Only “16% of asylum seekers” who have arrived in Greece are likely to be sent to Turkey despite a controversial EU deal, the former head of Greece’s asylum service said on Sunday (11 February). Maria Stavropoulou, whose term in office recently expired, told Greek newspaper Kathimerini that the small percentage includes migrants “wanting to return to their home country or those who had given up on their asylum claims”. She said that “2,200 Syrians can be returned… but there are those who have appealed and the process is very slow”. This is despite a deal Turkey struck with the European Union in 2016 in which it agreed to take back illegal migrants landing on Greek islands in exchange for incentives including financial aid. Failure to agree a deal with Turkey at today’s summit on migration will condemn Greece to becoming the refugee camp of Europe, Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans warned on Wednesdays (16 March). … [Read more...] about Only 16% of asylum seekers in Greece to be sent to Turkey, despite EU deal
Belgium asylum seekers
The young Saudi woman who fled her family seeking asylum abroad is scheduled to land in Canada on Saturday after successfully harnessing the power of Twitter to stave off deportation from Thailand. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, was already en route to Toronto late Friday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would take her in. Trudeau’s surprise announcement came after officials had heavily hinted that she was bound for Australia. “Canada has been unequivocal that we’ll stand up for human rights and women’s rights around the world,” Trudeau said. “When the United Nations made a request of us that we grant al-Qunun’s asylum, we accepted.” The move is sure to further strain Canada’s relations with the kingdom that went sideways last August over Ottawa’s rights criticism of Saudi Arabia, prompting Riyadh to expel the Canadian ambassador and sever all trade and investment ties in protest. Canada also sparked fury … [Read more...] about Saudi teen asylum seeker expected in Canada
Melody Hart speaks to Ansly Damus via webcam at the Geauga County Safety Center.Courtesy of Gary Benjamin and Melody Hart Looking for news you can trust?Subscribe to our free newsletters. Somewhere in an Ohio jail, Ansly Damus was listening to Melody Hart and Gary Benjamin. It was late October, and they were telling Damus that the trees were changing colors. Damus, a 42–year-old asylum-seeker from Haiti, had not been allowed outside in two years. Hart and Benjamin, a local married couple in their sixties who had become Damus’ biggest allies and advocates in the United States, didn’t know exactly where Damus was. They’d been been making the hour-long drive from Cleveland to visit Damus in the small town of Chardon nearly every week for the past nine months, but they’d never actually seen him face to face. Inmates in the Geauga County jail must speak to friends and family through webcams and small monitors. Hart and Benjamin were sitting in a narrow … [Read more...] about A Haitian Asylum-Seeker Did Everything Right. ICE Sent Him to a Windowless Jail Cell.
Theo Hettema, chair of the General Council of the Protestant Church of The Hague, answers questions during an interview in front of the Bethel church in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. For more than a month, a rotating roster of preachers and visitors has been leading a non-stop, round-the-clock service at a small Protestant chapel in a quiet residential street in The Hague in an attempt to prevent the deportation of a family of Armenian asylum seekers. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong) THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- For more than a month, a rotating roster of preachers has been leading a non-stop, round-the-clock service at a small Protestant chapel in The Hague in an attempt to shield a family of Armenian asylum-seekers from deportation. Under a centuries-old tradition, authorities in the Netherlands don't enter a church while a service is underway. That means that for now the Tamrazyan family -- parents, their two daughters and son -- are safe from Dutch immigration authorities … [Read more...] about Dutch church holds 24/7 service to shield asylum-seekers
Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump dismissed Syrian refugees fleeing horrific violence as a “Trojan horse.” As president, Trump’s administration has been treating political refugees from around the world with the same casual cruelty. As the Daily Beast reported on Thursday, agents at the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services have been working to make it as difficult as possible for people fleeing persecution to find safe harbor here. Part of the new “extreme vetting” policies pushed by Trump includes scheduling interviews first for those who applied for asylum most recently, ensuring that they are the least prepared for their critical interview with USCIS officials. According to the site (emphasis mine): The asylum process was never easy. But lawyers said the Trump administration appears to have made it harder than ever for people to get asylum. Most of the attorneys who spoke with The Daily Beast said they thought the changes were a move … [Read more...] about The Sadistic Process of Applying for Asylum in the U.S.