• L’UE suspend son projet de taxe numérique sous la pression de Washington

    Bruxelles a annoncé lundi, sous la pression de Washington, le gel de son projet de taxe numérique pendant les négociations à l’OCDE sur une réforme de la fiscalité des multinationales qui doivent s’achever en octobre.
    « La réussite de ce processus nécessitera une dernière impulsion de la part de toutes les parties, et la Commission s’est engagée à se concentrer sur cet effort. C’est pourquoi nous avons décidé de mettre en pause notre travail sur une proposition de taxe numérique », a déclaré un porte-parole de la Commission.

    Le projet de taxe numérique de l’UE était une des nouvelles ressources prévues pour financer son plan de relance de 750 milliards d’euros. Bien qu’il n’ait pas encore été rendu public, la Commission européenne avait souligné à plusieurs reprises que son projet de taxe numérique serait conforme aux accords de l’OCDE et qu’il toucherait des milliers d’entreprises, y compris européennes.

    Critiques américaines
    Mais il a suscité des critiques américaines. Washington juge ce projet discriminatoire pour les champions américains des technologies comme Amazon, Google ou Facebook. La secrétaire au Trésor Janet Yellen, présente lundi à Bruxelles pour une rencontre avec les ministres des Finances européens (Eurogroupe), avait appelé dimanche l’UE à le reconsidérer.
    . . . . . . . .
    La suite gratuite : https://www.rts.ch/info/monde/12341398-lue-suspend-son-projet-de-taxe-numerique-sous-la-pression-de-washington

    #ue #union_européenne #multinationales #europe #capitalisme #finance #politique #amériques #paradis_fiscaux #impôts #taxes #taxe_numérique #OCDE #commission_européenne

  • Internet access deal allows Chinese government censorship in our UK university (virtual) classrooms

    1. Introduction

    We are a group of academics with many years of experience of teaching on China, including Hong Kong, in the fields of law, political sociology, labour relations, human rights, and gender politics. We are deeply concerned that, in their eagerness to maintain fee income from Chinese international students as near to pre-Covid levels as possible, some UK universities have signed up to a China-based system for providing access to online teaching to students who choose to study for their UK degrees from their homes in the PRC. We are concerned this system potentially endangers our students and invites censorship of the curriculum in our universities.
    2. UK HE and the Great Fire Wall of China

    As has been widely reported, many UK universities that have become dependent on steep international fees from Chinese students faced a sharp fall in their incomes this academic year if applicants failed to enroll on their courses (see #USSBriefs94). In the event, the fall has apparently been less precipitous than forecasted, although reliable data is not yet available, due in part to last minute marketing of courses to students in China. But a significant proportion of these students are joining courses from their homes in China, due to a variety of factors, including worries among students and parents about the UK’s shambolic approach to coronavirus control and late issuance of letters students need to apply for UK visas. The Chinese Ministry of Education has announced that, unlike in the past, it will recognize UK degrees that involve online study.

    But studying online for a UK degree from inside China presents specific challenges. The ‘Great Fire Wall’ restricts access to the internet outside China, imposing mechanisms to filter content and block ‘blacklisted’ sites, including major platforms such as Google, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter; news providers such as the Guardian and the New York Times; and transnational activist networks, among others. The ‘virtual private networks’ (VPNs) that UK universities routinely provide to their staff and students to access much of their content from off campus are blocked as part of a generalized Chinese government ban on VPNs and other forms of encrypted communication. Students in China joining some UK university courses (such as pre-sessional English programmes) during the summer reported significant connection problems.
    3. Over the wall: the Alibaba ‘solution’

    In this context, institutions representing UK universities are rolling out a dedicated service to enable students studying for UK degrees from China to access their course materials. This has been piloted over the summer at a number of UK HEIs, and is a joint project by promoters of all things digital in UK HE Jisc and Ucisa, the British Council (which is involved in marketing UK HE) and Universities UK. The service provides access to UK universities’ online platforms for students within China via a government-approved VPN enabled by Chinese internet and e-commerce giant Alibaba. UK universities want to ensure that students in China can have reliable access to course materials, including recorded lectures, readings and live activities, and are able to participate in their courses, posting comments on discussion boards and submitting assignments.

    From the publicly available information, this service, which has been piloted in a number of UK universities over the summer, and is now being rolled out at some of our institutions, will allow students to access their UK university’s content via a login to a dedicated Alibaba Cloud service on its Cloud Enterprise Network. Although the documentation on the Alibaba service describes this being routed via the company’s ‘virtual private cloud’ on servers in locations outside China, this does not mean that Chinese government surveillance and censorship mechanisms would be avoided, because all traffic would initially be routed through Alibaba’s servers in China.
    4. Censorship, surveillance and students at risk?

    As well as claiming that it will provide ‘fast and reliable access’ to course materials, the documentation states that the Alibaba ‘solution’ would be ‘fully legal and compliant with Chinese laws and regulations’. These laws allow for extensive censorship of public content on social media and news websites, as well as of personal communications, based on broad and vague criteria. While parameters for what is forbidden are set by the authorities, responsibility for deleting and blocking related content, activity and users rests with social media platforms and services, including Alibaba. China’s 2016 Cybersecurity Law makes companies that fail to carry out these responsibilities subject to massive fines, prosecution and even cancellation of business licenses. This legal responsibility implies that Alibaba could face legal sanctions if it failed to block course content on prohibited topics such as protests in Hong Kong or the detention camps in Xinjiang.

    The Alibaba scheme could also put students at risk, as their engagement with their courses can be monitored through Chinese government electronic surveillance systems. This is the case not only for students studying for their degrees remotely from China, but also potentially other students who are in the UK but in the same courses, whose engagement could potentially be monitored via the access of the students joining course activities remotely. This is no idle fear in a context where there have been significant tensions among students over support for the 2019 protests in Hong Kong, for example.

    Repression in China is targeted, and depends on identifying people regularly accessing content or online activities seen as problematic (particularly those engaging in any form of collective action national or local authorities find problematic), and focusing monitoring on such ‘suspect’ people. Using the Alibaba Cloud service, UK universities will not be able identify what kinds of monitoring and censorship happen when and to whom. Given the Chinese government’s demonstrated AI capacities, this monitoring could include automated profiling of student use of materials or interaction with the teaching to infer political reliability or political inclinations. By providing the Alibaba service to their students, UK universities could be complicit in enabling such profiling, and in our view this would be a failure in our duty of care to our students.
    5. China and the chilling effect

    There are broader concerns about the potential chilling effects for teaching of China-related material in UK universities, both short term and long term. This is not an idle concern: in recent years, controversies have erupted as the Chinese government has sought to pressure academic publishers to censor ‘politically sensitive’ content, including Cambridge University Press. It also comes in the context of the newly passed National Security Law in Hong Kong, which criminalizes a broad range of previously acceptable speech, and exerts extraterritorial powers that have raised deep concerns among scholars working on China-related issues. In such an environment, content deemed potentially offensive to the Chinese government may be at risk from (self-)censorship, either because teachers opt to eliminate it or because institutions decide that certain ‘problem’ courses are no longer viable. Documentation for staff at a number of universities offering this service has made vague references to ‘problematic’ content that may result in some teachers preemptively removing any China-related material from their courses.

    Some institutions have effectively started justifying such censorship of courses for Chinese students studying remotely, asking teachers to provide ‘alternatives’ to ‘problematic’ China related content for these students. Such moves presume that all Chinese students will be offended by or want to avoid such content; in our view this is a mistaken assumption based on stereotyped notions of Chinese students. Some of our students from China choose to study at UK universities precisely because they will encounter a different range of approaches and opinions to those they have encountered in universities in mainland China, and some specifically want to hear about alternative analysis of developments in their own country at a time when such debate is being closed down at home. Pro-government, nationalist students may be vocal, but there are many others with a variety of viewpoints. One indication of this in the UK context is a finding from a representative sample of mainland Chinese students studying for undergraduate and postgraduate taught degrees at UK universities. The Bright Futures survey, conducted in 2017–18, found that 71% of respondents said they ‘never’ participated in activities of the Chinese Students Association (which is supported and funded by the Chinese authorities) and a further 22% said they participated once a month or less.
    6. Alternative solutions and academic freedom

    Given the concerns outlined above, we do not believe that UK universities have done enough to find alternatives to the Alibaba service that might mitigate some of the risks we describe. Other academic institutions, including joint-venture universities with campuses in China, have apparently negotiated exceptions to the ban on foreign VPNs. For obvious reasons, these universities do not publicize the ad hoc solutions they have been able to find, as these would technically be violations of Chinese law. In the current context other possibilities for UK HE might include approaching the Chinese Ministry of Education to negotiate access for students in China to UK university VPNs, or to a collectively managed joint UK-university ‘VPN concentrator’ located in China. Another part of a solution could be a joint-UK university project to mirror UK university server content in locations nearer to China (such as Singapore, South Korea or Japan) that would allow for faster access to content via VPNs. These solutions could address some of the key surveillance concerns, but would nonetheless still be subject to censorship demands by Chinese authorities.

    Universities should not plead that they cannot consider alternatives on cost grounds, since the Alibaba service is reportedly costly (although rates have not been made public), with prices likely reaching £100,000 per institution annually depending on data volume. With a model of payment by data volume, UK universities are in the invidious (and likely unworkable) position of distinguishing between ‘study-related’ and other usage of the service. More importantly, no saving of expenditure or maintaining of pre-Covid income levels can justify the ‘costs’ of exposing our students to the risk of persecution as a result of taking UK university courses, or of inviting Chinese government censorship into our university systems.

    Unfortunately, there is little sign that the leaders of the sector are considering the complexity of the risks involved. On 15 October 2020, UUK issued a report entitled ‘Managing risks in internationalisation: security related issues’. Deplorably, this report suggests that universities are, or should become, guardians of UK national security, but fails to recognise the nature of the risks to academic freedom that staff and students in the UK are actually facing. The report certainly makes no mention of the concerns we outline above, despite UUK being a co-sponsor of the Alibaba scheme. Addressing itself exclusively to ‘senior leaders’ in universities, the report also suggests a top-down, managerial approach to addressing the risks of academic internationalisation, without giving sufficient thought to the need to involve academic staff. Self-governance is an important dimension of academic freedom. One reason we are publishing this piece is that we have had little or no say in how our institutions are making policy in this area, despite the evident relevance of our expertise, and the gravity of the concerns we raise. At this moment, we believe UK universities need to commit to strong defense of academic freedom, ensure that this applies equally to staff and students and prevent this key value of our universities being undermined by ‘technical’ or market considerations.


    #Chine #UK #Angleterre #censure #université #distanciel #enseignement #taxes_universitaires #frais_d'inscription #Great_Fire_Wall #internet #étudiants_chinois #VPN #Jisc #Ucisa #Alibaba #Alibaba_cloud #surveillance #liberté_académique

    ping @etraces

  • On Quitting Academia

    In​ May, I gave up my academic career after 27 years. A voluntary severance scheme had been announced in December, and I dithered about it until the pandemic enforced focus on a fuzzy dilemma. Already far from the sunlit uplands, universities would now, it seemed, descend into a dark tunnel. I swallowed hard, expressed an interest, hesitated, and then declared my intention to leave. A settlement agreement was drafted, and I instructed a solicitor. Hesitating again, I made a few calls, stared out of the window, then signed.

    My anxiety about academia dates back to my first job, a temporary lectureship in history at Keele University. I had drifted into doctoral research with a 2.1 from Cambridge and an unclassified O-Level in self-confidence. My friends from university, many headed for work in London, had initially been sceptical. One of them, later the deputy prime minister, worried that academic pay was crap and I’d have to read everything. Besides, decent posts were scarce. But I liked my subject, was taken on by a charismatic professor, scraped a grant, and switched Cambridge colleges as a gesture towards a fresh start. Reality had been evaded. To an extent unthinkable today, arts postgrads were left alone to read. At lamplit tutorials and seminars, held in book-lined rooms in dark courtyards, it was hard not to feel like an impostor, though, looking back, I now realise that others were also straining to suspend disbelief in themselves. Then, suddenly, I was out of time and needed a job. It was the end of what feels now like one long autumn of snug teas and cycling through mists.

    The day I arrived in Keele, it was raining. I’d split up with my girlfriend and had arranged to share a house with a colleague I’d never met; my office was still in the process of being built. Ahead lay the prospect of cobbling together dozens of lectures while at the same time somehow writing up my PhD. I was gloomy and apprehensive, but things fell into place. My housemate hadn’t finished his thesis either: we laboured through early mornings and evenings, eventually submitting on the same day. The teaching was exciting and rewarding. There were a lot of mature students, some of them displaced by the closure of the Staffordshire collieries, all eager to learn. My impostor syndrome went into remission. I had articles accepted by peer-reviewed journals, passed my PhD viva, and ascended through a series of jobs. In 2007 I joined the University of East Anglia and four years later was made a professor. I published books, essays and reviews, received grants and fellowships, spoke at seminars and conferences, assessed manuscripts, supervised postgraduates, served as an external examiner and sat on committees. I had become the person I once impersonated. There were still Billy Liar moments: doodling in meetings, dreaming up titles for novels, imagining the present as prelude. But the masquerade was over. What I did was who I was.

    Then, two years ago, things took a turn. A viable application for a big research grant fell at the first hurdle. Two articles I’d spent months on were rejected, one quite quickly, the other after a long ordeal of consideration and resubmission. Some of the assessors, cloaked in anonymity, seemed affronted by what I was trying to say. It was crushing, but also an awakening. They had pecked so viciously because I was an injured hen in the brood. They sensed disingenuousness, ebbing engagement, slippage from relevance, and, behind it all, a loss of faith. When I felt I’d been faking it I was the genuine article; now I was established I’d become an interloper. I realised I’d said all I had to say. So when my wife accepted a job in Dublin and I took a career break to look after our children, settling into non-academic life was easy. I didn’t miss it, any of it.

