• Migranti, la nuova mossa del governo per i rimpatri : ampliata la lista dei Paesi sicuri. E scoppia la polemica

    Nei centri in Albania anche chi arriva da Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Egitto e Camerun. Albano: “I giudici dovranno verificare se sono davvero luoghi non pericolosi”

    Un tassello dietro l’altro il governo prova a riempire la cornice dell’ancora vuoto progetto Albania nel tentativo di non farlo fallire prima del tempo. E così, dopo l’assegnazione dell’appalto da 133 milioni di euro per la gestione dei centri al colosso dell’accoglienza Medihospes del discusso Camillo Aceto, oggi un decreto ministeriale della Farnesina pubblicato in gazzetta ufficiale come d’incanto fa lievitare la lista dei cosiddetti Paesi sicuri, quelli – per intenderci – in cui potranno essere rimpatriati con le procedure accelerate di frontiera i migranti soccorsi nel Mediterraneo che da lì provengono.

    La lista, fino a ieri composta da 15 paesi, ne contiene ora ben 21: tra i sei nuovi ingressi alcuni Paesi d’origine di un numero consistente di migranti che arrivano in Italia via mare. Innanzitutto il Bangladesh, ma anche Sri Lanka, Camerun ed Egitto, a cui di aggiungono due Paesi sudamericani, Colombia e Perù da cui, in aereo, arrivano in Italia ogni anno migliaia di persone che poi chiedono asilo.

    Il Bangladesh , cosi come già l’anno scorso, è in cima alla lista dei Paesi d’origine dei migranti che arrivano in Italia grazie ad una triangolazione dall’Africa che riescono a raggiungere in aereo: 3425 quelli sbarcati nei primi 4 mesi del 2024, più di 1000 gli egiziani.

    Numeri consistenti che adesso, con il loro inserimento nella lista dei Paesi sicuri, consentiranno alle autorità italiane di portarli direttamente nei centri albanesi in attesa del probabile rimpatrio nel caso in cui la loro richiesta di asilo(come avviene nella maggior parte dei casi) dovesse essere respinta. Nel 2023 sono stati più di 12.000 gli arrivi dal Bangladesh e 11.000 dall’Egitto.

    I giudici della sezione immigrazione nutrono forti perplessità sul fatto che alcuni dei paesi inclusi nell’elenco, su tutti l’Egitto, possano essere considerati sicuri. La presidente di Magistratura democratica, Silvia Albano, spiega: “Il decreto ministeriale è fonte normativa secondaria e deve rispettare tanto le fonti sovraordinate, come la Costituzione e la normativa della UE, quanto la legge ordinaria”; quindi “i giudici dovranno verificare se il Paese designato come sicuro con decreto ministeriale, possa essere effettivamente considerato tale in base a quanto stabilito dalla legge”.

    #pays_sûrs #liste #Albanie #Italie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #renvois #expulsions

    #Bangladesh #Sri-Lanka #Cameroun #Egypte #Colombie #Pérou

    –-
    ajouté à la métaliste sur l’#accord entre #Italie et #Albanie pour la construction de #centres d’accueil (sic) et identification des migrants/#réfugiés sur le territoire albanais... :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/1043873

  • Avec le #Liban, l’UE compte de nouveau sur un #pays_tiers pour contrôler les migrations

    Un nouvel #accord a été conclu entre l’Union européenne et le Liban cette semaine, à hauteur d’un milliard d’euros. Ce dernier vise, sous couvert d’aider à maintenir la sécurité et la stabilité du pays, à freiner les départs d’exilés syriens en direction de l’Europe.

    La tournée continue. L’Union européenne vient de signer un nouveau « deal », cette fois avec le Liban, pour qu’un pays tiers gère le contrôle de ses frontières. Après l’Égypte et la Tunisie, c’est désormais à un Liban en crise de tenter de maîtriser les départs des exilés présents sur son sol, qui pourraient aspirer à rejoindre l’Europe pour une vie meilleure.

    Cette aide d’un milliard d’euros, annoncée à l’occasion d’une visite de la présidente de la commission européenne Ursula von der Leyen et du président chypriote Níkos Christodoulídis à Beyrouth le 2 mai, devrait s’étaler jusqu’en 2027 et « permettra de soutenir la population au Liban et de contribuer à sa sécurité et sa stabilité », a argué Ursula von der Leyen.

    Entre les lignes, le spectre migratoire n’est jamais bien loin : cette enveloppe doit certes permettre de soutenir « les plus vulnérables », à l’heure où le Liban traverse une crise socio-économique majeure, mais aussi et surtout « les réfugiés, les personnes déplacées à l’intérieur du pays et les communautés d’accueil », tout en renforçant le soutien aux forces armées libanaises « dans la lutte contre la #traite et le #trafic_d’êtres_humains ».

    Autrement dit les #passeurs, qui permettent aux Syriennes et Syriens de faire la traversée vers l’île de Chypre, où le nombre d’arrivées par la mer a bondi ces dernières années ; et où, tout récemment, le gouvernement a annoncé vouloir suspendre les demandes d’asile pour les Syrien·nes sur l’île, en violation du droit international et en particulier de la Convention de Genève relative aux réfugiés.

    C’était d’ailleurs l’objet d’une première rencontre entre le président chypriote et le premier ministre libanais, Najib Mikati, organisée le 8 avril dernier à Beyrouth. Le premier ministre libanais avait alors assuré que « l’armée et les forces de sécurité libanaises faisaient de leur mieux pour mettre fin à l’immigration illégale ».

    L’entrevue avait abouti sur l’idée d’une coopération entre les deux pays, avec une « aide substantielle de la commission européenne », comme l’avait souligné le porte-parole du gouvernement chypriote à l’issue de la rencontre.

    Des contours flous

    Plus surprenant, le Conseil européen a également « réaffirmé la nécessité de créer les conditions d’un #retour_sûr, volontaire et digne des réfugiés syriens, telles que définies par le Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés », peut-on lire dans un communiqué de la commission européenne en date du 2 mai.

    La #Syrie n’est pourtant pas considérée comme un #pays_sûr, comme le font remarquer différents observateurs : en septembre 2021, l’ONG Amnesty International avait même pointé dans un rapport les nombreuses violences – torture, viols, détention arbitraire – dont les réfugiés de retour en Syrie peuvent faire l’objet.

    Dans tous les cas, soulève Wadih Al-Asmar, président du réseau EuroMed Droits, « 250 millions d’euros sont prévus pour l’#armée_libanaise, qui participe à renvoyer des Syriens chez eux malgré les dangers qu’ils encourent en Syrie ». L’argent européen va donc « permettre des violations des droits de l’homme », regrette-t-il, expliquant que plusieurs cas ont déjà été documentés par ses équipes dernièrement.

    L’homme s’interroge par ailleurs sur cette enveloppe financière tombée de nulle part : fait-elle partie des fonds alloués par l’UE au Liban de façon régulière depuis 2011 ? S’agit-il d’une somme allouée de façon exceptionnelle ?

    Il souligne les « contours très flous » de cet accord, conclu avec le premier ministre libanais alors que celui-ci n’a pas l’habilitation de signer des accords internationaux, pour lequel aucun texte n’a encore visiblement été rédigé. « Aucun texte n’a été présenté au parlement libanais ou au parlement européen. C’est avant tout un grand effet d’annonce », estime celui qui est aussi président du centre libanais des droits humains à Beyrouth.

    Un coup de com’ « très problématique sur le plan des #droits_humains » : il pourrait provoquer une « pression supplémentaire sur les réfugiés syriens » présents au Liban, et participe au narratif faisant des Syriens les responsables de tous les maux que peut connaître le pays. « Il y a pourtant une classe politique corrompue qui a volé l’argent des Libanais, mais au lieu de poursuivre en justice les responsables de tout ça, on met tout sur le dos des réfugiés syriens », déplore Wadih Al-Asmar.

    Dans l’esprit du pacte migratoire européen

    L’effet d’annonce derrière ce nouvel accord vise aussi à conforter Chypre dans ses prises de position plus ou moins explicites contre les réfugiés syriens qui tentent de rejoindre l’île par la mer.

    Depuis quelques mois, Chypre « viole le droit européen » en refusant le débarquement de ces réfugiés. « Ursula von der Leyen donne donc une couverture politique au président chypriote en concluant cet accord », estime Wadih Al-Asmar.

    L’eurodéputé Damien Carême abonde : « On a l’impression que c’est pour calmer Chypre, qui ne veut plus accueillir de réfugiés syriens et va jusqu’à les refouler. On note d’ailleurs le mutisme de la Commission européenne sur ces agissements. »

    Ce nouvel accord s’inscrit, relève l’eurodéputé, dans la droite ligne du pacte migratoire européen, adopté le 10 avril dernier par le Parlement européen. « Il s’agit d’externaliser la gestion des frontières et de renvoyer le plus de personnes possible », explicite l’écologiste, qui a très vite marqué son désaccord avec ce pacte.

    Après la Mauritanie, la Tunisie, l’Égypte ou encore la Libye, « l’UE s’enferme dans des solutions qui ont déjà montré toute leur inefficacité ». Signer des accords avec des pays tiers dits « sûrs » est désormais devenu une « obsession », tacle l’eurodéputé, qui prend soin de relativiser la notion de pays « sûr ».

    « On ne sait pas bien ce qu’il y a derrière cette notion, puisque la Tunisie est par exemple considérée comme un pays sûr, et la Libye aussi, malgré tout ce qu’il s’y passe. » Impossible de ne pas relever les incohérences s’agissant du cas précis de la Syrie, où la commission européenne encourage le retour volontaire des réfugiés syriens, tout en considérant que le pays n’est pas « sûr ». « C’est dramatique et très inquiétant », alerte celui qui pointe là un « cynisme maximal ».

    Massivement présents sur le territoire libanais (un million et demi de réfugiés, soit près de 30 % de la population), mais victimes de discours populistes allant jusqu’à la théorie raciste du « grand remplacement », rejetés par Chypre et soumise à des marchandages financiers orchestrés par l’UE, prête à débourser un milliard d’euros pour ne pas les voir débarquer sur son sol… voilà le « marché de dupes » auxquels sont soumis les réfugiés syriens, dénonce Wadih Al-Asmar, qui résume la visite d’Ursula von der Leyen à un « échec ».

    Cette dernière veut « transformer le Liban en poste frontière avancé de l’UE », comme d’autres pays par le passé. Mais selon lui, le nombre de traversées par la mer vers Chypre ne baissera pas, et le business des passeurs, que l’accord UE-Liban est censé mettre à mal, continuera de fleurir de son côté, avec l’assentiment de la population libanaise, « contente de voir qu’ils font partir les réfugiés syriens ».

    Au final, conclut-il, « l’UE ne fait pas baisser la pression sur les réfugiés syriens, n’apporte pas de garanties réelles pour améliorer leur condition au Liban, et offre une image dégradée de l’Europe qui ne cherche qu’à contenir les migrations dans un pays tiers ».

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/030524/avec-le-liban-l-ue-compte-de-nouveau-sur-un-pays-tiers-pour-controler-les-

    #externalisation #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #aide_financières #réfugiés_syriens #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #retour_digne #pays-tiers_sûrs

    ping @_kg_

    • EU unveils €1-billion aid package for Lebanon in bid to curb refugee flows

      The European Union will provide €1 billion in financial aid to Lebanon over three years to prop up the country’s economy and help prevent a surge in refugees leaving for Europe.

      European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the move on Thursday morning following a meeting with Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.

      The financial envelope, made up entirely of grants and to be dispersed by 2027, will help Lebanon strengthen basic services such as education, social protection and health, and spur economic reforms in the crisis-stricken country, von der Leyen said.

      But some three quarters of the cash - a total of €736 million - will be specifically dedicated to helping Lebanon grapple with the challenges it faces in welcoming Syrian refugees.

      “We understand the challenges that Lebanon faces with hosting Syrian refugees and other displaced persons. It is vital to ensure the well-being of host communities and Syrian refugees,” von der Leyen said.

      The Commission chief also vowed to “look at how to make the EU’s assistance more effective,” including facilitating a “more structured approach to voluntary returns” of displaced Syrians in cooperation with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

      It comes after EU leaders backed deeper engagement with Beirut last month to help safeguard it from the repercussions of the conflict in the Middle East, and after Cyprus raised the alarm over a sharp peak in the number of Syrian refugees arriving from Lebanon.

      It also follows a string of agreements signed over the last year between Brussels and African countries in a bid to stem migration into Europe.

      A deepening economic crisis and fragile government make Lebanon particularly vulnerable to the instability gripping the region in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war.

      The country is home to some 210,000 Palestinian and 1.5 million Syrian refugees, prompting fears regional instability could unleash a wave of migrants towards Europe via the island of Cyprus.
      Cash to stem refugee flows

      In early April, Cyprus announced it would temporarily halt the processing of asylum applications due to a surge in arrivals of Syrian refugees transiting through Lebanon and attempting to reach the island, which lies just 260 km off the Lebanese coast in the Mediterranean Sea.

      Over 1,000 people arrived in Cyprus by boats from Lebanon during the first two weeks of April, leaving refugee and reception centres on the island overloaded.

      “The problems seen on the Cypriot border is only one example of what could happen if this problem is not addressed,” Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati acknowledged on Thursday, thanking Cyprus’ President Christodoulides for brokering the agreement.

      Hailing the announcement as “historic”, Christodoulides said that the financial envelope would address a situation that is “not sustainable” for either Lebanon, Cyprus or the European Union.

      “While we commend the Lebanese government for hosting a large number of Syrian refugees for more than 12 years, we are also fully cognisant of the enormous pressure that this creates to your economy and to your society,” Christodoulides said.

      He backed von der Leyen’s proposal of intensifying work with partners such as UNHCR on voluntary returns, where refugees who want to return to their home countries - even if the UN agency considers it unsafe for them - are supported to do so.

      Christodoulides also went further by calling for the status of some regions of Syria to be “re-examined” as safe areas to facilitate the return of migrants and refugees, a proposal he tabled at last month’s summit meeting of EU leaders.

      Syria, which has been under the authoritarian regime of Bashar al-Assad for more than two decades, has been designated an unsafe country since the civil war erupted in 2011. But refugee host countries such as Turkey and Lebanon have been pushing for the mass return of Syrian refugees to the country.

      A European Commission spokesperson confirmed that the EU has followed the lead of the UNHCR in their approach to safe zones in Syria, and that Brussels is “embarking now on discussions to see how to approach this issue in the upcoming period.”

      Von der Leyen also floated a working arrangement between Lebanon and the EU’s border agency, Frontex, “particularly on information exchange and situational awareness.” The agency currently has such arrangements in place with 19 partner countries.
      Security of Lebanon ’at stake’

      Both Christodoulides and von der Leyen also acknowledged the threat posed by the war between Israel and Hamas to Lebanon’s security.

      The Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah is present in the country and has continuously exchanged fire across Lebanon’s southern border with Israel since the outbreak of the war last October.

      Hezbollah also took part in Tehran’s unprecedented aerial attack on Israel last month.

      “We are deeply concerned about the volatile situation in South Lebanon. What is at stake is the security of both Lebanon and Israel. The two cannot be disassociated,” von der Leyen said.

      Von der Leyen asked for a UN resolution calling on Israel to withdraw its troops from the Blue Line, the border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel, to be respected.

      https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2024/05/02/eu-unveils-1-billion-aid-package-for-lebanon-in-bid-to-curb-refugee-flows

    • #Abou_Nader: Lebanese people reject European aid as a bribe to contain refugees

      #Fouad_Abou_Nader announced that Lebanese people have significant doubts regarding the EU’s financial package for Lebanon, estimated at a value of one billion euros over four years.

      He said: “If it is a veiled bribe intended to task the government with containing Syrian refugees and keeping them in Lebanon, then this assistance is to be returned to the givers with thanks.”

      He added: “The assistance that Lebanon was expecting from Europe is the regular repatriation of refugees to their country by giving them direct incentives in Syria. They can start by repatriating about 200,000 refugees who freely move between Lebanon and their country and have participated in the recent elections, which means there are no problems between them and the regime.”

      He asked: “Lebanese people were promised the transfer of Syrian prisoners to their country to complete their sentences there, so where is this promise now?”

      https://www.lbcgroup.tv/news/lebanon-news/770041/abou-nader-lebanese-people-reject-european-aid-as-a-bribe-to-contain-r/en

      #refus

  • Politiques migratoires : « Des dispositifs mortels, dont l’effet est de tuer pour dissuader »

    Les textes composant le Pacte migratoire européen devraient être votés à Bruxelles d’ici mercredi 10 avril. Ils pourraient réduire considérablement les droits des personnes en exil qui tenteraient de rejoindre l’Union européenne.

    Renforcer les contrôles aux frontières, procéder au tri des exilé·es aux portes de l’Union européenne, traiter les procédures d’asile en accéléré, expulser plus rapidement les « indésirables » ou encourager les logiques d’externalisation…

    Les textes qui composent le pacte migratoire européen sont actuellement débattus au Parlement européen et doivent être votés mercredi 10 avril. Censé répondre à la crise de l’accueil qu’a connue l’Europe en 2015, il est largement rejeté par la gauche et les ONG, mais a toutes les chances d’être adopté après plus de deux ans de tractations.

    Pourquoi a-t-il été aussi difficile d’aboutir sur un tel pacte ? Que va-t-il changer pour les personnes exilées ? Comment en contrer les potentiels effets négatifs ?

    Nos invitées pour en débattre :

    - #Rima_Hassan, candidate LFI aux élections européennes, juriste et fondatrice de l’Observatoire des camps de réfugiés ;
    - #Sophie-Anne_Bisiaux, membre du réseau Migreurop, spécialiste des questions liées à l’externalisation, notamment en Afrique du Nord ;
    - #Sophie_Djigo, philosophe, fondatrice du collectif Migraction59 dans le nord de la France, autrice de Penser avec la frontière (Éditions d’une rive à l’autre).

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/090424/politiques-migratoires-des-dispositifs-mortels-dont-l-effet-est-de-tuer-po
    #pacte_européen_sur_la_migration_et_l’asile #pacte #Europe #pacte_migratoire #asile #migrations #réfugiés
    #pression_migratoire #management_migratoire #triple_win #répression #administration_des_flux #exclusion #récupération #humanité #fermeté #enfermement #tri #militarisation_des_frontières #racisme #règlement_filtrage #filtrage #frontières #frontières_extérieures #détention #enfermement #fichage #empreintes_digitales #procédure_d'asile #procédure_à_la_frontière #procédure_accélérée #pays_sûrs #fiction_juridique_de_non-entrée #non-entrée #fiction_juridique #encampement #encampement_généralisé #répartition #répartition_de_solidarité #paternalisme_colonial #externalisation #externalisation_des_frontières #refoulements #push-backs
    #vidéo

  • The pact kills : l’istituzionalizzazione della fine del diritto d’asilo nell’UE

    Un documento dell’Associazione #Open_Your_Borders di Padova sul nuovo patto europeo sulla migrazione e l’asilo.

    Il 10 aprile il Parlamento europeo ha approvato il Nuovo Patto sulla Migrazione e l’Asilo, frutto di un lungo negoziato cominciato nel 2020 tra Parlamento, Consiglio e Commissione.

    Prima di entrare in vigore, dovrà essere votato anche dal Consiglio dell’UE, l’organo in cui risiedono i rappresentanti dei governi dei 27 stati membri, la cui votazione è attesa entro la fine di aprile.

    In sintesi, questo Nuovo Patto prevede una serie di riforme del sistema di gestione dei flussi migratori e della richiesta di protezione internazionale nel territorio dell’Unione Europea e, in particolare, raccoglie al suo interno dieci proposte di legge che vanno brutalmente a rafforzare l’approccio securitario della ormai consolidata “fortezza Europa”, costituita dalle 27 nazioni, sulle 43 + 7 dell’Europa geografica.

    È evidente che i tempi e i contenuti di questa mossa hanno chiare motivazioni elettoralistiche in vista delle elezioni Europee, con il riposizionamento dei vari partiti nazionali in funzione sia della propria affermazione locale che della futura riaggregazione in probabili inedite coalizioni. Infatti “il Patto” è stato approvato trasversalmente con 301 voti favorevoli, 269 contrari e 51 astensioni.

    La coalizione di centrodestra governativa guidata da Giorgia Meloni è risultata non omogenea, con lo spostamento di Fratelli d’Italia (attualmente all’opposizione in Europa) a favore e con la Lega che ha confermato il proprio voto contrario, probabilmente perché considera la linea adottata troppo moderata e poco sovranista.

    Con motivazioni opposte, si sono schierati contrari anche il PD (che è organico dell’attuale maggioranza in UE) e il Movimento 5 stelle.

    Si rincorrono i toni trionfalistici per la “decisione storica” presa, dipinta come “un enorme risultato per l’Europa”, “un solido quadro legislativo su come affrontare la migrazione e l’asilo nell’Unione europea” e per una fantomatica e propagandistica “vittoria italiana” sottolineata da Meloni, nonostante il tanto criticato Regolamento di Dublino (per cui è il paese di primo ingresso l’unico responsabile di esaminare le richieste di protezione internazionale e di gestire e trattenere al suo interno le persone migranti) sia stato di fatto rafforzato.

    Noi, in questa giornata buia per il diritto d’asilo europeo e per la libertà di movimento internazionale, vediamo solo un consolidamento di pratiche di violazione dei diritti umani, che sono già attuate e condivise da parecchio tempo, sia alle frontiere che nei territori degli Stati dell’Unione Europea, in vista di quello che si prospetta come un inasprimento e allargamento del conflitto mediorientale e di una sempre maggiore instabilità di tutta l’area del Sahel (testimoniato da 7 colpi di Stato in pochi anni e dalla guerra solo apparentemente interna in Sudan che continua nell’indifferenza generale) dove si stanno giocando gli interessi egemonici in Africa dei due blocchi politici ed economici contrapposti, con Stati Uniti e Francia su tutti da un lato, e paesi Brics (Russia, Cina, India, ecc.) dall’altro.

    Con l’Unione Europa dal peso politico inconsistente tra le due parti e i suoi Stati membri che si percepiscono (erroneamente) come meta di approdo per tutti i movimenti di fuga delle popolazioni, i confini esterni dell’Unione diventano in primis la rappresentazione materiale da blindare assolutamente a scopo preventivo.

    Di seguito, analizziamo nello specifico le nuove norme per noi più critiche e problematiche.
    1) Procedure accelerate e sommarie per la richiesta di protezione internazionale

    Il Nuovo Patto divide in maniera importante i percorsi di richiesta di protezione internazionale, con l’applicazione di una procedura accelerata e generalizzata basata soprattutto sulla provenienza geografica legata alla classificazione dei cosiddetti “Stati sicuri” e non sulla storia individuale delle persone.

    Il testo prevede che tali procedure accelerate – che dovrebbero durare al massimo 12 settimane – siano svoltedirettamente nelle zone di frontiera, con il trattenimento di migliaia di persone in centri di detenzione posizionati ai confini degli Stati dell’Unione Europea.

    Lo svolgimento dell’esame approssimativo delle richieste sulla base della nazionalità porterà quindi ad un aumento generalizzato delle espulsioni, limitando la possibilità di richiesta di asilo, in violazione del principio internazionale del non respingimento, ma anche, ad esempio, al diritto alle cure mediche e al ricongiungimento familiare.

    Il criterio basato sullo Stato di provenienza è già stato eccezionalmente usato per velocizzare l’ingresso e l’integrazione diffusa delle persone rifugiate ucraine – però limitato a donne, bambin* e anzian*. Tale applicazione, causata dal conflitto Russia-Ucraina, che evidentemente ci tocca da vicino sia per posizione geografica che etnica, ha però contestualmente escluso l’evacuazione di tutti gli altri “non bianchi” presenti in quel territorio per motivi di lavoro, di studio o in transito migratorio. Anche per questo motivo, utilizzare solamente il criterio di provenienza geografica di origine senza considerare le specificità delle persone nelle procedure accelerate è funzionale alla negazione dell’asilo, in quanto arbitraria e strumentale da parte degli Stati.
    2) Un nuovo regolamento di screening (ovvero l’esercizio della bio-politica)

    Le persone richiedenti asilo non possono scegliere se seguire una procedura tradizionale (che richiede molti mesi) o accelerata, ma vengono divisi e indirizzati in base al loro profilo, stilato attraverso un nuovo e uniforme regolamento di screening obbligatorio inserito nell’Eurodac, creando così una enorme banca dati comune: questa “procedura di frontiera” preliminare, da farsi entro 7 giorni dall’arrivo, comprende identificazione, raccolta dei dati biometrici, controlli sanitari e di sicurezza, controllo di eventuali trasferimenti e precedenti, il tutto a partire dai 6 anni di età. Questa procedura sarà adottata principalmente per le persone richiedenti asilo che per qualche motivo vengono considerati un “pericolo” per i paesi dell’Unione, per coloro che provengono dai paesi considerati “sicuri” e per chi proviene da paesi che, anche per altri motivi, hanno un tasso molto basso (sotto il 20 per cento) di domande d’asilo accolte.
    3) Introduzione del concetto di “finzione del non ingresso”

    Il patto introduce il concetto di “finzione giuridica di non ingresso”, secondo il quale le zone di frontiera sono considerate come non parte del territorio degli Stati membri. Questo interessa in particolare l’Italia, la Grecia e la Spagna per gli sbarchi della rotta mediterranea, mentre sono più articolati “i confini” per la rotta balcanica. Durante le 12 settimane di attesa per l’esito della richiesta di asilo, le persone sono considerate legalmente “non presenti nel territorio dell’UE”, nonostante esse fisicamente lo siano (in centri di detenzione ai confini), non avranno un patrocinio legale gratuito per la pratica amministrativa e tempi brevissimi per il ricorso in caso di un primo diniego (e in quel caso rischiano anche di essere espulse durante l’attesa della decisione che li riguarda). In assenza di accordi con i paesi di origine (come nella maggioranza dei casi), le espulsioni avverranno verso i paesi di partenza.

    Tale concetto creadelle pericolose “zone grigie” in cui le persone in movimento, trattenute per la procedura accelerata di frontiera, non potranno muoversi sul territorio né tantomeno accedere a un supporto esterno. Tutto questo in spregio del diritto internazionale e della tutela della persona che, sulla carta, l’UE si propone(va) di difendere.
    4) L’istituzione di un meccanismo di “solidarietà obbligatoria” e l’esternalizzazione dei confini

    All’interno di una narrazione in cui le persone in movimento sono un onere da cui gli Stati Europei cercano di sottrarsi, viene istituito un meccanismo di “accettazione obbligatoria” di ricollocamento e trasferimento delle persone migranti, ma solo in caso di non precisate impennate di arrivi. Gli Stati potranno però scegliere se “accettare” un certo numero di migranti o, in alternativa all’accoglienza, fornire supporto operativo al paese d’arrivo, inviando del personale o mezzi, oppure pagare una quota di 20mila euro per ogni richiedente che si rifiutano di accogliere, da versare in un fondo comune dell’Unione Europea.

    I soldi versati in questo fondo comune, oltre a poter essere redistribuiti tra i paesi di frontiera (come l’Italia), potranno essere utilizzati per sostenere e finanziare «azioni nei paesi terzi o in relazione ad essi che hanno un impatto diretto sui flussi migratori verso l’UE» ossia paesi, come Libia e Tunisia da cui le persone migranti partono per raggiungere l’Europa.

    Un meccanismo disumanizzante e che trasforma le persone e le garanzie dei diritti umani in merci barattabili con un compenso economico destinabile a rafforzare i confini ancora più esternamente.

    Un ulteriore sviluppo è dato dalla delocalizzazione della zona di frontiera, attraverso la creazione di hotspot al di fuori dei confini nazionali, come nel caso dei futuri centri italiani in Albania.

    L’adozione di questo Nuovo Patto – non ancora definitivo, si ricorda – dimostra come i valori di accoglienza e “integrazione” e il diritto alla libertà di movimento, previsto dall’art. 12 della Dichiarazione Universale dei Diritti Umani, vengano sgretolati di fronte ad una sempre più marcata diffidenza, chiusura e difesa della sovranità nazionale.

    Con la recrudescenza dei nazionalismi negli Stati Europei e la loro incapacità di agire con una lungimiranza alternativa e una visione decolonializzata nello scacchiere geopolitico, la tutela degli individui e della dignità umana viene “semplicemente” sostituita da inquietanti concetti privi di senso legati alla purezza della nazione e dell’etnia e alla difesa, in modalità securitaria e repressiva, della patria e della tradizione, che si traducono in istituzionalizzazione e normalizzazione dell’agire violento ai confini della UE e in una crescente esternalizzazione della frontiera attraverso il respingimento delle persone razzializzate nell’ultimo Paese di partenza, con l’intento dichiarato di voler scoraggiare la mobilità verso l’Europa.

    https://www.meltingpot.org/2024/04/the-pact-kills-listituzionalizzazione-della-fine-del-diritto-dasilo-nell
    #pacte #asile #migrations #réfugiés #droit_d'asile #procédure_accélérée #pays_sûrs #rétention #frontières #rétention_aux_frontières #screening #Eurodac #procédure_de_frontière #biométrie #fiction_juridique #zones_frontalières #solidarité_obligatoire #externalisation #relocalisation #fiction_légale #legal_fiction

    –-

    ajouté à la métaliste sur #Pacte_européen_sur_la_migration_et_l’asile :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/1019088

    ajouté à la métaliste autour de la Création de zones frontalières (au lieu de lignes de frontière) en vue de refoulements :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/795053

  • Ventimiglia: migranti in ostaggio tra confini militarizzati e nuovi cpr

    La Francia si blinda e Ventimiglia rischia di essere al centro di un nuovo scontro europeo sulla gestione dei flussi migratori.

    Sono ormai giorni che, in nome dell’ “emergenza migranti”, le autorità francesi mantengono un massiccio dispiegamento di mezzi antiterrorismo in frontiera, effettuando controlli sempre più stringenti anche in val Roya, nelle zone collinari a cavallo tra Italia e Francia, sulle principali linee ferroviarie e sui sentieri che connettono i due Paesi a sud-est.

    Una situazione sempre più complessa e gravosa per le persone migranti che cercano di lasciare l’Italia e, al momento, bloccate nella cittadina ligure.
    La partita europea sulla gestione dei flussi migratori continua a esser giocata sulla loro pelle e, in questo quadro, difficile prevedere le conseguenze dirette e indiretta della recente bocciatura dei respingimenti eseguiti dalla Francia sulle frontiere interne da parte della Corte di giustizia dell’Unione Europea.

    A complicare il quadro, l’inizio dei lavori per la realizzazione di un Centro di Identificazione per Migranti sul versante francese della frontiera di #Ponte_San_Ludovico e l’annuncio del Ministro Pientedosi circa la possibile realizzazione, proprio a Ventimiglia, di uno dei nuovi Centri di Permanenza per il Rimpatrio previsti dal #Decreto_Legge_Sud.

    https://www.osservatoriorepressione.info/processano-riace-vogliono-carceri-innocenti

    Interview audio avec Gregorio de #Progetto_20k:
    https://www.radiondadurto.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Gregorio-progetto-20k-xxmiglia.mp3


    #CPR #détention_administrative #Centro_di_permanenza_per_rimpatri #centre_d'identification #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #Alpes_Maritimes #Alpes

    voir aussi ce fil de discussion sur la militarisation de la frontière italo-française à #Vintimille (automne 2023):
    https://seenthis.net/messages/1018121

    • Je poste ici des citations tirées de ce texte d’un texte de Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, en mettant en avant les parties consacrées à la construction de nouveaux centres d’identification (et détention/rétention) dans les zones de frontière prévus dans les nouveaux décrets italiens :

      Oltre le sigle, la detenzione amministrativa si diffonde nelle procedure in frontiera e cancella il diritto di asilo ed i diritti di difesa

      Il governo Meloni con un ennesimo decreto sicurezza, ma se ne attende un’altro per colpire i minori stranieri non accompagnati,” al fine di rendere più veloci i rimpatri”, cerca di raddoppiare i CPR (https://www.openpolis.it/aumentano-i-fondi-per-la-detenzione-dei-migranti) e di creare di nuovi centri di detenzione amministrativa vicino ai luoghi di frontiera (https://pagellapolitica.it/articoli/meloni-errori-centri-rimpatri-blocco-navale), meglio in località isolate, per le procedure accelerate destinate ai richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi di origine “sicuri”. La legge 50 del 2023 (già definita impropriamente “#Decreto_Cutro”: https://www.a-dif.org/2023/05/06/il-decreto-cutro-in-gazzetta-ufficiale-con-la-firma-del-viminale) prevede che il richiedente asilo, qualora sia proveniente da un Paese di origine sicuro, e sia entrato irregolarmente, possa essere trattenuto per 30 giorni, durante la procedura accelerata di esame della domanda di asilo presentata alla frontiera, al solo scopo di accertare il diritto ad entrare nel territorio dello Stato.

      (...)

      Di fronte al fallimento delle politiche migratorie del governo Meloni, dopo l’annuncio, da parte dell’ennesimo Commissario all’emergenza, di un piano nazionale per la detenzione amministrativa (https://www.laverita.info/valenti-sbarchi-governo-2663754145.html), al fine di applicare “procedure accelerate in frontiera” in centri chiusi, dei richiedenti asilo, se provengono da paesi di origine definiti “sicuri”. si richiamano una serie di decreti ministeriali (https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2023/03/25/23A01952/sg) che hanno formato una apposita lista che non tiene conto della situazione attuale in gran parte dell’Africa, soprattutto nella fascia subsahariana, dopo lo scoppio della guerra civile in Sudan e il rovesciamento in Niger del governo sostenuto dai paesi occidentali. Non si hanno ancora notizie certe, invece, dei nuovi centri per i rimpatri (CPR) che si era annunciato sarebbero stati attivati in ogni regione italiana (https://altreconomia.it/ors-ekene-engel-badia-grande-le-regine-dellaffare-milionario-dei-cpr). Le resistenze delle amministrazioni locali, anche di destra, hanno evidentemente rallentato questo progetto dai costi enormi, per l’impianto e la gestione.

      I rimpatri con accompagnamento forzato nei primi sette mesi dell’anno sono stati soltanto 2.561 (+28,05%) rispetto ai 2.000 dello scorso anno. Nulla rispetto ad oltre 100.000 arrivi ed a oltre 70.000 richieste di asilo, conteggiati proprio il 15 agosto, quando il Viminale dà i suoi numeri, esibendo quando conviene le percentuali e lasciando nell’ombra i dati assoluti. Ed oggi i numeri sono ancora più elevati, si tratta non solo di numeri ma di persone, uomini, donne e bambini lasciati allo sbando dopo lo sbarco, che cercano soltanto di lasciare il nostro paese prima possibile. Per questo il primo CPR targato Piantedosi (https://roma.corriere.it/notizie/cronaca/23_settembre_20/nuovi-cpr-dalla-valle-d-aosta-alla-calabria-dove-saranno-e-chi-dovra-a) che si aprirà a breve potrebbe essere ubicato a Ventimiglia, vicino al confine tra Italia e Francia, mentre Svizzera ed Austria hanno già annunciato un inasprimento dei controlli di frontiera.

      La prima struttura detentiva entrata in attività lo scorso primo settembre (https://www.regione.sicilia.it/istituzioni/servizi-informativi/decreti-e-direttive/ampliamento-hotspot-pozzallo-l-attivazione-centro-incremento-accogli), per dare applicazione, ancora chiamata “sperimentazione”, alle procedure accelerate in frontiera previste dal Decreto “Cutro”, è ubicata nell’area industriale tra i comuni confinanti di Pozzallo e Modica. dove da anni esiste un centro Hotspot, nella zona portuale, che opera spesso in modalità di “centro chiuso”, nel quale già da tempo è stata periodicamente limitata la libertà personale degli “ospiti”. Si tratta di una nuova struttura da 84 posti nella quale vengono rinchiusi per un mese coloro che provengono da paesi di origine definiti “sicuri”, prima del diniego sulla richiesta di protezione che si dà come scontato e del successivo tentativo di rimpatrio con accompagnamento forzato, sempre che i paesi di origine accettino la riammissione dei loro cittadini giunti irregolarmente in Italia. Le informazioni provenienti da fonti ufficiali non dicono molto, ma la natura detentiva della struttura e i suoi costi sono facilmente reperibili on line.

      (...)

      L’ACNUR dopo una generale considerazione positiva delle procedure accelerate in frontiera (https://www.questionegiustizia.it/articolo/le-nuove-procedure-accelerate-lo-svilimento-del-diritto-di-asilo_), soprattuto nei casi in cui appare maggiormente probabile l’esito positivo della domanda di protezione, “Raccomanda, tuttavia, di incanalare in procedura di frontiera (con trattenimento) solo le domande di protezione internazionale che, in una fase iniziale di raccolta delle informazioni e registrazione, appaiano manifestamente infondate.
      In particolare, la domanda proposta dal richiedente proveniente da un Paese di origine sicuro non deve essere incanalata in tale iter quando lo stesso abbia invocato gravi motivi per ritenere che, nelle sue specifiche circostanze, il Paese non sia sicuro. Si sottolinea, a tal fine, la centralità di una fase iniziale di screening, volta a far emergere elementi utili alla categorizzazione delle domande (triaging) e alla conseguente individuazione della procedura più appropriata per ciascun caso”.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/1018938

      #décret_Cutro #decreto_Sud #rétention #détention_administrative #Italie #France #frontières #pays_d'origine_sure #pays_sûrs #frontière_sud-alpine #procédure_accélérée #procédures_accélérées #tri #catégorisation

    • Le nuove procedure accelerate : lo svilimento del diritto di asilo

      –-> un texte juridique qui date du 3 novembre 2019, mais qui explique différents éléments des procédures à la frontière

      Numerose sono le deroghe alle procedure ordinarie, sia amministrative sia giurisdizionali, applicabili alle domande di protezione internazionale nelle articolate ipotesi introdotte dal dl 113/2018. L’analisi delle nuove disposizioni rivela profili di incompatibilità sia con la cd. direttiva procedure sia con il diritto di asilo costituzionale

      Premessa

      Il dl 113/18 (cd. Decreto Salvini 1, convertito in l. 132/18) ha profondamente inciso nella configurazione del diritto di asilo in Italia, anche tramite la riforma delle procedure accelerate.

      L’istituto è poco conosciuto e la riforma del dl113/18 su questo aspetto decisamente sottovalutata dagli analisti. Eppure, si tratta di un complesso di norme congegnate in modo tale da svuotare di significato il diritto di asilo, mantenendone l’impalcatura ma di fatto rendendo estremamente difficile il suo reale esercizio.

      Il dl113/18 in gran parte utilizza i margini lasciati aperti dal legislatore europeo con la direttiva procedure (direttiva 2013/32/UE)[1], e in parte va oltre, introducendo norme in contrasto con il diritto europeo la cui legittimità dovrà essere valutata in un prossimo futuro dalla Corte di Giustizia UE e dalla Corte costituzionale[2]. Al contempo, per cogliere il significato pratico di questa parte di riforma, è necessario considerare anche la modifica di alcuni altri istituti, quale la detenzione a fini identificativi, anch’essa introdotta dal dl113/18 e la nuova configurazione della domanda reiterata.

      Secondo la direttiva procedure[3] e la normativa italiana, essere sottoposti ad una procedura accelerata significa subire una contrazione significativa del proprio diritto di difesa, e non solo. Come è noto, in caso di diniego a seguito di una procedura accelerata, il termine per l’impugnazione è (quasi sempre) dimezzato e il ricorso perde il suo effetto sospensivo automatico (in differente misura, come si dirà in seguito). Ma non basta. In caso di procedure accelerate, l’esame della domanda di asilo viene svolto in tempi molto rapidi (di norma sette o quattordici giorni prorogabili alle condizioni di cui all’art. 28-bis comma 3 del d.lgs. 25/2008) e in molte circostanze ciò accade al momento dell’arrivo in Italia, ossia nei luoghi di frontiera e in condizioni di trattenimento. Il richiedente asilo, in questa fase, si trova presumibilmente in una situazione di isolamento sociale, non avendo contatti con le organizzazioni e con gli operatori che svolgono attività di informazione e preparazione all’intervista presso la Commissione territoriale. Eccezion fatta per la possibile presenza in zona di frontiera dell’Unhcr, che su incarico del Ministero dell’Interno fornisce informative generali al momento dell’arrivo, che in nessun modo possono considerarsi realmente propedeutiche alla preparazione del richiedente asilo all’intervista in Commissione. Si tratta di una evoluzione del c.d. approccio hotspot, indebitamente introdotto di fatto e non di diritto dal Ministero dell’interno nell’autunno del 2015 su insistenza della Commissione UE, che ne richiese a gran voce il suo utilizzo con l’agenda UE sulle migrazioni del maggio 2015[4]. L’approccio hotspot viene introdotto come una tecnica di fatto per distinguere i richiedenti asilo dai c.d. presunti migranti economici, mantenendo una postazione di garanzia generale affidata alle Nazioni Unite e ad alcune Ong, su incarico e finanziamento ministeriale, che potessero formalmente garantire il diritto ad essere informati, alle forze di polizia di i cittadini stranieri, immediatamente dopo lo sbarco, quali richiedenti asilo o come migranti economici irregolari e sottoponibili a un respingimento differito o ad una espulsione[5]. Il dl113/18 completa il quadro. Introduce per la prima volta le procedure di frontiera, la nozione di paesi di origine sicuri e il trattenimento a fini identificativi in frontiera, amplia le ipotesi di manifesta infondatezza e riporta il tutto nell’ambito delle procedure accelerate.

      1. Il trattenimento a scopo identificativo del richiedente asilo

      In tale direzione, l’art.3 del dl 113/18 anzitutto introduce, per la prima volta in Italia, la figura del trattenimento a scopo identificativo del richiedente asilo (art. 6 comma 3-bis, d.lgs. 142/15), che potrà essere trattenuto in una struttura di cui all’art. 10 ter d.lgs 286/98 (i c.d. hotspot e la prima accoglienza, ossia i cd. hub) fino a 30 giorni e successivamente fino a 180 gg in un Cpr, ogniqualvolta si renda necessario verificarne o determinarne l’identità o la cittadinanza: dicitura pericolosamente ampia che di fatto potrebbe investire la totalità dei nuovi arrivi in Italia[6]. Il richiedente asilo, quindi, al suo arrivo in Italia può essere trattenuto in una struttura di frontiera o di primissima accoglienza per un tempo sufficiente per essere sentito dalla Commissione territoriale e per ricevere la notifica dell’eventuale diniego. Potrà in seguito essere poi trattenuto in un Cpr per un lasso di tempo di altri 5 mesi, che saranno di norma sufficienti ad arrivare ad un diniego con procedura accelerata con eventuale rigetto della richiesta di sospensiva contenuta nel ricorso. Il richiedente quindi resterebbe in una condizione di grande isolamento, dovrebbe preparare la Commissione in tempi strettissimi e senza un reale sostegno. Inoltre, lo stesso richiedente asilo si troverebbe a disposizione delle Forze di polizia in caso di diniego e per un eventuale rimpatrio forzato.

      In ogni caso, il dl113/18 chiarisce che tutti i richiedenti asilo trattenuti anche solo a fini identificativi saranno sottoposti a procedura accelerata (ai sensi dell’art. 28-bis comma 1 che richiama l’art. 28 comma 1 lett. c) e dunque saranno sentiti dalla Commissione entro 7 giorni dall’invio degli atti da parte della Questura (che provvede “immediatamente” dopo la domanda di asilo). I richiedenti asilo trattenuti riceveranno la risposta nei successivi due giorni e in caso di diniego avranno il diritto di restare in Italia per la presentazione del ricorso (entro 15 giorni) e – in caso di richiesta di sospensiva – fino a quando il Tribunale non avrà respinto tale richiesta (in via definitiva, ossia dopo le eventuali repliche del difensore ai sensi dell’art. 35-bis comma 4 d.lgs. 25/08). La decisione del giudice viene adottata inaudita altera parte, sulla base delle motivazioni trasfuse nel ricorso dal difensore, che ha avuto solo 15 giorni per apprestare la difesa con il suo assistito trattenuto (in un c.d. hotspot o in un Cpr) sin dal suo arrivo in Italia, con presumibile carenza di strumenti comunicativi e limitata cognizione degli elementi rilevanti ai fini del riconoscimento della protezione internazionale in Italia.

      Il trattenimento a scopo identificativo appare in chiaro contrasto con gli artt. 13 e 3 della Costituzione italiana, che delineano una disciplina rigorosa della privazione della libertà solo come extrema ratio e in condizioni di parità di trattamento tra cittadini stranieri e italiani. Tuttavia, la Consulta non ha ancora avuto modo di valutarne la legittimità, in quanto, non essendo ancora mai stati adottati decreti di trattenimento a fini identificativi, la questione di legittimità costituzionale non è stata sollevata. Tuttavia, stante le denunce pubbliche e i ricorsi alla Corte EDU[7], appare molto probabile che il Ministero degli Interni stia ancora ricorrendo al trattenimento di fatto sine titulo dei cittadini stranieri appena giunti in Italia, secondo l’ormai noto schema dell’approccio hotspot: la persona straniera viene trattenuta senza alcun provvedimento nell’hotspot per il tempo necessario a sottoporlo al c.d. foglio notizie e al foto-segnalamento. Con il foglio notizie, come ormai di dominio pubblico[8], il cittadino straniero viene guidato ad autodefinirsi o come richiedente o come migrante economico irregolare e in quest’ultimo caso sottoposto a respingimento differito previo eventuale trattenimento in Cpr.

      2. Le procedure di frontiera

      L’art. 9 del dl 113/18 introduce, anche in questo caso per la prima volta in Italia, la procedura di frontiera, aggiungendo due nuovi commi all’art. 28-bis del d.lgs 25/2008, la norma che si occupa delle procedure accelerate. Più esattamente, il comma 1-ter, secondo cui la procedura accelerata – già vista per i casi di domanda di asilo presentata da richiedenti asilo trattenuti – si applica anche al richiedente che “presenti la domanda di protezione internazionale direttamente alla frontiera o nelle zone di transito (…) dopo essere stato fermato per avere eluso o tentato di eludere i relativi controlli (…)” e “nei casi di cui all’art. 28, comma 1, lettera c-ter” (ossia nei casi di cittadino proveniente da paese di origine sicuro) . In tali casi la procedura, “può essere svolta direttamente alla frontiera o nelle zone di transito”. Mentre, il comma 1-quater specifica che “(…) le zone di frontiera o di transito sono individuate con decreto del Ministro dell’interno. Con il medesimo decreto possono essere istituite fino a cinque ulteriori sezioni delle Commissioni territoriali (…) per l’esame delle domande di cui al medesimo comma 1-ter.”. Quindi, ai sensi della nuova norma, chi presenta la domanda in frontiera o nelle zone di transito viene sottoposto a procedura accelerata (7 gg + 2 gg) ogni qualvolta sia stato fermato per aver eluso o tentato di eludere i controlli di frontiera oppure provenga da uno Stato dichiarato dall’Italia come paese di origine sicuro (come meglio si dirà nel prosieguo). In entrambi i casi, si tratta di una domanda presentata in frontiera o zone di transito.

      Il ricorso avverso il rigetto della Commissione anche in questo caso non ha effetto sospensivo automatico (art. 35-bis comma 3 lett. d), e può essere presentato entro 30 giorni (e non 15) dalla relativa notifica, stante la nuova formulazione dell’art. 35-bis comma 2.

      Diviene, anzitutto, fondamentale interpretare correttamente la nozione di elusione delle frontiere. Se la si intende come violazione delle norme di ingresso, la quasi totalità dei richiedenti asilo rientrerà nel suo ambito (essendo per lo più privi di passaporto o di visto di ingresso)[9] . Viceversa, si ritiene che debba interpretarsi secondo l’accezione principale del verbo eludere, ossia “Sfuggire, evitare con astuzia o destrezza”[10], limitando quindi l’applicazione della legge ai soli casi in cui il richiedente non si presenti spontaneamente ai controlli di frontiera (o perfino richiedendo il soccorso) ma venga bloccato quando è in atto un tentativo strutturato di superarli furtivamente.

      In secondo luogo, appare decisiva una corretta delimitazione della nozione di frontiera e zona di transito, per evitare una applicazione indebita della nuova forma di procedura accelerata. Per frontiera deve intendersi necessariamente il luogo di prossimità fisica con il confine territoriale con un territorio non europeo. Tipicamente Lampedusa, ma anche altre parti del sud Italia in caso di sbarco diretto dal mare al porto interessato (meno di frequente, ma sono registrati molti casi in Sicilia, Calabria, Puglia, etc.). Per zone di transito, anche più semplicemente, si devono intendere gli aeroporti e i porti internazionali, dove per convenzione esistono dei passaggi dal vettore aereo o marino al territorio italiano che rappresentano di fatto una frontiera virtuale, perché immettono la persona proveniente da paese extra Schengen in territorio italiano. Non possono essere considerate frontiere o zone di transito i confini con i paesi europei e tanto meno i luoghi non immediatamente prossimi, dove le persone soccorse o bloccate vengono condotte per ragioni logistiche. Dovrà, quindi, in gran parte ritenersi illegittimo il decreto ministeriale[11] emanato nelle scorse settimane ai sensi dell’art. 28-bis comma 1-quater che individua le zone di frontiera in numerose città del centro sud che non sono affatto interessate da arrivi diretti (se non eventualmente negli aeroporti) da zone extra Schengen, ma al contrario sono sedi di accoglienze o Cpr in cui vengono condotti i richiedenti asilo giunti in frontiere molto distanti[12]. Il decreto, a titolo esemplificativo, individua come zona di frontiera la città di Messina, che di certo non è interessata da arrivi diretti di cittadini non comunitari, ma al contrario è la sede di un cd. hotspot dove vengono condotti i cittadini stranieri giunti a Lampedusa[13]. L’intenzione del legislatore europeo di intendere in senso proprio le zone di frontiera come quelle che fisicamente confinano con una zona extra Schengen si evince tra l’altro dall’art. 43, par. 3, direttiva 2013/32 UE (Procedure di frontiera) che recita significativamente “Nel caso in cui gli arrivi in cui è coinvolto un gran numero di cittadini di paesi terzi o di apolidi che presentano domande di protezione internazionale alla frontiera o in una zona di transito, rendano all’atto pratico impossibile applicare ivi le disposizioni di cui al paragrafo 1, dette procedure si possono applicare anche nei luoghi e per il periodo in cui i cittadini di paesi terzi o gli apolidi in questione sono normalmente accolti nelle immediate vicinanze della frontiera o della zona di transito”. Il legislatore UE considera, pertanto, eccezionale l’ipotesi di utilizzo, ai fini delle procedure di frontiera, di un luogo diverso da quello dell’arrivo; anche in questo caso (eccezionale afflusso) prevede, comunque, che si tratti di un luogo collocato nelle immediate vicinanze, cosa che non può dirsi, a scopo esemplificativo, per il cd. hotspot di Messina rispetto alle persone che sbarcano a Lampedusa.

      La procedura di frontiera, dunque, consiste in una procedura accelerata che viene applicata da Commissioni ad hoc in zona di frontiera a chi vi è giunto direttamente da un paese extra Schengen con l’intenzione di sottrarsi dolosamente ai controlli di frontiera[14] (o proviene da un paese di origine sicuro). Questa appare l’interpretazione più consona dei commi 1-ter e 1-quater introdotti dal dl 113/2019, che tuttavia anche in questa lettura appaiono contrari alla direttiva 2013/32/UE. Quest’ultima, infatti, nel combinato disposto degli artt. 43 e 31, par. 8, delineano un sistema di procedure accelerate e procedure di frontiera con l’indicazione di una serie di ipotesi tassative non suscettibili di ampliamenti[15]. Il legislatore europeo è ben consapevole che tali procedure contraggono in modo radicale i diritti dei richiedenti asilo e ne evidenza in modo chiaro il carattere eccezionale, non derogabile. Viceversa, il legislatore italiano con il dl 113/18 sancisce che le procedure di frontiera siano applicate ai richiedenti fermati in frontiera che eludono o cercano di eludere i valichi, ossia in un caso non incluso nella lista tassativa delle ipotesi di procedure accelerate e di frontiera di cui all’art. 31, par. 8, direttiva 2013/32/UE. Sarà dunque possibile disapplicare la norma nazionale posto che quest’ultima disposizione della direttiva procedure è suscettibile di produrre effetti diretti. A tal fine è possibile, sebbene non sia necessario, sollevare una questione pregiudiziale all’interno di un procedimento art. 35-bis d.lgs 25/08 e attendere una sentenza interpretativa della Corte di Giustizia.

      3. I Paesi di origine sicuri

      Un’altra novità del dl 113/2018 (introdotta in sede di conversione), con enormi potenzialità, è rappresentata dall’art. 7-bis (trasfuso nell’art. 2-bis al d.lgs 25/08) che introduce per la prima volta il concetto di Paesi di origine sicuri.

      Il 4 ottobre 2019 il Ministro degli Affari Esteri e il Ministro della Giustizia hanno presentato in conferenza stampa il decreto contenente una lista di 13 paesi di origine sicuri.

      Attraverso l’introduzione dell’art. 2-bis al decreto 25/2008 (cd. Decreto procedure), la norma ha previsto infatti la possibilità per il Ministro degli affari esteri, di concerto con il Ministro della giustizia e con il Ministro dell’interno, di adottare con decreto interministeriale un elenco di paesi di origine sicuri in base ai criteri stabiliti nei commi successivi del medesimo articolo.

