#excision_territoriale

  • UK to block #visas for countries refusing to take back asylum seekers

    Bill would give home secretary power to take action against citizens of countries deemed not to be cooperating.

    The UK will block visas for visitors from countries the home secretary believes are refusing to cooperate in taking back rejected asylum seekers or offenders.

    In proposed legislation published on Tuesday, #Priti_Patel and future home secretaries would have the power to suspend or delay the processing of applications from countries that do no “cooperate with the UK government in relation to the removal from the United Kingdom of nationals of that country who require leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but do not have it”.

    The clause in the nationality and borders bill also allows for the home secretary to impose additional financial requirements for visa applications – that is, an increase in fees – if countries do not cooperate.

    The proposals mirror US legislation that allows officials to withdraw visa routes from countries that refuse to take back undocumented migrants. It is understood that countries such as Iraq, Iran, Eritrea and Sudan are reluctant to cooperate with the UK on such matters.

    The change is one of many in the bill, described as “the biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades” by Patel, which includes measures such as:

    - Asylum seekers deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive in the country via legal routes. Even if their claim is successful, they will be granted temporary refugee status and face the prospect of being indefinitely liable for removal.

    - Asylum seekers will be able to be removed from the UK while their asylum claim or appeal is pending, which opens the door to offshore asylum processing.

    - For those deemed to have arrived illegally, access to benefits and family reunion rights could be limited.

    – The appeals and judicial process will be changed to speed up the removal of those whose claims are refused.

    - The home secretary will be able to offer protection to vulnerable people in “immediate danger and at risk in their home country” in exceptional circumstances. It is thought this will be used to help a small number of people.

    – The system will be made “much harder for people to be granted refugee status based on unsubstantiated claims” and will include “rigorous age assessments” to stop adults pretending to be children. The government is considering the use of bone scanners to determine age.

    - Life sentences will be brought in as a maximum penalty for people-smugglers.

    - Foreign criminals who breach deportation orders and return to the UK could be jailed for up to five years instead of the current six months.

    – A new one-stop legal process is proposed so that asylum, human rights claims and any other protection matters are made and considered together before appeal hearings.

    Campaigners have dubbed the proposed legislation the “anti-refugee bill”, claiming it will penalise those who need help the most.

    Analysis of Home Office data by the Refugee Council suggests 9,000 people who would be accepted as refugees under current rules – those confirmed to have fled war or persecution following official checks – may no longer be given safety in the UK due to their means of arrival under the changes.

    The charity’s chief executive, Enver Solomon, said that for decades people had taken “extraordinary measures to flee oppression”, but had gone on to become “law-abiding citizens playing by the rules and paying their taxes as proud Britons”.

    Steve Valdez-Symonds, refugee and migrants rights programme director at Amnesty International UK, branded the bill “legislative vandalism”, claimed it could “fatally undermine the right to asylum” and accused Patel of a “shameful dereliction of duty”, adding: “This reckless and deeply unjust bill is set to bring shame on Britain’s international reputation.”

    Sonya Sceats, chief executive of Freedom from Torture, described the plans as “dripping with cruelty” and an “affront to the caring people in this country who want a kinder, fairer approach to refugees”.

    More than 250 organisations – including the Refugee Council, the British Red Cross, Freedom from Torture, Refugee Action and Asylum Matters – have joined to form the coalition Together with Refugees to call for a more effective, fair and humane approach to asylum in the UK.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jul/06/uk-to-block-visas-from-countries-refusing-to-take-back-undocumented-mig

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #chantage #visas #UK #Angleterre

    La loi comprend aussi une disposition concernant l’#externalisation des #procédures_d'asile :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/918427

    Une des dispositions rappelle la loi de l’#excision_territoriale (#Australie) :

    Asylum seekers deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive in the country via legal routes. Even if their claim is successful, they will be granted temporary refugee status and face the prospect of being indefinitely liable for removal.

    voir :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/901628#message901630
    https://seenthis.net/messages/416996
    #modèle_australien

    #offshore_asylum_processing
    #Irak #Iran #Erythrée #Sudan #réfugiés_irakiens #réfugiés_iraniens #réfugiés_soudanais #réfugiés_érythréens #réfugiés_soudanais #regroupement_familial #aide_sociale #procédure_d'asile #recours #mineurs #âge #tests_osseux #criminels_étrangers #rétention #détention_administrative #anti-refugee_bill

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Immigration Enforcement and the Afterlife of the Slave Ship

    Coast Guard techniques for blocking Haitian asylum seekers have their roots in the slave trade. Understanding these connections can help us disentangle immigration policy from white nationalism.

    Around midnight in May 2004, somewhere in the Windward Passage, one of the Haitian asylum seekers trapped on the flight deck of the U.S. Coast Guard’s USCGC Gallatin had had enough.

    He arose and pointed to the moon, whispering in hushed tones. The rest of the Haitians, asleep or pretending to be asleep, initially took little notice. That changed when he began to scream. The cadence of his words became erratic, furious—insurgent. After ripping his shirt into tatters, he gestured wildly at the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) watchstanders on duty.

    I was one of them.

    His eyes fixed upon mine. And he slowly advanced toward my position.

    I stood fast, enraptured by his lone defiance, his desperate rage. Who could blame him? Confinement on this sunbaked, congested, malodorous flight deck would drive anyone crazy—there were nearly 300 people packed together in a living space approximately 65 feet long and 35 feet wide. We had snatched him and his compatriots from their overloaded sailing vessel back in April. They had endured week after week without news about the status of their asylum claims, about what lay in store for them.

    Then I got scared. I considered the distinct possibility that, to this guy, I was no longer me, but a nameless uniform, an avatar of U.S. sovereignty: a body to annihilate, a barrier to freedom. I had rehearsed in my mind how such a contingency might play out. We were armed only with nonlethal weapons—batons and pepper spray. The Haitians outnumbered us 40 to 1. Was I ready? I had never been in a real fight before. Now a few of the Haitian men were standing alert. Were they simply curious? Was this their plan all along? What if the women and children joined them?

    Lucky for me, one of the meanest devils on the watch intervened on my behalf. He charged toward us, stepping upon any Haitians who failed to clear a path. After a brief hand-to-hand struggle, he subdued the would-be rebel, hauled him down to the fantail, and slammed his head against the deck. Blood ran from his face. Some of the Haitians congregated on the edge of the flight deck to spectate. We fastened the guy’s wrists with zip ties and ordered the witnesses to disperse. The tension in his body gradually dissipated.

    After fifteen minutes, the devil leaned down to him. “Are you done? Done making trouble?” His silence signified compliance.

    Soon after, the Haitians were transferred to the custody of the Haitian Coast Guard. When we arrived in the harbor of Port-au-Prince, thick plumes of black smoke rose from the landscape. We were witnessing the aftermath of the CIA-orchestrated February coup against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the subsequent invasion of the country by U.S. Marines under the auspices of international “peacekeeping.” Haiti was at war.

    None of that mattered. Every request for asylum lodged from our boat had been rejected. Every person returned to Haiti. No exceptions.

    The Gallatin left the harbor. I said goodbye to Port-au-Prince. My first patrol was over.

    Out at sea, I smoked for hours on the fantail, lingering upon my memories of the past months. I tried to imagine how the Haitians would remember their doomed voyage, their detention aboard the Gallatin, their encounters with us—with me. A disquieting intuition repeated in my head: the USCG cutter, the Haitians’ sailing vessel, and European slave ships represented a triad of homologous instances in which people of African descent have suffered involuntary concentration in small spaces upon the Atlantic. I dreaded that I was in closer proximity to the enslavers of the past, and to the cops and jailors of the present, than I ever would be to those Haitians.

    So, that night, with the butt of my last cigarette, I committed to cast my memories of the Haitians overboard. In the depths of some unmarked swath of the Windward Passage, I prayed, no one, including me, would ever find them again.