    It used to be more interesting. In 1993, Keele still bore a resemblance to the world Malcolm Bradbury captured in The History Man (1975): lecturers taught whatever enthused them – one medievalist offered a course on the Holocaust – and the cooler professors held parties to which students were invited. There were eccentrics straight out of Waugh’s Decline and Fall: loveable cranks who had written one or zero books, drank at lunchtime and liked a flutter. They smoked in their offices and let ferrety dogs roam the corridors. They were amused by the arrival of career-minded scholars, and panicked when the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) demanded to know how taxpayers’ money was being spent. The Research Assessment Exercise found them wanting in research, and a dawning age of inspection exposed worryingly heterodox teaching methods. Immediately before a HEFCE visit, a dusty sculpture was rinsed under the tap to make a good impression, as if the inspectors were a bevy of exacting aunts rather than fellow academics pressed into public service. In my next job, a wall of photocopied ‘evidence’ was adduced in the department’s cause, and a crate of booze was bought, in contravention of HEFCE rules, to relax the inspectors. Alas, it was stolen by some students.

    These were in many respects the bad old days, unworthy of anyone’s nostalgia. There was too little transparency, permitting countless small abuses. There was favouritism and prejudice; a policy of laissez-faire concealed unequal workloads and, in some cases, sheer indolence. The tightening of central controls in the 1990s introduced accountability to the system, and the expansion of the higher education sector generally, which happened around the same time, did good by allowing more young people from working-class backgrounds to earn a degree, something that, to their parents as to mine, had previously represented a social distinction as remotely glittering as a knighthood. When I began my PhD, there were fewer than fifty universities in the UK, awarding around 80,000 first degrees annually; twenty years later the number of HE institutions had nearly trebled, and the number of degrees had increased by a factor of five. In 1999 Tony Blair vowed that the 33 per cent of school-leavers then in higher education would rise to 50 per cent in the next century, a goal that was reached in 2018.

    Widening opportunity in education is the noblest of social and political projects. But the cost is now clear. In the ‘bad old days’ students were, as they are today, taught with commitment and passion, but sometimes eccentricity added a spark. Provided he – and it was usually a he – turned up fully dressed and sober and didn’t lay hands on anyone, the crazy lecturer could be an inspiration. Expectations were less explicit, the rhetoric and metrics of achievement were absent, which made everyone feel freer. Even applying to a university seemed less pressured, because it was so unclear what it would be like when you got there. You absorbed teachers’ anecdotal experiences and sent off for prospectuses, including the student-produced ‘alternative’ versions mentioning safe sex and cheap beer. Even after matriculation I had only a vague sense of the structure of my course. The lecture list was to be found in an austere periodical of record available in newsagents. Mysteries that today would be cleared up with two clicks on a smartphone had to be resolved by listening to rumours. This news blackout has been replaced by abundant online information, the publication of lucid curricular pathways, the friendly outreach of student services and the micromanagement of an undergraduate’s development. Leaps of progress all, if it weren’t for the suspicion that students might develop better if they had to find out more things for themselves. We learned to be self-reliant and so were better prepared for an indifferent world; we didn’t for a moment see the university as acting in loco parentis. Excessive care for students is as reassuring as a comfort blanket and can be just as infantilising.

    Academics lament the local autonomy that has now been arrogated to the centre, where faculty executive committees and senior management teams call the shots. Lecturers no longer exercise the discretion that once supported students’ pastoral welfare, and are instead trained to spot mental health problems and to advise students to consult GPs and book university counselling sessions (waiting lists tend to be long: anxiety is the new normal, sometimes reported as dispassionately as one might do a cold). Instances where essay extensions have been granted only on submission of proof of bereavement are not unheard of: procrustean bureaucracy in the name of consistency. Team-teaching is preferred to the one-lecturer show because university managers have an aversion to cancelling an advertised module should the lecturer take research or parental leave, move to another university, or run off screaming into the night. This was once an acceptable risk; now it threatens to infringe students’ consumer rights. Overseeing such concerns are marketing departments of burgeoning complexity and swagger, which manage public relations and promote the brand. National rankings based on several ‘key performance indicators’ – research, teaching, student satisfaction (a revered metric deriving from an online survey) – are parsed and massaged by these departments into their most appealing iterations, in the hope of pushing their institution as close as possible to pole position in an intensely competitive race. The Russell Group, a self-selecting club of 24 elite UK universities, content to be thought of as ‘the British Ivy League’, admits some new members and excludes others. Those refused entry make ingenious claims to be as good as those inside the charmed circle. But it’s a struggle. The Russell Group’s members attract three-quarters of all research income, which matters not least because world-class research-led teaching is a strong selling point for recruiting undergraduates.

    The key factor is tuition fees – currently £9250 per annum for full-time study – which in 2012 replaced most direct funding of universities. Today half of UK universities’ £40 billion annual income comes from fees. Universities are businesses forced to think commercially, regardless of any humane virtues traditionally associated with academic life. Academic heads of department – otherwise known as ‘line managers’, some of whom control their own budgets – are set aspirational admissions targets which often prove unachievable due to the vicissitudes of an unstable market. The usual outcome, in Micawberish terms, is misery over happiness. Academics, already demoralised by declining real wages, shrinking pensions and the demands of the Research Excellence Framework – not least the demand to demonstrate the public ‘impact’ of their research – report feeling not just overburdened by marketisation, but victimised. Some administrators, especially those without teaching duties, can make ‘underperforming’ academic staff feel like spanners in the works, rather than labourers who own the means of production and create the very thing marketing departments have to sell.

    University mottos, with all their classical hauteur, have been displaced by vapid slogans about discovering yourself and belonging to the future. Universities are centres of excellence, hubs of innovation, zones of enterprise. The gushing copy has limited relevance on the shop floor. Lecturers deserve more respect than is found in Dalek-like emails demanding 100 per cent compliance with this or that directive. An infinitely expanding bureaucratic universe displays authoritarian indifference to variety and nuance in the very work exalted in their promotional material. Vice-chancellors and deans always remember to give thanks and praise at graduation ceremonies and other festal moments; but what lecturers want is understanding, not least about the manifold claims on their time.

    So how has all this affected ‘the student experience’? Undergraduates today can’t know how it felt to belong to a state-funded institution whose low-pressure otherworldliness allowed for imagination and experimentation, diversity and discovery. The student experience didn’t need defining because it wasn’t for sale: it magically happened within a loosely idealistic, libertarian countercultural framework. The last thing anyone at a university wanted to wear was a suit: now you can’t move for them. Today’s watchwords are value and satisfaction. Even if it’s a good thing for fee-paying students to have a say in what their money buys, a transactional mentality has led to paradoxical demands for more contact hours and the right not to use them. Whereas lectures have long been optional, seminars and tutorials have remained compulsory. This is now under threat, along with the basic principle that attendees at a lecture are passive consumers and seminar participants are active producers. These days the customer is usually right and the lecturer more like a generic service provider. Supporting observations include students’ failure to learn their tutor’s name after 12 weeks, a tendency to refer to ‘teachers’ and ‘lessons’, dependence on prepackaged fillets of text – whatever happened to ‘reading round the subject’? – and unabashed admissions that set work has not been done. Why pretend the dog ate your homework when you own the homework?

    Students miss out if they duck challenges they imagine to be beyond their capabilities. Punching above your weight can be stressful and tiring, but without doing a bit of it students ironically fail to develop the independent learning skills and confident self-expression that employers value (here I’m talking mainly about the arts and humanities). Unlike other commodities and services, where typically the customer wants no involvement in the manufacture or delivery of their purchases, students get out of a degree what they put in. One of the worst outcomes would be if they unwittingly believed that fees entitled them to a good degree, and when awarded a 2.2 (or that endangered species, a third) reflexively blamed anything and anyone other than themselves. As bad would be a reluctance to award degrees below a 2.1 for fear of complaint, even legal action.

    Universities obsessed with student satisfaction are finding it harder to navigate their obligations. It doesn’t help that students have been hit by waves of strikes, followed by the further disruption caused by Covid-19. As for academic staff, feelings of discontent, disenfranchisement, disillusionment and disorientation are increasing, as academic careers become less and less appealing. The financial impact of the pandemic on universities has been catastrophic, with individual losses over the next financial year predicted to be in the tens of millions. In July, the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimated a combined long-term deficit of £11 billion. Deprived of fees from foreign students (especially for postgraduate courses), revenue from rental accommodation, income from the conference trade and returns from other investments, universities are facing Herculean challenges – hence redundancies both voluntary and, in due course, compulsory. The IFS predicts that, without cutting workforces, universities will save only £600 million. I jumped while there was still a lifeboat in the water. UEA has a broad regional base, and will survive with some belt-tightening and structural changes. According to some reports, however, 13 institutions will go bust without government bailouts, which no doubt they will receive in exchange for pruning courses devoid of obvious vocational benefit.

    What will the student experience be now? A new order of one-way corridors, social distancing, teaching bubbles, screened and sanitised everything, and ‘dual-delivery synchronous and asynchronous learning activities’: a minimal amount of face-to-face teaching combined with online lectures, pre-recorded so that lecture theatres can be freed up for use as spacious seminar rooms. Lecturers have been racing to refine lockdown protocols into coherent products, now widely advertised as ‘blended learning’. Many have spent their summers taking training modules in ‘generic breadth and depth e-learning provision’, the warp and weft of embedded skills that look neat on a ‘weave diagram’ but are harder to apply in real life. To keep class discussion buoyant, lecturers are told to ‘encourage students to practise the verbalisation aspect of knowledge’. Multiple ‘learning outcomes’, sacred buzzwords before the pandemic, have been supplemented with ‘learner journeys’, promising against the odds a positive experience as well as a realistic hope of achieving something. But mostly lecturers have been tasked with filming multiple bite-size video ‘segments’ suited to modern attention spans (complete with subtitles and credited imagery), setting ‘interactive tasks’ and building bespoke websites for their modules.

    Who knows how long this set-up will last. Currently we can only applaud the pragmatism and stamina of lecturers, beg the forbearance of students, and wish them well. But if the R-number creeps up, or if there are more strikes (a prospect made likely by redundancies), even the contingency plan will stall and dissatisfaction will soar. School-leavers may question the wisdom of paying so much for so little. As it is, calls for universities to refund fees and rent have fallen on deaf ears. The student experience has already been compromised and the brand damaged. The path to recovery is pegged out with proposals for retrenchment, mostly effected by shedding staff.

    I had dreaded telling colleagues in my field that I was quitting, imagining incredulity and a hushed inference that I was terminally ill or at least having a breakdown. Academia is vocational: people don’t usually pack it in or switch careers – although that may become more common. When I finally broke the news, most of the people I told said they would retire early if they could afford it – a few had made calculations about payouts and pensions and most had at least contemplated it in glummer moments. It’s just no fun any more, they said. One or two admitted that their self-identity was so bound up with academic life they could never give it up, but even this wasn’t a judgment on my decision: they were entirely sympathetic and acknowledged that a wonderful career had lost a lot of its glamour.

    Of course, none of us is lost in space, rounding the lip of a black hole. Higher education will always be worthwhile, if only because for students it provides three unique years removed from family, school and a career. In spite of uncertainty and austerity, versatile and resourceful young people will create their own networks and forums conducive to study and sociability. Academics will carry on doing research that informs their teaching. Learning for its own sake may suffer as courses are honed to a fine utilitarian edge and students evolve into accomplished grade accountants, expert in the work required for a 2.1 – playing the system they themselves finance. But degrees will retain value, and, for those who find graduate entry-level jobs, they will remain value for money. Above all, even allowing for a likely contraction of the HE sector, our universities will still promote social mobility, having already transformed the profile of the typical student, in terms of gender as well as class. There will be no return to sixty years ago when only 4 per cent of 18-year-olds went on to higher education, most of them men. The change is permanent. I’m glad to have played my part in this revolution.

    Perhaps this is why I feel uneasy, and why my future feels more suspenseful than exciting. I’ve had dreams in which I’ve strolled across a platonically perfect ivy-clad campus, been enthralled by a perfect seminar, and had engaging discussions with old colleagues, including my Cambridge supervisor and the people I knew when I was doing my PhD, back in the halcyon days when everything had a point and a purpose. There’s guilt there: a sense of loss, of potential squandered and maybe even betrayed. UEA has made me an emeritus professor, which is an honourable discharge and something to cling to, and my wife insists we can live on her salary. But I still can’t decide whether I’ve retired or just resigned, or am in fact redundant and unemployed. I’m undeniably jobless at 53, able-bodied (I hesitate to say ‘fit’), with a full head of hair and most of my teeth, and haunted by St Teresa of Avila’s dictum that more tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.

    I keep thinking about a short story we read at school, Somerset Maugham’s ‘The Lotus Eater’. It is the cautionary tale of a bank manager who drives off the toads of work, gives up his comfy pension and goes to live like a peasant on a paradisal Mediterranean island. Needless to say it doesn’t end well: his annuity expires, his mind atrophies, he botches suicide. He sees out his days in a state of bestial wretchedness, demoted in the great chain of being as a punishment for rebelling against nature. I don’t see the story as a prediction, and would always choose industry over idleness, but Maugham’s contempt for someone who dodges life’s challenges – the story satirised an effete acquaintance from Heidelberg – resonates. Still, I couldn’t go back. Goodbye to all that.

    #UK #Angleterre #université #ESR #quitter #fin #jeter_l'éponge #taxes_universitaires

    • Extrait : “I had dreaded telling colleagues in my field that I was quitting, imagining incredulity and a hushed inference that I was terminally ill or at least having a breakdown. Academia is vocational: people don’t usually pack it in or switch careers – although that may become more common. When I finally broke the news, most of the people I told said they would retire early if they could afford it – a few had made calculations about payouts and pensions and most had at least contemplated it in glummer moments. It’s just no fun any more, they said. One or two admitted that their self-identity was so bound up with academic life they could never give it up, but even this wasn’t a judgment on my decision: they were entirely sympathetic and acknowledged that a wonderful career had lost a lot of its glamour”.

  • Le #Conseil_d’État rejette les #recours contre l’arrêté fixant les #frais_d’inscription dans l’enseignement supérieur

    Saisi pour se prononcer sur les frais d’inscription dans l’#enseignement_supérieur public, le Conseil d’État juge qu’ils ne s’opposent pas à « l’#exigence_constitutionnelle de #gratuité » qui vise à assurer l’égal accès à l’instruction. Il précise en outre que cette exigence ne s’applique que pour les formations préparant à des #diplômes_nationaux.

    Plusieurs associations, syndicats étudiants et requérants individuels ont demandé au Conseil d’État d’annuler l’arrêté interministériel du 19 avril 2019 qui fixe les droits d’inscription dans les établissements publics d’enseignement supérieur et prévoit pour les étudiants étrangers « en mobilité internationale » un montant différent de celui payé par les étudiants français, européens ou déjà résidents en France.