      L’introduzione di tale concetto ha potenzialità rivoluzionarie dell’attuale sistema di tutela, comportando un estremo svilimento dell’asilo che passa attraverso lo slittamento della protezione da un piano individuale a un piano collettivo e attuando, attraverso la previsione – come si vedrà, piuttosto confusa – di una procedura estremamente restrittiva delle garanzie del richiedente protezione, uno svuotamento di fatto della possibilità di accedere alla protezione.

      Per quanto riguarda criteri e modalità di valutazione, si prevede (art. 2-bis cc. 2, 3 e 4) che uno stato possa essere considerato paese di origine sicuro ove sia possibile dimostrare, in via generale e costante, che, sulla base del suo ordinamento, dell’applicazione della legge in un sistema democratico e della situazione politica generale, non sussistano atti di persecuzione, tortura, trattamenti inumani o degradanti, una situazione di violenza indiscriminata. Per effettuare tale valutazione si tiene conto della misura in cui è offerta protezione contro persecuzioni e maltrattamenti mediante le disposizioni legislative e la loro applicazione, il rispetto dei diritti e delle libertà stabiliti nei principali strumenti internazionali di tutela dei diritti umani, il rispetto del principio di non-refoulement, e un sistema di ricorsi effettivi contro le violazioni. Gli strumenti di cui si dota l’esecutivo per la valutazione di tali criteri sono le informazioni fornite dalla Commissione nazionale per il diritto di asilo, da Easo, Unhcr, Consiglio di Europa e da altre organizzazioni internazionali competenti.

      Il decreto recentemente presentato dai Ministri, tuttavia, si limita a riportare una lista di 13 paesi considerati sicuri, attraverso un riferimento a fonti (non pubbliche) del Ministero degli affari esteri e della Commissione nazionale utilizzate per l’individuazione di tali Stati. Alcuna informazione è contenuta nel Decreto relativamente ai criteri sopra elencati. Non viene inoltre utilizzata la possibilità, contenuta all’art. 2-bis, di escludere determinate parti del territorio o determinate categorie di persone dalla valutazione di sicurezza complessiva che viene fatta del paese.

      Gli stati contenuti in tale lista sono: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Erzegovina, Capo Verde, Ghana, Kosovo, Macedonia del Nord, Marocco, Montenegro, Senegal, Serbia, Tunisia e Ucraina.

      È utile rilevare che, trattandosi di una lista determinata da un atto amministrativo (ossia il decreto interministeriale), questa avrà un valore non vincolante per il giudice che in sede di valutazione del ricorso potrà disapplicare il decreto .

      Il paese di origine si considera sicuro per il richiedente che non abbia “invocato gravi motivi per ritenere che quel Paese non è sicuro per la situazione particolare in cui lo stesso richiedente si trova” (art. 2-bis). Questa previsione comporta una radicale modifica nel regime probatorio: la sicurezza del paese di origine per il richiedente asilo si presume, e questi è tenuto a invocare i motivi che rendono il paese insicuro per lui, o, secondo quanto stabilito all’articolo 9 c. 2-bis, addirittura, a dimostrare la sussistenza di tali motivi.

      Ciò che qui interessa sono però le conseguenze connesse alla provenienza di un richiedente asilo da un Paese di origine dichiarato sicuro dal sopracitato decreto interministeriale. Il nuovo articolo 28 d.lgs 25/08 lo inserisce fra le ipotesi di esame prioritario (con scarse conseguenze pratiche), ma soprattutto il nuovo art 28-ter, comma 1 lett. b), lo inserisce nell’elenco delle ipotesi in cui la domanda di asilo può essere considerata manifestamente infondata (concetto su cui si tornerà nel prosieguo). A sua volta, l’art. 28-bis d.lgs 25/08 lo annovera tra le ipotesi di procedura accelerata. Più esattamente, il comma 1-bis stabilisce che, in questi casi (richiedente proveniente da Paese di origine sicuro), “la questura provvede senza ritardo alla trasmissione della documentazione necessaria alla Commissione territoriale che adotta la decisione entro cinque giorni”. Dal tenore letterale, sembrerebbe affermarsi che in queste ipotesi la Commissione operi una valutazione sulla base di quanto dichiarato dal richiedente nella domanda di asilo (modello C3) senza procedere all’audizione.

      Tuttavia, questa interpretazione sarebbe da considerarsi illegittima per chiara contrarietà (tra l’altro) alla direttiva 2013/32/UE, che tassativamente consente di adottare una decisione senza un esame completo della domanda nei soli casi di inammissibilità di cui all’art 33 par. 2, che a sua volta annovera tra le possibilità tassative quella del richiedente proveniente da Paese terzo sicuro di cui all’art. 38, concetto del tutto differente da quello del Paese di origine sicuro di cui agli artt. 36 e 37. Il Paese terzo sicuro è, infatti, una nozione giuridica relativa ai paesi di transito del richiedente asilo e prodromica a un giudizio di ammissibilità che non è stato recepito nel nostro ordinamento. Il concetto di Paese di origine sicuro è, invece, attinente al paese di provenienza del richiedente ed è disciplinato dalla direttiva ai fini di una procedura accelerata, con ordinaria audizione del richiedente.

      Si tratta probabilmente di un errore grossolano del legislatore del dl 113/18, salvo si voglia attribuire un significato compatibile con il diritto UE: quello per cui il nuovo art. 28-bis, comma 1-bis sopra citato, attribuisce alla Commissione – all’interno della procedura accelerata – un termine di 5 giorni invece che di 2 giorni (come al comma 1 sempre dell’art. 28-bis) per adottare la decisione dopo aver effettuato l’audizione del richiedente, che andrebbe convocato presumibilmente nel termine di 7 giorni dalla trasmissione degli atti da parte della questura (come per le ipotesi già analizzata di cui al primo comma dell’art. 28-bis). In definitiva, la specifica procedura accelerata prevista dal comma 1-bis dell’art. 28-bis del dl 25/08 (come modificato dal dl 113/08) o è da considerarsi radicalmente illegittima per contrarietà alla direttiva procedure oppure deve interpretarsi nel senso di prevedere un termine di 7 giorni per la convocazione del richiedente asilo con una nazionalità tra quelle inserite nella lista dei Paesi di origine sicuri e un termine di 5 giorni (invece che 2) per la adozione della decisone da parte della Commissione.

      Inoltre, in caso di diniego della domanda presentata da richiedente che proviene da un Paese di origine sicuro, il termine per la proposizione del ricorso sarà di 15 giorni solo nella ipotesi in cui la domanda di protezione venga dichiarata manifestamente infondata ai sensi dell’art. 28-ter d.lgs 25/08 (che come si dirà più avanti prevede numerose ipotesi, tra cui anche quella del richiedente proveniente da Paese di origine sicuro). Questo poiché l’art. 35-bis, comma 2, nel dimezzare i termini ordinari, non richiama l’art. 28-bis comma 1-bis (quello specifico sui Paesi di origine sicuri) ma il comma 2, che disciplina le ipotesi in cui la Commissione può emanare un diniego con espressa dicitura di manifesta infondatezza ai sensi dell’art. 28 ter (combinato disposto con l’art. 32 comma 1 lett. b-bis), che tra le ipotesi prevede anche il caso di richiedente proveniente da Paese di origine sicuro (ma si tratta evidentemente di una possibilità e non di un automatismo, in quanto anche in questi la domanda potrebbe considerarsi infondata ma non anche manifestamente infondata)[16].

      In termini identici deve risolversi il dubbio interpretativo relativo all’efficacia sospensiva. L’art. 35-bis, comma 3, stabilisce che non è riconosciuta un’efficacia automaticamente sospensiva nei casi espressamente richiamati, tra cui non annovera direttamente quello del Paese di origine sicuro di cui all’art. 28-bis comma 1-bis. Tuttavia, tra le ipotesi contemplate si rinviene quella del diniego per manifesta infondatezza ai sensi del combinato disposto dell’art. 32, comma 1 lett b-bis), e dell’art. 28-ter. Come per il dimezzamento dei termini, dunque, il ricorso avverso il rigetto di una domanda di asilo presentata da un richiedente proveniente da un Paese di origine sicuro non avrà effetto automaticamente sospensivo nella misura in cui il provvedimento della Commissione espressamente rigetti la domanda per manifesta infondatezza.

      Per i casi di diniego di richiedenti provenienti da paesi di origine sicuri, inoltre, il legislatore del dl 113/18 ha contratto ulteriormente il diritto di difesa, stabilendo che il normale obbligo motivazionale in fatto e in diritto previsto in caso di diniego da parte della Commissione Territoriale, sia sostituito da una motivazione che dà “atto esclusivamente che il richiedente non ha dimostrato la sussistenza di gravi motivi per ritenere non sicuro il Paese designato di origine sicuro in relazione alla situazione particolare del richiedente stesso”. Sembrerebbe, quindi, vincolare o quanto meno consentire alla Commissione di rigettare una domanda di asilo con una stereotipata motivazione, priva degli ordinari elementi valutativi e giustificativi. Così intesa, appare evidente la contrarietà della norma agli ordinari parametri costituzionali in tema di motivazione e razionalità degli atti della pubblica amministrazione e agli obblighi motivazionali in fatto e in diritto a cui sono tenuti gli Stati membri in caso di rigetto della domanda di asilo ai sensi dell’art. 11, par. 2, della direttiva 2013/32/UE. D’altro canto, difficilmente della è immaginabile una lettura costituzionalmente orientata che modifichi l’obbligo motivazionale della Commissione in modo compatibile con la Costituzione e con la Direttiva procedure.

      Infine, come accennato nel precedente paragrafo, la provenienza da un paese di origine sicuro è rilevante anche in un’altra ipotesi, ossia quando il richiedente presenta la domanda di asilo in frontiera o in una zona di transito. Se la domanda di asilo è presentata in uno di questi due luoghi, da un richiedente che provenga da un paese di origine dichiarato sicuro, la Commissione territoriale potrà applicare una procedura accelerata e potrà (inoltre ma non necessariamente) svolgerla in frontiera. Si tratta del già esaminato comma 1 ter dell’art. 28-bis (procedure accelerate), che recita. “La procedura di cui al comma 1 [7 gg + 2 gg] si applica anche nel caso in cui il richiedente presenti la domanda di protezione internazionale direttamente alla frontiera o nelle zone di transito di cui al comma 1-quater (…) nei casi di cui all’articolo 28, comma 1, lettera c-ter). In tali casi la procedura può essere svolta direttamente alla frontiera o nelle zone di transito”. In queste ipotesi, il ricorso avverso l’eventuale diniego non avrà effetti sospensivi automatici (art. 35-bis comma 3 lett. d “La proposizione del ricorso sospende l’efficacia esecutiva del provvedimento impugnato, tranne che nelle ipotesi in cui il ricorso viene proposto: …avverso il provvedimento adottato nei confronti dei soggetti di cui all’articolo 28-bis, commi 1-ter …)”[17]. Il termine per l’impugnazione rimarrebbe quello ordinario di 30 giorni. Appare evidente come l’applicazione congiunta delle nuove norme relative alle procedure in frontiera e ai paesi di origine sicuri (tanto più se lasciata a una interpretazione estensiva, come sembra implicare il decreto sulle zone di frontiera o di transito) può condurre a una procedura accelerata svolta in zona di frontiera (in gran fretta e in condizioni di semi-isolamento) di tutti i cittadini che provengono da uno dei paesi dichiarati sicuri (si pensi a tutti i cittadini tunisini che approdano nelle acque siciliane). Con la conseguente massiccia e sistematica contrazione dei diritti di difesa.

      4. La manifesta infondatezza

      Un’altra norma introdotta dal dl 113/18 (art. 7-bis, comma 1 lett. f), in sede di conversione) che potrebbe avere nella pratica un effetto vastissimo è l’art. 28-ter D.lgs 25/08, che prevede una complessa serie di casi di manifesta infondatezza. Precedentemente l’unica ipotesi di manifesta infondatezza era prevista dall’art. 28-bis, tra le ipotesi in cui si poteva applicare una procedura accelerata e di conseguenza giungere ad un eventuale rigetto per manifesta infondatezza. Si trattava dell’ipotesi in cui il richiedente aveva sollevato “esclusivamente questioni che non hanno alcuna attinenza con i presupposti per il riconoscimento della protezione internazionale”. Era già avvertita come norma insidiosa, tanto è vero che la Commissione Nazionale nella circolare del 30.07.2015[18] aveva precisato come, per giungere a un rigetto per manifesta infondatezza, fosse necessario che la decisione collegiale della Commissione territoriale fosse stata adottata all’unanimità, che non riguardasse categorie vulnerabili (di cui all’art. 17 d.lgs 142/15) e che non fosse stata espletata una valutazione sull’attendibilità del richiedente, in quanto relativa a questioni non attinenti alla protezione internazionale dove non si pone neppure un problema di credibilità.

      Inoltre, la Corte di appello di Napoli,[19] nel sistema previgente la riforma 2018, aveva precisato che poteva giungersi a una decisione di manifesta infondatezza solo nella misura in cui fosse stata espletata (con il rispetto dei termini e delle garanzie) una procedura accelerata, mentre non era possibile nel caso di una decisone adottata a seguito di una procedura ordinaria. Ciò in ragione del fatto che l’art. 32 d.lgs 25/08, comma 1 lett.b-bis), nel disciplinare il caso in cui la Commissione poteva adottare una decisione per manifesta infondatezza, faceva espresso richiamo all’art. 28-bis, comma 2, ossia alla procedura accelerata in caso di possibile manifesta infondatezza. La sentenza della Corte di Appello di Napoli aveva posto fine a un dibattito complesso che aveva coinvolto molti attori. Tuttavia, la l. 132/2018, in sede di conversione, a fronte di un confronto serrato tra istituzioni e società civile, è intervenuta con l’art. 7, comma 1 lett. g), che modifica puntualmente il richiamo effettuato dal sopra menzionato art. 32 d.lgs 25/08. Infatti, quest’ultimo, nel prescrivere che il rigetto della Commissione territoriale può avere come contenuto anche una dichiarazione di manifesta infondatezza, non richiama più l’art. 28-bis, che disciplina le ipotesi di procedura accelerata, ma richiama il nuovo art. 28-ter, che introduce una gamma molto più articolata di ipotesi di manifesta infondatezza. Potrebbe dunque sostenersi che, a seguito della l. 132/2018, la Commissione territoriale possa adottare una decisione di manifesta infondatezza anche nel caso in cui abbia espletato una procedura ordinaria e non solo una procedura accelerata.

      Il nuovo art. 28-ter d.lgs 25/08 introduce, come accennato, nuove e rilevanti ipotesi di manifesta infondatezza che si aggiungono a quella appena sopra illustrata che viene confermata.

      La prima nuova ipotesi è quella del comma 1 lett. b), del richiedente che “(…) proviene da un Paese designato di origine sicuro”. Ipotesi già illustrata.

      Al comma 1 lett. c), viceversa si introduce il caso del richiedente che ha “(…) rilasciato dichiarazioni palesemente incoerenti e contraddittorie o palesemente false, che contraddicono informazioni verificate sul Paese di origine”. In questa ipotesi, sarà possibile da parte della Commissione effettuare una valutazione di credibilità, ma il giudizio sarà operato sulla base della evidenza, in quanto si richiede che l’incoerenza e la contraddittorietà del richiedente siano palesi.

      Alla lettera d), la manifesta infondatezza viene sancita per il caso del richiedente che “(…) ha indotto in errore le autorità presentando informazioni o documenti falsi o omettendo informazioni o documenti riguardanti la sua identità o cittadinanza che avrebbero potuto influenzare la decisione negativamente, ovvero ha dolosamente distrutto o fatto sparire un documento di identità o di viaggio che avrebbe permesso di accertarne l’identità o la cittadinanza”. Evidentemente, deve trattarsi di comportamenti posti in essere dal richiedente con la specifica intenzione di trarre in inganno la Commissione: non dovranno rilevare, dunque, i comportamenti finalizzati ad entrare nel territorio italiano (come tipicamente la distruzione del passaporto in zona di transito) o dichiarazioni non veritiere rese al momento della compilazione della domanda di asilo e determinati da mancanza di informazioni, possibili fraintendimenti linguistici o iniziali timori del richiedente appena giunto sul territorio.

      La successiva lett. e) introduce l’ipotesi potenzialmente più insidiosa, che potrebbe investire una gamma molto ampia di soggetti, prevedendo la manifesta infondatezza nel caso del richiedente che “(…) è entrato illegalmente nel territorio nazionale, o vi ha prolungato illegalmente il soggiorno, e senza giustificato motivo non ha presentato la domanda tempestivamente rispetto alle circostanze del suo ingresso”. Moltissimi cittadini stranieri vivono sul territorio italiano privi di un permesso di soggiorno e molto spesso non presentano tempestivamente la domanda di asilo per ragioni non sempre facilmente comprensibili: mancanza di informazioni, timori del tutto infondati, etc. Sarà dunque necessario interpretare la locuzione “senza giustificato motivo” in maniera da tener conto anche della complessità interculturale e della più generale diversità di approccio che possono determinare le scelte dei cittadini stranieri che presentano la domanda di asilo anche molto tempo dopo il loro arrivo in Italia. Ulteriore perplessità suscita l’utilizzo del termine tempestivamente il quale, non essendo riferito ad un arco temporale ben determinato, si presta a dar luogo a numerose e differenziate interpretazioni applicative.

      La lett. f) aggiunge alla lista delle ipotesi quella del richiedente che “(…) ha rifiutato di adempiere all’obbligo del rilievo dattiloscopico a norma del regolamento (UE) n. 603/2013 del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio, del 26 giugno 2013”. Infine, la lettera g) è relativa al richiedente “ (…) che si trova nelle condizioni di cui all’articolo 6, commi 2, lettere a), b) e c), e 3, del decreto legislativo 18 agosto 2015, n. 142”, ossia in condizioni di trattenimento, salvo che nel caso sia determinato dal mero rischio di fuga.

      Le nuove ipotesi di manifesta infondatezza che sono state introdotte con l’art. 28-ter trovano corrispondenza nella Direttiva procedure, che disciplina l’istituto nel combinato disposto dell’art. 32 e dell’art. 31, par. 8. Rimane la necessità di un’interpretazione rigorosa di alcuni requisiti, soprattutto relativi alla lett. e) per evitare un’applicazione distorta dell’istituto, che costituisce un’ipotesi derogatoria dell’ordinaria procedura e genera una contrazione importante dei diritti del richiedente asilo. Infatti, il richiedente che versa in una di queste condizioni potrà essere soggetto ad una procedura accelerata in forza del richiamo dell’art. 28-bis, comma 2 lett. a), d.lgs 25/08 (14 gg per la convocazione e 4 gg per la decisione) e qualora la Commissione confermi l’esistenza dei requisiti richiesti dalla norma sarà possibile un rigetto per manifesta infondatezza ai sensi dell’art. 32, comma 1 lett. b-bis). In tal caso, il ricorso avverso il diniego soggiace al termine per la sua proposizione di 15 giorni (ai sensi dell’art. 35-bis comma 2 d.lgs 25/08) e non avrà un effetto sospensivo automatico (ai sensi dell’art. 35-bis comma 3 lett. c d.lgs 25/08). La Direttiva procedure, tuttavia, stabilisce espressamente nell’art. 46, par. 6 lett. a) ultimo inciso, che non può escludersi l’effetto automaticamente sospensivo in caso di ricorso avverso un rigetto per manifesta infondatezza, qualora quest’ultima sia stata determinata dall’ingresso o dalla permanenza irregolare del richiedente sul territorio dello Stato membro avendo presentato la domanda di asilo in ritardo senza giustificato motivo[20].

      5. La domanda reiterata

      La riforma dell’istituto della domanda reiterata, operata dall’art. 9 del dl 113/18 che ha modificato gli artt. 7, 28, 29 e 29-bis del d.lgs 25/08, è probabilmente quella che assume un peso maggiore nell’effettivo esercizio del diritto di accedere alla procedura di asilo. Un intervento legislativo molto incisivo, strutturato e in gran parte contrario alla direttiva 2013/32/UE.

      In questa sede non sarà possibile una disamina completa, ma ci si limiterà a quei profili utili a completare il quadro dell’operazione portata a termine con la riforma delle procedure accelerate.

      L’art. 29, comma 1 lett. b), disciplina l’ipotesi preesistente di domanda reiterata, ossia quella del richiedente che, dopo aver ricevuto un rigetto definitivo della sua domanda di asilo, ha presentato una seconda domanda di asilo “identica” (…) , “senza addurre nuovi elementi in merito alle sue condizioni personali o alla situazione del suo Paese di origine”. Questa seconda domanda di asilo può essere (come già in precedenza previsto) sottoposta a un giudizio di ammissibilità da parte della Commissione. Ossia un giudizio condotto sulla base del modello C3 e degli altri eventuali documenti prodotti dal richiedente al momento della presentazione della domanda. L’individuazione dei casi da sottoporre al giudizio di ammissibilità è affidata al Presidente della Commissione territoriale (art. 28. comma 1-bis, d.lgs 25/08) mentre la sua valutazione è di competenza della Commissione territoriale in composizione collegiale (art. 29, comma 1, d.lgs 25/08). Il Presidente, dunque, procede a un “esame preliminare” (art. 29, comma 1-bis) senza alcuna audizione del richiedente e la Commissione adotta l’eventuale decisione di inammissibilità. Prima della riforma del dl 113/18, il Presidente aveva l’obbligo di avvisare (ai sensi dell’art. 29 comma 1-bis) il richiedente che si stava svolgendo un esame preliminare ad una dichiarazione di inammissibilità e quest’ultimo, entro 3 giorni, aveva il diritto di inviare una memoria per integrare o meglio illustrare i nuovi elementi posti alla base della sua seconda domanda di asilo. Questa garanzia del richiedente è stata abrogata, in linea con le facoltà concesse a ogni Stato membro dalla Direttiva 2013/32/UE all’art. 42 comma 2 lett. b). Ovviamente, se dall’esame preliminare e cartaceo della domanda di asilo dovesse risultare che “(…) sono emersi o sono stati addotti dal richiedente elementi o risultanze nuovi che aumentano in modo significativo la probabilità che al richiedente possa essere attribuita la qualifica di beneficiario di protezione internazionale” il richiedente sarà convocato per una nuova e ordinaria audizione (art. 40, par. 3, direttiva 2013/32/UE). È evidente che ciò che giuridicamente rileva è l’esistenza nella nuova domanda di asilo (in pratica nel modello C3) che siano stati addotti nuovi elementi e non anche che questi appaiano già fondati ad una prima lettura. Al contempo, devono considerarsi nuovi anche gli elementi che precedentemente non erano stati addotti per una qualsiasi ragione[21] dal richiedente asilo. Infine, tali elementi possono essere relativi alla storia personale del richiedente (ed essere anche intesi come elementi probatori) o alla condizione socio-politico del suo paese di origine.

      La procedura prevista per la dichiarazione di inammissibilità è accelerata ai sensi dell’art. 28-bis, comma 1-bis, d.lgs 25/08, secondo cui in questi casi “(…) la questura provvede senza ritardo alla trasmissione della documentazione necessaria alla Commissione territoriale che adotta la decisione entro cinque giorni”.

      La decisione di inammissibilità è impugnabile innanzi al Tribunale civile entro 30 giorni dalla notifica (l’art. 35-bis, comma 2, che stabilisce i casi di riduzione a 15 gg del termine di impugnazione, infatti, non richiama il comma 1-bis dell’art. 28-bis). Il ricorso avverso la decisione di inammissibilità non ne sospende automaticamente gli effetti, ma sarà necessario come negli altri casi già esaminati presentare apposita istanza cautelare. Tuttavia, il legislatore del dl 113/18 ha apportato un’importante modifica relativa al diritto del richiedente di attendere in Italia la decisione del Tribunale civile in merito alla propria richiesta di sospensiva. Infatti, il nuovo art. 35-bis, comma 5, d.lgs 25/08 stabilisce che, nel caso di questa ipotesi di inammissibilità, il richiedente ha diritto di permanere in Italia fino al deposito del ricorso (o allo spirare del termine), ma non anche di attendere che il giudice adotti una decisione sulla domanda cautelare di sospensione degli effetti che il richiedente ha avanzato con il ricorso medesimo. Questa previsione, tuttavia, è da considerarsi illegittima per contrarietà alla direttiva 2013/32/UE, art. 41, che espressamente indica i casi in cui è possibile derogare al diritto di rimanere sul territorio del Paese membro in attesa della decisione definitiva del Giudice sull’istanza di sospensiva. I casi previsti dall’art. 41 sono solo due: il primo è quello del richiedente che presenta una terza (o quarta, etc.) domanda di asilo (art. 41, lett. b) e il secondo è relativo al richiedente che ha presentato una seconda domanda di asilo “al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’esecuzione” di un provvedimento che ne comporterebbe “l’imminente” rimpatrio forzato. Sull’esatto significato di queste due ipotesi si ritornerà a breve, per il momento interessa evidenziare che la limitazione del diritto di rimanere in Italia dopo il deposito del ricorso avverso l’inammissibilità e in attesa della decisone del giudice sulla istanza di sospensiva, sancita dal nuovo art. 35-bis, comma 5, d.lgs 25/08, è illegittima, in quanto la Direttiva procedure nell’art. 41 permette una tale limitazione esclusivamente in altri casi, del tutto differenti, che, infatti (come vedremo a breve), hanno una indipendente disciplina anche nell’ordinamento giuridico italiano.

      Più precisamente, l’art. 46 della Direttiva (Diritto a un ricorso effettivo) al par. 5 detta la regola generale per cui il richiedente ha diritto di attendere sul territorio dello stato membro la decisione del giudice sul merito del ricorso presentato[22]. Il paragrafo 6 stabilisce le eccezioni, chiarendo che in alcuni casi, il diritto a rimanere sul territorio dello Stato membro è limitato e sussiste solo fino alla decisione del giudice sulla richiesta di sospensiva[23]. Tra queste eccezioni, è inclusa quella dell’art. 33 par. 2 lett. d): la domanda è una domanda reiterata, qualora non siano emersi o non siano stati presentati dal richiedente elementi o risultanze nuovi ai fini dell’esame volto ad accertare se al richiedente possa essere attribuita la qualifica di beneficiario di protezione internazionale ai sensi della direttiva 2011/95/UE. Il paragrafo 8 dell’art. 46 ribadisce il diritto in modo inequivocabile: “Gli Stati membri autorizzano il richiedente a rimanere nel territorio in attesa dell’esito della procedura volta a decidere se questi possa rimanere nel territorio, di cui ai paragrafi 6 e 7”.

      L’art. 35, comma 5, è in definitiva da considerarsi illegittimo e non sembra suscettibile di una lettura costituzionalmente orientata. Si prospetta dunque la disapplicazione da parte del giudice della norma in contrasto con le disposizioni sopra richiamate della direttiva procedure, idonee a produrre effetti diretti, eventualmente previo rinvio pregiudiziale alla Corte di Giustizia.

      5.1. La domanda reiterata in fase di esecuzione di un imminente allontanamento

      Esistono viceversa, come accennato, due ipotesi in cui la Direttiva prevede una eccezione al diritto sopra illustrato di attendere la decisone del giudice sulla richiesta di sospensiva. Queste eccezioni sono previste dall’art. 41 della Direttiva procedure[24]. Si tratta dei due casi sopra menzionati, ovverosia quella del richiedente che presenta una terza (o quarta, etc.) domanda di asilo (art. 41 lett. b) e quella del richiedente che ha presentato una seconda domanda di asilo “al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’esecuzione di un provvedimento che ne comporterebbe l’imminente allontanamento”. I tali casi, l’art. 41 par. 2 lett. c) espressamente attribuisce agli stati membri la facoltà di escludere il paragrafo 8 dell’art. 46 (appena soprariportato), che attribuisce il diritto a rimanere sul territorio dello stato membro fino alla decisione del giudice sulla richiesta di sospensiva. Il legislatore del dl 113/18 ha introdotto per queste due ipotesi una disciplina molto rigida. Il nuovo art. 29-bis (Domanda reiterata in fase di esecuzione di un provvedimento di allontanamento) recita: “Nel caso in cui lo straniero abbia presentato una prima domanda reiterata nella fase di esecuzione di un provvedimento che ne comporterebbe l’imminente allontanamento dal territorio nazionale, la domanda è considerata inammissibile in quanto presentata al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’esecuzione del provvedimento stesso. In tale caso non si procede all’esame della domanda ai sensi dell’articolo 29”. In maniera speculare, il nuovo art. 7 del d.lgs 25/08 (sempre modificato dal dl 113/18), rubricato Diritto di rimanere nel territorio dello Stato durante l’esame della domanda stabilisce che il richiedente è autorizzato a rimanere nel territorio italiano fino alla decisione della Commissione territoriale salvo che: lett. d) [abbia] presentato una prima domanda reiterata al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’esecuzione di una decisione che ne comporterebbe l’imminente allontanamento dal territorio nazionale.

      Bisogna quindi chiedersi, anzitutto, quale sia il significato della locuzione fase di esecuzione di un imminente allontanamento. Ma soprattutto, chi sia designato dalla norma a dichiarare inammissibile la domanda reiterata (ossia una seconda domanda di asilo) in fase di imminente esecuzione e con quale procedura, per valutare così la compatibilità o meno con la Direttive procedure. Si tratta di una operazione ermeneutica complessa, ma che si rende assolutamente necessaria, anche in ragione dell’enorme importanza pratica rivestita da questo istituto. Una importanza, che ancor meglio si può apprezzare dalla lettura della Circolare del Ministero dell’Interno (Commissione Nazionale) del 2 novembre 2019[25] che attribuisce alla Questura il compito di dichiarare inammissibile la domanda di asilo ai sensi dell’art. 29-bis e qualifica tale inammissibilità come automatica (non soggetta a prova contraria): “È stato, inoltre, previsto che nel caso in cui lo straniero presenti una prima domanda reiterata nella fase di esecuzione di un provvedimento che ne comporterebbe l’allontanamento imminente dal territorio nazionale, la stessa è considerata inammissibile in quanto presentata al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’esecuzione del provvedimento. Opera, dunque, in tale circostanza, iure et de iure, una presunzione di strumentalità correlata alla concomitanza di due condizioni riferite l’una alla preesistenza di una decisione definitiva sulla domanda precedente e l’altra alla circostanza che sia iniziata l’esecuzione del provvedimento espulsivo. La sussistenza di tali presupposti esclude, pertanto, l’esame della domanda. In tali casi, come concordato con il Dipartimento della Pubblica Sicurezza, la Questura competente comunicherà all’interessato l’inammissibilità della domanda sancita ex lege”. Sulla base di questa circolare, in molte questure italiane, è di fatto precluso l’esercizio del diritto di asilo a chi ha già presentato in passato una prima domanda di asilo. Infatti, molti di questi ultimi hanno già un decreto di espulsione (o di respingimento differito o di un ordine di allontanamento) nel momento i cui si presentano alle forze di polizia per la presentazione della seconda domanda di asilo. La Questura dunque provvede a dichiarare automaticamente la inammissibilità senza sottoporre il caso alla Commissione e senza neppure valutare l’esistenza o meno di nuovi elementi addotti. Dunque, la Questura procede all’esecuzione immediata dell’espulsione. Il cittadino straniero che ha provato a presentare una seconda domanda si ritrova così immediatamente in stato di trattenimento, teso al rimpatrio forzato per una decisione (vincolata) della Questura. Senonché, la direttiva 2013/32/UE stabilisce un principio opposto, secondo cui è sempre necessario che l’autorità accertante (in Italia la Commissione territoriale) proceda all’esame preliminare di una domanda reiterata (anche in fase di esecuzione di un imminente allontanamento), per valutare se sono stati sollevati nuovi elementi al fine di dichiararne la inammissibilità. Secondo la direttiva 2013/32/UE non c’è modo di attribuire in via automatica ad una domanda reiterata la qualifica di domanda inammissibile. La direttiva si limita a prevedere che in casi di imminente allontanamento dal Paese membro possa essere limitato il diritto del cittadino straniero a restare sul territorio dello stato durante la fase giudiziaria di impugnazione della dichiarazione di inammissibilità. La direttiva non ricollega alla imminenza dell’allontanamento alcuna conseguenza in termini di esame preliminare che l’autorità competente (in Italia, la Commissione) deve svolgere per accertarsi che esistano o meno elementi nuovi attinenti alla domanda di asilo.

      Più precisamente, la direttiva sopra richiamata afferma al considerando 36 che: “Qualora il richiedente esprima l’intenzione di presentare una domanda reiterata senza addurre prove o argomenti nuovi, sarebbe sproporzionato imporre agli Stati membri l’obbligo di esperire una nuova procedura di esame completa”. Ciò che si ammette che gli Stati membri possano escludere è l’esame completo (ossia la nuova audizione del richiedente asilo) e non quello preliminare, infatti, l’art. 33 recita: “2. Gli Stati membri possono giudicare una domanda di protezione internazionale inammissibile soltanto se: (...) d) la domanda è una domanda reiterata, qualora non siano emersi o non siano stati presentati dal richiedente elementi o risultanze nuovi ai fini dell’esame volto ad accertare se al richiedente possa essere attribuita la qualifica di beneficiario di protezione internazionale ai sensi della direttiva 2011/95/UE”. La domanda è inammissibile solo qualora non vi siano nuovi elementi, la cui emersione è possibile solo ad un esame preliminare. Prima di allora la domanda non può essere giudicata inammissibile. L’art. 40, inoltre, ribadisce che: “2. Per decidere dell’ammissibilità di una domanda di protezione internazionale ai sensi dell’articolo 33, paragrafo 2, lettera d), una domanda di protezione internazionale reiterata è anzitutto sottoposta a esame preliminare per accertare se siano emersi o siano stati addotti dal richiedente elementi o risultanze nuovi rilevanti per l’esame dell’eventuale qualifica di beneficiario di protezione internazionale a norma della direttiva 2011/95/UE […]. 5. Se una domanda reiterata non è sottoposta a ulteriore esame ai sensi del presente articolo, essa è considerata inammissibile ai sensi dell’articolo 33, paragrafo 2, lettera d)”. Solo se una domanda reiterata non è sottoposta a ulteriore esame perché, ad un esame preliminare, non siano emersi elementi nuovi, essa può essere giudicata inammissibile ai sensi dell’articolo 33, paragrafo 2, lettera d). L’art. 41 stabilisce, inoltre, che: “1. Gli Stati membri possono ammettere una deroga al diritto di rimanere nel territorio qualora una persona: a) abbia presentato una prima domanda reiterata, che non è ulteriormente esaminata ai sensi dell’articolo 40, paragrafo 5, al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’esecuzione di una decisione che ne comporterebbe l’imminente allontanamento dallo Stato membro in questione”. L’imminente allontanamento rileva dunque ai soli fini di attribuire agli Stati membri la facoltà di circoscrivere il diritto di rimanere in Italia del richiedente asilo che a seguito di un esame preliminare abbia ricevuto una dichiarazione di inammissibilità e decida di avvalersi del diritto di proporre ricorso o riesame avverso tale decisione. L’art. 42 espressamente prevede, altresì, che: “1. Gli Stati membri provvedono affinché i richiedenti la cui domanda è oggetto di un esame preliminare a norma dell’articolo 40 godano delle garanzie di cui all’articolo 12, paragrafo 1. 2. Gli Stati membri possono stabilire nel diritto nazionale norme che disciplinino l’esame preliminare di cui all’articolo 40. Queste disposizioni possono, in particolare: a) obbligare il richiedente a indicare i fatti e a produrre le prove che giustificano una nuova procedura; b) fare in modo che l’esame preliminare si basi unicamente su osservazioni scritte e non comporti alcun colloquio personale, a esclusione dei casi di cui all’articolo 40, paragrafo 6. Queste disposizioni non rendono impossibile l’accesso del richiedente a una nuova procedura, né impediscono di fatto o limitano seriamente tale accesso. 3. Gli Stati membri provvedono affinché il richiedente sia opportunamente informato dell’esito dell’esame preliminare e, ove sia deciso di non esaminare ulteriormente la domanda, dei motivi di tale decisione e delle possibilità di presentare ricorso o chiedere il riesame della decisione”. Lo Stato membro, ai sensi dei paragrafi 1 e 2, può quindi disciplinare ma non eliminare l’esame preliminare (prevedendo una dichiarazione di inammissibilità sancita ex lege). Precisando inoltre al paragrafo 3 che il richiedente deve essere informato dell’esito dell’esame preliminare al fine di apprestare le proprie difese.

      In definitiva, l’art. 29-bis, così come interpretato dal Ministero con la circolare sopra menzionata, sarebbe da considerare sicuramente contrario alla normativa europea e quindi destinato ad essere espunto dall’ordinamento giuridico italiano. Tuttavia, la norma può anche essere interpretata diversamente, in modo da attribuire alla Commissione il compito di analizzare la domanda di asilo anche in questo caso[26], tramite un esame preliminare (identico a quello già visto in relazione alla ordinaria domanda reiterata)[27]. L’art. 29-bis avrebbe dunque il solo effetto di non riconoscere il diritto a un ricorso effettivo. Ma in tal caso bisognerà chiedersi se la sopra illustrata deroga consentita dall’art. 41 all’art. 46 par. 8 (ossia al diritto di attendere una decisione del giudice sull’istanza di sospensiva) possa giustificare anche l’esclusione da tutte le garanzie dell’art. 46 e quindi, in definitiva, consentire il rimpatrio forzato del richiedente asilo immediatamente dopo la notifica della decisione di inammissibilità o se viceversa deve essere conservato il diritto di rimanere in Italia fino alla presentazione del ricorso (che sostanzialmente è la soluzione illegittima che il legislatore del dl 113/18 ha riservato alla domanda reiterata ordinaria).

      In ogni caso, per evitare un uso eccessivamente ampio di questo strumento (come sembra stia accadendo) devono correttamente interpretarsi i concetti di esecuzione/imminente/ allontanamento. Per imminente allontanamento deve intendersi esclusivamente la condizione di chi si trovi nelle ipotesi in cui il processo espulsivo è in stato avanzato, tanto che la Pubblica Amministrazione non solo sia certa di poter coattivamente costringere il cittadino straniero al rimpatrio forzato (quindi che abbia già disposto il suo trattenimento), ma che al contempo abbia già portato a compimento il complesso iter organizzativo necessario in questi casi: fissazione di un appuntamento con l’autorità consolare per il previo riconoscimento e acquisizione del lasciapassare, individuazione certa del vettore e dello specifico volo verso il paese di origine con relativo ordine di spesa ed emanazione dell’ordine di servizio per le forze dell’ordine deputate nel caso specifico ad effettuare l’accompagnamento all’interno del territorio italiano ed eventualmente durante la scorta internazionale. L’art. 29-bis quindi non troverebbe applicazione in presenza di un mero decreto di espulsione a carico del cittadino straniero, ma esclusivamente nei casi di presentazione della domanda reiterata in una fase di reale imminenza del rimpatrio, ossia solo quando questo sia effettivamente in corso, a fronte di una già avvenuta individuazione del volo, del personale coinvolto e della specifica tempistica effettiva di rimpatrio.

      Non può nascondersi, infatti, che molti cittadini stranieri non hanno di fatto la possibilità di esercitare appieno il diritto a richiedere la protezione internazionale, tanto più in presenza di un crescente utilizzo delle procedure accelerate e dell’approccio hotspot. Le prime, di fatto, mettono molti richiedenti nella condizione di affrontare l’audizione in Commissione e successivamente il ricorso avverso il diniego con pochissimi strumenti a causa della tempistica e delle condizioni di isolamento. Allo stesso tempo, l’approccio hotspot conduce moltissimi cittadini stranieri ad auto-dichiararsi al loro arrivo migranti economici, subendo così un decreto di respingimento differito o di espulsione che li conduce in stato di trattenimento e quindi ad affrontare ancora una volta la prima domanda di asilo (sempre che riescano nei Cpr a formalizzarla) in tempi strettissimi e con pochissimi strumenti. Ecco che dunque l’estrema rigidità con cui è stata disciplinata dal legislatore del dl 113/18 la domanda reiterata, oltre che per molti versi illegittima, appare pericolosamente nei fatti appartenere a una più ampia operazione di svuotamento del diritto di asilo.

      Relativamente alla domanda reiterata, infine, sarà necessario nel tempo interpretare correttamente anche l’ipotesi prevista dal nuovo art. 7 comma 2 lett. e) del d.lgs 25/08 come modificato dall’art. 9 del dl 113/08, secondo cui, il richiedente perde il diritto di attendere in Italia la decisione della Commissione territoriale nel caso in cui manifesti “la volontà di presentare un’altra domanda reiterata a seguito di una decisione definitiva che considera inammissibile una prima domanda reiterata ai sensi dell’articolo 29, comma 1, o dopo una decisione definitiva che respinge la prima domanda reiterata ai sensi dell’articolo 32, comma 1, lettere b) e b-bis)”. Si tratta del caso in cui il richiedente manifesti la volontà di presentare una terza (quarta, ecc.) domanda di asilo. In questo caso, conformemente alla Direttiva procedura (come sopra esposto) si disciplina diversamente la condizione del richiedente, che esprime la volontà, ancor prima di formalizzarla. Dal tenore delle norme della Direttiva, si evince chiaramente che in tal caso al richiedente non venga assicurato il diritto ad attendere che la Commissione si esprima, ma rimangono dubbi alcuni profili. In particolare, se deve comunque essergli riconosciuto il diritto di formalizzare la domanda di asilo prima del rimpatrio forzato (e quindi attendere nel proprio paese di asilo una eventuale decisone della Commissione) e se la convalida del suo trattenimento e dell’esecuzione del rimpatrio forzato debba considerarsi di competenza del Tribunale civile (come per tutti i casi di richiedenti asilo) o del giudice di pace (come per i casi dei cittadini stranieri non richiedenti asilo).

      6. Il cd. procedimento immediato di cui all’art. 32 comma 1-bis d.lgs 25/08

      L’art. 10 del dl 113/18 ha, infine, introdotto un nuovo istituto al comma 1.bis dell’art. 32 del d.lgs 25/08, secondo cui: “Quando il richiedente è sottoposto a procedimento penale per uno dei reati di cui agli articoli 12, comma 1, lettera c), e 16, comma 1, lettera d-bis), del decreto legislativo 19 novembre 2007, n. 251, e successive modificazioni, e ricorrono le condizioni di cui all’articolo 6, comma 2, lettere a), b) e c), del decreto legislativo 18 agosto 2015, n. 142, ovvero è stato condannato anche con sentenza non definitiva per uno dei predetti reati, il questore, salvo che la domanda sia già stata rigettata dalla Commissione territoriale competente, ne dà tempestiva comunicazione alla Commissione territoriale competente, che provvede nell’immediatezza all’audizione dell’interessato e adotta contestuale decisione, valutando l’accoglimento della domanda, la sospensione del procedimento o il rigetto della domanda. Salvo quanto previsto dal comma 3, in caso di rigetto della domanda, il richiedente ha in ogni caso l’obbligo di lasciare il territorio nazionale, anche in pendenza di ricorso avverso la decisione della Commissione. A tal fine si provvede ai sensi dell’articolo 13, commi 3, 4 e 5, del decreto legislativo 25 luglio 1998, n. 286”. In sostanza, nel caso in cui il richiedente asilo sia sottoposto a procedimento penale o sia stato condannato per taluni reati (tra cui alcuni di media gravità) viene sottoposto immediatamente all’audizione della Commissione territoriale, con una sorta di procedura accelerata. In caso di diniego[28] (anche in forza all’art. 35-bis comma 4 d.lgs 25/08) perde il diritto ad attendere in Italia non solo l’esito del ricorso ma anche quello della eventuale domanda cautelare di sospensione degli effetti del diniego stesso. Al pari di quanto sopra illustrato per il caso di inammissibilità della domanda reiterata “ordinaria” ex art. 29 comma 1 lett.b). Avrebbe dunque solo il diritto di rimanere in Italia per il tempo necessario a depositare il ricorso, ossia 30 giorni dalla notifica del diniego. Inoltre, nel caso in cui dovesse già trovarsi (al momento dell’apertura del procedimento penale) in sede di ricorso cesserebbero gli effetti della sospensione automatica, aprendo così la via al rimpatrio forzato immediato.

      Brevemente, si tratta di una disposizione che va evidentemente incontro all’esigenza mediatica, più volte espressa da alcune forze politiche, di procedere in tempi rapidi al rimpatrio forzato di richiedenti asilo che vengono accusati di aver commessi dei reati. Tuttavia, come si evince chiaramente anche dalle norme già analizzate della Direttiva procedure, si tratta di una disposizione del tutto illegittima in quanto totalmente estranea alle ipotesi (tassative) che la Direttiva stessa ha previsto in deroga alla ordinaria procedura di asilo. E’ una norma destinata ad essere espunta dall’ordinamento giuridico italiano, seppur è immaginabile che troverà applicazione fino a quando il complesso iter giurisdizionale non ne decreterà la illegittimità.

      Oltre alle ipotesi di procedura accelerata già analizzate e che sono state introdotte o riformate dal legislatore del dl 113/18, è opportuno ricordare che l’art. 28-bis d.lgs 25/08 ne prevede un’altra che non è stato oggetto di modifiche sostanziali. Questo articolo al comma 2 lett. c) stabilisce una procedura accelerata (14 gg per l’audizione e 4 per la decisione, prorogabili ai sensi del comma 3 dell’art. 28-bis) nei casi in cui il richiedente ha presentato “(…) la domanda dopo essere stato fermato in condizioni di soggiorno irregolare, al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’adozione o l’esecuzione di un provvedimento di espulsione o respingimento”. Ai sensi dell’art. 35-bis comma 2 d.lgs 25/08 il termine per proporre ricorso avverso il diniego della Commissione territoriale è ridotto a 15 giorni e non è previsto l’effetto sospensivo automatico del ricorso stesso (art. 35-bis comma 3). La previsione appare conforme alla Direttiva procedure.

      7. Considerazioni conclusive

      In conclusione, le norme introdotte in tema di procedure accelerate dal decreto 113/18 e dalla relativa legge di conversione destano fortissima preoccupazione per la potenziale capacità di svuotare, di fatto, il diritto di asilo, soprattutto se operate in concomitanza con talune prassi illegittime (come quelle connesse al c.d approccio hotpot) e in presenza di importanti carenze strutturali del sistema italiano (privo in frontiera e nei Cpr di reali servizi di supporto e di vigilanza). La riforma in parte sfrutta al massimo i margini lasciati aperti dalla direttiva procedure 2013/32/UE e in parte sconfina nella aperta illegittimità, anche se può leggersi in quest’ultima una forte propensione ad anticipare con grande zelo le nuove politiche legislative che da anni vengono promosse dalla Commissione Europea, che già a partire dal maggio del 2015 (con la prima agenda sulle immigrazioni) sostiene uno stravolgimento del Ceas (il sistema europeo comune di asilo), non da ultimo anche con le proposte di riforma dell’aprile 2016[29]. Una complessa riforma, bloccata nel 2019 dalla fine del mandato europeo, che immagina un sistema che conservi un’impeccabile impalcatura di principi generali in cui l’Unione Europea riesca a specchiare la propria superiorità giuridica e culturale, ma che allo stesso tempo si munisca di strumenti che possano ridurre drasticamente il numero delle persone che riescono a raggiungere l’Europa per avanzare la domanda di asilo (c.d. esternalizzazione) e riescano ad incanalare questi ultimi in una serie di procedure di eccezione (che di fatto sostituiscono la regola) con cui si riducono drasticamente di fatto le possibilità di ottenere una protezione internazionale, condannando per lo più i cittadini stranieri giunti sul territorio dell’UE ad una condizione di subalterna irregolarità. Un ritorno ad una concezione elitaria del diritto di asilo, dove a fronte di ampie dichiarazioni di principio si aprono canali reali di protezione internazionale solo per pochi altamente scolarizzati o con un ruolo politicamente strategico a cui chiedere un atto di abiura nei confronti del proprio paese di origine.

      [*] Qualifiche: Avv. Salvatore Fachile, socio Asgi Foro di Roma; Avv. Loredana Leo, socia Asgi Foro di Roma; dott.ssa Adelaide Massimi, socia Asgi - progetto “In Limine”.

      [1] Direttiva 2013/32/UE del Parlamento Europeo e del Consiglio del 26 giugno 2013 recante procedure comuni ai fini del riconoscimento e della revoca dello status di protezione internazionale (rifusione);

      [2] Per una più ampia disamina relativa ai profili di illegittimità costituzionale delle norme introdotte dal dl 113/2018, si veda l’analisi pubblicata da Asgi nell’ottobre del 2018: https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/ASGI_DL_113_15102018_manifestioni_illegittimita_costituzione.pdf.

      [3] Si veda la Direttiva 2013/32/UE, in particolare l’articolo 31 par. 8 (che individua le ipotesi in cui possono essere applicate procedure accelerate e/o in frontiera) e il par. 9 che stabilisce che “gli Stati membri stabiliscono termini per l’adozione di una decisione nella procedura di primo grado di cui al par. 8. I termini sono ragionevoli”. Si veda, inoltre, l’art. 46 parr. 6, 7 e 8 circa l’effetto sospensivo della presentazione del ricorso;

      [4] Agenda Europea sulla migrazione, Bruxelles, 13.5.2015 COM(2015) 240 final https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/IT/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0240&from=EN;

      [5] Per un’analisi più approfondita dell’approccio hotspot si veda: https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2018-Lampedusa_scenari-_di_frontiera_versione-corretta.pdf; e https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2018/04/detention-and

      [6] Non sembra che ad oggi sia mai stata utilizzata questa nuova forma di detenzione, che appare chiaramente in contrasto con l’art. 13 della Costituzione italiana. Nell’ambito del progetto In Limine, Asgi ha chiesto e ottenuto informazioni in tal senso dal Ministero dell’Interno e dalle Prefetture competenti, che, in base alla Circolare ministeriale del 27 dicembre, sono incaricate di individuare gli appositi locali adibiti al trattenimento dei richiedenti asilo. Ad oggi alcuna Prefettura ha infatti individuato gli “appositi locali” in cui eseguire il trattenimento. Si veda: https://inlimine.asgi.it/il-trattenimento-dei-richiedenti-asilo-negli-hotspot-tra-previsioni-le.

      [7] Si veda a tal proposito il lavoro svolto da Asgi, Cild, ActionAid e IndieWatch nell’ambito del progetto In Limine per quanto riguarda i ricorsi presentati alla Corte Edu: http://www.indiewatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Lampedusa_web.pdf; il lavoro di monitoraggio e denuncia delle pratiche di trattenimento arbitrario: https://inlimine.asgi.it/il-trattenimento-dei-richiedenti-asilo-negli-hotspot-tra-previsioni-le; https://inlimine.asgi.it/da-un-confinamento-allaltro-il-trattenimento-illegittimo-nellhotspot-d; e il lavoro svolto in relazione alla procedura di supervisione della sentenza Khlaifia in collaborazione con A Buon Diritto: https://inlimine.asgi.it/lattualita-del-caso-khlaifia; https://inlimine.asgi.it/hotspot-litalia-continua-a-violare-il-diritto-alla-liberta-personale-d; https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Khlaifia_-hotspot-Lampedusa_Progetto-In-limine_ITA-giugno-2018.pdf; https://hudoc.exec.coe.int/eng#{%22EXECIdentifier%22:[%22DH-DD(2019)906E%22]}.

      [8]A tal proposito si vedano i numerosi approfondimenti condotti circa l’utilizzo del foglio notizie e le problematiche legate alle modalità di compilazione dello stesso e le denunce presentate dalla società civile: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2018/04/detention-and; https://www.meltingpot.org/Determinazione-della-condizione-giuridica-in-hotspot.html; https://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/italy/asylum-procedure/access-procedure-and-registration/hotspots; http://www.garantenazionaleprivatiliberta.it/gnpl/resources/cms/documents/6f1e672a7da965c06482090d4dca4f9c.pdf; https://www.asgi.it/notizie/hotspot-violazioni-denuncia-associazioni-lampedusa-catania.

      [9] Questa lettura era stata già in passato sistematicamente sostenuta dalle Forze di polizia nell’ambito di una norma che richiama l’identica nozione allo scopo di determinare quali categorie di soggetti fossero obbligati ad essere accolti nei cd. CARA. Il Tribunale di Roma con l’ordinanza dd 13.04.2010 aveva già chiarito sul punto che: “le fattispecie per le quali è disposta l’ ‘ospitalità’ presso il centro Cara sono disciplinati per legge e non sono suscettibili di interpretazione estensiva perché di fatto incidono sul diritto alla libera circolazione del richiedente asilo (l’allontanamento dal centro senza giustificato motivo comporta, tra l’altro, che la Commissione territoriale possa decidere senza la previa audizione del richiedente, cfr. art 21 del d.lgs 25/08) e debbono poter essere esaminati e verificati dal giudice in sede di ricorso avverso il provvedimento amministrativo e di preliminare istanza di sospensione del provvedimento impugnato”. V. anche Trib. di Roma sent. n. 733 del 10.12.2012.

      [10] Dal Devoto-Oli, Dizionario della Lingua italiana, Le Monnier, 2011.

      [11] Decreto 5 agosto 2019, Individuazione delle zone di frontiera o di transito ai fini dell’attuazione della procedura accelerata di esame della richiesta di protezione internazionale, pubblicato in CU Serie Generale n. 210 del 07.09.2019.