    In basic training, every recruit is disciplined to imagine how the USCG is like every other branch of the military, save one principle: we exist to save lives, and it is harder to save lives than to take them. I was never a very good sailor, but I took this principle seriously. At least in the USCG, I thought, I could evade the worst cruelties of the new War on Terror.

    Perhaps I should have done more research on the USCG’s undeclared long war against Haitian asylum seekers, in order to appreciate precisely what the oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” would demand of me. This war had long preceded my term of enlistment. It arguably began in 1804, when the United States refused to acknowledge the newly liberated Haiti as a sovereign nation and did everything it could to insulate its slaving society from the shock waves of Haiti’s radical interpretation of universal freedom. But in our present day, it began in earnest with President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12324 of 1981, also called the Haitian Migrant Interdiction Operation (HMIO), which exclusively tasked the USCG to “interdict” Haitian asylum seekers attempting to enter the United States by sea routes on unauthorized sailing vessels. Such people were already beginning to be derogatorily referred to as “boat people,” a term then borrowed (less derogatorily) into Haitian Kreyòl as botpippel.

    The enforcement of the HMIO and its subsequent incarnations lies almost entirely within the jurisdiction of federal police power acting under the authority of the executive branch’s immigration and border enforcement powers. It does not take place between nations at enmity with one another, but between vastly unequal yet allied powers. Its strategic end is to create a kind of naval blockade, a fluid maritime border around Haiti, which remains under ever-present threat of invasion by a coalition of U.S. and foreign military forces.

    Adding to its asymmetry, the “enemies” to be vanquished on the battlefield are also unconventional: they are not agents of a state, but rather noncombatant individuals who are, in one sense or another, simply acting to save their own lives. During their incarceration aboard USCG cutters, they automatically bear the legal status of “economic migrant,” a person whom authorities deem to be fleeing poverty alone and therefore by definition ineligible for asylum. The meaning of this category is defined solely by reference to its dialectical negation, the “political refugee,” a person whom authorities may (or may not) deem to have a legible asylum claim because they are fleeing state persecution on the basis of race, creed, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. These abstractions are historical artifacts of a half-baked, all-encompassing theory of preemptive deterrence: unless USCG patrols are used to place Haiti under a naval blockade, and unless botpippel are invariably denied asylum, the United States will become flooded with criminals and people who have no means of supporting themselves. By 2003 John Ashcroft and the Bush administration upped the ante, decrying botpippel to be vectors of terrorism. On January 11, 2018, President Donald Trump, during efforts to justify ending nearly all immigration and asylum, described Haiti (which he grouped with African nations) as a “shithole country” where, as he asserted several months prior, “all have AIDS.”

    Haiti is now facing another such crisis. Its president, Jovenel Moïse, having already suspended nearly all elected government save himself, refused to step down at the end of his term on February 7, 2021, despite widespread protests that have shuttered the country. Moïse’s administration is currently being propped up by criminal syndicates, but they are slipping his grasp, and kidnapping for money is now so prevalent that people are terrified to leave their homes. So far, the Biden administration’s response has not been encouraging: though it has instructed ICE to temporarily halt deportations to Haiti, naval blockades remain in force, and the U.S. State Department has expressed the opinion that Moïse should remain in office for at least another year, enforcing the sense that Haiti is once again a U.S. client state.

    With regard to the Coast Guard’s longstanding orders to block Haitians seeking asylum, the modality of killing is not straightforward, but it is intentional. It consists of snatching the Haitian enemy from their vessel, forcing them to subsist in a state of bare life, and finally abandoning them in their home country at gunpoint. Of course, many may survive the ordeal and may even attempt another journey. But especially during acute phases of armed conflict and catastrophe, it is just as likely that—whether at the behest of starvation, disease, or violence—a return to Haiti is a death sentence.

    This banal form of murder is analogous to what Ruth Wilson Gilmore offers as her definition of racism in Golden Gulag (2007): “the state sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death.” Based on the extant documentary record, I estimate that the USCG has interdicted at least 120,000 botpippel since the HMIO of 1981 took effect. Those who fell prey to an untimely demise following deportation died because the United States, though repeatedly responsible for undermining Haitian democracy and economic stability, nonetheless refuses to acknowledge that these actions have made Haiti, for many, mortally unsafe. The true death toll will never be known. Countless botpippel have simply disappeared at sea, plunged into a gigantic watery necropolis.

    Since 2004 U.S. officials have brought their forms of border policing strategies and tactics against Haitians to bear on land-based immigration and refugee policies against non-white asylum seekers. One of the most significant technical innovations of enforcement against Haitians was the realization that by detaining them exclusively within a maritime environment, the United States could summarily classify all of them as economic migrants—whose claims for asylum de facto have no standing—and prevent them from lodging claims as political refugees, which are the only claims with any hope of success. They were thus proactively disabled from advancing a request for asylum in a U.S. federal court, with all claims instead evaluated by an INS-designated official aboard the USCG vessel. The New York Times recently reported that, since late 2009, similar techniques have been adopted by Customs and Border Control agents patrolling sea routes along the California coast, which has resulted in a notable escalation of CBP naval patrols and aerial surveillance of the region. And in fact, the USCG has cooperatively supported these efforts by sharing its infrastructure—ports, cutters, and aircraft—and its personnel with CBP. All of this has been with the aim of making sure that asylum seekers never make it to the United States, whether by land or by sea.

    The Trump administration made the most significant use of this set of innovations to date, insisting that asylum claims must be made from camps on the Mexican side of the U.S. border—and therefore automatically invalid by virtue of being limited to the status of economic migrant. Thus, hundreds of thousands of non-white asylum seekers fleeing material precariousness, yes, but also the threat of violence in the Global South are, and will continue to be, caught in carceral webs composed of ICE/CBP goon squads, ruthless INS officials, and perilous tent cities, not to mention the prison guards employed at one of the numerous semi-secret migrant detention centers operating upon U.S. soil for those few who make it across.

    From the perspective of Haitian immigrants and botpippel, this is nothing new. Thousands of their compatriots have already served time at infamous extrajudicial sites such as the Krome detention center in Miami (1980–present), Guantanamo Bay (1991–93), and, most often, the flight decks of USCG cutters. They know that the USCG has long scoured the Windward Passage for Haitians in particular, just as ICE/CBP goon squads now patrol U.S. deserts, highways, and city streets for the undocumented. And they know that Trump’s fantasy of building a “Great Wall” on the U.S.–Mexico border is not so farfetched, because the USCG continues to enforce a maritime one around Haiti.

    The Biden administration has inherited this war and its prisoners, with thousands remaining stuck in legal limbo while hoping—in most cases, without hope—that their asylum claims will advance. Opening alternative paths to citizenship and declaring an indefinite moratorium on deportations would serve as foundations for more sweeping reforms in the future. But the core challenge in this political moment is to envision nothing less than the total decriminalization and demilitarization of immigration law enforcement.

    Botpippel are not the first undocumented people of African descent to have been policed by U.S. naval forces. The legal architecture through which the USCG legitimates the indefinite detention and expulsion of Haitian asylum seekers reaches back to U.S. efforts to suppress the African slave trade, outlawed by Congress in 1807, though domestic slaveholding would continue, and indeed its trade would be not only safeguarded but bolstered by this act.

    This marked a decisive turning point in the history of maritime policing vis-à-vis immigration. Per the Slave Trade Acts of 1794 and 1800, the United States already claimed jurisdiction over U.S. citizens and U.S. vessels engaged in the slave trade within U.S. territorial borders (contemporaneously understood as extending three nautical miles into the ocean). By 1808, however, the United States sought to extend its jurisdiction over the sea itself. Slaver vessels operating around “any river, port, bay, or harbor . . . within the jurisdictional limits of the United States” as well as “on the high seas” were deemed illegal and subject to seizure without compensation. The actual physical distance from U.S. soil that these terms referred to was left purposefully vague. To board a given vessel, a Revenue Cutter captain only had to suspect, rather than conclusively determine, that that vessel eventually intended to offload “international” (i.e., non-native) enslaved people into the United States. The 1819 iteration of the law further stipulated that U.S. jurisdiction included “Africa, or elsewhere.” Hence, in theory, after 1819, the scope of U.S. maritime police operations was simply every maritime space on the globe.