    Avant de se prononcer sur ce recours, le Conseil d’État a transmis une question prioritaire de constitutionnalité au #Conseil_constitutionnel.

    La Constitution exige la gratuité de l’#enseignement_supérieur_public, mais des #droits_d’inscription modiques peuvent être demandés

    Le 11 octobre 2019 , le Conseil constitutionnel a déduit une exigence constitutionnelle de gratuité de l’enseignement supérieur public du Préambule de la Constitution du 27 octobre 1946, qui prévoit l’égal accès à l’instruction et l’organisation par l’État de l’enseignement public gratuit. Il a toutefois précisé que des droits d’inscription modiques pouvaient être perçus en tenant compte, le cas échéant, des capacités financières des étudiants. Enfin, le Conseil constitutionnel a laissé au Conseil d’État le soin de contrôler le #montant des frais d’inscription fixés par les ministres au regard de ces exigences.

    Le Conseil constitutionnel n’ayant, en revanche, pas précisé si cette exigence de gratuité pouvait bénéficier à tout étudiant étranger, y compris à ceux venus en France dans le seul but d’y faire leurs études, le Conseil d’État ne se prononce pas sur ce point dans sa décision de ce jour.

    Les frais d’inscription contestés ne font pas obstacle à l’#égal_accès_à_l’instruction, compte tenu notamment des aides et exonérations destinées aux étudiants

    Le Conseil d’État précise que l’exigence de gratuité s’applique à l’enseignement supérieur public pour les formations préparant aux diplômes nationaux (licence, master, doctorat…) mais pas aux diplômes propres délivrés par les établissements de façon autonome ni aux titres d’ingénieur diplômé délivrés par les écoles d’ingénieurs.

    Par ailleurs, il juge que le caractère #modique des droits d’inscription s’apprécie en tenant compte du coût des formations et de l’ensemble des dispositifs d’exonération et d’aides destinés aux étudiants, afin de garantir l’égal accès à l’instruction.

    S’agissant des étudiants « en mobilité internationale », le Conseil d’État estime que les droits d’inscription fixés par l’arrêté attaqué, qui peuvent représenter 30 % voire 40 % du coût de la formation, ne font pas obstacle à l’égal accès à l’instruction, compte tenu des exonérations et aides susceptibles de bénéficier à ces étudiants. Ces droits d’inscription respectent donc l’exigence rappelée par le Conseil constitutionnel, à supposer que ces étudiants puissent s’en prévaloir.

    Les #étudiants_étrangers « en #mobilité_internationale » ne sont pas dans la même situation que ceux destinés à s’établir en France

    Enfin, le Conseil d’État juge que des étudiants « en mobilité internationale », venus en France spécialement pour s’y former, ne sont pas dans la même situation que des étudiants ayant, quelle que soit leur origine géographique, vocation à être durablement établis sur le territoire national. Il valide donc la possibilité de prévoir pour ceux-ci des frais d’inscription différents.

    #taxes_universitaires #France #ESR #Bienvenue_en_France

    La décision :

    Métaliste sur la question de l’augmentation des frais d’inscription pour les étudiants étrangers :

    • L’Université à bout de souffle

      Après la loi ORE en 2018, le décret « Bienvenue en France » et l’augmentation des frais d’inscription pour une partie des étudiants étrangers hors-UE en 2019, l’année universitaire qui vient de s’achever a vu une nouvelle réforme menacer les principes fondateurs de l’Université française. Le projet de loi LPPR, ou Loi de Programmation Pluriannuelle de la Recherche, est un texte qui propose, en principe, une évolution du budget de la recherche jusqu’en 2030. Dans les faits, la LPPR s’accompagne également de plusieurs mesures vivement contestées par la communauté scientifique : des « CDI de mission » (contrats appelés à se terminer à la fin d’un projet de recherche), des tenures tracks (recrutement accru de professeurs assistants temporaires), ou encore le renforcement d’un système de financement de la recherche basé sur des appels à projets et des évaluations prospectives.

      Maître de conférence, chercheur en Études cinématographiques à l’Université Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle depuis 2006 et codirecteur du Master Cinéma et Audiovisuel depuis 2019, Antoine Gaudin est en première ligne face à cette nouvelle mesure qui menace le monde, déjà fragile, de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche. Nous avons voulu nous entretenir longuement avec lui pour faire le point sur les conséquences de la LPPR sur son travail, sur les dernières réformes du quinquennat Macron à l’encontre de l’Université, mais aussi sur les formes possibles de contestation.


      À partir du moment où vous avez au pouvoir des gens qui nomment « Bienvenue en France » une mesure ouvertement xénophobe, une mesure qui multiplie par quinze (!) les frais d’inscription pour les étudiants étrangers hors Union Européenne, sans que cette hausse, délirante, ne soit assortie d’aucun avantage par rapport à leurs camarades étudiants français ou européens (ce qui constitue d’ailleurs un cas de discrimination de l’accès à un service public basée sur l’origine géographique), à partir du moment où vous avez au pouvoir des gens qui tordent le langage pour lui faire signifier tout simplement l’inverse ce qui est, vous n’êtes pas simplement face à la pratique de l’enrobage flatteur constituant le support traditionnel de la communication politique. À ce niveau-là, vous avez basculé dans un au-delà de la raison, que l’on appelle parfois post-vérité, que des responsables politiques de haut rang devraient s’interdire d’utiliser, et que des médias critiques et indépendants devraient dénoncer, étant donné le danger qu’il représente pour la démocratie.


      Faisons ici un peu d’anticipation. La première évolution possible serait la diminution des effectifs étudiants, qui permettrait aux universités de fonctionner malgré la pénurie de personnels. On en a déjà un peu pris le chemin avec la loi ORE de 2018, aussi nommée Parcoursup, qui a instauré le principe de la sélection à l’entrée de l’Université. Avec la fin d’un accès de droit à l’Université pour tous les bacheliers, on laisse un certain nombre de jeunes gens sur le carreau, en les empêchant d’accéder à un niveau d’études dans lequel ils auraient pu éventuellement se révéler. L’autre solution, pour pouvoir continuer à accueillir l’essentiel d’une classe d’âge chaque année, ce serait l’augmentation du coût des études, c’est-à-dire des frais d’inscription, afin de permettre aux universités devenues « autonomes » d’opérer les recrutements indispensables à un fonctionnement à peu près normal. On sait d’ailleurs, grâce aux MacronLeaks, que c’est globalement cela, le projet à terme, et que la multiplication par quinze des frais d’inscription des étudiants étrangers n’est qu’une façon d’amener ce qui sera sans doute la prochaine grande réforme de l’Université, si jamais la LPPR passe, c’est-à-dire la même hausse des frais d’inscription pour l’ensemble des étudiants. La plupart devront donc souscrire des emprunts bancaires pour faire face au coût de leurs études, ce qui signifie qu’ils passeront plusieurs années, au début de leur vie professionnelle, à rembourser un crédit.

      Bref, l’enseignement supérieur va sans doute à terme se transformer complètement en marché, et les étudiants en entrepreneurs d’eux-mêmes, dans un univers concurrentiel qui les forcera à rationaliser leurs parcours (adieu l’idée de se réorienter, de chercher sa voie, de se cultiver avant tout), afin d’être immédiatement « employables » dans la grande machine économique, et donc de ne pas trop pâtir de leur dette à rembourser. L’idée de l’Université, non seulement comme espace d’apprentissage et d’insertion professionnelle, mais surtout comme espace pour former des citoyens conscients, critiques et émancipés, prendrait alors un nouveau plomb dans l’aile. Quand bien même ce très probable scénario-catastrophe serait finalement abandonné au profit d’une plus grande sélection à l’entrée des facs, ou bien au profit d’une dégradation continue des conditions d’accueil et d’accompagnement, la LPPR nous fait foncer tête baissée vers une nouvelle remise en cause de l’accès à tous à des études gratuites de qualité. Si j’étais étudiant, je m’en inquiéterais et je refuserais cette perspective qui, associée aux réformes des retraites et de l’assurance-chômage, notamment, prépare un avenir bien sombre, où l’autonomie vis-à-vis des mécanismes tout-puissants du marché sera fortement réduite. Ce monde que nos dirigeants politiques sont en train de mettre en place pour eux, il faut que les étudiants disent maintenant, nettement et massivement, s’ils l’acceptent ou le refusent. Après, ce sera trop tard, car hélas on ne revient quasiment jamais sur des réformes de régression sociale une fois qu’elles ont été adoptées.


    • Le Conseil d’État permet au gouvernement de fermer l’université

      Ce mercredi 1er juillet, le Conseil d’État a rendu sa décision concernant les contestations portées contre l’arrêté du 19 avril 2019 relatif aux droits d’inscription dans les établissements publics d’enseignement supérieur relevant du ministère chargé de l’enseignement supérieur.

      Cette décision procède d’une véritable réécriture de la décision du Conseil constitutionnel du 11 octobre 2019 qui était venu consacrer, sur le fondement du treizième alinéa du Préambule de la Constitution du 27 octobre 1946, l’exigence constitutionnelle de gratuité de l’accès à l’enseignement supérieur public, avec la perception de droits d’inscription modiques en tenant compte, le cas échéant, des capacités financières des étudiant·es.

      S’affranchissant des garde-fous érigés par les juges constitutionnel·les, le Conseil d’État a écarté toute possibilité de prise en compte de la capacité financière des étudiant·es, en estimant que le caractère modique des frais d’inscription exigés des usagèr·es suivant des formations dans l’enseignement supérieur public en vue de l’obtention de diplômes nationaux doit être apprécié au regard du coût de ces formations.

      Constatant que le « coût annuel moyen » de la formation suivie par un·e étudiant·e en vue de l’obtention d’un diplôme de licence, de master, de doctorat ou d’un titre d’ingénieur·e diplômé·e est évalué à la somme de 10 210 euros par la Cour des comptes, dans son rapport sur les droits d’inscription dans l’enseignement supérieur public de novembre 2018, et à la somme de 9 660 euros par le rapport d’information de l’Assemblée nationale sur l’accueil des étudiant·es extra-européen·nes en France du 13 mars 2019, le Conseil d’État va ainsi s’employer à vider entièrement de sa substance le principe de gratuité dégagé par le Conseil constitutionnel.

      Or, ce montant ne reflète pas la réalité des coûts de formations des différentes filières à l’université. Puisque que la Cour des comptes retient que le coût global d’une formation en santé (médecine, pharmacie, PACES) est de 3 307 euros et représente, en science humaines et sociales, 2 736 euros en licence et 3 882 en masters, les frais appliqués par Bienvenue en France (2 770 euros en Licence, 3 770 euros en Master) conduisent de facto à faire supporter aux étudiant·es étrangèr·es l’intégralité du coût global de leurs formations.

      Eu égard à la fois à la part du coût des formations susceptible d’être mise à la charge des étudiant·es étrangèr·es et aux dispositifs d’aides et d’exonération de ces frais dont peuvent bénéficier ces étudiant·es, le Conseil d’État, sans rechercher si les exigences de gratuité peuvent être utilement invoquées par les étudiant·es étrangèr·es, considère que les montants des droits d’inscription susceptibles d’être effectivement à leur charge ne font pas, par eux-mêmes, obstacle à un égal accès à l’instruction et ne contreviennent pas aux exigences découlant du treizième alinéa du Préambule de la Constitution de 1946.

      Cette approche scandaleuse du Conseil d’État revient donc à soutenir que 2 770 en licence et que 3 770 euros de frais d’inscription est une somme « modique » dès lors que les montants des frais d’inscription à la charge des étudiant·es extra-européen·nes représenteraient près de 30% du coût de la formation dispensée en ce qui concerne le diplôme national de la licence, près de 40% s’agissant du master seraient donc modiques.

      Pour justifier sa décision, le Conseil d’État retient également des dispositifs d’aides et d’exonération des frais d’inscription qui sont accessibles aux étudiant·es étrangèr·es. Or, le mécanisme d’exonération des frais d’inscription ne concerne que 10% des étudiant·es non-boursièr·es (étrangèr·es et français·es) de chaque établissement et, en l’absence de compensation par le ministère de l’enseignement supérieur et la recherche, les établissements vont progressivement restreindre, voire supprimer, l’accès à ce dispositif.

      Concernant les dispositifs d’aides, l’argument est d’autant plus pernicieux que le nombre de bourses du gouvernement français attribué aux étudiant·es étrangèr·es est extrêmement faible, rapporté au nombre d’étudiant·es concerné·es. De même, les bourses nationales des pays d’origine n’existent pas toujours, et lorsqu’elles existent les montants et les critères d’attribution sont très divers à tel point qu’il est presque impossible de calculer une moyenne réaliste des revenus des bourses et aides nationales que peuvent toucher ces étudiant·es extra-européen·nes.

      Le Conseil d’État feint d’ignorer que nonobstant ces dispositifs d’aides, les étudiant·es étrangèr·es doivent également s’acquitter de frais supplémentaires en lien avec leur inscription (frais de visas, frais de transport pour venir en France) mais surtout sont tenus de justifier des ressources mensuelles d’un montant de 615€ par mois pour l’obtention et le renouvellement des visas.

      Enfin, reprenant sa jurisprudence classique, le Conseil d’État a ainsi écarté les argumentaires relatifs au principe d’égalité entre les usagèr·es du service public.

      Ainsi, le Conseil d’État a également considéré qu’il était loisible aux ministres de fixer les montants des frais d’inscription applicables aux étudiant·es inscrit·es dans les établissements publics d’enseignement supérieur en vue de la préparation d’un diplôme national ou d’un titre d’ingénieur·e diplômé·e en distinguant la situation, d’une part, des étudiant·es ayant, quelle que soit leur origine géographique, vocation à être durablement établi·es sur le territoire national, et d’autre part, des étudiant·es venu·es en France spécialement pour s’y former.

      Selon le Conseil d’État, la différence de traitement qui en résulte concernant les montants de frais d’inscription est en rapport avec cette différence de situation et n’est pas manifestement disproportionnée au regard de l’objectif poursuivi de formation de la population appelée à contribuer à la vie économique, sociale, scientifique et culturelle de la Nation et à son développement.

      La démarche du Conseil d’État permet ainsi de valider la position du gouvernement subordonnant le paiement de ces frais différenciés aux seuls étudiant·es étrangèr·es disposant d’une résidence fiscale inférieure à deux ans en France.