      [12] A tal proposito si veda inoltre il commento di Asgi al dm del 5 agosto del 2019: https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2019_scheda_ASGI_decreto_zone_frontiera.pdf

      [13] Si veda, sul punto, la nota condivisa di Asgi, ActionAid, Arci, Borderline Sicilia, IndieWatch, MEDU, SeaWatch sulla situazione dei migranti sbarcati dalla Sea Watch 3 in condizione di detenzione arbitraria a Messina, Sa un confinamento all’altro. Il trattenimento illegittimo nell’hotspot di Messina dei migranti sbarcati dalla SeaWatch, 10.07.2019, https://inlimine.asgi.it/da-un-confinamento-allaltro-il-trattenimento-illegittimo-nellhotspot-d.

      [14] Si noti come il modello di procedura di frontiera disegnato dalla “Direttiva procedure” prevede un terzo elemento caratterizzante questa fattispecie, ossia la possibilità di detenere per un tempo massimo di 4 settimane il richiedente asilo in frontiera o zona di transito allo scopo di condurre la procedura di frontiera medesima. Tuttavia, il legislatore italiano ha preferito immaginare una forma di detenzione amministrativa simile ma differente, ossia quella sopra analizzata del trattenimento a scopo identificativo nei cd. hotspot e negli hub. Una procedura che nei fatti potrebbe molto somigliare alla detenzione in frontiera ma che giuridicamente si incardina su altre motivazioni, ossia sull’esigenza di identificazione, che probabilmente è apparsa al legislatore del dl 113/08 più vicina ai canoni costituzionali (rispetto a una detenzione basata esclusivamente sull’arrivo in frontiera).

      [15] Le ipotesi di procedura accelerata previste dall’art. 31 c. 8 della direttiva 2013/32 sono le seguenti:

      “a) nel presentare domanda ed esporre i fatti il richiedente ha sollevato soltanto questioni che non hanno alcuna pertinenza per esaminare se attribuirgli la qualifica di beneficiario di protezione internazionale a norma della direttiva 2011/95/UE; oppure
      il richiedente proviene da un paese di origine sicuro a norma della presente direttiva; o
      il richiedente ha indotto in errore le autorità presentando informazioni o documenti falsi od omettendo informazioni pertinenti o documenti relativi alla sua identità e/o alla sua cittadinanza che avrebbero potuto influenzare la decisione negativamente; o
      è probabile che, in mala fede, il richiedente abbia distrutto o comunque fatto sparire un documento d’identità o di viaggio che avrebbe permesso di accertarne l’identità o la cittadinanza; o
      il richiedente ha rilasciato dichiarazioni palesemente incoerenti e contraddittorie, palesemente false o evidentemente improbabili che contraddicono informazioni sufficientemente verificate sul paese di origine, rendendo così chiaramente non convincente la sua asserzione di avere diritto alla qualifica di beneficiario di protezione internazionale ai sensi della direttiva 2011/95/UE; o
      il richiedente ha presentato una domanda reiterata di protezione internazionale inammissibile ai sensi dell’art. 40, paragrafo 5; o
      il richiedente presenta la domanda al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’esecuzione di una decisione anteriore o imminente che ne comporterebbe l’allontanamento; o
      il richiedente è entrato illegalmente nel territorio dello Stato membro o vi ha prolungato illegalmente il soggiorno e, senza un valido motivo, non si è presentato alle autorità o non ha presentato la domanda di protezione internazionale quanto prima possibile rispetto alle circostanze del suo ingresso; oIT l. 180/78 Gazzetta ufficiale dell’Unione europea;
      il richiedente rifiuta di adempiere all’obbligo del rilievo dattiloscopico a norma del regolamento (UE) n. 603/2013 del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio, del 26 giugno 2013, che istituisce «Eurodac» per il confronto delle impronte digitali per l’efficace applicazione del regolamento (UE) n. 604/2013 che stabilisce i criteri e i meccanismi di determinazione dello Stato membro competente per l’esame di una domanda di protezione internazionale presentata in uno degli Stati membri da un cittadino di un paese terzo o da un apolide e sulle richieste di confronto con i dati Eurodac presentate dalle autorità di contrasto degli Stati membri e da Europol a fini di contrasto ( 1 ); o
      il richiedente può, per gravi ragioni, essere considerato un pericolo per la sicurezza nazionale o l’ordine pubblico dello Stato membro o il richiedente è stato espulso con efficacia esecutiva per gravi motivi di sicurezza o di ordine pubblico a norma del diritto nazionale.”

      [16] Inoltre, da una attenta lettura dell’art. 35-bis comma 2 (che stabilisce i casi di dimezzamento del termine di impugnazione) si potrebbe dedurre che i termini sono dimezzati solo nel caso in cui la manifesta infondatezza (anche eventualmente per provenienza da paese di origine sicuro) sia dichiarata a seguito di una procedura accelerata e non anche di una procedura ordinaria. Infatti l’art. 35-bis comma 2 richiama l’art. 28-bis, ossia quello delle procedure accelerate (e non invece l’art. 28-ter o l’art. 32 comma 1 b-bis, che disciplinano in generale la manifesta infondatezza derivante sia da procedura ordinaria che accelerata). Sarebbe dunque la natura accelerata della procedura (coniugata con la motivazione di manifesta infondatezza del diniego) a comportare la contrazione del termine per l’impugnazione. Sul punto si dovrà necessariamente ritornare in separata sede, per una lettura più analitica delle norme e degli spunti giurisprudenziali.

      [17] Una corretta lettura dovrebbe portare a ritenere che la mancanza di effetto sospensivo sia esclusivamente ricollegata all’adozione di una procedura accelerata. Nel caso in cui non venga adottata una tale procedura (con il correlativo rispetto della tempistica prevista) si dovrà ritenere che il ricorso avverso il diniego abbia effetto sospensivo automatico (salvo ovviamente che il diniego rechi la dicitura di manifesta infondatezza, che comporterebbe il ricadere in una diversa ipotesi in cui il ricorso viene privato del suo ordinario effetto sospensivo automatico). Il punto non può che essere affrontato con maggiore analiticità in una differente sede.

      [18] Ministero dell’Interno – Commissione nazionale per il diritto di asilo, Circolare prot. 00003718 del 30.07.2015 avente ad oggetto “Ottimizzazione delle procedure relative all’esame delle domande di protezione internazionale. Casi di manifesta infondatezza dell’istanza”.

      [19] Corte d’Appello di Napoli, sent. n. 2963 del 27.06.2017.

      [20] Direttiva procedure art. 46 par. 5. Fatto salvo il par. 6, gli Stati membri autorizzano i richiedenti a rimanere nel loro territorio fino alla scadenza del termine entro il quale possono esercitare il loro diritto a un ricorso effettivo oppure, se tale diritto è stato esercitato entro il termine previsto, in attesa dell’esito del ricorso. Par. 6. Qualora sia stata adottata una decisione: a) di ritenere una domanda manifestamente infondata conformemente all’art. 32, par. 2, o infondata dopo l’esame conformemente all’articolo 31, par. 8, a eccezione dei casi in cui tali decisioni si basano sulle circostanze di cui all’articolo 31, par. 8, lettera h).

      [21] Infatti, il legislatore non si è avvalso della clausola di cui al par. 4 art. 40 Direttiva procedure, secondo cui: “Gli Stati membri possono stabilire che la domanda sia sottoposta a ulteriore esame solo se il richiedente, senza alcuna colpa, non è riuscito a far valere, nel procedimento precedente, la situazione esposta nei parr. 2 e 3 del presente articolo, in particolare esercitando il suo diritto a un ricorso effettivo a norma dell’articolo 46.”

      [22] Par. 5 art. 46 direttiva 2013/32/UE: “Fatto salvo il paragrafo 6, gli Stati membri autorizzano i richiedenti a rimanere nel loro territorio fino alla scadenza del termine entro il quale possono esercitare il loro diritto a un ricorso effettivo oppure, se tale diritto è stato esercitato entro il termine previsto, in attesa dell’esito del ricorso”.

      [23] Par. 6 art. 46 direttiva 2013/32/UE: “Qualora sia stata adottata una decisione: (…) b) di ritenere inammissibile una domanda a norma dell’articolo 33, paragrafo 2, lettere a), b) o d); (…) un giudice è competente a decidere, su istanza del richiedente o d’ufficio, se autorizzare o meno la permanenza del richiedente nel territorio dello Stato membro, se tale decisione mira a far cessare il diritto del richiedente di rimanere nello Stato membro e, ove il diritto nazionale non preveda in simili casi il diritto di rimanere nello Stato membro in attesa dell’esito del ricorso”.

      [24] “Gli Stati membri possono ammettere una deroga al diritto di rimanere nel territorio qualora una persona: a) abbia presentato una prima domanda reiterata, che non è ulteriormente esaminata ai sensi dell’articolo 40, paragrafo 5, al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’esecuzione di una decisione che ne comporterebbe l’imminente allontanamento dallo Stato membro in questione; o b) manifesti la volontà di presentare un’altra domanda reiterata nello stesso Stato membro a seguito di una decisione definitiva che considera inammissibile una prima domanda reiterata ai sensi dell’articolo 40, paragrafo 5, o dopo una decisione definitiva che respinge tale domanda in quanto infondata”.

      [25] Ministero dell’Interno – Commissione Nazionale per il Diritto d’asilo, Circolare prot. n. 0000001 del 02.01.2019 avente ad oggetto Decreto-legge del 4 ottobre 2018, n. 113, recante ‘Disposizioni urgenti in materia di protezione internazionale e immigrazione, sicurezza pubblica, nonché misure per la funzionalità del Ministero dell’interno e l’organizzazione e il funzionamento dell’Agenzia nazionale per l’amministrazione e la destinazione dei beni sequestrati e confiscati alla criminalità organizzata’, convertito, con modificazioni, dalla legge 1 dicembre 2018, n. 132;

      [26] Più precisamente, anzitutto bisogna rilevare che la direttiva 2013/32/UE sin dai considerando (in particolare n. 16) prevede che: “È indispensabile che le decisioni in merito a tutte le domande di protezione internazionale siano adottate sulla base dei fatti e, in primo grado, da autorità il cui organico dispone di conoscenze adeguate o ha ricevuto la formazione necessaria in materia di protezione internazionale”. Tale autorità è quella che nel prosieguo della direttiva è definita “autorità accertante”. In Italia, tale ruolo è assolto dalle Commissioni territoriali nominate dal Ministero dell’interno. La direttiva ammette che in luogo dell’autorità accertante alcune specifiche funzioni in materia siano svolte da altra autorità, purché adeguatamente formata. L’art. 4 della Direttiva “Autorità responsabili”, infatti, prevede che: “1. Per tutti i procedimenti gli Stati membri designano un’autorità che sarà competente per l’esame adeguato delle domande a norma della presente direttiva. (…) 2. Gli Stati membri possono prevedere che sia competente un’autorità diversa da quella di cui al paragrafo 1 al fine di: a) trattare i casi a norma del regolamento (UE) n. 604/2013 [c.d. Regolamento Dublino, ndr]; e b) accordare o rifiutare il permesso di ingresso nell’ambito della procedura di cui all’articolo 43, secondo le condizioni di cui a detto articolo e in base al parere motivato dell’autorità accertante [c.d. Procedure di frontiera, ndr].”. Inoltre, ai sensi dell’art. 34 “Norme speciali in ordine al colloquio sull’ammissibilità”: “[…] 2. Gli Stati membri possono disporre che il personale di autorità diverse da quella accertante conduca il colloquio personale sull’ammissibilità della domanda di protezione internazionale. In tal caso gli Stati membri provvedono a che tale personale riceva preliminarmente la necessaria formazione (…)”.

      Le competenze che possono essere attribuite ad autorità diversa da quella accertante possono riguardare, quindi, l’applicazione del cd. Regolamento Dublino e le procedure di frontiera (entrambe estranee al caso in esame), nonché la possibilità di condurre anche nei procedimenti sulle domande reiterate il colloquio del richiedente, ma non anche di assumere la decisione sulla domanda. Si consideri tuttavia che il colloquio con il richiedente costituisce una misura differente rispetto all’esame preliminare teso a valutare l’esistenza di elementi nuovi: si tratta di un eventuale fase del procedimento di inammissibilità a garanzia del richiedente che tuttavia nel caso di domande reiterate può essere escluso dal legislatore di ciascun Paese membro. Così come infatti ha deciso di fare il legislatore italiano che ha semplicemente escluso la fase del colloquio del richiedente nei casi di domanda reiterata. Per cui in Italia non è previsto il colloquio, ossia l’unica fase nel procedimento di valutazione della prima domanda reiterata che poteva essere affidata ad una autorità diversa (ossia alla Questura). Infatti ai sensi dell’art. 34 paragrafo 1 “Prima che l’autorità accertante decida sull’ammissibilità di una domanda di protezione internazionale, gli Stati membri consentono al richiedente di esprimersi in ordine all’applicazione dei motivi di cui all’articolo 33 alla sua situazione particolare. A tal fine, gli Stati membri organizzano un colloquio personale sull’ammissibilità della domanda. Gli Stati membri possono derogare soltanto ai sensi dell’articolo 42, in caso di una domanda reiterata”. La Direttiva quindi rende obbligatorio l’esame preliminare (valutazione cartacea sulla base della domanda scritta del richiedente) ma facoltativo il colloquio (unica fase affidabile ad una autorità diversa). In attuazione della Direttiva, l’art. 29 del D.lgs. n. 25/2008 “casi di inammissibilità della domanda” esclude il colloquio in caso di domanda reiterata, prevedendo espressamente che il Presidente delle Commissione Territoriale conduca un esame preliminare sulla domanda. A sua volta, l’art. 29-bis del Dl.lgs. n.25/2008, recita: “Nel caso in cui lo straniero abbia presentato una prima domanda reiterata nella fase di esecuzione di un provvedimento che ne comporterebbe l’imminente allontanamento dal territorio nazionale, la domanda è considerata inammissibile in quanto presentata al solo scopo di ritardare o impedire l’esecuzione del provvedimento stesso. In tale caso non si procede all’esame della domanda ai sensi dell’articolo 29”, nulla aggiungendo in merito alla competenza a giudicare inammissibile la domanda reiterata. Dunque si potrebbe interpretare l’art. 29-bis in modo differente da quanto proposto dal Ministero con la circolare del 2.01.2019 e con il decreto di inammissibilità qui impugnato.

      [27] Il Tribunale di Roma ha avuto modo di esprimersi in differenti occasioni annullando il decreto di inammissibilità emanato dalla Questura per difetto di competenza, ribadendo che si tratta di una prerogativa della Commissione, cfr. Trib. di Roma, decreto dd. 03.04.2019. Si veda, sul punto, G. Savio, Accesso alla procedura di asilo e poteri “di fatto” delle Questure, in Questione Giustizia, www.questionegiustizia.it/articolo/accesso-alla-procedura-di-asilo-e-poteri-di-fatto-delle-questure_29-05-2019.php;

      [28] Si dovrà comunque valutare anche l’esistenza di una necessità di riconoscere ai sensi dell’art. 32 comma 3 una protezione speciale, ossia il ricorrere delle condizioni di non refoulement di cui all’art. 19 comma 1 e 1.1 del D.lgs 286/98.

      [29] Sul punto si veda: Asgi, I nuovi orientamenti politico-normativi dell’Unione Europea – La prospettiva di nuove e radicali chiusure al diritto di asilo, settembre 2017, https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017_9_Articolo_politiche-_UE_ok.pdf;

      https://www.questionegiustizia.it/articolo/le-nuove-procedure-accelerate-lo-svilimento-del-diritto-di-asilo_
      #procédures_de_frontière

    • Nuovi Cpr, Piantedosi: «Pensiamo a un centro per migranti a Ventimiglia»

      Al via il monitoraggio in 12 regioni per individuare le nuove strutture che saranno controllare (all’esterno) dalle forze dell’ordine. Si pensa ad ex caserme e aree industriali, comunque lontane dai centri abitati.

      Entro due mesi il ministero della Difesa dovrà avere la lista dei nuovi Centri di permanenza per i rimpatri decisi dal Consiglio del ministri lo scorso 18 settembre per fare fronte all’emergenza migranti, soprattutto di quelli irregolari. Un’operazione complessa, già iniziata da qualche settimana comunque dopo che il ministro dell’Interno #Matteo_Piantedosi ha espresso l’indicazione di aprire una struttura in ogni regione. Attualmente ci sono nove Cpr attivi, mentre quello di Torino è stato chiuso per i danneggiamenti causati da chi si trovava all’interno e deve essere ristrutturato. Ne mancano quindi 12 all’appello. Il ministro stesso nel pomeriggio ha annunciato in diretta tv (al programma «Cinque Minuti» su Rai 1), durante un’intervista. «Ventimiglia ha sempre sofferto, soffre dei transiti di migranti. Noi stiamo collaborando con la Francia per il controllo di quella frontiera ed è uno di qui luoghi a cui stiamo dedicando attenzione per la realizzazione di una di quelle strutture che abbiamo in animo di dedicare proprio per contenere il fenomeno».
      Chi sarà trattenuto nei Cpr?

      Innanzitutto in queste strutture vengono accompagnati gli stranieri irregolari considerati una minaccia per l’ordine e la sicurezza pubblica, quelli condannati, anche con sentenza non definitiva, per gravi reati e i cittadini che provengono da Paesi terzi con i quali risultino vigenti accordi in materia di cooperazione o altre intese in materia di rimpatri. Secondo la direttive il trattenimento in un Cpr è utile per evitare la dispersione sul territorio nazionale di persone che sono irregolari per quanto riguarda il soggiorno in Italia quando non sia possibile eseguirne con immediatezza il rimpatrio (per la necessità di accertarne l’identità, trattandosi spesso di stranieri privi di documenti di riconoscimento, di acquisire il lasciapassare delle autorità consolari del Paese di origine o semplicemente di organizzare le operazioni di allontanamento). Anche coloro che hanno richiesto asilo in Italia possono ritrovarsi in un Cpr ma soltanto se nei guai con la legge oppure se persone considerate pericolose o ancora se bisogna ancora analizzare gli elementi su cui si basa la domanda di protezione internazionale, che non potrebbero essere acquisiti senza il trattenimento e se c’è al tempo stesso il rischio di fuga.

      Dove si trovano i Cpr e dove saranno costruiti gli altri 12?

      Attualmente i Centri sono a Bari, Brindisi, Caltanissetta, Roma, Torino (chiuso, come detto), Palazzo San Gervasio (Potenza), Trapani, Gorizia, Macomer (Nuoro) e Milano. A oggi ci sono 1.338 posti su una capienza effettiva di 619 posti. Il più grande è quello romano a Ponte Galeria, uno dei primi ex Cie d’Italia con 117 posti utilizzabili. Gli altri dovranno essere costruiti Calabria, Molise, Campania, Marche, Abruzzo, Toscana, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Liguria, Trentino Alto Adige e Valle d’Aosta in strutture che saranno individuate dalla Difesa e poi adattate dal Genio militare. Si pensa ad ex caserme ma anche a complessi in aree industriali che rispondono alle esigenze descritte dal governo: lontano da centri abitati, controllabili e perimetrabili. La vigilanza sarà affidata a polizia e carabinieri e comunque non all’Esercito che si limiterà all’organizzazione logistica.

      Quanto tempo i clandestini rimarranno nei Cpr?

      Al massimo 18 mesi, come stabilito nel corso dell’ultimo Cdm, partendo da sei mesi prorogabili ogni tre mesi, come consentito dalla normativa europea per gli stranieri che non hanno fatto domanda di asilo, per i quali sussistano esigenze specifiche (se lo straniero non collabora al suo allontanamento o per i ritardi nell’ottenimento della necessaria documentazione da parte dei Paesi terzi). Attualmente nei Cpr si rimane per 90 giorni con una proroga fino a 45. E comunque i richiedenti asilo non possono essere trattenuti per più di un anno. Nel caso il migrante irregolare dovesse invece collaborare subito alla sua identificazione certa e dovesse anche accettare il rimpatrio, allora il suo trattenimento sarebbe molto più breve. In ogni circostanza è il questore a disporre l’accompagnamento al Cpr del soggetto e a inviare entro 48 ore la comunicazione al giudice di pace che deve convalidare il provvedimento. Il magistrato è chiamato anche a decidere sulle eventuali proroghe.
      Chi gestisce un Cpr?

      Ogni struttura è di competenza del prefetto, massima autorità provinciale dello Stato, che con i bandi affida a soggetti privati la gestione dei servizi interni al Cpr, sia sul fronte logistico-organizzativo sia su quello dei rapporti con chi è trattenuto. Le forze dell’ordine pattugliano l’esterno e possono entrare solo su richiesta dei gestori in caso di necessità ed emergenza. Ogni straniero trattenuto può invece presentare istanze e reclami al Garante nazionale e a quelli regionali delle persone detenute o private della libertà personale. La prima autorità può peraltro inviare raccomandazioni ai prefetti e ai gestori su specifici aspetti del trattenimento.
      Da quanto tempo esistono i Cpr?

      I Centri di permanenza per i rimpatri sono stati istituiti nel 1998 dalla legge sull’immigrazione Turco-Napolitano (art. 12 della legge 40/1998) per adempiere agli obblighi previsti dalla normativa europea. All’inizio furono chiamati Cpt (Centri di permanenza temporanea), poi Cie (Centri di identificazione ed espulsione) dalla legge Bossi-Fini (L.189/2002). Oggi Cpr con la legge Minniti-Orlando (L. 46/2017).

      https://roma.corriere.it/notizie/cronaca/23_settembre_20/nuovi-cpr-dalla-valle-d-aosta-alla-calabria-dove-saranno-e-chi-dovra-a

  • Oltre le sigle, la detenzione amministrativa si diffonde nelle procedure in frontiera e cancella il diritto di asilo ed i diritti di difesa

    1.Malgrado le pause indotte dal maltempo, continuano, e continueranno, gli arrivi dalla Tunisia e dalla Libia, e si avvicina il collasso del sistema di accoglienza già minato dai decreti sicurezza di Salvini e dal Decreto “Cutro” (legge n.50/2023). Il governo Meloni con un ennesimo decreto sicurezza, ma se ne attende un’altro per colpire i minori stranieri non accompagnati,” al fine di rendere più veloci i rimpatri”, cerca di raddoppiare i CPR e di creare di nuovi centri di detenzione amministrativa vicino ai luoghi di frontiera, meglio in località isolate, per le procedure accelerate destinate ai richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi di origine “sicuri”. La legge 50 del 2023 (già definita impropriamente “Decreto Cutro”) prevede che il richiedente asilo, qualora sia proveniente da un Paese di origine sicuro, e sia entrato irregolarmente, possa essere trattenuto per 30 giorni, durante la procedura accelerata di esame della domanda di asilo presentata alla frontiera, al solo scopo di accertare il diritto ad entrare nel territorio dello Stato.

    Sul concetto di paese terzo “sicuro” non c’è ancora un accordo a livello europeo. Le conclusioni del Consiglio dei ministri dell’interno dell’Unione Europea riuniti a Lussembugo lo scorso 8 giugno sono state propagandate come una vittoria della linea tenuta dal governo Meloni proprio su questo punto, ma le previsioni della legge 50/2023, in materia di trattenimento ed espulsioni, non hanno ottenuto quella “copertura europea” che il governo italiano sperava. Per questo motivo sulle “scelte detentive” più recenti del governo Meloni con riferimento ai richiedenti asilo potrebbe intervenire prima la Commissione europea e poi la Corte di giustizia dell’Unione europea. Come sta già avvenendo per la previsione “manifesto”, di dubbia applicabilità, della garanzia finanziaria introdotta dalla legge 50 del 2023 e specificata dal Decreto legge 19 settembre 2023, n. 124, contenente Disposizioni urgenti in materia di politiche di coesione, per il rilancio dell’economia nelle aree del Mezzogiorno del Paese, nonche’ in materia di immigrazione. Una garanzia finanziaria che assieme ad altri requisiti, come la disponibilità di alloggio e documenti validi, potrebbe evitare il trattenimento amministrativo dei richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi di origine sicuri. Secondo Amnesty International,“Si tratta di un provvedimento illegale. Non è pensabile che persone in fuga dal proprio paese possano disporre in Italia di un alloggio o di un conto in banca e quindi attivare una polizza fideiussoria. Subordinare la libertà delle persone richiedenti asilo a condizioni di fatto impraticabili configura una misura per porre coloro che arrivano in Italia automaticamente in detenzione. La detenzione automatica è arbitraria e vietata dal diritto internazionale”.

    Dunque, ciascun caso dovrà essere esaminato singolarmente, come adesso precisa la Commissione europea sull’ultimo “escamotage propagandistico” inventato dal Governo Meloni, la garanzia finanziaria che dovrebbero prestare (attraverso fideiussione) i richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi di origine sicuri., Come se riuscissero ad avere immediatamente, subito dopo lo sbarco, la disponibilità finanziaria e i documenti di identità necessari per stipulare il contratto di fideiussione, Una norma manifesto, odiosa ma inapplicabile, dietro la quale si nascondono procedure accelerate che abbattono il diritto di asilo e rendono solo cartacee le garanzie di difesa, anche per il ricorso generalizzato alle videoconferenze, e per le difficoltà per i difensori, che vogliano davvero assolvere al loro ruolo, di ottenere tempestivamente la documentazione relativa al richiedente asilo che devono assistere in sede di convalida o per un ricorso contro la decisione di rigetto della domanda.

    2. Di fronte al fallimento delle politiche migratorie del governo Meloni, dopo l’annuncio, da parte dell’ennesimo Commissario all’emergenza, di un piano nazionale per la detenzione amministrativa, al fine di applicare “procedure accelerate in frontiera” in centri chiusi, dei richiedenti asilo, se provengono da paesi di origine definiti “sicuri”. si richiamano una serie di decreti ministeriali che hanno formato una apposita lista che non tiene conto della situazione attuale in gran parte dell’Africa, soprattutto nella fascia subsahariana, dopo lo scoppio della guerra civile in Sudan e il rovesciamento in Niger del governo sostenuto dai paesi occidentali. Non si hanno ancora notizie certe, invece, dei nuovi centri per i rimpatri (CPR) che si era annunciato sarebbero stati attivati in ogni regione italiana. Le resistenze delle amministrazioni locali, anche di destra, hanno evidentemente rallentato questo progetto dai costi enormi, per l’impianto e la gestione.

    I rimpatri con accompagnamento forzato nei primi sette mesi dell’anno sono stati soltanto 2.561 (+28,05%) rispetto ai 2.000 dello scorso anno. Nulla rispetto ad oltre 100.000 arrivi ed a oltre 70.000 richieste di asilo, conteggiati proprio il 15 agosto, quando il Viminale dà i suoi numeri, esibendo quando conviene le percentuali e lasciando nell’ombra i dati assoluti. Ed oggi i numeri sono ancora più elevati, si tratta non solo di numeri ma di persone, uomini, donne e bambini lasciati allo sbando dopo lo sbarco, che cercano soltanto di lasciare il nostro paese prima possibile. Per questo il primo CPR targato Piantedosi che si aprirà a breve potrebbe essere ubicato a Ventimiglia, vicino al confine tra Italia e Francia, mentre Svizzera ed Austria hanno già annunciato un inasprimento dei controlli di frontiera.

    La prima struttura detentiva entrata in attività lo scorso primo settembre, per dare applicazione, ancora chiamata “sperimentazione”, alle procedure accelerate in frontiera previste dal Decreto “Cutro”, è ubicata nell’area industriale tra i comuni confinanti di Pozzallo e Modica. dove da anni esiste un centro Hotspot, nella zona portuale, che opera spesso in modalità di “centro chiuso”, nel quale già da tempo è stata periodicamente limitata la libertà personale degli “ospiti”. Si tratta di una nuova struttura da 84 posti nella quale vengono rinchiusi per un mese coloro che provengono da paesi di origine definiti “sicuri”, prima del diniego sulla richiesta di protezione che si dà come scontato e del successivo tentativo di rimpatrio con accompagnamento forzato, sempre che i paesi di origine accettino la riammissione dei loro cittadini giunti irregolarmente in Italia. Le informazioni provenienti da fonti ufficiali non dicono molto, ma la natura detentiva della struttura e i suoi costi sono facilmente reperibili on line.

    In Sicilia si prevede anche l’apertura di “strutture di transito”, già appaltate, come quella che dovrebbe sorgere a Porto Empedocle, dove l’area di transito, che verrà ulteriormente potenziata, resta provvisoria, fino a quando non verrà realizzato l’hotspot a valle di contrada Caos a Porto Empedocle che sarà, come quello di Lampedusa, gestito dalla Croce Rossa. Altre “sezioni chiuse” per richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi ritenuti “sicuri”, per cui si prevede un rimpatrio “veloce” potrebbero essere attivate nei centri Hotspot di Pozzallo e Lampedusa. Mentre i richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi di origine “sicuri,” in caso di arrivi massicci e di indisponibilità di posti negli Hotspot, potrebbero finire anche nei centri di permanenza per i rimpatri, come i famigerati lager di Pian del Lago (Caltanissetta) e di Trapani (MIlo), da anni spazi di trattamenti disumani, di tentativi di fuga e di abusi sulle persone trattenute. Se non si tratta di annientamento fisico (Vernichtung), ma ci sono stati anche i morti, si può documentare in molti casi l’annientamento psichico degli “ospiti”, che dopo il diniego, in caso di mancato rimpatrio, potrebbero passare mesi su mesi rinchiusi in queste strutture, magari sotto psicofarmaci, come coloro che sono sottoposti al rimpatrio con accompagnamento forzato, tra i richiedenti asilo denegati che non abbiano fatto ricorso con effetto sospensivo o lo abbiano visto respingere.

    La normativa europea impone invece il rilascio delle persone trattenute nei centri di detenzione quando è evidente che non ci sono più prospettive di rimpatrio forzato nel paese di origine (Direttiva rimpatri 2008/115/CE, art.15.4), per la mancata collaborazione degli Stati di origine che non effettuano i riconoscimenti e non forniscono i documenti di viaggio.

    Altri “centri chiusi” potrebbero essere attivati a Messina (probabilmente nei locali del Centro di accoglienza ubicato all’interno della vecchia e fatiscente Caserma Gasparro) fantasiosamente denominato “CIPSI”, Centro di primo soccorso ed identificazione, ed a Catania, dove si sono recentemente sperimentate diverse strutture provvisorie, “tensostrutture”, nelle quali i potenziali richiedenti asilo, che diventano tali con la semplice manifestazione di volontà, anche prima della formalizzazione della domanda da parte delle autorità di polizia, sono stati trattenuti per giorni in condizioni di totale privazione della libertà personale, in assenza di convalida giurisdizionale.

    3. Il fallimento del sistema italiano dei centri di detenzione amministrativa è ormai documentato da anni, e sarà ancora più evidente con l’aumento dei termini di trattenimento fino a 18 mesi (12 per i richiedenti asilo).

    Con riguardo ai nuovi centri di detenzione per richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi di origine “sicuri” non sembra eludibile una rigorosa verifica della legittimità del trattenimento in sede di convalida del giudice ordinario, e non del giudice di pace, come invece sembrerebbe prevedere la legge 50/2023 (ingiustamente definita ancora oggi “Decreto Cutro), trattandosi di richiedenti asilo che chiedono di fare valere un loro diritto fondamentale, e deve essere prevista una completa base legale con la indicazione precisa delle modalità di trattenimento -che ancora manca- conformi alla normativa europea (Direttiva procedure 2013/32/UE e Direttiva Accoglienza 2013/33/UE). Rimane a tale riguardo una grave violazione del principio di legalità in materia di misure detentive, che la Corte Costituzionale non ha ancora rilevato.

    In ogni caso il trattenimento amministrativo non può essere finalizzato esclusivamente al’esame della domanda di protezione, o per accertare il diritto all’ingresso nel territorio, come sembrerebbe affermare la legge 50/2023, perchè proprio nelle circostanze di limitazione della libertà personale che si riscontrano nei centri “chiusi” risulta più difficile avere contatti con organizzazioni che difendono i diritti umani e raccogliere prove per dimostrare la fondatezza della propria richiesta. Dal tenore della legge sembrerebbe che le strutture detentive riservate ai richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi di origine ritenuti “sicuri” siano strutture extra-territoriali, come se le persone trattenute non avessero ancora fatto ingresso nel territorio nazionale, circostanza che legittimerebbe l’aggiramento dei principi costituzionali e delle Convenzioni internazionali. Si tratta invece di luoghi che non possono sottrarsi alla giurisdizione italiana, unionale e internazionale dove i diritti e le garanzie non possono essere riconosciuti solo sul piano formale per venire poi negati nelle prassi applicate dalle autorità di polizia. Dunque è il tempo delle denunce e dei ricorsi, mentre l’opinione pubblica sembra ancora rimanere ostaggio delle politiche della paura e dell’odio. Fondamentale l’accesso civico agli atti e la possibilità di ingresso di giornalisti ed operatori umanitari indipendenti, se occorre con gruppi di parlamentari, in tutti i centri in cui si pratica la detenzione amministrativa.

    4. Vanno comunque garantiti diritti di informazione ed accesso alle procedure ordinarie, e quindi nel sistema di centri aperti di accoglienza (CAS, SAI, CPSA) per tutti i richiedenti asilo che adducano a supporto della domanda gravi motivi di carattere personale, pure se provengono da paesi terzi ritenuti sicuri.

    L’ACNUR dopo una generale considerazione positiva delle procedure accelerate in frontiera, soprattuto nei casi in cui appare maggiormente probabile l’esito positivo della domanda di protezione, “Raccomanda, tuttavia, di incanalare in procedura di frontiera (con trattenimento) solo le domande di protezione internazionale che, in una fase iniziale di raccolta delle informazioni e registrazione, appaiano manifestamente infondate.
    In particolare, la domanda proposta dal richiedente proveniente da un Paese di origine sicuro non deve essere incanalata in tale iter quando lo stesso abbia invocato gravi motivi per ritenere che, nelle sue specifiche circostanze, il Paese non sia sicuro. Si sottolinea, a tal fine, la centralità di una fase iniziale di screening, volta a far emergere elementi utili alla categorizzazione delle domande (triaging) e alla conseguente individuazione della procedura più appropriata per ciascun caso”.

    I piani sui rimpatri “veloci” del governo Meloni non sono dunque applicabili su vasta scala, presentano caratteri fortemente discriminatori, ed avranno costi umani ed economici insostenibili. Se si spera negli accordi bilaterali e nel sostegno di Frontex, si dovrà comunque fare i conti con i ricorsi ai Tribunali in Italia ed in Europa, e con un ulteriore aggravamento delle crisi di legittimazione dei governi africani che accettano lo scambio della propria gente con una manciata di denaro.

    Una particolare attenzione dovrà rivolgersi alle persone vulnerabili per età, salute, genere e orientamento sessuale, ma anche per le ferite o per le torture subite durante il transito in Libia o in Tunisia. Una serie di condizioni che potrebbero di per sè legittimare il riconoscimento di uno status di protezione, a prescindere del paese di origine dal quale si è partiti.

    In ogni caso, dopo le decisioni di diniego da parte delle Commissioni territoriali, che potrebbero essere orientate da indirizzi politici, dovranno garantirsi tempi di esecuzione delle misure di allontanamento forzato che non cancellino la portata sostanziale del diritto al ricorso.

    Gli accordi bilaterali, come quelli con l’Egitto e la Tunisia, che prevedono procedure “semplificate”di rimpatrio, magari in aeroporto, senza la compiuta identificazione individuale,e senza un diritto effettivo di ricorso, vanno sospesi.

    Il provvedimento giudiziale che convalida la proroga del trattenimento deve contenere l’accertamento della sussistenza delle ragioni addotte a sostegno della richiesta (Cass. n. 5200/2023). Non si può continuare oltre con le decisioni di rigetto”fotocopia” o con le espulsioni ed i respingimenti con accompagnamento forzato adottati prima della convalida giurisdizionale. I termini di trattenimento amministrativo in assenza di una convalida giurisdizionale sono inderogabili. Come si rilevava al tempo dei centri di prima accoglienza e soccorso (CPSA) e dei Centri Hotspot, lo stesso vale oggi per i “centri di transito” e per i centri per richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi di origine ritenuti “sicuri”, nelle more delle procedure accelerate in frontiera.

    Occorre ricordare che la Corte Europea dei diritti dell’Uomo, proprio con riferimento a cittadini tunisini, nel dicembre 2016, nel caso Khlaifia e altri c. Italia, e poi ancora quest’anno, nel caso J.A. c.Italia, ha condannato il nostro Paese per violazione, tra gli altri motivi, dell’articolo 5 della Convenzione per aver trattenuto per un periodo prolungato persone appena arrivate in Italia, senza una base legale e senza la possibilità di ricorso. Con riferimento alle nuove strutture detentive che il governo Meloni si accinge ad aprire, resta da verificare il rispetto dei principi affermati dalla Corte di Strasburgo e dei diritti fondamentali, a partire dal diritto di asilo costituzionale, sanciti dalla Costituzione italiana. Sarà anche l’occasione per verificare la legittimità costituzionale di molte disposizioni del decreto “Cutro” che, fin dalla entrata in vigore del provvedimento, hanno evidenziato sotto questo profilo gravi criticità, prima ancora che riuscissero ad avere concreta applicazione.

    https://www.a-dif.org/2023/09/26/oltre-le-sigle-la-detenzione-amministrativa-si-diffonde-nelle-procedure-in-fr

    #rétention #détention_administrative #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #CPR #Italie #procédures_accélérées #pays_sûrs #pays_d'origine_sûrs #decret_Cutro #decreto_Cutro #garantie_financière #5000_EUR #5000_euros #decreto_Sud #Modica #Sicile #Porto_Empedocle #Messina #centres_fermés

    • Turning the Exception into the Rule

      Assessing Italy’s New Border Procedure

      Having promised its electorate a strong stance towards immigration, in January 2023 Italy’s new government adopted a reform that heavily curtailed immigrant rights to speed up return procedures. However, between September and October, several judgments issued by the Catania Tribunal declared it in violation of EU law (https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/NON-CONVALIDA1.pdf). In particular, when requested to review the detention of asylum applicants, the judges found the new Italian asylum border procedure contrary to the Procedures Directive 2013/32 (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32013L0032) and the Reception Conditions Directive 2013/33 (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32013L0033).

      The judgments led to a backlash, with PM Meloni and other members of the government accusing them of being politically motivated. One minister even published a video on social media showing a judge of the Catania Tribunal taking part in a pro-migrant rights demonstration in 2018, thus accusing her of partiality.

      Such political attacks (https://www.associazionemagistrati.it/doc/4037/lanm-sul-caso-catania.htm) must always be condemned, for they pose a significant threat to judicial independence and thus Italian democracy. Yet, they are particularly unwarranted given that the Catania Tribunal’s judges were correct in finding the new Italian border procedures incompatible with EU law.

      Detention as the Rule for Asylum Seekers

      The 2023 reform (https://www.normattiva.it/atto/caricaDettaglioAtto?atto.dataPubblicazioneGazzetta=2023-03-10&atto.codice) of Italy’s asylum system included the introduction of an accelerated border procedure which allows for the detention (https://www.questionegiustizia.it/articolo/la-bestia-tentacolare) of asylum seekers „exclusively to determine the applicant’s right to enter the territory“ (Art. 6 bis, Law Decree 142/2015).

      This new procedure is applied when an asylum application is made „at the border or in a transit zone“ by a person who either a) evaded or attempted to evade border controls, or b) hails from a safe country of origin, which were determined by a Ministerial Decree in 2019 (https://www.esteri.it/mae/resource/doc/2019/10/decreto_paesi_sicuri.pdf), later updated in 2023 (https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2023/03/25/23A01952/sg).

      Another Ministerial Decree (https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2019/09/07/19A05525/sg) identified the „border and transit zones“ where the border procedure can be used, without providing a clear definition of these concepts nor explaining the distinction between them. Instead, it lists 16 provinces where the procedure applies (Trieste, Gorizia, Cosenza, Matera, Taranto, Lecce, Brindisi, Caltanissetta, Ragusa, Syracuse, Catania, Messina, Trapani, Agrigento, Cagliari, and South Sardinia).

      Finally, the law specifies that asylum seekers are to be detained unless they submit a passport (or equivalent document) or provide a financial guarantee of € 4,938.00 (https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2023/09/21/23A05308/sg). This amount was allegedly calculated with reference to the cost of suitable accommodation, repatriation, and minimum means of subsistence. The sum can be provided through a bank guarantee or an insurance policy, but solely by the asylum seekers themselves, not by third parties.

      [voir aussi: https://seenthis.net/messages/1018093]

      Following a recent increase in migrant flows from Tunisia, the Italian authorities extensively relied on the new border procedure to detain several Tunisian citizens on the ground that they come from a “safe country of origin” (https://www.questionegiustizia.it/rivista/articolo/la-protezione-dei-cittadini-stranieri-provenienti-da-cd-paesi-sic). However, on September 29 (https://www.asgi.it/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/NON-CONVALIDA1.pdf) and October 8 (https://www.questionegiustizia.it/data/doc/3650/2023-tribunale-catania-8-10-2023-non-convalida-oscurato.pdf), the Catania Tribunal issued a series of similar rulings in which it annulled the detention orders because they were in conflict with EU law. In the following sections, we analyze and expand the three main arguments advanced by the Tribunal, showing that they were largely correct in their findings that the new Italian border procedure exceeds what is permissible under EU law.

      The ‘Border’ under EU Law

      The first argument made by the Catania Tribunal regards the correct initiation of a border procedure. According to the judge, the procedure was not applied „at the border“, as understood by EU law (Art. 43 Directive 2013/32). Indeed, the applicants arrived and made their asylum application in Lampedusa (province of Agrigento) but the detention was ordered several days later in Pozzallo (Ragusa province) when the applicants were no longer „at the border.“ Because the border procedure (involving detention) was utilized at a later stage and in a different place, it was not appropriately initiated.

      In support of the Catania Tribunal’s conclusion, we should recall that Article 43 the Procedures Directive requires a spatial and temporal link between the border crossing and the activation of the border procedure (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32013L0032). Although the Directive does not define the terms „border“ or „transit zone“, it clearly distinguishes these areas from other „locations in the proximity of the border or transit zone“ (Article 43(3)), where applicants can be exceptionally accommodated but never detained. The distinction between the border and other places in its vicinity suggests that the procedure provided for in Art. 43 can only be applied in narrow and well-defined areas or in pre-identified transit zones (such as the Hungarian transit zones examined by the Court in FMS and Commission v Hungary).

      Other EU law instruments support this narrow interpretation of the “border” concept. Regulation 1931/2006 defines a „border area“ as a delimited space within 30 km from the Member State’s border. In the Affum case, the Court also called for a narrow interpretation of the spatial concept of „border.“ There, the Court clarified that the Return Directive allows Member States to apply a simplified return procedure at their external borders in order to „ensure that third-country nationals do not enter [their] territory“ (a purpose which resonates with that of Art. 8(3)(c) Reception Directive). However, such a procedure can only be applied if there is a „direct temporal and spatial link with the crossing of the border“, i.e. „at the time of the irregular crossing of the border or near that border after it has been crossed“ (par. 72).

      By contrast, under the Italian accelerated procedure, the border has blurred contours. The new procedure, relying on the “#fiction_of_non-entry” (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2020/654201/EPRS_STU(2020)654201_EN.pdf), can be carried out not only „at“ the border and in transit zones or in areas territorially „close“ to the border, but in entire provinces in southern and northern Italy. This far exceeds the narrow definition of border or border area derived from EU law.

      The Regulation of Detention under EU Law

      The second argument of the Catania Tribunal turned on the lack of motivation for the detention orders. The applicants were detained solely because they were from Tunisia, did not submit a valid passport nor pay the bail. As such, the orders lacked any case-by-case assessment of the applicant’s individual circumstances, and they did not apply the proportionality and necessity principles, as prescribed by EU law under art. 8(2) Directive 2013/33 and art. 52 and 6 of the Charter.

      Indeed, even if a border procedure is correctly initiated, Italy’s new provisions on the detention of asylum seekers do not meet the requirements of Article 8(2) of the Reception Directive. According to the CJEU, this authorizes asylum seekers‘ detention “only where, following an assessment carried out on a case-by-case basis, that is necessary” and where other less coercive measures cannot be applied effectively. (ex multis, FMS, par. 258; VL, par. 102; M.A., par. 82).

      Italy’s norms contain no reference to the principles of necessity and proportionality nor to the need for a case-by-case assessment (Art. 6 bis D. Lgs. 142/2015). In so far as the Italian provisions allow for an automatic application of detention whenever the border procedure is activated, they are incompatible with Art. 8(2) of the Reception Directive. In light of the primacy and direct effect of EU law, Italian public authorities are required to give direct application to the principles of proportionality and necessity and to carry out an individual assessment, even if not directly foreseen by Italian law.
      The Possibility of Bail

      Finally, the Catania Tribunal argued that the financial guarantee to avoid detention is contrary to EU law. The Tribunal observed that the guarantee is not used as an alternative measure to detention, but rather as an ‚administrative requirement‘ that, if not complied with, leads to detention. According to the judge, this renders it incompatible with Articles 8 and 9 of the Reception Directive 2013/33 which “preclude[s] an applicant for international protection being placed in detention on the sole ground that he or she is unable to provide for his or her needs.”(at 256).

      As rightly noted by Savino, EU law does not prohibit the use of financial guarantees; to the contrary, Article 8(4) mentions it as a legitimate alternative to detention. However, both scholars and the European Asylum Agency maintain that the guarantee shall be proportionate to the means of the applicant in order to avoid discriminatory effects. The EUAA Guidelines on asylum seeker detention further specify that:

      “the amount should be tailored to individual circumstances, and therefore be reasonable given the particular situation of asylum seekers, and not so high as to lead to discrimination against persons with limited funds. Any failure to be able to do so resulting in detention (or its continuation), would suggest that the system is arbitrary.”

      It is doubtful whether the financial guarantee in its current legal design can be considered an “effective” alternative to detention (Art.8(4)). Its high amount (€4,938.00) and procedural requirements make it practically impossible for asylum applicants to rely upon it. In particular, they are required to deposit the sum upon arrival, through a bank guarantee or an insurance policy, which are concretely impossible for them to obtain. Moreover, the financial guarantee is the only alternative to detention provided by the new Italian law, while migrants detained under other circumstances can rely upon more alternative measures.

      Taken together, it means that the measure is designed in a discriminatory way and is neither effective nor proportionate.

      Concluding Thoughts

      Several aspects of the new law foresee a system in which the border procedure is systematically applied, rendering detention the rule, instead of the exception. This follows from the geographic expansion of the “borders areas and transit zones”, the automatic (indiscriminate) application of the safe country of origin concept, the lack of a proportionality assessment, and the practical impossibility of applying the only alternative measure foreseen.

      More and more Italian courts are annulling detention orders, on the grounds that the Italian border procedure is in conflict with EU law. While the Italian government considers this an unacceptable form of judicial activism, this blog has shown that the judges’ concerns are well-founded.

      Member States’ courts are “EU law judges”, they must give precedence to EU law and general principles and set aside any incompatible national law. The recent personal attacks against some of the judges show that the government struggles to come to terms with this thick form of judicial review which takes seriously European and human rights standards.

      https://verfassungsblog.de/turning-the-exception-into-the-rule
      #exception #justice #détention #rétention #détention_administrative #décret #procédure_accélérée #garantie_financière #5000_EUR #chantage #caution #decreto_Cutro #décret_Cutro #5000_euros #tribunal_de_Catane #procédure_frontière #directive_procédures #zone_de_transit #proximité #distance #zone_frontalière #directive_retour #frontière_extérieure #fiction_de_non-entrée

      –-

      La partie sur les frontières ajouté à cette métaliste autour de la Création de zones frontalières (au lieu de lignes de frontière) en vue de refoulements :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/795053

  • Migranti, cinquemila euro per la libertà. È la cifra che verrà chiesta per non finire nei Cpr a chi arriva da Paesi sicuri

    Firmato il decreto delegato per la gestione delle procedure accelerate di frontiera. Chi può pagare non verrà trattenuto in attesa dell’esito della richiesta di asilo.

    Cinquemila euro per non finire in un Cpr. Adesso il governo Meloni si è inventata una sorta di cauzione da pagare per evitare il trattenimento previsto dal decreto Cutro per i migranti che arrivano da Paesi cosiddetti sicuri e dovrebbero essere rinchiusi in speciali centri per il rimpatrio nei luoghi d frontiera in attesa del rapido esame della richiesta di asilo.

    https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2023/09/22/news/migranti_cinquemila_euro_liberta_cpr_paesi_sicuri-415419543

    #procédure_accélérée #frontières #Italie #détention_administrative #rétention #CPR #décret #5000_EUR #chantage #caution #decreto_Cutro #décret_Cutro #5000_euros

    • I richiedenti asilo paghino 5mila euro per evitare il Centro per il rimpatrio

      Decreto legge pubblicato in Gazzetta Ufficiale, garanzia finanziaria per chi arriva

      Una garanzia finanziaria di quasi 5mila euro dovrà essere versata dal richiedente asilo che non vuole essere trattenuto in un Centro fino all’esito dell’esame del suo ricorso contro il rigetto della domanda.

      La prevede un decreto del ministero dell’Interno pubblicato oggi in Gazzetta Ufficiale che fissa a 4.938 euro l’importo che deve garantire al migrante, per il periodo massimo di trattenimento (4 settimane), «la disponibilità di un alloggio adeguato sul territorio nazionale; della somma occorrente al rimpatrio e di mezzi di sussistenza minimi».

      La disposizione si applica a chi è nelle condizioni di essere trattenuto durante lo svolgimento della procedura alla frontiera e proviene da un Paese sicuro. Allo straniero, si legge, «è dato immediato avviso della facoltà, alternativa al trattenimento, di prestazione della garanzia finanziaria».

      La normativa, già in vigore, prevede il trattenimento durante lo svolgimento della procedura in frontiera, «al solo scopo di accertare il diritto ad entrare nel territorio dello Stato», per i richiedenti asilo in una serie di casi. Il decreto - firmato, oltre che dal ministro Matteo Piantedosi, anche dai titolari di Giustizia (Carlo Nordio) ed Economia (Giancarlo Giorgetti) - richiama inoltre la direttiva del ministro dell’Interno dell’1 marzo 2000, in cui si dispone che «lo straniero, ai fini dell’ingresso sul territorio nazionale, indichi l’esistenza di idoneo alloggio nel territorio nazionale, la disponibilità della somma occorrente per il rimpatrio, nonchè comprovi la disponibilità dei mezzi di sussistenza minimi necessari, a persona».

      La misura della garanzia finanziaria si applica al richiedente asilo direttamente, alla frontiera o nelle zone di transito, che è stato fermato per avere eluso o tentato di eludere i controlli e a chi proviene da un Paese sicuro «fino alla decisione dell’istanza di sospensione».

      La garanzia deve essere versata «in unica soluzione mediante fideiussione bancaria o polizza fideiussoria assicurativa ed è individuale e non può essere versata da terzi». Dovrà inoltre essere prestata «entro il termine in cui sono effettuate le operazioni di rilevamento fotodattiloscopico e segnaletico». Nel caso in cui lo straniero «si allontani indebitamente - prosegue il testo - il prefetto del luogo ove è stata prestata la garanzia finanziaria procede all’escussione della stessa»

      https://www.ansa.it/sito/notizie/politica/2023/09/22/un-richiedente-asilo-paghi-5mila-euro-per-evitare-il-centro-per-il-rimpatrio_25
      #garantie_financière #garantie #pays_sûr

    • Cinquemila euro, il prezzo della libertà per i migranti

      Aprirà a #Pozzallo, in provincia di Ragusa, la prima struttura di detenzione dei richiedenti asilo. Come funzioneranno questi nuovi centri e la cauzione di cinquemila euro per uscirne

      “Nei mesi scorsi abbiamo chiesto di aumentare i posti per la prima accoglienza, così hanno costruito un nuovo hotspot a Pozzallo che può ospitare trecento migranti. Solo ora abbiamo capito che una parte di questo centro diventerà una struttura di reclusione per il rimpatrio accelerato di persone che arrivano da paesi considerati sicuri, in base a quanto previsto dal decreto Cutro”, spiega Roberto Ammatuna, sindaco di Pozzallo.

      Nella cittadina in provincia di Ragusa sarà aperto il primo centro di trattenimento per richiedenti asilo in Italia: ottantaquattro posti riservati a chi proviene da paesi definiti sicuri come la Tunisia. Realizzata in quaranta giorni, la struttura è formata da diversi container e si trova in un’area recintata con inferriate e filo spinato. Avrebbe dovuto aprire il 24 settembre, invece probabilmente sarà pronta il 27 settembre. “Al momento ci sono un centinaio di persone nell’hotspot, ma ancora nessuno nel centro di trattenimento per l’espulsione”, chiarisce Ammatuna.

      “All’inizio ho avuto dei dubbi su questo tipo di strutture”, spiega il sindaco, “specie perché l’hotspot a ridosso dell’area portuale ha 220 posti, ma oggi le persone ospitate sono più di quattrocento. Per me il governo dovrebbe investire sull’accoglienza. Ma ora non possiamo fare altro che collaborare e stare con gli occhi aperti per capire cosa succederà nel nuovo centro di Pozzallo”. Secondo Ammatuna, negli anni le strutture di detenzione hanno creato solo problemi, violando i diritti umani. “Io sono un sindaco di frontiera”, dice Ammatuna. “Vedremo che succede, ma staremo attenti al rispetto della dignità delle persone”.