    Revenue Cutter Service captains turned the lack of any description in the 1808 law or its successive iterations about what should be done with temporarily masterless slaves into an advantage. They did what they would have done to any fugitive Black person at the time: indefinitely detain them until higher authorities determined their status, and thereby foreclose the possibility of local Black people conspiring to shuttle them to freedom. During confinement, captured Africans were compelled to perform labor as if they were slaves. For instance, those captured from the Spanish-flagged Antelope (1820) spent seven years toiling at a military fort in Savannah, Georgia, as well as on the local U.S. marshal’s plantation. As wards of the state, they were human only insofar as U.S. officials had a duty to force them to remain alive. Of those “rescued” from the Antelope, 120 ultimately died in captivity and 2 went missing. Following litigation, 39 survivors were sold to U.S. slaveowners to compensate Spanish and Portuguese claimants who had stakes in the Antelope and her enslaved cargo. Per the designs of the American Colonization Society, the remaining 120 Africans were freed upon condition that they be immediately deported to New Georgia, Liberia.

    This anti-Black martial abolitionism was therefore a project framed around the unification of two countervailing tendencies. While white planters consistently pushed to extend racial slavery into the southern and western frontiers, white northern financiers and abolitionists were in favor of creating the most propitious conditions for the expansion of free white settlements throughout America’s urban and rural milieus. Black people were deemed unfit for freedom not only because of their supposed inborn asocial traits, but because their presence imperiled the possibility for white freedom. To actualize Thomas Jefferson’s “Empire of Liberty,” the United States required immigration policies that foreshortened Black peoples’ capacities for social reproduction and thereby re-whitened America.

    This political aim was later extended in legislation passed on February 19, 1862, which authorized President Abraham Lincoln—who intended to solve the contradictions that led to the Civil War by sending every Black person in America back to Africa—to use U.S. naval forces to capture, detain, and deport undocumented people of East Asian/Chinese descent (“coolies”) while at sea. Henceforth, “the free and voluntary emigration of any Chinese subject” to the U.S. was proscribed unless a ship captain possessed documents certified by a consular agent residing at the foreign port of departure. At the time, the principal means for Chinese emigrants to obtain authorization would have been at behest of some corporation seeking expendable, non-white laborers contractually bound to work to death in mines and on railroads on the western frontiers—Native American lands stolen through imperialist warfare. White settlers presupposed that these Asians’ residency was provisional and temporary—and then Congress codified that principle into law in 1870, decreeing that every person of East Asian/Chinese descent, anywhere in the world, was ineligible for U.S. citizenship.

    Twelve years later, An Act to Regulate Immigration (1882) played upon the notion that non-white immigration caused public disorder. Through the use of color-blind legal language, Section 2 of this law specified that the United States must only accept immigrants who were conclusively not “convict[s], lunatic[s], idiot[s], or any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.” The burden of proof lay on non-white immigrants to prove how their racial backgrounds were not already prima facie evidence for these conditions. Section 4 also stipulated that “all foreign convicts except those convicted of political offenses, upon arrival, shall be sent back to the nations to which they belong and from whence they came.” By which means a non-white person could demonstrate the “political” character of a given conviction were cleverly left undefined.

    It was not a giant leap of imagination for the United States to apply these precedents to the maritime policing of Haitian asylum seekers in the 1980s. Nor should we be surprised that the logic of anti-Black martial abolitionism shapes present-day U.S. immigration policy.

    Political philosopher Peter Hallward estimates that paramilitary death squads executed at least a thousand supporters of Lavalas, President Aristide’s party, in the weeks following Aristide’s exile from Haiti on February 29, 2004. The first kanntè (Haitian sailing vessel) the Gallatin sighted one morning in early April had likely departed shortly thereafter.

    The first people from our ship that the Haitians met were members of the boarding team, armed with pistols, M-16s, shotguns, and zip ties. Their goal was to compel the hundred or so aboard the kanntè to surrender their vessel and allow us to deposit them on the flight deck of our ship. Negotiations can take hours. It is not uncommon for some to jump overboard, rather than allow boarding to occur uninhibited. If immediate acquiescence is not obtained, we will maneuver ourselves such that any further movement would cause the small boat to “ram” the Gallatin—an attack on a U.S. military vessel.

    On the Gallatin, we waited for uptake, outfitted with facemasks and rubber gloves. One at a time, we aided the Haitian adults to make the final step from the small boat to the deck of the cutter. We frisked them for weapons and then marched them to the fantail to undergo initial processing. Most of them appeared exhausted and confused—but compliant. Some may have already been in fear for their lives. One night aboard the USCGC Dallas, which hovered in Port-au-Prince Bay as a deportation coordination outpost and as a temporary detention site for Haitians awaiting immediate transfer to Haitian Coast Guard authorities, my friend and his shipmates asked their Kreyòl interpreter how he managed to obtain compliance from the botpippel. “I tell them you will hurt or kill them if they do not obey,” he joked, “so, of course, they listen.”

    Boarding all the Haitians took from midday until midnight. One of the last ones I helped aboard, a man dressed in a suit two sizes too large, looked into my eyes and smiled. He gently wept, clasped my hand tightly, and embraced me. I quickly pushed him off and pointed to the processing station at the fantail, leading him by the wrist to join the others. He stopped crying.

    Three things happened at the processing station. First, Haitians deposited the last of their belongings with the interpreter, ostensibly for safekeeping. Who knows if anyone got their things back. Second, a Kreyòl translator and one of the officers gave them a cursory interview about their asylum claims, all the while surrounded by armed sentries, as well as other Haitians who might pass that intelligence onto narcotics smugglers, paramilitary gangs, or state officials back in Haiti. Lastly, they received a rapid, half-assed medical examination—conducted in English. So long as they nodded, or remained silent, they passed each test and were shuffled up to the flight deck.

    We retired for the night after the boarding team set fire to the kanntè as a hazard to navigation. The Haitians probably didn’t know that this was the reason we unceremoniously torched their last hope for escape before their very eyes.

    About a week later, we found another kanntè packed with around seventy Haitians and repeated the process. Another USCG cutter transferred a hundred more over to the Gallatin. Our flight deck was reaching full capacity.

    We arrived at one kanntè too late. It had capsized. Pieces of the shattered mast and little bits of clothing and rubbish were floating around the hull. No survivors. How long had it been? Sharks were spotted circling at a short depth below the vessel.

    The Gallatin’s commanders emphasized that our mission was, at its core, humanitarian in nature. We were duty-bound to provide freshwater, food, and critical medical care. During their time aboard, Haitians would be treated as detainees and were not to be treated, or referred to, as prisoners. The use of force was circumscribed within clear rules of engagement. The Haitians were not in any way to be harmed or killed unless they directly threatened the ship or its sailors. Unnecessary violence against them could precipitate an internal review, solicit undue international criticism, and imperil the deportationist efficiency of INS officials. We were told that our batons and pepper spray were precautionary, primarily symbolic.

    It sounded like all I had to do was stand there and not screw anything up.

    Over the course of several watches, I concluded that, in fact, our job was also to relocate several crucial features of the abysmal living conditions that obtained on the kanntè onto the Gallatin’s flight deck. Though the flight deck was 80 feet by 43 feet, we blocked the edges to facilitate the crew’s movement and to create a buffer between us and the Haitians. Taking this into account, their living space was closer to 65 feet by 35 feet. For a prison population of 300 Haitians, each individual would have had only 7 feet 7 inches square to lie down and stand up. On the diagram of the eighteenth-century British slaver Brooks, the enslaved were each allocated approximately 6 feet 10 inches square, scarcely less than on the Gallatin. (Historian Marcus Rediker thinks that the Brooks diagram probably overstates the amount of space the enslaved were given.)

