• Cost of Australia holding each refugee on Nauru balloons to $4.3m a year

    Exclusive: Taxpayer cost of offshore processing regime revealed as government remains silent on where $400m went.

    The cost to Australian taxpayers to hold a single refugee on Nauru has escalated tenfold to more than $350,000 every month – or $4.3m a year – as the government refuses to reveal where nearly $400m spent on offshore processing on the island has gone.

    Australia currently pays about $40m a month to run its offshore processing regime on Nauru, an amount almost identical to 2016 when there were nearly 10 times as many people held on the island.

    No refugees and asylum seekers have been sent to Nauru since 2014, and with numbers of refugees held there dwindling – through resettlement to the US, transfer to Australia for acute medical care, abandonment of a protection claim, or death – the cost to Australia to hold each person has increased dramatically.

    In May 2016, Australia held 1,193 people on Nauru at a cost of $45,347 a month per person – about $1,460 a day or $534,000 a year.

    By August 2021, the number of asylum seekers and refugees held on the island had fallen nearly tenfold, but the costs of running the offshore program remained broadly static. In that month, there were 107 refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru at a cost to taxpayers of $464,486 a month for each person, or more than $15,000 a day.

    The average monthly cost in 2021 is $358,646 for every refugee and asylum seeker held on the island, equal to $4.3m per person each year, a Guardian Australia analysis of government figures provided to the Senate shows.

    The majority – 78 of those people – are refugees whose claims for protection have been formally recognised and Australia is legally obliged to protect them. Others are still awaiting a final refugee status determination, or have had their claim rejected.

    There are no women, children or family groups remaining among those held by Australia on Nauru. There are only single men, meaning services around maternal health, infant healthcare and childhood education are no longer being provided.

    A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs told the Guardian that “regional processing in Nauru remains a key pillar of Operation Sovereign Borders”.

    “Costs associated with regional processing have saved lives at sea, by providing ongoing deterrence against illegal maritime people smuggling.”

    But Labor argues Australia’s spending on Nauru is opaque.

    The government has declined to tell the Senate to whom it has paid nearly $400m to help run the regime on Nauru.

    Responses to Senate questions on notice show that from November 2017 to January 2021, the Australian government spent more than $1.67bn on “garrison and welfare” for those held on the island.

    The vast majority of that – nearly $1.3bn – was paid to its three “primary entities”: construction and facilities management firm Canstruct International; healthcare provider International Health and Medical Services (IHMS); and the government of Nauru.

    Canstruct was paid a little over $1bn to provide garrison and welfare services; IHMS received $138.3m to provide healthcare; and the Nauru government was paid $73.3m.

    The total cost to the three “primary entities” identified by the department was $1,272,681,862.

    But Australia’s total payments for garrison and welfare services on Nauru were $1,671,500,000, according to government figures, with an additional $398,818,138 paid to other individuals, organisations, or governments.

    Under questioning from Labor in the Senate, the department said it would not provide details on to whom that additional money was paid.

    “Payment data subsequently recorded in the Department’s Financial Management Information System is not disaggregated … and the manual intervention required to identify this level of detail constitutes an unreasonable diversion of resources.”

    Senator Kristina Keneally, the shadow minister for home affairs, said Scott Morrison’s government had serious questions to answer over the escalating costs of offshore processing on Nauru.

    “This is yet another example of Mr Morrison using taxpayers money as if it was Liberal Party money.”

    Keneally said the government’s response to the Senate that payments could not be detailed publicly was inadequate, arguing the Australian people “absolutely have a right to know how it has been spent”.

    “We are not talking about a missing tin of petty cash. This is $400m. Where did it go? Has it gone into the pockets of Liberal mates? Has it been lost?

    “The Morrison government either doesn’t know what has happened to this $400m or it doesn’t want Australians to know.”

    The Department of Home Affairs told the Guardian “the questions on notice seek different types of information, and as such are not directly comparable”.

    “The figures provided in response to various questions reflect payments made to suppliers on a cash basis with total expenditure accounted for on an accrual basis. As a result, the figures will not neatly total or realise month-to-month consistency.”

    The Guardian understands the “total” costs figure for Nauru captures all expenses related to regional processing there, including ancillary costs such as government administration, transport, road maintenance, utilities, staff accommodation, land leases, staffing costs and legal services.
    Canstruct contract scrutinised

    Canstruct’s large and growing contract – now worth nearly $1.6bn – to run the Nauru facility has attracted particular scrutiny.

    The Brisbane company, which is a Liberal party donor, helped build the Nauru detention centre, and started running the offshore regime on the island in late 2017.

    The original contract awarded to Canstruct for services on Nauru was worth just $8m in October 2017. But this was amended almost immediately, increased by 4,500% to $385m just a month after being signed.

    Since then, seven further amendments have escalated the cost to taxpayers to $1,598,230,689 a total increase of more than 19,300%, government tender documents show.

    The eighth and latest amendment to the contract was published this month, with another $179m to continue operating on the island until the end of 2021.

    The contract was awarded under limited tender, with “no submissions or value for money submissions received”, government tender documents show.

    Canstruct, or individuals or entities associated with it, has made at least 11 donations to the Coalition since 2017, according to state electoral disclosures. The company has previously strenuously denied any link between political donations and the awarding of any contracts.

    Asked about Canstruct’s Nauru operations, a spokesperson for the company said: “Unfortunately we are unable to comment on these matters. Please direct any questions to the federal government.”

    In September, the Australian government signed an agreement with the government of Nauru for an “enduring” offshore processing regime on the island.

    Australia’s offshore processing arrangement with Papua New Guinea will end on 31 December this year. In 2017, Australia’s detention centre on PNG’s Manus Island was ruled unconstitutional and the detention of people there illegal. Australia was required to pay more than $70m in compensation.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/nov/07/cost-of-australia-holding-each-refugee-on-nauru-balloons-to-43m-a-year?
    #externalisation #coût #prix #business #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Nauru #Australie #Pacific_solution

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Australia signs deal with Nauru to keep asylum seeker detention centre open indefinitely

    Australia will continue its policy of offshore processing of asylum seekers indefinitely, with the home affairs minister signing a new agreement with Nauru to maintain “an enduring form” of offshore processing on the island state.Since 2012 – in the second iteration of the policy – all asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat seeking protection have faced mandatory indefinite detention and processing offshore.

    There are currently about 108 people held by Australia on Nauru as part of its offshore processing regime. Most have been there more than eight years. About 125 people are still held in Papua New Guinea. No one has been sent offshore since 2014.

    However, Nauru is Australia’s only remaining offshore detention centre.PNG’s Manus Island centre was forced to shut down after it was found to be unconstitutional by the PNG supreme court in 2016. Australia was forced to compensate those who had been illegally detained there, and they were forcibly moved out, mostly to Port Moresby.