      Or, on peut difficilement soutenir par exemple qu’un·e étudiant·e étrangèr·e, qui après avoir obtenu son diplôme de master, entreprend sous couvert d’une autorisation provisoire de séjour d’un an de s’insérer professionnellement en France, n’a pas vocation à être durablement établi·e sur le territoire national ou soit considéré comme n’apportant aucune contribution à la vie économique, sociale, scientifique et culturelle de la Nation et à son développement.

      Le Conseil d’État laisse apparaître une pointe de nationalisme primaire dans cette décision et démontre une parfaite méconnaissance de l’apport des étudiant·es étrangèr·es pour l’économie française. Pour rappel, selon étude menée par l’institut BVA pour Campus France, publiée le mercredi 26 novembre 2014, les étudiant·es étrangèr·es coûtent 3 milliards d’euros et en rapportent 4,65 milliard d’euros à l’État français chaque année soit un bénéfice net de 1,6 milliard d’euros pour l’État français.

      Au-delà des seul·es étudiant·es extra-européen·nes, cette décision du Conseil d’État vient également s’attaquer aux principes fondateurs de l’enseignement supérieur public.

      Ainsi, il est surprenant de constater que le Conseil d’État a jugé utile d’exclure d’office les diplômes d’établissement délivrés en application de l’article L. 613-2 du code de l’éducation ou les titres d’ingénieur diplômé du bénéficie principe d’égal accès à l’instruction et l’exigence constitutionnelle de gratuité alors que le Conseil constitutionnel dans sa décision 11 octobre 2019 avait considéré l’exigence constitutionnelle de gratuité s’applique à l’enseignement supérieur public sans aucune exclusion.

      Le Conseil d’État épouse ici sans aucune justification juridique, la thèse soutenue par la Conférence des présidents d’université (CPU) qui encourage cette pratique tendant à favoriser la multiplication de ces diplômes d’établissement, dont les frais d’inscription échappent à tout contrôle législatif, réglementaire et désormais constitutionnel.

      Le point le plus contestable et dangereux de cette décision résulte de la volonté du Conseil d’État d’apprécier le caractère modique des frais d’inscription exigés des usagèr·es suivant des formations dans l’enseignement supérieur public en vue de l’obtention de diplômes nationaux au regard du coût de ces formations alors que le Conseil constitutionnel avait considéré que cette appréciation devait se faire le cas échéant sur les capacités financières des étudiant·es.

      Cette approche du Conseil d’État représente une grave entaille dans le principe de gratuité dégagé par le Conseil constitutionnel.

      Ainsi, si des frais d’inscription à la charge des étudiant·es étrangèr·es représentant près de 30% du coût de la formation dispensée en ce qui concerne le diplôme national de la licence, près de 40% s’agissant du master, alors qu’il s’agit d’un montant 2770€ et 3770€ respectivement, doivent être considéré comme modiques, les juges du Palais Royal ouvre ainsi la voie à une augmentation drastique et généralisée des frais d’inscription dans l’enseignement supérieur pour l’ensemble des étudiant·es.

      Dans la mesure où cette hausse est jugée conforme à l’exigence constitutionnelle de gratuité, rien n’empêchera les prochains gouvernements d’envisager une telle hausse sans avoir à craindre une censure des juges, visiblement enfermé·es dans leur Palais Royal.

      Alors que le mécanisme d’exonération des frais d’inscription par les établissements ne concerne 10% des étudiant·es non-boursièr·es et que les bourses sur critères sociaux ne concerne que 24 à 27% des étudiant·es, ce choix de Conseil d’État accentuera à l’avenir une polarisation du public pouvant accéder à l’enseignement supérieur, entre d’un côté les boursièr·es bénéficiant des aides de l’État et de l’autre les étudiant·es issu·es de familles aisés. Entre les deux, les étudiant·es provenant de foyer appartenant à la classe dite moyenne devront s’acquitter de ces frais, le cas échéant par l’endettement, ce qui aggravera encore la précarité étudiante.

      Cet échec juridique ne doit toutefois pas signifier la fin du combat. L’inutilité et les méfaits de cette réforme inégalitaire et xénophobe ne sont plus à démontrer. Elle n’est hélas pas isolée. Elle s’insère dans une série de politiques iniques, qui s’attaquent au service public de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche depuis des années, et dont le projet de LPPR est un prolongement morbide.

      Ensemble, continuons notre lutte pour une université publique, gratuite, émancipatrice et ouverte pour tou·tes !

      Illustration en une : photographie prise lors de la manifestation du 1er décembre 2018 contre « Bienvenue en France ».


    • Validation du plan “Bienvenue en France” : le Conseil d’Etat enterre l’#égalité entre étudiant·es

      Ce mercredi 1er juillet, le Conseil d’Etat a rendu sa décision en réécrivant totalement la décision du Conseil constitutionnel concernant le recours intenté par : UNEF, ASEPEF (Association des Étudiants Péruviens en France), FESSEF (Fédération des Étudiants Stagiaires et Sénégalais de France), AJGF (Association des Jeunes Guinéens de France), ADEEF (Association Des Etudiants Egyptiens en France), SNESUP-FSU, FERC CGT, FERC Sup, Solidaires Étudiant•e•s et FO ESR contre le plan “Bienvenue en France” et la multiplication par 15 des frais d’inscription pour les étudiant•e•s non-européen-ne-s.
      De 30% à 40% des coûts globaux de formations soit 4000 euros : une somme modique selon le Conseil d’Etat…

      Le Conseil d’Etat décide de considérer que 3 770 euros de frais d’inscription est une somme “modique” puisque cela ne concernerait qu’un tiers du coût de la formation par étudiant-e et par an. Pour estimer ce coût, il est établi un calcul généraliste visant à diviser le budget total de la formation (10 210 euros selon la cours des comptes, 9 660 euros selon un rapport de l’assemblée nationale) par le nombre d’étudiant•e•s, hors les formations ont des coûts très différents entre elles.Cette évaluation des coûts de formations n’est ni fine, ni précise puisqu’elle ne va pas dans le détail des formations et dans ce qui constitue ces coûts. De plus, par ce choix, le Conseil d’Etat réécrit le principe établit par le Conseil Constitutionnel qui préconis e de se baser sur l’étudiant•e et non pas sur le coût de la formation : le cout doit rester modique pour l’étuidant.es et non ramené au coût global de la formation.
      Des frais d’inscription qui peuvent être différenciés entre étranger•e•s et français•e•s …

      Le Conseil d’Etat entérine également dans sa décision le fait de pouvoir appliquer des frais différenciés entre étranger•e•s et français•e•s. Il met en avant que le système des bourses accordées par le pays d’origine et la possibilité d’exonération de 10% des étudiant•e•s non-boursier•ère•s par les établissements laisse la possibilité de prendre en considération la situation financière personnelle des étudiant•e•s. Cependant, cet argument est pernicieux. Les bourses nationales des pays d’origine n’existent pas toujours, et lorsqu’elles existent les montants et les critères d’attribution sont très divers à tel point qu’il est presque impossible de calculer une moyenne réaliste des revenus des bourses et aides nationales que peuvent toucher les étudiant•e•s étranger•ère•s.
      A l’absence d’aides s’ajoute aussi des frais supplémentaires, qui, s’ils ne concernent pas directement l’ESR, sont des frais connexes dont on ne peut se passer pour être étudiant•e : frais de visas, frais de transport pour venir en France, obligation de justifier de 615 euros de ressources mensuelles pour l’obtention et le renouvellement des visas ou encore restriction du travail salarié entre 50% et 60% du temps plein.
      … mais surtout une possibilité de sélection par l’argent pour tou•te•s entérinée !

      Enfin, cette décision participe à la dislocation de nos acquis sociaux que le Conseil d’Etat acte aujourd’hui . En effet, le recours ne concerne pas seulement les étudiant•e•s étranger•ère•s, mais tous les étudiant.es en la question du conditionnantement de l’accès à l’enseignement supérieur au paiement d’une somme d’argent importante.
      Ce sont tous les frais exorbitants mis en place dans certaines écoles, qui sont ainsi considérés comme ne faisant pas obstacle à l’accès à l’enseignement supérieur : à terme, tous tout le monde les étudiant.es peut pourrait avoir à payer environ 4000 euros car c’est modique !
      Enfin, de par sa décision, le Conseil d’Etat accepte de reconnaître que le service public et l’accès àl’enseignement supérieur national n’est plus ouvert à toutes et tous peut être conditionné au paiement de frais d’inscription élevés. A travers cette décision, c’est notre modèle social qui est remis en cause puisque le Conseil d’Etat prend acte du fait que l’accès à un service public aussi indispensable à l’individu qu’à la collectivité qu’est l’enseignement supérieur peut être conditionné au paiement de sommes d’argent importante ; il entérine ainsi la possibilité de sélection par l’argent dans l’accès à l’enseignement supérieur.


      Lien vers la motion intersyndicale :

    • Bienvenue en France pour qui ? Le Conseil d’État, les #droits_constitutionnels et les #droits_étudiants

      La nation garantit l’égal accès de l’enfant et de l’adulte à l’instruction, à la formation professionnelle et à la culture. L’organisation de l’enseignement public
      gratuit et laïque à tous les degrés est un devoir de l’Etat.
      Préambule de la #Constitution de 1946,
      intégré au préambule de la Constitution de 1958.

      Hier a été rendue une décision très attendue du Conseil d’État qui statuait sur les frais d’inscription dans l’enseignement supérieur public, tels que fixés par l’arrêté du 19 avril 2019 (https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000038396885&categorieLien=id). Cet arrêt suscite une immense indignation, et elle est justifiée.

      Cet arrêt est le fruit d’une multitude de recours individuels et associatifs (Ligue des droits de l’homme, Unef, CGT FERC Sup, SNESUP, FO ESR, …), rappelée par l’avocat Juan Prosper.


      Reprenons les choses dans l’ordre : il était très tentant, le 11 octobre 2019, de se réjouir de la décision du Conseil constitutionnel qui, saisi d’une question prioritaire de constitutionnalité, rappelait que le 13e alinéa du Préambule de la Constitution du 27 octobre 1946 – selon lequel « La Nation garantit l’égal accès […] de l’adulte à l’instruction [et] L’organisation de l’enseignement public gratuit […] à tous les degrés est un devoir de l’État » — s’appliquait aussi à l’enseignement supérieur public.

      "Dans sa décision de ce vendredi 11 octobre 2019 (https://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/decision/2019/2019809QPC.htm), le Conseil constitutionnel confirme que la gratuité de l’enseignement supérieur est un principe constitutionnel, distinct du principe de l’égal accès, et qu’il implique que les droits d’inscription demeurent « modiques ». Dans son considérant n°6, le Conseil constitutionnel rappelle qu’« il résulte de la combinaison de ces dispositions que l’exigence constitutionnelle de gratuité s’applique à l’enseignement supérieur public. Cette exigence ne fait pas obstacle, pour ce degré d’enseignement, à ce que des droits d’inscription modiques soient perçus en tenant compte, le cas échéant, des capacités financières des étudiants. »" (Communiqué du collectif défendant la QPC, 11 octobre 2019 ((publié sur Université ouverte, 11 octobre 2019)) : https://universiteouverte.org/2019/10/11/le-conseil-constitutionnel-consacre-le-principe-de-gratuite-de-le)

      En réalité, il est vite apparu que cette décision n’est en rien une courageuse défense du principe de gratuité de l’enseignement supérieur public, mais une véritable démission (https://blogs.mediapart.fr/paul-cassia/blog/131019/frais-d-inscription-des-etudiants-une-gratuite-couteuse) : sous l’apparence du respect du préambule de 1946, le Conseil constitutionnel remet tout simplement au pouvoir réglementaire et à son juge attitré, le Conseil d’État, les clés de l’obligation constitutionnelle de gratuité de l’accès à l’enseignement supérieur public. Le Conseil constitutionnel évince, au passage, le Parlement d’un débat pourtant central, puisqu’il s’agit rien moins que du débat sur l’ouverture et la fermeture de l’accès à l’enseignement supérieur. Toute la discussion s’en trouve déplacée : on passe d’une gratuité solennellement proclamée par le Préambule constitutionnel, sans aucune ambiguïté, à un jeu ouvert d’interprétations, celui consistant à savoir ce qu’il faut entendre, exactement, par caractère « modique » des droits d’inscription.

      Dans sa décision rendue hier, le Conseil d’État a choisi de profiter pleinement de ce pouvoir d’interprétation complaisamment reconnu. Pourtant, le ministère ne lui avait pas facilité la tâche, poussant très loin le bouchon : avec l’arrêté du 19 avril 2019, Frédérique Vidal a non seulement décuplé une part des frais d’inscriptions, n’hésitant pas à les faire monter jusqu’à 2770 euros pour le diplôme national de la licence et 3770 euros pour le diplôme national de master ; mais elle a en outre choisi d’appuyer cette explosion des frais sur une discrimination, entre une catégorie d’étudiant.es désigné.es comme « en mobilité internationale », d’une part, et le reste des étudiant.es, d’autre part.

      Alors le Conseil d’Etat a fait ce qui, depuis son origine, justifie son existence : il a produit un discours juridique un tant soit peu cohérent afin de faire passer un monstre réglementaire pour une bête mesure d’application des textes auxquels le gouvernement est soumis. Cela supposait tout de même du Conseil d’État un vrai tour de force : il a d’abord fallu oser soutenir que des frais d’inscription de plusieurs milliers d’euros ne méconnaissent en rien le « devoir de l’État » de proposer un « enseignement public gratuit » ; il a ensuite fallu oser expliquer en quoi l’application de ces frais aux seul.es étudiant.es dit.es en « mobilité internationale » ne représente pas une atteinte au principe d’égalité entre les usager·es du service public.

      La magie du droit est, précisément, de rendre possible un tel tour de force, pourtant parfaitement contre-intuitif. Ce sont les deux temps de la démonstration du Conseil d’État : dans les paragraphes 13 à 19 pour ce qui concerne l’atteinte au principe de gratuité, et dans les paragraphes 20 à 25 pour ce qui concerne la méconnaissance du principe d’égalité.

