MIGRATION

German nun fined for granting church asylum to Nigerian women

A German court has charged a nun €500 for assisting Nigerian women threatened with deportation from Germany. The two women reportedly fled from forced prostitution in Italy. Different groups criticized the court order and called for a decriminalization of church asylum. Benjamin Bathke reports Juliana Seelmann, a 38-year-old nun who lives and works in the Franciscan abbey of Oberzell in …

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Germany: Analysis of mobile phone data of asylum-seekers illegal — Court rules

The analysis of refugees’ mobile phone data to ascertain their identity violates their fundamental rights. This was the decision of the Berlin Administrative Court while ruling in the case of a 44-year-old Afghan woman. The verdict puts a question mark on the controversial practice to which the authorities sometimes resort to establish the true identity of asylum-seekers —- The controversial …

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Germany: Commission recommends measures to mitigate irregular migration

The commission set up by the federal government to look into the causes of flight and irregular migration has presented its report, recommending 15 key measures for the effective mitigation of these causes. —– An Expert Commission on the Causes of Flight appointed by the Federal Government in July 2019 has called for a more comprehensive political approach to combating …

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EU defends Spain after thousands of Moroccans enter Ceuta enclave

The European Union has spoken out in defence of Spain, after thousands of migrants from Morocco entered the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in north Africa. “Europe expresses its solidarity with Ceuta and Spain,” said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday (18 May), in a tweet. At least 6,000 migrants, including mothers cradling children and whole families, reached …

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Lack of suitable accommodation causes asylum-seekers mental ill-health, says Red Cross

The issue of accommodation provision for individuals seeking asylum within a country has recently been a topic heavily discussed in the field of immigration studies. In contribution to this, a new report by British Red Cross has highlighted how the UK asylum system is deeply flawed, and has caused increasingly negative impacts on the mental health of individuals seeking asylum. …

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Germany: Petition against obligation to report people without papers launched

An alliance of humanitarian and rights organisations are calling for the abrogation of the legal obligation to report people without residency status who seek medical care —– Almost 50 organisations and associations are demanding the abolition of the legal obligation to report people without regular residence status who seek medical care. Going to the doctor without fear is not possible …

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Biden Administration removes “alien” and “illegal alien” from Immigration Policy documents

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will remove the term “alien” to describe immigrants in the agency’s policy manual, according to a new Buzzfeed report. The move is the latest effort by the Biden administration to use “more inclusive language” when referring to immigrants, taking a more welcoming stance than the Trump White House. Last month, USCIS officials were told …

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Nigeria: IOM Launches “Blue Bus” campaign against Human Trafficking

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has launched a new project in Abuja, Nigeria, to raise awareness of the scourge of human trafficking among populations at risk in migration prone areas across the country. The 23 March launch marked the tenth anniversary of the Nigeria–Switzerland Migration …

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Maisha wins Award for empowering African women in Germany

Maisha – African Women in Germany e.V. has been honoured with yet another award for its efforts for the empowerment of African women in Germany. Maisha, founded in 1996 by Virginia Wangare Greiner, was recently bestowed with the “Corporate Livewire West Germany Prestige Award 2020/21” for being the best “Self-Help Group of the Year”. The organisation was honoured especially for …

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Germany finalises plan to improve integration in next 10 years

Chancellor Angela Merkel and state and civic leaders have finalised a plan to improve the integration of immigrants into society, the education system and the job market. It outlines a road map for the coming decade. Kathleen Schuster/DW reports Getting a job might have been once been considered enough to be successfully integrated into society as a foreigner. For Germany, …

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Nigeria, Switzerland celebrate 10 years of Migration Partnership

Nigeria and Switzerland have commemorated the 10th anniversary of a partnership on migration between the two countries. To mark the event, a mobile information campaign bus and a brochure on the “10 Years Migration Partnership Between Nigeria And Switzerland” were launched at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, on Tuesday. The Blue Bus, a “one-stop office for Public Enlightenment and …

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Migrant arrivals to EU drop 40% in first months of 2021

The EU’s border protection agency Frontex says the number of irregular border crossings at Europe’s external borders dropped by 40 percent in the first two months of 2021, compared to the same period last year, to 12000. For example, the number of illegal border crossings in February reached 4 650, about half the figure from the same month of last …

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Cameroon repatriates 5,000 Nigerian refugees

Cameroonian officials, led by Minister for Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, have repatriated over 5,000 Nigerian refugees to the north-eastern Borno State. According to a statement on the Facebook page of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, the handing over took place on Monday in Amchiide, a border community between Nigeria and Cameroon, close to Banki in Bama Local Government Area …

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Germany to centralise data on resident foreigners

The German interior minister, Horst Seehofer, sees a demand for improvement in the storage of data relating to foreigners in Germany. He has proposed recording all data in the Central Register of Foreign Nationals, which all federal states would be able to access. Benjamin Bathke reports Asylum decisions, scanned IDs and other documents belonging to foreigners who live in Germany …

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Nigeria to witness increase in irregular emigration, says NGO

The Initiative for Youth Awareness on Migration, Immigration, Development and Reintegration (IYAMIDR), said the current situation in the country would likely drive many more Nigerians into irregular emigration. Mr Solomon Okoduwa, Executive Director of IYAMIDR, who is a former aide to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Illegal Migration, made this known in an interview with NAN in Benin …

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Germany: Courts affirm positive asylum decisions revoked after 2018 scandal

In 2018, Germany’s asylum office BAMF came under fire for supposedly wrongly issuing numerous positive asylum decisions. Now, German courts have ruled in favour of 66 refugees whose positive asylum decisions had been revoked. Benjamin Bathke/DW reports German administrative courts have ruled in favour of 66 refugees after they brought lawsuits against the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees …

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34,000 migrants arrived Italy by sea in 2020 – UNHCR

The number of migrants who arrived in Italy by sea increased significantly last year, inspite of the coronavirus emergency, according to the UN refugee agency. Nearly 40% of newly arrived migrants were Tunisians. 34,154 migrants arrived in Italy by sea in 2020, according to UNHCR Italy. That’s three times as many as in the previous year — in 2019, a …

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The world’s most powerful passports for 2021 named

The annual Henley Passport Index has just been released. It ranks passports according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The latest ranking named Japan as the country with the most powerful passport in the world followed by Singapore while Germany and South Korea tie for third place Holders of the Japanese passport can travel visa-free …

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