Migration

Regional News • Europe
Bosnia: Homeless refugees forced to return to burnt-down camp

920 migrants at the Bosnian-Croatian border had to spend nights in a burned and unheated refugee camp. A total of 2,000 refugees have been holding out for days without shelter on the border with Croatia because the authorities cannot find room for them in existing refugee camps. A fire destroyed the Lipa camp, which was intended as a transitional camp, shortly before Christmas.

Hours earlier, after a dispute with the authorities, the International Organization for Migration had decided to have the camp evacuated because it was not winterized anyway. The organization could no longer guarantee the safety of the refugees. Many of the migrants in Lipa have already made numerous attempts to cross the border. The IOM head of mission speaks of a "desperate" situation. The condition of the refugees is rapidly deteriorating, he says. Overnight, he fears further frostbite and respiratory diseases.

Regional News • Europe • France
Fast-track citizenship for migrant frontline workers in France

The French government has fast-tracked hundreds of citizenship applications from migrant frontline workers. Over 700 healthcare professionals, cleaners and shop workers have already been granted citizenship or will receive it soon.

The office of Marlene Schiappa, junior minister for citizenship: "Health professionals, cleaning ladies, childcare workers, checkout staff: They all proved their commitment to the nation, and it is now the turn of the republic to take a step towards them."

Regional News • Europe
Bosnia: Fire breaks out in migrant camp

A huge fire has broken out in a temporary migrant camp in northern Bosnia, near the Croatian border. 1,200 people have been living under "seriously substandard conditions" in the camp since this summer. Thick black smoke has been seen rising from the camp.

The fire was allegedly started by residents who set a tent alight, IOMs Peter Van der Auweraert said.

Regional News • Europe
Swedish Government agrees to supplementary provisions on British Citizen's rights after Brexit
Swedish Government agrees to supplementary provisions on British Citizen's rights after Brexit
Credit: unsplash.com / Kenji Rikitake

As reported yesterday, today the Swedish Government ('Riksdag') debated and voted on bill 2020/21: SfU5 that was put forward by The Social Insurance Committee.

Confirming the decision, the Swedish Migration Agency ('Migrationsverket') detail that it will be called 'residence status', and will be available to obtain between 01 December 2020 and 30 September 2021.

The new residence status will be treated as any other residence permit, expiring after 5 years, where residents will be able to apply to renew it, or if they meet requirements, apply for permanent residence.

When applying, the agency suggest making the application online where it is easiest as the system will ask all questions required to ensure you get the application correct first time.

The Swedish Migration Agency will detail more information regarding the new status on their website in due course.

Regional News • Europe
Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, has applied to become a citizen of Cyprus
Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt Credit: JD Lasica (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Vox.com reports that the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, is finalizing a plan to become a citizen of the island of Cyprus, becoming one of the highest-profile Americans to take advantage of one of the world’s most controversial “passport-for-sale” programs.

Theo Andreou, the head of Cyprus program for Astons, speculated Schmidt could be making the move for two possible reasons: "One reason is to have a Plan B during Covid. The other reason is that they are expanding their business in Europe."

Cyprus announced in mid-October that due to “abusive exploitation,” it was shutting the program down, around when Schmidt’s approval was published.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU Commission presents plans for EU asylum system reform
EU Commission presents plans for EU asylum system reform
Credit: Amio Cajander / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The European Commission has presented plans for faster asylum procedures at the external borders, more deportations and the appointment of a "repatriation coordinator".

In case of high refugee numbers, all member states are to be obliged to show "solidarity" with the countries of arrival - be it through the reception of refugees or through assistance with deportations. At the same time, the Commission is planning more legal possibilities for immigration.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Mexico Demands U.S. Investigation into Alleged Forced Sterilizations at ICE Jail

At least six Mexican woman may have had unwanted hysterectomies at the Irwin County Detention Center. Mexico’s government is demanding U.S. authorities to investigate allegations.

Regional News • Europe
Heavy fires break out in refugee camp Moria

The refugee camp Moria has heavily suffered from multiple fires that were fanned by strong winds. Many of the 12,000 migrants and refugees living in the camp have fled to surrounding areas or started making their way to Mytilini, the capital of the island Lesbos.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Stuttgart is discussing a structured survey of the migration background
Stuttgart is discussing a structured survey of the migration background
Credit: NTV (Reproduction)

The criminologist Tobias Singelnstein criticizes the collection of the "family tree" among the identified perpetrators of the riots in Stuttgart. In juvenile criminal law - which will probably be used these cases - due to the educational concept, it is necessary to find out about family backgrounds, but the immigration background demonstrably does not say anything about the crime.

He is facing headwind from CDU politicians who justify this investigative approach by the fact that it could initiate preventive measures.

Regional News • Europe
Portugal government announces to treat migrants as residents during Covid-19 pandemic

In order to allow migrants and asylum seekers, that are currently living in Portugal, access to the public services of the country during the coronavirus pandemic, the government has announced to treat them as residents. Being treated as such they can use social security services such as healthcare or welfare, but also open bank accounts, close rental contracts and work. The only requirement is an ongoing request for residency.