      La #gratuité_payante

      C’est sur le premier de ces deux temps que le Conseil d’État était le plus attendu. Dans le monde parallèle du droit, le Conseil constitutionnel avait exécuté le premier pas : ce qui est d’un coût modique est « gratuit »1. Restait au Conseil d’État à faire le second : trois mois de SMIC pour douze mois d’étude en M1, c’est « modique » ; 16 000 euros pour cinq ans d’études, c’est « modique » . Ou, plus précisément, c’est « modique » , et donc c’est « gratuit » .

      Pour en arriver à ce qui n’est rien d’autre qu’un retournement des mots, le Conseil d’État n’a pas exactement fait dans la subtilité : la modicité, explique-t-il, doit s’apprécier de manière relative, à la fois au regard du « coût des formations » et « compte tenu de l’ensemble des dispositions en vertus desquelles les usagers peuvent être exonérés du paiement de ces droits et percevoir des aides ». Reste alors simplement à tricher sur cette double mise en relation, et le tour est joué :

      – s’agissant du coût des formations, le Conseil d’État fait une moyenne générale du coût des formations dans toutes les disciplines, ce qui lui permet de soutenir que les nouveaux frais d’inscription ne correspondent qu’à 30 % du « coût annuel moyen » d’une formation de Licence et à 40 % du « coût annuel moyen » d’une formation de Master. Évidemment, cela n’a aucun sens si l’on veut bien se souvenir des fortes disparités de coût entre les disciplines : un étudiant extra-européen s’inscrivant en licence en SHS s’acquitte désormais de droits d’inscription qui sont supérieurs au coût moyen de sa formation.
      – s’agissant des aides et exonérations, le Conseil d’État fait plus simple encore : il rappelle que ces aides et exonérations sont possibles. Qu’elles soient distribuées ou non, qu’importe : dans les nuages de l’argumentation juridique, le réel n’a aucun intérêt.

      Il est un point, cependant, qui a moins été remarqué, et qui nous semble très important. Au détour d’une phrase de l’arrêt (§19) ainsi que dans le communiqué de presse, le Conseil d’État fait quelque chose de tout à fait inhabituel : un appel du pied au ministère, pour l’avenir. Pour le Conseil d’État, en effet, rien ne permet de dire que l’exigence constitutionnelle de « gratuité » doive bénéficier aux étudiant.es « mobilité internationale » : il n’est pas sûr, explique-t-il, que

      « les exigences découlant du treizième alinéa du Préambule de la Constitution de 1946 [puissent] être utilement invoquées au bénéfice de ces étudiants ».

      Ou comment dire au ministère qu’augmenter encore bien davantage les frais d’inscriptions de ces étudiant·es, ça se tente.


      S’agissant de la seconde question juridique à trancher – l’atteinte au prinicpe d’égalité du fait de la discrimination entre une catégorie d’étudiant·es désigné.es comme « en mobilité internationale », d’une part, et le reste des étudiant·es, d’autre part –, le Conseil d’État ne s’embarrasse pas de nuances : seuls les seconds ont « vocation à être durablement établis sur le territoire national », car les premiers sont seulement « venus en France pour s’y former », sans être « appelés à contribuer à la vie économique, sociale, scientifique et culturelle de la Nation et à son développement ». Voici donc que chaque individu se voit attribuer par l’État une « vocation », à laquelle il se trouve « appelé » : ce déterminisme d’État, fondé sur l’incorporation d’individus dans telle ou telle catégorie juridique, est proprement effrayant. N’y a-t-il donc plus personne au Conseil d’État pour sonner l’alerte quant à la charge de certains mots et de certaines argumentations ? Ironie de l’histoire, la Constitution de 1946 visait justement à combattre un certain régime honni : elle semble définitivement enterrée sous les immondices qu’elle visait à déjouer.


      Une chose est sûre, pour finir : avec cette décision, la boîte de Pandore est désormais ouverte, et presque tous les garde-fous sont tombés. Demain, il suffira donc d’un simple arrêté pour que les frais que l’on impose aujourd’hui aux étudiants « en mobilité internationale » soient étendus à tou.tes. Et il suffira d’une simple loi – une loi modifiant les articles L. 132-1 et L. 132-2 du code de l’éducation – pour que l’on institue des frais du même ordre aux élèves de l’enseignement primaire et de l’enseignement secondaire.

      Bref, le Conseil constitutionnel et le Conseil d’État, dans un impressionnant pas de deux, ont tué l’alinéa 13 du préambule de 1946. Et ils l’ont tué par un simple jeu d’interprétations.


  • « Augmentation des frais d’inscription des étudiants étrangers : c’est l’avenir de notre modèle social qui est en jeu »

    La décision prochaine du Conseil d’Etat sur l’augmentation des droits d’inscription pour les non-Européens est cruciale, estiment les économistes David Flacher et Hugo Harari-Kermadec dans une tribune au « Monde », car elle marquera la poursuite ou l’arrêt d’une politique de « marchandisation délétère ».

    L’enseignement supérieur global est en crise. En Australie, le pays le plus inséré dans le marché international de l’enseignement supérieur, les universités prévoient de perdre jusqu’à la moitié de leurs recettes. A l’échelle nationale, la perte de tout ou partie des 25 milliards d’euros qui rentraient en Australie grâce à l’accueil d’étudiants étrangers (le troisième secteur à l’export) pourrait déstabiliser toute l’économie du pays.

    Aux Etats-Unis, les pertes de recettes en 2020-2021 pourraient représenter 20 milliards d’euros, selon l’American Council on Education (une association de l’enseignement supérieur). Au Royaume-Uni, les pertes envisagées sont de l’ordre de 2,8 milliards d’euros. Cambridge a récemment annoncé que ses programmes de licence seront intégralement enseignés à distance, mais cette mise en ligne est coûteuse et ne pourra être assumée que par une petite minorité d’établissements.
    Fort endettement étudiant

    Si la pandémie a frappé une économie mondiale déjà bien mal en point, l’enseignement supérieur « payant » est particulièrement touché : les échanges internationaux d’étudiants – les plus profitables – sont en berne et la fermeture des campus réduit fortement l’attractivité de diplômes hors de prix. Expérience étudiante sur le campus et contenus pédagogiques ne peuvent plus justifier (si tant est qu’ils l’aient pu) des droits de scolarité pouvant atteindre 70 000 dollars (62 000 euros) par an. Les procès se multiplient aux Etats-Unis, intentés par des étudiants cherchant à récupérer une partie des sommes versées pour cette année. Plus proche de nous, les écoles de commerce françaises ont été obligées de recourir au chômage partiel pour encaisser le choc.

    Perspectives d’emploi catastrophiques

    On aurait tort de reprocher aux étudiants de négocier leurs frais d’inscription : les perspectives d’emploi sont catastrophiques, le taux de chômage atteignant des niveaux inédits outre-Atlantique. L’endettement étudiant, qui se monte en moyenne à 32 000 euros aux Etats-unis et 60 000 euros en Angleterre, assombrit un futur professionnel déjà peu amène, et pèse sur les revenus des diplômés pendant vingt ans en moyenne. A l’échelle macroéconomique, l’endettement étudiant total dépasse 1 300 milliards d’euros aux Etats-Unis, 133 milliards d’euros au Royaume-Uni.

    modèle des universités payantes fait donc
    les frais d’une politique délétère en période
    « normale », et carrément mortifère en ces
    temps agités. C’est pourtant ce modèle que
    le gouvernement français et ses conseillers
    essayent de promouvoir depuis 2018.
    En France, les prochaines semaines seront
    déterminantes pour l’avenir de notre modèle
    social. La décision attendue du Conseil
    d’Etat [qui examine depuis vendredi 12 juin
    le recours des organisations contre l’augmentation
    des droits d’inscription pour les
    étrangers extraeuropéens]
    représentera un
    soulagement doublé d’une révolution ou,
    au contraire, la porte ouverte à une descente
    progressive aux enfers pour de nombreuses

    De quoi s’agitil
     ? Alors que le plan Bienvenue
    en France (annoncé le 19 avril 2019) prévoyait
    une forte augmentation des droits de
    scolarité pour les étudiants extraeuropéens
    (2 770 euros en licence et 3 770 euros
    en master, contre 170 et 243 euros), un ensemble
    d’organisations a obtenu que le Conseil
    constitutionnel soit saisi. Ce dernier a
    rendu une décision le 11 octobre 2019 selon
    laquelle « l’exigence constitutionnelle de gratuité
    s’applique à l’enseignement supérieur
    public » tout en considérant que « cette exigence
    [de gratuité] ne fait pas obstacle, pour
    ce degré d’enseignement, à ce que des droits
    d’inscription modiques soient perçus en tenant
    compte, le cas échéant, des capacités financières
    des étudiants ».

    Basculer du bon côté, celui de la gratuité

    Le Conseil d’Etat doit désormais interpréter
    cette décision en précisant ce que « modique
     » signifie. Si cette notion a vraisemblablement
    été introduite pour préserver les
    droits d’inscription habituels (170 et
    243 euros), certains comptent bien s’engouffrer
    dans la brèche. Les enjeux sont
    d’une ampleur inédite : pourraton
    les populations étrangères en leur
    faisant payer des tarifs plus élevés au motif
    qu’elles ne seraient pas contribuables fiscaux
    de leur pays d’accueil ? Le Conseil
    d’Etat pourra garder à l’esprit que ces étudiants
    nous arrivent formés aux frais de
    leur pays d’origine, et qu’ils rapportent, par
    les taxes qu’ils payent, bien plus qu’ils ne
    coûtent (le solde est positif de 1,65 milliard
    d’euros). Seratil
    mis un terme aux velléités
    d’élargissement des droits d’inscription à
    tous les étudiants et à des niveaux de tarification
    toujours plus élevés ? La note d’un
    conseiller du candidat Emmanuel Macron,
    annonçait l’objectif : 4 000 euros en licence,
    8 000 euros en master, jusqu’à 20 000 euros
    par an dans certaines formations.

    Pour basculer du côté de la gratuité de l’enseignement
    supérieur, plutôt que de celui
    de sa délétère marchandisation, il faudrait
    que le Conseil d’Etat retienne une notion de
    modicité cohérente avec la jurisprudence :
    le juriste Yann Bisiou indique ainsi qu’une
    « somme modique est une somme d’un montant
    très faible, qui n’a pas d’incidence sur
    la situation économique du débiteur ; elle est
    anecdotique. Pour les personnes physiques,
    elle est de l’ordre de quelques dizaines
    d’euros, rarement plus d’une centaine, jamais
    plusieurs milliers ». Le Conseil d’Etat
    les arguments fallacieux de
    ceux qui tremblent dans l’attente de cette
    décision car ils ont augmenté leurs droits
    de scolarité au point d’en dépendre furieusement
     : Sciences Po (14 500 euros par an
    pour le master), Dauphine (6 500 euros en
    master), Polytechnique (15 500 euros pour le
    bachelor), etc.
    Si le Conseil d’Etat venait à respecter le cadre
    fixé par le Conseil constitutionnel, c’est
    l’ensemble de leur modèle qui serait remis
    en cause et c’est un retour à un véritable service
    public de l’éducation auquel nous assisterions.
    Une révolution indéniablement salutaire,
    qui appellerait des assises de l’enseignement
    supérieur. Après un Ségur de la
    santé, c’est à un « Descartes de l’enseignement
    supérieur » qu’il faudrait s’attendre,
    celui d’une refondation autour d’un accès
    gratuit à l’éducation de toutes et tous, sans


    #taxes_universitaires #France #éducation #université #études_supérieures #frais_d'inscription

    voir aussi cette métaliste :

    • #Rebelote pour le projet d’#augmentation des #frais_d'inscription à l’#université en #France (arrrghhh).

      Ici une vidéo d’explication d’un avocat du SAF (syndicat des avocat·es de France) :

      #Juan_Prosper : le combat contre « #Bienvenue_en_France » continue !

      « A partir du moment où les digues tombent, où on explique que 2770 euros c’est parfait pour un·e étudiant·e étrangèr·es, on pourra très certainement revenir plus tard en nous disant que si c’est parfait pour un·e étrangèr·es, on peut aussi l’appliquer pour un·e étudiant·e français·e, alors même que le principe du financement d’un service public, du financement de l’enseignement supérieur, repose sur l’impôt. »

      « Si on considère qu’il y a un principe de gratuité, que c’est un service public, ce n’est pas pas à l’usagèr·es de financer le fonctionnement du service public. »


    • La bombe de la dette étudiante a-t-elle explosé ?

      Tribune de David Flacher et Hugo Harari-Kermadec parue dans Le Monde du 18 juin 2020 sous le titre « Augmentation des frais d’inscription des étudiants étrangers : c’est l’avenir de notre modèle social qui est en jeu » (https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2020/06/18/augmentation-des-frais-d-inscription-des-etudiants-etrangers-c-est-l-avenir-)

      La décision prochaine du Conseil d’Etat sur l’augmentation des #droits_d’inscription pour les non-Européens est cruciale, estiment les économistes David Flacher et Hugo Harari-Kermadec dans une tribune au « Monde », car elle marquera la poursuite ou l’arrêt d’une politique de « #marchandisation délétère ».

      L’enseignement supérieur global est en crise. En Australie, le pays le plus inséré dans le marché international de l’enseignement supérieur, les universités prévoient de perdre jusqu’à la moitié de leurs recettes. A l’échelle nationale, la perte de tout ou partie des 25 milliards d’euros qui rentraient en Australie grâce à l’accueil d’étudiants étrangers (le 3e secteur à l’export) pourrait déstabiliser toute l’économie du pays. Aux États-Unis, les pertes de recettes en 2020-2021 pourraient représenter 20 milliards d’euros selon l’American council on education. Au Royaume-Uni, les pertes envisagées sont de l’ordre de 2,8 milliards d’euros. Si Cambridge a récemment annoncé que ses programmes de licence seront intégralement enseignés à distance, cette mise en ligne est coûteuse et ne pourra être assumée que par une petite minorité d’établissements.

      Si la pandémie a frappé une économie mondiale déjà bien mal en point, l’enseignement supérieur « payant » est particulièrement touché : les échanges internationaux d’étudiant-es – les plus profitables – sont en berne, en même temps que la fermeture des campus réduit fortement l’#attractivité de diplômes hors de prix. L’expérience étudiante sur le campus et le contenu pédagogique ne peuvent plus justifier – si tant est qu’ils l’aient pu – jusque 70 000 dollars de #frais_de_scolarité par an. Les #procès se multiplient aux États-Unis, les étudiants cherchant à récupérer une partie des sommes versées pour cette année. Plus proche de nous, les #écoles_de_commerce françaises ont été obligées de recourir au #chômage_partiel pour encaisser le choc.