    But the Nauru detention facility will remain indefinitely.

    In a statement on Friday, home affairs minister #Karen_Andrews said a new #memorandum_of_understanding with Nauru was a “significant step forwards” for both countries.

    “Australia’s strong and successful border protection policies under #Operation_Sovereign_Borders remain and there is zero chance of settlement in Australia for anyone who arrives illegally by boat,” she said.“Anyone who attempts an illegal maritime journey to Australia will be turned back, or taken to Nauru for processing. They will never settle in Australia.”Nauru president, #Lionel_Aingimea, said the new agreement created an “enduring form” of offshore processing.

    “This takes the regional processing to a new milestone.

    “It is enduring in nature, as such the mechanisms are ready to deal with illegal migrants immediately upon their arrival in Nauru from Australia.”Australia’s offshore processing policy and practices have been consistently criticised by the United Nations, human rights groups, and by refugees themselves.

    The UN has said Australia’s system violates the convention against tortureand the international criminal court’s prosecutor said indefinite detention offshore was “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” and unlawful under international law.

    At least 12 people have died in the camps, including being murdered by guards, through medical neglect and by suicide. Psychiatrists sent to work in the camps have described the conditions as “inherently toxic” and akin to “torture”.In 2016, the Nauru files, published by the Guardian, exposed the Nauru detention centre’s own internal reports of systemic violence, rape, sexual abuse, self-harm and child abuse in offshore detention.

    The decision to extend offshore processing indefinitely has been met with opprobrium from those who were detained there, and refugee advocates who say it is deliberately damaging to those held.

    Myo Win, a human rights activist and Rohingyan refugee from Myanmar, who was formerly detained on Nauru and released in March 2021, said those who remain held within Australia’s regime on Nauru “are just so tired, separated from family, having politics played with their lives, it just makes me so upset”.

    “I am out now and I still cannot live my life on a bridging visa and in lockdown, but it is 10 times better than Nauru. They should not be extending anything, they should be stopping offshore processing now. I am really worried about everyone on Nauru right now, they need to be released.

    ”Jana Favero from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre said the new memorandum of understanding only extended a “failed system”.“An ‘enduring regional processing capability’ in Nauru means: enduring suffering, enduring family separation, enduring uncertainty, enduring harm and Australia’s enduring shame.

    “The #Morrison government must give the men, women and children impacted by the brutality of #offshore processing a safe and permanent home. Prolonging the failure of #offshore_processing on Nauru and #PNG is not only wrong and inhumane but dangerous.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/24/australia-signs-deal-with-nauru-to-keep-asylum-seeker-detention-centre-

    #Australie #Pacific_solution #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Nauru #externalisation #île #détention #emprisonnement

    • Multibillion-dollar strategy with no end in sight: Australia’s ‘enduring’ offshore processing deal with Nauru

      Late last month, Home Affairs Minister #Karen_Andrews and the president of Nauru, #Lionel_Aingimea, quietly announced they had signed a new agreement to establish an “enduring form” of offshore processing for asylum seekers taken to the Pacific island.

      The text of the new agreement has not been made public. This is unsurprising.

      All the publicly available information indicates Australia’s offshore processing strategy is an ongoing human rights — not to mention financial — disaster.

      The deliberate opaqueness is intended to make it difficult to hold the government to account for these human and other costs. This is, of course, all the more reason to subject the new deal with Nauru to intense scrutiny.
      Policies 20 years in the making

      In order to fully understand the new deal — and the ramifications of it — it is necessary to briefly recount 20 years of history.

      In late August 2001, the Howard government impulsively refused to allow asylum seekers rescued at sea by the Tampa freighter to disembark on Australian soil. This began policy-making on the run and led to the Pacific Solution Mark I.

      The governments of Nauru and Papua New Guinea were persuaded to enter into agreements allowing people attempting to reach Australia by boat to be detained in facilities on their territory while their protection claims were considered by Australian officials.

      By the 2007 election, boat arrivals to Australia had dwindled substantially.

      In February 2008, the newly elected Labor government closed down the facilities in Nauru and PNG. Within a year, boat arrivals had increased dramatically, causing the government to rethink its policy.

      After a couple of false starts, it signed new deals with Nauru and PNG in late 2012. An expert panel had described the new arrangements as a “necessary circuit breaker to the current surge in irregular migration to Australia”.

      This was the Pacific Solution Mark II. In contrast to the first iteration, it provided for boat arrivals taken to Nauru and PNG to have protection claims considered under the laws and procedures of the host country.

      Moreover, the processing facilities were supposedly run by the host countries, though in reality, the Australian government outsourced this to private companies.

      Despite the new arrangements, the boat arrivals continued. And on July 19, 2013, the Rudd government took a hardline stance, announcing any boat arrivals after that date would have “have no chance of being settled in Australia as refugees”.
      New draconian changes to the system

      The 1,056 individuals who had been transferred to Nauru or PNG before July 19, 2013 were brought to Australia to be processed.

      PNG agreed that asylum seekers arriving after this date could resettle there, if they were recognised as refugees.

      Nauru made a more equivocal commitment and has thus far only granted 20-year visas to those it recognises as refugees.

      The Coalition then won the September 2013 federal election and implemented the military-led Operation Sovereign Borders policy. This involves turning back boat arrivals to transit countries (like Indonesia), or to their countries of origin.

      The cumulative count of interceptions since then stands at 38 boats carrying 873 people. The most recent interception was in January 2020.

      It should be noted these figures do not include the large number of interceptions undertaken at Australia’s request by transit countries and countries of origin.

      What this means is the mere existence of the offshore processing system — even in the more draconian form in place after July 2013 — has not deterred people from attempting to reach Australia by boat.

      Rather, the attempts have continued, but the interception activities of Australia and other countries have prevented them from succeeding.

      No new asylum seekers in Nauru or PNG since 2014

      Australia acknowledges it has obligations under the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees — and other human rights treaties — to refrain from returning people to places where they face the risk of serious harm.

      As a result, those intercepted at sea are given on-water screening interviews for the purpose of identifying those with prima facie protection claims.

      Those individuals are supposed to be taken to Nauru or PNG instead of being turned back or handed back. Concerningly, of the 873 people intercepted since 2013, only two have passed these screenings: both in 2014.

      This means no asylum seekers have been taken to either Nauru or PNG since 2014. Since then, Australia has spent years trying to find resettlement options in third countries for recognised refugees in Nauru and PNG, such as in Cambodia and the US.

      As of April 30, 131 asylum seekers were still in PNG and 109 were in Nauru.

      A boon to the Nauruan government

      Australia has spent billions on Pacific Solution Mark II with no end in sight.

      As well as underwriting all the infrastructure and operational costs of the processing facilities, Australia made it worthwhile for Nauru and PNG to participate in the arrangements.