      Trattenimento all’arrivo

      Il progetto pilota di Pozzallo è stato confermato dal ministro dell’interno Matteo Piantedosi, che il 24 settembre ha detto: “La prima struttura di trattenimento di richiedenti asilo provenienti da paesi sicuri, come la Tunisia” servirà a “fare in modo che si possano realizzare velocemente, entro un mese, procedure di accertamento per l’esistenza dei presupposti dello status di rifugiato”.

      Ed è a questa struttura – non ai Centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio (Cpr) – che si applicherà il decreto pubblicato sulla Gazzetta ufficiale il 21 settembre. Tra le altre cose, il testo prevede che un richiedente asilo possa evitare di essere recluso se è disposto a versare una fideiussione di circa cinquemila euro.

      “La garanzia non riguarda le persone nei Cpr, cioè i cittadini espulsi per irregolarità acclarata nella loro condizione di soggiorno o per pericolosità accertata”, ha chiarito Piantedosi.

      Quella di Pozzallo, ha proseguito il ministro, è “una scommessa” che prevede la possibilità di trattenere le persone, “l’alternativa è la garanzia anche di carattere economico per sottrarsi al trattenimento, se la cosa funzionerà e la porteremo avanti in maniera più estesa risolverà una situazione annosa”.

      Secondo Gianfranco Schiavone, esperto di accoglienza e presidente del Consorzio italiano di solidarietà (Ics) di Trieste, “al momento c’è una grande confusione, gli annunci del governo sono lontani dalla realtà”.

      “La prima cosa da verificare è che questo trattenimento dei richiedenti asilo che provengono da paesi cosiddetti sicuri sia in linea con quanto previsto dalla legge e che sia autorizzato da un giudice”, spiega Schiavone. Il timore è invece che sia privo di base giuridica, “come ha dimostrato per anni la situazione nell’hotspot di Lampedusa”. Per questo l’Italia è già stata condannata dalla Corte di giustizia dell’Unione europea, ricorda l’esperto.

      “Non basta il fatto di provenire da un paese considerato sicuro per essere trattenuti”, spiega Schiavone. A dirlo è anche la normativa europea, in particolare la direttiva 33 e la direttiva 32: la detenzione “non può essere automatica e generalizzata”. “Il semplice fatto di arrivare da paesi considerati sicuri non è un motivo sufficiente per giustificare la privazione della libertà”, sottolinea l’esperto.

      La cauzione

      Il decreto del 21 settembre introduce una cauzione di 4.938 euro per i richiedenti asilo che provengono da paesi terzi considerati sicuri, e che quindi hanno un’alta probabilità che le loro domande di asilo siano rigettate. Devono versarla se vogliono evitare di essere reclusi all’arrivo, come previsto dal decreto immigrazione del 19 settembre e dal decreto Cutro, approvato dal governo di Giorgia Meloni in seguito al naufragioavvenuto al largo delle coste di Steccato di Cutro, in Calabria, lo scorso febbraio, e convertito in legge a maggio.

      Uno dei punti principali del decreto Cutro era la creazione di centri di detenzione in cui fare un esame “accelerato” delle domande d’asilo, la cosiddetta “procedura di frontiera”. Secondo il testo, se un richiedente asilo arriva da un paese considerato sicuro dal governo sarà trasferito dall’hotspot in un centro di detenzione, in attesa che la sua domanda d’asilo sia esaminata. La procedura “accelerata” dovrebbe portare a una risposta entro 28 giorni. Al momento i paesi considerati sicuri sono quindici, tra cui la Tunisia, la Costa d’Avorio e la Nigeria.

      Fare una fideiussione bancaria di quasi cinquemila euro permetterebbe ai migranti di evitare la detenzione. La cifra è stata calcolata stimando le spese di alloggio per un mese, quelle quotidiane e quelle per il volo di rimpatrio, secondo quanto riportato nel decreto. Ma la misura è stata accusata di essere contraria alla costituzione e alle leggi nazionali e internazionali sul diritto d’asilo.

      Secondo il giurista Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, si tratta di “una norma manifesto, odiosa, ma inapplicabile, dietro la quale si nascondono procedure accelerate che cancellano il diritto d’asilo e rendono le garanzie della difesa applicabili solo sulla carta, anche a causa dell’uso generalizzato delle videoconferenze, e delle difficoltà per i difensori di ottenere tempestivamente la documentazione relativa al richiedente asilo da assistere in sede di convalida o per un ricorso contro la decisione di rigetto della domanda”.

      Con quest’ultimo atto il governo sembra voler fare concorrenza ai trafficanti

      Secondo Caterina Bove, avvocata ed esperta d’immigrazione dell’Associazione studi giuridici sull’immigrazione (Asgi), prevedere questa fideiussione è contrario ai principi della costituzione italiana sulla libertà personale: “La fideiussione richiesta è talmente alta che difficilmente un richiedente asilo potrà versarla. L’assenza di risorse finanziarie non può comportare il trattenimento, l’accoglienza dev’essere garantita a tutti, non solo a chi può permettersi di pagare. Questo è quello che dicono le direttive europee”.

      Bove dice che la Corte di giustizia dell’Unione europea si è espressa su questo: “In una sentenza del 14 maggio 2020 ha già escluso che un richiedente asilo possa essere trattenuto perché non ha le garanzie finanziarie richieste”.

      “Sfido a trovare una persona che arrivi dalla Libia, dalla Tunisia o dalla rotta balcanica, capace di attivare una fideiussione di quel valore in Italia o in qualsiasi altro paese nel tempo previsto dal decreto”, ha commentato Filippo Miraglia, responsabile immigrazione dell’Arci.

      “Con quest’ultimo atto”, conclude Miraglia, “il governo sembra voler fare concorrenza ai trafficanti, e non per proporre vie legali per venire in Italia, cosa che sarebbe auspicabile, ma chiedendo soldi per liberare i migranti dai centri di detenzione, proprio come fanno le milizie in Libia e non solo”.

      Cpr e rimpatri

      Il decreto approvato dal governo il 19 settembre prevede anche l’estensione della durata massima dei tempi di trattenimento degli stranieri nei centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio (Cpr).

      In Italia questi centri sono stati istituiti nel 1998 e nel corso degli anni sono stati gradualmente chiusi a causa di problemi strutturali e per le numerose denunce di violazione dei diritti umani e di trattamenti inumani. Ma dal 2o17 sono stati riaperti e c’è il progetto di espanderli. Il governo Meloni ha promesso di costruirne uno in ogni regione, suscitando polemiche e sconcerto negli amministratori locali, che conoscono i costi e i problemi sanitari e di ordine pubblico legati a queste strutture.

      Andrea Oleandri, direttore di Cild, che ha curato un rapporto sui Cpr definendoli Buchi neri, spiega che i centri sono stati gradualmente chiusi perché sono inefficienti e molto costosi: “L’ultimo bando di gara del ministero dell’interno ci dice che dieci centri per il rimpatrio costano allo stato più di cinquanta milioni di euro. Al momento ne sono attivi nove, perché nel frattempo il Cpr di Torino è stato chiuso. Noi l’abbiamo definito un affare, perché la gestione di questi centri è privata. E la detenzione amministrativa spesso è nelle mani di grandi multinazionali, che tagliano le spese a discapito dei servizi.L’anno scorso sono passate nei centri circa cinquemila persone e solo tremila sono state rimpatriate”.

      Nei Cpr finiscono le persone che sono trovate sul territorio italiano senza avere il permesso di soggiorno in regola. Nelle strutture si dovrebbe procedere alla loro identificazione ed eventuale espulsione. “Sono persone che non hanno commesso reati”, spiega Oleandri. La durata massima del trattenimento è stata più volte modificata, ma gli esperti sostengono che non abbia alcuna influenza sul tasso di rimpatri.

      Come spiega Oleandri: “La questione non è nei tempi, quanto nell’inutilità dei Cpr”. Secondo il rapporto di Cild, solo una persona su due fra quelle trattenute è rimpatriata, perché gli accordi di rimpatrio con i paesi di origine sono pochi, una situazione che prescinde dalla durata del trattenimento.

      “Nel 2014 il tempo massimo che si poteva stare in un Cpr era di diciotto mesi, ma il tasso di rimpatrio delle persone che ci finivano era del 50 per cento, come quando la durata era di novanta giorni. I migranti sono rimpatriati subito, se ci sono degli accordi. Altrimenti non si possono rimpatriare, quindi rimangono nel centro fino allo scadere dei tempi e poi sono rilasciati”, spiega Oleandri. “Trattenere persone che non sono rimpatriabili è inutile e anche illegittimo”, continua.

      “Sembra che il governo abbia ritirato fuori i Cpr in un momento di difficoltà per far vedere che sta facendo qualcosa sul tema dell’immigrazione, che tuttavia è molto più complesso e non c’entra molto con i centri d’espulsione”, conclude Oleandri.

      https://www.internazionale.it/essenziale/notizie/annalisa-camilli/2023/09/26/centri-reclusione-migranti-cinquemila-euro

    • Turning the Exception into the Rule

      Citation:

      Finally, the law specifies that asylum seekers are to be detained unless they submit a passport (or equivalent document) or provide a financial guarantee of € 4,938.00. This amount was allegedly calculated with reference to the cost of suitable accommodation, repatriation, and minimum means of subsistence. The sum can be provided through a bank guarantee or an insurance policy, but solely by the asylum seekers themselves, not by third parties.
      (...)

      Finally, the Catania Tribunal argued that the financial guarantee to avoid detention is contrary to EU law. The Tribunal observed that the guarantee is not used as an alternative measure to detention, but rather as an ‚administrative requirement‘ that, if not complied with, leads to detention. According to the judge, this renders it incompatible with Articles 8 and 9 of the Reception Directive 2013/33 which “preclude[s] an applicant for international protection being placed in detention on the sole ground that he or she is unable to provide for his or her needs.”(at 256).

      As rightly noted by Savino, EU law does not prohibit the use of financial guarantees; to the contrary, Article 8(4) mentions it as a legitimate alternative to detention. However, both scholars and the European Asylum Agency maintain that the guarantee shall be proportionate to the means of the applicant in order to avoid discriminatory effects. The EUAA Guidelines on asylum seeker detention further specify that:

      “the amount should be tailored to individual circumstances, and therefore be reasonable given the particular situation of asylum seekers, and not so high as to lead to discrimination against persons with limited funds. Any failure to be able to do so resulting in detention (or its continuation), would suggest that the system is arbitrary.”

      It is doubtful whether the financial guarantee in its current legal design can be considered an “effective” alternative to detention (Art.8(4)). Its high amount (€4,938.00) and procedural requirements make it practically impossible for asylum applicants to rely upon it. In particular, they are required to deposit the sum upon arrival, through a bank guarantee or an insurance policy, which are concretely impossible for them to obtain. Moreover, the financial guarantee is the only alternative to detention provided by the new Italian law, while migrants detained under other circumstances can rely upon more alternative measures.

      Taken together, it means that the measure is designed in a discriminatory way and is neither effective nor proportionate.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/1018938#message1023987

  • What safey are they talking about? Why Turkey cannot be considered a „safe third country“

    Le rapport est en anglais, mais je ne trouve que le résumé en allemand:

    Warum die Türkei nicht als „sicherer Drittstaat“ betrachtet werden kann – ein Expert:innengutachten im Auftrag von medico international.

    Die Erweiterung des Begriffs des ‚sicheren Drittstaates‘ und damit die ausgedehnte Anwendung dieses Konzepts ist ein wesentlicher Bestandteil des ‚Neuen Pakts für Migration und Asyl‘ der Europäischen Union (EU) und der Reform des Gemeinsamen Europäischen Asylsystems (GEAS). Die Bezeichnung eines Staates als ‚sicherer Drittstaat‘ ermöglicht es in der Praxis, dass Asylanträge von Personen, die durch diesen angeblich sicheren Drittstaat gereist sind, formell als unzulässig einzustufen. Mit anderen Worten: Ihre Asylanträge werden inhaltlich gar nicht erst geprüft. Die Einstufung eines Drittstaates als ‚sicher‘, um damit Geflüchteten den Zugang zum europäischen Asylsystem zu verwehren, ist jedoch nicht neu.

    Der EU-Türkei-Erklärung von 2016 lag die Annahme zugrunde, dass die Türkei ein ‚sicherer Drittstaat‘ im Sinne von Artikel 38 der EU-Asylverfahrensrichtlinie sei. Das ebnete den Weg für die Abschiebung von Geflüchteten in die Türkei, nachdem sie eine der griechischen Ägäis-Inseln erreicht hatten. Damals – und heute – war diese Einstufung eine politische Entscheidung und nicht das Ergebnis einer Evaluierung der Gegebenheiten vor Ort, die sich an der gelebten Erfahrung von Geflüchteten orientiert. Vielmehr kritisierten Nichtregierungsorganisationen bereits zum Zeitpunkt der Aushandlung der EU-Türkei-Erklärung die Einstufung der Türkei als ‚sicher‘ und dokumentierten schwere Menschenrechtsverletzungen wie zum Beispiel Massenabschiebungen nach Syrien. Das vorliegende Gutachten zeigt auf, wie sich die Situation von Geflüchteten in der Türkei seither kontinuierlich weiter verschlechtert hat.

    Zusammenfassung auf Deutsch

    Im ersten Abschnitt des Gutachtens wird das Konzept des ‚sicheren Drittstaates‘ erläutert und die praktische Bedeutung seiner Anwendung in der heutigen Migrationspolitik der EU dargelegt (I.). Im nachfolgenden Abschnitt wird der rechtliche Rahmen in der Türkei dargestellt (II.): Obwohl die Türkei die Genfer Flüchtlingskonvention (GFK) von 1951 ratifiziert hat, hält sie immer noch an deren geografischer Begrenzung fest und schließt damit faktisch alle außereuropäischen Asylsuchenden vom Flüchtlingsschutz nach der GFK aus (II.1.). Dementsprechend können Asylsuchende aus nicht-europäischen Ländern in der Türkei nur internationalen Schutz nach türkischem Recht oder eine der anderen Aufenthaltsgenehmigungen im Rahmen der innerstaatlichen Gesetzgebung beantragen (II.2.).

    Konkret stehen in der Türkei folgende Formen des ‚Schutzes‘ zur Verfügung: erstens der temporäre Schutzstatus für syrische Staatsangehörige (II.2.a. & II.3.a.); zweitens der ‚bedingte Flüchtlingsstatus‘ und der subsidiäre Schutzstatus (II.2.b & II.3.b.); und drittens eine Aufenthaltserlaubnis auf der Grundlage der allgemeinen migrationsrechtlichen Gesetzgebung. Solche Aufenthaltstitel können rechtlich jedoch nicht als ‚Schutzstatus‘ betrachtet werden (II.2.c.). Zudem entsprechen weder der internationale Schutz nach türkischem Recht noch migrationsrechtliche Aufenthaltstitel dem Schutz, der gestützt auf die GFK gewährt werden muss.

    Darüber hinaus werden besonderen Schutzbedürfnissen und spezifischen Anforderungen an die Aufnahmebedingungen von z.B. Überlebenden von Folter, Überlebenden sexueller und geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt (SGBV) oder LGBTQIA+ nur unzureichend Rechnung getragen (II.3.c.). Die damit verbundenen Unzulänglichkeiten gegenüber bestimmten Gruppen von Geflüchteten können sowohl in konkreten Situationen gegen völkerrechtlich verankerte Antidiskriminierungsnormen verstoßen als auch in Extremfällen eine Bedrohung für das Leben oder die Freiheit einer Person darstellen und damit Artikel 38 Abs. 1 Bst. a der Asylverfahrensrichtlinie verletzten.

    Von allen Personen, die für das vorliegende Gutachten interviewt wurden, wurde als bedeutendstes Hindernis auf dem Weg zur Erlangung eines Schutzstatus in der Türkei der eingeschränkte Zugang zur Registrierung hervorgehoben (III.). Im Jahr 2018 hat die regionale Migrationsbehörde (damals PDMM, heute PPMM) die Registrierung neu ankommender Syrer:innen, mit Ausnahme von besonders schutzbedürftigen Fällen, in neun Provinzen de facto eingestellt. Betroffen waren große Städte wie İstanbul und andere Provinzen, in denen Geflüchtete einen relativ hohen Bevölkerungsanteil ausmachten.

    Seither hat die Zahl derjenigen Städte und Viertel, die für Neuregistrierungen von Anträgen auf temporären und internationalen Schutz ‚geschlossen‘ sind, weiter zugenommen. So wurde im Februar 2022 bekannt gegeben, dass in 16 Provinzen keine Registrierungen mehr angenommen würden. Zudem wurde ab Mai 2022 der Anteil Geflüchteter an der Gesamtbevölkerung in jedem Stadtteil gesetzlich auf 25 Prozent begrenzt – mit der Folge, dass die Registrierung oder die Neuanmeldung durch Umzug in 781 Stadtteile für der meisten ausländischen Staatsangehörigen mit temporärem Schutz, internationalem Schutz oder einer Aufenthaltsgenehmigung ‚geschlossen‘ wurden.

    Seit dem 1. Juli 2022 darf der Anteil Geflüchteter 20 Prozent der Gesamtbevölkerung nicht überschreiten, wodurch die Zahl der ‚geschlossenen‘ Viertel auf 1.169 anstieg. Gemäß Angaben von NGOs und Rechtsanwält:innen gäbe es aber selbst in Provinzen, die nicht ’offiziell geschlossen’ seien, Probleme bei der Registrierung neuer Anträge. Fortlaufend aktualisierte Informationen über den ‚Registrierungsstatus‘ einer Stadt oder Provinz seien zudem öffentlich nicht zugänglich. Vor diesem Hintergrund würden Antragsteller:innen, in der Hoffnung eine Stelle zu finden, die sich bereit erklärt, ihren Antrag auf internationalen Schutz zu registrieren, von einem regionalen Migrationsbüro zum nächsten geschickt – von Human Rights Watch als „wild-goose chase“[1] bezeichnet.

    Anträge auf temporären Schutz müssen seit Juni 2022 in einem der ‚Temporären Unterbringungslager‘ entlang der syrisch-türkischen Grenze gestellt werden. Zum Zeitpunkt der Erstellung dieses Gutachtens ist es für syrische Staatsangehörige jedoch faktisch unmöglich geworden, neue Anträge zu registrieren. Vor diesem Hintergrund müssen vorliegend die Voraussetzungen nach Artikel 38 Abs. 1 Bst. e Asylverfahrensrichtlinie – und damit die Definition des ‚sicheren Drittstaates‘ – wiederum als nicht erfüllt qualifiziert werden.

    Geflüchtete, die ihren Antrag auf temporären oder internationalen Schutz in der Türkei nicht registrieren können, bleiben gleichzeitig vom Ausüben anderer Rechte sowie von der Inanspruchnahme sozialer Dienstleistungen ausgeschlossen. Wem es gelingt, entweder einen Schutzstatus oder ein Identitätsdokument für Antragsteller:innen zu erhalten, hat theoretisch das Recht auf Zugang zu Bildung sowie Gesundheitsversorgung und hat die Möglichkeit, eine Arbeitserlaubnis zu beantragen (IV.).

    In der Praxis ist es jedoch äußerst schwierig, diese Rechte auszuüben. Prekäre Lebensbedingungen zwingen Menschen oft dazu, die ihnen zugewiesene Wohnprovinz zu verlassen und in größere Städte zu ziehen, um dort ihren Lebensunterhalt zu verdienen. Wer die zugewiesene Stadt aber verlässt, verliert den Zugang zu allen mit dem Status verbundenen sozialen Rechte und Ansprüche.

    Im vorliegenden Gutachten wird dargelegt, dass Geflüchtete in der Türkei oft gezwungen sind, unter katastrophalen Bedingungen in völliger Armut zu leben. In seiner Rechtsprechung hat der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) festgehalten, dass die Verpflichtungen aus dem Non-Refoulement-Gebot nach Artikel 3 der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention (EMRK) einem Vertragsstaat verbieten können, eine Person in ein Land zurückzuschicken, wenn diese Person dort Aufnahmebedingungen ausgesetzt würde, die als unmenschlich oder erniedrigend eingestuft werden. Zudem kann der Ausschluss eines bestimmten Personenkreises vom Zugang zu sozialen Rechten und Dienstleistungen sowie das Nichtzurverfügungstellen adäquater Aufnahmebedingungen Diskriminierung darstellen, die als solche gegen menschenrechtliche Verpflichtungen verstößt.

    Gleichzeitig hat die zunehmende rassistische Hetze in der türkischen Politik zur Verbreitung einer xenophoben Stimmung geführt, die immer wieder auch in physische Gewalt umschlägt. Insgesamt wurde damit ein Umfeld geschaffen, in dem sich viele Geflüchtete nicht mehr sicher fühlen (IV.5.). Darüber hinaus steht das Risiko, als geflüchtete Person in der Türkei Ziel verbaler oder physischer, rassistischer Gewalt zu werden, in einem potenziellen Konflikt mit Artikel 38 Abs. 1 Bst. a der Asylverfahrensrichtlinie.

    Zwar ist das bereits erwähnte Non-Refoulement-Gebot auch in der türkischen Gesetzgebung verankert. Dennoch beinhaltet die Erteilung eines Schutzstatus in der Türkei nicht unbedingt einen wirksamen Schutz vor Refoulement. Erstens ist zu beachten, dass Personen mit temporärem oder internationalem Schutzstatus respektive einem migrationsrechtlichen Aufenthaltstitel stets der potenziellen Gefahr ausgesetzt sind, dass die Aufenthaltserlaubnis willkürlich aufgehoben wird (II.4. & V.1.). In der Praxis bedeutet dies, dass die betroffenen Personen einem tatsächlichen Risiko ausgesetzt sind, ohne vorherige Berücksichtigung der persönlichen Umstände – einschließlich individueller Risiken im Herkunftsstaat oder der Dauer ihres Aufenthalts in der Türkei – abgeschoben zu werden (VI.3.).

    Zweitens bedient sich die Türkei routinemäßig dem Mittel der erzwungenen ‚freiwilligen Rückkehr‘, um außereuropäische Staatsangehörige – z.B. nach Syrien – deportieren zu können. Hierbei wird die Unterschrift der betroffenen Personen auf der entsprechenden Einverständniserklärung entweder erschlichen oder gewaltsam erzwungen (VI.2.). Im Juli 2022 hat der EGMR mit seinem Urteil Akkad v. Turkey faktisch anerkannt, dass die Türkei Zwangsmittel einsetzt, um Menschen zur ‚freiwilligen Rückkehr‘ nach Syrien zu bewegen und gleichzeitig festgestellt, dass die türkischen Behörden mit dieser Praxis in mehrfacher Hinsicht gegen die individuellen Menschenrechte des Beschwerdeführers verstoßen haben.

    Drittens werden Schutzsuchende von türkischen Sicherheitskräften systematisch über die Landgrenzen nach Syrien und Iran zurück gepusht (VI.1.). Seit Mai 2015 – und damit noch vor Abschluss der EU-Türkei-Erklärung – hat sich die türkische Regierung von der „Politik der offenen Tür gegenüber Syrien“[2] abgewandt und versucht seither, diese Grenze, unter anderem durch eine von der EU teilfinanzierte Grenzmauer, zu schließen. Bereits im November 2015 erschienen erste Berichte, wonach die Türkei Syrer:innen gewaltsam in das kriegsversehrte Syrien zurückdrängt. Im August 2022 und November 2022 haben Amnesty International[3] und Human Rights Watch[4] sodann ausführliche Berichte über systematische und äußerst gewaltvolle Pushbacks afghanischer Staatsbürger:innen veröffentlicht. Diese Berichte bestätigen, dass die Türkei Geflüchteten keinen wirksamen Schutz bietet und daher die Voraussetzungen eines ‚sicheren Drittstaates‘ gemäß Artikel 38 Abs. 1 Bst. c, d und e der Asylverfahrensrichtlinie nicht erfüllt.

    Vor einer allfälligen Abschiebung werden Geflüchtete in der Regel inhaftiert (V.), dies teilweise unter unmenschlichen und erniedrigenden Haftbedingungen (V.2.). Zwar sieht das türkische Recht sowohl gegen die Abschiebung als auch gegen die Inhaftierung Rechtsmittel vor, laut Rechtsanwält:innen und NGOs fehle den Betroffenen jedoch oft der Zugang zu Rechtsbeistand, weshalb die Ausübung dieser Verfahrensrechte während der Haft erheblich erschwert sei (V.3.) – in der Praxis blieben die meisten Inhaftierten ohne Rechtsvertretung.

    Konkrete Hürden bilden etwa systemische Mängel wie unzureichende Informationen über die bestehenden Rechte, begrenzter oder fehlender Zugang zu Kommunikationsmitteln, kurze Fristen oder die häufigen Transfers zwischen den Abschiebehaftanstalten. Diese systematischen Hindernisse, wenn Geflüchtete versuchen wollen, aus der Haft heraus eine Rechtsvertretung zu mandatieren, führen letztlich dazu, dass sich Betroffene mit einer potenziellen Gefährdung der Freiheit konfrontiert sehen und damit gleichzeitig zur Annahme der Nichterfüllung von Artikel 38 Abs. 1 Bst. a der Asylverfahrensrichtlinie.

    Im letzten Abschnitt geht das Gutachten der Frage nach, wie sich die Situation von Geflüchteten nach den verheerenden Erdbeben Anfang Februar 2023 entwickelt hat (VII.) Insgesamt wurden mehr als 50.000 Menschen getötet und schätzungsweise 2,7 Millionen Menschen – einschließlich Geflüchtete – allein in der Türkei vertrieben. Im Zusammenhang mit den Erdbeben „haben sich die Lebensbedingungen für Migrant:innen verschlechtert“ und neu aufkommender „Rassismus hat zu gewalttätigen Übergriffen geführt“.[5] Zudem wurden Syrer:innen – zumindest anfangs – von Hilfslieferungen ausgeschlossen und hatten Schwierigkeiten, Zugang zu Notunterkünften zu erhalten. Dieser diskriminierende Ausschluss eines bestimmten Personenkreises vom Zugang zu Nothilfe kann wiederum eine völkerrechtswidrige Diskriminierung darstellen.
    Die Türkei erfüllt die Kriterien eines ‚sicheren Drittstaats‘ nicht

    Zusammenfassend wird im vorliegenden Gutachten festgestellt, dass die Türkei die Kriterien eines ‚sicheren Drittstaats‘ nicht erfüllt – und zwar weder nach dem derzeitigen Artikel 38 der Asylverfahrensrichtlinie noch nach der geplanten GEAS-Reform (I.) –, weil die Türkei außereuropäischen Schutzsuchenden keinen ‚effektiven Schutz‘ bietet (VIII.). Der EGMR hat in seiner Rechtsprechung bestätigt, dass Asylsuchende durch Abschiebung nicht der Gefahr einer Verletzung von Artikel 3 der EMRK ausgesetzt werden dürfen – weder direkt in diesem Drittstaat oder indirekt, zum Beispiel durch eine Kettenabschiebung. Wenn es also Gründe zur Annahme gibt, dass nach einer Abschiebung eine eben solche, den Artikel 3 der EMRK verletzende Behandlung drohen könnte, hat der EGMR die Verpflichtung bestätigt, die betroffene Person dieser Gefahr nicht auszusetzen und sie daher nicht abzuschieben. Dies schließt auch die Pflicht ein, die allgemeinen Aufnahmebedingungen für Geflüchtete im Zielstaat sowie die individuelle Situation der jeweiligen Person in die Prüfung einer drohenden Verletzung von Artikel 3 der EMKR zu berücksichtigen. Zu betonen ist, dass diese Pflicht unabhängig von jeder politischen Vereinbarung gilt, die ein bestimmtes Land als ‚sicher‘ bezeichnet – einschließlich der EU-Türkei-Erklärung.

    Der eklatante Widerspruch zwischen der Behauptung, die Türkei sei ‚sicher‘ und der gelebten Erfahrung von Geflüchteten vor Ort lässt nur eine Schlussfolgerung zu: Die Einstufung der Türkei als ‚sicherer Drittstaat‘ entspringt politischem Kalkül und hält rechtlichen Kriterien nicht stand. Am Beispiel der Türkei zeigt sich, dass die erweiterte Anwendung des Konzepts des ‚sicheren Drittstaates‘ die Gefahr für nichts Geringeres birgt, als die komplette Erosion des Rechts auf Asyl.

    https://www.medico.de/von-welcher-sicherheit-sprechen-sie-19176

    #rapport #migrations #réfugiés #Turquie #pays_sûr #pays-tiers_sûr #medico #medico_international

    ping @_kg_

  • Bulgaria and Romania speed up asylum and deportation procedures with EU support

    #Pilot_projects” intended to beef up border controls, accelerate asylum and deportation proceedings, and reinforce the role of EU agencies in Bulgaria and Romania have just begun - yet EU legislation intended to do the same is yet to be approved.

    Pilot projects

    In February the European Council confirmed its support for Commission-funded “border management pilot projects,” and two such projects have been launched in recent months, in Bulgaria (€45 million) and Romania (€10.8 million).

    As revealed by Statewatch in March, “the key border between Bulgaria and Turkiye,” was to be the first target of €600 million being made available to reinforce border controls and speed up removals.

    Of that funding, the Commission recently announced that it will make €140 million available “for the development of electronic surveillance systems at land external borders” and €120 million to “support reception and asylum systems,” in particular for the reception of unaccompanied minors and “reception capacity at the border”.

    Both Bulgaria and Romania have recently circulated notes within the Council to update other member states on the projects, and the Commission also trumpeted the “progress made” in a press release.

    Bulgaria

    According to the Bulgarian note, (pdf) the project “foresees the implementation by Bulgaria of targeted tools for border management and screening of third country nationals, conduct of an accelerated asylum and return procedure and cooperation in the fight against migrant smuggling.”

    The project is being implemented “with the operational and technical support of the relevant JHA agencies (EUAA, Europol and Frontex). It builds on Bulgaria’s good practices and experience, including its excellent cooperation with its neighboring countries and the EU agencies present in Bulgaria. The duration of the pilot is 6 months.”

    The country is “improving the digitalization of the asylum and return systems,” while:

    “Work is ongoing on legislative amendments for issuing of a return decision at the same time with a negative decision for international protection. Bulgaria is also working on drawing up a list with designated safe countries of origin in line with the Asylum Procedure Directive. Negotiations are ongoing with EUAA on an updated Operational plan in the field of asylum.”

    A “Roadmap for strengthened cooperation” with Frontex is “pending finalization”, which will allow for “provision of technical equipment and increased deployment of personnel.”

    However, Frontex presence in the country has already been stepped up, according to the Commission’s press release, with the agency providing “additional support to Bulgaria through return counsellors and interpreters.”

    The note also states an intention to a sign a Joint Action Plan on Return “in the margins of JHA Council,” presumably the meeting on 8 and 9 June, but the Council’s press release makes no mention of this.

    Romania

    While the Bulgarian note is not particularly detailed, it offers more information than the one circulated by Romania (pdf).

    The Romanian note states that agreement with the European Commission on launching the pilot project was reached on 17 March, and that it aims to implement “key operational actions in the area of border protection, asylum and return. One of the targeted operational actions foresees setting up pilot projects in interested Member States for fast asylum and return procedures.”

    While the Bulgarian note mentions the need for legal reforms to accelerate asylum and removal proceedings, the Romanian note says that this “showcase” of “Romania’s best practices in the areas of asylum, return, border management and international cooperation.. is based on EU and applicable Romanian legislation, as well as on Romania’s very good cooperation with neighbouring countries and EU agencies.”

    According to the Commission, however, Romania has changed national law in two respects: “to allow for the participation of EUAA [EU Asylum Agency] experts in the registration and assessment of asylum applications,” and - as in Bulgaria - “to allow for the issuing of a negative decision on international protection together with a return decision.”

    The country has also been cooperating with Frontex on align its national IT systems for deportations with the agency’s own, and “Romanian authorities will host and use the first Frontex Mobile Surveillance Vehicles at Romanian - Serbian border section of the Terra 2023 operational area.”

    Terra 2023 is presumably a continuation of the Frontex operation Terra 2022.

    Documentation

    - European Commission press release: Migration management: Update on progress made on the Pilot Projects for asylum and return procedures and new financial support for Bulgaria and Romania: https://www.statewatch.org/media/3932/eu-com-pilot-projects-bulgaria-romania-pr-7-6-23.pdf
    - Bulgarian delegation: Pilot project at the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Council doc. 9992/23, LIMITE, 5 June 2023, pdf: https://www.statewatch.org/media/3930/eu-council-bulgaria-pilot-project-migration-asylum-9992-23.pdf
    - Romanian delegation: Pilot project in the area of asylum, returns, border management and international cooperation, Council doc. 9991/23, LIMITE, 5 June 2023: https://www.statewatch.org/media/3931/eu-council-romania-pilot-project-migration-asylum-09991-23.pdf

    https://www.statewatch.org/news/2023/june/bulgaria-and-romania-speed-up-asylum-and-deportation-procedures-with-eu-
    #Bulgarie #Roumanie #renvois #expulsions #contrôles_frontaliers #financement #EU #UE #aide_financière #JHA #Europol #Frontex #EUAA #externalisation #externalisation_des_contrôles_frontaliers #digitalisation #directive_procédure #pays_sûrs #militarisation_des_frontières #Joint_Action_Plan_on_Return #Frontex_Mobile_Surveillance_Vehicles #Mobile_Surveillance_Vehicles #Terra_2023 #frontières

  • A German Court Has Recognised Not All EU Countries Are Safe For Refugees

    A court in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia has ruled in favour of two asylum seekers, one from Somalia and the other Mali, whose asylum applications had been rejected because they came into the EU via Italy. The court has decided that, because they could expect inhumane or degrading treatment if sent back to Italy, their asylum claims should be heard in Germany.

    The ruling is significant, as it shakes up some of how asylum processing happens in the EU.

    Under perhaps one of the more well-known EU migration laws, the Dublin regulation, member states are allowed to send people back to the first EU country they were registered in. It’s a complicated process, and not without criticism. Asylum seekers and their advocates don’t like it because it denies agency to an asylum seeker who in theory has the right to claim asylum in the country of their choice (or, more specifically, is not obliged to do so in the first “safe” country they land in). “Frontline” states on the EU border such as Italy, Greece and Hungary don’t like the regulation either, because it unfairly places the burden for humanitarian accommodation on them, while Northern member states can admit people as and when they want to.

    Germany previously suspended its participation in the process during the political crisis around migration to Europe in 2015 and 2016, at a time when around a million refugees made their way to Germany. The regulation has since come back however, and continues to cause confusion and misery for many refugees.

    Now, with this ruling, the North Rhine-Westphalia court has thrown an obstacle in the way of this process. Both men had had their asylum applications rejected by regional courts because they were already registered in Italy (technically speaking, the Somali man had already been recognised as a refugee in Italy, while the Malian man had yet to receive any protection). For both men, however, a removal back to Italy would have meant likely destitution, as neither had much prospect of finding housing, support or employment. Their asylum claims, therefore, should be heard in Germany.

    The ruling acknowledges something many refugee advocates have been saying for a long time. Just because an asylum seeker or refugee finds herself in a country that is relatively safer than the region they came from, that does not mean they are in fact free from danger, poverty or destitution just because they are in any given EU state.

    This is a relevant issue in a number of countries, not just Italy and Germany. Greece, for instance, is considered by many people to be an unsafe country for some refugees, as the Greek authorities have been observed abusing refugees as well as forcing them further back into dangerous regions, violating the international principle of non-refoulement.

    The conversation is salient in the U.K. as well, at a time when prominent anti-immigrant voices are decrying people crossing the English channel from “safe” France in order to claim asylum. The U.K. human rights advocate Daniel Sohege has repeatedly pointed out all the reasons a refugee may not feel safe in France, even though the average Brit might:


    https://twitter.com/stand_for_all/status/1292467258221002756
    The U.K. has in any case withdrawn from the Dublin system, but the government is actively pursuing measures to prevent more people arriving in the U.K., including a controversial bill to make it illegal to seek asylum when arriving by “irregular” means (i.e., arriving without already having an entry permit).

    The court in the German case has ruled out a further appeal, though the government could still lodge a complaint against the ruling to be heard at the federal level.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/freylindsay/2021/07/30/a-german-court-has-recognised-not-all-eu-countries-are-safe-for-refugees
    #Dublin #asile #migrations #réfugiés #COI #Italie #renvois_Dublin #pays_sûr #France

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Forced return to Italy unlawful, German court rules

      A German court has decided that two African asylum seekers may not be returned to Italy where they had first sought protection, due to the hardship they would face there. It’s not the first time that German courts have ruled against such forced returns within Europe.

      The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has prohibited the forced returns of two asylum seekers from Somalia and Mali to Italy out of concern over the prevailing living conditions they’d have to endure in Italy.

      There was a “serious danger” that the two men, one Somali and one Malian, would not be able to meet their “fundamental needs” like accommodation and food, the court in the city of Münster said on Thursday (July 29).

      According to the judges, the Somali had already been recognized as a refugee in Italy. The Malian had applied for asylum in Italy before traveling onwards to Germany.

      As a result, Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had rejected both their asylum applications as inadmissable and ordered a return to Italy. The men then filed two separate claims against the BAMF decision.
      ’Inhumane and humiliating treatment’

      In its ruling, the court cited the prevailing Italian system for refugees, which stipulates that accommodation and provision is only granted to particularly vulnerable people like the sick or families with children in reception facilities.

      No access to accommodation and work for a longer period of time, however, would mean that the two men would end up in a situation of extreme material hardship, independent of their will and their personal choices, the court said.

      As a result, the two men would face “the serious danger of inhumane and humiliating treatment” in a member state of the European Union, the court argued further. The ruling could not be appealed, the judges said. However, the authorities can file a complaint against this decision at Germany’s federal administrative court.
      Similar decisions

      This week’s ruling is not the first time a German court prevented asylum seekers from being forcibly returned to another EU country.

      In April, a court in the state of Lower Saxony ruled that two sisters from Syria who received protection status in Greece cannot be deported from Germany. The court said the human rights of the women would be put at risk if they were returned to Greece.

      In a similar case, a court in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in January found that two refugees threatened with deportation to Greece would be at serious risk of inhumane and degrading treatment if they were to be sent back.

      A slightly different case took place back in 2019, when a Munich court decided that Germany must take back a refugee who was stopped on the border and deported to Greece. The court argued that proper procedure under German law had not been followed.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/33990/forced-return-to-italy-unlawful-german-court-rules

  • GREEK AUTHORITIES DECLARE TURKEY SAFE FOR AFGHAN, BANGLADESHI, SYRIAN, SOMALI AND PAKISTANI NATIONALS

    Yesterday, the Greek authorities furthered Europe’s border externalisation policy through the formal designation of Turkey as a safe country for Afghan, Syrian, Somali, Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals.

    Announced in a new Joint Ministerial Decision, this means that all new asylum claims made by people of these nationalities may face expedited examination of their claim, and likely will have their application for asylum rejected as ‘inadmissible’ on the grounds that Turkey is a safe country for them – meaning that they could be “readmitted” (deportated) to Turkey, without an examination of the merits of their asylum claim – i.e. the reason they left their home country. The populations targeted are by no means surprising: as of April 2021, the majority of the migrant population on the Aegean islands are from Afghanistan (50%), Syria (15%) and Somalia (8%).

    Turkey is not a safe third country for migrants. Most migrants are unable to access any form of protection in Turkey, owing to a geographic restriction that it imposed to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, and migrants there are at grave risk of exploitation, inhumane detention, and deportation. Only Syrian nationals are able to obtain a form of temporary protection, which falls far short of refugee protection and, in practice, provides little defence against refoulement.

    The EU-Turkey Statement had a clear mandate to exclude all new arrivals from obtaining international protection in Europe, and to confine those who did arrive in liminal European territory until they could be returned. However, since the codification of the EU-Turkey Statement into Greek law in 2016, only Syrian nationals have been found “inadmissible” on the (objectively erroneous) grounds that Turkey is a safe country from which they could seek and obtain international protection. This was despite political pressure from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) to reject all asylum claims as inadmissible since the EU-Turkey Statement’s implementation.

    Yesterday’s decision expanding the notion that Turkey is “safe” for five additional nationalities is indeed a step further in “the full and unconditional implementation” of the EU-Turkey Statement, as confirmed by Minister of Migration and Asylum N. Mitarachis. Moreover, it is an explicit and unapologetic endorsement of Europe’s drive to exclude migrants from its territory, which are manifest in its policies of systematic violence and continued, fatal disregard for migrant lives.

    Αριθμ. 42799, Καθορισμός τρίτων χωρών που χαρακτηρίζονται ως ασφαλείς και κατάρτιση εθνικού καταλόγου, κατά τα οριζόμενα στο άρθρο 86 του ν. 4636/2019 (Α’ 169).

    https://legalcentrelesvos.org/2021/06/08/greek-authorities-declare-turkey-safe-for-afghan-bangladeshi-syri

    #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_afghans #réfugiés_bangladais #réfugiés_syriens #réfugiés_somaliens #réfugiés_pakistanais #pays_sûr

    • GREECE DEEMS TURKEY “SAFE”, BUT REFUGEES ARE NOT : THE SUBSTANTIVE EXAMINATION OF ASYLUM APPLICATIONS IS THE ONLY SAFE SOLUTION FOR REFUGEES

      Athens, 14 June 2021: With a new Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) issued on 7 June,[1] the Greek State designates Turkey as a “safe third country” for families, men, women and children of five nationalities[2] seeking international protection in Greece. It is noted that the JMD applies even to those from countries with high recognition rates for international protection, such as Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.[3] This decision reinforces the policy established by the March 2016 EU-Turkey Statement that shifts the responsibility to protect refugees, including unaccompanied children,[4] arriving in Europe to third countries.

      For years, the effect of this externalisation policy has been to turn the Greek islands into a place of confinement for thousands of displaced and persecuted people, as authorities prioritised “containing” them on the islands to facilitate their return to third countries. This created places like Moria that became shameful symbols of Europe’s failure to protect refugees. But the solution is not to send displaced individuals to Turkey. In Turkey, people seeking asylum from non-European countries are not granted international protection per the 1951 Refugee Convention, while in March 2021 Turkey announced it would withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, and will thus not be protecting victims of gender-based violence, who are at an increased risk in case of return from Greece, based on the new JMD. People should not be returned to a country where their lives would be in danger, but multiple reports over recent years warn of the refoulement of refugees from Turkey, even to war zones in Syria.[5] Furthermore, the concept of a “safe third country” presupposes the existence of an essential connection between the asylum seeker and that country, as well as the consent of the third country to receive the returnee. These conditions are not met in the case of Turkey.

      The decision to designate Turkey as a “safe third country”, should be revoked for the aforementioned reasons. Furthermore, the unworkability of this new law is highlighted, since as far back as March 2020, Turkey is not accepting the return of refugees and asylum seekers from Greece. This has been pointed out by Greece’s Ministry of Migration and Asylum as well as the European Commission.[6]Refugees whose applications have been rejected as inadmissible according to the “safe third country” principle, are already enduring a situation of protracted legal uncertainty, social exclusion, destitution, homelessness, and even prolonged detention in Greece, which is at risk of turning into a prison.[7] This JMD will serve only to increase the number of people in such a situation.

      In fact, as has been pointed out in relevant interventions by the Greek Ombudsperson, and more recently in a reply by the Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission,[8] in these cases applicants must be able to re-apply for asylum, and have their applications examined on their merits, in accordance with EU and national law.[9]

      In line with a recent announcement by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),[10] our organisations stress that “externalization simply shifts asylum responsibilities elsewhere and evades international obligations”. We once again call on the Greek and European authorities to honour their responsibility to protect refugees and to avoid further undermining the European asylum acquis and the fundamental principles and values for protecting human rights. To this end, we call on Greece to revoke the JMD issued on 7 June.

      Signatories

      Action for education

      ΑRSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth

      Better Days

      Centre Diotima

      ECHO100PLUS

      ELIX

      Equal Rights Beyond Borders

      Europe Must Act

      European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL)

      Fenix – Humanitarian Legal Aid

      Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)

      Greek Forum of Migrants

      Greek Forum of Refugees (GFR)

      Greek Helsinki Monitor

      Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR)

      HumanRights360

      Human Rights Legal Project

      Initiative for the Detainees’ Rights

      International Rescue Committee (IRC)

      INTERSOS

      INTERSOS Hellas

      Irida Women’s Center

      Legal Centre Lesvos

      Lesvos Solidarity

      Lighthouse Relief

      Médecins du Monde – Greece

      METAdrasi- Action for Migration and Development

      Mobile Info Team (MIT)

      Network for Children’s Rights

      Network for the Social Support of Refugees and Migrants

      Odyssea

      Refugees International

      Refugee Law Clinic Berlin

      Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

      Refugee Rights Europe (RRE)

      Refugee Support Aegean (RSA)

      Samos Volunteers

      SolidarityNow

      Still I Rise

      Terre des hommes Hellas

      NOTES

      Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) 42799/2021, Gov. Gazette 2425/Β/7-6-2021, available in Greek at: https://bit.ly/3gjEYcI. ↑
      The JMD applies to nationals of Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Bangladesh and Pakistan ↑
      Indicatively, in 2020, the rate of positive decisions issued by the Greek Asylum Service (GAS) for asylum applicants from Somalia was 94.1%, from Syria 91.6% and from Afghanistan 66.2%. RSA, “Asylum statistics for 2020 A need for regular and transparent official information”, 11 February 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3vcbC5K. ↑
      According to the latest available statistics issued by the National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA), 68% of unaccompanied children that have been identified in Greece are from Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Accordingly, and in any case, the implementation of the JMD is not in line with the principle of the best interests of the child and the protective provisions of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. On the latest available statistics see EKKA, Situation Update: Unaccompanied Children (UAC) in Greece, 15 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3wcByPw. ↑
      Amongst others: EASO, Syria Situation of returnees from abroad: Country of Origin Information, June 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3weoZUn, pp. 12-13; AIDA, Country Report Turkey (May 2021 update), 31 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3gfnyzr; DW, “Amnesty: Turkey forced Syrian refugees back into war zone”, 25 October 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/3pAOpc3; ECRE, “Human Rights Watch report: push backs of Syrian refugees by Turkey”, 30 March 2018, available at: https://bit.ly/2T43XsK; Human Rights Watch, “Turkey: Syrians Pushed Back at the Border”, 23 November 2015, available at: https://bit.ly/3x2tPUA. ↑
      Amongst others: Ministry of Migration and Asylum, “Request by Greece towards the EU for the immediate return 1,450 third country nationals under the Joint EU-Turkey Statement”, 14 January 2021, available in Greek at: https://bit.ly/3izPzmA; European Commission, Commission Staff Working Document: Turkey 2020 Report, 6 October 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/3xgt4aK, p. 48. ↑
      It is noted that the majority (65.8%) of international protection applications that were submitted in Greece in 2020 regarded asylum seekers from the 5 countries that are stated in the JMD. Ministry of Migration and Asylum, Annual briefing 2020, 19 January 2021, available in Greek at: https://bit.ly/3wfCgfi, p.13. ↑
      EN P-000604/2021, Answer given by Ms Johansson on behalf of the European Commission (1.6.2021), διαθέσιμο στα αγγλικά στο: https://bit.ly/3cuwEGb. ↑
      Article 38, para. 4 Directive 2013/32/EU on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection (recast) and article 86, para. 5 L. 4636/2019 (also known as “IPA”). ↑
      UNHCR, “UNHCR warns against “exporting” asylum, calls for responsibility sharing for refugees, not burden shifting”, 19 May 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3v7EgEN. ↑

      https://rsaegean.org/en/greece-deems-turkey-safe-but-refugees-are-not

  • Toward a Gender-Sensitive Securitization of the Common European Asylum System

    EU Member States may legally designate a country as a Safe Country of Origin when human rights and democratic standards are generally respected. For nationals of these countries, asylum claims are treated in an accelerated way, the underlying objective of the “safe country” designation being to facilitate the rapid return of unsuccessful claimants to their country of origin. The concept of “safe country” was initially blind to gender-based violence. Yet, in the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which began in 2016, the European Commission proposed two changes: first, that a common list of “safe countries” should be applied in all Member States, and second, that this concept should be interpreted in a “gender-sensitive” manner. In consequence, the generalization of a policy that has been documented as largely detrimental to asylum seekers has been accompanied by the development of special guarantees for LGBTI+ asylum seekers. In light of this, there is a need to examine the impact of “safe country” practices on LGBTI+ claimants and to investigate the extent to which the securitization of European borders is compatible with LGBTI+ inclusion. Based on a qualitative document analysis of EU “#safe_country” policies and on interviews with organizations supporting LGBTI+ asylum seekers, this article shows that despite the implementation of gender-sensitive safeguards, LGBTI+ asylum seekers are particularly affected by “safe country” practices. These practices permeate European asylum systems beyond the application of official lists, depriving many LGBTI+ asylum seekers of their right to have their protection claims fairly assessed.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fhumd.2021.635809/full

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #pays_sûrs #CEAS #LGBT #genre #homosexualité #Common_European_Asylum_System #régime_d'asile_européen_commun (#RAEC)

  • UK to deny asylum to refugees passing through ’safe’ third country

    Immigration rule will also prevent migrants from making a claim in UK territorial waters

    Ministers have quietly changed immigration rules to prevent people fleeing war or persecution from claiming asylum in the UK if they have passed through a “safe” third country, prompting accusations of a breach of international law.

    From 1 January, claims of asylum from a person who has travelled through or has a connection to a safe third country, including people coming from EU member states, will be treated as inadmissible.

    The changes will also prevent asylum seekers from being able to make a claim in the territorial waters of the UK.

    The UK government will be able to remove refused asylum seekers not only to the third countries through which they have travelled, but to any safe third country that may agree to receive them, an explanatory memo states.

    A 10-page statement (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943127/CCS207_CCS1220673408-001_Statement_of_changes_in_Immig) outlining the changes to the rules was published online without a press or public announcement.

    However, the changes highlight a significant hurdle for the UK government: claims will only be treated as inadmissible if the asylum applicant is accepted for readmission by the third country through which they have travelled or another safe state agrees to take them.

    Immigration law experts have said this could render the new policy “pointless” and would most likely delay asylum applications and leave refugees in limbo in the UK.

    Colin Yeo, a leading immigration barrister with expertise in asylum law, wrote on Twitter: “The policy is pointless because the govt has negotiated no such return agreements, so all it does is delay decisions on all claims, which is cruel to genuine refugees, and delay removal of non genuine cases.”


    https://twitter.com/ColinYeo1/status/1337069616078721025

    The Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael, said the changes were “yet another breach of international law”.

    He said: “The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need, but now the Conservative government is turning its back on refugees. This latest nasty policy from [the home secretary] Priti Patel goes against our commitments under the refugee convention and against everything the UK stands for. It’s yet another breach of international law by this irresponsible tory government.”

    Beth Gardiner-Smith, the chief executive of Safe Passage International, a charity that help refugees access safe and legal routes to asylum, said: “The government’s changes to the immigration rules are a direct assault on the fundamental human right to asylum. These chilling changes on International Human Rights Day do a disservice to the UK’s proud record of providing safety to those fleeing persecution and violence.”

    The number of small boat arrivals across the Channel has surged to record levels this year, with more than 8,000 migrants and refugees travelling across the Dover Strait, compared with less than 2,000 in 2019. However, total asylum applications are down year on year as the Covid-19 pandemic has cut off other methods of travel and limited migration flows.

    Patel has been accused of responding haphazardly with kneejerk proposals ranging from sending asylum seekers thousands of miles away to islands in the South Atlantic, to using giant water cannons to repel boats. The prime minister has reportedly become frustrated with Patel’s handling of the situation.

    The UK is a party to the UN’s 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and to its 1967 protocol, a piece of international law designed to protect refugees.

    The Home Office provided a statement through the immigration compliance minister, Chris Philp. He said: “We are determined to fix the broken asylum system to make it firm on those who come here through illegally facilitated routes and fair on those who play by the rules. There is no reason to leave a safe country like France to make a dangerous crossing. These measures send a clear message and are just one of the steps th​e government is taking to tackle the unacceptable rise in small boat crossings.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/dec/10/uk-to-deny-asylum-to-refugees-passing-through-safe-third-country

    #UK #Angleterre #asile #migrations #réfugiés #droit_d'asile #Manche #eaux_territoriales #pays_sûr #transit #pays_tiers_sûr #brexit #EU #Europe #UE #renvois #expulsions #01_janvier_2020 #inadmissibilité #attente #limbe #accords #droit_international #Priti_Patel

    ping @isskein

  • Fil de discussion sur le nouveau #pacte_européen_sur_la_migration_et_l’asile

    –—

    Migrants : le règlement de Dublin va être supprimé

    La Commission européenne doit présenter le 23 septembre sa proposition de réforme de sa politique migratoire, très attendue et plusieurs fois repoussée.

    Cinq ans après le début de la crise migratoire, l’Union européenne veut changer de stratégie. La Commission européenne veut “abolir” le règlement de Dublin qui fracture les Etats-membres et qui confie la responsabilité du traitement des demandes d’asile au pays de première entrée des migrants dans l’UE, a annoncé ce mercredi 16 septembre la cheffe de l’exécutif européen Ursula von der Leyen dans son discours sur l’Etat de l’Union.

    La Commission doit présenter le 23 septembre sa proposition de réforme de la politique migratoire européenne, très attendue et plusieurs fois repoussée, alors que le débat sur le manque de solidarité entre pays Européens a été relancé par l’incendie du camp de Moria sur lîle grecque de Lesbos.