    Although some cutters will drape tarps over the flight deck to shield the Haitians from the unmediated effects of the sun, the Gallatin provided no such shelter. We permitted them to shower, once, in saltwater, without soap. The stench on the flight deck took on a sweet, fetid tinge.

    The only place they could go to achieve a modicum of solitude and to escape the stench was the makeshift metal toilet on the fantail. (On slave ships, solitude was found by secreting away to a hidden compartment or small boat to die alone; the “necessary tubs” that held human excrement were contained in the slave holds below deck.) They were permitted to use the toilet one at a time in the case of adults, and two at a time in the case of children and the elderly. For what was supposed to be no longer than five minutes, they had an opportunity to stretch, relax, and breathe fresh sea air. Nevertheless, these moments of respite took place under observation by the watchstander stationed at the toilet, not to mention the numerous Haitian onlookers at the rear of the flight deck.

    Despite our commanders’ reticence on the matter, the ever-present fear of revolt hovered underneath the surface of our standing orders. We were to ensure order and discipline through counterinsurgency protocols and techniques of incarceration that one might find in any U.S. prison. The military imperative aboard the Gallatin was to produce a sense of radical uncertainty and temporal disorientation in the Haitians, such that they maintain hope for an asylum claim that had already been rejected.

    In this context, there were four overlapping components to the security watch.

    The first component of the ship’s securitization was constant surveillance. We were not supposed to take our eyes off the Haitians for one moment. During the watch, we would regularly survey the flight deck for any signs of general unrest, conspiracy, or organized protest. Any minor infraction could later contribute to the eruption of a larger riot, and thus needed to be quickly identified and neutralized. We also had to observe their behavior for indications that one of them intended to jump overboard or harm another Haitian. All that said, we found a used condom one day. Surveillance is never total.

    The second was the limitation we placed on communication. We shrouded all USCG practices in a fog of secrecy. Conversing with the Haitians through anything other than hand signals and basic verbal commands was forbidden; physical contact was kept at bare minimum. Nonofficial speech among the watch was proscribed. Watchstanders were stripped of their identity, save their uniform, from which our nametags were removed. It was critical that botpippel forever be unable to identify us.

    Secrecy preemptively disabled the Haitians from collectively piecing together fragments of information about where our vessel had been, where it was now, and where it was going. Officially, the concern was that they might exploit the situation to gather intelligence about our patrol routes and pass this information to human or narcotics smugglers. We militated against their mapping out how the ship operated, its layout and complement, where living spaces and the armory were located, and so on. These were standard tactics aboard slaver vessels. As freed slave and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano observed, “When the ship we were in had got in all her cargo . . . we were all put under deck, so that we could not see how they managed the vessel.”

    On the Gallatin, the command also strove to maintain strict control over the narrative. They blocked sailors’ access to the open Internet and censored letters from home that contained news of global or domestic politics (and even just bad personal news). Knowledge of whether a particular asylum claim had failed or succeeded was hidden from all. A watchstander harboring political solidarity with—as opposed to mere empathy and pity for—the Haitians might compromise operational capacities, good judgment, and core loyalty to the USCG.

    Our third securitization strategy was to produce false knowledge of the future. The Haitians were led to believe that they were merely waiting aboard the ship because their asylum claims were still being vigorously debated by diplomatic entities in Washington. Their continued compliance was predicated on this differential of knowledge. They could not realize that they were moving in circles, being returned slowly to Haiti. If they lost all hope, we presumed they would eventually resist their intolerable conditions through violent means.

    Hence, our fourth securitization measure: USCG personnel were permitted to inflict several limited forms of physical and symbolic violence against the Haitians, not only in response to perceived noncompliance, but also as a means of averting the need to inflict even greater violence in the future.

    If it were not classified as a matter of national security, we might have a better grasp of how many times such instances occur aboard USCG vessels. I open this essay with a story of how we subdued and punished one person for resisting the rules. But it is known that punishment is sometimes inflicted on entire groups. A telling example took place on January 30, 1989, when the USCG captured the Dieu Devant with 147 Haitians aboard. One of them, Fitzroy Joseph, later reported in congressional hearings that, after they expressed a fear of being killed if returned to Haiti, USCG personnel “began wrestling with the Haitians and hitting their hands with their flashlights.” This was followed by threats to release pepper spray. Marie Julie Pierre, Joseph’s wife, corroborated his testimony, adding:

    [We were] asked at once if we feared returning to Haiti and everyone said yes we did. We said ‘down with Avril, up with Bush.’ We were threatened with tear gas but they didn’t use it. Many people were crying because they were so afraid. [Ti Jak] was hit by the officers because he didn’t want to go back. They handcuffed him. The Coast Guard grabbed others by the neck and forced them to go to the biggest boat. My older brother was also hit and treated like a chicken as they pulled him by the neck.

    Counterintuitively, our nonlethal weapons functioned as more efficient instruments of counterinsurgency than lethal weapons. Brandishing firearms might exacerbate an already tense situation in which the Haitians outnumbered the entire ship’s complement. It could also provide an opportunity for the Haitians to seize and turn our own guns against us (or one another). In contrast, losing a baton and a can of pepper spray represented a relatively minor threat to the ship’s overall security. In the event of an actual riot, the command could always mobilize armed reinforcements. From the perspective of the command, then, the first responders on watch were, to some extent, expendable. Nevertheless, sentries bearing firearms were on deck when we approached Haiti and prepared for final deportation. That is, the precise moment the Haitians realized their fate.

    Like the enslaved Africans captured by the Revenue Cutter Service, botpippel were human to us only insofar as we had to compel them, through the threat or actuality of violence, to remain alive. The Haitians ate our tasteless food and drank our freshwater—otherwise they would starve, or we might beat them for going on a hunger strike. They tended to remain silent and immobile day and night—otherwise they would invite acts of exemplary punishment upon themselves. The practices of confinement on the Gallatin represent a variant of what historian Stephanie Smallwood describes as a kind of “scientific empiricism” that developed aboard slave ships, which “prob[ed] the limits to which it is possible to discipline the body without extinguishing the life within.” Just as contemporary slavers used force to conserve human commodities for sale, so does the USCG use force to produce nominally healthy economic migrants to exchange with Haitian authorities.

    The rational utilization of limited forms of exemplary violence was an integral aspect of this carceral science. Rediker shows how slaver captains understood violence along a continuum that ranged from acceptably severe to unacceptably cruel. Whereas severity was the grounds of proper discipline as such, an act was cruel only if it led “to catastrophic results [and] sparked reactions such as mutiny by sailors or insurrection by slaves.” In turn, minor acts of kindness, such as dispensing better food or allowing slightly more free time to move above deck, were conditioned by these security imperatives. Furthermore, they exerted no appreciable change to the eventuality that the person would be sold to a slaveowner, for kindness was a self-aggrandizing ritual performance of authority that intended to lay bare the crucial imbalance of power relations at hand. This was, Rediker maintains, “as close as the owners ever came to admitting that terror was essential to running a slave ship.”

    The USCG’s undeclared long war against Haitian asylum seekers is but one front of a much longer war against people of African descent in the Americas. The entangled histories of the African slave trade and anti-Black martial abolitionism reveal how this war intimately shaped the foundations and racist intentions that underlay modern U.S. immigration and refugee policy writ large. And the Gallatin, her sailors, and the Haitians who were trapped on the flight deck, are, in some small way, now a part of this history, too.