      For one thing, it promised to ensure spillover benefits for the local economies by, for example, requiring contractors to hire local staff. In fact, in 2019–20, the processing facility in Nauru employed 15% of the country’s entire workforce.

      And from the beginning, Nauru has required every transferee to hold a regional processing centre visa. This is a temporary visa which must be renewed every three months by the Australian government.

      The visa fee each time is A$3,000, so that’s A$12,000 per transferee per year that Australia is required to pay the Nauruan government.

      Where a transferee is found to be a person in need of protection, that visa converts automatically into a temporary settlement visa, which must be renewed every six months. The temporary settlement visa fee is A$3,000 per month — again paid by the Australian government.

      In 2019-20, direct and indirect revenue from the processing facility made up 58% of total Nauruan government revenue. It is no wonder Nauru is on board with making an “enduring form” of offshore processing available to Australia.

      ‘Not to use it, but to be willing to use it’

      In 2016, the PNG Supreme Court ruled the detention of asylum seekers in the offshore processing facility was unconstitutional. Australia and PNG then agreed to close the PNG facility in late 2017 and residents were moved to alternative accommodation. Australia is underwriting the costs.

      Australia decided, however, to maintain a processing facility in Nauru. Senator Jim Molan asked Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo about this in Senate Estimates in February 2018, saying:

      So it’s more appropriate to say that we are not maintaining Nauru as an offshore processing centre; we are maintaining a relationship with the Nauru government.

      Pezzullo responded,

      the whole purpose is, as you would well recall, in fact not to have to use those facilities. But, as in all deterrents, you need to have an asset that is credible so that you are deterring future eventualities. So the whole point of it is actually not to use it but to be willing to use it.

      This is how we ended up where we are now, with a new deal with the Nauru government for an “enduring” — that is indefinitely maintained — offshore processing capability, at great cost to the Australian people.

      Little has been made public about this new arrangement. We do know in December 2020, the incoming minister for immigration, Alex Hawke, was told the government was undertaking “a major procurement” for “enduring capability services”.

      We also know a budget of A$731.2 million has been appropriated for regional processing in 2021-22.

      Of this, $187 million is for service provider fees and host government costs in PNG. Almost all of the remainder goes to Nauru, to ensure that, beyond hosting its current population of 109 transferees, it “stands ready to receive new arrivals”.

      https://theconversation.com/multibillion-dollar-strategy-with-no-end-in-sight-australias-enduri
      #new_deal

  • 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.”

  • Australia’s Offshore Detention Regime in Breach of International Law

    In a letter (https://uploads.guim.co.uk/2020/02/14/200213-Andrew-Wilkie-Response-from-International-Criminal-Court-Aust, the International Criminal Court (ICC) communicated that Australia’s #offshore_detention_regime amounts to “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment” and is thus unlawful under international law, but will not prosecute the Australian government.

    The prosecutor’s office of the ICC found that some of the conditions of detention and treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers in the processing centres on Nauru and on Manus Island constitute “the underlying act of imprisonment or other severe deprivations of physical liberty under Article 7(1)(e)” of the Rome Statue that defines crimes against humanity. But the case falls outside the ICC’s jurisdiction and does not demonstrate the “contextual elements” to warrant further investigation, the office states

    Australian independent MP, Andrew Wilkie, first contacted the ICC in 2014, claiming that then prime minister Tony Abbott was breaching international law by engaging in imprisonment, deportation and forcible transfer of a population. Since then, Wilkie provided the ICC with evidence of deaths in detention through murder and neglect, indefinite detention of children, forced family separation and rape, sexual abuse, self-harm and child abuse. He states that despite no further investigation of the ICC “recent developments in the government’s asylum seeker policies have opened up new avenues for further investigation and I am currently seeking legal advice as to the next step forward.”

    The Australian government runs offshore detention centres on the Pacific Islands #Nauru and Manus Island to process asylum applications. Some asylum-seekers have been there for 5 years, with minimal information on their cases and how long they will remain detained. Today, there are still 230 refugees and asylum-seekers on Nauru, and about 180 on #Manus_Island, some of them undergoing the process for resettlement in America.

    https://www.ecre.org/australias-offshore-detention-regime-in-breach-of-international-law
    #justice #droit #modèle_australien #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Australie #pacific_solution #droit_international

  • Une conversation avec #Abdul_Aziz_Muhamat, lauréat du prix Martin Ennals 2019

    En février 2019, Abdul Aziz Muhamat, originaire du Soudan, recevait à 26 ans le prix Martin Ennals qui récompense chaque année les défenseurs des droits humains. Transféré sur l’île de Manus (Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée) en septembre 2013, en vertu de la politique offshore australienne, Aziz s’est battu dès le début de son incarcération pour faire connaître les souffrances de milliers de réfugiés enfermés comme lui et pour défendre leurs droits à une procédure d’asile et à la liberté. Aziz est un communicateur hors pairs. Il parle presque couramment le français en plus de l’anglais et de l’arabe. Il y a trois mois, la Suisse lui accordait l’asile et le statut de réfugié (1). Il vit maintenant à Genève où vous le croiserez peut-être. Son rêve immédiat est de trouver un logement. Il aimerait aussi poursuivre ses études universitaires interrompues au Soudan. Mais plus que tout, il est déterminé à obtenir la réinstallation des 550 personnes encore bloquées en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée et sur l’île de Nauru (2).

    En revenant sur quelques événements marquants, j’ai cherché à comprendre comment Aziz a réussi à poursuivre son combat pour la liberté des personnes enfermées comme lui, malgré l’isolement et les mauvais traitements.

    Atterrir en enfer

    Aziz est né à Al-Genaïna, un grand village situé dans la région du Darfour à quelques kilomètres de la frontière tchadienne. Son père est un marchand de bétail renommé qui commerce au Tchad et en Libye. A 13 ans il part habiter à Khartoum pour ses études secondaires. En première année d’université il devient activiste politique au sein du mouvement Girifna dont les membres sont pourchassés par le régime en place l’obligeant à fuir le Soudan. Il décide de partir pour l’Indonésie en juillet 2013. Mais il ne peut pas y rester car la procédure auprès du HCR est bien trop longue et son visa ne permet pas l’attente.

    La seule option est la traversée vers l’Australie. Après une première tentative en août 2013 durant laquelle 5 personnes se noient, la deuxième lui permet d’atteindre les côtes après quatre nuits en mer. Malheureusement le bateau est intercepté par la marine australienne au large de Christmas Island. Là on lui explique que les personnes arrivant par bateau ne pourront jamais, quel que soit leur statut, s’installer en Australie. Ils seront donc tous transportés par avion vers Darwin puis vers l’île de Manus en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée.