    “Au coeur (de la réforme) il y a un engagement pour un système plus européen”, a déclaré Ursula von der Leyen devant le Parlement européen. “Je peux annoncer que nous allons abolir le règlement de Dublin et le remplacer par un nouveau système européen de gouvernance de la migration”, a-t-elle poursuivi.
    Nouveau mécanisme de solidarité

    “Il y aura des structures communes pour l’asile et le retour. Et il y aura un nouveau mécanisme fort de solidarité”, a-t-elle dit, alors que les pays qui sont en première ligne d’arrivée des migrants (Grèce, Malte, Italie notamment) se plaignent de devoir faire face à une charge disproportionnée.

    La proposition de réforme de la Commission devra encore être acceptée par les Etats. Ce qui n’est pas gagné d’avance. Cinq ans après la crise migratoire de 2015, la question de l’accueil des migrants est un sujet qui reste source de profondes divisions en Europe, certains pays de l’Est refusant d’accueillir des demandeurs d’asile.

    Sous la pression, le système d’asile européen organisé par le règlement de Dublin a explosé après avoir pesé lourdement sur la Grèce ou l’Italie.

    Le nouveau plan pourrait notamment prévoir davantage de sélection des demandeurs d’asile aux frontières extérieures et un retour des déboutés dans leur pays assuré par Frontex. Egalement à l’étude pour les Etats volontaires : un mécanisme de relocalisation des migrants sauvés en Méditerranée, parfois contraints d’errer en mer pendant des semaines en attente d’un pays d’accueil.

    Ce plan ne résoudrait toutefois pas toutes les failles. Pour le patron de l’Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration, Didier Leschi, “il ne peut pas y avoir de politique européenne commune sans critères communs pour accepter les demandes d’asile.”

    https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/entry/migrants-le-reglement-de-dublin-tres-controverse-va-etre-supprime_fr_

    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Dublin #règlement_dublin #fin #fin_de_Dublin #suppression #pacte #Pacte_européen_sur_la_migration #new_pact #nouveau_pacte #pacte_sur_la_migration_et_l'asile

    –---

    Documents officiels en lien avec le pacte :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/879881

    –-

    ajouté à la métaliste sur le pacte :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/1019088

    ping @reka @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

    • Immigration : le règlement de Dublin, l’impossible #réforme ?

      En voulant abroger le règlement de Dublin, qui impose la responsabilité des demandeurs d’asile au premier pays d’entrée dans l’Union européenne, Bruxelles reconnaît des dysfonctionnements dans l’accueil des migrants. Mais les Vingt-Sept, plus que jamais divisés sur cette question, sont-ils prêts à une refonte du texte ? Éléments de réponses.

      Ursula Von der Leyen en a fait une des priorités de son mandat : réformer le règlement de Dublin, qui impose au premier pays de l’UE dans lequel le migrant est arrivé de traiter sa demande d’asile. « Je peux annoncer que nous allons [l’]abolir et le remplacer par un nouveau système européen de gouvernance de la migration », a déclaré la présidente de la Commission européenne mercredi 16 septembre, devant le Parlement.

      Les États dotés de frontières extérieures comme la Grèce, l’Italie ou Malte se sont réjouis de cette annonce. Ils s’estiment lésés par ce règlement en raison de leur situation géographique qui les place en première ligne.

      La présidente de la Commission européenne doit présenter, le 23 septembre, une nouvelle version de la politique migratoire, jusqu’ici maintes fois repoussée. « Il y aura des structures communes pour l’asile et le retour. Et il y aura un nouveau mécanisme fort de solidarité », a-t-elle poursuivi. Un terme fort à l’heure où l’incendie du camp de Moria sur l’île grecque de Lesbos, plus de 8 000 adultes et 4 000 enfants à la rue, a révélé le manque d’entraide entre pays européens.

      Pour mieux comprendre l’enjeu de cette nouvelle réforme européenne de la politique migratoire, France 24 décrypte le règlement de Dublin qui divise tant les Vingt-Sept, en particulier depuis la crise migratoire de 2015.

      Pourquoi le règlement de Dublin dysfonctionne ?

      Les failles ont toujours existé mais ont été révélées par la crise migratoire de 2015, estiment les experts de politique migratoire. Ce texte signé en 2013 et qu’on appelle « Dublin III » repose sur un accord entre les membres de l’Union européenne ainsi que la Suisse, l’Islande, la Norvège et le Liechtenstein. Il prévoit que l’examen de la demande d’asile d’un exilé incombe au premier pays d’entrée en Europe. Si un migrant passé par l’Italie arrive par exemple en France, les autorités françaises ne sont, en théorie, pas tenu d’enregistrer la demande du Dubliné.
      © Union européenne | Les pays signataires du règlement de Dublin.

      Face à l’afflux de réfugiés ces dernières années, les pays dotés de frontières extérieures, comme la Grèce et l’Italie, se sont estimés abandonnés par le reste de l’Europe. « La charge est trop importante pour ce bloc méditerranéen », estime Matthieu Tardis, chercheur au Centre migrations et citoyennetés de l’Ifri (Institut français des relations internationales). Le texte est pensé « comme un mécanisme de responsabilité des États et non de solidarité », estime-t-il.

      Sa mise en application est aussi difficile à mettre en place. La France et l’Allemagne, qui concentrent la majorité des demandes d’asile depuis le début des années 2000, peinent à renvoyer les Dublinés. Dans l’Hexagone, seulement 11,5 % ont été transférés dans le pays d’entrée. Outre-Rhin, le taux ne dépasse pas les 15 %. Conséquence : nombre d’entre eux restent « bloqués » dans les camps de migrants à Calais ou dans le nord de Paris.

      Le délai d’attente pour les demandeurs d’asile est aussi jugé trop long. Un réfugié passé par l’Italie, qui vient déposer une demande d’asile en France, peut attendre jusqu’à 18 mois avant d’avoir un retour. « Durant cette période, il se retrouve dans une situation d’incertitude très dommageable pour lui mais aussi pour l’Union européenne. C’est un système perdant-perdant », commente Matthieu Tardis.

      Ce règlement n’est pas adapté aux demandeurs d’asile, surenchérit-on à la Cimade (Comité inter-mouvements auprès des évacués). Dans un rapport, l’organisation qualifie ce système de « machine infernale de l’asile européen ». « Il ne tient pas compte des liens familiaux ni des langues parlées par les réfugiés », précise le responsable asile de l’association, Gérard Sadik.

      Sept ans après avoir vu le jour, le règlement s’est vu porter le coup de grâce par le confinement lié aux conditions sanitaires pour lutter contre le Covid-19. « Durant cette période, aucun transfert n’a eu lieu », assure-t-on à la Cimade.

      Le mécanisme de solidarité peut-il le remplacer ?

      « Il y aura un nouveau mécanisme fort de solidarité », a promis Ursula von der Leyen, sans donné plus de précision. Sur ce point, on sait déjà que les positions divergent, voire s’opposent, entre les Vingt-Sept.

      Le bloc du nord-ouest (Allemagne, France, Autriche, Benelux) reste ancré sur le principe actuel de responsabilité, mais accepte de l’accompagner d’un mécanisme de solidarité. Sur quels critères se base la répartition du nombre de demandeurs d’asile ? Comment les sélectionner ? Aucune décision n’est encore actée. « Ils sont prêts à des compromis car ils veulent montrer que l’Union européenne peut avancer et agir sur la question migratoire », assure Matthieu Tardis.

      En revanche, le groupe dit de Visegrad (Hongrie, Pologne, République tchèque, Slovaquie), peu enclin à l’accueil, rejette catégoriquement tout principe de solidarité. « Ils se disent prêts à envoyer des moyens financiers, du personnel pour le contrôle aux frontières mais refusent de recevoir les demandeurs d’asile », détaille le chercheur de l’Ifri.

      Quant au bloc Méditerranée (Grèce, Italie, Malte , Chypre, Espagne), des questions subsistent sur la proposition du bloc nord-ouest : le mécanisme de solidarité sera-t-il activé de façon permanente ou exceptionnelle ? Quelles populations sont éligibles au droit d’asile ? Et qui est responsable du retour ? « Depuis le retrait de la Ligue du Nord de la coalition dans le gouvernement italien, le dialogue est à nouveau possible », avance Matthieu Tardis.

      Un accord semble toutefois indispensable pour montrer que l’Union européenne n’est pas totalement en faillite sur ce dossier. « Mais le bloc de Visegrad n’a pas forcément en tête cet enjeu », nuance-t-il. Seule la situation sanitaire liée au Covid-19, qui place les pays de l’Est dans une situation économique fragile, pourrait faire évoluer leur position, note le chercheur.

      Et le mécanisme par répartition ?

      Le mécanisme par répartition, dans les tuyaux depuis 2016, revient régulièrement sur la table des négociations. Son principe : la capacité d’accueil du pays dépend de ses poids démographique et économique. Elle serait de 30 % pour l’Allemagne, contre un tiers des demandes aujourd’hui, et 20 % pour la France, qui en recense 18 %. « Ce serait une option gagnante pour ces deux pays, mais pas pour le bloc du Visegrad qui s’y oppose », décrypte Gérard Sadik, le responsable asile de la Cimade.

      Cette doctrine reposerait sur un système informatisé, qui recenserait dans une seule base toutes les données des demandeurs d’asile. Mais l’usage de l’intelligence artificielle au profit de la procédure administrative ne présente pas que des avantages, aux yeux de la Cimade : « L’algorithme ne sera pas en mesure de tenir compte des liens familiaux des demandeurs d’asile », juge Gérard Sadik.

      Quelles chances pour une refonte ?

      L’Union européenne a déjà tenté plusieurs fois de réformer ce serpent de mer. Un texte dit « Dublin IV » était déjà dans les tuyaux depuis 2016, en proposant par exemple que la responsabilité du premier État d’accueil soit définitive, mais il a été enterré face aux dissensions internes.

      Reste à savoir quel est le contenu exact de la nouvelle version qui sera présentée le 23 septembre par Ursula Van der Leyen. À la Cimade, on craint un durcissement de la politique migratoire, et notamment un renforcement du contrôle aux frontières.

      Quoi qu’il en soit, les négociations s’annoncent « compliquées et difficiles » car « les intérêts des pays membres ne sont pas les mêmes », a rappelé le ministre grec adjoint des Migrations, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, jeudi 17 septembre. Et surtout, la nouvelle mouture devra obtenir l’accord du Parlement, mais aussi celui des États. La refonte est encore loin.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27376/immigration-le-reglement-de-dublin-l-impossible-reforme

      #gouvernance #Ursula_Von_der_Leyen #mécanisme_de_solidarité #responsabilité #groupe_de_Visegrad #solidarité #répartition #mécanisme_par_répartition #capacité_d'accueil #intelligence_artificielle #algorithme #Dublin_IV

    • Germany’s #Seehofer cautiously optimistic on EU asylum reform

      For the first time during the German Presidency, EU interior ministers exchanged views on reforms of the EU asylum system. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) expressed “justified confidence” that a deal can be found. EURACTIV Germany reports.

      The focus of Tuesday’s (7 July) informal video conference of interior ministers was on the expansion of police cooperation and sea rescue, which, according to Seehofer, is one of the “Big Four” topics of the German Council Presidency, integrated into a reform of the #Common_European_Asylum_System (#CEAS).

      Following the meeting, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, spoke of an “excellent start to the Presidency,” and Seehofer also praised the “constructive discussions.” In the field of asylum policy, she said that it had become clear that all member states were “highly interested in positive solutions.”

      The interior ministers were unanimous in their desire to further strengthen police cooperation and expand both the mandates and the financial resources of Europol and Frontex.

      Regarding the question of the distribution of refugees, Seehofer said that he had “heard statements that [he] had not heard in years prior.” He said that almost all member states were “prepared to show solidarity in different ways.”

      While about a dozen member states would like to participate in the distribution of those rescued from distress at the EU’s external borders in the event of a “disproportionate burden” on the states, other states signalled that they wanted to make control vessels, financial means or personnel available to prevent smuggling activities and stem migration across the Mediterranean.

      Seehofer’s final act

      It will probably be Seehofer’s last attempt to initiate CEAS reform. He announced in May that he would withdraw completely from politics after the end of the legislative period in autumn 2021.

      Now it seems that he considers CEAS reform as his last great mission, Seehofer said that he intends to address the migration issue from late summer onwards “with all I have at my disposal.” adding that Tuesday’s (7 July) talks had “once again kindled a real fire” in him. To this end, he plans to leave the official business of the Interior Ministry “in day-to-day matters” largely to the State Secretaries.

      Seehofer’s shift of priorities to the European stage comes at a time when he is being sharply criticised in Germany.

      While his initial handling of a controversial newspaper column about the police published in Berlin’s tageszeitung prompted criticism, Seehofer now faces accusations of concealing structural racism in the police. Seehofer had announced over the weekend that, contrary to the recommendation of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), he would not commission a study on racial profiling in the police force after all.

      Seehofer: “One step is not enough”

      In recent months, Seehofer has made several attempts to set up a distribution mechanism for rescued persons in distress. On several occasions he accused the Commission of letting member states down by not solving the asylum question.

      “I have the ambition to make a great leap. One step would be too little in our presidency,” said Seehofer during Tuesday’s press conference. However, much depends on when the Commission will present its long-awaited migration pact, as its proposals are intended to serve as a basis for negotiations on CEAS reform.

      As Johansson said on Tuesday, this is planned for September. Seehofer thus only has just under four months to get the first Council conclusions through. “There will not be enough time for legislation,” he said.

      Until a permanent solution is found, ad hoc solutions will continue. A “sustainable solution” should include better cooperation with the countries of origin and transit, as the member states agreed on Tuesday.

      To this end, “agreements on the repatriation of refugees” are now to be reached with North African countries. A first step towards this will be taken next Monday (13 July), at a joint conference with North African leaders.

      https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/germany-eyes-breakthrough-in-eu-migration-dispute-this-year

      #Europol #Frontex

    • Relocation, solidarity mandatory for EU migration policy: #Johansson

      In an interview with ANSA and other European media outlets, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs #Ylva_Johansson explained the new migration and asylum pact due to be unveiled on September 23, stressing that nobody will find ideal solutions but rather a well-balanced compromise that will ’’improve the situation’’.

      European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson has explained in an interview with a group of European journalists, including ANSA, a new pact on asylum and migration to be presented on September 23. She touched on rules for countries of first entry, a new mechanism of mandatory solidarity, fast repatriations and refugee relocation.

      The Swedish commissioner said that no one will find ideal solutions in the European Commission’s new asylum and migration proposal but rather a good compromise that “will improve the situation”.

      She said the debate to change the asylum regulation known as Dublin needs to be played down in order to find an agreement. Johansson said an earlier 2016 reform plan would be withdrawn as it ’’caused the majority’’ of conflicts among countries.

      A new proposal that will replace the current one and amend the existing Dublin regulation will be presented, she explained.

      The current regulation will not be completely abolished but rules regarding frontline countries will change. Under the new proposal, migrants can still be sent back to the country responsible for their asylum request, explained the commissioner, adding that amendments will be made but the country of first entry will ’’remain important’’.

      ’’Voluntary solidarity is not enough," there has to be a “mandatory solidarity mechanism,” Johansson noted.

      Countries will need to help according to their size and possibilities. A member state needs to show solidarity ’’in accordance with the capacity and size’’ of its economy. There will be no easy way out with the possibility of ’’just sending some blankets’’ - efforts must be proportional to the size and capabilities of member states, she said.
      Relocations are a divisive theme

      Relocations will be made in a way that ’’can be possible to accept for all member states’’, the commissioner explained. The issue of mandatory quotas is extremely divisive, she went on to say. ’’The sentence of the European Court of Justice has established that they can be made’’.

      However, the theme is extremely divisive. Many of those who arrive in Europe are not eligible for international protection and must be repatriated, she said, wondering if it is a good idea to relocate those who need to be repatriated.

      “We are looking for a way to bring the necessary aid to countries under pressure.”

      “Relocation is an important part, but also” it must be done “in a way that can be possible to accept for all member states,” she noted.

      Moreover, Johansson said the system will not be too rigid as the union should prepare for different scenarios.
      Faster repatriations

      Repatriations will be a key part of the plan, with faster bureaucratic procedures, she said. The 2016 reform proposal was made following the 2015 migration crisis, when two million people, 90% of whom were refugees, reached the EU irregularly. For this reason, the plan focused on relocations, she explained.

      Now the situation is completely different: last year 2.4 million stay permits were issued, the majority for reasons connected to family, work or education. Just 140,000 people migrated irregularly and only one-third were refugees while two-thirds will need to be repatriated.

      For this reason, stressed the commissioner, the new plan will focus on repatriation. Faster procedures are necessary, she noted. When people stay in a country for years it is very hard to organize repatriations, especially voluntary ones. So the objective is for a negative asylum decision “to come together with a return decision.”

      Also, the permanence in hosting centers should be of short duration. Speaking about a fire at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos where more than 12,000 asylum seekers have been stranded for years, the commissioner said the situation was the ’’result of lack of European policy on asylum and migration."

      “We shall have no more Morias’’, she noted, calling for well-managed hosting centers along with limits to permanence.

      A win-win collaboration will instead be planned with third countries, she said. ’’The external aspect is very important. We have to work on good partnerships with third countries, supporting them and finding win-win solutions for readmissions and for the fight against traffickers. We have to develop legal pathways to come to the EU, in particular with resettlements, a policy that needs to be strengthened.”

      The commissioner then rejected the idea of opening hosting centers in third countries, an idea for example proposed by Denmark.

      “It is not the direction I intend to take. We will not export the right to asylum.”

      The commissioner said she was very concerned by reports of refoulements. Her objective, she concluded, is to “include in the pact a monitoring mechanism. The right to asylum must be defended.”

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/27447/relocation-solidarity-mandatory-for-eu-migration-policy-johansson

      #relocalisation #solidarité_obligatoire #solidarité_volontaire #pays_de_première_entrée #renvois #expulsions #réinstallations #voies_légales

    • Droit d’asile : Bruxelles rate son « #pacte »

      La Commission européenne, assurant vouloir « abolir » le règlement de Dublin et son principe du premier pays d’entrée, doit présenter ce mercredi un « pacte sur l’immigration et l’asile ». Qui ne bouleverserait rien.

      C’est une belle victoire pour Viktor Orbán, le Premier ministre hongrois, et ses partenaires d’Europe centrale et orientale aussi peu enclins que lui à accueillir des étrangers sur leur sol. La Commission européenne renonce définitivement à leur imposer d’accueillir des demandeurs d’asile en cas d’afflux dans un pays de la « ligne de front » (Grèce, Italie, Malte, Espagne). Certes, le volumineux paquet de textes qu’elle propose ce mercredi (10 projets de règlements et trois recommandations, soit plusieurs centaines de pages), pompeusement baptisé « pacte sur l’immigration et l’asile », prévoit qu’ils devront, par « solidarité », assurer les refoulements vers les pays d’origine des déboutés du droit d’asile, mais cela ne devrait pas les gêner outre mesure. Car, sur le fond, la Commission prend acte de la volonté des Vingt-Sept de transformer l’Europe en forteresse.
      Sale boulot

      La crise de 2015 les a durablement traumatisés. A l’époque, la Turquie, par lassitude d’accueillir sur son sol plusieurs millions de réfugiés syriens et des centaines de milliers de migrants économiques dans l’indifférence de la communauté internationale, ouvre ses frontières. La Grèce est vite submergée et plusieurs centaines de milliers de personnes traversent les Balkans afin de trouver refuge, notamment en Allemagne et en Suède, parmi les pays les plus généreux en matière d’asile.

      Passé les premiers moments de panique, les Européens réagissent de plusieurs manières. La Hongrie fait le sale boulot en fermant brutalement sa frontière. L’Allemagne, elle, accepte d’accueillir un million de demandeurs d’asile, mais négocie avec Ankara un accord pour qu’il referme ses frontières, accord ensuite endossé par l’UE qui lui verse en échange 6 milliards d’euros destinés aux camps de réfugiés. Enfin, l’Union adopte un règlement destiné à relocaliser sur une base obligatoire une partie des migrants dans les autres pays européens afin qu’ils instruisent les demandes d’asile, dans le but de soulager la Grèce et l’Italie, pays de premier accueil. Ce dernier volet est un échec, les pays d’Europe de l’Est, qui ont voté contre, refusent d’accueillir le moindre migrant, et leurs partenaires de l’Ouest ne font guère mieux : sur 160 000 personnes qui auraient dû être relocalisées, un objectif rapidement revu à 98 000, moins de 35 000 l’ont été à la fin 2017, date de la fin de ce dispositif.

      Depuis, l’Union a considérablement durci les contrôles, notamment en créant un corps de 10 000 gardes-frontières européens et en renforçant les moyens de Frontex, l’agence chargée de gérer ses frontières extérieures. En février-mars, la tentative d’Ankara de faire pression sur les Européens dans le conflit syrien en rouvrant partiellement ses frontières a fait long feu : la Grèce a employé les grands moyens, y compris violents, pour stopper ce flux sous les applaudissements de ses partenaires… Autant dire que l’ambiance n’est pas à l’ouverture des frontières et à l’accueil des persécutés.
      « Usine à gaz »

      Mais la crise migratoire de 2015 a laissé des « divisions nombreuses et profondes entre les Etats membres - certaines des cicatrices qu’elle a laissées sont toujours visibles aujourd’hui », comme l’a reconnu Ursula von der Leyen, la présidente de la Commission, dans son discours sur l’état de l’Union du 16 septembre. Afin de tourner la page, la Commission propose donc de laisser tomber la réforme de 2016 (dite de Dublin IV) prévoyant de pérenniser la relocalisation autoritaire des migrants, désormais jugée par une haute fonctionnaire de l’exécutif « totalement irréaliste ».

      Mais la réforme qu’elle propose, une véritable « usine à gaz », n’est qu’un « rapiéçage » de l’existant, comme l’explique Yves Pascouau, spécialiste de l’immigration et responsable des programmes européens de l’association Res Publica. Ainsi, alors que Von der Leyen a annoncé sa volonté « d’abolir » le règlement de Dublin III, il n’en est rien : le pays responsable du traitement d’une demande d’asile reste, par principe, comme c’est le cas depuis 1990, le pays de première entrée.

      S’il y a une crise, la Commission pourra déclencher un « mécanisme de solidarité » afin de soulager un pays de la ligne de front : dans ce cas, les Vingt-Sept devront accueillir un certain nombre de migrants (en fonction de leur richesse et de leur population), sauf s’ils préfèrent « parrainer un retour ». En clair, prendre en charge le refoulement des déboutés de l’asile (avec l’aide financière et logistique de l’Union) en sachant que ces personnes resteront à leur charge jusqu’à ce qu’ils y parviennent. Ça, c’est pour faire simple, car il y a plusieurs niveaux de crise, des exceptions, des sanctions, des délais et l’on en passe…

      Autre nouveauté : les demandes d’asile devront être traitées par principe à la frontière, dans des camps de rétention, pour les nationalités dont le taux de reconnaissance du statut de réfugié est inférieur à 20% dans l’Union, et ce, en moins de trois mois, avec refoulement à la clé en cas de refus. « Cette réforme pose un principe clair, explique un eurocrate. Personne ne sera obligé d’accueillir un étranger dont il ne veut pas. »

      Dans cet ensemble très sévère, une bonne nouvelle : les sauvetages en mer ne devraient plus être criminalisés. On peut craindre qu’une fois passés à la moulinette des Etats, qui doivent adopter ce paquet à la majorité qualifiée (55% des Etats représentant 65% de la population), il ne reste que les aspects les plus répressifs. On ne se refait pas.


      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/09/22/droit-d-asile-bruxelles-rate-son-pacte_1800264

      –—

      Graphique ajouté au fil de discussion sur les statistiques de la #relocalisation :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/605713

    • Le pacte européen sur l’asile et les migrations ne tire aucune leçon de la « crise migratoire »

      Ce 23 septembre 2020, la nouvelle Commission européenne a présenté les grandes lignes d’orientation de sa politique migratoire à venir. Alors que cinq ans plutôt, en 2015, se déroulait la mal nommée « crise migratoire » aux frontières européennes, le nouveau Pacte Asile et Migration de l’UE ne tire aucune leçon du passé. Le nouveau pacte de l’Union Européenne nous propose inlassablement les mêmes recettes alors que les preuves de leur inefficacité, leur coût et des violences qu’elles procurent sont nombreuses et irréfutables. Le CNCD-11.11.11, son homologue néerlandophone et les membres du groupe de travail pour la justice migratoire appellent le parlement européen et le gouvernement belge à un changement de cap.

      Le nouveau Pacte repose sur des propositions législatives et des recommandations non contraignantes. Ses priorités sont claires mais pas neuves. Freiner les arrivées, limiter l’accueil par le « tri » des personnes et augmenter les retours. Cette stratégie pourtant maintes fois décriée par les ONG et le milieu académique a certes réussi à diminuer les arrivées en Europe, mais n’a offert aucune solution durable pour les personnes migrantes. Depuis les années 2000, l’externalisation de la gestion des questions migratoires a montré son inefficacité (situation humanitaires dans les hotspots, plus de 20.000 décès en Méditerranée depuis 2014 et processus d’encampement aux frontières de l’UE) et son coût exponentiel (coût élevé du contrôle, de la détention-expulsion et de l’aide au développement détournée). Elle a augmenté le taux de violences sur les routes de l’exil et a enfreint le droit international en toute impunité (non accès au droit d’asile notamment via les refoulements).

      "ll est important que tous les États membres développent des systèmes d’accueil de qualité et que l’UE s’oriente vers une protection plus unifiée"

      La proposition de mettre en place un mécanisme solidaire européen contraignant est à saluer, mais celui-ci doit être au service de l’accueil et non couplé au retour. La possibilité pour les États européens de choisir à la carte soit la relocalisation, le « parrainage » du retour des déboutés ou autre contribution financière n’est pas équitable. La répartition solidaire de l’accueil doit être permanente et ne pas être actionnée uniquement en cas « d’afflux massif » aux frontières d’un État membre comme le recommande la Commission. Il est important que tous les États membres développent des systèmes d’accueil de qualité et que l’UE s’oriente vers une protection plus unifiée. Le changement annoncé du Règlement de Dublin l’est juste de nom, car les premiers pays d’entrée resteront responsables des nouveaux arrivés.

      Le focus doit être mis sur les alternatives à la détention et non sur l’usage systématique de l’enfermement aux frontières, comme le veut la Commission. Le droit de demander l’asile et d’avoir accès à une procédure de qualité doit être accessible à tous et toutes et rester un droit individuel. Or, la proposition de la Commission de détenir (12 semaines maximum) en vue de screener (5 jours de tests divers et de recoupement de données via EURODAC) puis trier les personnes migrantes à la frontière en fonction du taux de reconnaissance de protection accordé en moyenne à leur pays d’origine (en dessous de 20%) ou de leur niveau de vulnérabilité est contraire à la Convention de Genève.

      "La priorité pour les personnes migrantes en situation irrégulière doit être la recherche de solutions durables (comme l’est la régularisation) plutôt que le retour forcé, à tous prix."

      La priorité pour les personnes migrantes en situation irrégulière doit être la recherche de solutions durables (comme l’est la régularisation) plutôt que le retour forcé, à tous prix, comme le préconise la Commission.

      La meilleure façon de lutter contre les violences sur les routes de l’exil reste la mise en place de plus de voies légales et sûres de migration (réinstallation, visas de travail, d’études, le regroupement familial…). Les ONG regrettent que la Commission reporte à 2021 les propositions sur la migration légale. Le pacte s’intéresse à juste titre à la criminalisation des ONG de sauvetage et des citoyens qui fournissent une aide humanitaire aux migrants. Toutefois, les propositions visant à y mettre fin sont insuffisantes. Les ONG se réjouissent de l’annonce par la Commission d’un mécanisme de surveillance des droits humains aux frontières extérieures. Au cours de l’année écoulée, on a signalé de plus en plus souvent des retours violents par la Croatie, la Grèce, Malte et Chypre. Toutefois, il n’est pas encore suffisamment clair si les propositions de la Commission peuvent effectivement traiter et sanctionner les refoulements.

      Au lendemain de l’incendie du hotspot à Moria, symbole par excellence de l’échec des politiques migratoires européennes, l’UE s’enfonce dans un déni total, meurtrier, en vue de concilier les divergences entre ses États membres. Les futures discussions autour du Pacte au sein du parlement UE et du Conseil UE seront cruciales. Les ONG membres du groupe de travail pour la justice migratoire appellent le Parlement européen et le gouvernement belge à promouvoir des ajustements fermes allant vers plus de justice migratoire.

      https://www.cncd.be/Le-pacte-europeen-sur-l-asile-et

    • The New Pact on Migration and Asylum. A Critical ‘First Look’ Analysis

      Where does it come from?

      The New Migration Pact was built on the ashes of the mandatory relocation scheme that the Commission tried to push in 2016. And the least that one can say, is that it shows! The whole migration plan has been decisively shaped by this initial failure. Though the Pact has some merits, the very fact that it takes as its starting point the radical demands made by the most nationalist governments in Europe leads to sacrificing migrants’ rights on the altar of a cohesive and integrated European migration policy.

      Back in 2016, the vigorous manoeuvring of the Commission to find a way out of the European asylum dead-end resulted in a bittersweet victory for the European institution. Though the Commission was able to find a qualified majority of member states willing to support a fair distribution of the asylum seekers among member states through a relocation scheme, this new regulation remained dead letter. Several eastern European states flatly refused to implement the plan, other member states seized this opportunity to defect on their obligations and the whole migration policy quickly unravelled. Since then, Europe is left with a dysfunctional Dublin agreement exacerbating the tensions between member states and 27 loosely connected national asylum regimes. On the latter point, at least, there is a consensus. Everyone agrees that the EU’s migration regime is broken and urgently needs to be fixed.

      Obviously, the Commission was not keen to go through a new round of political humiliation. Having been accused of “bureaucratic hubris” the first time around, the commissioners Schinas and Johansson decided not to repeat the same mistake. They toured the European capitals and listened to every side of the entrenched migration debate before drafting their Migration Pact. The intention is in the right place and it reflects the complexity of having to accommodate 27 distinct democratic debates in one single political space. Nevertheless, if one peers a bit more extensively through the content of the New Plan, it is complicated not to get the feelings that the Visegrad countries are currently the key players shaping the European migration and asylum policies. After all, their staunch opposition to a collective reception scheme sparked the political process and provided the starting point to the general discussion. As a result, it is no surprise that the New Pact tilts firmly towards an ever more restrictive approach to migration, beefs up the coercive powers of both member states and European agencies and raises many concerns with regards to the respect of the migrants’ fundamental rights.
      What is in this New Pact on Migration and Asylum?

      Does the Pact concede too much ground to the demands of the most xenophobic European governments? To answer that question, let us go back to the bizarre metaphor used by the commissioner Schinas. During his press conference, he insisted on comparing the New Pact on Migration and Asylum to a house built on solid foundations (i.e. the lengthy and inclusive consultation process) and made of 3 floors: first, some renewed partnerships with the sending and transit states, second, some more effective border procedures, and third, a revamped mandatory – but flexible ! – solidarity scheme. It is tempting to carry on with the metaphor and to say that this house may appear comfortable from the inside but that it remains tightly shut to anyone knocking on its door from the outside. For, a careful examination reveals that each of the three “floors” (policy packages, actually) lays the emphasis on a repressive approach to migration aimed at deterring would-be asylum seekers from attempting to reach the European shores.
      The “new partnerships” with sending and transit countries, a “change in paradigm”?

      Let us add that there is little that is actually “new” in this New Migration Pact. For instance, the first policy package, that is, the suggestion that the EU should renew its partnerships with sending and transit countries is, as a matter of fact, an old tune in the Brussels bubble. The Commission may boast that it marks a “change of paradigm”, one fails to see how this would be any different from the previous European diplomatic efforts. Since migration and asylum are increasingly considered as toxic topics (for, they would be the main factors behind the rise of nationalism and its corollary, Euroscepticism), the European Union is willing to externalize this issue, seemingly at all costs. The results, however, have been mixed in the past. To the Commission’s own admission, only a third of the migrants whose asylum claims have been rejected are effectively returned. Besides the facts that returns are costly, extremely coercive, and administratively complicated to organize, the main reason for this low rate of successful returns is that sending countries refuse to cooperate in the readmission procedures. Neighbouring countries have excellent reasons not to respond positively to the Union’s demands. For some, remittances sent by their diaspora are an economic lifeline. Others just do not want to appear complicit of repressive European practices on their domestic political scene. Furthermore, many African countries are growing discontent with the forceful way the European Union uses its asymmetrical relation of power in bilateral negotiations to dictate to those sovereign states the migration policies they should adopt, making for instance its development aid conditional on the implementation of stricter border controls. The Commission may rhetorically claim to foster “mutually beneficial” international relation with its neighbouring countries, the emphasis on the externalization of migration control in the EU’s diplomatic agenda nevertheless bears some of the hallmarks of neo-colonialism. As such, it is a source of deep resentment in sending and transit states. It would therefore be a grave mistake for the EU to overlook the fact that some short-term gains in terms of migration management may result in long-term losses with regards to Europe’s image across the world.

      Furthermore, considering the current political situation, one should not primarily be worried about the failed partnerships with neighbouring countries, it is rather the successful ones that ought to give us pause and raise concerns. For, based on the existing evidence, the EU will sign a deal with any state as long as it effectively restrains and contains migration flows towards the European shores. Being an authoritarian state with a documented history of human right violations (Turkey) or an embattled government fighting a civil war (Lybia) does not disqualify you as a partner of the European Union in its effort to manage migration flows. It is not only morally debatable for the EU to delegate its asylum responsibilities to unreliable third countries, it is also doubtful that an increase in diplomatic pressure on neighbouring countries will bring major political results. It will further damage the perception of the EU in neighbouring countries without bringing significant restriction to migration flows.
      Streamlining border procedures? Or eroding migrants’ rights?

      The second policy package is no more inviting. It tackles the issue of the migrants who, in spite of those partnerships and the hurdles thrown their way by sending and transit countries, would nevertheless reach Europe irregularly. On this issue, the Commission faced the daunting task of having to square a political circle, since it had to find some common ground in a debate bitterly divided between conflicting worldviews (roughly, between liberal and nationalist perspectives on the individual freedom of movement) and competing interests (between overburdened Mediterranean member states and Eastern member states adamant that asylum seekers would endanger their national cohesion). The Commission thus looked for the lowest common denominator in terms of migration management preferences amongst the distinct member states. The result is a two-tier border procedure aiming to fast-track and streamline the processing of asylum claims, allowing for more expeditious returns of irregular migrants. The goal is to prevent any bottleneck in the processing of the claims and to avoid the (currently near constant) overcrowding of reception facilities in the frontline states. Once again, there is little that is actually new in this proposal. It amounts to a generalization of the process currently in place in the infamous hotspots scattered on the Greek isles. According to the Pact, screening procedures would be carried out in reception centres created across Europe. A far cry from the slogan “no more Moria” since one may legitimately suspect that those reception centres will, at the first hiccup in the procedure, turn into tomorrow’s asylum camps.

      According to this procedure, newly arrived migrants would be submitted within 5 days to a pre-screening procedure and subsequently triaged into two categories. Migrants with a low chance of seeing their asylum claim recognized (because they would come from a country with a low recognition rate or a country belonging to the list of the safe third countries, for instance) would be redirected towards an accelerated procedure. The end goal would be to return them, if applicable, within twelve weeks. The other migrants would be subjected to the standard assessment of their asylum claim. It goes without saying that this proposal has been swiftly and unanimously condemned by all human rights organizations. It does not take a specialized lawyer to see that this two-tiered procedure could have devastating consequences for the “fast-tracked” asylum seekers left with no legal recourse against the initial decision to submit them to this sped up procedure (rather than the standard one) as well as reduced opportunities to defend their asylum claim or, if need be, to contest their return. No matter how often the Commission repeats that it will preserve all the legal safeguards required to protect migrants’ rights, it remains wildly unconvincing. Furthermore, the Pact may confuse speed and haste. The schedule is tight on paper (five days for the pre-screening, twelve weeks for the assessment of the asylum claim), it may well prove unrealistic to meet those deadlines in real-life conditions. The Commission also overlooks the fact that accelerated procedures tend to be sloppy, thus leading to juridical appeals and further legal wrangling and eventually amounting to processes far longer than expected.
      Integrating the returns, not the reception

      The Commission talked up the new Pact as being “balanced” and “humane”. Since the two first policy packages focus, first, on preventing would-be migrants from leaving their countries and, second, on facilitating and accelerating their returns, one would expect the third policy package to move away from the restriction of movement and to complement those measures with a reception plan tailored to the needs of refugees. And here comes the major disappointment with the New Pact and, perhaps, the clearest indication that the Pact is first and foremost designed to please the migration hardliners. It does include a solidarity scheme meant to alleviate the burden of frontline countries, to distribute more fairly the responsibilities amongst member states and to ensure that refugees are properly hosted. But this solidarity scheme is far from being robust enough to deliver on those promises. Let us unpack it briefly to understand why it is likely to fail. The solidarity scheme is mandatory. All member states will be under the obligation to take part. But there is a catch! Member states’ contribution to this collective effort can take many shapes and forms and it will be up to the member states to decide how they want to participate. They get to choose whether they want to relocate some refugees on their national soil, to provide some financial and/or logistical assistance, or to “sponsor” (it is the actual term used by the Commission) some returns.

      No one expected the Commission to reintroduce a compulsory relocation scheme in its Pact. Eastern European countries had drawn an obvious red line and it would have been either naïve or foolish to taunt them with that kind of policy proposal. But this so-called “flexible mandatory solidarity” relies on such a watered-down understanding of the solidarity principle that it results in a weak and misguided political instrument unsuited to solve the problem at hand. First, the flexible solidarity mechanism is too indeterminate to prove efficient. According to the current proposal, member states would have to shoulder a fair share of the reception burden (calculated on their respective population and GDP) but would be left to decide for themselves which form this contribution would take. The obvious flaw with the policy proposal is that, if all member states decline to relocate some refugees (which is a plausible scenario), Mediterranean states would still be left alone when it comes to dealing with the most immediate consequences of migration flows. They would receive much more financial, operational, and logistical support than it currently is the case – but they would be managing on their own the overcrowded reception centres. The Commission suggests that it would oversee the national pledges in terms of relocation and that it would impose some corrections if the collective pledges fall short of a predefined target. But it remains to be seen whether the Commission will have the political clout to impose some relocations to member states refusing them. One could not be blamed for being highly sceptical.

      Second, it is noteworthy that the Commission fails to integrate the reception of refugees since member states are de facto granted an opt-out on hosting refugees. What is integrated is rather the return policy, once more a repressive instrument. And it is the member states with the worst record in terms of migrants’ rights violations that are the most likely to be tasked with the delicate mission of returning them home. As a commentator was quipping on Twitter, it would be like asking a bully to walk his victim home (what could possibly go wrong?). The attempt to build an intra-European consensus is obviously pursued at the expense of the refugees. The incentive structure built into the flexible solidarity scheme offers an excellent illustration of this. If a member state declines to relocate any refugee and offers instead to ‘sponsor’ some returns, it has to honour that pledge within a limited period of time (the Pact suggests a six month timeframe). If it fails to do so, it becomes responsible for the relocation and the return of those migrants, leading to a situation in which some migrants may end up in a country where they do not want to be and that does not want them to be there. Hardly an optimal outcome…
      Conclusion

      The Pact represents a genuine attempt to design a multi-faceted and comprehensive migration policy, covering most aspects of a complex issue. The dysfunctions of the Schengen area and the question of the legal pathways to Europe have been relegated to a later discussion and one may wonder whether they should not have been included in the Pact to balance out its restrictive inclination. And, in all fairness, the Pact does throw a few bones to the more cosmopolitan-minded European citizens. For instance, it reminds the member states that maritime search and rescue operations are legal and should not be impeded, or it shortens (from five to three years) the waiting period for refugees to benefit from the freedom of movement. But those few welcome additions are vastly outweighed by the fact that migration hardliners dominated the agenda-setting in the early stage of the policy-making exercise and have thus been able to frame decisively the political discussion. The end result is a policy package leaning heavily towards some repressive instruments and particularly careless when it comes to safeguarding migrants’ rights.

      The New Pact was first drafted on the ashes of the mandatory relocation scheme. Back then, the Commission publicly made amends and revised its approach to the issue. Sadly, the New Pact was presented to the European public when the ashes of the Moria camp were still lukewarm. One can only hope that the member states will learn from that mistake too.

      https://blog.novamigra.eu/2020/09/24/the-new-pact-on-migration-and-asylum-a-critical-first-look-analysis

    • #Pacte_européen_sur_la_migration : un “nouveau départ” pour violer les droits humains

      La Commission européenne a publié aujourd’hui son « Nouveau Pacte sur l’Asile et la Migration » qui propose un nouveau cadre règlementaire et législatif. Avec ce plan, l’UE devient de facto un « leader du voyage retour » pour les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s en Méditerranée. EuroMed Droits craint que ce pacte ne détériore encore davantage la situation actuelle pour au moins trois raisons.

      Le pacte se concentre de manière obsessionnelle sur la politique de retours à travers un système de « sponsoring » : des pays européens tels que l’Autriche, la Pologne, la Hongrie ou la République tchèque – qui refusent d’accueillir des réfugié.e.s – pourront « sponsoriser » et organiser la déportation vers les pays de départ de ces réfugié.e.s. Au lieu de favoriser l’intégration, le pacte adopte une politique de retour à tout prix, même lorsque les demandeurs.ses d’asile peuvent être victimes de discrimination, persécution ou torture dans leur pays de retour. A ce jour, il n’existe aucun mécanisme permettant de surveiller ce qui arrive aux migrant.e.s et réfugié.e.s une fois déporté.e.s.

      Le pacte proposé renforce la sous-traitance de la gestion des frontières. En termes concrets, l’UE renforce la coopération avec les pays non-européens afin qu’ils ferment leurs frontières et empêchent les personnes de partir. Cette coopération est sujette à l’imposition de conditions par l’UE. Une telle décision européenne se traduit par une hausse du nombre de refoulements dans la région méditerranéenne et une coopération renforcée avec des pays qui ont un piètre bilan en matière de droits humains et qui ne possèdent pas de cadre efficace pour la protection des droits des personnes migrantes et réfugiées.

      Le pacte vise enfin à étendre les mécanismes de tri des demandeurs.ses d’asile et des migrant.e.s dans les pays d’arrivée. Ce modèle de tri – similaire à celui utilisé dans les zones de transit aéroportuaires – accentue les difficultés de pays tels que l’Espagne, l’Italie, Malte, la Grèce ou Chypre qui accueillent déjà la majorité des migrant.e.s et réfugié.e.s. Placer ces personnes dans des camps revient à mettre en place un système illégal d’incarcération automatique dès l’arrivée. Cela accroîtra la violence psychologique à laquelle les migrant.e.s et réfugié.e.s sont déjà soumis. Selon ce nouveau système, ces personnes seront identifié.e.s sous cinq jours et toute demande d’asile devra être traitée en douze semaines. Cette accélération de la procédure risque d’intensifier la détention et de diviser les arrivant.e.s entre demandeurs.ses d’asile et migrant.e.s économiques. Cela s’effectuerait de manière discriminatoire, sans analyse détaillée de chaque demande d’asile ni possibilité réelle de faire appel. Celles et ceux qui seront éligibles à la protection internationale seront relocalisé.e.s au sein des États membres qui acceptent de les recevoir. Les autres risqueront d’être déportés immédiatement.

      « En choisissant de sous-traiter davantage encore la gestion des frontières et d’accentuer la politique de retours, ce nouveau pacte conclut la transformation de la politique européenne en une approche pleinement sécuritaire. Pire encore, le pacte assimile la politique de “retour sponsorisé” à une forme de solidarité. Au-delà des déclarations officielles, cela démontre la volonté de l’Union européenne de criminaliser et de déshumaniser les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s », a déclaré Wadih Al-Asmar, Président d’EuroMed Droits.

      https://euromedrights.org/fr/publication/pacte-europeen-sur-la-migration-nouveau-depart-pour-violer-les-droits

    • Whose Pact? The Cognitive Dimensions of the New EU Pact on Migration and Asylum

      This Policy Insight examines the new Pact on Migration and Asylum in light of the principles and commitments enshrined in the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees (UN GCR) and the EU Treaties. It finds that from a legal viewpoint the ‘Pact’ is not really a Pact at all, if understood as an agreement concluded between relevant EU institutional parties. Rather, it is the European Commission’s policy guide for the duration of the current 9th legislature.

      The analysis shows that the Pact has intergovernmental aspects, in both name and fundamentals. It does not pursue a genuine Migration and Asylum Union. The Pact encourages an artificial need for consensus building or de facto unanimity among all EU member states’ governments in fields where the EU Treaties call for qualified majority voting (QMV) with the European Parliament as co-legislator. The Pact does not abolish the first irregular entry rule characterising the EU Dublin Regulation. It adopts a notion of interstate solidarity that leads to asymmetric responsibilities, where member states are given the flexibility to evade participating in the relocation of asylum seekers. The Pact also runs the risk of catapulting some contested member states practices’ and priorities about localisation, speed and de-territorialisation into EU policy.

      This Policy Insight argues that the Pact’s priority of setting up an independent monitoring mechanism of border procedures’ compliance with fundamental rights is a welcome step towards the better safeguarding of the rule of law. The EU inter-institutional negotiations on the Pact’s initiatives should be timely and robust in enforcing member states’ obligations under the current EU legal standards relating to asylum and borders, namely the prevention of detention and expedited expulsions, and the effective access by all individuals to dignified treatment and effective remedies. Trust and legitimacy of EU asylum and migration policy can only follow if international (human rights and refugee protection) commitments and EU Treaty principles are put first.

      https://www.ceps.eu/ceps-publications/whose-pact

    • First analysis of the EU’s new asylum proposals

      This week the EU Commission published its new package of proposals on asylum and (non-EU) migration – consisting of proposals for legislation, some ‘soft law’, attempts to relaunch talks on stalled proposals and plans for future measures. The following is an explanation of the new proposals (not attempting to cover every detail) with some first thoughts. Overall, while it is possible that the new package will lead to agreement on revised asylum laws, this will come at the cost of risking reduced human rights standards.

      Background

      Since 1999, the EU has aimed to create a ‘Common European Asylum System’. A first phase of legislation was passed between 2003 and 2005, followed by a second phase between 2010 and 2013. Currently the legislation consists of: a) the Qualification Directive, which defines when people are entitled to refugee status (based on the UN Refugee Convention) or subsidiary protection status, and what rights they have; b) the Dublin III Regulation, which allocates responsibility for an asylum seeker between Member States; c) the Eurodac Regulation, which facilitates the Dublin system by setting up a database of fingerprints of asylum seekers and people who cross the external border without authorisation; d) the Asylum Procedures Directive, which sets out the procedural rules governing asylum applications, such as personal interviews and appeals; e) the Reception Conditions Directive, which sets out standards on the living conditions of asylum-seekers, such as rules on housing and welfare; and f) the Asylum Agency Regulation, which set up an EU agency (EASO) to support Member States’ processing of asylum applications.

      The EU also has legislation on other aspects of migration: (short-term) visas, border controls, irregular migration, and legal migration – much of which has connections with the asylum legislation, and all of which is covered by this week’s package. For visas, the main legislation is the visa list Regulation (setting out which non-EU countries’ citizens are subject to a short-term visa requirement, or exempt from it) and the visa code (defining the criteria to obtain a short-term Schengen visa, allowing travel between all Schengen states). The visa code was amended last year, as discussed here.

      For border controls, the main legislation is the Schengen Borders Code, setting out the rules on crossing external borders and the circumstances in which Schengen states can reinstate controls on internal borders, along with the Frontex Regulation, setting up an EU border agency to assist Member States. On the most recent version of the Frontex Regulation, see discussion here and here.

      For irregular migration, the main legislation is the Return Directive. The Commission proposed to amend it in 2018 – on which, see analysis here and here.

      For legal migration, the main legislation on admission of non-EU workers is the single permit Directive (setting out a common process and rights for workers, but not regulating admission); the Blue Card Directive (on highly paid migrants, discussed here); the seasonal workers’ Directive (discussed here); and the Directive on intra-corporate transferees (discussed here). The EU also has legislation on: non-EU students, researchers and trainees (overview here); non-EU family reunion (see summary of the legislation and case law here) and on long-term resident non-EU citizens (overview – in the context of UK citizens after Brexit – here). In 2016, the Commission proposed to revise the Blue Card Directive (see discussion here).

      The UK, Ireland and Denmark have opted out of most of these laws, except some asylum law applies to the UK and Ireland, and Denmark is covered by the Schengen and Dublin rules. So are the non-EU countries associated with Schengen and Dublin (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein). There are also a number of further databases of non-EU citizens as well as Eurodac: the EU has never met a non-EU migrant who personal data it didn’t want to store and process.

      The Refugee ‘Crisis’

      The EU’s response to the perceived refugee ‘crisis’ was both short-term and long-term. In the short term, in 2015 the EU adopted temporary laws (discussed here) relocating some asylum seekers in principle from Italy and Greece to other Member States. A legal challenge to one of these laws failed (as discussed here), but in practice Member States accepted few relocations anyway. Earlier this year, the CJEU ruled that several Member States had breached their obligations under the laws (discussed here), but by then it was a moot point.

      Longer term, the Commission proposed overhauls of the law in 2016: a) a Qualification Regulation further harmonising the law on refugee and subsidiary protection status; b) a revised Dublin Regulation, which would have set up a system of relocation of asylum seekers for future crises; c) a revised Eurodac Regulation, to take much more data from asylum seekers and other migrants; d) an Asylum Procedures Regulation, further harmonising the procedural law on asylum applications; e) a revised Reception Conditions Directive; f) a revised Asylum Agency Regulation, giving the agency more powers; and g) a new Resettlement Regulation, setting out a framework of admitting refugees directly from non-EU countries. (See my comments on some of these proposals, from back in 2016)

      However, these proposals proved unsuccessful – which is the main reason for this week’s attempt to relaunch the process. In particular, an EU Council note from February 2019 summarises the diverse problems that befell each proposal. While the EU Council Presidency and the European Parliament reached agreement on the proposals on qualification, reception conditions and resettlement in June 2018, Member States refused to support the Presidency’s deal and the European Parliament refused to renegotiate (see, for instance, the Council documents on the proposals on qualification and resettlement; see also my comments on an earlier stage of the talks, when the Council had agreed its negotiation position on the qualification regulation).

      On the asylum agency, the EP and Council agreed on the revised law in 2017, but the Commission proposed an amendment in 2018 to give the agency more powers; the Council could not agree on this. On Eurodac, the EP and Council only partly agreed on a text. On the procedures Regulation, the Council largely agreed its position, except on border procedures; on Dublin there was never much prospect of agreement because of the controversy over relocating asylum seekers. (For either proposal, a difficult negotiation with the European Parliament lay ahead).

      In other areas too, the legislative process was difficult: the Council and EP gave up negotiating amendments to the Blue Card Directive (see the last attempt at a compromise here, and the Council negotiation mandate here), and the EP has not yet agreed a position on the Returns Directive (the Council has a negotiating position, but again it leaves out the difficult issue of border procedures; there is a draft EP position from February). Having said that, the EU has been able to agree legislation giving more powers to Frontex, as well as new laws on EU migration databases, in the last few years.

      The attempted relaunch

      The Commission’s new Pact on asylum and immigration (see also the roadmap on its implementation, the Q and As, and the staff working paper) does not restart the whole process from scratch. On qualification, reception conditions, resettlement, the asylum agency, the returns Directive and the Blue Card Directive, it invites the Council and Parliament to resume negotiations. But it tries to unblock the talks as a whole by tabling two amended legislative proposals and three new legislative proposals, focussing on the issues of border procedures and relocation of asylum seekers.

      Screening at the border

      This revised proposals start with a new proposal for screening asylum seekers at the border, which would apply to all non-EU citizens who cross an external border without authorisation, who apply for asylum while being checked at the border (without meeting the conditions for legal entry), or who are disembarked after a search and rescue operation. During the screening, these non-EU citizens are not allowed to enter the territory of a Member State, unless it becomes clear that they meet the criteria for entry. The screening at the border should take no longer than 5 days, with an extra 5 days in the event of a huge influx. (It would also be possible to apply the proposed law to those on the territory who evaded border checks; for them the deadline to complete the screening is 3 days).

      Screening has six elements, as further detailed in the proposal: a health check, an identity check, registration in a database, a security check, filling out a debriefing form, and deciding on what happens next. At the end of the screening, the migrant is channelled either into the expulsion process (if no asylum claim has been made, and if the migrant does not meet the conditions for entry) or, if an asylum claim is made, into the asylum process – with an indication of whether the claim should be fast-tracked or not. It’s also possible that an asylum seeker would be relocated to another Member State. The screening is carried out by national officials, possibly with support from EU agencies.

      To ensure human rights protection, there must be independent monitoring to address allegations of non-compliance with human rights. These allegations might concern breaches of EU or international law, national law on detention, access to the asylum procedure, or non-refoulement (the ban on sending people to an unsafe country). Migrants must be informed about the process and relevant EU immigration and data protection law. There is no provision for judicial review of the outcome of the screening process, although there would be review as part of the next step (asylum or return).

      Asylum procedures

      The revised proposal for an asylum procedures Regulation would leave in place most of the Commission’s 2016 proposal to amend the law, adding some specific further proposed amendments, which either link back to the screening proposal or aim to fast-track decisions and expulsions more generally.

