositions qui remettent en cause le régime des frontières actuel.

    Il s’agit donc bien d’établir des liens entre ce sujet d’une actualité brûlante et des dynamiques de long terme dans les différentes parties du monde, d’en éclairer les différents enjeux et de donner de la visibilité aux luttes actives d’hier et d’aujourd’hui. C’est cette perspective qui est au cœur du débat à travers les articles compilés ici : des réflexions, des témoignages et des pistes d’horizons politiques qui nous permettront de mieux saisir les enjeux des frontières, afin de nous armer de meilleurs outils de solidarité internationale pour la #justice_sociale et la garantie des droits fondamentaux de toutes et tous.


    https://www.coredem.info/IMG/pdf/_de_passer_la_frontiere-2.pdf

    Sommaire :


    #souveraineté_nationale #symbole #murs #Israël #barrières_frontalières #externalisation #externalisation_des_frontières #spectacle #victimisation #business #tunnel #Roya_Citoyenne #frontière_sud-alpine #La_Roya #caravane #Amérique_centrale #disparitions #mères #justice #passeport_aborigène #internationalisme #liberté_de_circulation #Touaregs #nomadisme #nomades #confédéralisme_démocratique #membrane

    ping @isskein @reka

    #frontières

  • Mexicans Are Stealing Border Wall Materials, Using Them For Home Security

    Unnamed Mexican officials told San Diego’s KUSI-TV that 15 to 20 people have been arrested for stealing concertina wire from the U.S.-Mexico border and selling it to security-minded homeowners in Tijuana.


    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/border-wall-stolen-tijuana-home-security_n_5c9291bbe4b08c4fec33b5f4
    #murs #utilisation_alternative_des_ressources #ré-usage #recyclage #barrières_frontalières #walls_don't_work

    Autres exemples sur twitter, publiés à la demande de Reece Jones:
    https://twitter.com/tlesam/status/1108523471104081920

    Autres exemples, donc:


    https://qz.com/484342/locals-are-using-the-us-mexico-border-fence-as-a-giant-volleyball-net
    #sport #volleyball


    http://time.com/4346012/greek-migrants-macedonia-idomeni-camp


    https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/north-east/sc-order-on-border-fence/cid/1436674
    #séchoir


    https://www.thelocal.de/20091019/22677
    #tourisme et #souvenirs


    https://www.cntraveler.com/story/usmexico-border-art-installation
    #art


    https://subtopia.blogspot.com/2007/06/extreme-border-sports.html
    #sport

    • An 8-year-old girl climbed an 18-foot replica of Donald Trump’s ’un-climbable’ border wall in seconds

      An 18-foot replica of Donald Trump’s border wall has been scaled in a matter of seconds by novice climbers, an eight-year-old girl, and a man who returned for another attempt while juggling with one hand.

      The US president described his wall as “virtually impenetrable” during a trip to the US-Mexico border in September, claiming 20 “world class” mountain climbers had told him his chosen prototype was difficult to climb.

      “We had 20 mountain climbers. That’s all they do, they love to climb mountains … some of them were champions,” Mr Trump said. “And we gave them different prototypes of walls, and this was the one that was hardest to climb … this wall can’t be climbed.”

      His remarks were taken as a challenge by 75-year-old Rick Weber, co-founder of Muir Valley, a rock climbing park and nature reserve in Kentucky.

      “You don’t tell a bona fide rock climber something’s impossible to climb,” he told Time magazine.

      Mr Weber, a retired engineer, decided to build a replica of Mr Trump’s wall using official dimensions and recent images of the structure.

      He wrote in to popular climbing magazine Rock & Ice to announce a climbing competition on 11 and 12 October to coincide with Rocktoberfest, one of the largest annual gatherings of climbers in the US.

      “No one in our climbing community knows any of these 20 mountaineers. I doubt if they exist,” he wrote. "More importantly, to declare something to be impossible to climb to a bona fide rock climber is to issue a challenge.

      “So, I decided to build an exact replica and hold a competition.”

      Ahead of the official competition, several people had already managed to climb the wall.

      Among these was eight-year-old Lucy Hancock, who climbed the replica using a belay – a rope that acts as a safety measure, rather than an aid. Footage showed her scaling the majority of the wall in little more than a minute.

      Erik Kloeker, a 29-year-old climbing guide and property manager at Muir Valley who told The Courier Journal he had been climbing for nine years, climbed the structure in about 30 seconds in a demonstration.

      “The border wall that they’re building could be climbed pretty easily,” said Mr Kloeker, who juggled several items in one hand during repeat attempts.

      Mr Trump’s border wall is being built at heights of 18-feet and 30-feet, consisting of singular pillars and a larger panel along the top.

      Mr Weber told Time that as the large top panel is the same size, a climber who manages to ascend pillars of the 18-foot version would have no difficulty scaling the additional distance.

      He decided to allow climbers to hold on to the side of the top panel, as he claimed such gaps existed between each section of wall in the real designs.

      The retired engineer said a wall without pillars would be far more difficult to climb.

      “I’m not making an argument that we shouldn’t have a secure border. I’m not doing that at all,” he said. “What I’m trying to do is to make sure that we’re not blowing a lot of money on some silly nonsense of putting up something that he thinks can’t be climbed. Because it can. And will be.”

      During his September visit to the San Diego border, Mr Trump claimed hopeful climbers would “have to bring hoses and waters [sic]” to combat the large top panel of the design, which he said was designed to absorb enough heat to “fry an egg”.

      Mr Trump recently denied making enquiries about creating a moat filled with alligators and snakes along the border.

      Despite campaigning on the promise that Mexico would pay for the structure, the Defence Department has been forced to divert some $3.6 billion in military funding.

      https://www.businessinsider.com/8-year-old-climbs-replica-of-trump-wall-in-seconds-2019-10?IR=T