    “On nous a alignés pour nous informer que le cannibalisme était actif là-bas et qu’il y avait beaucoup de maladies et qu’il fallait absolument éviter de parler aux habitants sans quoi nous serions agressés.”

    Aziz atterrit à Manus en septembre 2013 où déjà plus de 800 requérants d’asile sont détenus (3). Il est enfermé dans le camp de Foxtrot sur la base navale historique de Lombrum. Son dortoir est un immense hangar de 122 lits datant de la seconde guerre mondiale où il fait plus de 40 degrés.

    “ L’endroit était sinistre, loin de tout, nous étions totalement isolés du monde et nous n’avions accès à rien. Ce sentiment m’a donné envie d’agir, il fallait créer un mouvement de solidarité.”

    Sa rencontre avec Behrouz Boochani, un journaliste kurde iranien, lui donne beaucoup d’espoir. Ils décident ensemble de réunir en secret les représentants des différents groupes linguistiques (4) afin d’améliorer la communication entre les détenus et se mettre d’accord sur les revendications à faire, la première étant le démarrage de la procédure d’asile.

    Il constate que tout le monde est très affecté par les conditions de détention. Les gens souffrent d’un sentiment d’abandon et d’un processus de déshumanisation. Ils sont devenus des numéros, appelés selon leurs matricules. On exige d’eux qu’ils fassent la queue en ligne pour tout, ils ne sont informés de rien et ne voient aucunes portes de sortie à leur enfer quotidien. Afin de venir en aide à ses compagnons, Aziz s’intéresse à la psychologie, demande à son psychiatre- en prétextant de fausses raisons – d’emprunter des articles de psychologie. Ses lectures lui donnent des outils pour éviter de sombrer et aussi pour aider les autres. Il devient conseiller et passe des heures à écouter les personnes découragées.

    “Je pressentais que j’allais rester des années là-bas. Il me fallait conserver la mémoire et aider mes camarades plus fragiles. Je voulais qu’ils continuent d’espérer et calmer ceux qui étaient impatients ou dépressifs. Je sentais que j’avais un impact très positif sur eux. Bien sûr, je leur faisaient croire que les choses iraient mieux, que la société civile finiraient par nous entendre mais en réalité je n’en savais rien. ”

    Informer le monde extérieur

    Si Abdul Aziz Muhamat était fumeur peut-être ne serait-il pas parvenu à contacter le monde extérieur aussi rapidement. Chaque semaine les détenus recevaient trois paquets de cigarettes, alors il trouve une idée : corrompre un gardien pour obtenir un téléphone mobile et menacer de le dénoncer en cas de refus. Marché conclu : il parvient à troquer cent paquets de cigarettes en échange d’un téléphone mobile.

    “Le jour où j’ai reçu ce téléphone je me suis enfermé dans les toilettes. En cherchant sur internet, je suis tombé sur l’organisation Refugee Action Coalition à Sydney et j’ai noté le nom de Ian Rintoul. Je lui envoie un mail en lui expliquant ma situation et il me répond tout de suite. Quand je lui ai dit que j’étais enfermé à Manus, il ne m’a pas cru, il a demandé des preuves. Ian Rintoul m’a dit que ce que je faisais était extrêmement dangereux, il avait vraiment peur pour moi. Mais je lui ai dit que notre situation était tellement grave que je prenais le risque. Autour de moi à Manus, personne n’a jamais su que je cachais un téléphone. Ian Rintoul a été d’une grande aide pour moi, il a su utiliser intelligemment les informations que je lui donnais afin de sensibiliser et mobiliser la société civile.”

    Dans le courant du mois de janvier 2014, Aziz et ses compagnons organisent une manifestation exigeant le démarrage de la procédure d’asile. Des rencontres houleuses ont lieu avec le service d’immigration et d’autres intervenants dont l’Organisation internationale des migrations, mais elles n’aboutissent à rien de concret. Par contre ils sont avertis : les personnes qui refusent de rentrer au pays d’origine resteront éternellement sur l’île et surtout ils ne seront jamais réinstallés.

    Ces nouvelles provoquent le désespoir. Un soir de février 2014, la tentative de fuite de quelques requérants met le feu aux poudres. La répression est violente et des habitants locaux en profite pour rentrer dans le camp et attaquer des personnes jusque dans leurs chambres. Reza Barati (iranien) décède de ses blessures alors que 150 autres personnes sont blessées.

    En Australie et dans le monde, les violences à Manus font la une de la presse, les langues se délient, l’incompréhension gagne du terrain, le sort des prisonniers de Manus et Nauru inquiète une frange grandissante de la population. En avril 2014, Aziz recommence son travail pour renforcer les liens entre les personnes et tenter d’unir les différents groupes. Il y parvient et lance en janvier 2015 avec 400 autres personnes, une grève de la faim de 14 jours afin de protester non seulement contre les conditions abjectes et inhumaines de détention mais aussi contre l’absence de procédure d’asile.

    “Le quinzième jour, ils sont venus à 6 heures du matin, ils m’ont arrêté en premier et m’ont envoyé dans une prison appelée “CIS” avec d’autres prisonniers de droit commun dont des auteurs de crimes graves. J’y ai passé un mois. Etonnamment j’ai été très très heureux, j’ai appris leur langue, j’enseignais l’anglais et les autres prisonniers m’appelaient enfin par mon nom. Je garde un excellent souvenir de cette période.”

    Trois mois d’isolement

    Au bout d’un mois, Aziz est immédiatement placé dans un autre lieu et cette fois c’est en isolement complet. Après un mois, il est interrogé par un psychiatre et un psychologue qui le trouvent encore trop…combatif. Leur rapport incite les autorités à décider la prolongation de l’isolement pendant un mois supplémentaire.

    “On ma donné une carte rouge signifiant que j’étais un criminel contre l’Etat et on m’a dit que j’allais être renvoyé au Soudan. Après un mois de prison et deux mois d’isolement complet j’étais très fragile. Mentalement je n’allais pas bien du tout. C’est ce que le psychiatre et le psychologue voulaient voir. Je ne devais pas essayer de me montrer fort. Au contraire je devais sembler résigné, soumis aux règles du centre. Ça a marché, ils ont vraiment eu l’impression que j’étais cassé et ils m’ont libéré le même jour, après m’avoir fait signer un contrat. Bien sûr, dès mon retour au centre, j’ai fait trois entretiens avec ABC, SBS et une autre chaîne en Australie (…) Ils étaient furieux. J’ai été placé sur une liste noir. Les autorités m’ont informé qu’ils feraient en sorte que je sois la dernière personne à quitter Manus.”

    De janvier 2016 à décembre 2017, Aziz parvient à envoyer près de 4000 messages vocaux pour témoigner de son expérience. On peut les écouter dans le podcast passionnant The Messenger produit et raconté par le journaliste Michael Green et qui a remporté de nombreux prix. Le podcast est une immersion totale.