      On aurait tort de reprocher aux étudiants de négocier leurs #frais_d’inscription : les perspectives d’emploi sont catastrophiques. Le chômage atteignant des niveaux inédits outre atlantique. L’#endettement étudiant, qui atteint en moyenne 32 000 € aux Etats-unis et 60 000 € en Angleterre, assombrit un futur professionnel déjà peu amène, et pèse sur les revenus des diplômés pendant 20 ans en moyenne. A l’échelle macroéconomique, l’#endettement_étudiant total dépasse 1 300 milliards d’euros aux Etats-Unis, 133 milliards d’euros au Royaume-Uni.

      Le modèle des universités payantes fait donc les frais d’une politique délétère en période « normale » et carrément mortifère en ces temps agités. C’est pourtant ce modèle que le gouvernement français et ses conseillers essayent de promouvoir depuis 2018.

      En France, les prochains jours seront déterminants pour l’avenir de notre modèle social. La décision attendue de la part du Conseil d’État représentera un soulagement doublé d’une révolution ou, au contraire, la porte ouverte à une descente progressive aux enfers pour de nombreuses familles.

      De quoi s’agit-il ? Alors que le plan « Bienvenue en France » (annoncé le 19 avril 2019) prévoyait une forte augmentation des droits de scolarité pour les étudiants extra-européens (2770 euros en licence et 3770 euros en master, contre respectivement 170 et 243 euros), un ensemble d’organisations a obtenu la saisie du #Conseil_constitutionnel. Ce dernier a rendu une décision le 11 octobre 2019 selon laquelle « l’exigence constitutionnelle de #gratuité s’applique à l’#enseignement_supérieur_public » tout en considérant que « Cette exigence [de gratuité] ne fait pas obstacle, pour ce degré d’enseignement, à ce que des droits d’inscription modiques soient perçus en tenant compte, le cas échéant, des capacités financières des étudiants. ».

      Le dernier round a eu lieu le 12 juin : le Conseil d’État doit désormais interpréter cette décision en précisant ce que « #modique » signifie. Si cette notion a vraisemblablement été introduite pour préserver les droits d’inscription usuels (170 et 243 euros), certains comptent bien s’engouffrer dans la brèche.

      Les enjeux sont d’une ampleur inédite : pourra-t-on discriminer les populations étrangères en leur faisant payer des tarifs plus élevés au motif qu’ils ne seraient pas contribuables fiscaux de leur pays d’accueil ? Le Conseil d’État pourra garder à l’esprit que ces étudiants nous arrivent, formé aux frais de leurs pays d’origine, et qu’ils rapportent, par les taxes qu’ils payent, bien plus qu’ils ne coûtent (le solde est positif de 1,65 milliards). Sera-t-il mis un terme aux velléités d’élargissement des frais d’inscription à tous les étudiants et à des niveaux de tarification toujours plus élevé ? La note d’un conseiller du candidat Emmanuel Macron annonce l’objectif : 4000 euros en licence, 8000 euros en master et jusqu’à 20000 euros par an dans certaines formations. Pour basculer du bon côté, celui de la gratuité de l’enseignement supérieur, plutôt que de celui de sa délétère marchandisation, il faudrait que le Conseil d’État retienne une notion de modicité cohérente avec la #jurisprudence : le juriste Yann Bisiou indique ainsi qu’une : « somme modique est une somme d’un montant très faible, qui n’a pas d’incidence sur la situation économique du débiteur ; elle est anecdotique. Pour les personnes physiques, elle est de l’ordre de quelques dizaines d’euros, rarement plus d’une centaine, jamais plusieurs milliers ». Le Conseil d’État préfèrera-t-il des arguments fallacieux de ceux qui tremblent dans l’attente de cette décision pour avoir augmenté leur frais de scolarité au point d’en dépendre furieusement : Sciences Po (14 500 € par an), Dauphine (6500 € en master), CentraleSupélec (3500 €), Polytechnique (15 500 € pour la Bachelor), etc. Si le #Conseil_d’État venait à respecter le cadre fixé par le Conseil constitutionnel, c’est l’ensemble de leur modèle qui serait remis en cause et c’est un retour à un véritable #service_public de l’éducation auquel nous assisterions. Une révolution en somme, indéniablement salutaire, qui appellerait des assises de l’enseignement supérieur. Après un Grenelle de l’environnement, un Ségur de la santé, c’est à un « Descartes de l’enseignement supérieur » qu’il faudrait s’attendre, celui d’une refondation autour d’un accès gratuit à l’éducation de toutes et tous, sans discrimination.


  • “Just thought I’d pass on some information which is filtering through from UK and US universities in the current crisis, and which might give you some useful arguments concerning LPPR in the coming months.

    A number of friends in UK and US universities have been told that their respective institutions will experience very large financial shortfalls over the next year. A matter of £25 million for one Scottish university, $60 million and counting for a New York university. Since they are heavily reliant on student fees, home and international, since they take rents from their students, and are reliant on money made from fee-paying Masters courses, and because they are reliant on external research grants, they are very exposed financially to the consequences of the Corona virus. Since each university employs its own academic and non-academic staff, this will create real problems in the coming year or so.

    This is what happens if you run universities like businesses. We will no doubt be subject to similar budgetary attacks in French public universities in the coming year or so (health crisis => financial crisis => you must all tighten your belts — you can already see the rhetoric being warmed up). But this problem will be political, rather than the problem of just another large-ish business.”

    –-> reçu d’un ami d’une collègue... par mail, le 10.04.2020

    #le_monde_d'après #crise_financière #austérité #universités #facs #coronavirus #taxes_universitaires #ESR #enseignements_supérieur
    #UK #Angleterre et #USA... mais aussi #France et ailleurs...

    • Universities brace for huge losses as foreign students drop out

      Call for a government bailout worth billions to help sector survive the crisis.

      Some universities are already expecting to lose more than £100m as foreign students cancel their studies, with warnings that the impact of coronavirus will be “like a tsunami hitting the sector”.

      Several organisations are now planning for a 80-100% reduction in their foreign student numbers this year, with prestigious names said to be among those most affected. The sector is already making a plea to the government for a cash injection amounting to billions of pounds to help it through the crisis, as it is hit by a drop in international student numbers, accommodation deals and conference income.

      Universities are already lining up online courses for the start of the next year, but academics are concerned about the impact on first-year students new to university life. Many institutions have recently borrowed heavily to pay for attractive new faculties, often designed to attract overseas students. It comes against a backdrop of declining numbers of university-age students in the UK and the previous uncertainty around Brexit.

      Andrew Connors, head of higher education at Lloyds Banking Group, said the crisis has felt “less like a perfect storm and more like a tsunami hitting the sector”. Banks have not had urgent requests from universities, as big financial hits are expected later in the year. However, he said that “while the immediate impact we are seeing in the sector is slower, the overall impact of Covid-19 is potentially deeper and longer”.

      In a blog for the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) published today, he writes: “Many institutions are modelling reductions of between 80% and 100% in international student numbers. Every university we have spoken to expects to be impacted and for some the potential loss to income is projected to be greater than £100m. And that is before you factor in that losing new students has a multi-year impact.”

      He adds that he expects banks to offer UK universities loans where needed, given their significance in the economy. He warns, however: “I worked through the financial crisis of 2007/08 and it does not compare in my experience to what we are witnessing now – this crisis has touched everybody in some shape or form and many previously viable businesses are now in a fight for survival.”

      The Office for Students, the independent regulator of higher education, has already streamlined its rules in the wake of the crisis, calling for universities to sound the alarm if they fear they’ll run short of cash within 30 days.

      Universities UK, the industry body, has proposed a series of measures to the government to double research funding and offer emergency loans to troubled institutions, as well as placing a cap on the number of undergraduates many institutions can recruit in 2020-21.

      Nick Hillman, Hepi’s director, warned that universities only had limited options to cut their costs. “There are things they can do to mitigate the impact, such as doing all they can to ensure international students keep coming, pausing the development of their estates, doing less research, looking at their staffing and persuading home final-year students to stay on for postgraduate study. But some were in financial difficulties even before the current crisis.

      “If international student numbers are down a lot, we have a big problem. The ones with lots of international students could still potentially fill their places with home students (who pay lower fees) but that just leaves a problem lower down the tree.”


      #universités #étudiants_étrangers #trésorerie

    • Another perfect storm? The likely financial impact of Covid-19 on the higher education sector – by Andrew Connors, the Head of Higher Education at Lloyds Bank

      It does not seem very long ago that those involved in the higher education sector talked about the perfect storm. The colliding forces were a consistent decline in the number of 18-year-olds in the UK, turbulence surrounding Brexit and the resulting potential impact on the number of EU students alongside the policy challenges of a minority government.

      As we entered 2020, however, if felt like the sector was weathering that storm with a majority government, certainty around the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the number of UK 18-year-olds forecast to start growing again from 2021.

      All this has changed due to the impact of Covid-19, which has felt less like a perfect storm and more like a tsunami hitting the sector.

      Over a dynamic and fast-moving few weeks, higher education institutions have sent students home, moved to online tuition and, as the short and medium-term implications of Covid-19 become clearer, they have been assessing their immediate and ongoing liquidity requirements. The discussions we have been having at Lloyds Bank with institutions up and down the country suggest that a great wave of liquidity is likely to be necessary to support institutions through these most challenging of times.

      The UK’s higher education institutions are, though, facing into different challenges to much of the rest of UK Plc. Many sectors have been hit immediately and extremely hard by Covid-19 with trading halted and businesses closed overnight, necessitating workforce redundancies or furloughing.

      All UK banks are dealing with a significant and urgent volume of liquidity requests from their customers, the likes of which we have never seen before. To help meet these challenges the Government has made dramatic interventions to support companies in the form of the Job Retention Scheme (JRS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and now the pending launch of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

      I worked through the financial crisis of 2007/08 and it does not compare in my experience to what we are witnessing now – this crisis has touched everybody in some shape or form and many previously viable businesses are now in a fight for survival.

      Financial Impacts

      The dynamics in the higher education sector are different to a lot of UK Plc. At Lloyds Bank we have not seen urgent requests for liquidity from the sector over recent weeks and nor would we expect to have given the crisis timeline looks very different to the one a large portion of companies are facing into.

      Yet, while the immediate impact we are seeing in the sector is slower, the overall impact of Covid-19 is potentially deeper and longer. The cost of lost commercial contracts in the summer alone is believed to be approaching £600 million and, as we look towards the 2020/21 academic year, annualised international student fee income of around £6 billion is at risk.

      Over the last few weeks, we have had many conversations with higher education institutions who know they will have a significant reduction in income over the summer term and are scenario planning potentially dramatic reductions in international students for 2020/21. That simply would not have been imagined a few short weeks ago.

      The discussions we are having suggest impacts on the current financial year that range from minimal to tens of millions of pounds for some institutions. Significant lost income has come from the waiving of accommodation fees for students for the summer term while many are committed to nomination agreements with other accommodation providers. Catering income alongside hotel and conferencing facility income have disappeared, with no expectation that summer schools will take place. This is likely to lead to some immediate cashflow implications for some, who will be carefully reviewing the Office for Students’ recent guidance around new reportable events, including the new short-term financial risk reporting requirement around the need for thirty days’ liquidity.

      As we look into the next academic year, the most significant concern is that potentially dramatic drop in international students. Many institutions are modelling reductions of between 80% and 100% in international student numbers. Every university we have spoken to expects to be impacted and for some the potential loss to income is projected to be greater than £100 million. And that is before you factor in that losing new students has a multi-year impact.

      Banks and Funding

      It is not surprising, therefore, that all universities are urgently looking at their short and medium-term liquidity needs. These discussions at Lloyds Bank have fallen into three buckets:

      Those looking to access one of the government schemes.
      Those looking for medium-term funding from their banks – most commonly three to five-year revolving credit facilities.
      Those looking to secure longer-term funding – through their banks – or more commonly the bond or private placement markets although this is less common at this time.

      Fortunately, given the wave of liquidity discussions we (and other banks) are having, the banks enter this crisis having transformed their balance sheets from 2007/08 driven by lessons learned and underlined by EU and government regulation.

      The banks have done this by repairing capital and liquidity ratios, transforming their loan to deposit ratios and significantly increasing their liquid assets. All this means that there should be plenty of liquidity available for UK Plc – and that is before adding in the recent cancellation of bank dividends and the impact of the Bank of England’s new term funding scheme.

      Given the significance of the higher education sector to the UK economy and its world-class track record, I would expect the sector to be able to access liquidity where needed. At Lloyds Bank our stated purpose is to ‘Help Britain Prosper’ and that’s just what we’re working to do with this sector.

      Government support

      What of the Government schemes? While the Government have, to date, made no specific announcements around support for the higher education sector, there are no obvious exclusions within the already announced schemes.

      To access the CCFF, for example, the Bank of England sets out the need to make a material contribution to the UK economy as being essential for access. At Lloyds we have been signposting those clients who wish to discuss access to the CCFF to the Bank of England. This has included confirming their Investment Grade credit rating, which is key to accessing the scheme.

      The newly-announced CLBILS scheme, likely to launch around the 20 April, could also be a real support to smaller higher education institutions who have a need for under £25 million of liquidity repayable over the medium term at preferential rates.

      We know a number of universities that are already using the Job Retention Scheme to furlough colleagues – particularly those with hotel and conferencing facilities.

      Lessons Learned

      Given the potential wave of support needed, it is clear that both the Government and financial sector have critical roles to play. For those like me with long memories, I have been reflecting on some lessons I learned from the actions the best companies took during the financial crisis of 2007/08 which I would sum up in the phrase: plan for the worst and hope for the best. That philosophy should lead to the following critical actions:

      Ensure you have timely and good quality financial information, including forecasts which should include a worst-case scenario alongside your base case. The test is to ask yourself, what would be the most severe outcome in every situation?
      Ensure you have sufficient liquidity in place to meet the downside risks.
      Seek professional advice where necessary.
      Be relentlessly challenging on expenditure and costs.
      At these times, you cannot over-communicate to colleagues and other key stakeholders, including your advisors and funders. Ensure your funders are invested in your institution and on the journey with you.
      And finally, some companies thrived during the financial crisis because, of course, even in the toughest of times there is opportunity. Be open to the opportunity to transform your operating model, to grow your people and to future proof your institution.