      On the first point, the usual rules on informing asylum applicants and registering their application would not apply until after the end of the screening. A border procedure may apply following the screening process, but Member States must apply the border procedure in cases where an asylum seeker used false documents, is a perceived national security threat, or falls within the new ground for fast-tracking cases (on which, see below). The latter obligation is subject to exceptions where a Member State has reported that a non-EU country is not cooperating on readmission; the process for dealing with that issue set out under the 2019 amendments to the visa code will then apply. Also, the border process cannot apply to unaccompanied minors or children under 12, unless they are a supposed national security risk. Further exceptions apply where the asylum seeker is vulnerable or has medical needs, the application is not inadmissible or cannot be fast-tracked, or detention conditions cannot be guaranteed. A Member State might apply the Dublin process to determine which Member State is responsible for the asylum claim during the border process. The whole border process (including any appeal) must last no more than 12 weeks, and can only be used to declare applications inadmissible or apply the new ground for fast-tracking them.

      There would also be a new border expulsion procedure, where an asylum application covered by the border procedure was rejected. This is subject to its own 12-week deadline, starting from the point when the migrant is no longer allowed to remain. Much of the Return Directive would apply – but not the provisions on the time period for voluntary departure, remedies and the grounds for detention. Instead, the border expulsion procedure would have its own stricter rules on these issues.

      As regards general fast-tracking, in order to speed up the expulsion process for unsuccessful applications, a rejection of an asylum application would have to either incorporate an expulsion decision or entail a simultaneous separate expulsion decision. Appeals against expulsion decisions would then be subject to the same rules as appeals against asylum decisions. If the asylum seeker comes from a country with a refugee recognition rate below 20%, his or her application must be fast-tracked (this would even apply to unaccompanied minors) – unless circumstances in that country have changed, or the asylum seeker comes from a group for whom the low recognition rate is not representative (for instance, the recognition rate might be higher for LGBT asylum-seekers from that country). Many more appeals would be subject to a one-week time limit for the rejected asylum seeker to appeal, and there could be only one level of appeal against decisions taken within a border procedure.

      Eurodac

      The revised proposal for Eurodac would build upon the 2016 proposal, which was already far-reaching: extending Eurodac to include not only fingerprints, but also photos and other personal data; reducing the age of those covered by Eurodac from 14 to 6; removing the time limits and the limits on use of the fingerprints taken from persons who had crossed the border irregularly; and creating a new obligation to collect data of all irregular migrants over age 6 (currently fingerprint data for this group cannot be stored, but can simply be checked, as an option, against the data on asylum seekers and irregular border crossers). The 2020 proposal additionally provides for interoperability with other EU migration databases, taking of personal data during the screening process, including more data on the migration status of each person, and expressly applying the law to those disembarked after a search and rescue operation.

      Dublin rules on asylum responsibility

      A new proposal for asylum management would replace the Dublin regulation (meaning that the Commission has withdrawn its 2016 proposal to replace that Regulation). The 2016 proposal would have created a ‘bottleneck’ in the Member State of entry, requiring that State to examine first whether many of the grounds for removing an asylum-seeker to a non-EU country apply before considering whether another Member State might be responsible for the application (because the asylum seeker’s family live there, for instance). It would also have imposed obligations directly on asylum-seekers to cooperate with the process, rather than only regulate relations between Member States. These obligations would have been enforced by punishing asylum seekers who disobeyed: removing their reception conditions (apart from emergency health care); fast-tracking their substantive asylum applications; refusing to consider new evidence from them; and continuing the asylum application process in their absence.

      It would no longer be possible for asylum seekers to provide additional evidence of family links, with a view to being in the same country as a family member. Overturning a CJEU judgment (see further discussion here), unaccompanied minors would no longer have been able to make applications in multiple Member States (in the absence of a family member in any of them). However, the definition of family members would have been widened, to include siblings and families formed in a transit country. Responsibility for an asylum seeker based on the first Member State of irregular entry (a commonly applied criterion) would have applied indefinitely, rather than expire one year after entry as it does under the current rules. The ‘Sangatte clause’ (responsibility after five months of living in a second Member State, if the ‘irregular entry’ criterion no longer applies) would be dropped. The ‘sovereignty clause’, which played a key part in the 2015-16 refugee ‘crisis’ (it lets a Member State take responsibility for any application even if the Dublin rules do not require it, cf Germany accepting responsibility for Syrian asylum seekers) would have been sharply curtailed. Time limits for detention during the transfer process would be reduced. Remedies for asylum seekers would have been curtailed: they would only have seven days to appeal against a transfer; courts would have fifteen days to decide (although they could have stayed on the territory throughout); and the grounds of review would have been curtailed.

      Finally, the 2016 proposal would have tackled the vexed issue of disproportionate allocation of responsibility for asylum seekers by setting up an automated system determining how many asylum seekers each Member State ‘should’ have based on their size and GDP. If a Member State were responsible for excessive numbers of applicants, Member States which were receiving fewer numbers would have to take more to help out. If they refused, they would have to pay €250,000 per applicant.

      The 2020 proposal drops some of the controversial proposals from 2016, including the ‘bottleneck’ in the Member State of entry (the current rule, giving Member States an option to decide if a non-EU country is responsible for the application on narrower grounds than in the 2016 proposal, would still apply). Also, the sovereignty clause would now remain unchanged.

      However, the 2020 proposal also retains parts of the 2016 proposal: the redefinition of ‘family member’ (which could be more significant now that the bottleneck is removed, unless Member States choose to apply the relevant rules on non-EU countries’ responsibility during the border procedure already); obligations for asylum seekers (redrafted slightly); some of the punishments for non-compliant asylum-seekers (the cut-off for considering evidence would stay, as would the loss of benefits except for those necessary to ensure a basic standard of living: see the CJEU case law in CIMADE and Haqbin); dropping the provision on evidence of family links; changing the rules on responsibility for unaccompanied minors; retaining part of the changes to the irregular entry criterion (it would now cease to apply after three years; the Sangatte clause would still be dropped; it would apply after search and rescue but not apply in the event of relocation); curtailing judicial review (the grounds would still be limited; the time limit to appeal would be 14 days; courts would not have a strict deadline to decide; suspensive effect would not apply in all cases); and the reduced time limits for detention.

      The wholly new features of the 2020 proposal are: some vague provisions about crisis management; responsibility for an asylum application for the Member State which issued a visa or residence document which expired in the last three years (the current rule is responsibility if the visa expired less than six months ago, and the residence permit expired less than a year ago); responsibility for an asylum application for a Member State in which a non-EU citizen obtained a diploma; and the possibility for refugees or persons with subsidiary protection status to obtain EU long-term resident status after three years, rather than five.

      However, the most significant feature of the new proposal is likely to be its attempt to solve the underlying issue of disproportionate allocation of asylum seekers. Rather than a mechanical approach to reallocating responsibility, the 2020 proposal now provides for a menu of ‘solidarity contributions’: relocation of asylum seekers; relocation of refugees; ‘return sponsorship’; or support for ‘capacity building’ in the Member State (or a non-EU country) facing migratory pressure. There are separate rules for search and rescue disembarkations, on the one hand, and more general migratory pressures on the other. Once the Commission determines that the latter situation exists, other Member States have to choose from the menu to offer some assistance. Ultimately the Commission will adopt a decision deciding what the contributions will be. Note that ‘return sponsorship’ comes with a ticking clock: if the persons concerned are not expelled within eight months, the sponsoring Member State must accept them on its territory.

      Crisis management

      The issue of managing asylum issues in a crisis has been carved out of the Dublin proposal into a separate proposal, which would repeal an EU law from 2001 that set up a framework for offering ‘temporary protection’ in a crisis. Note that Member States have never used the 2001 law in practice.

      Compared to the 2001 law, the new proposal is integrated into the EU asylum legislation that has been adopted or proposed in the meantime. It similarly applies in the event of a ‘mass influx’ that prevents the effective functioning of the asylum system. It would apply the ‘solidarity’ process set out in the proposal to replace the Dublin rules (ie relocation of asylum seekers and other measures), with certain exceptions and shorter time limits to apply that process.

      The proposal focusses on providing for possible exceptions to the usual asylum rules. In particular, during a crisis, the Commission could authorise a Member State to apply temporary derogations from the rules on border asylum procedures (extending the time limit, using the procedure to fast-track more cases), border return procedures (again extending the time limit, more easily justifying detention), or the time limit to register asylum applicants. Member States could also determine that due to force majeure, it was not possible to observe the normal time limits for registering asylum applications, applying the Dublin process for responsibility for asylum applications, or offering ‘solidarity’ to other Member States.

      Finally, the new proposal, like the 2001 law, would create a potential for a form of separate ‘temporary protection’ status for the persons concerned. A Member State could suspend the consideration of asylum applications from people coming from the country facing a crisis for up to a year, in the meantime giving them status equivalent to ‘subsidiary protection’ status in the EU qualification law. After that point it would have to resume consideration of the applications. It would need the Commission’s approval, whereas the 2001 law left it to the Council to determine a situation of ‘mass influx’ and provided for the possible extension of the special rules for up to three years.

      Other measures

      The Commission has also adopted four soft law measures. These comprise: a Recommendation on asylum crisis management; a Recommendation on resettlement and humanitarian admission; a Recommendation on cooperation between Member States on private search and rescue operations; and guidance on the applicability of EU law on smuggling of migrants – notably concluding that it cannot apply where (as in the case of law of the sea) there is an obligation to rescue.

      On other issues, the Commission plan is to use current legislation – in particular the recent amendment to the visa code, which provides for sticks to make visas more difficult to get for citizens of countries which don’t cooperate on readmission of people, and carrots to make visas easier to get for citizens of countries which do cooperate on readmission. In some areas, such as the Schengen system, there will be further strategies and plans in the near future; it is not clear if this will lead to more proposed legislation.

      However, on legal migration, the plan is to go further than relaunching the amendment of the Blue Card Directive, as the Commission is also planning to propose amendments to the single permit and long-term residence laws referred to above – leading respectively to more harmonisation of the law on admission of non-EU workers and enhanced possibilities for long-term resident non-EU citizens to move between Member States (nb the latter plan is separate from this week’s proposal to amend this law as regards refugees and people with subsidiary protection already). Both these plans are relevant to British citizens moving to the EU after the post-Brexit transition period – and the latter is also relevant to British citizens covered by the withdrawal agreement.

      Comments

      This week’s plan is less a complete restart of EU law in this area than an attempt to relaunch discussions on a blocked set of amendments to that law, which moreover focusses on a limited set of issues. Will it ‘work’? There are two different ways to answer that question.

      First, will it unlock the institutional blockage? Here it should be kept in mind that the European Parliament and the Council had largely agreed on several of the 2016 proposals already; they would have been adopted in 2018 already had not the Council treated all the proposals as a package, and not gone back on agreements which the Council Presidency reached with the European Parliament. It is always open to the Council to get at least some of these proposals adopted quickly by reversing these approaches.

      On the blocked proposals, the Commission has targeted the key issues of border procedures and allocation of asylum-seekers. If the former leads to more quick removals of unsuccessful applicants, the latter issue is no longer so pressing. But it is not clear if the Member States will agree to anything on border procedures, or whether such an agreement will result in more expulsions anyway – because the latter depends on the willingness of non-EU countries, which the EU cannot legislate for (and does not even address in this most recent package). And because it is uncertain whether they will result in more expulsions, Member States will be wary of agreeing to anything which either results in more obligations to accept asylum-seekers on their territory, or leaves them with the same number as before.

      The idea of ‘return sponsorship’ – which reads like a grotesque parody of individuals sponsoring children in developing countries via charities – may not be appealing except to those countries like France, which have the capacity to twist arms in developing countries to accept returns. Member States might be able to agree on a replacement for the temporary protection Directive on the basis that they will never use that replacement either. And Commission threats to use infringement proceedings to enforce the law might not worry Member States who recall that the CJEU ruled on their failure to relocate asylum-seekers after the relocation law had already expired, and that the Court will soon rule on Hungary’s expulsion of the Central European University after it has already left.

      As to whether the proposals will ‘work’ in terms of managing asylum flows fairly and compatibly with human rights, it is striking how much they depend upon curtailing appeal rights, even though appeals are often successful. The proposed limitation of appeal rights will also be maintained in the Dublin system; and while the proposed ‘bottleneck’ of deciding on removals to non-EU countries before applying the Dublin system has been removed, a variation on this process may well apply in the border procedures process instead. There is no new review of the assessment of the safety of non-EU countries – which is questionable in light of the many reports of abuse in Libya. While the EU is not proposing, as the wildest headbangers would want, to turn people back or refuse applications without consideration, the question is whether the fast-track consideration of applications and then appeals will constitute merely a Potemkin village of procedural rights that mean nothing in practice.

      Increased detention is already a feature of the amendments proposed earlier: the reception conditions proposal would add a new ground for detention; the return Directive proposal would inevitably increase detention due to curtailing voluntary departure (as discussed here). Unfortunately the Commission’s claim in its new communication that its 2018 proposal is ‘promoting’ voluntary return is therefore simply false. Trump-style falsehoods have no place in the discussion of EU immigration or asylum law.

      The latest Eurodac proposal would not do much compared to the 2016 proposal – but then, the 2016 proposal would already constitute an enormous increase in the amount of data collected and shared by that system.

      Some elements of the package are more positive. The possibility for refugees and people with subsidiary protection to get EU long-term residence status earlier would be an important step toward making asylum ‘valid throughout the Union’, as referred to in the Treaties. The wider definition of family members, and the retention of the full sovereignty clause, may lead to some fairer results under the Dublin system. Future plans to improve the long-term residents’ Directive are long overdue. The Commission’s sound legal assessment that no one should be prosecuted for acting on their obligations to rescue people in distress at sea is welcome. The quasi-agreed text of the reception conditions Directive explicitly rules out Trump-style separate detention of children.

      No proposals from the EU can solve the underlying political issue: a chunk of public opinion is hostile to more migration, whether in frontline Member States, other Member States, or transit countries outside the EU. The politics is bound to affect what Member States and non-EU countries alike are willing to agree to. And for the same reason, even if a set of amendments to the system is ultimately agreed, there will likely be continuing issues of implementation, especially illegal pushbacks and refusals to accept relocation.

      https://eulawanalysis.blogspot.com/2020/09/first-analysis-of-eus-new-asylum.html?spref=fb

    • Pacte européen sur les migrations et l’asile : Le rendez-vous manqué de l’UE

      Le nouveau pacte européen migrations et asile présenté par la Commission ce 23 septembre, loin de tirer les leçons de l’échec et du coût humain intolérable des politiques menées depuis 30 ans, s’inscrit dans la continuité des logiques déjà largement éprouvées, fondées sur une approche répressive et sécuritaire au service de l’endiguement et des expulsions et au détriment d’une politique d’accueil qui s’attache à garantir et à protéger la dignité et les droits fondamentaux.

      Des « nouveaux » camps européens aux frontières pour filtrer les personnes arrivées sur le territoire européen et expulser le plus grand nombre

      En réaction au drame des incendies qui ont ravagé le camp de Moria sur l’île grecque de Lesbos, la commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson, affirmait le 17 septembre devant les députés européens qu’« il n’y aurait pas d’autres Moria » mais de « véritables centres d’accueil » aux frontières européennes.

      Si le nouveau pacte prévoie effectivement la création de « nouveaux » camps conjuguée à une « nouvelle » procédure accélérée aux frontières, ces derniers s’apparentent largement à l’approche hotspot mise en œuvre par l’Union européenne (UE) depuis 2015 afin d’organiser la sélection des personnes qu’elle souhaite accueillir et l’expulsion, depuis la frontière, de tous celles qu’elle considère « indésirables ».

      Le pacte prévoie ainsi la mise en place « d’un contrôle préalable à l’entrée sur le territoire pour toutes les personnes qui se présentent aux frontières extérieures ou après un débarquement, à la suite d’une opération de recherche et de sauvetage ». Il s’agira, pour les pays situés à la frontière extérieure de l’UE, de procéder – dans un délai de 5 jours et avec l’appui des agences européennes (l’agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes – Frontex et le Bureau européen d’appui en matière d’asile – EASO) – à des contrôles d’identité (prise d’empreintes et enregistrement dans les bases de données européennes) doublés de contrôles sécuritaires et sanitaires afin de procéder à un tri préalable à l’entrée sur le territoire, permettant d’orienter ensuite les personne vers :

      Une procédure d’asile accélérée à la frontière pour celles possédant une nationalité pour laquelle le taux de reconnaissance d’une protection internationale, à l’échelle de l’UE, est inférieure à 20%
      Une procédure d’asile normale pour celles considérées comme éligibles à une protection.
      Une procédure d’expulsion immédiate, depuis la frontière, pour toute celles qui auront été rejetées par ce dispositif de tri, dans un délai de 12 semaines.

      Pendant cette procédure de filtrage à la frontière, les personnes seraient considérées comme n’étant pas encore entrées sur le territoire européen ce qui permettrait aux Etats de déroger aux conventions de droit international qui s’y appliquent.

      Un premier projet pilote est notamment prévu à Lesbos, conjointement avec les autorités grecques, pour installer un nouveau camp sur l’île avec l’appui d’une Task Force européenne, directement placée sous le contrôle de la direction générale des affaires intérieure de la Commission européenne (DG HOME).

      Difficile de voir où se trouve l’innovation dans la proposition présentée par la Commission. Si ce n’est que les États européens souhaitent pousser encore plus loin à la fois la logique de filtrage à ces frontières ainsi que la sous-traitance de leur contrôle. Depuis l’été 2018, l’Union européenne défend la création de « centres contrôlés au sein de l’UE » d’une part et de « plateformes de débarquement dans les pays tiers » d’autre part. L’UE, à travers ce nouveau mécanisme, vise à organiser l’expulsion rapide des migrants qui sont parvenus, souvent au péril de leur vie, à pénétrer sur son territoire. Pour ce faire, la coopération accrue avec les gardes-frontières des États non européens et l’appui opérationnel de l’agence Frontex sont encore et toujours privilégiés.
      Un « nouvel écosystème en matière de retour »

      L’obsession européenne pour l’amélioration du « taux de retour » se retrouve au cœur de ce nouveau pacte, en repoussant toujours plus les limites en matière de coopération extérieure et d’enfermement des personnes étrangères jugées indésirables et en augmentant de façon inédite ses moyens opérationnels.

      Selon l’expression de Margaritis Schinas, commissaire grec en charge de la « promotion du mode de vie européen », la nouvelle procédure accélérée aux frontières s’accompagnera d’« un nouvel écosystème européen en matière de retour ». Il sera piloté par un « nouveau coordinateur de l’UE chargé des retours » ainsi qu’un « réseau de haut niveau coordonnant les actions nationales » avec le soutien de l’agence Frontex, qui devrait devenir « le bras opérationnel de la politique de retour européenne ».

      Rappelons que Frontex a vu ses moyens décuplés ces dernières années, notamment en vue d’expulser plus de personnes migrantes. Celle-ci a encore vu ses moyens renforcés depuis l’entrée en vigueur de son nouveau règlement le 4 décembre 2019 dont la Commission souhaite accélérer la mise en œuvre effective. Au-delà d’une augmentation de ses effectifs et de la possibilité d’acquérir son propre matériel, l’agence bénéficie désormais de pouvoirs étendus pour identifier les personnes « expulsables » du territoire européen, obtenir les documents de voyage nécessaires à la mise en œuvre de leurs expulsions ainsi que pour coordonner des opérations d’expulsion au service des Etats membres.

      La Commission souhaite également faire aboutir, d’ici le second trimestre 2021, le projet de révision de la directive européenne « Retour », qui constitue un recul sans précédent du cadre de protection des droits fondamentaux des personnes migrantes. Voir notre précédente actualité sur le sujet : L’expulsion au cœur des politiques migratoires européennes, 22 mai 2019
      Des « partenariats sur-mesure » avec les pays d’origine et de transit

      La Commission étend encore redoubler d’efforts afin d’inciter les Etats non européens à participer activement à empêcher les départs vers l’Europe ainsi qu’à collaborer davantage en matière de retour et de réadmission en utilisant l’ensemble des instruments politiques à sa disposition. Ces dernières années ont vu se multiplier les instruments européens de coopération formelle (à travers la signature, entre autres, d’accords de réadmission bilatéraux ou multilatéraux) et informelle (à l’instar de la tristement célèbre déclaration entre l’UE et la Turquie de mars 2016) à tel point qu’il est devenu impossible, pour les États ciblés, de coopérer avec l’UE dans un domaine spécifique sans que les objectifs européens en matière migratoire ne soient aussi imposés.

      L’exécutif européen a enfin souligné sa volonté de d’exploiter les possibilités offertes par le nouveau règlement sur les visas Schengen, entré en vigueur en février 2020. Celui-ci prévoie d’évaluer, chaque année, le degré de coopération des Etats non européens en matière de réadmission. Le résultat de cette évaluation permettra d’adopter une décision de facilitation de visa pour les « bon élèves » ou à l’inverse, d’imposer des mesures de restrictions de visas aux « mauvais élèves ». Voir notre précédente actualité sur le sujet : Expulsions contre visas : le droit à la mobilité marchandé, 2 février 2020.

      Conduite au seul prisme des intérêts européens, cette politique renforce le caractère historiquement déséquilibré des relations de « coopération » et entraîne en outre des conséquences désastreuses sur les droits des personnes migrantes, notamment celui de quitter tout pays, y compris le leur. Sous couvert d’aider ces pays à « se développer », les mesures « incitatives » européennes ne restent qu’un moyen de poursuivre ses objectifs et d’imposer sa vision des migrations. En coopérant davantage avec les pays d’origine et de transit, parmi lesquelles des dictatures et autres régimes autoritaires, l’UE renforce l’externalisation de ses politiques migratoires, sous-traitant la gestion des exilées aux Etats extérieurs à l’UE, tout en se déresponsabilisant des violations des droits perpétrées hors de ses frontières.
      Solidarité à la carte, entre relocalisation et expulsion

      Le constat d’échec du système Dublin – machine infernale de l’asile européen – conjugué à la volonté de parvenir à trouver un consensus suite aux profonds désaccords qui avaient mené les négociations sur Dublin IV dans l’impasse, la Commission souhaite remplacer l’actuel règlement de Dublin par un nouveau règlement sur la gestion de l’asile et de l’immigration, liant étroitement les procédures d’asile aux procédures d’expulsion.

      Les quotas de relocalisation contraignants utilisés par le passé, à l’instar du mécanisme de relocalisation mis en place entre 2015 et 2017 qui fut un échec tant du point de vue du nombre de relocalisations (seulement 25 000 relocalisations sur les 160 000 prévues) que du refus de plusieurs Etats d’y participer, semblent être abandonnés.

      Le nouveau pacte propose donc un nouveau mécanisme de solidarité, certes obligatoire mais flexible dans ses modalités. Ainsi les Etats membres devront choisir, selon une clé de répartition définie :

      Soit de participer à l’effort de relocalisation des personnes identifiées comme éligibles à la protection internationale depuis les frontières extérieures pour prendre en charge l’examen de leur demande d’asile.
      Soit de participer au nouveau concept de « parrainage des retours » inventé par la Commission européenne. Concrètement, il s’agit d’être « solidaire autrement », en s’engageant activement dans la politique de retour européenne par la mise en œuvre des expulsions des personnes que l’UE et ses Etats membres souhaitent éloigner du territoire, avec la possibilité de concentrer leurs efforts sur les nationalités pour lesquelles leurs perspectives de faire aboutir l’expulsion est la plus élevée.

      De nouvelles règles pour les « situations de crise et de force majeure »

      Le pacte prévoie d’abroger la directive européenne relative à des normes minimales pour l’octroi d’une protection temporaire en cas d’afflux massif de personnes déplacées, au profit d’un nouveau règlement européen relatif aux « situations de crise et de force majeure ». L’UE et ses Etats membres ont régulièrement essuyé les critiques des acteurs de la société civile pour n’avoir jamais activé la procédure prévue par la directive de 2001, notamment dans le cadre de situation exceptionnelle telle que la crise de l’accueil des personnes arrivées aux frontières sud de l’UE en 2015.

      Le nouveau règlement prévoie notamment qu’en cas de « situation de crise ou de force majeure » les Etats membres pourraient déroger aux règles qui s’appliquent en matière d’asile, en suspendant notamment l’enregistrement des demandes d’asile pendant un durée d’un mois maximum. Cette mesure entérine des pratiques contraires au droit international et européen, à l’instar de ce qu’a fait la Grèce début mars 2020 afin de refouler toutes les personnes qui tenteraient de pénétrer le territoire européen depuis la Turquie voisine. Voir notre précédente actualité sur le sujet : Frontière Grèce-Turquie : de l’approche hotspot au scandale de la guerre aux migrant·e ·s, 3 mars 2020

      Cette proposition représente un recul sans précédent du droit d’asile aux frontières et fait craindre de multiples violations du principe de non refoulement consacré par la Convention de Genève.

      Bien loin d’engager un changement de cap des politiques migratoires européennes, le nouveau pacte européen migrations et asile ne semble n’être qu’un nouveau cadre de plus pour poursuivre une approche des mouvements migratoires qui, de longue date, s’est construite autour de la volonté d’empêcher les arrivées aux frontières et d’organiser un tri parmi les personnes qui auraient réussi à braver les obstacles pour atteindre le territoire européen, entre celles considérées éligibles à la demande d’asile et toutes les autres qui devraient être expulsées.

      De notre point de vue, cela signifie surtout que des milliers de personnes continueront à être privées de liberté et à subir les dispositifs répressifs des Etats membres de l’Union européenne. Les conséquences néfastes sur la dignité humaine et les droits fondamentaux de cette approche sont flagrantes, les personnes exilées et leurs soutiens y sont confrontées tous les jours.

      Encore une fois, des moyens très importants sont consacrés à financer l’érection de barrières physiques, juridiques et technologiques ainsi que la construction de camps sur les routes migratoires tandis qu’ils pourraient utilement être redéployés pour accueillir dignement et permettre un accès inconditionnel au territoire européen pour les personnes bloquées à ses frontières extérieures afin d’examiner avec attention et impartialité leurs situations et assurer le respect effectif des droits de tou∙te∙s.

      Nous appelons à un changement radical des politiques migratoires, pour une Europe qui encourage les solidarités, fondée sur la protection des droits humains et la dignité humaine afin d’assurer la protection des personnes et non pas leur exclusion.

      https://www.lacimade.org/pacte-europeen-sur-les-migrations-et-lasile-le-rendez-vous-manque-de-lue

    • EU’s new migrant ‘pact’ is as squalid as its refugee camps

      Governments need to share responsibility for asylum seekers, beyond merely ejecting the unwanted

      One month after fires swept through Europe’s largest, most squalid refugee camp, the EU’s migration policies present a picture as desolate as the blackened ruins of Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos. The latest effort at overhauling these policies is a European Commission “pact on asylum and migration”, which is not a pact at all. Its proposals sharply divide the EU’s 27 governments.

      In an attempt to appease central and eastern European countries hostile to admitting asylum-seekers, the commission suggests, in an Orwellian turn of phrase, that they should operate “relocation and return sponsorships”, dispatching people refused entry to their places of origin. This sort of task is normally reserved for nightclub bouncers.

      The grim irony is that Hungary and Poland, two countries that would presumably be asked to take charge of such expulsions, are the subject of EU disciplinary proceedings due to alleged violations of the rule of law. It remains a mystery how, if the commission proposal moves forward, the EU will succeed in binding Hungary and Poland into a common asylum policy and bend them into accepting EU definitions of the rule of law.

      Perhaps the best thing to be said of the commission’s plan is that, unlike the UK government, EU policymakers are not toying with hare-brained schemes of sending asylum-seekers to Ascension Island in the south Atlantic. Such options are the imagined privilege of a former imperial power not divested of all its far-flung possessions.

      Yet the commission’s initiative still reeks of wishful thinking. It foresees a process in which authorities swiftly check the identities, security status and health of irregular migrants, before returning them home, placing them in the asylum system or putting them in temporary facilities. This will supposedly decongest EU border zones, as governments will agree how to relocate new arrivals. But it is precisely the lack of such agreement since 2015 that led to Moria’s disgraceful conditions.

      The commission should not be held responsible for governments failing to shoulder their responsibilities. It is also justified in emphasising the need for a strong EU frontier. This is a precondition for free movement inside the bloc, vital for a flourishing single market.

      True, the Schengen system of border-free internal travel is curtailed at present because of the pandemic, not to mention restrictions introduced in some countries after the 2015 refugee and migrant crisis. But no government wants to abandon Schengen. Where they fall out with each other is over the housing of refugees and migrants.

      Europe’s overcrowded, unhygienic refugee camps, and the paralysis that grips EU policies, are all the more shameful in that governments no longer face a border emergency. Some 60,800 irregular migrants crossed into the EU between January and August, 14 per cent less than the same period in 2019, according to the EU border agency.

      By contrast, there were 1.8m illegal border crossings in 2015, a different order of magnitude. Refugees from conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria made desperate voyages across the Mediterranean, with thousands drowning in ramshackle boats. Some countries, led by Germany and Sweden, were extremely generous in opening their doors to refugees. Others were not.

      The roots of today’s problems lie in the measures devised to address that crisis, above all a 2016 accord with Turkey. Irregular migrants were kept on Moria and other Greek islands, designated “hotspots”, in the expectation that failed asylum applicants would be smoothly returned to Turkey, its coffers replenished by billions of euros in EU assistance. In practice, few went back to Turkey and the understaffed, underfunded “hotspots” became places of tension between refugees and locals.

      Unable to agree on a relocation scheme among themselves, EU governments lapsed into a de facto policy of deterrence of irregular migrants. The pandemic provided an excuse for Italy and Malta to close their ports to people rescued at sea. Visiting the Greek-Turkish border in March, Ursula von der Leyen, the commission president, declared: “I thank Greece for being our European aspida [shield].”

      The legitimacy of EU refugee policies depends on adherence to international law, as well the bloc’s own rules. Its practical success requires all governments to share a responsibility for asylum-seekers that goes beyond ejecting unwanted individuals. Otherwise the EU will fall into the familiar trap of cobbling together unsatisfactory half-measures that guarantee more trouble in the future.

      https://www.ft.com/content/c50c6b9c-75a8-40b1-900d-a228faa382dc?segmentid=acee4131-99c2-09d3-a635-873e61754

    • The EU’s pact against migration, Part One

      The EU Commission’s proposal for a ‘New Pact for Migration and Asylum’ offers no prospect of ending the enduring mobility conflict, opposing the movements of illegalised migrants to the EU’s restrictive migration policies.

      The ’New Pact for Migration and Asylum’, announced by the European Commission in July 2019, was finally presented on September 23, 2020. The Pact was eagerly anticipated as it was described as a “fresh start on migration in Europe”, acknowledging not only that Dublin had failed, but also that the negotiations between European member states as to what system might replace it had reached a standstill.

      The fire in Moria that left more than 13.000 people stranded in the streets of Lesvos island offered a glaring symbol of the failure of the current EU policy. The public outcry it caused and expressions of solidarity it crystallised across Europe pressured the Commission to respond through the publication of its Pact.

      Considering the trajectory of EU migration policies over the last decades, the particular position of the Commission within the European power structure and the current political conjuncture of strong anti-migration positions in Europe, we did not expect the Commission’s proposal to address the mobility conflict underlying its migration policy crisis in a constructive way. And indeed, the Pact’s main promise is to manage the diverging positions of member states through a new mechanism of “flexible solidarity” between member states in sharing the “burden” of migrants who have arrived on European territory. Perpetuating the trajectory of the last decades, it however remains premised on keeping most migrants from the global South out at all cost. The “New Pact” then is effectively a pact between European states against migrants. The Pact, which will be examined and possibly adopted by the European Parliament and Council in the coming months, confirms the impasse to which three decades of European migration and asylum policy have led, and an absence of any political imagination worthy of the name.
      The EU’s migration regime’s failed architecture

      The current architecture of the European border regime is based on two main and intertwined pillars: the Schengen Implementing Convention (SIC, or Schengen II) and the Dublin Convention, both signed in 1990, and gradually enforced in the following years.[1]

      Created outside the EC/EU context, they became the central rationalities of the emerging European border and migration regime after their incorporation into EU law through the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997/99). Schengen instituted the EU’s territory as an area of free movement for its citizens and, as a direct consequence, reinforced the exclusion of citizens of the global South and pushed control towards its external borders.

      However this profound transformation of European borders left unchanged the unbalanced systemic relations between Europe and the Global South, within which migrants’ movements are embedded. As a result, this policy shift did not stop migrants from reaching the EU but rather illegalised their mobility, forcing them to resort to precarious migration strategies and generating an easily exploitable labour force that has become a large-scale and permanent feature of EU economies.

      The more than 40,000 migrant deaths recorded at the EU’s borders by NGOs since the end of the 1980s are the lethal outcomes of this enduring mobility conflict opposing the movements of illegalised migrants to the EU’s restrictive migration policies.

      The second pillar of the EU’s migration architecture, the Dublin Convention, addressed asylum seekers and their allocation between member-states. To prevent them from filing applications in several EU countries – derogatively referred to as “asylum shopping” – the 2003 Dublin regulation states that the asylum seekers’ first country of entry into the EU is responsible for processing their claims. Dublin thus created an uneven European geography of (ir)responsibility that allowed the member states not directly situated at the intersection of European borders and routes of migration to abnegate their responsibility to provide shelter and protection, and placed a heavier “burden” on the shoulders of states located at the EU’s external borders.

      This unbalanced architecture, around which the entire Common European Asylum System (CEAS) was constructed, would begin to wobble as soon as the number of people arriving on the EU’s shores rose, leading to crisis-driven policy responses to prevent the migration regime from collapsing under the pressure of migrants’ refusal to be assigned to a country that was not of their choosing, and conflicts between member states.

      As a result, the development of a European border, migration and asylum policy has been driven by crisis and is inherently reactive. This pattern particularly holds for the last decade, when the large-scale movements of migrants to Europe in the wake of the Arab Uprisings in 2011 put the EU migration regime into permanent crisis mode and prompted hasty reforms. As of 2011, Italy allowed Tunisians to move on, leading to the re-introduction of border controls by states such as France, while the same year the 2011 European Court of Human Rights’ judgement brought Dublin deportations to Greece to a halt because of the appalling reception and living conditions there. The increasing refusal by asylum seekers to surrender their fingerprints – the core means of implementing Dublin – as of 2013 further destabilized the migration regime.

      The instability only grew when in April 2015, more then 1,200 people died in two consecutive shipwrecks, forcing the Commission to publish its ‘European Agenda for Migration’ in May 2015. The 2015 agenda announced the creation of the hotspot system in the hope of re-stabilising the European migration regime through a targeted intervention of European agencies at Europe’s borders. Essentially, the hotspot approach offered a deal to EU member states: comprehensive registration in Europeanised structures (the hotspots) by so-called “front-line states” – thus re-imposing Dublin – in exchange for relocation of part of the registered migrants to other EU countries – thereby alleviating front-line states of part of their “burden”.

      This plan however collapsed before it could ever work, as it was immediately followed by the large-scale summer arrivals of 2015 as migrants trekked across Europe’s borders. It was simultaneously boycotted by several member states who refused relocations and continue to lead the charge in fomenting an explicit anti-migration agenda in the EU. While border controls were soon reintroduced, relocations never materialised in a meaningful manner in the years that followed.

      With the Dublin regime effectively paralysed and the EU unable to agree on a new mechanism for the distribution of asylum seekers within Europe, the EU resorted to the decades-old policies that had shaped the European border and migration regime since its inception: keeping migrants out at all cost through border control implemented by member states, European agencies or outsourced to third countries.

      Considering the profound crisis the turbulent movements of migrants had plunged the EU into in the summer of 2015, no measure was deemed excessive in achieving this exclusionary end: neither the tacit acceptance of violent expulsions and push-backs by Spain and Greece, nor the outsourcing of border control to Libyan torturers, nor the shameless collaboration with dictatorial regimes such as Turkey.

      Under the guise of “tackling the root causes of migration”, development aid was diverted and used to impose border externalisation and deportation agreements. But the external dimension of the EU’s migration regime has proven just as unstable as its internal one – as the re-opening of borders by Turkey in March 2020 demonstrates. The movements of illegalised migrants towards the EU could never be entirely contained and those who reached the shores of Europe were increasingly relegated to infrastructures of detention. Even if keeping thousands of migrants stranded in the hell of Moria may not have been part of the initial hotspot plan, it certainly has been the outcome of the EU’s internal blockages and ultimately effective in shoring up the EU’s strategy of deterrence.

      The “New Pact” perpetuating the EU’s failed policy of closure

      Today the “New Pact”, promised for Spring 2020 and apparently forgotten at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been revived in a hurry to address the destruction of Moria hotspot. While detailed analysis of the regulations that it proposes are beyond the scope of this article,[2] the broad intentions of the Pact’s rationale are clear.

      Despite all its humane and humanitarian rhetoric and some language critically addressing the manifest absence of the rule of law at the border of Europe, the Commission’s pact is a pact against migration. Taking stock of the continued impasse in terms of internal distribution of migrants, it re-affirms the EU’s central objective of reducing, massively the number of asylum seekers to be admitted to Europe. It promises to do so by continuing to erect chains of externalised border control along migrants’ entire trajectories (what it refers to as the “whole-of-route approach”).

      Those who do arrive should be swiftly screened and sorted in an infrastructure of detention along the borders of Europe. The lucky few who will succeed in fitting their lives into the shrinking boxes of asylum law are to be relocated to other EU countries in function of a mechanism of distribution based on population size and wealth of member states.

      Whether this will indeed undo the imbalances of the Dublin regime remains an open question[3], nevertheless, this relocation key is one of the few positive steps offered by the Pact since it comes closer to migrants’ own “relocation key” but still falls short of granting asylum seekers the freedom to choose their country of protection and residence.[4] The majority of rejected asylum seekers – which may be determined on the basis of an extended understanding of the “safe third country” notion – is to be funnelled towards deportations operated by the EU states refusing relocation. The Commission hopes deportations will be made smoother after a newly appointed “EU Return Coordinator” will have bullied countries of origin into accepting their nationals using the carrot of development aid and the stick of visa sanctions. The Commission seems to believe that with fewer expected arrivals and fewer migrants ending up staying in Europe, and with its mechanism of “flexible solidarity” allowing for a selective participation in relocations or returns depending on the taste of its member states, it can both bridge the gap between member states’ interests and push for a deeper Europeanisation of the policy field in which its own role will become more central.

      Thus, the EU Commission’s attempt to square the circle of member states’ conflicting interests has resulted in a European pact against migration, which perpetuates the promises of the EU’s (anti-)migration policy over the last three decades: externalisation, enhanced borders, accelerated asylum procedures, detention and deportations to prevent and deter migrants from the global South. It seeks to strike yet another deal between European member states, without consulting – and at the expense of – migrants themselves. Because most of the policy means contained in the pact are not new, and have always failed to durably end illegalised migration – instead they have created a large precaritised population at the heart of Europe – we do not see how they would work today. Migrants will continue to arrive, and many will remain stranded in front-line states or other EU states as they await deportation. As such, the outcome of the pact (if it is agreed upon) is likely a perpetuation and generalisation of the hotspot system, the very system whose untenability – glaringly demonstrated by Moria’s fire – prompted the presentation of the New Pact in the first place. Even if the Commission’s “no more Morias” rhetoric would like to persuade us of the opposite,[5] the ruins of Moria point to the past as well as the potential future of the CEAS if the Commission has its way.

      We are dismayed at the loss of yet another opportunity for Europe to fundamentally re-orient its policy of closure, one which is profoundly at odds with the reality of large-scale displacement in an unequal and interconnected world. We are dismayed at the prospect of more suffering and more political crises that can only be the outcome of this continued policy failure. Clearly, an entirely different approach to how Europe engages with the movements of migration is called for. One which actually aims to de-escalate and transform the enduring mobility conflict. One which starts from the reality of the movements of migrants and offers a frame for it to unfold rather than seeks to suppress and deny it.

      Notes and references

      [1] We have offered an extensive analysis of the following argument in previous articles. See in particular : Bernd Kasparek. 2016. “Complementing Schengen: The Dublin System and the European Border and Migration Regime”. In Migration Policy and Practice, edited by Harald Bauder and Christian Matheis, 59–78. Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship. Houndmills & New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani. 2016. “Ebbing and Flowing: The EU’s Shifting Practices of (Non-)Assistance and Bordering in a Time of Crisis”. Near Futures Online. No 1. Available here.

      [2] For first analyses see Steve Peers. 2020. “First analysis of the EU’s new asylum proposals”, EU Law Analysis, 25 September 2020; Sergio Carrera. 2020. “Whose Pact? The Cognitive Dimensions of the New EU Pact on Migration and Asylum”, CEPS, September 2020.

      [3] Carrera, ibid.

      [4] For a discussion of migration of migrants’ own relocation key, see Philipp Lutz, David Kaufmann and Anna Stütz. 2020. “Humanitarian Protection as a European Public Good: The Strategic Role of States and Refugees”, Journal of Common Market Studies 2020 Volume 58. Number 3. pp. 757–775. To compare the actual asylum applications across Europe over the last years with different relocations keys, see the tool developed by Etienne Piguet.

      https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/can-europe-make-it/the-eus-pact-against-migration-part-one

      #whole-of-route_approach #relocalisation #clé_de_relocalisation #relocation_key #pays-tiers_sûrs #EU_Return_Coordinator #solidarité_flexible #externalisation #new_pact

    • Towards a European pact with migrants, Part Two

      We call for a new Pact that addresses the reality of migrants’ movements, the systemic conditions leading people to flee their homes as well as the root causes of Europe’s racism.

      In Part One, we analysed the EU’s new Pact against migration. Here, we call for an entirely different approach to how Europe engages with migration, one which offers a legal frame for migration to unfold, and addresses the systemic conditions leading people to flee their homes as well as the root causes of Europe’s racism.Let us imagine for a moment that the EU Commission truly wanted, and was in a position, to reorient the EU’s migration policy in a direction that might actually de-escalate and transform the enduring mobility conflict: what might its pact with migrants look like?

      The EU’s pact with migrants might start from three fundamental premises. First, it would recognize that any policy that is entirely at odds with social practices is bound to generate conflict, and ultimately fail. A migration policy must start from the social reality of migration and provide a frame for it to unfold. Second, the pact would acknowledge that no conflict can be brought to an end unilaterally. Any process of conflict transformation must bring together the conflicting parties, and seek to address their needs, interests and values so that they no longer clash with each other. In particular, migrants from the global South must be included in the definition of the policies that concern them. Third, it would recognise, as Tendayi Achiume has put it, that migrants from the global South are no strangers to Europe.[1] They have long been included in the expansive webs of empire. Migration and borders are embedded in these unequal relations, and no end to the mobility conflict can be achieved without fundamentally transforming them. Based on these premises, the EU’s pact with migrants might contain the following four core measures:
      Global justice and conflict prevention

      Instead of claiming to tackle the “root causes” of migration by diverting and instrumentalising development aid towards border control, the EU’s pact with migrants would end all European political and economic relations that contribute to the crises leading to mass displacement. The EU would end all support to dictatorial regimes, would ban all weapon exports, terminate all destabilising military interventions. It would cancel unfair trade agreements and the debts of countries of the global South. It would end its massive carbon emissions that contribute to the climate crisis. Through these means, the EU would not claim to end migration perceived as a “problem” for Europe, but it would contribute to allowing more people to live a dignified life wherever they are and decrease forced migration, which certainly is a problem for migrants. A true commitment to global justice and conflict prevention and resolution is necessary if Europe wishes to limit the factors that lead too many people onto the harsh paths of exile in their countries and regions, a small proportion of whom reach European shores.
      Tackling the “root causes” of European racism

      While the EU’s so-called “global approach” to migration has in fact been one-sided, focused exclusively on migration as “the problem” rather then the processes that drive the EU’s policies of exclusion, the EU’s pact with migrants would boldly tackle the “root causes” of racism and xenophobia in Europe. Bold policies designed to address the EU’s colonial past and present and the racial imaginaries it has unleashed would be proposed, a positive vision for living in common in diverse societies affirmed, and a more inclusive and fair economic system would be established in Europe to decrease the resentment of European populations which has been skilfully channelled against migrants and racialised people.
      Universal freedom of movement

      By tackling the causes of large-scale displacement and of exclusionary migration policies, the EU would be able to de-escalate the mobility conflict, and could thus propose a policy granting all migrants legal pathways to access and stay in Europe. As an immediate outcome of the institution of right to international mobility, migrants would no longer resort to smugglers and risk their lives crossing the sea – and thus no longer be in need of being rescued. Using safe and legal means of travel would also, in the time of Covid-19 pandemic, allow migrants to adopt all sanitary measures that are necessary to protect migrants and those they encounter. No longer policed through military means, migration could appear as a normal process that does not generate fear. Frontex, the European border agency, would be defunded, and concentrate its limited activities on detecting actual threats to the EU rather then constructing vulnerable populations as “risks”. In a world that would be less unequal and in which people would have the possibly to lead a dignified life wherever they are, universal freedom of movement would not lead to an “invasion” of Europe. Circulatory movement rather then permanent settlement would be frequent. Migrants’ legal status would no longer allow employers to push working conditions down. A European asylum system would continue to exist, to grant protection and support to those in need. The vestiges of the EU’s hotspots and detention centres might be turned into ministries of welcome, which would register and redirect people to the place of their choice. Registration would thus be a mere certification of having taken the first step towards European citizenship, transforming the latter into a truly post-national institution, a far horizon which current EU treaties only hint at.
      Democratizing borders

      Considering that all European migration policies to date have been fundamentally undemocratic – in that they were imposed on a group of people – migrants – who had no say in the legislative and political process defining the laws that govern their movement – the pact would instead be the outcome of considerable consultative process with migrants and the organisations that support them, as well the states of the global South. The pact, following from Étienne Balibar’s suggestion, would in turn propose to permanently democratise borders by instituting “a multilateral, negotiated control of their working by the populations themselves (including, of course, migrant populations),” within “new representative institutions” that “are not merely ‘territorial’ and certainly not purely national.”[2] In such a pact, the original promise of Europe as a post-national project would finally be revived.

      Such a policy orientation may of course appear as nothing more then a fantasy. And yet it appears evident to us that the direction we suggest is the only realistic one. European citizens and policy makers alike must realise that the question is not whether migrants will exercise their freedom to cross borders, but at what human and political cost. As a result, it is far more realistic to address the processes within which the mobility conflict is embedded, than seeking to ban human mobility. As the Black Lives Matter’s slogan “No justice no peace!” resonating in the streets of the world over recent months reminds us, without mobility justice, [3] their can be no end to mobility conflict.
      The challenges ahead for migrant solidarity movements

      Our policy proposals are perfectly realistic in relation to migrants’ movements and the processes shaping them, yet we are well aware that they are not on the agenda of neoliberal and nationalist Europe. If the EU Commission has squandered yet another opportunity to reorient the EU’s migration policy, it is simply that this Europe, governed by these member states and politicians, has lost the capacity to offer bold visions of democracy, freedom and justice for itself and the world. As such, we have little hope for a fundamental reorientation of the EU’s policies. The bleak prospect is of the perpetuation of the mobility conflict, and the human suffering and political crises it generates.

      What are those who seek to support migrants to do in this context?

      We must start by a sobering note addressed to the movement we are part of: the fire of Moria is not only a symptom and symbol of the failures of the EU’s migration policies and member states, but also of our own strategies. After all, since the hotspots were proposed in 2015 we have tirelessly denounced them, and documented the horrendous living conditions they have created. NGOs have litigated against them, but efforts have been turned down by a European Court of Human Rights that appears increasingly reluctant to position itself on migration-related issues and is thereby contributing to the perpetuation of grave violations by states.

      And despite the extraordinary mobilisation of civil society in alliance with municipalities across Europe who have declared themselves ready to welcome migrants, relocations never materialised on any significant scale. After five years of tireless mobilization, the hotspots still stand, with thousands of asylum seekers trapped in them.

      While the conditions leading to the fire are still being clarified, it appears that the migrants held hostage in Moria took it into their own hands to try to get rid of the camp through the desperate act of burning it to the ground. As such, while we denounce the EU’s policies, our movements are urgently in need of re-evaluating their own modes of action, and re-imagining them more effectively.

      We have no lessons to give, as we share these shortcomings. But we believe that some of the directions we have suggested in our utopian Pact with migrants can guide migrant solidarity movements as well , as they may be implemented from the bottom-up in the present and help reopen our political imagination.

      The freedom to move is not, or not only, a distant utopia, that may be instituted by states in some distant future. It can also be seen as a right and freedom that illegalised migrants seize on a day-to-day basis as they cross borders without authorisation, and persist in living where they choose.

      Freedom of movement can serve as a useful compass to direct and evaluate our practices of contestation and support. Litigation remains an important tool to counter the multiple forms of violence and violations that migrants face along their trajectories, even as we acknowledge that national and international courts are far from immune to the anti-migrant atmosphere within states. Forging infrastructures of support for migrants in the course of their mobility (such as the WatchTheMed Alarm Phone and the civilian rescue fleet) – and their stay (such as the many citizen platforms for housing )– is and will continue to be essential.

      While states seek to implement what they call an “integrated border management” that seeks to manage migrants’ unruly mobilities before, at, and after borders, we can think of our own networks as forming a fragmented yet interconnected “integrated border solidarity” along the migrants’ entire trajectory. The criminalisation of our acts of solidarity by states is proof that we are effective in disrupting the violence of borders.

      Solidarity cities have formed important nodes in these chains, as municipalities do have the capacity to enable migrants to live in dignity in urban spaces, and limit the reach of their security forces for example. Their dissonant voices of welcome have been important in demonstrating that segments of the European population, which are far from negligible, refuse to be complicit with the EU’s policies of closure and are ready to embody an open relation of solidarity with migrants and beyond. However we must also acknowledge that the prerogative of granting access to European states remains in the hands of central administrations, not in those of municipalities, and thus the readiness to welcome migrants has not allowed the latter to actually seek sanctuary.

      While humanitarian and humanist calls for welcome are important, we too need to locate migration and borders in a broader political and economic context – that of the past and present of empire – so that they can be understood as questions of (in)justice. Echoing the words of the late Edouard Glissant, as activists focusing on illegalised migration we should never forget that “to have to force one’s way across borders as a result of one’s misery is as scandalous as what founds that misery”.[4] As a result of this framing, many more alliances can be forged today between migrant solidarity movements and the global justice and climate justice movements, as well as anti-racist, anti-fascist, feminist and decolonial movements. Through such alliances, we may be better equipped to support migrants throughout their entire trajectories, and transform the conditions that constrain them today.

      Ultimately, to navigate its way out of its own impasses, it seems to us that migrant solidarity movements must address four major questions.

      First, what migration policy do we want? The predictable limits of the EU’s pact against migration may be an opportunity to forge our own alternative agenda.

      Second, how can we not only oppose the implementation of restrictive policies but shape the policy process itself so as to transform the field on which we struggle? Opposing the EU’s anti-migrant pact over the coming months may allow us to conduct new experiments.

      Third, as long as policies that deny basic principles of equality, freedom, justice, and our very common humanity, are still in place, how can we lead actions that disrupt them effectively? For example, what are the forms of nongovernmental evacuations that might support migrants in accessing Europe, and moving across its internal borders?

      Fourth, how can struggles around migration and borders be part of the forging of a more equal, free, just and sustainable world for all?

      The next months during which the EU’s Pact against migration will be discussed in front of the European Parliament and Council will see an uphill battle for all those who still believe in the possibility of a Europe of openness and solidarity. While we have no illusions as to the policy outcome, this is an opportunity we must seize, not only to claim that another Europe and another world is possible, but to start building them from below.

      Notes and references

      [1] Tendayi Achiume. 2019, “The Postcolonial Case for Rethinking Borders.” Dissent 66.3: pp.27-32.

      [2] Etienne Balibar. 2004. We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship. Princeton: University Press, p. 108 and 117.

      [3] Mimi Sheller. 2018. Mobility Justice: The Politics of Movement in an Age of Extremes. London: Verso.

      [4] Edouard Glissant. 2006. “Il n’est frontière qu’on n’outrepasse”. Le Monde diplomatique, October 2006.

      https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/can-europe-make-it/towards-pact-migrants-part-two

    • Pacte européen sur la migration et l’asile : Afin de garantir un nouveau départ et d’éviter de reproduire les erreurs passées, certains éléments à risque doivent être reconsidérés et les aspects positifs étendus.

      L’engagement en faveur d’une approche plus humaine de la protection et l’accent mis sur les aspects positifs et bénéfiques de la migration avec lesquels la Commission européenne a lancé le Pacte sur la migration et l’asile sont les bienvenus. Cependant, les propositions formulées reflètent très peu cette rhétorique et ces ambitions. Au lieu de rompre avec les erreurs de la précédente approche de l’Union européenne (UE) et d’offrir un nouveau départ, le Pacte continue de se focaliser sur l’externalisation, la dissuasion, la rétention et le retour.

      Cette première analyse des propositions, réalisée par la société civile, a été guidée par les questions suivantes :

      Les propositions formulées sont-elles en mesure de garantir, en droit et en pratique, le respect des normes internationales et européennes ?
      Participeront-elles à un partage plus juste des responsabilités en matière d’asile au niveau de l’UE et de l’international ?
      Seront-elles susceptibles de fonctionner en pratique ?

      Au lieu d’un partage automatique des responsabilités, le Pacte introduit un système de Dublin, qui n’en porte pas le nom, plus complexe et un mécanisme de « parrainage au retour »

      Le Pacte sur la migration et l’asile a manqué l’occasion de réformer en profondeur le système de Dublin : le principe de responsabilité du premier pays d’arrivée pour examiner les demandes d’asile est, en pratique, maintenu. De plus, le Pacte propose un système complexe introduisant diverses formes de solidarité.