    Manus, purgatoire tropical

    Le 26 avril 2016, la Cour suprême de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée juge illégal et anticonstitutionnel l’accord permettant à l’Australie de placer en détention sur le territoire papouasien des demandeurs d’asile dont elle ne veut pas. Sous pression de la société civile en Australie après des attaques armées contre le camp de Manus en Avril 2017, les autorités australiennes annoncent en octobre 2017 leur fermeture sans proposer de vraies solutions, juste un déplacement des personnes dans d’autres lieux dangereux car ouverts. Le bras de fer durera 24 jours.

    Durant cette période il mène la protestation, coordonne l’aide sociale et l’assistance médicale et facilite les consultations téléphoniques avec des médecins. En novembre 2017, ils sont plus de 600 à être déplacés vers les centres de East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre, West Lorengau Haus and Hillside Haus.

    En tout, Aziz est resté 5 ans et demi emprisonné à Manus. Pendant longtemps il a caché à sa famille où il se trouvait et il n’est pas le seul. Il pense tous les jours à ceux qui ont résisté avec lui : Behrouz Boochani, kurde iranien, Omar Jack (Soudan), Chaminda Kanapati (Sri Lanka) toujours à Manus, Amir (iranien) réinstallé en 2017 au Canada, Muhamat Darlawi (iranien), réinstallé la semaine dernière aux Etats-Unis et Muhamat Edar (soudanais) qui vient de recevoir sa décision de réinstallation aussi aux Etats-Unis.

    En mai 2019, la victoire de la coalition conservatrice lors des élections législatives australiennes a été une énorme déception pour les 500 personnes encore retenues sur les îles alors que les socialistes s’étaient engagés à accepter l’offre de réinstallation proposée par la Nouvelle-Zélande. Pour eux et pour tous les requérants d’asile et réfugiés dans le monde, Aziz a bien l’intention de poursuivre son travail d’information et de sensibilisation afin d’inciter les Etats à respecter la Convention relative au statut des réfugiés conclue à Genève le 28 juillet 1951.

    Pour conclure sur cette belle rencontre, laissez-moi partager avec vous les conseils d’Aziz sur la manière de survivre psychologiquement dans un camp. On ne sait jamais aujourd’hui, personne n’est à l’abris d’un tel traitement.

    “Dans mon expérience, le seul conseil que je te donne c’est de garder l’espoir. Il faut que tu résistes et en même temps essaye de t’exprimer contre les situations que tu détestes et contre les injustices ou les tortures. Ne penses pas aux conséquences de tes actes, oublie-les. Evite de dire que c’est impossible, il n’y a pas d’impossible, tout est possible, tu as seulement besoin de courage et de motivation et aussi il te faut un sentiment dans ton coeur qui te dirige et te dis que ce que tu fais pour les autres est aussi bon pour toi.”

    https://blogs.letemps.ch/jasmine-caye/2019/09/10/une-conversation-avec-abdul-aziz-muhamat-laureat-du-prix-martin-ennals
    #témoignage #Manus_island #Pacific_solution #Australie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #externalisation
    ping @reka
    via @forumasile

  • 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 »...

    • In a first, U.S. starts pushing Central American families seeking asylum to Guatemala

      U.S. officials have started to send families seeking asylum to Guatemala, even if they are not from the Central American country and had sought protection in the United States, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

      In July, the Trump administration announced a new rule to effectively end asylum at the southern U.S. border by requiring asylum seekers to claim protection elsewhere. Under that rule — which currently faces legal challenges — virtually any migrant who passes through another country before reaching the U.S. border and does not seek asylum there will be deemed ineligible for protection in the United States.

      A few days later, the administration reached an agreement with Guatemala to take asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. border who were not Guatemalan. Although Guatemala’s highest court initially said the country’s president couldn’t unilaterally enter into such an agreement, since late November, U.S. officials have forcibly returned individuals to Guatemala under the deal.

      At first, U.S. officials said they would return only single adults. But starting Tuesday, they began applying the policy to non-Guatemalan parents and children, according to communications obtained by The Times and several U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials.

      One family of three from Honduras, as well as a separate Honduran parent and child, were served with notices on Tuesday that they’d soon be deported to Guatemala.

      The Trump administration has reached similar agreements with Guatemala’s Northern Triangle neighbors, El Salvador and Honduras, in each case obligating those countries to take other Central Americans who reach the U.S. border. Those agreements, however, have yet to be implemented.

      The administration describes the agreements as an “effort to share the distribution of hundreds of thousands of asylum claims.”

      The deals — also referred to as “safe third country” agreements — “are formed between the United States and foreign countries where aliens removed to those countries would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection,” according to the federal notice.

      Guatemala has virtually no asylum system of its own, but the Trump administration and Guatemalan government both said the returns would roll out slowly and selectively.

      The expansion of the policy to families could mean many more asylum seekers being forcibly removed to Guatemala.

      Experts, advocates, the United Nations and Guatemalan officials say the country doesn’t have the capacity to handle any sizable influx, much less process potential protection claims. Guatemala’s own struggles with corruption, violence and poverty helped push more than 270,000 Guatemalans to the U.S. border in fiscal 2019.

      Citizenship and Immigration Services and Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

      https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-12-10/u-s-starts-pushing-asylum-seeking-families-back-to-guatemala-for-first-time

    • U.S. implements plan to send Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala

      Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States could be sent to Guatemala under a bilateral agreement signed by the Central American nation last year, according to documents sent to U.S. asylum officers in recent days and seen by Reuters.

      In a Jan. 4 email, field office staff at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) were told Mexican nationals will be included in the populations “amenable” to the agreement with Guatemala.

      The agreement, brokered last July between the administration of Republican President Donald Trump and the outgoing Guatemalan government, allows U.S. immigration officials to send migrants requesting asylum at the U.S.-Mexican border to apply for protection in Guatemala instead.

      Mexico objects to the plan, its foreign ministry said in a statement late on Monday, adding that it would be working with authorities to find “better options” for those that could be affected.

      Trump has made clamping down on unlawful migration a top priority of his presidency and a major theme of his 2020 re-election campaign. His administration penned similar deals with Honduras and El Salvador last year.

      U.S. Democrats and pro-migrant groups have opposed the move and contend asylum seekers will face danger in Guatemala, where the murder rate is five times that of the United States, according to 2017 data compiled by the World Bank. The country’s asylum office is tiny and thinly staffed and critics have argued it lacks the capacity to properly vet a significant increase in cases.

      Guatemalan President-elect Alejandro Giammattei, who takes office this month, has said he will review the agreement.

      Acting Deputy U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said in a tweet in December that Mexicans were being considered for inclusion under the agreement.