      There is no doubt that, by the time this Covid-19 outbreak is over, it will have had a significant impact – on individuals, on businesses and on society. But there is clear guidance and support available and never before in peacetime has it been truer that we are all in this together. For universities and businesses more generally, there is great commitment from government and lenders to do everything we can to help you navigate through the interruptions.

      We will get through this and, for those that need it, support is available to ensure higher education institutions emerge healthy.


    • Here Come the Furloughs

      Sharp reductions in revenue and potential increases in expenses are spurring colleges to furlough or lay off employees while they wait for the coronavirus outbreak and the uncertainty it brings to subside.

      First came the hiring freezes. Now come the furloughs.

      Several colleges announced furloughs and layoffs this week and warned of potential additional staff reductions in the weeks to come. As colleges field unexpected expenses and lost revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak, paying employees — especially those who are unable to do their jobs remotely — is becoming more difficult.

      MaryAnn Baenninger, president of Drew University, announced via video message on Sunday that a group of about 70 employees would be furloughed through at least the end of May. A smaller group will be laid off permanently. Furloughed staff members were notified Monday.

      “I can’t guarantee that some of these furloughs won’t transition to permanent layoffs in the future,” Baenninger said in the video. According to the Drew website, furloughed employees will be updated by May 26 on the status of their furlough.

      Staff reductions had been on the table for weeks while the Drew virtual team — the group appointed to bring Drew online and weather the outbreak — considered how to balance the needs of the university and what was best for employees.

      The decision was, in part, an equity issue, Baenninger said.

      “There were people who were working harder than they ever worked … and there were people for whom we wanted to have work, but we didn’t,” she said.

      The financial picture Baenninger painted for Drew is similar to those at many other colleges and universities. She cited lost revenue from events, conferences, catering, summer camps and other operations, diminished endowment returns, and reduced giving from alumni and donors.

      “On the expense side,” she continued in the video, “we will need to be prepared for potential changes in student financial aid, likely increases in health insurance costs, and we have had significant unexpected increases transitioning to a virtual environment, responding to the myriad changes brought on by COVID-19 and the potential need if called upon by the state of New Jersey to prepare our campus to house first responders and displaced medical patients.”

      When colleges are forced to consider budget cuts, administrative costs such as travel and expense funds are typically the first to go, according to Ken Rodgers, director at S&P Global. Hiring freezes come next, which result in “a reasonable amount of savings,” he said. If that’s not enough, pay reductions, furloughs and layoffs become viable expense-saving options.

      Baenninger and her team are considering salary reductions.

      “We were pretty certain that salary reductions wouldn’t preclude a furlough, but maybe a furlough would prevent some salary reductions,” she said in an interview.

      Drew had already experienced financial struggles in recent years. But it is not alone in feeling increased pressure that forces furloughs amid the coronavirus.

      The University of New Haven — which is expecting a $12 million to $15 million in revenue loss due to issuing student refunds and credits — announced across-the-board pay reductions for faculty and staff two weeks ago. Last week, the university announced that some employees would be furloughed.

      Furloughs are sometimes used as defensive measures, Rodgers said. They can better position colleges should their financial situations get worse, “i.e., this fall, if it turns out that students, for whatever reason, don’t come back.”

      Guilford College in North Carolina has furloughed 133 people, more than half of its nonfaculty employees.

      “Many of the jobs that we were looking at were really the jobs that couldn’t be done from home, because they involved direct contact with students,” said Jane Fernandes, president of Guilford. “We decided that just to help — not to solve anything — but to help our budget get to the end of the year, we would furlough staff.”

      Marquette University announced Wednesday it would furlough approximately 250 employees beginning in mid-April. Bob Jones University, a private evangelical university in Greenville, S.C., also announced Wednesday that about 50 employees would be furloughed, with the potential for more down the road.

      The furloughs don’t appear to be cutting into faculty ranks at this time, although faculty numbers are likely to be affected by already announced hiring freezes, reductions in pay and other actions at colleges and universities around the country.

      The first round of furloughs and layoffs is typically operationally easier on colleges, Rodgers said.

      “Those initial layoffs and furloughs typically are — you have to be careful when you say this — not too difficult for the university to administer,” Rodgers said. “If you get into the situation where a lot of students choose not to come back to campus and you have to implement a more broad-based reduction, that would be more challenging for any university to implement … because then you have to cut into core programming.”

      Employees who work on campuses for third-party vendors that contract with colleges are also being laid off. Bon Appétit Management Company, which provides dining services to many colleges around the country, has furloughed many of its employees. Contract workers are not usually considered employees of the college they work at, and they face an uncertain future until students return to campus.

      Colleges are borrowing money to bolster their cash positions, but not to support recurring operations, including payroll, Rodgers said.

      “We view unfavorably any organization that borrows money to support recurring operations, including for payroll purposes,” he continued.

      June is likely to be a key decision point on future furloughs and layoffs, Rodgers said, because the June 30 end of the fiscal year will be approaching. Colleges will be working out their budgets for the new 2021 fiscal year.

      “They’re trying to see how this is going to impact their fiscal ’21 budget,” he said. “They’re having to make assumptions that may be very difficult to make as far as what enrollment to anticipate under scenario one, scenario two, scenario three.”

      #USA #Etats-Unis

  • Surveillés, exploités : dans l’enfer des #livreurs_à_vélo

    Dans cette enquête inédite, Le Média révèle les mécanismes de #surveillance des livreurs mis en place par les plateformes pour mieux les exploiter, et plus largement les conditions de travail scandaleuses auxquelles ils sont soumis : temps de travail excessif, mise en danger de mort...

    Depuis quelques années, les livreurs à vélo sont apparus dans le paysage urbain. Avec leurs sacs colorés, ils parcourent les rues des plus grands villes européennes. Ils travaillent pour des #plateformes_numériques, souvent dans des conditions plus que précaires.

    Dans cette enquête inédite, nous révélons les mécanismes de surveillance des livreurs mis en place par des plateformes telles que #Deliveroo, #Foodora ou #Uber_Eats pour mieux les exploiter, et plus largement les conditions de travail scandaleuses auxquelles ils sont soumis. À partir de l’histoire de #Frank_Page, jeune livreur Uber Eats décédé à la suite d’un accident de voiture près de l’autoroute, nous retraçons la façon dont les plateformes numériques de livraison imposent des rythmes dangereux et affectent aux livreurs des parcours potentiellement meurtriers.

    Mais cette histoire en cache plein d’autres. Derrière cette organisation du travail prétendument novatrice se cachent des pratiques régulières de répression syndicale, chez Deliveroo ou chez Uber. De Bordeaux à Dijon, en passant par Paris, les livreurs qui essaient de s’organiser face aux plateformes en paient le prix, parfois chèrement. Et cela ne se limite pas à la France.

    Ainsi, nous révélons en exclusivité que Deliveroo a espionné des syndicalistes en Angleterre en essayant de recueillir des données privées et en espionnant leurs réseaux sociaux. Le flicage ne s’arrête pas là. Grâce à l’association #Exodus_Privacy, nous avons aussi découvert comment certaines applications - celle de Deliveroo, notamment - surveillent leurs livreurs et récoltent certaines données, qui sont par la suite redirigées vers de régies publicitaires, exposant ces entreprises à une potentielle violation de la loi européenne sur la vie privée.



    A partir de la minute 33, il y a une interview avec Paul-Olivier Dehay, fondateur de l’ONG Personal data.io (https://wiki.personaldata.io/wiki/Main_Page).
    Il explique comment les plateformes de livreurs utilisent les données collectées :

    « On peut diviser son groupe d’ ’employés’ grâce à ces outils, et commencer à appliquer des traitements différents à chacun de ces sous-groupes. Par exemple offrir des bonus à certains et pas à d’autres, des encouragements, faire des expériences de traitements différents. C’est un outil managérial pour gérer la force ouvrière des livreurs. Ces plateformes cherchent à opérer en ayant un maximum d’informations sur le marché, mais par contre en livrant un minimum d’informations à chaque entité pour faire son travail. Donc quand un livreur livre un plat il ne sait pas si dans l’heure il va avoir encore 3 ou 4 boulots, il n’a aucune information sur les prédictions ou quoi que ce soit, parce que la plateforme cherche à pousser un maximum de risques économiques vers les livreurs, et cherche à optimiser toujours dans son intérêt. On voit que l’asymétrie d’information pour ces plateformes est stratégique pour eux. Uber n’a pas de voiture, Deliveroo n’a pas de vélo, ce qu’ils ont c’est de l’information, et de l’information qui vaut de l’argent pour des restaurants, pour des livreurs, et pour des consommateurs au final. C’est mettre tous ces acteurs ensemble qui va permettre à la plateforme de faire de l’argent. On peut tout à fait imaginer un scénario où chacune des parties se réapproprie un maximum de ces données et au final se demande ’En fait, pourquoi on a besoin de cet intermédiaire ? Pourquoi est-ce qu’on ne peut pas agir avec des outils qui nous permettent d’interagir directement’. Si on suit cette logique d’exposition de la plateforme, de mise à nu de la plateforme, on se rend compte qu’au final il n’y a rien derrière, il n’y a rien qui a vraiment une valeur, c’est dans l’#asymétrie de l’information qu’ils construisent la valeur »

    #exploitation #travail #conditions_de_travail #précarité #surveillance #gig_economy #économie_de_la_tâche #livreurs #auto-entrepreneurs #liberté #enquête #deliveroo_rider #téléphone_portable #smartphone #syndicats #risques #accidents #coursiers #coursiers_à_vélo #grève #accidents #décès #morts #taxes #résistance #taux_de_satisfaction #Dijon #Brighton #algorithme #déconnexion #Guy_MacClenahan #IWGB #réseaux_sociaux #flexibilité #sanctions #contrôle #Take_it_easy #dérapage #strike #pisteur #géolocalisation #publicité #identifiant_publicitaire #Appboy #segment.io #Braze #information #informations #charte #charte_sociale
    ping @albertocampiphoto

    ping @etraces

  • L’#appel de 121 millionnaires et milliardaires à payer plus de #taxes pour réduire les inégalités
    #taxez_nous !

    L’appel de 121 millionnaires et milliardaires à payer plus de taxes pour réduire les inégalités
    Ces privilégiés dénoncent dans une tribune les #inégalités mondiales criantes et invitent leurs pairs du globe à payer #plus_de_taxes.

    • Je crois que le phénomène n’est pas aussi nouveau. Il y a environ deux ans, il me semble, Bill Gates et quelques uns de ses comparses avait déjà émis l’idée de faire payer plus d’impôts aux grandes fortunes et aux grandes entreprises. Mais comme leur lobbying est tellement intense auprès des états convaincus par le laisser-faire et la loi (implacable) des « marchés », les riches en sont réduits à faire de la philanthropie, les pauvres ... Et, un malheur n’arrivant jamais seul, les fonds versés à des officines caritatives et « non-gouvernementales » seront prises en compte pour faire baisser leurs impôts. Une preuve de plus de la duplicité des capitalistes ?

  • The Guardian view on university strikes: a battle for the soul of the campus

    The market model in higher education has created an intellectual precariat who are right to fight back.


    In his classic work The Idea of a University, the recently canonised St John Henry Newman described the core goal of higher education as “the cultivation of the intellect, as an end which may reasonably be pursued for its own sake”. Most of the lecturers who began just over a week of strike action on Monday will have entered academia hoping to play their part in that noble enterprise. Instead they find themselves in the vanguard of perhaps the most concerted and widespread wave of industrial action that our university campuses have known.

    In February and March last year, staff at 65 universities voted to strike over changes to their pensions, which could have seen many lose considerable sums in retirement. That ongoing dispute is part of the explanation why lecturers are back on the picket line. But this year they are also protesting in large numbers at stagnating pay, insecure contracts, and an ever-growing workload driven by often unachievable targets. An argument that began on the arcane territory of pensions investment has morphed into a full-blown challenge to a marketisation process that has, over the last decade, transformed university life for those who study in it and those who teach in it.

    From 2010 onwards, student tuition fees, introduced by Labour in 1998, became the chosen vehicle for an ideological revolution on campus. Tripling the cap to £9,000, David Cameron’s coalition government launched the era of the student consumer, tasked with shopping around for the best education deal. Universities, faced with huge cuts in funding from Westminster, responded accordingly by diverting huge resources into marketing and upmarket student accommodation. An architecture of competition was built, as limits on student numbers were lifted, pitting institutions against each other via a new bureaucracy of audits, assessments and satisfaction surveys.

    The new emphasis on student experience was overdue and welcome; it gave undergraduates power and voice. But the perverse consequences of the marketisation process have become familiar. Huge levels of student debt built up, to be paid back at exorbitant interest rates by either the student or the taxpayer; a new breed of vice-chancellor emerged, aping the language and drawing the salary of a business CEO, and attended by a court of financial managers and marketing experts. There was a huge diversion of resources to sometimes risky investment in real estate.

    In this brave new world, the almost forgotten fall-guys have been the academics whose job it is to deliver “the product”. According to research by the University and College Union, average academic pay has fallen by 17% in real terms since 2009, as investment priorities have been diverted elsewhere. An intellectual precariat has come of age, made up of millennials who stumble from year to year on temporary contracts, often part-time, wondering where the next teaching gig is coming from. The drive to keep student numbers buoyant has led to relentless micro-management of academic performance, much of it driven by questionable assumptions such as those of the teaching excellence framework, which a recent study found constructed “excellence” as the development of employability in students.

    The world of our universities has become anxious, tense and, for many, chronically insecure. A YouGov poll found that four out of 10 academics had considered leaving the sector as a result of health pressures. In a sector intended to promote the life of the mind, this does not seem to be a good way to do business. So far these strikes have received an encouraging level of support from students, some of whom have reportedly been warned by university authorities to stay away from picket lines. Overturning the wrong-headed priorities of our universities would certainly have the support of St John Henry Newman.


    #grève #UK #Angleterre #université #précarité #travail #retraite #néolibéralisme #néo-libéralisme #taxes_universitaires #compétition #marchandisation

  • Le #Conseil_constitutionnel acte la #gratuité de l’enseignement supérieur

    La plus haute juridiction a précisé que les #droits_d’inscription universitaires doivent rester « modiques ». Il avait été saisi par des associations étudiantes opposées à l’#augmentation des frais pour les #étudiants_étrangers.

