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MIGRATION

Germany opens more doors for legal immigration

The Bundestag on Friday passed two laws to regulate immigration from non-EU countries into Germany. One of the laws provides more opportunities for people to come to Germany to work and receive training while another amends the regulations affecting asylum-seekers. In a major step to modernise and liberalise its immigration system, the German parliament passed into law a bill submitted …

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Integration Courses in Germany: What You Need to Know

Migrants in Germany are expected to learn the language and become familiar with the country’s history, culture and legal system. That’s where integration courses come in. But what exactly are these courses, who can participate, and how many people are taking part? Benjamin Bathke reports. According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) statistics, more than one million …

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Malta finally allows 49 migrants on rescue ships to disembark, to redistribute to EU countries

Malta allowed the 49 migrants stranded on two humanitarian rescue ships since last month to disembark at its port on Wednesday. The Sea-Watch 3 ship, which is run by a German humanitarian group, picked up 32 people from a boat off the coast of Libya on December 22. Another German-run organisation, Sea-Eye, rescued 17 others a couple of days later …

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German NGOs’ migrant rescue boats still stuck at sea, 17 days on

After 17 days in the Mediterranean Sea and battered by winter storms, the two NGO rescue boats stranded close to Malta’s shores with 49 rescued migrants on board are still waiting for permission to berth at a European port. One of the ships has received supplies and support. International voices to resolve the humanitarian crisis are getting louder. Benjamin Bathke …

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New in Switzerland! Renewal of residence permit now conditional on integration performance

Various new or tweaked Swiss laws, governing a range of issues from foreigners to online shopping, entered into force on 1 January. One of them affects the Foreigner’s law. Foreigners living in Switzerland now have to meet certain criteria of good behaviour, for example respect for public security and order and constitutional values, before their residence permits are granted or …

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New book on how colonisation drives today’s African migration to Europe

As I write this article, 49 migrants, mostly Africans, are stranded at sea. They had been rescued in the Mediterranean by the humanitarian organisation Sea Watch about two weeks ago but no European country is ready to allow the migrants to disembark at its port. Last year, about 112,000 migrants found their way irregularly to Europe through the Mediterranean while …

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Israel gives African migrants 90 days to leave or be jailed

The Israeli government has issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment. Rights group kick against controversial plan. Israel will force tens of thousands of African migrants to leave over the next three months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday. Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that the Israeli government will …

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Spain received highest number of migrants by sea in 2018

The year 2018 saw a new record in Spain for migrant arrivals by sea, at more than 57,000 – representing around half of all undocumented migrants making the Mediterranean crossing last year. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 113,145 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea last year. According to UNHCR, a total of 119,575 refugees and migrants …

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Migrants still experiencing “unimaginable horrors” in Libya, says new UN report

Murder, torture, arbitrary detention, gang rape, forced labour, extortion: A recent United Nations report details the horrors suffered by migrants and refugees in Libya. The authors call on the European Union to increase rescues efforts in the Mediterranean and to facilitate the work of humanitarian ships. Julia Dumont and Monique El-Faizy report. A recent report, jointly published on 18 December …

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German foundation worries about irregular migration from Nigeria

As Nigeria continues the battle against irregular migration, a German Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), has advised Nigerian government to focus on economic development to end the menace. Mr Vladimir Kreck, Country Representative of KAS, advised the government on Wednesday in Abuja during a workshop on “Migration- current trends part two’’. Kreck said that poverty and unemployment were identified as …

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About 112,000 migrants arrived in Europe via Mediterranean in 2018

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported that 111,558 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea from January to 16 December 2018. At least 2,217 people were reported dead. In a statement, the UN agency said that this year is the fifth straight during which the arrival of irregular migrants and refugees has topped the 100,000 threshold. Nevertheless, this …

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European Parliament approves visa proposal for refugees

The European Parliament in Strasbourg has approved a proposal to introduce European humanitarian visas with the objective of reducing the death toll and improving the management of refugee flows. The legislative initiative was approved on Friday by 429 MEPs against 194 and 41 abstentions (absolute majority). A similar proposal had failed in November to reach the absolute majority due to …

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The inspiring story of a French family who took in a young African migrant

Since the summer of 2018, hundreds of young migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa have arrived in Bayonne in France, located just 30 kilometers from the Spanish border. Some of them have been taken in by local families. Sixteen-year-old Ulrith from Cameroon is one of the migrant minors who received a warm welcome when he was taken in by Stéphanie and Pierre, who …

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Denmark to detain asylum-seekers on isolated island

The Danish government has agreed on a controversial policy to detain rejected asylum-seekers convicted of breaking certain laws on an isolated, uninhabited island. According to a government statement, the new centre will also house refugees who have a “tolerated stay” status, meaning they do not have a residence permit but cannot be deported for reasons, including threats to their life …

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Italy’s new anti-immigration law: What you need to know

A new Italian security and immigration law known as the ‘Salvini Decree’, which was passed by the Chamber of Deputies last week, has entered into force. Far-right politician Matteo Salvini has made reducing the number of migrants and refugees in Italy one of his key goals as interior minister. Here’s what you need to know about the decree. Tighter restrictions …

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Italy adopts tough anti-migrant law

The Italian parliament has passed into law a tough anti-migrant and security bill designed to make it easier to deport migrants and restrict residency permits. The controversial bill, which makes it easier to expel migrants and limits residency permits, was passed in the lower house of parliament with 396 in favour to 99 against on Wednesday (28 November). “I’m happy, …

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