    The Biden administration has the power to decisively end this war—indeed, every war against non-white asylum seekers. Until then, botpippel will continue to suffer the slave ships that survive into the present.

    https://bostonreview.net/race/ryan-fontanilla-immigration-enforcement-and-afterlife-slave-ship

    #esclavage #héritage #migrations #contrôles_migratoires #Haïti #gardes-côtes #nationalisme_blanc #USA #Etats-Unis #migrations #frontières #asile #réfugiés #USCG #Haitian_Migrant_Interdiction_Operation (#HMIO) #botpippel #boat_people

    #modèle_australien #pacific_solution

    ping @karine4 @isskein @reka

    • Ce décret de #Reagan mentionné dans l’article rappelle farouchement la loi d’#excision_territoriale australienne :

      But in our present day, it began in earnest with President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12324 of 1981, also called the Haitian Migrant Interdiction Operation (HMIO), which exclusively tasked the USCG to “interdict” Haitian asylum seekers attempting to enter the United States by sea routes on unauthorized sailing vessels. Such people were already beginning to be derogatorily referred to as “boat people,” a term then borrowed (less derogatorily) into Haitian Kreyòl as botpippel.

      Excision territoriale australienne :


      https://seenthis.net/messages/416996

      –—

      Citation tirée du livre de McAdam et Chong : « Refugees : why seeking asylum is legal and Australia’s policies are not » (p.3)

      “Successive governments (aided by much of the media) have exploited public anxieties about border security to create a rhetorical - and, ultimately, legislative - divide between the rights of so-called ’genuine’ refugees, resettled in Australia from camps and settlements abroad, and those arriving spontaneously in Australia by boat.”

  • Création de zones frontalières (au lieu de lignes de frontière) en vue de refoulements

    Je viens de lire dans un compte-rendu de réunion qui a eu lieu à Milan en juin 2019, ce commentaire, sur la situation à la #frontière italo-slovène :

    Gianfranco Schiavone :

    «Quello che sicuramente dovrebbe diventare una questione delicata é l’annunciato avvio delle pattuglie italo slovene in frontiera con l’obiettivo dichiarato alla stampa di bloccare gli arrivi. Con riammissione senza formalita’ delle persone irregolari intercettate nella fascia dei 5 km dalla frontiera . Queste sono le dichiarazioni pubbliche di questi giorni»

    Une #zone_frontalière de #5_km dans laquelle ont lieu des #refoulements directs.

    #Italie #Slovénie #frontière_sud-alpine #migrations #réfugiés #asile #frontière_mobile #bande_frontalière #frontières_mobiles

    Ceci me rappelle d’autres cas, en Europe et ailleurs, dans lesquels des procédures semblables (la frontière n’est plus une #ligne, mais une #zone) ont été mises en place, j’essaie de les mettre sur ce fil de discussion.
    Si quelqu’un a d’autres cas à signaler, les contributions sont bienvenues...

    #métaliste

    ping @reka @simplicissimus @karine4 @isskein

    • A la frontière entre franco-italienne :

      Dans un amendement, l’élu a proposé « une zone limitée aux communes limitrophes ou une bande de 10 kms par rapport à la frontière. » Le gouvernement en a accepté le principe, mais « le délimitera de manière précise par décret pour coller à la réalité du terrain. »

      http://alpesdusud.alpes1.com/news/locales/67705/alpes-du-sud-refus-d-entree-pour-les-migrants-vers-une-evolution-
      #France #Italie #frontière_sud-alpine

    • L’article 10 de la loi renforçant la sécurité intérieure et la lutte contre le terrorisme modifie l’article 78-2 du Code de procédure pénale relatif aux contrôles d’identités. Il permet ainsi des contrôles aux frontières pour une durée de douze heures consécutives (contre six auparavant). Il les élargit « aux abords » de 373 gares et dans un rayon de dix kilomètres des ports et aéroports au nombre des points de passage frontaliers. Bien au-delà des simples frontières de l’Hexagone, c’est une partie importante du territoire français qui est ainsi couvert, dont des villes entières comme Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, etc.

      source, p.25 : https://www.lacimade.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/La_Cimade_Schengen_Frontieres.pdf
      #France

    • Frontière entre #Italie et #Slovénie :

      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 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.

      (p.15-16)

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

      –—

      While the exact number of persons arriving via the Slovenian-Italian border is unknown, there has been a sharp rise since April (http://www.regioni.it/dalleregioni/2020/11/09/friuli-venezia-giulia-immigrazione-fedriga-ripensare-politiche-di-controllo-) of people entering Italy from the Balkan route. Not only in Trieste, but also around the province of #Udine, arrivals have increased compared to last year. In Udine, around 100 people (https://www.ansa.it/friuliveneziagiulia/notizie/2020/11/30/migranti-oltre-cento-persone-rintracciate-nelludinese_9fdae48d-8174-4ea1-b221-8) were identified in one day. This has been met with a huge rise in chain pushbacks, initiated by Italian authorities via readmissions to Slovenia. From January to October 2020, 1321 people (https://www.rainews.it/tgr/fvg/articoli/2020/11/fvg-massimiliano-fedriga-migranti-arrivi-emergenza-98da1880-455e-4c59-9dc9-6) have been returned via the informal readmissions agreement , representing a fivefold increase when compared with the statistics from 2019.

      But instead of dealing with this deficit in adherence to international asylum law, in recent months Italian authorities have only sought to adapt border controls to apprehend more people. Border checks are now focusing on trucks, cars and smaller border crossings (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu4es3xXVc8&feature=youtu.be

      ), rather than focusing solely on the military patrols of the forested area. This fits into a strategy of heightened control, pioneered by the Governor of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region Massimiliano Fedriga who hopes to deploy more detection equipment at the border. The aim is to choke off any onward transit beyond the first 10km of Italian territory, and therefore apply the fast tracked process of readmission to the maximum number of new arrivals.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/892914

      #10_km

    • Kuster Backs Bill To Reduce 100-Mile Zone for Border Patrol Checkpoints

      Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster is cosponsoring legislation to reduce border zones from 100 to 25 miles from the border (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3852?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22border+zone%22%5D%7D&s=1&r=1), within which U.S. Customs and Border Patrol can set up immigration checkpoints.

      Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont is the prime sponsor of the legislation.

      Kuster was stopped at one such immigration checkpoint in June of this year. The checkpoint, on I-93 in Woodstock, around 90 miles from the border, resulted in 29 tickets for alleged immigration violations.

      The violations were for legal visitors who did not have appropriate paperwork on them, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

      According to a map from CityLabs, the entire state of New Hampshire falls within a border zone (which includes coastal borders).

      “I think it has a chilling effect,” says Kuster. “It’s not the free and open America that we know.”

      Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy introduced a similar bill to the Senate.

      https://www.nhpr.org/post/kuster-backs-bill-reduce-100-mile-zone-border-patrol-checkpoints#stream/0
      #USA #Etats-Unis

    • Inside the Massive U.S. ’Border Zone’

      All of Michigan, D.C., and a large chunk of Pennsylvania are part of the area where Border Patrol has expanded search and seizure rights. Here’s what it means to live or travel there.

      https://cdn.citylab.com/media/img/citylab/2018/05/03_Esri_Map/940.png?mod=1548686763

      https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/05/who-lives-in-border-patrols-100-mile-zone-probably-you-mapped/558275
      #cartographie #visualisation
      #100-Mile_Zone

      déjà signalé sur seenthis par @reka en 2018 :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/727225

    • En #Hongrie, les pushbacks, largement pratiqués depuis des années, ont été légalisés en mars 2017 par de nouvelles dispositions permettant aux forces de l’ordre de refouler automatiquement toute personne interpellée sur le territoire hongrois et considérée en situation irrégulière. Ces personnes sont ramenées jusqu’à la clôture et renvoyées de l’autre côté. Si elles manifestent leur volonté de demander l’asile, on leur signifie qu’elles doivent repartir en Serbie et passer par les zones de transit. Pourtant, se trouvant géographiquement et juridiquement en Hongrie (le mur étant situé à 1,5 mètre à l’intérieur du tracé officiel de la frontière), les autorités ont l’obligation de prendre en compte ces demandes d’asile en vertu des conventions européennes et des textes internationaux dont la Hongrie est signataire.