    L’écho devrait parvenir bien au-delà de nos frontières. Vendredi 11 octobre, le Conseil constitutionnel a rendu publique une décision très attendue entérinant le #principe_de_gratuité à l’université. L’annonce risque de constituer un sérieux revers pour le gouvernement qui avait décidé en novembre 2018 d’augmenter les droits d’inscription universitaires pour les étudiants étrangers extracommunautaires. Cette réforme avait entraîné une large contestation chez les étudiants, les enseignants ou encore les présidents d’université.
    « Le Conseil constitutionnel déduit de façon inédite du treizième alinéa du préambule de la Constitution du 27 octobre 1946 que l’exigence constitutionnelle de gratuité s’applique à l’enseignement supérieur public », indique l’institution.
    En juillet, celle-ci avait été saisie d’une question prioritaire de constitutionnalité, à la suite du #recours de plusieurs organisations étudiantes – l’Union nationale des étudiantes en droits, gestion, AES, sciences économiques, politiques et sociales (Unedesep), l’association du Bureau national des élèves ingénieurs et la Fédération nationale des étudiants en psychologie. Une démarche à laquelle s’étaient associés d’autres syndicats étudiants et enseignants.
    Les associations avaient attaqué, devant le Conseil d’Etat, l’arrêté du 19 avril 2019, qui fixe les nouveaux droits d’inscription pour les étudiants étrangers extra-européens, à hauteur de 2 770 euros en licence (contre 180 euros pour les étudiants français et européens) et 3 770 euros en master (contre 243 euros). La juridiction administrative avait décidé de surseoir à statuer, le 24 juillet, jusqu’à ce que le Conseil constitutionnel tranche la question de #constitutionnalité soulevée.
    « La Nation garantit l’égal accès de l’enfant et de l’adulte à l’instruction »
    Le Préambule de la Constitution du 27 octobre 1946 du prévoit en effet que « la Nation garantit l’égal accès de l’enfant et de l’adulte à l’instruction » et que « l’organisation de l’enseignement public gratuit et laïque à tous les degrés est un devoir de l’Etat », défendaient les associations étudiantes. Mais il n’avait jamais été, jusqu’ici, précisé si l’enseignement supérieur était concerné par ce principe, au même titre que l’enseignement primaire et secondaire, ni de quelle manière. C’est chose faite. La plus haute juridiction précise, pour la première fois, comment cette obligation de gratuité s’applique dans un monde universitaire particulier, puisque y sont pratiqués des droits d’inscription. « Cette exigence ne fait pas obstacle, pour ce degré d’enseignement, à ce que des droits d’inscription modiques soient perçus, écrivent les juges constitutionnels. En tenant compte, le cas échéant, des capacités financières des étudiants. » Prochaine
    étape sur le terrain juridique : le Conseil d’Etat devra examiner de nouveau cet arrêté au regard de l’exigence de gratuité fixée par le Conseil constitutionnel.
    Ce dernier, en revanche, n’a pas jugé inconstitutionnelles les dispositions contestées de la loi de finances de 1951, qui prévoient que le pouvoir réglementaire fixe les montants annuels des droits perçus par les établissements publics d’enseignement supérieur et acquittés par les étudiants. « Il juge qu’il appartient aux ministres compétents de fixer sous le contrôle du juge les montants de ces droits. »

    Sept universités ont mis en place des droits « différenciés »
    La stratégie « #Bienvenue_en_France », dans laquelle figure cette augmentation des droits, a été annoncée par le gouvernement en novembre 2018, avec l’objectif de développer l’attractivité de la France, et d’atteindre 500 000 étudiants internationaux à l’horizon – contre 324 000 actuellement.
    Seules sept universités (sur environ 75 établissements) ont mis en place dès cette rentrée des droits « différenciés » pour les étudiants extracommunautaires. La majorité des établissements ont choisi d’utiliser la possibilité d’exonération ouverte par un décret de 2013. Chaque université peut dispenser de droits d’inscription 10 % de ses étudiants. Un dispositif utilisable, si les établissements le décidaient, en faveur des étudiants extracommunautaires.
    L’inquiétude demeure de savoir si ce quota permettra encore aux universités qui le souhaitent d’exonérer leurs étudiants étrangers, l’an prochain. Encore plus en 2021.

    #enseignement_supérieur #justice #université #frais_universitaires #taxes_universitaires #frais_d'inscription

    • Reçu par mail d’une amie juriste :

      Malheureusement, je pense qu’il faut rester prudent.e.s, le conseil constitutionnel n’a pas jugé inconstitutionnelle la disposition sur la hausse des frais d’inscription, il s’agit d’ailleurs de ce qu’ils appellent « une décision de conformité » (à la Constitution). Le Conseil constitutionnel fait seulement une sorte de rappel sur le principe de gratuité. Et en effet, la chose un peu bonne et nouvelle, c’est qu’il l’étend à l’enseignement supérieur mais par ailleurs, et toute de suite après, il fait une réponse toute pourrie en remplaçant ’gratuit’ par ’modique’... sans dire ce qu’il en advient.
      Il explique aussi qu’il n’y a pas vraiment de droits méconnus ... (quid du droit à l’éducation...?!)... laissant (selon moi) une certaine marge de manœuvre..
      Bref, c’est super mal rédigé et plein d’incertitudes planent !

      Donc, maintenant tout va se jouer devant le Conseil d’État qui prendra la mesure de cette décision QPC ou pas pour répondre au recours de l’union nationale des etudiant.e.s.

  • 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.”


    • 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.”


    • 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.
      Sign up for The Interpreter

      Subscribe for original insights, commentary and discussions on the major news stories of the week, from columnists Max Fisher and Amanda Taub.

      “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.
      Editors’ Picks
      Buying a Weekend House With Friends: Is It Really a Good Idea?
      Bob Dylan and the Myth of Boomer Idealism
      True Life: I Got Conned by Anna Delvey

      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.


    • 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:


      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.


    • 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.

      #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.


    • 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.


      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.


    • 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 ?


      #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.”



      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.


    • 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.


    • Mexico begins flying, busing migrants back to #Honduras

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Étranger. tu n’es pas le bienvenu

    La partie semble jouée. Un décret publié le 21 avril prévoit une #hausse colossale des frais d’inscription pour les étudiants non-européens.

    À l’université Paris-VIII, où 30% des étudiants sont étrangers, la colère a grondé, étudiants et enseignants se sont époumonés. En vain.

    Une mesure raciste ? Discriminatoire ?
    Pour comprendre les enjeux de ce passage en force Le Quatre Heures retourne sur les bancs de la fac.

    #taxes_universitaires #France #université #étudiants_étrangers

    métaliste sur le thème :

  • Les Pays-Bas prêts à taxer les voyages aériens La Rédaction - 17 Mai 2019 - Enviro2b

    Les Pays-Bas imposeront une taxe de 7 € par passager si l’UE ne propose pas elle-même une solution au problème du transport aérien.

    Le gouvernement néerlandais envisage d’introduire une taxe de 7 € par passager aérien en 2021 si l’UE ne parvient pas à mettre en place une taxe paneuropéenne, faisant ainsi suite à la pression environnementale qui pèse sur le secteur de l’aviation.

    Les Pays-Bas ont annoncé le mardi 14 mai que leur projet de loi sur « la taxe de vol » pourrait rapporter 200 millions d’euros et « contribuer à réduire l’écart de prix entre les billets d’avion et, par exemple, les billets de train », a déclaré le secrétaire d’Etat aux Finances, Menno Snel.

    Selon le projet de loi, qui doit encore être débattu par les politiciens, les passagers en partance du sol néerlandais seront facturés au maximum 7,50 €. Les avions cargo seront également facturés à 1,92 € pour les avions silencieux et à 3,85 € pour les avions bruyants.

    Un communiqué du ministère des Finances a déclaré qu’ « il comprend des mesures visant à prévenir un impact négatif potentiel sur le rôle de l’aéroport Schiphol de l’aéroport d’Amsterdam et sur son réseau international de connexions ».

    « Contrairement aux voyages en voiture, en bus ou en train, les vols internationaux au départ des Pays-Bas ne sont en aucun cas taxés par le gouvernement néerlandais. C’est une des principales raisons d’instaurer une taxe de vol », a déclaré Menno Snel dans un communiqué.

    Une seule taxe pour l’Union Européenne
    « Beaucoup de nos voisins ont déjà une taxe de vol et c’est pourquoi notre priorité est de rechercher une coopération au niveau européen », a ajouté le secrétaire d’État, faisant allusion à une proposition faite par les Pays-Bas et la Belgique au début de cette année d’imposer des taxes sur l’aviation via des accords bilatéraux.

    L’annonce est claire : si une taxe au niveau européen est probable en 2019 ou 2020, la législation nationale sera retirée. Le gouvernement néerlandais organise une conférence en juin pour déterminer s’il existe un intérêt pour plus d’action à ce sujet au-delà de la Belgique et de la France.

    Lundi 13 mai, un rapport de l’UE qui a été divulgué a révélé que la Commission européenne avait conclu qu’une taxe sur le carburéacteur, actuellement exempte de taxes en vertu d’un accord international, réduirait les émissions de carbone et aurait un impact limité sur l’emploi.

    Le gouvernement néerlandais a déclaré qu’il examinait également la faisabilité d’une taxe sur le kérosène.

    #Société #Ecologie #Transports #taxes #aéroports #transport_aérien #compagnies_aériennes #kérosène #ue #union_européenne

  • “The makers of TurboTax and other online systems spent millions lobbying last year, much of it directed toward a bill that would permanently bar the government from offering taxpayers prefilled filings.” A very good investigation by ProPublica about the incredible lobbying in the USA that tries to keep taxes as a juicy revenue source for some private companies.


    #proprietary_software #taxes #lobbying

  • What You Should Know About #crypto to Do Your #taxes

    A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine who is an active crypto trader told me he’d wrapped up his personal taxes. He’s a die-hard, anti-system kind of a guy, but he made sure to do everything to a tee because you never know what broke governments are willing to do.After recording every single transaction, his supporting documents came out to more than 10,000 sheets. More sheets than the IRS will even allow you to submit. I have to say, that made me very glad to be in the HODL camp.If you are a US citizen or resident, the hard truth is that you’re dealing with one of the most complex tax systems in the world. On top of that, if you’ve actively traded crypto or used it to buy and sell goods over the last year, your life just got far more complicated.Hopefully, by now, you’ve already enlisted (...)

    #crypto-taxes #blockchain #cryptocurrency

  • How to Handle #cryptocurrency Mining on Your #taxes

    Cryptocurrency received from mining is treated in two ways for tax purposes. Other factors also come into play depending on whether or not your mining operation is treated as a business entity or just as a hobby. This article breaks down each of these two taxable events and explains the implications of reporting your crypto and #bitcoin mining transactions on your taxes.1. Crypto received from mining is treated as incomeThe first tax event you need to be aware of is income received from mining. When you mine coins, you have income on the day the coin is “created” in your account at that day’s exchange value.For example, if you successfully mined 0.25 ETH on June 15th, 2018, then you have income of whatever the USD value of 0.25 ETH was on June 15th, 2018. This income needs to be reported.If (...)

    #blockchain #ethereum

  • Le #Ministère_de_l’Enseignement_Supérieur a manipulé les chiffres de #Campus_France

    Depuis l’annonce très impopulaire de l’augmentation de la hausse des frais d’inscriptions pour les étudiants extra-communautaires, le gouvernement tente par tous les moyens de rassurer. Parfois au détriment de la vérité...


    #taxes_universitaires #frais_universitaires #éducation #France #trucage #manipulation #statistiques

  • Why Tax Reporting For Cryptocurrencies Is So Stressful?

    Why is Tax Reporting For Cryptocurrencies so Stressful?The evolution of cryptocurrencies — the virtual “coins,” was supposed to disrupt the very concept of money itself. But it didn’t go as planned.With no physical manifestation, no central bank, and no government regulation, cryptocurrencies provided a perfect spot for some investors to dodge tax authorities.Crypto Is No Longer “Bogus”Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, and other “privacy coins”, such as Monero and Zcash, used to rule the dark web — the shady part of the Internet where weapons, pornography, and gambling are easily available. But this is slowly changing.Gone are the days when the government considered cryptocurrency as a “bogus” economy.Today, government regulations are now playing a vital role in legitimizing cryptocurrencies (...)

    #taxes #bitcoin #cryptotaxtrader #crypto #blockchain

  • The Coinbase Conundrum: Providing Accurate Tax Information to Users

    Coinbase has grown to be one of the largest and most prominently used #cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. As of this writing, Coinbase boasts more than 25 million users on its platform. As impressive as this stat is, it comes as a bit of a shock that when it comes to Coinbase #taxes, the exchange is unable to provide accurate documentation to millions of its users. This article breaks down why Coinbase taxes are so problematic and offers a solution to the problem.Cryptocurrency ExchangesCryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase make it easy for everyday consumers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. By nature of the technology that these exchanges operate on (blockchain), users are able to send #bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to wallet addresses outside of their own network. An example (...)

    #ethereum #blockchain

  • L’#arrêté officialisant la hausse des frais d’inscription dévoilé

    Le texte de l’arrêté officialisant la #hausse des frais d’inscription est connu. On sait donc qui devra payer l’an prochain, et certain∙es étranger∙es déjà présent∙es en France depuis plusieurs années pourraient être concerné∙es. Le texte sera discuté lundi 11 mars par les syndicats lors du CNESER. Ils voteront contre (comme souvent) et le gouvernement n’en tiendra aucun compte (comme toujours). Néanmoins, c’est l’occasion de faire connaitre notre opposition en étant nombreux∙ses dans les rues pour manifester, dès le 11 (https://www.facebook.com/events/329289177722831/?acontext=%7B%22action_history%22%3A%22[%7B%5C%22surface%5C%22%3A%5C%22pag) lors de la marche funèbre devant le ministère et également le mardi 12 (https://www.facebook.com/events/390771665047418/?acontext=%7B%22source%22%3A5%2C%22action_history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3) partout en France.


    Pour télécharger l’arrêté :

    #frais_d'inscription #taxes_universitaires #université #France #Bienvenue_en_France #loi

    v. aussi métaliste sur le sujet :