      USCIS referred questions to DHS, which referred to Cuccinelli’s tweet. Mexico’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

      Alejandra Mena, a spokeswoman for Guatemala’s immigration institute, said that since the agreement was implemented in November, the United States has sent 52 migrants to the country. Only six have applied for asylum in Guatemala, Mena said.

      On Monday, an additional 33 Central American migrants arrived on a flight to Guatemala City, she said.

      Unaccompanied minors cannot be sent to Guatemala under the agreement, which now applies only to migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico, according to the guidance documents. Exceptions are made if the migrants can establish that they are “more likely than not” to be persecuted or tortured in Guatemala based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

      Numbers of Central American migrants apprehended at the border fell sharply in the second part of 2019 after Mexico deployed National Guard troops to stem the flow, under pressure from Trump.

      Overall, border arrests are expected to drop again in December for the seventh straight month, a Homeland Security official told Reuters last week, citing preliminary data.

      The U.S. government says another reason for the reduction in border crossings is a separate program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, that has forced more than 56,000 non-Mexican migrants to wait in Mexico for their U.S. immigration court hearings.

      With fewer Central Americans at the border, U.S. attention has turned to Mexicans crossing illegally or requesting asylum. About 150,000 Mexican single adults were apprehended at the border in fiscal 2019, down sharply from previous decades but still enough to bother U.S. immigration hawks.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration/us-implements-plan-to-send-mexican-asylum-seekers-to-guatemala-idUSKBN1Z51S
      #Guatemala

    • Mexico begins flying, busing migrants back to #Honduras

      Hundreds of Central American migrants who entered southern Mexico in recent days have either been pushed back into Guatemala by Mexican troops, shipped to detention centers or returned to Honduras, officials said Tuesday. An unknown number slipped past Mexican authorities and continued north.

      The latest migrant caravan provided a public platform for Mexico to show the U.S. government and migrants thinking of making the trip that it has refined its strategy and produced its desired result: This caravan will not advance past its southern border.

      What remained unclear was the treatment of the migrants who already find themselves on their way back to the countries they fled last week.

      “Mexico doesn’t have the capacity to process so many people in such a simple way in a couple of days,” said Guadalupe Correa Cabrera, a professor at George Mason University studying how the caravans form.

      The caravan of thousands had set out from Honduras in hopes Mexico would grant them passage, posing a fresh test of U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to reduce the flow of migrants arriving at the U.S. border by pressuring other governments to stop them.

      Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said 2,400 migrants entered Mexico legally over the weekend. About 1,000 of them requested Mexico’s help in returning to their countries. The rest were being held in immigration centers while they start legal processes that would allow them to seek refuge in Mexico or obtain temporary work permits that would confine them to southern Mexico.

      On Tuesday afternoon, Jesus, a young father from Honduras who offered only his first name, rested in a shelter in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, with his wife and their baby, unsure of what to do next.

      “No country’s policy sustains us,” he said in response to hearing Ebrard’s comments about the situation. “If we don’t work, we don’t eat. (He) doesn’t feed us, doesn’t care for our children.”

      Honduran officials said more than 600 of its citizens were expected to arrive in that country Tuesday by plane and bus and more would follow in the coming days.

      Of an additional 1,000 who tried to enter Mexico illegally Monday by wading across the Suchiate river, most were either forced back or detained later by immigration agents, according to Mexican officials.

      Most of the hundreds stranded in the no-man’s land on the Mexican side of the river Monday night returned to Guatemala in search of water, food and a place to sleep. Late Tuesday, the first buses carrying Hondurans left Tecun Uman with approximately 150 migrants heading back to their home country.

      Mexican authorities distributed no water or food to those who entered illegally, in what appeared to be an attempt by the government to wear out the migrants.

      Alejandro Rendón, an official from Mexico’s social welfare department, said his colleagues were giving water to those who turned themselves in or were caught by immigration agents, but were not doing the same along the river because it was not safe for workers to do so.

      “It isn’t prudent to come here because we can’t put the safety of the colleagues at risk,” he said.

      Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Tuesday that the government is trying to protect the migrants from harm by preventing them from traveling illegally through the country. He said they need to respect Mexican laws.

      “If we don’t take care of them, if we don’t know who they are, if we don’t have a register, they pass and get to the north, and the criminal gangs grab them and assault them, because that’s how it was before,” he said. “They disappeared them.”

      Mexican Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero commended the National Guard for its restraint, saying: “In no way has there been an act that we could call repression and not even annoyance.”

      But Honduras’ ambassador to Mexico said there had been instances of excessive force on the part of the National Guard. “We made a complaint before the Mexican government,” Alden Rivera said in an interview with HCH Noticias without offering details. He also conceded migrants had thrown rocks at Mexican authorities.

      An Associated Press photograph of a Mexican National Guardsman holding a migrant in a headlock was sent via Twitter by acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli with the message: “We appreciate Mexico doing more than they did last year to interdict caravans attempting to move illegally north to our southern border.”

      “They absolutely must be satisfied with (Mexico’s) actions because in reality it’s their (the United States’) plan,” said Correa Cabrera, the George Mason professor. “They’re congratulating themselves, because in reality it wasn’t López Obrador’s plan.”

      She said it is an complicated issue for Mexico, but the National Guard had no business being placed at the border to handle immigration because they weren’t trained for it. The government “is sending a group that doesn’t know how to and can’t protect human rights because they’re trained to do other kinds of things,” she said.

      Mexico announced last June that it was deploying the newly formed National Guard to assist in immigration enforcement to avoid tariffs that Trump threatened on Mexican imports.

      Darlin René Romero and his wife were among the few who spent the night pinned between the river and Mexican authorities.

      Rumors had circulated through the night that “anything could happen, that being there was very dangerous,” Romero said. But the couple from Copan, Honduras, spread a blanket on the ground and passed the night 20 yards from a line of National Guard troops forming a wall with their riot shields.

      They remained confident that Mexico would allow them to pass through and were trying to make it to the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, where his sister lives.