      Tiré du rapport de La Cimade (2018), pp.37-38 :
      https://www.lacimade.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/La_Cimade_Schengen_Frontieres.pdf

    • Le zone di transito e di frontiera – commento dell’ASGI al decreto del Ministero dell’Interno del 5 agosto 2019

      Il 7 settembre 2009 sulla Gazzetta Ufficiale n. 210 (https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2019/09/07/19A05525/sg) è stato pubblicato il decreto del Ministero dell’Interno del 5 agosto 2019 che individua le zone di transito e di frontiera dove potrà trovare applicazione la procedura accelerata per l’esame nel merito delle domande di protezione internazionale e istituisce due nuove sezioni delle Commissioni territoriali , come previsto dall’art. 28 bis co. 1 quater del D.lgs. n. 25/2008, introdotto dal d.l. n. 113/2018.

      Le zone di frontiera o di transito sono individuate in quelle esistenti nelle seguenti province:

      –Trieste e Gorizia;

      –Crotone, Cosenza, Matera, Taranto, Lecce e Brindisi;

      –Caltanissetta, Ragusa, Siracusa, Catania, Messina;

      –Trapani, Agrigento;

      –Città metropolitana di Cagliari e Sud Sardegna.

      Il decreto ministeriale istituisce altresì due nuove sezioni , Matera e Ragusa, le quali operano rispettivamente nella commissione territoriale per il riconoscimento dello status di rifugiato di Bari, per la zona di frontiera di Matera, e nella commissione territoriale di Siracusa, per la zona di frontiera di Ragusa.

      Nel commento qui pubblicato ASGI sottolinea come le nuove disposizioni paiono contrastare con le norme dell’Unione Europea perché si riferiscono in modo assolutamente generico alle “zone di transito o di frontiera individuate in quelle esistenti nelle province” e non ad aree delimitate, quali ad esempio i porti o le aree aeroportuali o altri luoghi coincidenti con frontiere fisiche con Paesi terzi non appartenenti all’Unione europea.

      ASGI evidenzia come “l’applicazione delle procedure accelerate alle domande presentate nelle zone individuate nel decreto ministeriale comporta una restrizione dell’effettivo esercizio dei diritti di cui ogni straniero è titolare allorché manifesta la volontà di presentare la domanda di asilo e una conseguente contrazione del diritto di difesa, in ragione del dimezzamento dei termini di impugnazione e dell’assenza di un effetto sospensivo automatico derivante dalla proposizione del ricorso previsti, in modo differente per le varie ipotesi specifiche, dall’art. 35 bis D. Lgs. 25/08”.

      A tal fine ASGI ricorda che:

      – ai cittadini di Paesi terzi o apolidi tenuti in centri di trattenimento o presenti ai valichi di frontiera, comprese le zone di transito alla frontiere esterne, che desiderino presentare una domanda di protezione internazionale, gli Stati membri devono garantire l’informazione, anche sull’accesso procedura per il riconoscimento della protezione internazionale, adeguati servizi di interpretariato,
      nonché l’effettivo accesso a tali aree alle organizzazioni e alle persone che prestano consulenza e assistenza ai richiedenti asilo (art. 8 Direttiva 2013/32/UE);

      – gli Stati membri devono provvedere affinché l’avvocato o altro consulente legale che assiste o rappresenta un richiedente possa accedere alle aree chiuse, quali i centri di trattenimento e le zone di transito (art. 23 par. 2) e analoga possibilità deve essere garantita all’UNHCR (art. 29, par. 1);

      – ai sensi dell’art. 46 par. 1 il richiedente ha diritto a un ricorso effettivo dinanzi a un giudice anche nel caso in cui la decisione sulla domanda di protezione internazionale venga presa in frontiera o nelle zone di transito.

      E’ evidente, conclude ASGI nel commento al Decreto, che vi sia il rischio che lo straniero espulso o respinto e che abbia presentato domanda di protezione internazionale dopo l’espulsione o il respingimento in una zona di frontiera tra quelle indicate nel nuovo decreto ministeriale si veda esaminata la sua domanda in modo sommario mentre è trattenuto in condizioni e luoghi imprecisati e inaccessibili di fatto a difensori e organizzazioni di tutela dei diritti.

      Occorre invece ribadire che la presentazione della domanda di protezione internazionale in frontiera riguarderà spesso persone rese ulteriormente vulnerabili dalle condizioni traumatiche del viaggio ed alle quali andrà perciò in ogni caso garantito un esame adeguato della domanda di protezione internazionale e l’applicazione delle garanzie e dei diritti previsti a tutela dei richiedenti protezione internazionale dalle disposizioni nazionali e dell’Unione Europea.

      https://www.asgi.it/asilo-e-protezione-internazionale/asilo-zone-transito-frontiera

    • La loi renforçant la lutte contre le terrorisme étend à nouveau les contrôles d’identités frontaliers

      Avant l’entrée en vigueur de la loi du 30 octobre 2017, les #contrôles_frontaliers étaient autorisés dans les espaces publics des #gares, #ports et #aéroports ouverts au trafic international (désignés par un arrêté ministériel) et dans une zone située entre la frontière terrestre et une ligne tracée de 20 kilomètres en deçà. Le législateur avait étendu les zones frontalières, notamment dans les territoires ultra-marins (où la convention de Schengen n’est pourtant pas applicable).

      https://www.editions-legislatives.fr/actualite/la-loi-renforcant-la-lutte-contre-le-terrorisme-etend-a-nouvea
      #France #20_km #20_kilomètres #espace_public #gares_internationales

    • The Grand Chamber Judgment in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary: Immigration Detention and how the Ground beneath our Feet Continues to Erode

      The ECtHR has been for a long time criticized for its approach to immigration detention that diverts from the generally applicable principles to deprivation of liberty in other contexts. As Cathryn Costello has observed in her article Immigration Detention: The Ground beneath our Feet, a major weakness in the Court’s approach has been the failure to scrutinize the necessity of immigration detention under Article 5(1)(f) of the ECHR. The Grand Chamber judgment in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary delivered on 21 November 2019 has further eroded the protection extended to asylum-seekers under the Convention to the point that restrictions imposed upon asylum-seekers might not even be qualified as deprivation of liberty worthy of the protection of Article 5. The Grand Chamber overruled on this point the unanimously adopted Chamber judgment that found that the holding of asylum-seekers in the ‘transit zone’ between Hungary and Serbia actually amounts to deprivation of liberty.

      In this blog, I will briefly describe the facts of the case, the findings of the Grand Chamber under Article 3 ECHR that was also invoked by the applicants and then I will focus on the reasoning as to the applicability of Article 5.

      The case concerned two Bangladeshi nationals who transited through Greece, the Republic of Northern Macedonia (as it is now known) and Serbia before reaching Hungary, where they immediately applied for asylum. They found themselves in the transit zone on the land border between Hungary and Serbia, where they were held for 23 days pending the examination of their asylum applications. The applications were rejected on the same day on the ground that the applicants had transited through Serbia that, according to Hungary, was a safe third country. The rejections were confirmed on appeal, an order for their expulsion was issued, the applicants were escorted out of the transit zone and they crossed back into Serbia.

      Procedural Breach of Article 3 ECHR

      The Grand Chamber established that Hungary ‘failed to discharge its procedural obligation under Article 3 of the Convention to assess the risks of treatment contrary to that provision before removing the applicants from Hungary’ to Serbia (para 163). No finding was made on the issue as to whether Hungary was substantively in breach of the right not to be subjected to refoulement given the conditions in Serbia and the deficiencies in the Serbian asylum procedures that might lead to chain refoulement. This omission follows a trend in the Court’s reasoning that can be described as a procedural turn: focus on the quality of the national decision making processes rather than on the substantive accuracy of the decisions taken at national level.[1] This omission, however, had important consequences for the application of Article 5 to the applicants’ case, the most controversial aspect in the Grand Chamber’s reasoning.

