NNIRR e-news: deportations, global migration, elections & more


Let's Stop the Deportations

Provide relief to refugees fleeing violence in their home countries

What a way to begin a new year, an election year: round up immigrant children and their families and deport them back to the countries they had fled due to widespread violence. That's just what the Obama Administration has been doing. While rationalizing the targets as those with standing deportation orders, the Administration has acted in direct contradiction to its professed advocacy for a humanitarian response by governments to the global refugee crisis.

NNIRR has joined tens of thousands of community members, advocates and allies in calling for an end to the deportations and in support of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Central American refugees, the main target of the deportations. Delegations of immigrant families, led by groups like theSoutheast Immigrant Rights Network (SEIRN) from the hardest-hit Southeast, recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness and call for end to the deportations. And while a number of deportations have been halted pending legal action, the Administration has not stepped away from its strategy. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson recently declared that the deportations would continue, even as the Administration prepares for Supreme Court hearings (expected in April) in defense of President Obama's executive action on immigration.

Community Resources:

Know-your-rights cards to download or order, from Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

ImmigrationLawHelp.org, an online directory of some 940 free or low cost immigration legal service providers in all 50 states.

#Not1More guideline on preparing/responding to an immigration raid.

Refugees and Migrants: Rights and Protections for All

The other migration topic dominating headlines this year has been the ongoing crush of millions of migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East region seeking safety and survival in Europe. Their arrival has been met by mixed responses, with local "welcome committees" springing up in some countries, to increased restrictions and violence and threats from xenophobic hate groups in others. Countries that had initially promised and promoted region-wide humanitarianism have tempered their messages and have turned toactive deportations of migrants and would-be refugees.

The conditions driving people from their homes -- Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea  and elsewhere, are unlikely to recede in any near future, and the problems of unemployment, food scarcity, lack of housing and healthcare, unstable governance and more are longterm, making the potential to "return" unlikely and/or dangerous.

View a map and data of migration into Europe from the International Organization for Migration. This includes data on "missing migrants" and the thousands of migrants who have died during their attempts to migrate.

The flow of people into Europe has sparked wide and serious global deliberations within the United Nations and other international settings. NNIRR and several partners from the Global Coalition on Migrationrecently participated in a civil society consultation on the "Migrants in Countries in Crisis" (MICIC) initiative, which proposes to address situations of non-nationals in countries experiencing environmental or civil crises. But the bigger picture, of the "push factors" and the rights and conditions of migrants and refugees crossing borders, looms as a global challenge. Stay tuned for more information on two proposed global fora during the UN General Assembly in New York in September, addressing the global movements of migrants and refugees and the need for humanitarian assistance for refugees (which Obama is hosting).

Immigration, Immigrant Communities and the 2016 Elections

As we have in past election cycles, NNIRR will be monitoring the elections and immigration-related issues, including the engagement of immigrant-based communities. As we are all aware, the anti-immigrant, hateful and fear-driven narrative has led to free publicity and particular support for some presidential candidtaes, and as we enter primary season, that narrative will surely persist. What are the immigration-related issues and messages dominating drive toward the presidential candidate nominations in your area? Please share with NNIRR at elections2016@nnirr.orgCheck out our current round-up of candidates and their immigration positions here. We'll do a comparison chart of specific positions of the leading candidates and the parties as the field narrows (the latest includes campaign suspensions by Christie and Fiorina following New Hampshire primary.)

Pope Francis to visit Mexico-US border

Last but not least, Pope Francis will visit Mexico for six days beginning this Friday, and will hold what will likely be a well-publicized mass at the border at Ciudad Juarez on Feb. 17. He is expected to comment on the situation of migrants and the border, as he has in the past.