      They said a return home to impoverished and gang-plagued Honduras, where most of the migrants are from, was unthinkable.

      https://apnews.com/4d685100193f6a2c521267fe614356df

  • #métaliste (qui va être un grand chantier, car il y a plein d’information sur seenthis, qu’il faudrait réorganiser) sur :
    #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #migrations #réfugiés

    Des liens vers des articles généraux sur l’externalisation des frontières de la part de l’ #UE (#EU) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/569305
    https://seenthis.net/messages/390549
    https://seenthis.net/messages/320101

    Ici une tentative (très mal réussie, car évidement, la divergence entre pratiques et les discours à un moment donné, ça se voit !) de l’UE de faire une brochure pour déconstruire les mythes autour de la migration...
    La question de l’externalisation y est abordée dans différentes parties de la brochure :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/765967

    Petit chapitre/encadré sur l’externalisation des frontières dans l’ouvrage "(Dé)passer la frontière" :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/769367

    Les origines de l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers (maritimes) : accord #USA-#Haïti de #1981 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/768694

    L’externalisation des politiques européennes en matière de migration
    https://seenthis.net/messages/787450

    "#Sous-traitance" de la #politique_migratoire en Afrique : l’Europe a-t-elle les mains propres ?
    https://seenthis.net/messages/789048

    Partners in crime ? The impacts of Europe’s outsourced migration controls on peace, stability and rights :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/794636
    #paix #stabilité #droits #Libye #Niger #Turquie

    Proceedings of the conference “Externalisation of borders : detention practices and denial of the right to asylum”
    https://seenthis.net/messages/880193

    Brochure sur l’externalisation des frontières (passamontagna)
    https://seenthis.net/messages/952016

  • Australie

    L’Australie est régulièrement condamnée par des instances nationales et internationales pour les conditions inhumaines qui prévalent dans les 6 camps militairement équipés où, selon une loi de 1994 unique au monde, les immigrants sans visa sont immédiatement internés, pour une durée indéterminée et sans accès aux droits. Les bateaux de clandestins sont arraisonnés par les troupes spéciales de l’armée.

    Sur Group 4 Falck :

    Group 4 Falck est le second groupe mondial de services de sécurité, opérant dans plus de 80 pays, avec plus de 230.000 employés (662 en Australie) et un chiffre d’affaires de 4,2 milliards d’euros

    http://www.migreurop.org/article33.html

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #privatisation #Group4_Falck #Australasian_Correctional_Management #ACM #Wackenhut #excision (territoriale) #push-back #refoulement #pacific_solution #Tampa #frontières

    pour archivage (car cette liste date de 2004), merci @isskein de me l’avoir signalée

  • Persons arriving by unauthorised boat to Australia by calendar year


    –-> bien évidemment, la période avec zéro arrivées (2001-2007) ce n’est pas une période dans laquelle aucun bateau a essayé de débarquer en Australie, mais tous ont été détournés vers l’île de Manus ou sur celle de Nauru...

    #Australie #statistiques #asile #migrations #chiffres #pacific_solution #operation_sovereign_borders #réfugiés #graphique #externalisation
    cc @reka

  • Guerre aux migrants : l’arme de l’#externalisation

    Au Conseil JAI (Justice et Affaires Intérieures) des 12 et 13 mars 2015 les ministres de l’Intérieur des Etats-membres de l’UE sont convenus de renforcer la coopération avec les pays tiers en vue d’une gestion efficace des flux migratoires : ainsi l’UE ne fait que poursuivre la politique d’externalisation entamée au début des années 2000.

    l’externalisation dans le domaine des politiques d’asile et d’immigration suit une quadruple logique : délocaliser, sous-traiter, privatiser, déresponsabiliser.

    http://blogs.mediapart.fr/blog/migreurop/150715/guerre-aux-migrants-larme-de-lexternalisation
    #privatisation #délocalisation #sous-traitance

    Pour plus de détails sur les projets et leur mise en oeuvre

    Externalisation des camps : projet anglais de zones de protection (2003) et chronologie de l’initiative italo-allemande (2004)
    La délocalisation du traitement de l’asile et les centres d’accueil de réfugiés hors de l’UE (2005)
    Quelques textes sur l’externalisation de l’asile
    Sur le rôle du HCR dans le processus d’externalisation : Protéger les sans-état ou contrôler les indesirables : où en est le HCR ? (Michel Agier, janvier 2006)
    un laboratoire de l’externalisation : la #Pacific_Solution australienne réactivée en 2012
    Processus de Khartoum
    Declaration of the Ministerial Conference of the Khartoum Process (EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative) Rome, 28 novembre 2014
    Le processus de #Khartoum : un choix contre les migrants (Filippo Miraglia, ARCI, 3 décembre 2014) in italiano
    Le processus de Khartoum, nouvelle étape du dialogue Euro-africain (AEDH, 2014)
    #Processus_de_Khartoum : quand l’Europe sous-traite ses migrants (Catherine Teule, vice-présidente de l’AEDH, 23 avril 2015)

    Des analyses

    Qu’est-ce que l’externalisation ? (Emmanuel Blanchard, mars 2006)
    L’Europe sous-traite la demande d’asile (Claire Rodier, avril 2006)
    Le business de la migration (Claire Rodier, juin 2014)
    des frontières et des hommes (Claire Rodier, 2009)
    Nous sommes dans un contexte de guerre aux migrants (entretien avec Emmanuel Blanchard, nov. 2006)

    Oui, nous sommes depuis longtemps dans un contexte de guerre aux migrants et l’externalisation en est l’une des armes.

    #migration #asile #réfugiés #Australie #modèle_australien

  • Immigration : « L’Europe ne prendra jamais modèle sur l’Australie »

    Pour l’Union européenne, il n’est pas question de reprendre le modèle australien pour l’approche des boat-people. C’est ce qu’a déclaré une porte-parole de la Commission européenne suite aux suggestions australiennes sur la problématique des boat-people.

    http://www.levif.be/actualite/international/immigration-l-europe-ne-prendra-jamais-modele-sur-l-australie/article-normal-393389.html
    #réfugiés #asile #migration #Europe #modèle_australien (sic) #pacific_solution

  • The #Leaky_Boats (Documentary)

    A moving documentary about how the Australian Government used the Refugee Boats as a mechanism to boost it’s standing in the Polls during the election to clinch a victory and keep John Howard in Parliament

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c_phJsx1NE

    #documentaire #film #migration #asile #réfugiés #Australie #refugee_boats #haute-mer #externalisation #Manus_island #Nauru #Pacific_solution

    • J’ai enfin réussi à regarder le documentaire, je vais mettre ici la trame et quelques extraits...

      26.08.2001 : 433 réfugiés s’approchent des côtes australiennes.
      Le « #Tampa » boat (un cargo norvégien) répond à un appel des secours et s’approche du bateau de #réfugiés pour le sauvetage.
      Les réfugiés sont sauvés et montés à bord du Tampa, mais le capitaine du Tampa reçoit l’ordre de ne pas s’approcher des côtes australiennes.
      Tampa était un bateau norvégien, s’il avait été australien, son capitaine, #Arne_Rinan, aurait été emprisonné en Australie dès son entrée sur le territoire australien.

      L’opinion publique et les politiciens s’enflamment (c’est temps d’élection). John Howard disant notamment que les réfugiés n’ont qu’à faire la queue dans les ambassades pour demander un visa...