      The Chamber’s reasoning under Article 5 ECHR

      On this aspect, the Grand Chamber departed from the Chamber’s conclusion that the applicants were deprived of their liberty. The fundamental question here is whether ‘the stay’ (Hungary used the term ‘accommodation’) of asylum-seekers in the ‘transit zone’ with an exit door open to Serbia, but closed to Hungary, amounts to deprivation of liberty (i.e. detention) in the sense of Article 5 ECHR. Asylum seekers in the transit zone were denied access to the Hungarian territory,[2] but they could leave to Serbia. This creates a complex intertwinement between deprivation of liberty (Article 5(1)(f)) normally understood as not allowing somebody to leave a place, on the one hand, and not allowing somebody to enter a place. Entering a State can be very relevant from the perspective of the obligation upon this State not to refoule, which necessitates a procedure for determining whether there is a risk of refoulement.

      In its judgment from 14 March 2017 the Chamber unanimously answered in positive: by holding them in the transit zone, Hungary deprived the applicants from their liberty, which was in violation of Article 5(1)(f) since this measures had no legal basis in the national law. The Chamber clarified that‘[t]he mere fact that it was possible for them to leave voluntarily returning to Serbia which never consented to their readmission cannot rule out an infringement of the right to liberty.’ (para 55). In this way the Chamber reaffirmed the reasoning in Amuur v France where the Court observed ‘[…] this possibility [to leave voluntary the country] becomes theoretical if no other country offering protection comparable to the protection they expect to find in the country where they are seeking asylum is inclined or prepared to take them in.’ (para 48) It follows that although the transit zone at the French airport was, as France argued, “open to the outside”, the applicants were still considered as having been detained since this ‘outside’ did not offer a level of protection comparable to the one in France.

      The Chamber followed this reasoning from Amuur v France in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary, which led to the recognition that ‘[…] the applicants could not have left the transit zone in the direction of Serbia without unwanted and grave consequences, that is, without forfeiting their asylum claims and running the risk of refoulement’ (para 55). The Chamber also added that ‘To hold otherwise would void the protection afforded by Article 5 of the Convention by compelling the applicants to choose between liberty and the pursuit of a procedure ultimately aimed to shelter them from the risk of exposure to treatment in breach of Article 3 of the Convention.’ (para 56)

      The ‘practical and realistic’ approach of the Grand Chamber under Article 5 ECHR

      The Grand Chamber in its reasoning broke precisely this linkage between the applicability of Article 5 (the qualification of a treatment as deprivation of liberty) and Article 3 (protection from refoulement). The Grand Chamber performed the following important moves to achieve this. First, it stated that ‘its approach should be practical and realistic, having regard to the present-day conditions and challenges’, which implied that States were not only entitled to control their borders, but also ‘to take measures against foreigners circumventing restrictions on immigration.’ (para 213). With Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary the Court has thus added another nuance to its well-established point of departure in cases dealing with migrants. This point of departure has been that States are entitled, subject to their treaty obligations, to control their borders. The new addition introduced with Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary and also repeated in Z.A. and Others v Russia, a Grand Chamber judgment issued on the same day, concerns States’ right to prevent ‘foreigners circumventing restrictions on immigration’. This addition, however, does not seem appropriate given that the applicants themselves in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary never circumvented any immigration control restrictions. They applied immediately for asylum.

      This ‘practical and realistic approach’ also implied an endorsement of the representation of the situation as one of ‘crisis’:[3] ‘the Court observes that the Hungarian authorities were in conditions of a mass influx of asylum-seekers and migrants at the border, which necessitated rapidly putting in place measures to deal with what was clearly a crisis situation.’ (para 228) In the same paragraph, the Grand Chamber went on to almost praise Hungary for having processed the applicants’ claims so fast event though it was ‘a crisis’: ‘Despite the ensuring very significant difficulties, the applicants’ asylum claims and their judicial appeals were examined within three weeks and two days.’ It appears as if the Grand Chamber at this stage had already forgotten its findings made earlier in the judgment under Article 3 that the national procedure for examining the applicants’ claims was deficient. This ultimately gave the basis for the Grand Chamber to find a violation of Article 3.

      The distinction based on how asylum-seekers arrive and the type of border they find themselves at

      The second move performed by the Grand Chamber implied the introduction of a distinction between ‘staying at airport transit zones’ (para 214) and at reception centers located on islands (para 216), on the one hand, and a transit zone located on the land border between two Council of Europe Member States (para 219). This meant, as the Court reasoned, that the applicants did not have to take a plane to leave the zone, they could simply walk out of the zone. In other words, it was practically possible for them to do it on their own and they did not need anybody’s help. As the Court continued to reason in para 236, ‘Indeed, unlike the case of Amuur, where the French courts described the applicants’ confinement as an “arbitrary deprivation of liberty”, in the present case the Hungarian authorities were apparently convinced that the applicants could realistically leave in the direction of Serbia [emphasis added].’ This quotation also begs the comment as to why what the national authorities were or were not convinced about actually mattered. In addition, the reference in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary as to how the national authorities had qualified the situation is also bizarre given that ‘deprivation of liberty’ is an autonomous concept under the Convention. On this point, the two dissenting judges, Judge Bianku and Judge Vućinić criticized the majority by highlighting that ‘the Court has reiterated on many occasions that it does not consider itself bound by the domestic courts’ legal conclusions as to the existence of a deprivation of liberty.’

      Narrowing down the importance of Amuur v France

      The third move performed by the Court is playing down the importance of and narrowing the relevance of Amuur v France. In Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary the Grand Chamber reiterated (para 239) the most significant pronouncement from Amuur: the possibility to leave the zone ‘becomes theoretical if no other country offering protection comparable to the protection they expect to find in the country where they are seeking asylum is included to take them in.’ It then noted that this reasoning ‘must be read in close relation to the factual and legal context in that case.’ This meant that in contrast to the situation in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary, in Amuur the applicants could not leave ‘without authorization to board an airplane and without diplomatic assurance concerning their only possible destination, Syria, a country “not bound by the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.’ (para 240) On this point Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary can be also distinguished from Z.A. and Others v Russia, where the Grand Chamber observed that ‘[…] unlike in land border transit zones, in this particular case leaving the Sheremetyevo airport transit zone would have required planning, contacting aviation companies, purchasing tickets and possibly applying for a visa depending on the destination.’ (para 154) For the applicants in Ilias and Ahmed ‘it was practically possible […] to walk to the border and cross into Serbia, a country bound by the Geneva Convention.’ (para 241). The Grand Chamber acknowledged that the applicants feared of the deficiencies in the Serbian asylum procedure and the related risk of removal to the Republic of North Macedonia or Greece. (para 242) However, what seems to be crucial is that their fears were not related to ‘direct threat to their life or health’ (para 242). It follows that the possibility to leave for a place will not preclude the qualification of the situation as one of detention, only if this place poses a direct threat to life or health.

      As noted by the two dissenting judges, it did not seem to matter for the majority that the applicants could not enter Serbia lawfully. In this way, the majority’s reasoning under Article 5 appears to endorse a situation where people are just pushed out of the border without some formal procedures with elementary guarantees.

      Read as a whole the Grand Chamber judgment in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary is inconsistent: it contains two findings that are difficult to square together. The Court concluded that since the applicants would not be exposed to a direct risk in Serbia, they were not detained in Hungary. At the same time, Hungary violated Article 3 of the Convention since it did not conduct a proper assessment of the risks that the applicants could face if they were to return to Serbia.