      Certains ajouts positifs dans les critères de détermination de l’Etat membre responsable de la demande d’asile sont à relever, par exemple, l’élargissement de la définition des membres de famille afin d’inclure les frères et sœurs, ainsi qu’un large éventail de membres de famille dans le cas des mineurs non accompagnés et la délivrance d’un diplôme ou d’une autre qualification par un Etat membre. Cependant, au regard de la pratique actuelle des Etats membres, il sera difficile de s’éloigner du principe du premier pays d’entrée comme l’option de départ en faveur des nouvelles considérations prioritaires, notamment le regroupement familial.

      Dans le cas d’un nombre élevé de personnes arrivées sur le territoire (« pression migratoire ») ou débarquées suite à des opérations de recherche et de sauvetage, la solidarité entre Etats membres est requise. Les processus qui en découlent comprennent une série d’évaluations, d’engagements et de rapports devant être rédigés par les États membres. Si la réponse collective est insuffisante, la Commission européenne peut prendre des mesures correctives. Au lieu de promouvoir un mécanisme de soutien pour un partage prévisible des responsabilités, ces dispositions tendent plutôt à créer des formes de négociations entre États membres qui nous sont toutes devenues trop familières. La complexité des propositions soulève des doutes quant à leur application réelle en pratique.

      Les États membres sont autorisés à choisir le « parrainage de retour » à la place de la relocalisation de personnes sur leur territoire, ce qui indique une attention égale portée au retour et à la protection. Au lieu d’apporter un soutien aux Etats membres en charge d’un plus grand nombre de demandes de protection, cette proposition soulève de nombreuses préoccupations juridiques et relatives au respect des droits de l’homme, en particulier si le transfert vers l’Etat dit « parrain » se fait après l’expiration du délai de 8 mois. Qui sera en charge de veiller au traitement des demandeurs d’asile déboutés à leur arrivée dans des Etats qui n’acceptent pas la relocalisation ?

      Le Pacte propose d’étendre l’utilisation de la procédure à la frontière, y compris un recours accru à la rétention

      A défaut de rééquilibrer la responsabilité entre les États membres de l’UE, la proposition de règlement sur les procédures communes exacerbe la pression sur les États situés aux frontières extérieures de l’UE et sur les pays des Balkans occidentaux. La Commission propose de rendre, dans certains cas, les procédures d’asile et de retour à la frontière obligatoires. Cela s’appliquerait notamment aux ressortissants de pays dont le taux moyen de protection de l’UE est inférieur à 20%. Ces procédures seraient facultatives lorsque les Etats membres appliquent les concepts de pays tiers sûr ou pays d’origine sûr. Toutefois, la Commission a précédemment proposé que ceux-ci deviennent obligatoires pour l’ensemble des Etats membres. Les associations réitèrent leurs inquiétudes quant à l’utilisation de ces deux concepts qui ont été largement débattus entre 2016 et 2019. Leur application obligatoire ne doit plus être proposée.

      La proposition de procédure à la frontière repose sur deux hypothèses erronées – notamment sur le fait que la majorité des personnes arrivant en Europe n’est pas éligible à un statut de protection et que l’examen des demandes de protection peut être effectué facilement et rapidement. Ni l’une ni l’autre ne sont correctes. En effet, en prenant en considération à la fois les décisions de première et de seconde instance dans toute l’UE il apparaît que la plupart des demandeurs d’asile dans l’UE au cours des trois dernières années ont obtenu un statut de protection. En outre, le Pacte ne doit pas persévérer dans cette approche erronée selon laquelle les procédures d’asile peuvent être conduites rapidement à travers la réduction de garanties et l’introduction d’un système de tri. La durée moyenne de la procédure d’asile aux Pays-Bas, souvent qualifiée d’ « élève modèle » pour cette pratique, dépasse un an et peut atteindre deux années jusqu’à ce qu’une décision soit prise.

      La proposition engendrerait deux niveaux de standards dans les procédures d’asile, largement déterminés par le pays d’origine de la personne concernée. Cela porte atteinte au droit individuel à l’asile et signifierait qu’un nombre accru de personnes seront soumises à une procédure de deuxième catégorie. Proposer aux Etats membres d’émettre une décision d’asile et d’éloignement de manière simultanée, sans introduire de garanties visant à ce que les principes de non-refoulement, d’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant, et de protection de la vie privée et familiale ne soient examinés, porte atteinte aux obligations qui découlent du droit international. La proposition formulée par la Commission supprime également l’effet suspensif automatique du recours, c’est-à-dire le droit de rester sur le territoire dans l’attente d’une décision finale rendue dans le cadre d’une procédure à la frontière.

      L’idée selon laquelle les personnes soumises à des procédures à la frontière sont considérées comme n’étant pas formellement entrées sur le territoire de l’État membre est trompeuse et contredit la récente jurisprudence de l’UE, sans pour autant modifier les droits de l’individu en vertu du droit européen et international.

      La proposition prive également les personnes de la possibilité d’accéder à des permis de séjour pour des motifs autres que l’asile et impliquera très probablement une privation de liberté pouvant atteindre jusqu’à 6 mois aux frontières de l’UE, c’est-à-dire un maximum de douze semaines dans le cadre de la procédure d’asile à la frontière et douze semaines supplémentaires en cas de procédure de retour à la frontière. En outre, les réformes suppriment le principe selon lequel la rétention ne doit être appliquée qu’en dernier recours dans le cadre des procédures aux frontières. En s’appuyant sur des restrictions plus systématiques des mouvements dans le cadre des procédures à la frontière, la proposition restreindra l’accès de l’individu aux services de base fournis par des acteurs qui ne pourront peut-être pas opérer à la frontière, y compris pour l’assistance et la représentation juridiques. Avec cette approche, on peut s’attendre aux mêmes échecs rencontrés dans la mise en œuvre des « hotspot » sur les îles grecques.

      La reconnaissance de l’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant comme élément primordial dans toutes les procédures pour les États membres est positive. Cependant, la Commission diminue les garanties de protection des enfants en n’exemptant que les mineurs non accompagnés ou âgés de moins de douze ans des procédures aux frontières. Ceci est en contradiction avec la définition internationale de l’enfant qui concerne toutes les personnes jusqu’à l’âge de dix-huit ans, telle qu’inscrite dans la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant ratifiée par tous les États membres de l’UE.

      Dans les situations de crise, les États membres sont autorisés à déroger à d’importantes garanties qui soumettront davantage de personnes à des procédures d’asile de qualité inférieure

      La crainte d’iniquité procédurale est d’autant plus visible dans les situations où un État membre peut prétendre être confronté à une « situation exceptionnelle d’afflux massif » ou au risque d’une telle situation.

      Dans ces cas, le champ d’application de la procédure obligatoire aux frontières est considérablement étendu à toutes les personnes en provenance de pays dont le taux moyen de protection de l’UE est inférieur à 75%. La procédure d’asile à la frontière et la procédure de retour à la frontière peuvent être prolongées de huit semaines supplémentaires, soit cinq mois chacune, ce qui porte à dix mois la durée maximale de privation de liberté. En outre, les États membres peuvent suspendre l’enregistrement des demandes d’asile pendant quatre semaines et jusqu’à un maximum de trois mois. Par conséquent, si aucune demande n’est enregistrée pendant plusieurs semaines, les personnes sont susceptibles d’être exposées à un risque accru de rétention et de refoulement, et leurs droits relatifs à un accueil digne et à des services de base peuvent être gravement affectés.

      Cette mesure permet aux États membres de déroger à leur responsabilité de garantir un accès à l’asile et un examen efficace et équitable de l’ensemble des demandes d’asile, ce qui augmente ainsi le risque de refoulement. Dans certains cas extrêmes, notamment lorsque les États membres agissent en violation flagrante et persistante des obligations du droit de l’UE, le processus de demande d’autorisation à la Commission européenne pourrait être considéré comme une amélioration, étant donné qu’actuellement la loi est ignorée, sans consultation et ce malgré les critiques de la Commission européenne. Toutefois, cela ne peut être le point de départ de l’évaluation de cette proposition de la législation européenne. L’impact à grande échelle de cette dérogation offre la possibilité à ce qu’une grande majorité des personnes arrivant dans l’UE soient soumises à une procédure de second ordre.

      Pré-filtrage à la frontière : risques et opportunités

      La Commission propose un processus de « pré-filtrage à l’entrée » pour toutes les personnes qui arrivent de manière irrégulière aux frontières de l’UE, y compris à la suite d’un débarquement dans le cadre des opérations de recherche et de sauvetage. Le processus de pré-filtrage comprend des contrôles de sécurité, de santé et de vulnérabilité, ainsi que l’enregistrement des empreintes digitales, mais il conduit également à des décisions impactant l’accès à l’asile, notamment en déterminant si une personne doit être sujette à une procédure d’asile accélérée à la frontière, de relocalisation ou de retour. Ce processus peut durer jusqu’à 10 jours et doit être effectué au plus près possible de la frontière. Le lieu où les personnes seront placées et l’accès aux conditions matérielles d’accueil demeurent flous. Le filtrage peut également être appliqué aux personnes se trouvant sur le territoire d’un État membre, ce qui pourrait conduire à une augmentation de pratiques discriminatoires. Des questions se posent également concernant les droits des personnes soumises au filtrage, tels que l’accès à l’information, , l’accès à un avocat et au droit de contester la décision prise dans ce contexte ; les motifs de refus d’entrée ; la confidentialité et la protection des données collectées. Etant donné que les États membres peuvent facilement se décharger de leurs responsabilités en matière de dépistage médical et de vulnérabilité, il n’est pas certain que certains besoins seront effectivement détectés et pris en considération.

      Une initiative à saluer est la proposition d’instaurer un mécanisme indépendant des droits fondamentaux à la frontière. Afin qu’il garantisse une véritable responsabilité face aux violations des droits à la frontière, y compris contre les éloignements et les refoulements récurrents dans un grand nombre d’États membres, ce mécanisme doit être étendu au-delà de la procédure de pré-filtrage, être indépendant des autorités nationales et impliquer des organisations telles que les associations non gouvernementales.

      La proposition fait de la question du retour et de l’expulsion une priorité

      L’objectif principal du Pacte est clair : augmenter de façon significative le nombre de personnes renvoyées ou expulsées de l’UE. La création du poste de Coordinateur en charge des retours au sein de la Commission européenne et d’un directeur exécutif adjoint aux retours au sein de Frontex en sont la preuve, tandis qu’aucune nomination n’est prévue au sujet de la protection de garanties ou de la relocalisation. Le retour est considéré comme un élément admis dans la politique migratoire et le soutien pour des retours dignes, en privilégiant les retours volontaires, l’accès à une assistance au retour et l’aide à la réintégration, sont essentiels. Cependant, l’investissement dans le retour n’est pas une réponse adaptée au non-respect systématique des normes d’asile dans les États membres de l’UE.

      Rien de nouveau sur l’action extérieure : des propositions irréalistes qui risquent de continuer d’affaiblir les droits de l’homme

      La tension entre l’engagement rhétorique pour des partenariats mutuellement bénéfiques et la focalisation visant à placer la migration au cœur des relations entre l’UE et les pays tiers se poursuit. Les tentatives d’externaliser la responsabilité de l’asile et de détourner l’aide au développement, les mécanismes de visa et d’autres outils pour inciter les pays tiers à coopérer sur la gestion migratoire et les accords de réadmission sont maintenues. Cela ne représente pas seulement un risque allant à l’encontre de l’engagement de l’UE pour ses principes de développement, mais cela affaiblit également sa posture internationale en générant de la méfiance et de l’hostilité depuis et à l’encontre des pays tiers. De plus, l’usage d’accords informels et la coopération sécuritaire sur la gestion migratoire avec des pays tels que la Libye ou la Turquie risquent de favoriser les violations des droits de l’homme, d’encourager les gouvernements répressifs et de créer une plus grande instabilité.

      Un manque d’ambition pour des voies légales et sûres vers l’Europe

      L’opportunité pour l’UE d’indiquer qu’elle est prête à contribuer au partage des responsabilités pour la protection au niveau international dans un esprit de partenariat avec les pays qui accueillent la plus grande majorité des réfugiés est manquée. Au lieu de proposer un objectif ambitieux de réinstallation de réfugiés, la Commission européenne a seulement invité les Etats membres à faire plus et a converti les engagements de 2020 en un mécanisme biennal, ce qui résulte en la perte d’une année de réinstallation européenne.

      La reconnaissance du besoin de faciliter la migration de main-d’œuvre à travers différents niveaux de compétences est à saluer, mais l’importance de cette migration dans les économies et les sociétés européennes ne se reflète pas dans les ressources, les propositions et les actions allouées.

      Le soutien aux activités de recherche et de sauvetage et aux actions de solidarité doit être renforcé

      La tragédie humanitaire dans la mer Méditerranée nécessite encore une réponse y compris à travers un soutien financier et des capacités de recherches et de sauvetage. Cet enjeu ainsi que celui du débarquement sont pris en compte dans toutes les propositions, reconnaissant ainsi la crise humanitaire actuelle. Cependant, au lieu de répondre aux comportements et aux dispositions règlementaires des gouvernements qui obstruent les activités de secours et le travail des défendeurs des droits, la Commission européenne suggère que les standards de sécurité sur les navires et les niveaux de communication avec les acteurs privés doivent être surveillés. Les acteurs privés sont également requis d’adhérer non seulement aux régimes légaux, mais aussi aux politiques et pratiques relatives à « la gestion migratoire » qui peuvent potentiellement interférer avec les obligations de recherches et de sauvetage.

      Bien que la publication de lignes directrices pour prévenir la criminalisation de l’action humanitaire soit la bienvenue, celles-ci se limitent aux actes mandatés par la loi avec une attention spécifique aux opérations de sauvetage et de secours. Cette approche risque d’omettre les activités humanitaires telles que la distribution de nourriture, d’abris, ou d’information sur le territoire ou assurés par des organisations non mandatées par le cadre légal qui sont également sujettes à ladite criminalisation et à des restrictions.

      Des signes encourageants pour l’inclusion

      Les changements proposés pour permettre aux réfugiés d’accéder à une résidence de long-terme après trois ans et le renforcement du droit de se déplacer et de travailler dans d’autres Etats membres sont positifs. De plus, la révision du Plan d’action pour l’inclusion et l’intégration et la mise en place d’un groupe d’experts pour collecter l’avis des migrants afin de façonner la politique européenne sont les bienvenues.

      La voie à suivre

      La présentation des propositions de la Commission est le commencement de ce qui promet d’être une autre longue période conflictuelle de négociations sur les politiques européennes d’asile et de migration. Alors que ces négociations sont en cours, il est important de rappeler qu’il existe déjà un régime d’asile européen et que les Etats membres ont des obligations dans le cadre du droit européen et international.

      Cela requiert une action immédiate de la part des décideurs politiques européens, y compris de la part des Etats membres, de :

      Mettre en œuvre les standards existants en lien avec les conditions matérielles d’accueil et les procédures d’asile, d’enquêter sur leur non-respect et de prendre les mesures disciplinaires nécessaires ;
      Sauver des vies en mer, et de garantir des capacités de sauvetage et de secours, permettant un débarquement et une relocalisation rapide ;
      Continuer de s’accorder sur des arrangements ad-hoc de solidarité pour alléger la pression sur les Etats membres aux frontières extérieures de l’UE et encourager les Etats membres à avoir recours à la relocalisation.

      Concernant les prochaines négociations sur le Pacte, nous recommandons aux co-législateurs de :

      Rejeter l’application obligatoire de la procédure d’asile ou de retour à la frontière : ces procédures aux standards abaissés réduisent les garanties des demandeurs d’asile et augmentent le recours à la rétention. Elles exacerbent le manque de solidarité actuel sur l’asile dans l’UE en plaçant plus de responsabilité sur les Etats membres aux frontières extérieures. L’expérience des hotspots et d’autres initiatives similaires démontrent que l’ajout de procédures ou d’étapes dans l’asile peut créer des charges administratives et des coûts significatifs, et entraîner une plus grande inefficacité ;
      Se diriger vers la fin de la privation de liberté de migrants, et interdire la rétention de mineurs conformément à la Convention internationale des droits de l’enfant, et de dédier suffisamment de ressources pour des solutions non privatives de libertés appropriées pour les mineurs et leurs familles ;
      Réajuster les propositions de réforme afin de se concentrer sur le maintien et l’amélioration des standards des droits de l’homme et de l’asile en Europe, plutôt que sur le retour ;
      Œuvrer à ce que les propositions réforment fondamentalement la façon dont la responsabilité des demandeurs d’asile en UE est organisée, en adressant les problèmes liés au principe de pays de première entrée, afin de créer un véritable mécanisme de solidarité ;
      Limiter les possibilités pour les Etats membres de déroger à leurs responsabilités d’enregistrer les demandes d’asile ou d’examiner les demandes, afin d’éviter de créer des incitations à opérer en mode gestion de crise et à diminuer les standards de l’asile ;
      Augmenter les garanties pendant la procédure de pré-filtrage pour assurer le droit à l’information, l’accès à une aide et une représentation juridique, la détection et la prise en charge des vulnérabilités et des besoins de santé, et une réponse aux préoccupations liées à l’enregistrement et à la protection des données ;
      Garantir que le mécanisme de suivi des droits fondamentaux aux frontières dispose d’une portée large afin de couvrir toutes les violations des droits fondamentaux à la frontière, qu’il soit véritablement indépendant des autorités nationales et dispose de ressources adéquates et qu’il contribue à la responsabilisation ;
      S’opposer aux tentatives d’utiliser l’aide au développement, au commerce, aux investissements, aux mécanismes de visas, à la coopération sécuritaire et autres politiques et financements pour faire pression sur les pays tiers dans leur coopération étroitement définie par des objectifs européens de contrôle migratoire ;
      Evaluer l’impact à long-terme des politiques migratoires d’externalisation sur la paix, le respect des droits et le développement durable et garantir que la politique extérieure migratoire ne contribue pas à la violation de droits de l’homme et prenne en compte les enjeux de conflits ;
      Développer significativement les voies légales et sûres vers l’UE en mettant en œuvre rapidement les engagements actuels de réinstallation, en proposant de nouveaux objectifs ambitieux et en augmentant les opportunités de voies d’accès à la protection ainsi qu’à la migration de main-d’œuvre et universitaire en UE ;
      Renforcer les exceptions à la criminalisation lorsqu’il s’agit d’actions humanitaires et autres activités indépendantes de la société civile et enlever les obstacles auxquels font face les acteurs de la société civile fournissant une assistance vitale et humanitaire sur terre et en mer ;
      Mettre en place une opération de recherche et de sauvetage en mer Méditerranée financée et coordonnée par l’UE ;
      S’appuyer sur les propositions prometteuses pour soutenir l’inclusion à travers l’accès à la résidence à long-terme et les droits associés et la mise en œuvre du Plan d’action sur l’intégration et l’inclusion au niveau européen, national et local.

      https://www.forumrefugies.org/s-informer/positions/europe/774-pacte-europeen-sur-la-migration-et-l-asile-afin-de-garantir-un-no

    • Nouveau Pacte européen  : les migrant.e.s et réfugié.e.s traité.e.s comme des « # colis à trier  »

      Le jour même de la Conférence des Ministres européens de l’Intérieur, EuroMed Droits présente son analyse détaillée du nouveau Pacte européen sur l’asile et la migration, publié le 23 septembre dernier (https://euromedrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Analysis-of-Asylum-and-Migration-Pact_Final_Clickable.pdf).

      On peut résumer les plus de 500 pages de documents comme suit  : le nouveau Pacte européen sur l’asile et la migration déshumanise les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s, les traitant comme des «  #colis à trier  » et les empêchant de se déplacer en Europe. Ce Pacte soulève de nombreuses questions en matière de respect des droits humains, dont certaines sont à souligner en particulier  :

      L’UE détourne le concept de solidarité. Le Pacte vise clairement à «  rétablir la confiance mutuelle entre les États membres  », donnant ainsi la priorité à la #cohésion:interne de l’UE au détriment des droits des migrant.e.s et des réfugié.e.s. La proposition laisse le choix aux États membres de contribuer – en les mettant sur un pied d’égalité – à la #réinstallation, au #rapatriement, au soutien à l’accueil ou à l’#externalisation des frontières. La #solidarité envers les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s et leurs droits fondamentaux sont totalement ignorés.

      Le pacte promeut une gestion «  sécuritaire  » de la migration. Selon la nouvelle proposition, les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s seront placé.e.s en #détention et privé.e.s de liberté à leur arrivée. La procédure envisagée pour accélérer la procédure de demande d’asile ne pourra se faire qu’au détriment des lois sur l’asile et des droits des demandeur.se.s. Il est fort probable que la #procédure se déroulera de manière arbitraire et discriminatoire, en fonction de la nationalité du/de la demandeur.se, de son taux de reconnaissance et du fait que le pays dont il/elle provient est «  sûr  », ce qui est un concept douteux.

      L’idée clé qui sous-tend cette vision est simple  : externaliser autant que possible la gestion des frontières en coopérant avec des pays tiers. L’objectif est de faciliter le retour et la réadmission des migrant.e.s dans le pays d’où ils/elles sont parti.es. Pour ce faire, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes (Frontex) verrait ses pouvoirs renforcés et un poste de coordinateur.trice européen.ne pour les retours serait créé. Le pacte risque de facto de fournir un cadre juridique aux pratiques illégales telles que les refoulements, les détentions arbitraires et les mesures visant à réduire davantage la capacité en matière d’asile. Des pratiques déjà en place dans certains États membres.

      Le Pacte présente quelques aspects «  positifs  », par exemple en matière de protection des enfants ou de regroupement familial, qui serait facilité. Mais ces bonnes intentions, qui doivent être mises en pratique, sont noyées dans un océan de mesures répressives et sécuritaires.

      EuroMed Droits appelle les Etats membres de l’UE à réfléchir en termes de mise en œuvre pratique (ou non) de ces mesures. Non seulement elles violent les droits humains, mais elles sont impraticables sur le terrain  : la responsabilité de l’évaluation des demandes d’asile reste au premier pays d’arrivée, sans vraiment remettre en cause le Règlement de Dublin. Cela signifie que des pays comme l’Italie, Malte, l’Espagne, la Grèce et Chypre continueront à subir une «  pression  » excessive, ce qui les encouragera à poursuivre leurs politiques de refoulement et d’expulsion. Enfin, le Pacte ne répond pas à la problématique urgente des «  hotspots  » et des camps de réfugié.e.s comme en Italie ou en Grèce et dans les zones de transit à l’instar de la Hongrie. Au contraire, cela renforce ce modèle dangereux en le présentant comme un exemple à exporter dans toute l’Europe, alors que des exemples récents ont démontré l’impossibilité de gérer ces camps de manière humaine.

      https://euromedrights.org/fr/publication/nouveau-pacte-europeen%e2%80%af-les-migrant-e-s-et-refugie-e-s-traite

      #paquets_de_la_poste #paquets #poste #tri #pays_sûrs

    • A “Fresh Start” or One More Clunker? Dublin and Solidarity in the New Pact

      In ongoing discussions on the reform of the CEAS, solidarity is a key theme. It stands front and center in the New Pact on Migration and Asylum: after reassuring us of the “human and humane approach” taken, the opening quote stresses that Member States must be able to “rely on the solidarity of our whole European Union”.

      In describing the need for reform, the Commission does not mince its words: “[t]here is currently no effective solidarity mechanism in place, and no efficient rule on responsibility”. It’s a remarkable statement: barely one year ago, the Commission maintained that “[t]he EU [had] shown tangible and rapid support to Member States under most pressure” throughout the crisis. Be that as it may, we are promised a “fresh start”. Thus, President Von der Leyen has announced on the occasion of the 2020 State of the Union Address that “we will abolish the Dublin Regulation”, the 2016 Dublin IV Proposal (examined here) has been withdrawn, and the Pact proposes a “new solidarity mechanism” connected to “robust and fair management of the external borders” and capped by a new “governance framework”.

      Before you buy the shiny new package, you are advised to consult the fine print however. Yes, the Commission proposes to abolish the Dublin III Regulation and withdraws the Dublin IV Proposal. But the Proposal for an Asylum and Migration Management Regulation (hereafter “the Migration Management Proposal”) reproduces word-for-word the Dublin III Regulation, subject to amendments drawn … from the Dublin IV Proposal! As for the “governance framework” outlined in Articles 3-7 of the Migration Management Proposal, it’s a hodgepodge of purely declamatory provisions (e.g. Art. 3-4), of restatements of pre-existing obligations (Art. 5), of legal bases authorizing procedures that require none (Art. 7). The one new item is a yearly monitoring exercise centered on an “European Asylum and Migration Management Strategy” (Art. 6), which seems as likely to make a difference as the “Mechanism for Early Warning, Preparedness and Crisis Management”, introduced with much fanfare with the Dublin III Regulation and then left in the drawer before, during and after the 2015/16 crisis.

      Leaving the provisions just mentioned for future commentaries – fearless interpreters might still find legal substance in there – this contribution focuses on four points: the proposed amendments to Dublin, the interface between Dublin and procedures at the border, the new solidarity mechanism, and proposals concerning force majeure. Caveat emptor! It is a jungle of extremely detailed and sometimes obscure provisions. While this post is longer than usual – warm thanks to the lenient editors! – do not expect an exhaustive summary, nor firm conclusions on every point.
      Dublin, the Undying

      To borrow from Mark Twain, reports of the death of the Dublin system have been once more greatly exaggerated. As noted, Part III of the Migration Management Proposal (Articles 8-44) is for all intents and purposes an amended version of the Dublin III Regulation, and most of the amendments are lifted from the 2016 Dublin IV Proposal.

      A first group of amendments concerns the responsibility criteria. Some expand the possibilities to allocate applicants based on their “meaningful links” with Member States: Article 2(g) expands the family definition to include siblings, opening new possibilities for reunification; Article 19(4) enlarges the criterion based on previous legal abode (i.e. expired residence documents); in a tip of the hat to the Wikstroem Report, commented here, Article 20 introduces a new criterion based on prior education in a Member State.

      These are welcome changes, but all that glitters is not gold. The Commission advertises “streamlined” evidentiary requirements to facilitate family reunification. These would be necessary indeed: evidentiary issues have long undermined the application of the family criteria. Unfortunately, the Commission is not proposing anything new: Article 30(6) of the Migration Management Proposal corresponds in essence to Article 22(5) of the Dublin III Regulation.

      Besides, while the Commission proposes to expand the general definition of family, the opposite is true of the specific definition of family applicable to “dependent persons”. Under Article 16 of the Dublin III Regulation, applicants who e.g. suffer from severe disabilities are to be kept or brought together with a care-giving parent, child or sibling residing in a Member State. Due to fears of sham marriages, spouses have been excluded and this is legally untenable and inhumane, but instead of tackling the problem the Commission proposes in Article 24 to worsen it by excluding siblings. The end result is paradoxical: persons needing family support the most will be deprived – for no apparent reason other than imaginary fears of “abuses” – of the benefits of enlarged reunification possibilities. “[H]uman and humane”, indeed.

      The fight against secondary movements inspires most of the other amendments to the criteria. In particular, Article 21 of the Proposal maintains and extends the much-contested criterion of irregular entry while clarifying that it applies also to persons disembarked after a search and rescue (SAR) operation. The Commission also proposes that unaccompanied children be transferred to the first Member State where they applied if no family criterion is applicable (Article 15(5)). This would overturn the MA judgment of the ECJ whereby in such cases the asylum claim must be examined in the State where the child last applied and is present. It’s not a technical fine point: while the case-law of the ECJ is calculated to spare children the trauma of a transfer, the proposed amendment would subject them again to the rigours of Dublin.

      Again to discourage secondary movements, the Commission proposes – as in 2016 – a second group of amendments: new obligations for the applicants (Articles 9-10). Applicants must in principle apply in the Member State of first entry, remain in that State for the duration of the Dublin procedure and, post-transfer, remain in the State responsible. Moving to the “wrong” State entails losing the benefits of the Reception Conditions Directive, subject to “the need to ensure a standard of living in accordance with” the Charter. It is debatable whether this is a much lesser standard of reception. More importantly: as reception conditions in line with the Directive are seldom guaranteed in several frontline Member States, the prospect of being treated “in accordance with the Charter” elsewhere will hardly dissuade applicants from moving on.

      The 2016 Proposal foresaw, as further punishment, the mandatory application of accelerated procedures to “secondary movers”. This rule disappears from the Migration Management Proposal, but as Daniel Thym points out in his forthcoming contribution on secondary movements, it remains in Article 40(1)(g) of the 2016 Proposal for an Asylum Procedures Regulation. Furthermore, the Commission proposes deleting Article 18(2) of the Dublin III Regulation, i.e. the guarantee that persons transferred back to a State that has meanwhile discontinued or rejected their application will have their case reopened, or a remedy available. This is a dangerous invitation to Member States to reintroduce “discontinuation” practices that the Commission itself once condemned as incompatible with effective access to status determination.

      To facilitate responsibility-determination, the Proposal further obliges applicants to submit relevant information before or at the Dublin interview. Late submissions are not to be considered. Fairness would demand that justified delays be excused. Besides, it is also proposed to repeal Article 7(3) of the Dublin III Regulation, whereby authorities must take into account evidence of family ties even if produced late in the process. All in all, then, the Proposal would make proof of family ties harder, not easier as the Commission claims.

      A final group of amendments concern the details of the Dublin procedure, and might prove the most important in practice.

      Some “streamline” the process, e.g. with shorter deadlines (e.g. Article 29(1)) and a simplified take back procedure (Article 31). Controversially, the Commission proposes again to reduce the scope of appeals against transfers to issues of ill-treatment and misapplication of the family criteria (Article 33). This may perhaps prove acceptable to the ECJ in light of its old Abdullahi case-law. However, it contravenes Article 13 ECHR, which demands an effective remedy for the violation of any Convention right.
      Other procedural amendments aim to make it harder for applicants to evade transfers. At present, if a transferee absconds for 18 months, the transfer is cancelled and the transferring State becomes responsible. Article 35(2) of the Proposal allows the transferring State to “stop the clock” if the applicant absconds, and to resume the transfer as soon as he reappears.
      A number of amendments make responsibility more “stable” once assigned, although not as “permanent” as the 2016 Proposal would have made it. Under Article 27 of the Proposal, the responsibility of a State will only cease if the applicant has left the Dublin area in compliance with a return decision. More importantly, under Article 26 the responsible State will have to take back even persons to whom it has granted protection. This would be a significant extension of the scope of the Dublin system, and would “lock” applicants in the responsible State even more firmly and more durably. Perhaps by way of compensation, the Commission proposes that beneficiaries of international protection obtain “long-term status” – and thus mobility rights – after three years of residence instead of five. However, given that it is “very difficult in practice” to exercise such rights, the compensation seems more theoretical than effective and a far cry from a system of free movement capable of offsetting the rigidities of Dublin.

      These are, in short, the key amendments foreseen. While it’s easy enough to comment on each individually, it is more difficult to forecast their aggregate impact. Will they – to paraphrase the Commission – “improv[e] the chances of integration” and reduce “unauthorised movements” (recital 13), and help closing “the existing implementation gap”? Probably not, as none of them is a game-changer.

      Taken together, however, they might well aggravate current distributive imbalances. Dublin “locks in” the responsibilities of the States that receive most applications – traditional destinations such as Germany or border States such as Italy – leaving the other Member States undisturbed. Apart from possible distributive impacts of the revised criteria and of the now obligations imposed on applicants, first application States will certainly be disadvantaged combination by shortened deadlines, security screenings (see below), streamlined take backs, and “stable” responsibility extending to beneficiaries of protection. Under the “new Dublin rules” – sorry for the oxymoron! – effective solidarity will become more necessary than ever.
      Border procedures and Dublin

      Building on the current hotspot approach, the Proposals for a Screening Regulation and for an Asylum Procedures Regulation outline a new(ish) “pre-entry” phase. This will be examined in a forthcoming post by Lyra Jakuleviciene, but the interface with infra-EU allocation deserves mention here.

      In a nutshell, persons irregularly crossing the border will be screened for the purpose of identification, health and security checks, and registration in Eurodac. Protection applicants may then be channelled to “border procedures” in a broad range of situations. This will be mandatory if the applicant: (a) attempts to mislead the authorities; (b) can be considered, based on “serious reasons”, “a danger to the national security or public order of the Member States”; (c) comes from a State whose nationals have a low Union-wide recognition rate (Article 41(3) of the Asylum Procedure Proposal).

      The purpose of the border procedure is to assess applications “without authorising the applicant’s entry into the Member State’s territory” (here, p.4). Therefore, it might have seemed logical that applicants subjected to it be excluded from the Dublin system – as is the case, ordinarily, for relocations (see below). Not so: under Article 41(7) of the Proposal, Member States may apply Dublin in the context of border procedures. This weakens the idea of “seamless procedures at the border” somewhat but – from the standpoint of both applicants and border States – it is better than a watertight exclusion: applicants may still benefit from “meaningful link” criteria, and border States are not “stuck with the caseload”. I would normally have qualms about giving Member States discretion in choosing whether Dublin rules apply. But as it happens, Member States who receive an asylum application already enjoy that discretion under the so-called “sovereignty clause”. Nota bene: in exercising that discretion, Member States apply EU Law and must observe the Charter, and the same principle must certainly apply under the proposed Article 41(7).

      The only true exclusion from the Dublin system is set out in Article 8(4) of the Migration Management Proposal. Under this provision, Member States must carry out a security check of all applicants as part of the pre-entry screening and/or after the application is filed. If “there are reasonable grounds to consider the applicant a danger to national security or public order” of the determining State, the other criteria are bypassed and that State becomes responsible. Attentive readers will note that the wording of Article 8(4) differs from that of Article 41(3) of the Asylum Procedure Proposal (e.g. “serious grounds” vs “reasonable grounds”). It is therefore unclear whether the security grounds to “screen out” an applicant from Dublin are coextensive with the security grounds making a border procedure mandatory. Be that as it may, a broad application of Article 8(4) would be undesirable, as it would entail a large-scale exclusion from the guarantees that applicants derive from the Dublin system. The risk is moderate however: by applying Article 8(4) widely, Member States would be increasing their own share of responsibilities under the system. As twenty-five years of Dublin practice indicate, this is unlikely to happen.
      “Mandatory” and “flexible” solidarity under the new mechanism

      So far, the Migration Management Proposal does not look significantly different from the 2016 Dublin IV Proposal, which did not itself fundamentally alter existing rules, and which went down in flames in inter- and intra-institutional negotiations. Any hopes of a “fresh start”, then, are left for the new solidarity mechanism.

      Unfortunately, solidarity is a difficult subject for the EU: financial support has hitherto been a mere fraction of Member State expenditure in the field; operational cooperation has proved useful but cannot tackle all the relevant aspects of the unequal distribution of responsibilities among Member States; relocations have proved extremely beneficial for thousands of applicants, but are intrinsically complex operations and have also proven politically divisive – an aspect which has severely undermined their application and further condemned them to be small scale affairs relative to the needs on the ground. The same goes a fortiori for ad hoc initiatives – such as those that followed SAR operations over the last two years– which furthermore lack the predictability that is necessary for sharing responsibilities effectively. To reiterate what the Commission stated, there is currently “no effective solidarity mechanism in place”.

      Perhaps most importantly, the EU has hitherto been incapable of accurately gauging the distributive asymmetries on the ground, to articulate a clear doctrine guiding the key determinations of “how much solidarity” and “what kind(s) of solidarity”, and to define commensurate redistributive targets on this basis (see here, p.34 and 116).

      Alas, the opportunity to elaborate a solidarity doctrine for the EU has been completely missed. Conceptually, the New Pact does not go much farther than platitudes such as “[s]olidarity implies that all Member States should contribute”. As Daniel Thym aptly observed, “pragmatism” is the driving force behind the Proposal: the Commission starts from a familiar basis – relocations – and tweaks it in ways designed to convince stakeholders that solidarity becomes both “compulsory” and “flexible”. It’s a complicated arrangement and I will only describe it in broad strokes, leaving the crucial dimensions of financial solidarity and operational cooperation to forthcoming posts by Iris Goldner Lang and Lilian Tsourdi.

      The mechanism operates according to three “modes”. In its basic mode, it is to replace ad hoc solidarity initiatives following SAR disembarkations (Articles 47-49 of the Migration Management Proposal):

      The Commission determines, in its yearly Migration Management Report, whether a State is faced with “recurring arrivals” following SAR operations and determines the needs in terms of relocations and other contributions (capacity building, operational support proper, cooperation with third States).
      The Member States are “invited” to notify the “contributions they intend to make”. If offers are sufficient, the Commission combines them and formally adopts a “solidarity pool”. If not, it adopts an implementing act summarizing relocation targets for each Member State and other contributions as offered by them. Member States may react by offering other contributions instead of relocations, provided that this is “proportional” – one wonders how the Commission will tally e.g. training programs for Libyan coastguards with relocation places.
      If the relocations offered fall 30% short of the target indicated by the Commission, a “critical mass correction mechanism” will apply: each Member States will be obliged to meet at least 50% of the quota of relocations indicated by the Commission. However, and this is the new idea offered by the Commission to bring relocation-skeptics onboard, Member States may discharge their duties by offering “return sponsorships” instead of relocations: the “sponsor” Member State commits to support the benefitting Member State to return a person and, if the return is not carried out within eight months, to accept her on its territory.

      If I understand correctly the fuzzy provision I have just summarized – Article 48(2) – it all boils down to “half-compulsory” solidarity: Member States are obliged to cover at least 50% of the relocation needs set by the Commission through relocations or sponsorships, and the rest with other contributions.

      After the “solidarity pool” is established and the benefitting Member State requests its activation, relocations can start:

      The eligible persons are those who applied for protection in the benefitting State, with the exclusion of those that are subject to border procedures (Article 45(1)(a)).Also excluded are those whom Dublin criteria based on “meaningful links” – family, abode, diplomas – assign to the benefitting State (Article 57(3)). These rules suggest that the benefitting State must carry out identification, screening for border procedures and a first (reduced?) Dublin procedure before it can declare an applicant eligible for relocation.
      Persons eligible for return sponsorship are “illegally staying third-country nationals” (Article 45(1)(b)).
      The eligible persons are identified, placed on a list, and matched to Member States based on “meaningful links”. The transfer can only be refused by the State of relocation on security grounds (Article 57(2)(6) and (7)), and otherwise follows the modalities of Dublin transfers in almost all respects (e.g. deadlines, notification, appeals). However, contrary to what happens under Dublin, missing the deadline for transfer does not entail that the relocation is cancelled it (see Article 57(10)).
      After the transfer, applicants will be directly admitted to the asylum procedure in the State of relocation only if it has been previously established that the benefitting State would have been responsible under criteria other than those based on “meaningful links” (Article 58(3)). In all the other cases, the State of relocation will run a Dublin procedure and, if necessary, transfer again the applicant to the State responsible (see Article 58(2)). As for persons subjected to return sponsorship, the State of relocation will pick up the application of the Return Directive where the benefitting State left off (or so I read Article 58(5)!).

      If the Commission concludes that a Member State is under “migratory pressure”, at the request of the concerned State or of its own motion (Article 50), the mechanism operates as described above except for one main point: beneficiaries of protection also become eligible for relocation (Article 51(3)). Thankfully, they must consent thereto and are automatically granted the same status in the relocation State (see Articles 57(3) and 58(4)).

      If the Commission concludes that a Member State is confronted to a “crisis”, rules change further (see Article 2 of the Proposal for a Migration and Asylum Crisis Regulation):

      Applicants subject to the border procedure and persons “having entered irregularly” also become eligible for relocation. These persons may then undergo a border procedure post-relocation (see Article 41(1) and (8) of the Proposal for an Asylum Procedures Regulation).
      Persons subject to return sponsorship are transferred to the sponsor State if their removal does not occur within four – instead of eight – months.
      Other contributions are excluded from the palette of contributions available to the other Member States (Article 2(1)): it has to be relocation or return sponsorship.
      The procedure is faster, with shorter deadlines.

      It is an understatement to say that the mechanism is complex, and your faithful scribe still has much to digest. For the time being, I would make four general comments.

      First, it is not self-evident that this is a good “insurance scheme” for its intended beneficiaries. As noted, the system only guarantees that 50% of the relocation needs of a State will be met. Furthermore, there are hidden costs: in “SAR” and “pressure” modes, the benefitting State has to screen the applicant, register the application, and assess whether border procedures or (some) Dublin criteria apply before it can channel the applicant to relocation. It is unclear whether a 500 lump sum is enough to offset the costs (see Article 79 of the Migration Management Proposal). Besides, in a crisis situation, these preliminary steps might make relocation impractical – think of the Greek registration backlog in 2015/6. Perhaps, extending relocation to persons “having entered irregularly” when the mechanism is in “crisis mode” is meant precisely to take care of this. Similar observations apply to return sponsorship. Under Article 55(4) of the Migration Management Proposal, the support offered by the sponsor to the benefitting State can be rather low key (e.g. “counselling”) and there seems to be no guarantee that the benefitting State will be effectively relieved of the political, administrative and financial costs associated to return. Moving from costs to risks, it is clear that the benefitting State bears all the risks of non implementation – in other words, if the system grinds to a halt or breaks down, it will be Moria all over again. In light of past experience, one can only agree with Thomas Gammelthoft-Hansen that it’s a “big gamble”. Other aspects examined below – the vast margins of discretion left to the Commission, and the easy backdoor opened by the force majeure provisions – do not help either to create predictability.
      Second, as just noted the mechanism gives the Commission practically unlimited discretion at all critical junctures. The Commission will determine whether a Member States is confronted to “recurring arrivals”, “pressure” or a “crisis”. It will do so under definitions so open-textured, and criteria so numerous, that it will be basically the master of its determinations (Article 50 of the Migration Management Proposal). The Commission will determine unilaterally relocation and operational solidarity needs. Finally, the Commission will determine – we do not know how – if “other contributions” are proportional to relocation needs. Other than in the most clear-cut situations, there is no way that anyone can predict how the system will be applied.
      Third: the mechanism reflects a powerful fixation with and unshakable faith in heavy bureaucracy. Protection applicants may undergo up to three “responsibility determination” procedures and two transfers before finally landing in an asylum procedure: Dublin “screening” in the first State, matching, relocation, full Dublin procedure in the relocation State, then transfer. And this is a system that should not “compromise the objective of the rapid processing of applications”(recital 34)! Decidedly, the idea that in order to improve the CEAS it is above all necessary to suppress unnecessary delays and coercion (see here, p.9) has not made a strong impression on the minds of the drafters. The same remark applies mutatis mutandis to return sponsorships: whatever the benefits in terms of solidarity, one wonders if it is very cost-effective or humane to drag a person from State to State so that they can each try their hand at expelling her.
      Lastly and relatedly, applicants and other persons otherwise concerned by the relocation system are given no voice. They can be “matched”, transferred, re-transferred, but subject to few exceptions their aspirations and intentions remain legally irrelevant. In this regard, the “New Pact” is as old school as it gets: it sticks strictly to the “no choice” taboo on which Dublin is built. What little recognition of applicants’ actorness had been made in the Wikstroem Report is gone. Objectifying migrants is not only incompatible with the claim that the approach taken is “human and humane”. It might prove fatal to the administrative efficiency so cherished by the Commission. Indeed, failure to engage applicants is arguably the key factor in the dismal performance of the Dublin system (here, p.112). Why should it be any different under this solidarity mechanism?

      Framing Force Majeure (or inviting defection?)

      In addition to addressing “crisis” situations, the Proposal for a Migration and Asylum Crisis Regulation includes separate provisions on force majeure.

      Thereunder, any Member State may unilaterally declare that it is faced with a situation making it “impossible” to comply with selected CEAS rules, and thus obtain the right – subject to a mere notification – to derogate from them. Member States may obtain in this way longer Dublin deadlines, or even be exempted from the obligation to accept transfers and be liberated from responsibilities if the suspension goes on more than a year (Article 8). Furthermore, States may obtain a six-months suspension of their duties under the solidarity mechanism (Article 9).

      The inclusion of this proposal in the Pact – possibly an attempt to further placate Member States averse to European solidarity? – beggars belief. Legally speaking, the whole idea is redundant: under the case-law of the ECJ, Member States may derogate from any rule of EU Law if confronted to force majeure. However, putting this black on white amounts to inviting (and legalizing) defection. The only conceivable object of rules of this kind would have been to subject force majeure derogations to prior authorization by the Commission – but there is nothing of the kind in the Proposal. The end result is paradoxical: while Member States are (in theory!) subject to Commission supervision when they conclude arrangements facilitating the implementation of Dublin rules, a mere notification will be enough to authorize them to unilaterally tear a hole in the fabric of “solidarity” and “responsibility” so painstakingly – if not felicitously – woven in the Pact.
      Concluding comments

      We should have taken Commissioner Ylva Johansson at her word when she said that there would be no “Hoorays” for the new proposals. Past the avalanche of adjectives, promises and fancy administrative monikers hurled at the reader – “faster, seamless migration processes”; “prevent the recurrence of events such as those seen in Moria”; “critical mass correction mechanism” – one cannot fail to see that the “fresh start” is essentially an exercise in repackaging.

      On responsibility-allocation and solidarity, the basic idea is one that the Commission incessantly returns to since 2007 (here, p. 10): keep Dublin and “correct” it through solidarity schemes. I do sympathize to an extent: realizing a fair balance of responsibilities by “sharing people” has always seemed to me impracticable and undesirable. Still, one would have expected that the abject failure of the Dublin system, the collapse of mutual trust in the CEAS, the meagre results obtained in the field of solidarity – per the Commission’s own appraisal – would have pushed it to bring something new to the table.

      Instead, what we have is a slightly milder version of the Dublin IV Proposal – the ultimate “clunker” in the history of Commission proposals – and an ultra-bureaucratic mechanism for relocation, with the dubious addition of return sponsorships and force majeure provisions. The basic tenets of infra-EU allocation remain the same – “no choice”, first entry – and none of the structural flaws that doomed current schemes to failure is fundamentally tackled (here, p.107): solidarity is beefed-up but appears too unreliable and fuzzy to generate trust; there are interesting steps on “genuine links”, but otherwise no sustained attempt to positively engage applicants; administrative complexity and coercive transfers reign on.

      Pragmatism, to quote again Daniel Thym’s excellent introductory post, is no sin. It is even expected of the Commission. This, however, is a study in path-dependency. By defending the status quo, wrapping it in shiny new paper, and making limited concessions to key policy actors, the Commission may perhaps carry its proposals through. However, without substantial corrections, the “new” Pact is unlikely to save the CEAS or even to prevent new Morias.

      http://eumigrationlawblog.eu/a-fresh-start-or-one-more-clunker-dublin-and-solidarity-in-the-ne

      #Francesco_Maiani

      #force_majeure

    • European Refugee Policy: What’s Gone Wrong and How to Make It Better

      In 2015 and 2016, more than 1 million refugees made their way to the European Union, the largest number of them originating from Syria. Since that time, refugee arrivals have continued, although at a much slower pace and involving people from a wider range of countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

      The EU’s response to these developments has had five main characteristics.

      First, a serious lack of preparedness and long-term planning. Despite the massive material and intelligence resources at its disposal, the EU was caught completely unaware by the mass influx of refugees five years ago and has been playing catch-up ever since. While the emergency is now well and truly over, EU member states continue to talk as if still in the grip of an unmanageable “refugee crisis.”

      Second, the EU’s refugee policy has become progressively based on a strategy known as “externalization,” whereby responsibility for migration control is shifted to unstable states outside Europe. This has been epitomized by the deals that the EU has done with countries such as Libya, Niger, Sudan, and Turkey, all of which have agreed to halt the onward movement of refugees in exchange for aid and other rewards, including support to the security services.

      Third, asylum has become increasingly criminalized, as demonstrated by the growing number of EU citizens and civil society groups that have been prosecuted for their roles in aiding refugees. At the same time, some frontline member states have engaged in a systematic attempt to delegitimize the NGO search-and-rescue organizations operating in the Mediterranean and to obstruct their life-saving activities.

      The fourth characteristic of EU countries’ recent policies has been a readiness to inflict or be complicit in a range of abuses that challenge the principles of both human rights and international refugee law. This can be seen in the violence perpetrated against asylum seekers by the military and militia groups in Croatia and Hungary, the terrible conditions found in Greek refugee camps such as Moria on the island of Lesvos, and, most egregiously of all, EU support to the Libyan Coastguard that enables it to intercept refugees at sea and to return them to abusive detention centers on land.

      Fifth and finally, the past five years have witnessed a serious absence of solidarity within the EU. Frontline states such as Greece and Italy have been left to bear a disproportionate share of the responsibility for new refugee arrivals. Efforts to relocate asylum seekers and resettle refugees throughout the EU have had disappointing results. And countries in the eastern part of the EU have consistently fought against the European Commission in its efforts to forge a more cooperative and coordinated approach to the refugee issue.

      The most recent attempt to formulate such an approach is to be found in the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, which the Commission proposed in September 2020.

      It would be wrong to entirely dismiss the Pact, as it contains some positive elements. These include, for example, a commitment to establish legal pathways to asylum in Europe for people who are in need of protection, and EU support for member states that wish to establish community-sponsored refugee resettlement programs.

      In other respects, however, the Pact has a number of important, serious flaws. It has already been questioned by those countries that are least willing to admit refugees and continue to resist the role of Brussels in this policy domain. The Pact also makes hardly any reference to the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration—a strange omission given the enormous amount of time and effort that the UN has devoted to those initiatives, both of which were triggered by the European emergency of 2015-16.

      At an operational level, the Pact endorses and reinforces the EU’s externalization agenda and envisages a much more aggressive role for Frontex, the EU’s border control agency. At the same time, it empowers member states to refuse entry to asylum seekers on the basis of very vague criteria. As a result, individuals may be more vulnerable to human smugglers and traffickers. There is also a strong likelihood that new refugee camps will spring up on the fringes of Europe, with their residents living in substandard conditions.

      Finally, the Pact places enormous emphasis on the involuntary return of asylum seekers to their countries of origin. It even envisages that a hardline state such as Hungary could contribute to the implementation of the Pact by organizing and funding such deportations. This constitutes an extremely dangerous new twist on the notions of solidarity and responsibility sharing, which form the basis of the international refugee regime.

      If the proposed Pact is not fit for purpose, then what might a more constructive EU refugee policy look like?

      It would in the first instance focus on the restoration of both EU and NGO search-and-rescue efforts in the Mediterranean and establish more predictable disembarkation and refugee distribution mechanisms. It would also mean the withdrawal of EU support for the Libyan Coastguard, the closure of that country’s detention centers, and a substantial improvement of the living conditions experienced by refugees in Europe’s frontline states—changes that should take place with or without a Pact.

      Indeed, the EU should redeploy the massive amount of resources that it currently devotes to the externalization process, so as to strengthen the protection capacity of asylum and transit countries on the periphery of Europe. A progressive approach on the part of the EU would involve the establishment of not only faster but also fair asylum procedures, with appropriate long-term solutions being found for new arrivals, whether or not they qualify for refugee status.

      These changes would help to ensure that those searching for safety have timely and adequate opportunities to access their most basic rights.

      https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/2020/11/5/european-refugee-policy-whats-gone-wrong-and-how-to-make-it-b

    • The New Pact on Migration and Asylum: Turning European Union Territory into a non-Territory

      Externalization policies in 2020: where is the European Union territory?

      In spite of the Commission’s rhetoric stressing the novel elements of the Pact on Migration and Asylum (hereinafter: the Pact – summarized and discussed in general here), there are good reasons to argue that the Pact develops and consolidates, among others, the existing trends on externalization policies of migration control (see Guild et al). Furthermore, it tries to create new avenues for a ‘smarter’ system of management of immigration, by additionally controlling access to the European Union territory for third country nationals (TCNs), and by creating different categories of migrants, which are then subject to different legal regimes which find application in the European Union territory.

      The consolidation of existing trends concerns the externalization of migration management practices, resort to technologies in developing migration control systems (further development of Eurodac, completion of the path toward full interoperability between IT systems), and also the strengthening of the role of the European Union executive level, via increased joint management involving European Union agencies: these are all policies that find in the Pact’s consolidation.

      This brief will focus on externalization (practices), a concept which is finding a new declination in the Pact: indeed, the Pact and several of the measures proposed, read together, are aiming at ‘disentangling’ the territory of the EU, from a set of rights which are related with the presence of the migrant or of the asylum seeker on the territory of a Member State of the EU, and from the relation between territory and access to a jurisdiction, which is necessary to enforce rights which otherwise remain on paper.

      Interestingly, this process of separation, of splitting between territory-law/rights-jurisdiction takes place not outside, but within the EU, and this is the new declination of externalization which one can find in the measures proposed in the Pact, namely with the proposal for a Screening Regulation and the amended proposal for a Procedure Regulation. It is no accident that other commentators have interpreted it as a consolidation of ‘fortress Europe’. In other words, this externalization process takes place within the EU and aims at making the external borders more effective also for the TCNs who are already in the territory of the EU.

      The proposal for a pre-entry screening regulation

      A first instrument which has a pivotal role in the consolidation of the externalization trend is the proposed Regulation for a screening of third country nationals (hereinafter: Proposal Screening Regulation), which will be applicable to migrants crossing the external borders without authorization. The aim of the screening, according to the Commission, is to ‘accelerate the process of determining the status of a person and what type of procedure should apply’. More precisely, the screening ‘should help ensure that the third country nationals concerned are referred to the appropriate procedures at the earliest stage possible’ and also to avoid absconding after entrance in the territory in order to reach a different state than the one of arrival (recital 8, preamble of proposal). The screening should contribute as well to curb secondary movements, which is a policy target highly relevant for many northern and central European Union states.