      7’50 : Mais "some basics facts have been left out of the loop :
      – in Afghanistan or Irak, there was no Australian embassy. The idea of a queue was a fantasy
      – The people on the boats were not « illegals », Australia’s laws gave them the right to seek asylum
      – the most basic fact : the numbers :
      Brigadier Gary BORNHOLDT, Head of Military Public Affairs « In defence, it was not a big deal, because the number of the people was very very small. That’s why they did not represent a security threat »
      Admiral Chris BARRIE, Chief of Australian Defence Force : « We don’t actually remember that much of the illegal immigration takes place at airports »

      8’50 : Carmen LAWRENCE, Labor member of the Parliament : « It has to be described as a ’moral panic’ »

      3 jours après le sauvetage, le capitaine du Tampa décide d’entrer dans les eaux australiennes (surtout car certains réfugiés nécessitaient d’une assistance médicale urgente). Il a fait cela « to get the reaction ». Et la réaction a été que... l’Australie a envoyé le counter-terrorism squat (SAS).

      15’50 : Major Peter TINLEY : « I said, well, they are a bunch of refugees. I can’t help to feel that the Prime Minister John Howard viewed the SAS as something that would resony politically to the message of border security. You can’t amp it up more in the public’s mind that in saying ’we’ve gonna send the SAS, we’ll show how though we are in border security ».

      Mais... le Tampa n’a pas pu être renvoyé dans les #eaux_internationales par les SAS.

      La Nouvelle Zélande a offert son aide en disant voulant accueillir les enfants et les familles de réfugiés. Mais quid des autres réfugiés ?

      The island of #Nauru was a place that most Australians never heard about. It was 4000 km from Sidney. The smallest Republic in the world. A nation of just 12’000 people, living on 21 km2, and an economy based on guano mining. The guano was running out, and Nauru was closed to bankrupcy.
      Phone calls were made to Nauru’s President. 8 days after they have been rescued, the refugees left the Tampa for an Australian navy ship.
      But... there was actually an issue in Australia’s arrangment with Nauru : when the Australian ship took on board the refugees, there was no agreement between Australia and Nauru.

      Peter REITH, Minister of Defence, was sent to Nauru : « I said to John : ’I think we should give them whatever the want ».
      Le Président de Nauru a demandé 20 mio. de dollars australiens... qui lui ont été donnés !

      From now on, the boats would be stopped. The government would sent the navy to turn them back in a new operation called #Operation_Relex. The arrival of boats has past from an immigration issue into a defence issue. The leaky boats were now called #SIEV (#Suspected_illegal_entry_vessels). With the Operation Relex, when SIEV would approach, the navy executed the order.
      Within a week that Relex started, the navy had nearly 1000 refugees in their hands.
      –-> L’ordre donné par les militaires « retourner en Indonésie » n’était jamais exécuté par les réfugiés, qui restaient donc juste en decà des eaux internationales australiennes, sans bouger.

      A decision came from Canberra : bring the people to #Manus_Island.

      Jenny McKERRY, Head of public affairs, Department of Defence : « We were told not to say anything in the public form which would humanise those people »
      Head of military public affairs : « They wanted to portray that these were not normal people »

      Entre temps... 11 septembre 2001.

      Et SIEV 4 s’approche des côtes... et encore une fois les personnes à bord ne veulent pas retourner en Indonésie.

      Et là, l’histoire de la couverture médiatique de SIEV 4.

      Le bateau militaire HMAS Adelaide s’approche de SIEV 4 pour leur dire de retourner en Indonésie. A l’équipage on dit qu’il pourrait y avoir des terroristes à bord. Quand HMAS s’approche de SIEV 4, ils tirent des coup en l’air. Quelques réfugiés décident de se jeter à l’eau. D’autres montrent soulèvent des enfants, pour montrer à HMAS qu’il y a des enfants à bord. L’équipage de HMAS appelle Canberra pour dire que des adultes se sont jetés dans l’eau et qu’il y a des enfants à bord. Canberra averti les médias en disant que les réfugiés jettent les enfants à l’eau... L’indignation s’empare du pays « qui peuvent bien être ses sauvages qui jettent leurs enfants à l’eau »...
      En réalité, le HMAS a attendu que le SIEV 4 coule pour pouvoir sauver les réfugiés...

      Able Seaman Bec LYND, membre de l’équipage du HMAS : « We thought that when we would return to Australia, we would have commend for the job we did » (i.e. rescuing the refugees), « but the captain told us that some photos that has been sent from the ship had been misinterpreted. From that came the story that the people we rescued had thrown the children overboard. He said he was absolutely obviously not true, but we were told not to talk to the media or to our families »

      Les réfugiés sauvés ont ensuite été envoyés sur les îles de Nauru et Manus.

      A refugee : « Actually, we felt that we are not on the world anymore, we are somewhere wehre nobody had an idea ».

      3 weeks before elections, Relex was not achieving its objective : not a single boat had been turned back. The government’s response : escalate Relex. From now on, instead of trying to turn boats back, the navy would board them and send them all the way back to Indonesia.

      Témoignage d’un réfugiés qui était dans un bateau, arrivé après SIEV 4 : « We thought we had to throw the children in water, becaue in the other boat they did and the navy accepted them ».
      –-> en réalité, ce même réfugié a fait seulement semblant de jeter son enfant, pour attendre la réaction de la marine.

      « We created a high risk situation, where it is the interest of the people in the boat to sink the boat »

      Quelques jours/semaines après, un bateau avec 353 réfugiés à bord a coulé à cause d’une tempête. Tous les réfugiés sont morts.
      –-> John Howard : « This has been a terrible tragedy. Terrible. It was heart breaking, with little children. But we sent them a message ’Don’t try in the first place, because you’re not going to succeed ».
      (et, assez insupportable, Howard a les larmes aux yeux en disant cela !!! ARRRGHHHH)

      Et 3 jours avant les élections, les médias annoncent la nouvelle comme quoi l’histoire des enfants « never happened ». Pourtant, malgré cela, cette annonce, au lieu de plomber Howard dans les projections électorales, l’a boosté.

      « In the end, in the people who came on boat in the spring of 2001, 70% were found to be genuine refugees. Today the majority of them are living in Australia. People we spent hundreds of milions of dollars to stop »

      cc @reka

  • UN report details brutal conditions in Australian government’s Pacific refugee camps - World Socialist Web Site

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/02/07/manu-f07.html

    UN report details brutal conditions in Australian government’s Pacific refugee camps
    By Mark Church
    7 February 2013

    The United Nations Human Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released a report Monday detailing the appalling conditions endured by asylum seekers who are incarcerated by the Australian government on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

    The contents of the UN report are a further indictment of the brutal and illegal policies enacted by the Labor government. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has revived and extended the “Pacific Solution” refugee regime of former Prime Minister John Howard, deporting asylum seekers who attempt to arrive in Australia by sea and indefinitely imprisoning them on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

    #migrations #refugiés #asile #australie