      Overall weakening of the protection of Article 5 ECHR

      One final comment is due. In Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary, the Grand Chamber summarized the following factors for determining whether ‘confinement of foreigners in airport transit zones and reception centers’ can be defined as deprivation of liberty: ‘i) the applicants’ individual situation and their choices, ii) the applicable legal regime of the respective country and its purpose, iii) the relevant duration, especially in the light of the purpose and the procedural protection enjoyed by applicants pending the events, and iv) the nature and degree of the actual restrictions imposed on or experienced by the applicants.’ (para 217) (see also Z.A. and Others v Russia, para 145) Among these criteria particular attention needs to be directed to the applicable legal regime and the availability of procedural protection. In principle, Article 5, if found applicable, offers certain guarantees (e.g. statutory basis for the deprivation of liberty, access to proceedings for challenging the lawfulness of the detention). The Court seems to have inserted such considerations at the definitional stage of its analysis. For example, in Z.A. and Others v Russia, the Grand Chamber when it examined whether the confinement of the applicants in the airport transit zone amounted to deprivation of liberty, noted that they were left ‘in a legal limbo without any possibility of challenging the measure restricting their liberty’ (para 146). This played a role for the Grand Chamber to conclude that the applicants in Z.A. and Others v Russia were indeed deprived of liberty and Article 5 was thus found applicable. In contrast, the Grand Chamber in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary observed that certain procedural guarantees applied to the applicants’ case (para 226), which also played a role for the final conclusion that Article 5 was not applicable. In sum, instead of scrutinizing the national legal regime and the access to procedural guarantees as part of the substantive analysis under Article 5, where a single deficiency leads to a finding of a violation (i.e. it is sufficient to find a violation of Article 5 if there is no strictly defined statutory basis for the applicants’ detention), the Court has muddled these criteria together with other factors and made them pertinent for the definitional analysis. This ultimately weakens the roles of these criteria and creates uncertainty.

      [1] See V Stoyanova, ‘How Exception must “Very Exceptional” Be? Non-refoulement, Socio-Economic Deprivation and Paposhvili v Belgium’ (2017) International Journal of Refugee Law 29(4) 580.

      [2] See B Nagy, ‘From Reluctance to Total Denial: Asylum Policy in Hungary 2015-2018’ in V Stoyanova and E Karageorgiou (eds) The New Asylum and Transit Countries in Europe during and in the Aftermath of the 2015/2016 Crisis (Brill 2019) 17.

      [3] Boldizsar Nagy has argued that this representation made by the Hungarian government is a lie. See B Nagy, Restricting access to asylum and contempt of courts: illiberals at work in Hungary, https://eumigrationlawblog.eu/restricting-access-to-asylum-and-contempt-of-courts-illiberals-at

      https://strasbourgobservers.com/2019/12/23/the-grand-chamber-judgment-in-ilias-and-ahmed-v-hungary-immigra
      #justice #CEDH #Hongrie #CourEDH

  • The 8km law and violence on the border

    The 8km law, that we wrote about earlier, took effect on the 5th of July. According to the legislation, anyone who is caught within 8m on the Hungarian side of the border fence may be “escorted” back to the Serbian side of the fence. This legalizes the pushbacks of people to the Serbian side and severely restricts people’s right to seek asylum. In practice, those caught and pushed back are not given a chance to ask for asylum, which is contrary to international law. We find it cruelly ironic that at the same time the Fidesz government claims that the border fence is working, the Hungarian authorities are cutting holes to this fence in order to push people back to the Serbian side. The results of the law have been catastrophic: the number of people waiting at the transit zone to apply for asylum at the border has doubled. There is no legal help available, civilian volunteers and activists have limited access, and the living conditions are abysmal, as this video from Migszol Szeged also shows.

    http://www.migszol.com/blog/the-catastrophic-consequences-of-the-8km-law-and-violence-at-the-hungarian-
    #Hongrie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #push-back #refoulements #milices #jeu_frontalier #extrême-droite #extrême_droite #8km #8_km

  • Un peu en vrac, la question de la politique de l’#excision de l’#Australie (#excision_territoriale):

    La première excision (2001), celle des îles, et contenu dans ce document législatif:
    https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2004A00887

    Et puis ils ont décidé d’exciser tout le territoire australien pour l’arrivée par bateau, en 2013:

    “The effect of this change, while it has been discussed as the ‘excision of the Australian mainland from the migration zone’, in fact only excises the mainland for those who arrive to Australia by boat. Previously, only those who were intercepted in waters on the way to Australia and then transferred to Christmas Island, or arrived at Christmas Island or another “excised offshore place”, became an offshore entry person and were thereby excluded from making a Protection application by section 46A of the Migration Act. Following this amendment, all those who arrive by boat, including those who actually land on Australia’s shores, are now barred by section 46A. Any person arriving by boat to seek asylum in Australia must have this bar lifted by the Minister personally, in circumstances where the Minister finds it is in the public interest to do so. All boat arrivals are now also subject to Australia’s offshore processing regime and can be transferred to a regional processing country under section 198AD of the Migration Act, even if they first land on the Australian mainland. Any asylum seeker arriving by plane is still able to lodge a protection application and is not subject to the regional processing arrangements. These changes also ensure that all boat arrivals are subject to mandatory detention, are to be taken to a regional processing country, and cannot institute or continue certain legal proceedings in Australia.”
    http://www.iarc.asn.au/_blog/Immigration_News/post/excision-of-the-australian-mainland-for-boat-arrivals

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-16/parliament-excises-mainland-from-migration-zone/4693940

    Il y a aussi un wiki sur cela:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_migration_zone#cite_note-abcnews-5

    Et une vignette:


    http://www.kudelka.com.au/tag/excision

    #Australie #migrations #asile #externalisation #réfugiés

    cc @reka

    • Out of sight, out of mind : excising Australia from the migration zone

      The migration zone is any place in Australia where a person arriving without a valid visa - what is technically called “without lawful authority” - can still make a valid visa application.

      It is distinct from the territory of Australia and might best be understood as a legal boundary within which people arriving without valid visas can still fall under the remit of the Migration Act of 1958. Protections afforded by the Migration Act - in addition to being permitted to apply for asylum - include having asylum claims processed in Australia, rather than in a detention centre such as Manus Island or Nauru

      https://theconversation.com/out-of-sight-out-of-mind-excising-australia-from-the-migration-zone

      #migration_zone

      –-> on explique très bien dans cet article aussi l’histoire du #Tampa et de #Arne_Rinnan :

      To understand how we started tinkering with the boundaries of the migration zone, one must go back to 2001 and the so-called Tampa Affair. In August 2001, Captain Arne Rinnan rescued 433 asylum seekers from their sinking boat and sheltered them on his freighter, the MV Tampa. He then made the decision to head to Christmas Island (which was at the time still in Australia’s migration zone) for the safety of his vessel, the crew and the people he had rescued.

      As a way to solve what then prime minister John Howard viewed as a direct challenge to border security in the aftermath of September 11 terrorist attacks, he proposed and had passed legislation that re-defined Christmas Island, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Australian sea and resources installations as well as any other external territories, or state or territory islands, prescribed by regulations as “excised offshore places”. Importantly, this legislation was also retrospective.

      With a stroke of the proverbial parliamentary pen, while the Tampa asylum seekers had reached Australian territory, they were no longer in the “migration zone” and were subsequently removed to offshore detention centres.

    • Voir aussi ce décret de #Reagan mentionné dans l’article « Immigration Enforcement and the Afterlife of the Slave Ship » :

      But in our present day, it began in earnest with President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12324 of 1981, also called the Haitian Migrant Interdiction Operation (HMIO), which exclusively tasked the USCG to “interdict” Haitian asylum seekers attempting to enter the United States by sea routes on unauthorized sailing vessels. Such people were already beginning to be derogatorily referred to as “boat people,” a term then borrowed (less derogatorily) into Haitian Kreyòl as botpippel.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/901628