      In the new design, the screening procedure becomes the ‘standard’ for all TCNs who crossed the border in irregular manner, and also for persons who are disembarked following a search and rescue (SAR) operation, and for those who apply for international protection at the external border crossing points or in transit zones. With the screening Regulation, all these categories of persons shall not be allowed to enter the territory of the State during the screening (Arts 3 and 4 of the proposal).

      Consequently, different categories of migrants, including asylum seekers which are by definition vulnerable persons, are to be kept in locations situated at or in proximity to the external borders, for a time (up to 5 days, which can become 10 at maximum), defined in the Regulation, but which must be respected by national administrations. There is here an implicit equation between all these categories, and the common denominator of this operation is that all these persons have crossed the border in an unauthorized manner.

      It is yet unclear how the situation of migrants during the screening is to be organized in practical terms, transit zones, hotspot or others, and if this can qualify as detention, in legal terms. The Court of Justice has ruled recently on Hungarian transit zones (see analysis by Luisa Marin), by deciding that Röszke transit zone qualified as ‘detention’, and it can be argued that the parameters clarified in that decision could find application also to the case of migrants during the screening phase. If the situation of TCNs during the screening can be considered detention, which is then the legal basis? The Reception Conditions Directive or the Return Directive? If the national administrations struggle to meet the tight deadlines provided for the screening system, these questions will become more urgent, next to the very practical issue of the actual accommodation for this procedure, which in general does not allow for access to the territory.

      On the one side, Article 14(7) of the proposal provides a guarantee, indicating that the screening should end also if the checks are not completed within the deadlines; on the other side, the remaining question is: to which procedure is the applicant sent and how is the next phase then determined? The relevant procedure following the screening here seems to be determined in a very approximate way, and this begs the question on the extent to which rights can be protected in this context. Furthermore, the right to have access to a lawyer is not provided for in the screening phase. Given the relevance of this screening phase, also fundamental rights should be monitored, and the mechanism put in place at Article 7, leaves much to the discretion of the Member States, and the involvement of the Fundamental Rights Agency, with guidance and support upon request of the MS can be too little to ensure fundamental rights are not jeopardized by national administrations.

      This screening phase, which has the purpose to make sure, among other things, that states ‘do their job’ as to collecting information and consequently feeding the EU information systems, might therefore have important effects on the merits of the individual case, since border procedures are to be seen as fast-track, time is limited and procedural guarantees are also sacrificed in this context. In the case the screening ends with a refusal of entry, there is a substantive effect of the screening, which is conducted without legal assistance and without access to a legal remedy. And if this is not a decision in itself, but it ends up in a de-briefing form, this form might give substance to the next stage of the procedure, which, in the case of asylum, should be an individualized and accurate assessment of one’s individual circumstances.

      Overall, it should be stressed that the screening itself does not end up in a formal decision, it nevertheless represents an important phase since it defines what comes after, i.e., the type of procedure following the screening. It must be observed therefore, that the respect of some procedural rights is of paramount importance. At the same time, it is important that communication in a language TCNs can understand is effective, since the screening might end in a de-briefing form, where one or more nationalities are indicated. Considering that one of the options is the refusal of entry (Art. 14(1) screening proposal; confirmed by the recital 40 of the Proposal Procedure Regulation, as amended in 2020), and the others are either access to asylum or expulsion, one should require that the screening provides for procedural guarantees.

      Furthermore, the screening should point to any element which might be relevant to refer the TCNs into the accelerated examination procedure or the border procedure. In other words, the screening must indicate in the de-briefing form the options that protect asylum applicants less than others (Article 14(3) of the proposal). It does not operate in the other way: a TCN who has applied for asylum and comes from a country with a high recognition rate is not excluded from the screening (see blog post by Jakuleviciene).

      The legislation creates therefore avenues for disentangling, splitting the relation between physical presence of an asylum applicant on a territory and the set of laws and fundamental rights associated to it, namely a protective legal order, access to rights and to a jurisdiction enforcing those rights. It creates a sort of ‘lighter’ legal order, a lower density system, which facilitates the exit of the applicant from the territory of the EU, creating a sort of shift from a Europe of rights to the Europe of borders, confinement and expulsions.

      The proposal for new border procedures: an attempt to create a lower density territory?

      Another crucial piece in this process of establishing a stronger border fence and streamline procedures at the border, creating a ‘seamless link between asylum and return’, in the words of the Commission, is constituted by the reform of the border procedures, with an amendment of the 2016 proposal for the Regulation procedure (hereinafter: Amended Proposal Procedure Regulation).

      Though border procedures are already present in the current Regulation of 2013, they are now developed into a “border procedure for asylum and return”, and a more developed accelerated procedure, which, next to the normal asylum procedure, comes after the screening phase.

      The new border procedure becomes obligatory (according to Art. 41(3) of the Amended Proposal Procedure Regulation) for applicants who arrive irregularly at the external border or after disembarkation and another of these grounds apply:

      – they represent a risk to national security or public order;

      – the applicant has provided false information or documents or by withholding relevant information or document;

      – the applicant comes from a non-EU country for which the share of positive decisions in the total number of asylum decisions is below 20 percent.

      This last criterion is especially problematic, since it transcends the criterion of the safe third country and it undermines the principle that every asylum application requires a complex and individualized assessment of the particular personal circumstances of the applicant, by introducing presumptive elements in a procedure which gives fewer guarantees.

      During the border procedure, the TCN is not granted access to the EU. The expansion of the new border procedures poses also the problem of the organization of the facilities necessary for the new procedures, which must be a location at or close to the external borders, in other words, where migrants are apprehended or disembarked.

      Tellingly enough, the Commission’s explanatory memorandum describes as guarantees in the asylum border procedure all the situations in which the border procedure shall not be applied, for example, because the necessary support cannot be provided or for medical reasons, or where the ‘conditions for detention (…) cannot be met and the border procedure cannot be applied without detention’.

      Also here the question remains on how to qualify their stay during the procedure, because the Commission aims at limiting resort to detention. The situation could be considered de facto a detention, and its compatibility with the criteria laid down by the Court of Justice in the Hungarian transit zones case is questionable.

      Another aspect which must be analyzed is the system of guarantees after the decision in a border procedure. If an application is rejected in an asylum border procedure, the “return procedure” applies immediately. Member States must limit to one instance the right to effective remedy against the decision, as posited in Article 53(9). The right to an effective remedy is therefore limited, according to Art. 53 of the Proposed Regulation, and the right to remain, a ‘light’ right to remain one could say, is also narrowly constructed, in the case of border procedures, to the first remedy against the negative decision (Art. 54(3) read together with Art. 54(4) and 54(5)). Furthermore, EU law allows Member States to limit the right to remain in case of subsequent applications and provides that there is no right to remain in the case of subsequent appeals (Art. 54(6) and (7)). More in general, this proposal extends the circumstances where the applicant does not have an automatic right to remain and this represents an aspect which affects significantly and in a factual manner the capacity to challenge a negative decision in a border procedure.

      Overall, it can be argued that the asylum border procedure is a procedure where guarantees are limited, because the access to the jurisdiction is taking place in fast-track procedures, access to legal remedies is also reduced to the very minimum. Access to the territory of the Member State is therefore deprived of its typical meaning, in the sense that it does not imply access to a system which is protecting rights with procedures which offer guarantees and are therefore also time-consuming. Here, efficiency should govern a process where the access to a jurisdiction is lighter, is ‘less dense’ than otherwise. To conclude, this externalization of migration control policies takes place ‘inside’ the European Union territory, and it aims at prolonging the effects of containment policies because they make access to the EU territory less meaningful, in legal terms: the presence of the person in the territory of the EU does not entail full access to the rights related to the presence on the territory.

      Solidarity in cooperating with third countries? The “return sponsorship” and its territorial puzzle

      Chapter 6 of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum proposes, among other things, to create a conditionality between cooperation on readmission with third countries and the issuance of visas to their nationals. This conditionality was legally established in the 2019 revision of the Visa Code Regulation. The revision (discussed here) states that, given their “politically sensitive nature and their horizontal implications for the Member States and the Union”, such provisions will be triggered once implementing powers are conferred to the Council (following a proposal from the Commission).

      What do these measures entail? We know that they can be applied in bulk or separately. Firstly, EU consulates in third countries will not have the usual leeway to waive some documents required to apply for visas (Art. 14(6), visa code). Secondly, visa applicants from uncooperative third countries will pay higher visa fees (Art. 16(1) visa code). Thirdly, visa fees to diplomatic and service passports will not be waived (Art. 16(5)b visa code). Fourthly, time to take a decision on the visa application will be longer than 15 days (Art. 23(1) visa code). Fifthly, the issuance of multi-entry visas (MEVs) from 6 months to 5 years is suspended (Art. 24(2) visa code). In other words, these coercive measures are not aimed at suspending visas. They are designed to make the procedure for obtaining a visa more lengthy, more costly, and limited in terms of access to MEVs.

      Moreover, it is important to stress that the revision of the Visa Code Regulation mentions that the Union will strike a balance between “migration and security concerns, economic considerations and general external relations”. Consequently, measures (be they restrictive or not) will result from an assessment that goes well beyond migration management issues. The assessment will not be based exclusively on the so-called “return rate” that has been presented as a compass used to reward or blame third countries’ cooperation on readmission. Other indicators or criteria, based on data provided by the Member States, will be equally examined by the Commission. These other indicators pertain to “the overall relations” between the Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and a given third country, on the other. This broad category is not defined in the 2019 revision of the Visa Code, nor do we know what it precisely refers to.

      What do we know about this linkage? The idea of linking cooperation on readmission with visa policy is not new. It was first introduced at a bilateral level by some member states. For example, fifteen years ago, cooperation on redocumentation, including the swift delivery of laissez-passers by the consular authorities of countries of origin, was at the centre of bilateral talks between France and North African countries. In September 2005, the French Ministry of the Interior proposed to “sanction uncooperative countries [especially Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria] by limiting the number of short-term visas that France delivers to their nationals.” Sanctions turned out to be unsuccessful not only because of the diplomatic tensions they generated – they were met with strong criticisms and reaction on the part of North African countries – but also because the ratio between the number of laissez-passers requested by the French authorities and the number of laissez-passers delivered by North African countries’ authorities remained unchanged.

      At the EU level, the idea to link readmission with visa policy has been in the pipeline for many years. Let’s remember that, in October 2002, in its Community Return Policy, the European Commission reflected on the positive incentives that could be used in order to ensure third countries’ constant cooperation on readmission. The Commission observed in its communication that, actually, “there is little that can be offered in return. In particular visa concessions or the lifting of visa requirements can be a realistic option in exceptional cases only; in most cases it is not.” Therefore, the Commission set out to propose additional incentives (e.g. trade expansion, technical/financial assistance, additional development aid).

      In a similar vein, in September 2015, after years of negotiations and failed attempt to cooperate on readmission with Southern countries, the Commission remarked that the possibility to use Visa Facilitation Agreements as an incentive to cooperate on readmission is limited in the South “as the EU is unlikely to offer visa facilitation to certain third countries which generate many irregular migrants and thus pose a migratory risk. And even when the EU does offer the parallel negotiation of a visa facilitation agreement, this may not be sufficient if the facilitations offered are not sufficiently attractive.”

      More recently, in March 2018, in its Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal for an amendment of the Common Visa Code, the Commission itself recognised that “better cooperation on readmission with reluctant third countries cannot be obtained through visa policy measures alone.” It also added that “there is no hard evidence on how visa leverage can translate into better cooperation of third countries on readmission.”

      Against this backdrop, why has so much emphasis been put on the link between cooperation on readmission and visa policy in the revised Visa Code Regulation and later in the New Pact? The Commission itself recognised that this conditionality might not constitute a sufficient incentive to ensure the cooperation on readmission.

      To reply to this question, we need first to question the oft-cited reference to third countries’ “reluctance”[n1] to cooperate on readmission in order to understand that, cooperation on readmission is inextricably based on unbalanced reciprocities. Moreover, migration, be it regular or irregular, continues to be viewed as a safety valve to relieve pressure on unemployment and poverty in countries of origin. Readmission has asymmetric costs and benefits having economic social and political implications for countries of origin. Apart from being unpopular in Southern countries, readmission is humiliating, stigmatizing, violent and traumatic for migrants,[n2] making their process of reintegration extremely difficult, if not impossible, especially when countries of origin have often no interest in promoting reintegration programmes addressed to their nationals expelled from Europe.

      Importantly, the conclusion of a bilateral agreement does not automatically lead to its full implementation in the field of readmission, for the latter is contingent on an array of factors that codify the bilateral interactions between two contracting parties. Today, more than 320 bilateral agreements linked to readmission have been concluded between the 27 EU Member States and third countries at a global level. Using an oxymoron, it is possible to argue that, over the past decades, various EU member states have learned that, if bilateral cooperation on readmission constitutes a central priority in their external relations (this is the official rhetoric), readmission remains peripheral to other strategic issue-areas which are detailed below. Finally, unlike some third countries in the Balkans or Eastern Europe, Southern third countries have no prospect of acceding to the EU bloc, let alone having a visa-free regime, at least in the foreseeable future. This basic difference makes any attempt to compare the responsiveness of the Balkan countries to cooperation on readmission with Southern non-EU countries’ impossible, if not spurious.

      Today, patterns of interdependence between the North and the South of the Mediterranean are very much consolidated. Over the last decades, Member States, especially Spain, France, Italy and Greece, have learned that bringing pressure to bear on uncooperative third countries needs to be evaluated cautiously lest other issues of high politics be jeopardized. Readmission cannot be isolated from a broader framework of interactions including other strategic, if not more crucial, issue-areas, such as police cooperation on the fight against international terrorism, border control, energy security and other diplomatic and geopolitical concerns. Nor can bilateral cooperation on readmission be viewed as an end in itself, for it has often been grafted onto a broader framework of interactions.

      This point leads to a final remark regarding “return sponsorship” which is detailed in Art. 55 of the proposal for a regulation on asylum and migration management. In a nutshell, the idea of the European Commission consists in a commitment from a “sponsoring Member State” to assist another Member State (the benefitting Member State) in the readmission of a third-country national. This mechanism foresees that each Member State is expected to indicate the nationalities for which they are willing to provide support in the field of readmission. The sponsoring Member State offers an assistance by mobilizing its network of bilateral cooperation on readmission, or by opening a dialogue with the authorities of a given third country where the third-country national will be deported. If, after eight months, attempts are unsuccessful, the third-country national is transferred to the sponsoring Member State. Note that, in application of Council Directive 2001/40 on mutual recognition of expulsion decisions, the sponsoring Member State may or may not recognize the expulsion decision of the benefitting Member State, just because Member States continue to interpret the Geneva Convention in different ways and also because they have different grounds for subsidiary protection.

      Viewed from a non-EU perspective, namely from the point of view of third countries, this mechanism might raise some questions of competence and relevance. Which consular authorities will undertake the identification process of the third country national with a view to eventually delivering a travel document? Are we talking about the third country’s consular authorities located in the territory of the benefitting Member State or in the sponsoring Member State’s? In a similar vein, why would a bilateral agreement linked to readmission – concluded with a given ‘sponsoring’ Member State – be applicable to a ‘benefitting’ Member State (with which no bilateral agreement or arrangement has been signed)? Such territorially bounded contingencies will invariably be problematic, at a certain stage, from the viewpoint of third countries. Additionally, in acting as a sponsoring Member State, one is entitled to wonder why an EU Member State might decide to expose itself to increased tensions with a given third country while putting at risk a broader framework of interactions.

      As the graph shows, not all the EU Member States are equally engaged in bilateral cooperation on readmission with third countries. Moreover, a geographical distribution of available data demonstrates that more than 70 per cent of the total number of bilateral agreements linked to readmission (be they formal or informal[n3]) concluded with African countries are covered by France, Italy and Spain. Over the last decades, these three Member States have developed their respective networks of cooperation on readmission with a number of countries in Africa and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

      Given the existence of these consolidated networks, the extent to which the “return sponsorship” proposed in the Pact will add value to their current undertakings is objectively questionable. Rather, if the “return sponsorship” mechanism is adopted, these three Member States might be deemed to act as sponsoring Member States when it comes to the expulsion of irregular migrants (located in other EU Member States) to Africa and the MENA region. More concretely, the propensity of, for example, Austria to sponsor Italy in expelling from Italy a foreign national coming from the MENA region or from Africa is predictably low. Austria’s current networks of cooperation on readmission with MENA and African countries would never add value to Italy’s consolidated networks of cooperation on readmission with these third countries. Moreover, it is unlikely that Italy will be proactively “sponsoring” other Member States’ expulsion decisions, without jeopardising its bilateral relations with other strategic third countries located in the MENA region or in Africa, to use the same example. These considerations concretely demonstrate that the European Commission’s call for “solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility”, on which its “return sponsorship” mechanism is premised, is contingent on the existence of a federative Union able to act as a unitary supranational body in domestic and foreign affairs. This federation does not exist in political terms.

      Beyond these practical aspects, it is important to realise that the cobweb of bilateral agreements linked to readmission has expanded as a result of tremendously complex bilateral dynamics that go well beyond the mere management of international migration. These remarks are crucial to understanding that we need to reflect properly on the conditionality pattern that has driven the external action of the EU, especially in a regional context where patterns of interdependence among state actors have gained so much relevance over the last two decades. Moreover, given the clear consensus on the weak correlation between cooperation on readmission and visa policy (the European Commission being no exception to this consensus), linking the two might not be the adequate response to ensure third countries’ cooperation on readmission, especially when the latter are in position to capitalize on their strategic position with regard to some EU Member States.

      Conclusions

      This brief reflection has highlighted a trend which is taking shape in the Pact and in some of the measures proposed by the Commission in its 2020 package of reforms. It has been shown that the proposals for a pre-entry screening and the 2020 amended proposal for enhanced border procedures are creating something we could label as a ‘lower density’ European Union territory, because the new procedures and arrangements have the purpose of restricting and limiting access to rights and to jurisdiction. This would happen on the territory of a Member State, but in a place at or close to the external borders, with a view to confining migration and third country nationals to an area where the territory of a state, and therefore, the European territory, is less … ‘territorial’ than it should be: legally speaking, it is a ‘lower density’ territory.

      The “seamless link between asylum and return” the Commission aims to create with the new border procedures can be described as sliding doors through which the third country national can enter or leave immediately, depending on how the established fast-track system qualifies her situation.

      However, the paradox highlighted with the “return sponsorship” mechanism shows that readmission agreements or arrangements are no panacea, for the vested interests of third countries must also be taken into consideration when it comes to cooperation on readmission. In this respect, it is telling that the Commission never consulted third states on the new return sponsorship mechanism, as if their territories were not concerned by this mechanism, which is far from being the case. For this reason, it is legitimate to imagine that the main rationale for the return sponsorship mechanism may be another one, and it may be merely domestic. In other words, the return sponsorship, which transforms itself into a form of relocation after eight months if the third country national is not expelled from the EU territory, subtly takes non-frontline European Union states out of their comfort-zone and engage them in cooperating on expulsions. If they fail to do so, namely if the third-country national is not expelled after eight months, non-frontline European Union states are as it were ‘forcibly’ engaged in a ‘solidarity practice’ that is conducive to relocation.

      Given the disappointing past experience of the 2015 relocations, it is impossible to predict whether this mechanism will work or not. However, once one enters sliding doors, the danger is to remain stuck in uncertainty, in a European Union ‘no man’s land’ which is nothing but another by-product of the fortress Europe machinery.

      http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.com/2020/11/the-new-pact-on-migration-and-asylum.html

    • Le nouveau Pacte européen sur la migration et l’asile

      Ce 23 septembre 2020, la Commission européenne a présenté son très attendu nouveau Pacte sur la migration et l’asile.

      Alors que l’Union européenne (UE) traverse une crise politique majeure depuis 2015 et que les solutions apportées ont démontré leur insuffisance en matière de solidarité entre États membres, leur violence à l’égard des exilés et leur coût exorbitant, la Commission européenne ne semble pas tirer les leçons du passé.

      Au menu du Pacte : un renforcement toujours accru des contrôles aux frontières, des procédures expéditives aux frontières de l’UE avec, à la clé, la détention généralisée pour les nouveaux arrivants, la poursuite de l’externalisation et un focus sur les expulsions. Il n’y a donc pas de changement de stratégie.

      Le Règlement Dublin, injuste et inefficace, est loin d’être aboli. Le nouveau système mis en place changera certes de nom, mais reprendra le critère tant décrié du “premier pays d’entrée” dans l’UE pour déterminer le pays responsable du traitement de la demande d’asile. Quant à un mécanisme permanent de solidarité pour les États davantage confrontés à l’arrivée des exilés, à l’instar des quotas de relocalisations de 2015-2017 – relocalisations qui furent un échec complet -, la Commission propose une solidarité permanente et obligatoire mais… à la carte, où les États qui ne veulent pas accueillir de migrants peuvent choisir à la place de “parrainer” leur retour, ou de fournir un soutien opérationnel aux États en difficulté. La solidarité n’est donc cyniquement pas envisagée pour l’accueil, mais bien pour le renvoi des migrants.

      Pourtant, l’UE fait face à beaucoup moins d’arrivées de migrants sur son territoire qu’en 2015 (1,5 million d’arrivées en 2015, 140.00 en 2019)

      Fin 2019, l’UE accueillait 2,6 millions de réfugiés, soit l’équivalent de 0,6% de sa population. À défaut de voies légales et sûres, les personnes exilées continuent de fuir la guerre, la violence, ou de rechercher une vie meilleure et doivent emprunter des routes périlleuses pour rejoindre le territoire de l’UE : on dénombre plus de 20.000 décès depuis 2014. Une fois arrivées ici, elles peuvent encore être détenues et subir des mauvais traitements, comme c’était le cas dans le camp qui a brûlé à Moria. Lorsqu’elles poursuivent leur route migratoire au sein de l’UE, elles ne peuvent choisir le pays où elles demanderont l’asile et elles font face à la loterie de l’asile…

      Loin d’un “nouveau départ” avec ce nouveau Pacte, la Commission propose les mêmes recettes et rate une opportunité de mettre en œuvre une tout autre politique, qui soit réellement solidaire, équitable pour les États membres et respectueuse des droits fondamentaux des personnes migrantes, avec l’établissement de voies légales et sûres, des procédures d’asile harmonisées et un accueil de qualité, ou encore la recherche de solutions durables pour les personnes en situation irrégulière.

      Dans cette brève analyse, nous revenons sur certaines des mesures phares telles qu’elles ont été présentées par la Commission européenne et qui feront l’objet de discussions dans les prochains mois avec le Parlement européen et le Conseil européen. Nous expliquerons également en quoi ces mesures n’ont rien d’innovant, sont un échec de la politique migratoire européenne, et pourquoi elles sont dangereuses pour les personnes migrantes.

      https://www.cire.be/publication/le-nouveau-pacte-europeen-sur-la-migration-et-lasile

      Pour télécharger l’analyse :
      https://www.cire.be/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?juwpfisadmin=false&action=wpfd&task=file.download&wpfd_category_

    • New pact on migration and asylum. Perspective on the ’other side’ of the EU border

      At the end of September 2020, and after camp Moria on Lesvos burned down leaving over 13,000 people in an even more precarious situation than they were before, the European Commission (EC) introduced a proposal for the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. So far, the proposal has not been met with enthusiasm by neither member states or human rights organisations.

      Based on first-hand field research interviews with civil society and other experts in the Balkan region, this report provides a unique perspective of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum from ‘the other side’ of the EU’s borders.

      #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #rapport #Refugee_rights #militarisation

    • Impakter | Un « nouveau » pacte sur l’asile et les migrations ?

      Le média en ligne Impakter propose un article d’analyse du Pacte sur l’asile et les migrations de l’Union européenne. Publié le 23 septembre 2020, le pacte a été annoncé comme un “nouveau départ”. En réalité, le pacte n’est pas du tout un nouveau départ, mais la même politique avec un ensemble de nouvelles propositions. L’article pointe l’aspect critique du projet, et notamment des concepts clés tels que : « processus de pré-selection », « le processus accélérée » et le « pacte de retour ». L’article donne la parole à plusieurs expertises et offre ainsi une meilleure compréhension de ce que concrètement ce pacte implique pour les personnes migrantes.

      L’article de #Charlie_Westbrook “A “New” Pact on Migration and Asylum ?” a été publié le 11 février dans le magazine en ligne Impakter (sous licence Creative Commons). Nous vous en proposons un court résumé traduisant les lignes directrices de l’argumentaire, en français ci-dessous. Pour lire l’intégralité du texte en anglais, vous pouvez vous rendre sur le site de Impakter.

      –---

      Le “Nouveau pacte sur la migration et l’asile”, a été publié le 23 septembre, faisant suite à l’incendie du camp surpeuplé de Moria. Le pacte a été annoncé comme un “nouveau départ”. En réalité, le pacte n’est pas du tout un nouveau départ, mais la même politique avec un ensemble de nouvelles propositions sur lesquelles les États membres de l’UE devront maintenant se mettre d’accord – une entreprise qui a déjà connu des difficultés.

      Les universitaires, les militants et les organisations de défense des droits de l’homme de l’UE soulignent les préoccupations éthiques et pratiques que suscitent nombre des propositions suggérées par la Commission, ainsi que la rhétorique axée sur le retour qui les anime. Charlie Westbrook la journaliste, a contacté Kirsty Evans, coordinatrice de terrain et des campagnes pour Europe Must Act, qui m’a fait part de ses réactions au nouveau Pacte.

      Cet essai vise à présenter le plus clairement possible les problèmes liés à ce nouveau pacte, en mettant en évidence les principales préoccupations des experts et des ONG. Ces préoccupations concernent les problèmes potentiels liés au processus de présélection, au processus accéléré (ou “fast-track”) et au mécanisme de parrainage des retours.

      Le processus de présélection

      La nouvelle proposition est d’instaurer une procédure de contrôle préalable à l’entrée sur le territoire européen. L’ONG Human Rights Watch, dénonce la suggestion trompeuse du pacte selon laquelle les personnes soumises à la procédure frontalière ne sont pas considérées comme ayant formellement pénétré sur le territoire. Ce processus concerne toute personne extra-européenne qui franchirait la frontière de manière irrégulière. Ce manque de différenciation du type de besoin inquiète l’affirme l’avocate et professeur Lyra Jakulevičienė, car cela signifie que la politique d’externalisation sera plus forte que jamais. Ce nouveau règlement brouille la distinction entre les personnes demandant une protection internationale et les autres migrants “en plaçant les deux groupes de personnes sous le même régime juridique au lieu de les différencier clairement, car leurs chances de rester dans l’UE sont très différentes”. Ce processus d’externalisation, cependant, “se déroule “à l’intérieur” du territoire de l’Union européenne, et vise à prolonger les effets des politiques d’endiguement parce qu’elles rendent l’accès au territoire de l’UE moins significatif”, comme l’expliquent Jean-Pierre Cassarino, chercheur principal à la chaire de la politique européenne de voisinage du Collège d’Europe, et Luisa Marin, professeur adjoint de droit européen. En d’autres termes, les personnes en quête de protection n’auront pas pleinement accès aux droits européens en arrivant sur le territoire de l’UE. Il faudra d’abord déterminer ce qu’elles “sont”. En outre, les recherches universitaires montrent que les processus d’externalisation “entraînent le contournement des normes fondamentales, vont à l’encontre de la bonne gouvernance, créent l’immobilité et contribuent à la crise du régime mondial des réfugiés, qui ne parvient pas à assurer la protection”. Les principales inquiétudes de ces deux expert·es sont les suivantes : la rapidité de prise de décision (pas plus de 5 jours), l’absence d’assistance juridique, Etat membre est le seul garant du respect des droits fondamentaux et si cette période de pré-sélection sera mise en œuvre comme une détention.

      Selon Jakulevičienė, la proposition apporte “un grand potentiel” pour créer davantage de camps de style “Moria”. Il est difficile de voir en quoi cela profiterait à qui que ce soit.

      Procédure accélérée

      Si un demandeur est orienté vers le système accéléré, une décision sera prise dans un délai de 12 semaines – une durée qui fait craindre que le système accéléré n’aboutisse à un retour injuste des demandeurs. En 2010, Human Rights Watch a publié un rapport de fond détaillant comment les procédures d’asile accélérées étaient inadaptées aux demandes complexes et comment elles affectaient négativement les femmes demandeurs d’asile en particulier.
      Les personnes seront dirigées vers la procédure accélérée si : l’identité a été cachée ou que de faux documents ont été utilisés, si elle représente un danger pour la sécurité nationale, ou si elle est ressortissante d’un pays pour lesquels moins de 20% des demandes ont abouti à l’octroi d’une protection internationale.

      Comme l’exprime le rapport de Human Rights Watch (HRW), “la procédure à la frontière proposée repose sur deux hypothèses erronées – que la majorité des personnes arrivant en Europe n’ont pas besoin de protection et que l’évaluation des demandes d’asile peut être faite facilement et rapidement”.

      Essentiellement, comme l’écrivent Cassarino et Marin, “elle porte atteinte au principe selon lequel toute demande d’asile nécessite une évaluation complexe et individualisée de la situation personnelle particulière du demandeur”.

      Tout comme Jakulevičienė, Kirsty Evans s’inquiète de la manière dont le pacte va alimenter une rhétorique préjudiciable, en faisant valoir que “le langage de l’accélération fait appel à la “protection” de la rhétorique nationale évidente dans la politique et les médias en se concentrant sur le retour des personnes sur leur propre territoire”.

      Un pacte pour le retour

      Désormais, lorsqu’une demande d’asile est rejetée, la décision de retour sera rendue en même temps.

      Le raisonnement présenté par la Commission pour proposer des procédures plus rapides et plus intégrées est que des procédures inefficaces causent des difficultés excessives – y compris pour ceux qui ont obtenu le droit de rester.

      Les procédures restructurées peuvent en effet profiter à certains. Cependant, il existe un risque sérieux qu’elles aient un impact négatif sur le droit d’asile des personnes soumises à la procédure accélérée – sachant qu’en cas de rejet, il n’existe qu’un seul droit de recours.

      La proposition selon laquelle l’UE traitera désormais les retours dans leur ensemble, et non plus seulement dans un seul État membre, illustre bien l’importance que l’UE accorde aux retours. À cette fin, l’UE propose la création d’un nouveau poste de coordinateur européen des retours qui s’occupera des retours et des réadmissions.

      Décrite comme “la plus sinistre des nouvelles propositions”, et assimilée à “une grotesque parodie de personnes parrainant des enfants dans les pays en développement par l’intermédiaire d’organisations caritatives”, l’option du parrainage de retour est également un signe fort de l’approche par concession de la Commission.

      Pour M. Evans, le fait d’autoriser les pays à opter pour le “retour” comme moyen de “gérer la migration” semble être une validation du comportement illégal des États membres, comme les récentes expulsions massives en Grèce. Alors, qu’est-ce que le parrainage de retour ? Eh bien, selon les termes de l’UE, le parrainage du retour est une option de solidarité dans laquelle l’État membre “s’engage à renvoyer les migrants en situation irrégulière sans droit de séjour au nom d’un autre État membre, en le faisant directement à partir du territoire de l’État membre bénéficiaire”.

      Les États membres préciseront les nationalités qu’ils “parraineront” en fonction, vraisemblablement, des relations préexistantes de l’État membre de l’UE avec un État non membre de l’UE. Lorsque la demande d’un individu est rejetée, l’État membre qui en est responsable s’appuiera sur ses relations avec le pays tiers pour négocier le retour du demandeur.

      En outre, en supposant que les réadmissions soient réussies, le parrainage des retours fonctionne sur la base de l’hypothèse qu’il existe un pays tiers sûr. C’est sur cette base que les demandes sont rejetées. La manière dont cela affectera le principe de non-refoulement est la principale préoccupation des organisations des droits de l’homme et des experts politiques, et c’est une préoccupation qui découle d’expériences antérieures. Après tout, la coopération avec des pays tiers jusqu’à présent – à savoir l’accord Turquie-UE et l’accord Espagne-Maroc – a suscité de nombreuses critiques sur le coût des droits de l’homme.

      Mais en plus des préoccupations relatives aux droits de l’homme, des questions sont soulevées sur les implications ou même les aspects pratiques de l’”incitation” des pays tiers à se conformer, l’image de l’UE en tant que champion des droits de l’homme étant déjà corrodée aux yeux de la communauté internationale.

      Il s’agira notamment d’utiliser la délivrance du code des visas comme méthode d’incitation. Pour les pays qui ne coopèrent pas à la réadmission, les visas seront plus difficiles à obtenir. La proposition visant à pénaliser les pays qui appliquent des restrictions en matière de visas n’est pas nouvelle et n’a pas conduit à une amélioration des relations diplomatiques. Guild fait valoir que cette approche est injuste pour les demandeurs de visa des pays “non coopérants” et qu’elle risque également de susciter des sentiments d’injustice chez les voisins du pays tiers.

      L’analyse de Guild est que le nouveau pacte est diplomatiquement faible. Au-delà du financement, il offre “peu d’attention aux intérêts des pays tiers”. Il faut reconnaître, après tout, que la réadmission a des coûts et des avantages asymétriques pour les pays qui les acceptent, surtout si l’on considère que la migration, comme le soulignent Cassarino et Marin, “continue d’être considérée comme une soupape de sécurité pour soulager la pression sur le chômage et la pauvreté dans les pays d’origine”.

      https://asile.ch/2021/03/02/impakter-un-nouveau-pacte-sur-lasile-et-les-migrations

      L’article original :
      A “New” Pact on Migration and Asylum ?
      https://impakter.com/a-new-pact-on-migration-and-asylum

    • The EU Pact on Migration and Asylum in light of the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees. International Experiences on Containment and Mobility and their Impacts on Trust and Rights

      In September 2020, the European Commission published what it described as a New Pact on Migration and Asylum (emphasis added) that lays down a multi-annual policy agenda on issues that have been central to debate about the future of European integration. This book critically examines the new Pact as part of a Forum organized by the Horizon 2020 project ASILE – Global Asylum Governance and the EU’s Role.

      ASILE studies interactions between emerging international protection systems and the United Nations Global Compact for Refugees (UN GCR), with particular focus on the European Union’s role and the UN GCR’s implementation dynamics. It brings together a new international network of scholars from 13 institutions examining the characteristics of international and country specific asylum governance instruments and arrangements applicable to people seeking international protection. It studies the compatibility of these governance instruments’ with international protection and human rights, and the UN GCR’s call for global solidarity and responsibility sharing.

      https://www.asileproject.eu/the-eu-pact-on-migration-and-asylum-in-light-of-the-united-nations-glob

  • Greece: Government Hit with Interim Measures and Introducing New List of Safe Country of Origin

    The Greek government adopted on January 4 a Joint Ministerial Decision that declares twelve countries as safe countries of origin. This includes Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Morocco, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia and Ukraine.

    Introducing a list of safe countries of origin is one measure foreseen by the new International Protection Act (IPA) which has been heavily criticised for introducing several restrictions on individual rights and procedural guarantees in the Greek asylum system. Article 83(9) IPA foresees that applicants originating from a safe country of origin are subject to accelerated procedures.

    Until last week, there was no national list of safe countries in Greece and the rules relating to safe countries of origin in Greek law were not applied in practice.

    https://reliefweb.int/report/greece/greece-government-hit-interim-measures-and-introducing-new-list-safe-coun
    #pays-sûrs #liste #Grèce #pays_sûrs #Albanie #Algérie #Arménie #Gambie #Géorgie #Ghana #Inde #Maroc #Sénégal #Togo #Tunisie #Ukraine #asile #migrations #réfugiés

  • A Dakar, l’immigration s’invite dans les débats entre gouvernements français et sénégalais

    Après une longue séquence polémique dans l’hexagone, le thème de l’immigration s’est invité dimanche au 4e séminaire intergouvernemental entre la France et le Sénégal à Dakar, où Edouard Philippe est arrivé pour s’entretenir aussi avec le président Macky Sall de la lutte antijihadiste au Sahel.

    Deux ans après la dernière édition de ces rencontres de haut niveau, à Matignon, M. Philippe et six de ses ministres sont arrivés dimanche dans la capitale sénégalaise pour nourrir la relation « singulière » entre les deux pays, dixit le chef du gouvernement.

    Quatre feuilles de route sont sur la table de ce séminaire : elles portent sur les enjeux de sécurité et de défense ; l’éducation, la jeunesse et la formation ; l’émergence du Sénégal ; la mobilité et la migration.

    Sept semaines après un débat au Parlement français sur l’immigration voulu par Emmanuel Macron, qui a notamment abouti à de nouvelles mesures concernant l’offre de soins et la future instauration de quotas d’immigration professionnelle, l’issue des négociations entre les deux gouvernements sera attendue.

    « La migration doit être choisie et non subie, telle est notre conviction », a résumé M. Philippe, qui a été accueilli à la mi-journée par M. Sall au palais présidentiel.

    Selon Matignon, « la pression venant du Sénégal », pays à la fois de départ et de transit, « reste élevée » sur l’immigration irrégulière, alors que le pays est jugé « sûr ».

    « Le Sénégal est au 15e rang des nationalités interpellées pour les 9 premiers mois de l’année 2019 », assure-t-on encore de même source, tout en notant que les demandes d’asile ont augmenté de « plus de 50% » l’an passé.

    Parmi les leviers dont dispose la France, l’aide publique au développement, dont le budget total doit atteindre 0,55% du PIB en 2022. Environ 2 milliards d’euros de cette aide ont été distribués au Sénégal depuis 2007 : des « efforts » qui doivent « produire des résultats sur l’immigration irrégulière », souligne Matignon.

    « La coopération entre nos deux pays est bonne mais elle peut encore s’améliorer dans la logique d’engagement réciproque », a insisté M. Philippe dimanche.

    Concernant l’immigration légale, Matignon salue la « vraie dynamique », « de l’ordre de 7% », d’admission d’étudiants sénégalais (12.500 en 2019) dans l’enseignement supérieur français.

    – Trois patrouilleurs vendus -

    M. Philippe a aussi mis en avant dimanche son souhait « d’augmenter le nombre de passeports talents », réservés aux étrangers disposant de certaines qualifications, « et de visas de circulation de longue durée ». Il s’est aussi engagé à réduire de moitié dès début 2020 les délais de traitement des demandes de visas.

    Sur le volet économique, alors que la France est le premier partenaire commercial et le premier investisseur étranger au Sénégal, un accord a été signé pour la vente de trois patrouilleurs hauturiers du groupe français Kership. Un contrat de plusieurs centaines de millions d’euros qui se double de la vente de missiles du groupe européen basé en France MBDA.

    La cérémonie comportera une dimension symbolique avec la restitution du sabre d’El Hadj Oumar Tall, un chef de guerre et érudit musulman qui a conquis au XIXe siècle un immense territoire à cheval sur le Sénégal, la Guinée et le Mali, et a lutté contre l’armée coloniale française.

    « Comment ne pas voir également dans ce sabre le sang que les tirailleurs sénégalais ont versé au côté des soldats français pour défendre notre pays », a souligné M. Philippe.

    Dans un contexte sécuritaire très dégradé au Sahel marqué par plusieurs attaques jihadistes, les questions militaires rebondiront lundi lors de l’ouverture du Forum international de Dakar sur la paix et la sécurité en Afrique.

    Le Sénégal, qui partage des frontières avec la Mauritanie et le Mali, « joue un rôle très important de c ?ur de réseau », estime-t-on à Matignon. Alors que les attaques menacent de se propager, le Sénégal, membre de la Mission des Nations unies au Mali (Minusma), fait office de « pôle de stabilité ».

    « Les terribles événements survenus au Mali depuis le début du mois de novembre montrent que les groupes qui se revendiquent de l’Etat islamique résistent encore et qu’il ne faut pas baisser la garde », a averti M. Philippe dimanche.

    Et Dakar, qui doit porter l’effectif de son armée de terre de 20.000 à 30.000 hommes d’ici à 2025 « a vocation à faire partie du partenariat pour la sécurité et la stabilité (au Sahel) annoncé lors du G7 de Biarritz » en août, dont « les modalités sont en cours d’élaboration », ajoute-t-on à Matignon. A ce titre, le Sénégal pourra apporter un soutien aux forces du G5 Sahel (Mali, Niger, Mauritanie, Tchad et Burkina Faso).

    https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/dakar-senegal-et-france-saccordent-pour-lutter-contre-limmigr

    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #France #Sénégal #migration_choisie #migration_subie #pays_sûr #développement #étudiants #étudiants_sénégalais #passeports_talents #visas

    ajouté à la métaliste sur le lien entre migrations et développement :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/811609

  • Italy presents plan to accelerate expulsion of migrants

    Italy presented a scheme on Friday to accelerate the expulsion of migrants who have no right to stay in the country, cutting the time it takes to decide on whether an asylum seeker must return home.

    Immigration flows helped fuel the rise of Italy’s far-right League party, whose leader Matteo Salvini imposed a crackdown on arrivals while he was interior minister until August.

    Salvini closed Italy’s ports to migrant rescue ships, threatening the charities operating them with fines of up to 1 million euros ($1.10 million) if they tried to dock.

    After the League unexpectedly quit the government in a failed bid to trigger an early election, its former ally the 5-Star Movement formed a coalition with the center-left Democratic Party, ushering in a less aggressive approach to immigration.

    The new government has already agreed with four other EU states a scheme to distribute people saved in the Mediterranean, and it hopes its plan to send back those already in Italy will defuse accusations by Salvini that it is soft on immigration.

    “I do not believe that redistributing migrants to other European countries is the final solution”, 5-Star leader and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told a news conference.

    Under the new decree, the time to examine asylum requests of migrants who come from a list of 13 “safe” European and African countries, including Tunisia and Albania, will be reduced from two years to four months.

    If the request is rejected, the expulsion procedure will be immediately triggered.

    “More than one third of those who arrived in Italy in 2019 comes from these countries,” Di Maio said.

    Fewer than 8,000 migrants came to Italy by sea in 2019, down 62% from 2018 and down 92% compared to 2017, official data show. However, expulsions fell far short of Salvini’s electoral promises.

    The League leader said he would repatriate 100,000 migrants in his first year in power, followed by another 400,000 during the rest of his five-year term in office, but Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese told parliament this month that only 5,244 people had been repatriated this year up to Sept 22.

    Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte welcomed the new plan as “a great step forward” and said he was confident it would produce more rapid repatriations.

    “Italy has always been inefficient in this,” Conte said.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-italy-expulsion/italy-presents-plan-to-accelerate-expulsion-of-migrants-idUSKBN1WJ1YH
    #Italie #expulsions #migrations #réfugiés #machine_à_expulser #sans-papiers #déboutés #renvois

    • Analyse de Matteo Villa sur twitter

      Oggi l’Italia ha varato una lista di 13 paesi considerati sicuri.

      Non significa che sarà più semplice rimpatriare, ma che aumenteranno ulteriormente gli stranieri irregolari presenti in Italia.

      Seguitemi, ve lo spiego.

      Cos’è successo.

      Con un decreto interministeriale è stata varata una lista di 13 paesi (NON “porti”, come è stato detto) considerati sicuri.

      L’azione è consentita dal #DecretoSicurezza (oggi legge), varato dal precedente Governo a ottobre dell’anno scorso.

      Quali sono i 13 paesi che sono stati designati come “sicuri”?

      Tutti quelli dei Balcani occidentali, l’Ucraina, e alcuni paesi dell’Africa settentrionale e subsahariana.

      Li trovate in arancione su questa mappa (il giallo ve lo spiego tra poco).

      Tra i paesi dell’Unione europea, altri 12 hanno una loro lista di “paesi sicuri”.
      Li trovate in blu scuro in questa carta.

      Oggi, il tredicesimo diventa l’Italia.

      Insomma, siamo in buona compagnia.

      Tornando alla carta del mondo, in arancione ho indicato i 13 paesi extra-europei designati come sicuri dall’Italia.

      In giallo, invece, trovate tutti i paesi designati come sicuri da almeno un altro paese UE, ma non da noi.

      Poteva andare molto peggio (Turchia, Nigeria, Etiopia).

      Cosa succede se designi un paese come sicuro?

      Chi chiede asilo in Italia possedendo la nazionalità di uno dei «paesi sicuri» avrà davanti a sé molti più ostacoli.

      Di fatto, aumenterà ulteriormente il tasso di diniego delle protezioni.

      La conseguenza? Aumentano gli irregolari.

      L’aumento degli irregolari sarà probabilmente piccolo rispetto all’effetto dell’abolizione della protezione umanitaria nel 2018.

      Ma andrà a complicare una situazione già molto precaria, anziché regolarizzare parte di chi oggi è qui e qui resterà.

      https://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/i-nuovi-irregolari-italia-21812

      Sì, ma i rimpatri?

      Sul fronte dei rimpatri, designare un paese come sicuro non cambia nulla.

      Se un paese terzo già collaborava con noi (per es.,
      🇹🇳
      Tunisia), continuerà a farlo.

      Se un paese terzo non collaborava (per es.,
      🇬🇭
      Ghana), continuerà a non farlo.

      Del resto, se c’entrassero in qualche modo i rimpatri sorgerebbe spontanea una domanda: perché includere nella lista dei «sicuri» paesi che, in media, hanno già un tasso di rimpatrio superiore rispetto a quelli esclusi dalla lista?

      La realtà è una: convincere i paesi dell’Africa subsahariana a collaborare sui rimpatri è difficile.

      L’Italia ha tassi in linea con quelli di altri grandi paesi, come Francia e Germania, che hanno «leve» (legami post-coloniali, commercio, aiuti) ben maggiori delle nostre.

      CONCLUSIONE.

      La lista di «paesi sicuri»:

      ☑️
      è consentita da un decreto adottato dal precedente governo;
      ☑️
      aumenterà il numero degli stranieri irregolari presenti in Italia;
      ☑️
      non avrà alcun effetto sui rimpatri.

      https://twitter.com/emmevilla/status/1180135437358243840?s=19
      #cartographie #visualisation #pays_sûrs #clandestinisation #illégalisation #statistiques #chiffres #Matteo_Villa

  • Accord de Malte

    Nelle bozze dell’accordo di Malta si chiede a chi fa soccorso in mare di «conformarsi alle istruzioni dei competenti Centri di Coordinamento del Soccorso», e di «non ostruire» le operazioni della «Guardia costiera libica».

    Primo: la formula vi suona già sentita?

    Già, quando l’anno scorso il governo italiano negoziò fino a tarda notte al Consiglio europeo di giugno, le conclusioni contenevano queste parole:

    «Le imbarcazioni (...) non devono ostruire le operazioni della Guardia costiera libica».

    Nella bozza dell’accordo di Malta si va persino oltre, perché alle imbarcazioni di ricerca e soccorso si chiedono due cose:

    (1) non ostruite la Guardia costiera libica;
    (2) conformatevi alle richieste dello RCC competente.

    Quanto all’ostruzione delle operazioni della Guardia costiera libica, non si ricorda un caso recente.

    Al contrario, è generalmente la Guardia costiera libica a usare comportamenti aggressivi.
    @VITAnonprofit metteva in fila un po’ di fatti nel 2017.

    http://www.vita.it/it/article/2017/11/08/mediterraneo-tutti-gli-attacchi-della-guardia-costiera-libica-alle-ong/145042

    Ovviamente, non è che la Guardia costiera libica sia sempre aggressiva. C’è chi fa il suo lavoro in maniera professionale, chi no.

    Il punto è un altro: spesso non sappiamo chi operi dove. Come spiega @lmisculin, la Guardia costiera libica non esiste: https://www.ilpost.it/2017/08/26/guardia-costiera-libica

    Passando al «conformarsi alle istruzioni dei competenti Centri di Coordinamento del Soccorso», il discorso diventa ancora più spinoso.

    Si arriva rapidamente a un paradosso clamoroso, consentito da un diritto internazionale che ha più buchi di un groviera.

    Questo: la Libia è l’unico paese al mondo ad avere costituito un proprio Centro di Coordinamento del Soccorso (a giugno 2018) e, allo stesso tempo, a non essere considerato da @Refugees
    un «luogo sicuro» per lo sbarco delle persone soccorse.

    Pensateci un attimo: se soccorro qualcuno in quel tratto di mare amplissimo che è la zona #SAR libica, il diritto internazionale mi obbliga a contattare lo RCC libico.

    Ma lo stesso diritto internazionale obbliga lo #RCC libico a NON INDICARE SÉ STESSO come luogo di sbarco!

    Cosa succede di solito, invece? Prendiamo #OceanViking.

    Il 17 settembre dopo un salvataggio, manda un’email allo RCC libico chiedendo un «luogo sicuro» di sbarco.

    Dopo diverse ore, dalla Libia rispondono: perfetto, venite da noi, ad al Khums.

    Sarebbe un respingimento.

    Non è un evento raro, anzi, accade costantemente: se e quando lo RCC libico risponde, indica un suo porto come «luogo sicuro».

    Da #OceanViking rispondono che non si può fare. Certo che no: sbarcare le persone in Libia sarebbe un respingimento.

    Notate l’estrema pazienza.

    In questa situazione di estrema incertezza, chiedere a chi effettua soccorsi nel tratto di mare in cui il coordinamento del soccorso è tecnicamente di competenza libica di «conformarsi» senza condizioni alle richieste di Tripoli rischia di legittimare i respingimenti.

    CONCLUSIONE /1.

    «Non ostruire» le operazioni della «Guardia costiera libica» è una richiesta corretta solo se molto qualificata.

    Dipende da molte condizioni, prima tra tutte di quale Guardia costiera libica stiamo parlando, e da come si stia comportando.

    CONCLUSIONE /2.

    Con il suo linguaggio tranchant, la bozza di Malta chiede a chi effettua un soccorso in zona SAR libica di «conformarsi» alle richieste libiche.

    Senza specificare altro, gli Stati europei stanno implicitamente chiedendo alle Ong di effettuare respingimenti.

    source : https://twitter.com/emmevilla/status/1177518357773307904?s=19
    #Matteo_Villa
    #accord_de_Malte #sauvetage #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Méditerranée #gardes_côtes_libyens #Méditerranée #port_sûr #pays_sûr #mer_Méditerranée

    ping @isskein

  • Réfugiés : du #Niger à la #Dordogne

    La France a adhéré en 2017 à l’#Emergency_Transit_Mechanism, programme humanitaire exceptionnel permettant à des réfugiés évacués d’urgence de #Libye (reconnus « particulièrement vulnérables ») d’être pris en charge dès le Niger, et réinstallés dans des #pays_sûrs. Comment cela passe-t-il aujourd’hui ?

    De nouveaux naufrages cette semaine au large de la Libye nous rappellent à quel point est éprouvant et risqué le périple de ceux qui tentent de rejoindre l’Europe après avoir fui leur pays. Partagée entre des élans contradictoires, compassion et peur de l’invasion, les pays de l’Union européenne ont durci leur politique migratoire, tout en assurant garantir le droit d’asile aux réfugiés. C’est ainsi que la #France a adhéré à l’Emergency Transit Mechanism (#ETM), imaginé par le #HCR fin 2017, avec une étape de transit au Niger.

    Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les Réfugiés (HCR) réinstalle chaque années des réfugiés présents dans ses #camps (Liban, Jordanie, Tchad ou encore Niger) dans des pays dits ‘sûrs’ (en Europe et Amérique du Nord). La réinstallation est un dispositif classique du HCR pour des réfugiés « particulièrement vulnérables » qui, au vu de la situation dans leur pays, ne pourront pas y retourner.

    Au Niger, où se rend ce Grand Reportage, cette procédure est accompagnée d’un dispositif d’#évacuation_d’urgence des #prisons de Libye. L’Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) a été imaginé par le HCR fin 2017, avec une étape de #transit au Niger. Nouvelle frontière de l’Europe, pour certains, le pays participe à la #sélection entre migrants et réfugiés, les migrants étant plutôt ‘retournés’ chez eux par l’Organisation Internationale des Migrants (#OIM).

    Sur 660 000 migrants et 50 000 réfugiés (placés sous mandat HCR) présents en Libye, 6 600 personnes devraient bénéficier du programme ETM sur deux ans.

    La France s’est engagé à accueillir 10 000 réinstallés entre septembre 2017 et septembre 2019. 7 000 Syriens ont déjà été accueillis dans des communes qui se portent volontaires. 3 000 Subsahariens, dont une majorité évacués de Libye, devraient être réinstallés d’ici le mois de décembre.

    En Dordogne, où se rend ce Grand Reportage, des communes rurales ont fait le choix d’accueillir ces réfugiés souvent abîmés par les violences qu’ils ont subis. Accompagnés pendant un an par des associations mandatées par l’Etat, les réfugiés sont ensuite pris en charge par les services sociaux locaux, mais le rôle des bénévoles reste central dans leur installation en France.

    Comment tout cela se passe-t-il concrètement ? Quel est le profil des heureux élus ? Et quelle réalité les attend ? L’accompagnement correspond-il à leurs besoins ? Et parviennent-ils à s’intégrer dans ces villages français ?

    https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/grand-reportage/refugies-du-niger-a-la-dordogne


    #audio #migrations #asile #réfugiés #réinstallation #vulnérabilité #retour_volontaire #IOM #expulsions #renvois #externalisation #tri #rural #ruralité #accueil
    ping @isskein @pascaline @karine4 @_kg_ @reka

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur l’externalisation :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765335

  • 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://